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Pagan And Wiccan Society of Valdosta Constitution and By-Laws

Preamble

The name of this organization shall be the PAGAN AND WICCAN SOCIETY OF VALDOSTA (the "PAWS").

The purpose of this organization shall be:

To provide an easily accessible organization for Wiccan and Pagan students of Valdosta State University for fellowship, worship, spiritual support and networking; to educate people who are not Wiccan or Pagan, when they express a fear of, or concern regarding, our religion. This will be done by opening lines of communication and dispelling false hoods about us, without proselytizing, which does not interest us; and to assist victims of religious discrimination in any way that we can. Although PAWS is primarily a religious organization, it is not a church, however it does reserve all rights to conduct fundraising activities both, said members may reserve the right to be politically active at times, in keeping with its larger mission to provide support for the Pagan and Wiccan community.

ARTICLE I

OFFICERS:

Section 1: The officers of this organization shall be:

President; Vice-President; Secretary Section 2: The qualifications of officers shall be as follows:

Officers will be students in good standing with Valdosta State University. "Good Standing" means:

A student who comlies with VSU policies as set forth in the "VSU Students Rights and Responsibilities Governing Student behavior."

An officer will regularly attend PAWS meetings. "Regularly" shall mean attendance at a minimum of two-thirds of a years meetings.

An officer will not violate our code of confidentiality regarding other members identities and/or personal information. An officer will have a GPA of at least 2.0 or above, and must be enrolled in a full course of study at VSU (12 hours per semester for undergraduates and 9 hours per semester for graduates). Officers will be at least 18 years of age or have written parental consent. Section 3: Officers duties shall be:

President:

To preside over meetings; To coordinate the planning and production of meetings (including emergency meetings), and other events; To act as spokesperson for the organization, as well as delegating this task to another officer or member at the Presidents discretion;

To maintain official PAWS correspondence, such as thank you notes, birthday greetings, etc. The President, as figure-head, should sign most correspondence, but will be assisted in this task by the Secretary. To create and dissolve ad hoc committees as needed to facilitate the production of events and the cordination of efforts in keeping with the stated purpose of the PAWS. Vice-President:

The Vice-President shall assume the duties and responsibilities of President should the President become unable to fulfill her/his duties due to sickness or emergency, or in the case that the President is impeached. To assist the President in maintaining official PAWS correspondence when requested to do so. To ensure that committees fulfill the purposes for which they were created and to inform the President of their progress. Schedule meeting rooms and other facilities for group events, and notify Secretary for publication. Secretary:

To record the minutes of all meetings. To maintain official records, IN THE STRICTEST OF CONFIDENCE, of members and their addresses and/or home phone numbers. (The use of Wiccan magickal names and post office boxes will be acceptable.) To assess and record the attendance at each meeting, and to determine if a quorum is present. To publicize meetings and events. In the case of the absence of both the President and the Vice-President at a meeting or other event at the time at which it should begin, the Secretary shall conduct and election of a President pro tem to preside until the arrival of the President or Vice-President or until the adjournmanet of the meeting or event. NOTE: ALL OFFICERS shall be responsible for providing members with information of a nonpersonal nature regarding the PAWS as requested within a reasonable amount of time. (Ex.: the number of members in attendance at the last meeting; the minutes of a meeting; a copy of the PSA's constitution and by-laws, etc.)

Section 4: Term of office:

The term of office shall be one semester. No member shall hold more than one office at a time.

ARTICLE II

MEMBERSHIP:

Section 1: Voting members:

In order to be a voting member of the PAWS, one must:

Be a student at VSU, either full or part-time. Actively participate in and contribute to the group. Be at least 18 years of age, or have written parental consent. Attend PAWS meetings regularly. ("Regularly" means attendance at a minimum of two-thirds of the years meetings.) Associate members:

Faculty and staff of VSU, and members of the Valdosta community, who are Wiccan or Pagan, or who are Wiccan or Pagan "friendly", may be associate members, and are welcome to attend general meetings and PAWS hosted events. Associate memberships is for those persons who are not students at VSU. Associate members are not considered voting members.

ARTICLE III

MEETINGS:

General meetings:

Meetings will be conducted once a month. Meetings will be conducted in an orderly fashion and courtesy will be expected to be shown for whomever has the floor at any given time. Emergency meetings:

The President will have the authority to call an emergency meeting at his or her discretion. This authority is not to be abused. The Vice-President will have the authority to call an emergency meeting in the event there is a call for impeachment of the President. In the event that an emergency meeting is called, a diligent effort will be made: to contact each voting member of the group; to hold the meeting at a time and location that will best allow as many voting members as is possible to attend.

ARTICLE IV

PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

The rules contained in the Modern Edition of ROBERT'S RULES OF ORDER shall be referred to when questions regarding organizational procedure arise, in all cases where they are not inconsistent with these by-laws and any special rules of order that the PAWS may adopt.

ARTICLE V

ELECTIONS AND VOTING:

Section 1: Elections:

Elections shall be held bi-annually, on or about (and as close as possible to) the occasions of Samhain (Oct. 31st) and Beltane (April 30th). Elections held on or about Oct. 31st will elect officers for the following Spring semester. Elections held on or about April 30th will elect officers for the following Fall semester. Newly elected officers shall begin their term of office on the first day of the following semester. Nominees must be present to be elected. Section 2: Nominations:

You must be a voting member for a period of no less than two months prior to an election in order to be nominated for the position of an officer. You may nominate yourself. You may nominate or be nominated by someone else. You need not be present when nominations for office are held, although it is strongly recommended. All nominations must receive a second in order to carry. Section 3: Voting:

You must be a voting member for a period of at least two months prior to an election in order to be eligible to vote at an election of officers. Voting will be accomplished by confidential ballots, which will be distributed to the voting members at the election.

Absentee ballots will be the exception to the confidential voting rule. Absentee ballots will be signed by the voting member and mailed to the Secretary BEFORE the election date. The Secretary WILL KEEP THESE VOTES CONFIDENTIAL! It will be responsibility of the voting member who anticipates missing an election to obtain an absentee ballot ahead of time from the Secretary. After votes have been cast at an election, the ballots will be counted in the presence of all the members immediately after all the ballots are in by the incumbent President, along with two voting members, who will verify the votes. These two voting members will be chosen by a simple majority vote at the start of the election. Section 4: Quorum:

A quorum shall be considered to be present at any meeting for which proper announcement has been made in which at least two-thirds of the current voting members are present.

ARTICLE VI

IMPEACHMENT OF OFFICERS

Section 1: Procedure:

The voting members shall have the power to call the vote for a special meeting for the purpose of impeaching the President. This call for a vote may only occur at a regularyly scheduled meeting of the PSA. 51% of the ENTIRE voting membership must be desirous of impeaching the President, not just 51% of the voting members present at a general meeting where a desire for the vote to be called was expressed. An emergency meeting must then be called in order to determine whether or not 51% of the voting members are desireous of impeaching the President. If so, the vote will be called at the emergency meeting, and if 51% vote for impeachment, an impeachment hearing will be scheduled.

The impeachment hearing must occur within one week of the vote. All members may attend, but only voting members may cast votes. The Vice-President shall assume the duties of President immediately after the vote has been carried to hold a hearing and shall continue in that role until the hearing. In the case that the President is removed from office (or resigns), the Vice-President will become the President, and a special election will be held for a new Vice-President as soon as possible. Once all statements ahve been made at the hearing, the vote will be called, and the President will be removed IF 51% OR MORE OF THE VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT AT THE DULY ANNOUNCED HEARING vote to do so. The President shall have the power to impeach any officer with a quorum vote of the voting membership. If an officer is impeached and removed, a special election (duly announced and publicized) will be held to elect a replacement as soon as possible.

ARTICLE VII

PRIVACY CLAUSE:

We expect and agree that members of the PAWS, especially officers, will keep information regarding the identity of members in the STRICTEST OF CONFIDENCE. Members right to privacy should be respected at all times in order to prevent possible acts of discrimination against members who are not able to be open about their religious beliefs.

Members who compromise the identity of other members may be asked to leave the PAWS for having put someone else in potention jeopardy. Whether that jeopardy could be of losing their job, their friends, or jeopardy of physical harm, is irrelevant. One of our goals is to offer fellowship for Pagans and Wiccans in an atmosphere of safety, while fostering trust amongst each other and the VSU and Valdosta communities.

It should be noted, however, that PAws meetings are open to all. Therefore, any person seen attending PSA meetings or events, whether they are Pagan or not, could be considered to be "guilty by association" by others. Photographs may be taken by outsiders at public events, etc. Also officers are figure-heads and represent the group publicly. For obvious reasons, they should be in a position to be open about their religous beliefs. These things should be considered by each individual member.

ARTICLE VII

STATEMENT OF NON-DISCRIMINATION:

Membership shall not be denied on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, political beliefs, age, disability, gender or gender identity, marital status or sexual orientation.

ARTICLE IX

ALCOHOL AND DRUGS

There will be NO alcohol or illegal drug use permitted at any PSA hosted meeting, Sabbat, festival, or other event. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS. Anyone who attends a PAWS hosted event while obviously under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs will be told to leave that event immediately. The same will hold true of anyone found to be in possession of an open container of alcohol or any illegal drug at any PAWS hosted event.

If a member violates this clause, the leadership reserves the right to immediately revoke PAWS membership.

This clause does not pertain to private parties.

ARTICLE X

AMENDMENTS:

The constitution and by-laws of The PAWS may be amended during any regularly scheduled general meeting by a quorum of the voting members. All amendments and revisions shall be submitted to the Secretary for proposal before the meeting at which they are to be voted on, so that the agenda may be scheduled accordingly.