Constitution 2014

Constitution of the Southeastern Medieval Association

  1. Name: Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA)
  2. Purpose: To encourage and promote study, research and publication and instruction in all aspects of medieval life, thought, and learning, including medieval records, literature, languages, arts, archaeology, history, philosophy and science.
  3. Membership: Any person may become a member of the Association on payment of dues as determined by the Association as a whole.
  4. Officers: The officers of the Society, elected by the members of the Association, shall be:
    1. President, who shall serve for two years and shall not be eligible for immediate re-election;
    2. Vice-President, who shall serve as stated for the President;
    3. The Treasurer and Secretary shall serve for a period of four years and, in the interest of continuity for these important positions, shall be eligible for re-election.
  5. Duties of Officers:
    1. The President shall preside at the meetings of the Association and the Executive Council.
    2. If he or she is absent, the Vice-President shall preside in her or her place.
    3. The Treasurer shall be custodian of the Association’s funds, which includes collecting membership dues and paying bills. The Treasurer will submit a written report concerning the Association’s finances to the Executive Council and the Association’s business meeting annually. This officer shall also have custody of the property of the Association and of the Executive Council.
    4. The Secretary will attend to the Association’s correspondence and maintain an up-to-date roster of members and contact information, as well as taking minutes of executive council and annual business meetings. The Secretary will also foster the Association’s online presence, publicizing the Association’s events and publications to members and nonmembers alike.
    5. In the event that an elected officer shall die, resign, or for any reason be unable or unwilling to carry out his or her responsibilities to the Association, the other officers shall start proceedings to fill that position by asking for nominations from the Association as a whole. Voting in that event shall be by ballot.
  6. Executive Council:
    1. The executive arm of the Association shall be an Executive Council, consisting of three aforesaid officers ex officio and twelve members in good standing of the Association, elected by the Association and serving at their pleasure for a period of three years. One third of the Councilors shall be elected each year.
    2. The Executive Council shall be responsible for the general operation of the Association with the right to employ whomever it sees fit. A quorum shall consist of six members.
    3. Periodically, the Executive Council shall be required to inform the membership of its activities.
    4. The constituency of the SEMA Executive Council will be revised to include two ex-officio graduate student positions. The purpose of these two new members will be to represent the perspective of graduate students concerning SEMA matters. The graduate student representatives may vote on matters coming before the Executive Council but may not serve as readers for Medieval Perspectives. The two graduate student terms will be for two years, and the positions will be staggered. Should the students graduate before their two-year terms are over, they may complete their terms. The nominees will be listed in the SEMA Newsletter and will be voted upon at SEMA Conference business meetings, similar to other Executive Council nominees.
  7. Annual Meeting:
    1. The Association shall meet every year during the Fall at a time and place to be decided by the Executive Council.
    2. A Quorum of the members of the Association shall consist of twenty-five members, at least four of whom shall be members of the Executive Council.
    3. The host for each annual meeting shall, by the end of the year in which that meeting takes place, provide a summary financial report to the president, who shall maintain such records from the five previous meetings and make them available to the hosts of future meetings.
  8. Seal: The Executive Council shall have authority to adopt an appropriate Association Seal.
  9. Nominations and Elections: A committee of at least three members shall be appointed annually by the President with the approval of the Executive Council to prepare a slate of nominees for office. There shall be two nominees for each office that is to be filled, and additional nominations may be made from the floor. The Nominations Committee shall provide the members of the Association with biographical sketches of the nominees at least three weeks before the annual meeting.Voting shall occur between September 1 and the annual business meeting via electronic ballot. Those who register onsite will be given the opportunity to cast their votes when they register.
    1. The Nominations Committee should consider it normal not only to follow up on self-nominations, but seek to identify members whose familiarity with, commitment to, and understanding of the Association would make them good members;
    2. To keep the pool of candidates alive from year to year, board members should serve on the Nominations Committee for the last two years of their board membership: SEMA members who cannot for whatever reason stand as nominees one year, and good people who lost an election one year, will be more likely to be asked to run again;
    3. The current President and Vice President should serve on the Nominations Committee for the position of Vice President, with the current Vice President serving as chair of this Vice Presidential Nominating Committee;
    4. A revision of the by-laws pertaining to nominations for SEMA’s top two offices so that the requirement for two candidates for each position be altered to require but one candidate for the position of President (the current practice). The Vice President will move automatically into the office of President after the two years’ tenure of the President, without an additional election. The duties of the Vice President will include editing the newsletter; the term limit for the Secretary-Treasurer is stricken in the interest of continuity for this important position.
  10. Rules and Procedures: Procedures not covered in the preceding articles are to be conducted according to the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
  11. Revisions and Amendments: The Constitution may be revised or amended by a vote of approval by a majority of the members of the Association in attendance at the business meeting. Proposed revisions or amendments are to be distributed to the membership at least three weeks before the business meeting at which they are to be discussed.
  12. Dissolution of the Association: In the event of dissolution, the residual assets of the Association will be turned over to one or more organizations which themselves are exempt as organizations described in sections 501 (c) (3) and 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or corresponding elections or any prior or future law, or to the Federal, State, or local government for exclusive purposes.
  13. Non-Profit Status: Notwithstanding any other provisions of these articles, this corporation will not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carries on by (a) a corporation exempt from Federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of in Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or the corresponding provisions of any United States internal revenue law or (b) a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under section 170 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or any other corresponding provisions of any future United States internal revenue law.
  14. Publications: SEMA shall publish annually a journal, Medieval Perspectives, which shall be sent to all SEMA members who have paid dues for the year of issue. The journal’s subscription price is included in annual membership dues.

Section A. Submission and Selection of Papers:

  1. SEMA members may submit papers presented at the annual meeting or at any SEMA-sponsored panels of other major conferences. Revised versions of conference papers and papers from conferences in past years are acceptable within the limits established by the editor. All submissions must follow the guidelines established by the editor (see Section C. 3 below). The SEMA Executive Council will constitute the Editorial Board; drawing on this board together with outside readers if necessary, the editor will send blind copies of each paper submitted to at least two readers.
  2. When both readers strongly recommend acceptance or rejection of a paper, the editor will accept that decision; when the two readers disagree or express uncertainty, the editor will make the final decision, basing it on both quality of the paper and a representative diversity of topics for the journal.

Section B. Editorship:

  1. The editor is selected by the Executive Council for a five-year term. The appointment will be reviewed at the end of each five-year period, the Council having the option to renew the appointment as often as it chooses.
  2. The editor preferably will have had previous experience in publishing, either through his/her own publications or through editing or reading for a comparable scholarly journal.
  3. the editor is at liberty to enlist the aid of production or editorial assistants as need dictates without action of the Council, but he/she retains full and sole responsibility for implementing the principles of format and documentation currently in use by the academic community at large and for maintaining the scholarly standards appropriate to SEMA. These principles shall be set forth as policy in a set of Guidelines for the Submission of Papers to be distributed to the annual conference.
  4. If future work loads require the creation of associate or co-editorships, the Council will (a) take action to establish the position(s), (b) follow the same procedures as those applied in choosing the editor, and (c) clearly designate the responsibilities of each position.





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