Constitution & Bylaws

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Revised June 2022

Constitution

Article I: The name of this organization is Bexar Grotto, an internal organization of the National Speleological Society (NSS) and of the Texas Speleological Association (TSA).

Article II: The purposes of the Bexar Grotto are:

  • to promote interest in, and to advance in any and all ways the study and science of Speleology;
  • the protection of caves and their natural contents;
  • to promote fellowship among those interested therein; and
  • to promote and coordinate speleological activities in the State of Texas.

Bexar Grotto supports the aims and goals of the National Speleological Society.

Article III: Membership in Bexar Grotto is open to members of the NSS, and to any person whose purposes and aims are consistent with those of Bexar Grotto and who meet the membership conditions set forth in the bylaws.

Article IV: The governing body of Bexar Grotto shall be present at the Bexar Grotto membership meetings.

Article V: At least twelve Bexar Grotto meetings shall be held each calendar year. The time and place of all Bexar Grotto meetings shall be announced through a regular publication of Bexar Grotto, or by mail to all members of record. Bexar Grotto meetings shall be called by the officers or by written petition of twenty percent of all Bexar Grotto members.

Article VI: The life of Bexar Grotto shall be perpetual or until terminated by a simple majority vote of the membership.

Article VII; Amendments to this constitution shall be proposed by a simple majority at a Bexar Grotto meeting. A proposed amendment shall become effective upon its ratification by a three-fourths vote of all Bexar Grotto members present at the Bexar Grotto meeting following its proposal.

Article VIII: The Bexar Grotto is organized exclusively for educational and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

Article IX: No part of the net earnings of Bexar Grotto shall inure to the benefit of, or to be distributed to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Bexar Grotto shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article VIII hereof. No substantial part of the activities of Bexar Grotto shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and Bexar Grotto shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the Bexar Grotto shall not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the purposes of the Bexar Grotto.

Article X: Upon dissolution of Bexar Grotto, assets shall be for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for public purpose. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the Bexar Grotto is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

Bylaws

Article I: Membership/Dues and Assessment

  1. Membership in the Bexar Grotto consists of Regular and Family Members.
    1. A Regular Member has paid $5.00 dues per current calendar year due at the first regular Grotto meeting of the calendar year.
    2. A Family Membership includes person(s) residing in the home of a Regular Member, for $2.00 additional dues for the current calendar year.
    3. Nonpayment of dues will result in the loss of rights and privileges of membership after 60 days or two months.
  2. A member of Bexar Grotto may be expelled from membership by a vote of three-fourths of the members at a Bexar grotto meeting: reinstatement shall be in a like manner.

Article II: Affiliated Organizations

An affiliated organization is any organized group approved by a majority of the Bexar Grotto officers.

Article III: Officers

  1. The officers of the Bexar Grotto are: Chairman, Vice-Chairman of Programs, Vice-Chairman
    of Trips, Secretary, and Treasurer. All officers must be NSS members.
    1. The Chairman, when present, shall preside over all Bexar Grotto meetings.
    2. The Vice-Chairman of Programs is responsible for meeting and program arrangements, and presides at Bexar grotto meetings in absence of the Chairman.
    3. The Vice-Chairman of Trips is responsible for supervising and inventorying all Bexar Grotto assets and equipment, and will attempt to insure that borrowed equipment is returned or replaced.
    4. The Secretary records the minutes of the Bexar Grotto meetings and maintains a current list of members.
    5. The Treasurer controls the assets of the Bexar Grotto, maintaining adequate financial records.
  2. Election of Grotto Officers will be annually at the first meeting in January with nominations accepted during the last meeting of December. The announcement of the Bexar Grotto meeting shall specify that it will include the election. In the event that no candidate for an office receives a simple majority of the votes cast, a runoff election shall be held immediately between the two candidates for any office receiving the greatest number of votes.
  3. Officers may be removed from their position by a favorable vote of three-fourths of the members at a Bexar Grotto meeting. Vacancies, for whatever cause, shall be filled for the remainder of the term by a nomination from the floor and election as soon as possible.
  4. Approval by any two Officers is required for the disbursement of Bexar Grotto funds.

Article IV: Committees

Temporary committees are appointed and dissolved by the Bexar Grotto Chairman for study and recommendations on particular subjects and issues.

Article V: Bexar Grotto Meetings

  1. All members present that are in good standing may vote at Bexar Grotto meetings.
  2. A quorum consists of seven members, including at least two Officers.
  3. In the absence of specific rules of order in the Constitution and Bylaws of Bexar Grotto, the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall prevail.
  4. A reasonable effort shall be made to notify all dues paying members of any change in the regular grotto meeting schedule or of any special meetings.

Article VI: Amendments

The bylaws may be amended by a favorable vote of three-fourths of the members at a Bexar Grotto meeting or by a majority vote if announced in advance.

Article VII: The Bexar Facts

The Bexar Facts is the official publication of the Bexar Grotto, and responsibility for this publication rests with the Bexar Grotto membership. The membership shall elect the editor at the time that the Grotto Officers are elected, and this editor shall assume editorship until that time of the following year.

Article VIII: Bexar Grotto Anti-Harassment Policy

Bexar Grotto is committed in all areas to providing an environment that is safe and harassment free between Grotto members and attendees at all Grotto sanctioned events. All Grotto members and attendees are expected and required to abide by the policy outlined below.

  1. A Grotto sanctioned event is any event announced publicly through an official Grotto venue. Grotto venues include:
    • Grotto meetings
    • Grotto Trips as organized by the Trip Chair
    • Grotto list-server
    • Grotto Facebook
  2. Harassment may be:
    • Unwanted and inappropriate comments
    • Inappropriate behavior that warrants intervention
    • Unwanted advances or touching
    • Unwanted invasion of personal space
    • Deliberate intimidation
    • Unwanted actions through verbal, physical, cyber means or aggressive behavior
  3. Any person being harassed or witnessing another person being harassed should contact a Grotto officer or Event staff member immediately. The Grotto will make every effort to assist and provide protection for our members and attendees.
  4. When an incident of harassment is reported at a Grotto event or outing, the event staff, volunteers, or Grotto representatives shall perform an immediate initial investigation including seeking uninvolved witness of the incident and may subsequently take corrective action against any offenders at the time of the incident, ranging from verbal warnings to expulsion from the area and/or event and a referral of the offender to Grotto Officers for consideration of additional disciplinary actions.
  5. Complaints about harassment may be directed, in confidence, to Grotto Officer(s), who will follow up with appropriate actions as outlined below:
    • An investigation team determined to be the best qualified, consisting of at least two active Grotto members (at least one male and one female), as appointed by the Grotto Officers will conduct an investigation in confidence.
    • All investigations should begin as soon as possible and should end in a timely manner, within 60 days of the original complaint.
    • Grotto Officers shall ensure that the accused is informed of all rights and procedures.
    • Upon completion of their investigation, the investigation team will present their findings to the Grotto Officers. Grotto Officers will decide the appropriate actions, including but not limited to the following:
      • Censure
      • Suspension for a limited time period, up to 30 days.
      • Restriction of privileges, including attendance at certain events
      • Revocation of awards
      • Recommend expulsion as detailed in Article I of the Grotto Bylaws
  1. Expulsion of a member is addressed in the Grotto Bylaws Article I: Membership/Dues and Assessment Section B.
  2. Disciplinary procedures including hearings shall be carried out as described in the most recent edition of Roberts Rules of Order.
  3. Anyone found to make false accusations will be subject to investigation in accordance with the Bexar Grotto Anti-Harassment Policy.
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