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The STETHSAA ByLaws


I. BACKGROUND OF THE ORGANIZATION
II. OBJECTIVES & GOALS OF THE ORGANIZATION
III. MEMBERSHIP IN THE ASSOCIATION
IV. MEEETINGS
V. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
VI. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
VII. ELECTIONS
VIII. STANDING COMMITTEES
IX. MISCELLANEOUS


BACKGROUND OF THE ORGANIZATION

A small group of past students formed the St. Elizabeth Technical High School Alumni Association (STETHSAA) in April 1996. It was their firm belief that given the large number of graduates of the institution living in the South Florida area, it would be advantageous to form an association encompassing all these graduates. Also, the fact that such an association existed in cities in North America such as New York and Toronto, a chapter in South Florida would bring about benefits to both STETHS graduates and to the school back in Jamaica. Additionally, it was the perception that having a common background, namely, graduates of STETHS, we could come together in a semi-formal structure to share ideas and information that would provide positive returns to STETHS and its members in general (see Objectives/Goals section below).

It was the consensus of the initial group of founding members that the South Florida chapter will be targeted towards graduates living in the three adjoining counties of Florida, namely, Dade, Broward and Palm Beaches. However, it was felt that STETHS graduates living in other areas of Florida were welcomed to join the organization and encouraged to participate in its growth and development.

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OBJECTIVES & GOALS OF THE ORGANIZATION

The graduation dates of the past student of STETHS vary from the early 1966 to the present. Also, STETHS graduates have gone on to various careers both in industry and entrepreneurial endeavors. This vast diversity in the graduates living in South Florida possessed untapped resources, which if properly harnessed can provide immeasurable benefits to the members of the alumni association and ultimately to the school that produced these graduates.

With this background in mind, preliminary meetings by a core group of graduates identified the following objectives/goals of the organization. It should be pointed out that these objectives could change over time, as the organization matures and its emphasis changes. Therefore, the following objectives can viewed as the fundamental objectives and as such can be changed or revised. There are three primary objectives of the St. Elizabeth Technical High School Alumni Association:

  1. To Provide Support To The St. Elizabeth Technical High School In Jamaica.
  2. This support can take many forms, including:

    Þ equipment donation to the school, such as computers, typewriters, general shop equipment, etc.

    Þ books and supplies to the school

    Þ stipend to cover CXC/GCE exam fees

    Þ offer of scholarships to needy/deserving students

    Þ serve as a resource group for graduates moving to South Florida from Jamaica or other states in the US or other countries. The alumni organization could offer inputs on colleges in the South Florida area, job leads, housing, education and so on.

    Þ offer technical advice on curriculum development and relevance to today’s economy and demographic changes

    Þ other assistance as they arise or identified by the association or the STETHS.

  3. To Provide An Avenue For Our Members To Network, Build Relationships And Expand Their Capabilities
  4. All the members of STETHS have one thing in common.....we are all graduates of the great institution. Given this common denominator, it is imperative that members utilize this semi-formal organization to network, meet other STETHS graduates, develop relationships and develop their leadership skills. All members are encouraged to seek a position at the executive level in an effort to hone their leadership skills and contribute to the future growth and development of the organization. Without full participation of ALL members, the "true" potential of the organization will not be fully realized!

    Also, all members should take advantage of the knowledge base, experience and diversity that exist within the confines of STETHSAA. Failure to do so would only handicap those members.

  5. To Provide An Environment Where Members Can Socialize On A Regular Basis And At The Same Time Raise Money to Finance Various Projects
  6. Throughout the calendar year, the STETHSAA organization will be engaged in numerous social events geared towards the dual purpose of entertaining its members, their family and friends and serving as an avenue for raising the needed money to fund its school oriented programs. The success of these STETHSAA sponsored socials will depend on the full participation of all its members. The generated revenue from these events will be channel directly into our development fund.

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MEMBERSHIP IN THE ASSOCIATION
  1. Full Members Versus Associate Members
  2. Membership in the STETHSAA organization is open to all graduates of the St. Elizabeth Technical High who are residents of the state of Florida. Additionally, students who attended STETHS and left before graduation are also welcome to join the organization. Past staff members (teachers, ancillary staff, etc.) of STETHS can also join, provided they have a strong interest in the school and its future development. Full members are individuals who have graduate or attended STETHS, while associate members are individuals who are former staff members at STETHS. Additional requirement for both categories of membership includes the full payment of annual membership dues.

    Associate members cannot hold elected office, although they can and are encouraged to serve on committees. Also, if a associate members sits on one or more of the general/ad-hoc committees, they will not be allowed to chair the committee(s).

  3. Membership Dues
  4. The annual dues for members of STETHSAA are $25.00. The membership dues will be reviewed at the annual general meeting for adjustment. This fee is payable by November 31st of each year. Only dues paying members are eligible to run for executive office and/or vote in the annual elections. Irrespective of when a STETHS past student joins the organization during the year, the full membership dues is required. The membership dues will be used to fund programs and cover administrative cost incurred throughout the calendar year. Membership dues are non-refundable.

  5. Attendance
  6. Members are strongly encouraged to attend meetings on a regular basis and to me prompt. Officers should endeavor to attend all meetings and if unable to attend a particular meeting, inform the Secretary of the association that he or she will be unable to attend. If an officer is absent from 3 consecutive general/executive committee meetings, any member (including members of the executive committee) can file a complaint with the grievance committee to have that officer removed from the executive committee (see section 6D and 7E for explanation of the role of the grievance committee and the process for removing an officer).

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MEETINGS

STETHSAA meetings will be held on the last Sunday (tentatively) of each month at a date, time and location that will be announced prior to the meeting. In most cases, location for the next meeting will be announced at the previous meeting. For example, the location for April’s meeting would be announced at March’s meeting. The meeting date, time and location are subject to change on an on-going basis.

  1. Conducting Meetings
  2. Parliamentary procedures will be adhered to during the course of a general meeting. That is:

    The President of the organization or some appointed by the President, will preside over the meeting.

    Each monthly meeting will last for 2 hours or less. Meetings will not extend beyond the 2-hour time limit, unless a motion is raised from the floor and duly seconded to extent the meeting by 30 minutes. Each 30 minutes extension of the meeting will require this procedure. Issues that require more time or study can either be put on the next agenda or delegated to a volunteer group or committee.

    Meetings will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. or another pre-established time. Members are strongly urged to be on time for each meeting.

    In the event that a meeting is canceled, members will be notified ahead of time through either the mail or by telephone.

    The Secretary of the organization will record meeting minutes at each meeting and these minutes will be kept on file. Minutes of all meetings must be put in writing within 30 days of the meeting date. Also, minutes from the previous meeting will be distributed at the next meeting to all members presented.

    A general meeting can only be conducted if a Quorum exist at the meeting. A quorum is established when at least three officers and three full members (not including associate members) are present at the meeting, 30 minutes after the established starting time. If a quorum does not exist, the meeting will be canceled.

  3. Meeting Agenda
  4. Each meeting will be conducted according to a set agenda. Strict adherence to the agenda is required. The agenda will be used to guide the meeting. A part of the agenda will be dedicated to open discussion, where members can discuss issues not specifically identified on the agenda. This will allow for inputs from the general membership and will also provide for some flexibility of topics of concern to members.

  5. Executive Committee Meetings
  6. Executive Committee meetings will be held on a as needed basis. The intent of these meetings is plan, develop strategies and action plans, policies and development of framework for the organization. These meetings will be held at regular intervals.

    Executive committee meetings may be called by either

    Unless restricted by this bylaws, a board meeting may be held in any appropriate place.

    Each member of the board is presumed to vote yes unless the member specifically votes no, or abstains from voting.

  7. Annual General Meetings
  8. Once a year, an annual general meeting will be held by the organization. This meeting will encompass various issues, among them:

    The annual general meeting will also be used as a forum to recap the accomplishments and future course of the organization.

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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The STETHSAA executive body shall consist of the following executive officers. These officers will form what will be called an Executive Committee:

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The board of directors includes members of the executive committee and one other member of the organization that is elected by the executive committee. Like the executive committee, the board of directors’ serves for a period of one year, coinciding with the period serves by the executive committee. The purpose of the board of directors is:

The board of directors will meet on an as need basis, but at least twice a year. The chairman of the board, who is also the elected president of the organization, will head the board of directors. Meetings held by the board of directors are not open to the general membership.

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ELECTIONS
  1. Term in Office
  2. Elections will be held once a year for members of the Executive Committee. Each officer of the Executive Committee shall serve for a period of one year, beginning on January 1 of a calendar year to December 31. The position of President cannot be held by the same individual for more than two consecutive year. The same is true for the Vice-president position on the executive committee. This other positions on the executive committee is exempt from this rule. After a one-year period has elapse from the time a President or Vice-President has relinquish office, he or she is eligible to run for any executive officer position.

  3. The Election Process
  4. All members in "good standing" are eligible to nominate and vote for executive members. Provided that a member has paid their membership fee by the election date, he or she is allowed to nominate and vote. Elections will be held at the end of November for the upcoming calendar year.

    The election will be by written ballots. The nomination of members to the executive committee will also be done by written ballots and each member can nominate him or her self. The top three candidates for each office will be notified that they are the three top vote earners and will be given an opportunity to accept or decline the nomination. In the event that a nominated candidate decline to run for office, the next highest vote earner on the list will be given the opportunity to be put on the ballot.

    In the event that less than three candidates are available to run for a particular office, those candidates will comprise the list of candidates for that office. For example, if only 1 or 2 individuals are available for the position of Vice-President, the ballot that will be distributed will only list the 1 or 2 individual names. Obviously, if there is only one name for a position, that individual will be pronounced the winner of that position.

    The written ballots with the list of candidates for each office shall be mailed out 6 weeks ahead of when the ballots will be counted. Each ballot will have the name of the person issued the vote, so that their paid membership can be confirmed and to void the possibility of multiple votes per individual member. Also, each candidate for executive office will provide a written statement, outlining why he or she should be elected, along with a brief description of their background. This biography/statement of purpose will be mailed out along with the election forms.

    The top vote earner for a executive office will be declared the winner of that executive office. In the event of a tie, the current executive committee will vote among themselves to determine the winner of that office. The executive committee will vote by secret ballot at the next general meeting and new officers will be introduced to the general membership attending the meeting.

  5. Relinquishing Office Before Full Term (Voluntary)
  6. If an officer relinquished his or her post before the end of a full term, the executive committee will appoint a replacement to fulfill the term of office. All members are encouraged to hold elected office at sometime or the other. This is of course totally voluntary.

  7. Removing an Executive Officer from the Board (Involuntary)
  8. Any member in good standing can move a motion from the floor and duly seconded, to have any officer from the board removed from office. The next step in the removal process will be for the matter to be sent to the grievance committee (see section 7E) for consideration. If after the matter is properly researched and the executive member who is up for removal meets with grievance committee, the committee will send their recommendation to the executive committee for final consideration. If there is no basis for removal, the executive committee should render such a decision and the announcement made at the next general meeting of members. No further action will be warranted in this case. However, if the recommendation is made by the grievance committee to remove the officer from office, the Executive Committee will present, for a vote at the next general meeting, the issue of removing that officer from office. If a two-thirds majority present at the meeting votes for the removal of the officer, that officer will have to give up his or her position on the board immediately. If less than two-third votes are achieved, the officer retains his or her position on the Executive Committee. The vote by members of the association will be final.

Note: A motion for removal from office can not be made twice for the same issues raised in the first motion.

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STANDING COMMITTEES

Standing committees are permanent committees that continue for extended periods of time. They will be chartered to work on specific issues that are continuous. The following standing committee will be in existence:

  1. Planning Committee
  2. Objective: Plan social events such as: Picnics, Annual Balls, other social events

  3. Election Committee
  4. Objective: Plan, coordinate and conduct annual elections.

  5. Recruiting and Retention Committee
  6. Objective: Coordinate-recruiting efforts geared towards increasing membership in the organization. Mail applications to potential members and act as a source of membership material and answer questions relating to "becoming a members". The public relations officer will chair the membership committee. This committee will also focus their efforts at retaining current members in the association, by surveying members on a regular basis. Members who have left the organization will also be canvass to determine their reasons for leaving. This committee, on an on-going basis, will also devise programs, which seeks to retain current members.

  7. Fund Raising Committee
  8. Objective: The fund raising committee will be responsible for identifying opportunities for raising money for the association. The committee will oversee the fund raising events by planning and executing these events. The committee can call upon the general membership for help in planning and carrying out these events.

  9. Ad-Hoc Committee
  10. Objective: From time to time ad-hoc committees will be formed to address specific issues or work on specific programs. This committee can be either appointed by the executive committee or formed based on volunteers from the general membership. These committees will have a short life and will be disband once their objectives have been met.

  11. Grievance Committee
  12. Objective: the Executive Committee will appoint the grievance committee. The committee will be responsible for hearing or addressing issues that are contemptuous to the organization and cannot be resolved at one its general meetings. Additionally, the committee will address appeals from one or more members that are in the process of being removed from office involuntarily. In both cases, the grievance committee will research the issue and where necessary, interview concerns parties and making final recommendations to the Executive Committee. The grievance committee will be an Ad-Hoc Committee.

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MISCELLANEOUS
  1. Non-Profit Organization
  2. STETHSAA is a not-for-profit organization.

  3. Amendment to the Constitution
  4. This constitution shall only be amended and / or added to at the Annual General Meeting provided that the notices of the proposed changes are sent out to the registered members at least twenty-one (21) days in advance and such amendments are passed by two-thirds (2/3) majority of those members present and voting.

    The voting process for amendment of the constitution will be for each section of the existing or additions to the constitution. That is, a separate vote will be required for each section, as oppose to a single vote for the entire amendments or additions to the constitution. A two-thirds majority is required for each section or addition.

    The President shall have an original vote as well as a casting vote if there is a tie in the voting for such amendments.

  5. Non-Discriminatory Clause
  6. The STETHSAA does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, national origins or religion. Anyone meeting the eligibility requirements is welcome to join the organization.

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