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(Founded 1921. Formerly known as Faculty Women's Club of Rice University)

Constitution and By-Laws

The name of this organization shall be The Women’s Club of Rice University, formerly known as Faculty Women’s Club of Rice University.

The purpose of the Club is to promote friendship among women of Rice University and to welcome newcomers.

Membership shall include: Women faculty and professional staff; emeritae; women post-doctoral fellows and research associates; wives and widows of faculty, professional staff, emeriti, post-doctoral fellows, or research associates; all past and current members of the Club; female family members of the prior categories whose membership application has been approved by the governing Board.

The Club shall be governed by a governing Board, elected annually at the business meeting held at the end of the academic year. This Board shall consist of a President and six other members elected by the Club and the immediate past president, ex-officio. The President shall have been an active member of the Club for at least one year. The Board shall appoint the Secretary and Treasurer from its own member¬ship. This Board shall serve one year. A vacancy on the Board shall be filled by a candidate nominated by the Board with the approval of the Club membership.
This Board shall transact all business of the Club and shall plan and carry out the programs for the year. It shall invite and welcome eligible members.

The President shall: preside over meetings, have signature authority for the Club, represent the membership to outside organizations, appoint special committees as needed, and serve as an ex-officio member of all committees.

The Secretary shall: maintain meeting minutes and distribute them to the membership for approval, handle correspondence, and shall preside over meetings in the absence of the President.

The Treasurer shall: supervise all financial transactions undertaken under the auspices of the Club, present and distribute a financial report at general meetings, maintain a list of paid members, have signature authority on Club bank accounts, keep financial records, and shall preside over meetings in the absence of the President and Secretary.

One general meeting may be held each month of the academic year and may be of whatever nature the Board decides. Groups for special activ¬ities may be organized according to the wishes of the members.
There shall be at least two regular business meetings, one at the beginning and one at the end of the academic year, and other business meetings scheduled as needed. Special meetings shall be called at the discretion of the Board. Fifteen members shall constitute a quorum.

The annual dues shall be set by the Board with approval of the member¬ship. Any increase shall not exceed 50 per cent of the dues for the prior year.
The Board is responsible for procedures related to dues and shall send at the beginning of the academic year a written dues notice to those eligible for membership. Membership in the special activity groups shall be restricted to those who have paid their dues.
The First Lady or any female President of Rice University shall be considered an Honorary Member, and shall not be required to pay dues to the Club in order to maintain membership.

According to the custom of the Club, memorial contributions shall be made from the Club’s treasury on behalf of the membership in case of the death of a member of the Club or a member of her immediate family.

Elections shall be held at the regular business meeting at the end of the academic year. During the March meeting the President shall name a chair for the Nominating Committee and shall ask for volunteers from the membership to serve on the Nominating Committee to prepare a slate for election. Nominations for the Board slate may be made to the Nominating Committee by the membership, Board, or President. Election shall be by a majority of those present if a quorum has been established.

All serving equipment now owned, and any later acquired by the Club, shall be used only in Cohen House, except at a meeting of the Club at another location.

Written communications as mentioned in these bylaws may be printed and mailed or sent via digital communications or a combination of both.

In the event that the Club establishes a special project, then any donations contributed to the special project shall be designated as a separate line item or account and shall not revert back to the general Club accounts without approval by a majority at a general meeting with a quorum present.

In the absence of provisions to the contrary, Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall prevail.

This Constitution and By-Laws may be amended at any business meeting by a two-thirds majority vote of the paid members present, if there is a quorum. Amendments shall be proposed from the floor or in writing at least one month before being voted upon, and the membership shall be notified of the same in writing at least two weeks before the meeting at which the vote is to be taken.

Approved: April 13, 2011
By-Laws Committee:
Cindy Peden Chapman (chair), Katherine Veletsos, Mary Lou Margrave

Prior Version: April 17, 1985
Amendment to Dues April 2014

Amendment to Names April 13, 2016