Group Bylaws

Below are the bylaws for the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Northeastern New York as adopted at the January 2014 monthly meeting. Group members are welcome to provide their feedback in the comments field under the Leave A Reply label at the bottom of this page or by sending an email to rpcvneny@gmail.com.


BYLAWS

(As adopted January 2014)

ARTICLE I – GENERAL

§1.1 Name: The group is named the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Northeastern New York. Most common abbreviations are RPCVs of NENY and RPCV NENY.

§1.2 Purposes/Mission: The purposes of RPCVs of NENY are to promote and advance the Third Goal of the Peace Corps (the Third Goal of the Peace Corps aims to help Americans understand the people and cultures of other countries); to exist as the Northeastern New York regional affiliate of the National Peace Corps Association and, as such, be the regional alumni association of returned Peace Corps Volunteers, staff, and friends of Peace Corps; to provide information about Peace Corps to interested parties; to provide an organization for anyone interested in the mission and work of the Peace, international development, and local volunteerism; to educate Americans about other countries and cultures and to facilitate cross-cultural exchanges; to support the Peace Corps and promote policies consistent with its mission and the group’s priorities; and engage in advocacy on local and global issues consistent with the group’s values and mission.

§1.3 Headquarters and Location of Meetings:

ARTICLE II – MEMBERS

§2.1 Members: Any individual expressing interest and demonstrating agreement with the values and mission of RPCVs of NENY may become a member.

§2.2 Membership Requirements: RPCVs of NENY have no strict membership requirements. Members are not required to attend a minimum amount of meetings or events or level of participation.

§2.3 Membership Rights: Members of RPCVs of NENY have the right to participate in group activities and vote on group decisions. Beyond these two rights, RPCVs of NENY offer no specific rights to its members. Since most of the opportunities to vote come during monthly meetings, members who do not attend monthly meetings may not have opportunities to exercise their voting rights. The membership officer will be responsible for making sure current and potential members understand the methods used by the group to communicate with its members. Whenever possible, the membership officer shall encourage members to use one or more of the communication methods to stay in contact with the group.

§2.4 Revocation of Membership: Membership in RPCVs of NENY may be revoked with the support of a majority of members, demonstrated by vote, or by two or more of the current group officers. Membership may be revoked for conduct contrary to the values and mission of the group, physical or verbal abuse by a member toward other members or associates of the group, improperly representing the group and its interests, theft of group funds or intent to steal funds or property belonging to the group, or other reasons deemed to be contrary to the values and mission of the group.

§2.5 Executive/Steering Committee: Any current and former office holders are considered part of the group’s executive/steering committee. Any former office holder may opt not to participate in committee duties with no repercussions on his or her membership in the group. The committee should be consulted on any major changes to the group such as, but not limited to, altering meeting schedules, undertaking fundraising activities, major expenditures (still subject to a group vote), nomination of future officers, and other actions to be taken on behalf of the group.

§2.6 Biannual Membership Survey: Whenever possible, the officers should create and distribute a membership survey to gauge member satisfaction and potential future priorities. Officers should analyze the results, take action where appropriate and supported by the group. The officers will also share the results of the survey with the group. Results will also be posted on the group’s public website.

ARTICLE III – OFFICERS

§3.1 Offices and Terms of Office: RPCVs of NENY has the following offices and corresponding terms of office:

President: 2 years (no reelection)

Vice-President: 2 years (no reelection)

Treasurer: 2 years (may be reelected)

Membership Officer: No term limit; may be combined with office of Vice President

Webmaster: No term limit; whenever possible, 3 or more members should be able to develop, contribute to and maintain RPCVs of NENY’s website and online activity.

§3.2 Removal of Officers:

Membership in RPCVs of NENY may be revoked with the support of a majority of members, demonstrated by vote, or by two or more of the current group officers. Membership may be revoked for conduct contrary to the values and mission of the group, physical or verbal abuse by a member toward other members or associates of the group, improperly representing the group and its interests, theft of group funds or intent to steal funds or property belonging to the group, or other reasons deemed to be contrary to the values and mission of the group.

§3.3 Vacancies and Nominations: The group will be given two months in advance of the end of an officer’s term to nominate a suitable replacement. The current officers should prepare one or more names for the group’s consideration, whenever possible. If new officers are not nominated, the term of current officers extends until they are replaced via the nomination and voting process.

§3.4 Officers’ Duties

A. President: The President provides leadership and direction for the group. The President is responsible for correspondence with NPCA and for submitting the NPCA member group report. The President is responsible for setting the agenda of and running the monthly meetings.

B. Vice-President: The Vice-President supports the President in the leadership and administrative duties of the group. The VP shall be understood to be in line to assume the office of President, following a vote by the group at the end of the President’s term. In this way, the VP shall have two years to learn about the leadership and administration of the group by observing and supporting the President. The VP is responsible for finding locations and speakers for the monthly meetings. Whenever possible, monthly meeting location and speaker duties should be shared with other willing group members.

C. Membership: The Membership Officer is responsible for maintaining membership logs including the following information: members’ names, contact information, and country/countries of PC service; membership status; payment status; and other items relevant to promoting the interests of the group and being accountable to members. The Membership Officer shall also take on the responsibilities of promoting membership to potential new members. Whenever possible, the Membership Officer shall inform the President and the group at large about changes or updates to group membership.

D. Treasurer: The Treasurer is responsible for making deposits into and writing from the group’s accounts. The Treasurer is responsible for presenting the President and VP with a bank statement and other relevant financial news at each monthly meeting. The Treasurer is the primary point of contact for communication with the group’s bank and with other groups’ treasurers.

ARTICLE IV – BYLAWS: DISTRIBUTION AND AMENDMENT

§4.1 Distribution of Bylaws: Bylaws are posted on the group’s public website. Bylaws are available in print or other format upon request from any group member. Requests for the group’s bylaws by non-members must be approved by the VP or President.

§4.2 Amendment of Bylaws: Bylaws may be amended by majority vote at any monthly meeting. Amendments may also be made via email. A majority of respondents via email must support an amendment for it to take effect.

§4.3 Required Vote: Any withdrawals from the group’s accounts or checks drawn on the group’s accounts must be supported by a majority vote at any monthly meeting. Election of new officers requires a nomination from a current member, a second by another current member and majority approval by vote at a monthly meeting. Officers should not be elected via email.

§4.4. Proposing Amendments: Any member may propose an amendment. The amendment must be discussed at at least one monthly meeting and distributed via email before a vote is held.

ARTICLE V – FINANCES

§5.1. Membership Dues: Members can pay dues through NPCA or directly to RPCVs of NENY. Those payment directly to RPCVs of NENY should be informed of the option to join through NPCA. Annual membership in RPCVs of NENY is $15.00. RPCVs of NENY does not enforce dues or require them for members to participate. Members may pay more or less than the $15.00 amount at any time during the year. The Treasurer and other members must explain to any donors that RPCVs of NENY is not a recognized charitable organization and therefore donations are not declarable on state or federal tax returns.

§5.2 Account Privileges and Maintenance: The President, Vice President and Treasurer have access to the group’s accounts. No other members are allowed to access the group’s accounts without the written permission of all three of the above-mentioned members. All officers must forfeit their account access at the end of their term(s).

§5.3 Checks, Drafts and Notes: All checks, drafts, or other orders for the payment of money and all notes or other evidence of indebtedness issued in the name of the RPCVs of NENY must be signed by a current officer.

§5.4 Deposits: All funds of the RPCVs of NENY not otherwise employed must be deposited to the credit of the RPCVs of NENY.

§5.5 Indemnification: Each person who at any time is or has been an officer of RPCVs of NENY or is serving or has served at the request of the RPCVs of NENY will be indemnified by the NPCA in accordance with and to the full extent permitted by the law as in effect at the time of adoption of this bylaw or as such law may be amended from time to time. The

§5.6 Conformance of Bylaws: If any provision of these bylaws does not conform to the requirements of New York State or other applicable law, the group is authorized to revise that provision until it conforms to those requirements. However, if any such revision would destroy the purpose of the provision, these bylaws must then be amended as set out above.

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