Chapter Starter Kit

Table of Contents:

I. Introduction
II. History of Nebraskans for Peace
III. List of things to do to start your chapter
IV. How to start a college or high school chapter of Nebraskans for Peace
V. How to Start a Community-Based Chapter of NFP
VI. Your First and Early Meetings: Agenda suggestions for first meeting

  • First Meeting
  • Early Meetings
  • What makes a good meeting – from one chapter

VII. Letters and op eds to the editor
VIII. Holding a demonstration or a vigil
IX. How to Keep a Chapter Going: the Grand Island Case
X. Model By Laws

 

I. Introduction

The great Tip O’Neill is famous for having said “All politics is local.” Tip was no fool. He had dealt with Cold War strategy and with American interventions all over the world in his role as Speaker of the House. Yet he implied that all politics requires local people to act on local issues. Margaret Mead seems to have said something of the same thing when she remarked, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” If one looks at the great social and religious movements that have changed the world, almost all of them began with a cluster of small groups that had a new idea and were willing to take risks for it. Nebraskans for Peace believes that the great strength of the organization should be its chapters -- its small groups of committed people. People who can talk to each other, write letters to the papers, talk to other citizens. People who can visit with congressmen, and hold vigils if need be. They also can drink a lot of coffee together, read books together, and create a kind of community in a red state Nebraska that is not always friendly to the message of peace. We can give examples of chapters that have led the organization:

• The Omaha chapter has led in making us aware of the issues arising out of the Palestine/Israel controversy.
• The Grand Island chapter has led in its section of the state by publishing a range of editorials on federal war spending, immigration, gay/lesbian issues, and a whole range of subjects not much discussed otherwise in the Grand Island area.
• The Lincoln chapter has led in articulating the relationship between poverty in our state and the costs of our heavily militarized state.
• College chapters have left in calling for peace studies, in demonstrating against prejudice and bigotry in their midst, and in opposing arbitrary and meaningless wars.
• The Crete chapter and its members have done a good job of opposing bigotry in that community and in giving strength to the people who made the excellent film on Hispanics in Crete High School entitled When We Stop Counting.

NFP wants to build stronger and more chapters.

This booklet is a chapter starter kit. It will help local chapters sprout. It gives you a bylaws document that you can use as a boiler plate and make adjustments that your group feels significant. It tells you what things your pretty much have to have in place to make a chapter go. It tells you how to start a college chapter (we can help with high school chapters also). And it tells how to make your chapter last for a long time by organizing for a long distance run.


II. History of Nebraskans for Peace

Nebraskans for Peace is not the left wing of the Democratic Party or the Farmer’s Union or Amnesty International or any other good progressive organization

Four themes have defined Nebraskans for Peace: the search for peace through negotiation and through the reduction of nuclear armaments; the pursuit of nonviolence; opposition to globalization and uncontrolled multinational corporations; and a commitment to the rights of the disenfranchised.

Nebraskans for Peace stated with the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement. It went on to oppose the nuclear arms race and support the Freeze. It sought equal rights for African Americans and respect for the treaty rights of Native Americans. It opposed the imposition of racial profiling on Hispanics.

We opposed Reagan’s illegal wars in Central America and the MX missile complex for Nebraska. We opposed White Clay and Stratcom, bullying and trafficking in human beings.

From the beginning NFP relied on something like a chapter structure. A group in Lincoln and a group near Fullerton-Grand Island and Central City came to start the organization. Later there were chapters in Omaha, the Newman Grove and Norfolk area, Wayne, Grand Island and an assortment of chapters in higher education. From time to time high schools have had very effective chapters. Chapters do not always endure, but we try to keep them chapters alive and functioning. If we lose one now and then, we also make new ones from time to time.


III. List of things to do to start your chapter


Usually a chapter begins with a group of people who want to talk about things happening in the nation/world, state or community where they wish to have a voice and who feel that they could be more effective if they were somewhat organized, opened their discussions to the community and got a good program of discussion and action going. When the initial core group meets, you may wish to talk about how you want the group to be organized (i.e. steering committee or group of officers and board members), what the topics and themes are which you wish to discuss and on which you wish to act. For instance the Lincoln chapter chose to have a steering committee and only a treasurer as an officer. It chose to lay out a series of topics for discussion with the community: Hispanic immigration issues, poverty in Lincoln, the treatment of the Gay/Lesbian Community in Lincoln, the excesses of military spending and its effects on civilian life in Lincoln, nuclear power and nuclear energy in the Nebraska environment, and the need for peace studies in the schools and colleges of Nebraska.

Generally a chapter needs to advertise its existence and the fact of its meetings by sending out an email to all NFP members in the area and inviting them in, also by inviting all other persons in the area who might be interested: peace churches, members of minority groups of all sorts, people interested in reducing violence in one or another area of society, people interested in ending our wars and/or cutting our military spending. The local NFP email list can be obtained by writing to the NFP office email (). Then indicate to everyone that you are planning an organizing meeting, or if you already have a skeletal organization from a core group, run your plans by a larger group. Try to avoid in-group elitism, a temptation among groups that feel their opinions run against the grain of the dominant culture. We all love cocoons.

A chapter often functions better if it has by-laws as participants then know what the rules are, who is in charge and what makes a person a member, and what route to take to get something done through the organization. These by-laws need not be highly bureaucratic and they often spare people a lot of later grief. Chapters often have a small treasury so that they don’t have to go to the state organization for every little thing -- coffee, a poster, a speaker fee – and having a treasury requires that there be, at the very least, a treasurer for the organization who can make deposits and write checks.

Once you get this far or, if need be even earlier, a member of the Nebraskans for Peace staff can meet with you either in person or, when travel is difficult, by speaker phone. We try, as a state board, to have someone who can be a state board rep to each chapter who will keep the chapters in touch with the local and vice versa. If you wish for a visit from such a person, call Tim Rinne at (402) 475 7616.

IV. How to start a college or high school chapter of Nebraskans for Peace

To start a chapter at any school, high school or college/university you need four basic components: (1) Students who are interested, (2) a teacher, staff, or faculty person willing to serve as group advisor, (3) the blessing or acknowledgment of your school, and (4) the acknowledgment of the “parent group” Nebraskans for Peace.

As with anything in your school career, there might be some homework involved. It’s just as well to get this done up front, so your first homework assignment is to ask your school about their requirements for “starting a group.” For high school, there maybe a specific person who is the “Activities Director” or you may just have to ask the secretary in the office. For college/university campuses, you might ask the “Student Organizations Office” or some similar person/place.

You can just ask

“Some friends and I are considering starting a student group, and we were wondering the rules to do so, how many members do we to start with, and is there anything else we need to know to start a group at our school?” (It really is that simple).

Your school may say you need four (3-5) students, a written set of bylaws, a teacher/faculty advisor, and submit this form ________ by this _____ date. (Definitely take note of the date).

  1.  Students who are interested:
    How do you find them? Where do they hide? Once you decide to create a group, how many students is a “group” anyway?To find students who might be interested in starting a chapter of Nebraskans for Peace, you can start with one, and build upon that. You might hand out fliers about a meeting, and ask those who attend the meeting if they would consider being an officer. You might have a guest speaker, or stage an event, and ask people who attend the event about getting further involved. You might ask a few of your friends to get involved and bring a few of their friends etc.

2. Teacher/Faculty advisor:
How can you get someone among the faculty or teachers to serve as “advisor?” Again, this will require asking around. Generally, students know who the teachers/professors are who are easy to talk with, likely to be supportive of a Nebraskans for Peace Chapter, but if you don’t know, ask around among your fellow students, and if a teacher is mentioned as someone to consider, ask the teacher directly, “Hi, my name is _____, and I have been working to start a Nebraskans for Peace Chapter here at our school. I was wondering if you would consider being our faculty advisor.” If yes, you’ve got a winner. If no, “I understand that you are not interested in this at this time. Do you have any suggestions of who might be willing to take this on?”

3. Acknowledgment from the school.
As mentioned above in the homework assignment, you really have to ask the school how to get their blessing of a new group, but generally, they are likely to tell you that you need a minimum requirement of 4 students (some schools allow 3 students, others require 5), a teacher/faculty representative, a written set of bylaws, and to complete a form which states your group’s name, students’ names, teacher’s name, meeting times, etc.

4. BYLAWS:
What are Bylaws anyway? Bylaws are the “rules” of your group. That things are decided democratically, what are the roles of the officers, those kinds of details. How can you write bylaws? The good news is that this is the one shot in your educational career where you can totally plagiarize. Nebraskans for Peace can give you a copy of a college campus bylaws, and you can change the name (read through them, in case there are other details that need to be changed also), and then submit it as if you were the mastermind behind them (and yes, this is legal in this instance).

5. Acknowledgment of Nebraskans for Peace:
The NFP State organization wants chapters to indicate in their official announcements that they are a chapter of Nebraskans for Peace, that they encourage membership in the statewide organization, and that the local chapter acknowledges NFP’s Priority Plan as setting the general parameters for what they do relating to statewide and national action. That does not mean that chapters cannot take on areas that NFP as a state organization has not taken on. It does mean that the local chapter cannot, for instance, be indifferent to bullying in the schools or say that it is a trivial issue at the same time the state organization regards it as a priority.


V. How to Start a Community-Based Chapter of NFP

The requisites for a community based chapter of NFP are not much different from those for a school chapter save that the chapter is not so hemmed in by school rules. Here again one does need local citizens who are interested, if possible the cooperation of local churches, unions, or other advocacy groups that will advertise the meetings and encourage attendance, a set of by-laws if you wish to be somewhat formal about what you are doing, and, as we said above, a bit of money gained from passing the hat at events that you sponsor. It is certainly useful at the beginning of your activity to contact the local press and local information centers to tell them what you are doing and to indicate that you hope that they will be willing to announce your meetings and disseminate your views along with those of those of other persuasions. If you plan to have demonstrations or vigils, it is useful to find out what places in the city allow for these and what the rules are for holding a peaceful event. It may be helpful early in your organizing to find a church or public meeting place where you can meet each month as a leadership group and hold community discussions unless you can establish a rotation of meetings in people’s homes. You may wish to sponsor a web site. If you have a web technician in your group you may wish to set up a local web site, but we encourage people to submit their web materials for the local chapter section of the state NFP web site (Google NFP home). You will have to get notices in a little early as we only change the web site once a week and we do like to get information from the chapters as to what they have done at their last meeting so that the chapter can get ideas from each other. Leadership Development: Chapters sometimes disappear. Usually they do so because someone or group leaves and no one has been prepared for leadership. Early on, when you have a set of officers, start giving other people who are not officers responsibility so that people get used to have authority and responsibility. Doing so will give you a new crop of potential officers. In some cases, officers may wish to mentor new officers by having them share an office and learn the ropes before they are put in the saddle. In any case, always be thinking about who the succession will be and think also about recruiting young people. All organizations tend to get long in the tooth in their leadership structure unless they watch for young Turks who are ready to take over.


Developing Your Issues: One way to plan your program and have some glimpse of the future is to sit down as a group and ask, “What are the peace and justice issues in our town, neighborhood, county, section of the state, and how do these relate to state, national or international issues?” The purpose of Nebraskans for peace is to diminish violence and bloodshed at every level and to seek justice and fairness for people. Are their minorities treated unfairly in your town? Is bullying or domestic violence a hazard? Do you have local military pollution or sources feeding global warming and the territorial wars that will follow from it? How much of your local tax burden goes into useless weapons? Are you kids in school being fed the enticements of military recruiters without hearing that they could have alternative careers? Does what you local churches are saying about our wars square with national church positions on those issues? Do local employers pay a living wage and treat their workers justly?

Once you have examined questions like these, select four or five concerning which you have real fire in the belly. If your town or area has something good going for peace ad justice, you may wish to make preserving or developing it a priority. Then decide how you can say what you want to say to the community and to yourselves most effectively – through book study, letters to the editor and op eds, sponsoring a movie and discussion, vigils ad demonstrations, Twitter and Facebook messages or whatever. Make a messaging strategy for each issue.


VI. Your First and Early Meetings: Agenda suggestions for first meeting

First Meeting:

At your first meeting, you will probably have a bunch of people who barely know about Nebraskans for Peace, its history, its priorities, its publications, its website and Facebook page. Be ready to tell people about these in a few minutes. Get a contact list of people in your town or college that may be members. If your chapter has been somewhat organized or thinking of organizing, tell about what you have done and are contemplating. Ask people what they came to the meeting for, what they want to get cone, what issues they wish to work on, what skills and suggestions they have.

If you don’t have a minimal governance agreement, provision for a treasury, and a leadership structure, make provision to put these together.

Before you forget or get too far down the road, agree on a future meeting time/day/place and get email addresses and someone to remind the group before the next meeting. Before you close the meeting, name the actions that people are to do before the next meeting and ask for preliminary agenda items for the next time.


Early Meetings:

At the beginning of all meetings (after the first meeting), ask for a volunteer to take notes/minutes. Also get contact info for everyone there.

Continue “Check in/Intro” where everyone introduces self and either tells about what they’re doing, or how they got involved, or whatever peace activism stuff they’ve been working on. This process allows members to (a) remember one another’s names as they’re repeated, (b) continue to get to know each other– one of the most commonly stated reasons why people “get involved” is because they “Wanted to meet/hang out with other people who are working on making a difference..” Doing a check in gives people an easy intro into getting to know one another. I also encourage members to share contact info amongst selves, so that if they are working together on projects, they can do so without having to go through a single person.

Plan next agenda based on ideas that came out of meeting. If some of the members had some stuff they wanted to work on, include their ideas/efforts as agenda items. Does the group need to discuss or brainstorm what to do about a specific issue? Do the members who had ideas have a plan that they want help to implement? What are the next steps?


What makes a good meeting – from one chapter

  • Having a chance to meet and get to know other activists.
  • Allowing people to share their stories and learning how they’ve gotten involved.
  • Food – not necessary, but nice!
  • Having an agenda: knowing what we’re doing.
  • Goals/Action– Don’t just sit and talk; do something!
  • Guidance– having some “Veteran Activists” present to give info and direction.
  • Energy/Dialogue –don’t talk “at us,” Talk “with us.”
  • Democratic—one person, one vote - - no bullies.
  • Taking care of needs- making sure room is not too hot, too cold, too noisy; bathroom breaks for long meetings.
  • Not too long meetings (1 ½ hours); variety in events, meetings; small group activities; nametags.
  • SHOWING UP!!!

VII. Letters and op eds to the editor

Often chapters encourage letters to the editor. Look on your local editorial page to see how long letters to the editor or op eds can be. Make the letters short, punchy and full of new information. For example, a Lincoln Journal Star editorial argued that none of the contracts for the development of Iraqi oil was let to an American company and that that proved that the Iraqi oil was not a war for oil. In fact, virtually all of the contract were let to combines of American and overseas companies that deliver oil to a fungible international market, including the U.S., and a letter to the editor was able to correct that factual error legitimizing the war. In general letters to the editor are better if they comment on an article published by the paper, reference that article, and add clear new information based on fact. We do not wish to emulate the tactics of making up supposed “facts” that the right in this country has made quotidian and so made citizen decision making almost impossible because the people do not know what is going on.

 

VIII. Holding a demonstration or a vigil

Demonstrations are not as common and probably not as effective as they were in the 1960s since emails, Tweets, Facebook messages, and social media have replaced them as organizing devices. Still when a group needs to make a public statement, a demonstration can be very effective. The group Bottoms Up has written the following statement on how to organize a teach-in, vigil, or demonstration, a statement that conforms to NFP’s sense of how to do it:

For vigils, protests, rallies, and teach-ins, first ask, "What are the objectives of the public demonstration?" Is it to make a demand and, if so, what is that demand? What do those who see the demo learn? What do you want them to do?

Printed material, flyers, and demonstration posters must express concise demands and/or educational objectives. Always remember to let interested people know what they can do to help. Remember to have local contact information on printed material that's given to the public.

Slogans should express the message simply and dramatically: 'Schools Not Prisons,' for example. 'There is no justice in the war on drugs' is short and to the point. Prisoner Abuse -- a national disgrace, etc. Stencils are an easy way to create lettering on a poster. Neat hand lettered posters are personal and effective, too. We all love to read handmade posters.

Don’t use offensive language. Make posters and chants together if possible. Have the individuals in the group bring supplies and snacks to a group meeting, but have a cache of poster board, paint and brushes. Have somebody appointed to be your media spokesperson and appoint a chant leader beforehand.

Research the site where you will gather for possibilities, know the local ordinances, get proper permits, use local themes where possible, and check the local calendar so you don’t conflict with other groups. You may want to have a permanent vigil or one every week. Check on regs for such gatherings.

Notify the media of your demonstration – TV, newspapers, blogs and websites – at least a day ahead of time.

Leader organizers should be on the site at least one-half hour before starting time, 15 minutes if it's a regular and short demonstration.

Keep your group together, and remind everyone (quietly) to hold their signs so they can be clearly seen and photographed. Write down the names and telephone numbers of people demonstrating because you'll contact them for future actions. A clipboard is handy for the organizer to carry, and it can designate the leader if any official wants to talk to someone in your group.

Bring along petitions to sign if you are pushing these.

If you need help with publicizing an event, contact the NFP office (402) 475 4620, and we can help advise you based on our experience of what works and what doesn’t. Even if you don’t persuade many people through your demonstration, vigil, or teach-in, the event may help to create solidarity in your group. However, always follow a vigil with emails, letters to the editor, and web site work so that the subtleties of your message are not lost in what appears to be the stridency of a demonstration. Also do a good job of clipping news articles that your event generates.


IX. How to Keep a Chapter Going: the Grand Island Case

We choose to illustrate how a chapter can survive over time by telling how it happened in Grand Island and then suggesting some possible rubrics that one can draw from the Grand Island example.

We suspect there are a number of factors to which one can attribute the Grand Island chapter’s longevity and vitality. And some of those may be due to dynamics somewhat peculiar to central Nebraska.

Though the Central Nebraska Peace Workers got its start as a result of 9/11, the bigger share of its participants were already members of NFP. A couple of months after 9/11 a few of us sent out feelers for other concerned citizens who were looking for an alternative to muscle and missiles in response to the tragedy of 9/11. And we felt the need for a safe haven to share our feelings. We ended up right off the bat organizing candle-light vigils and street gatherings to urge a sane response to 9/11. We held these gatherings weekly for several months in downtown G.I. in front of the Federal Building. Starting with a need (or needs) and an action or actions that grow out of that need(s) is important.

One suspects that one key factor in the group’s staying together was just the relief of realizing there were others in this “red neck” territory that had an alternative view of what healthy patriotism might look like. And we eventually bonded and developed a satisfying friendship. Or you might say we just enjoy one another’s company. We all hungered for a fellowship of peace-oriented folk. Conviviality and a willingness to discuss and bond is important.

Another factor was our decision to continue making a public witness for peaceful alternatives to war. So we committed to create signs and meet once a month at the corner of State St and Webb Rd to hold these signs during rush hour at this busy intersection. This provided us with a sense of purpose and worth in resisting “right wing” and “hawkish” thinking so prevalent in these parts. And we knew there were other citizens who needed to know they were not alone in questioning the status quo.

Eventually, about 5 years ago, the Grand Island chapter decided to take on another project—writing op-ed pieces for the G.I. Independent to counter hawkish thinking all too prevalent on a number of issues. Fortunately, our local editor was very receptive to our offerings. So, a part of each meeting’s agenda is brainstorming ideas for priority issues needing to be addressed here in central Nebraska. There are a half dozen of us that take turns writing these articles [submitting them to the team for its appraisal or suggestions before submitting the article to the paper]. Occasionally we also have letter-writing campaigns to our congressmen and State legislators. Again, defining the important national and local issues counts as does local press, TV, and web dissemination.

These moves contributed to the GI chapter’s sense of purpose and vitality, one that continues to prevail: needs and actions, bonding, and conviviality, public witness that creates solidarity, and disseminating one’s views to the larger public through the press and other media – these are crucial to a chapter’s longevity in our view. There needs to be a core of deeply committed individuals in a chapter. That is simply a requisite. That may not be something that one can simply gin up, but it is crucial. As committed individuals, the Grand Island chapter leaders share leadership responsibilities, take turns chairing the meetings and being “minute takers.” This keeps an elite from dominating. Finally, and not unimportantly, GI has great snacks at its monthly meetings. When our hunger is satisfied, we can turn to more important things.

Summary: Having said all of these things, let us say that there is no magic way to build a chapter and no two chapters will be alike. In small town, confrontation is avoided because people have to talk to each other the next day so the processes of persuasion must be more indirect. In some places the press and television are relatively open to the message of peace and justice; in others it appears to be treason. In places like Omaha and Lincoln, one may have hundred of members to invite in, but a small town may have few like-minded members and a good discussion over coffee and rolls one evening a month may be what one can do at first. The first rule is to have fun; the second rule is to have good information; the third rule is to act on that information; the fourth rule is to grow in courage and solidarity and passion.


X. Model By Laws

The following constitution and by-laws represent what a set of bylaws might look like. They are those used by the UNO Chapter of Nebraskans for Peace, and they can be adjusted in any direction to fit local needs:

 

Constitution of the
University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO)
Chapter of Nebraskans for Peace

Article I - Name

Section 1.1

The name of this organization shall be the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Chapter of Nebraskans for Peace.

Article II - Purpose

Section 2.1

The purpose of this organization is to work for peace and justice at the local, national and international levels.

Article III - Membership

Section 3.1 - Eligibility

This student organization shall consist of at least four currently enrolled student members. Non-students will be allowed to participate in any student activity, but will not be a voting member or an elected or appointed officer of said organization. A non-student is someone who is not currently enrolled at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Individuals who are recently graduated members whose membership has not expired and who wish to continue with the organization will be granted extended voting privileges until their membership expires.

Section 3.2 - Method of selecting members

Anyone interested in peace and justice is welcome to join the group. Membership shall be for one year beginning and ending in August. Discounted membership will be given to individuals joining late in the membership year.

Section 3.3 - Types of members

A) Active members are full-time or part-time University of Nebraska at Omaha students who have paid their membership fee of $10 for the year. They are eligible to be officers and to vote.

B) Non-voting members are students or non-students who have signed a sheet indicating their interest in the group. They are welcome to attend meetings but are not eligible to vote or hold an office.

C) Faculty members are any UNO faculty who provide help, information, inspiration or financial support and indicate an interest in becoming faculty members of the group.

They are not eligible to be officers and will only be allowed to vote in the event of a tie.

Section 3.4 - Revoking membership

Membership can be revoked if a member fails to uphold organization guidelines and standards, but may only be revoked after a vote of 2/3 of the active members present at a regularly scheduled meeting.

Section 3.5 - Non-discrimination

This organization will not discriminate on the basis of a person's race, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation political affiliation or handicap.

Article IV - Officers

Section 4.1 - Election

A) Nomination procedures

  1.  
    1.  
      1. The President shall appoint a committee of five voting members at least two months before each election meeting, whose duty it shall be to prepare a list of all eligible candidates for nomination and to present this list to the organization at election meetings.
      2. Each member may present to the committee a list of not more than five people in the organization whom they consider eligible and wishes to be considered for election.
      3. The nomination committee shall be assisted in the selection of its list by preferential lists submitted by the members as far as it is consistent with the requirements for eligibility.
      4. At election meetings the nomination committee shall post its list of candidates conspicuously before the assembled members and render a report of its findings.
      5. Immediately prior to the balloting, and as many times thereafter as occasion demands, the presiding officer shall cast the attention of the members to the requirements that no person of unquestioned eligibility should be barred for personal reasons, and that any questions as to personal qualifications must be fully discussed at the council election meeting.

B) Qualification of officers - Any student applying for nomination may request an application from the president to be an officer and is subsequently subject to approval by a majority of the members. All elected officers must maintain a 2.50 G.P.A. throughout their tenure.

C) Election procedures - The votes shall be by secret written ballot. These ballots shall be counted by tellers appointed by the President. Half of the voting members of the organization shall constitute a quorum in order to conduct an election of officers. A 3/4 affirmative vote of the voting members present shall be required to elect any officer. He or she shall be declared elected and the vote shall then be taken individually by secret ballot on the remaining number, in the order in which they appear on the committee's list. Candidates shall be notified of their election personally by the Secretary or by some other member appointed for the purpose and by letter.

D)Term of office - Officers are elected to one year terms and may continue in office after graduating until either their term of office or their membership expires.

Section 4.2 - Duties of Officers

A) The President shall preside at all executive board and general membership meetings; shall appoint with approval of the executive board, successors to elected members of the executive board who vacate their position for any reason; shall recommend such action as deemed necessary for the benefit of the organization; shall appoint and assign committees as deemed necessary; and shall perform all other duties pertaining to the office.

B)The Vice-President shall plan and organize all general membership meetings, subject to review and approval of the executive board; shall preside at meetings in the absence of the President; shall, with the approval of the executive board, assume the duties of the President if that office is vacated for any reason; shall be responsible for the recruitment of new members; shall provide a report of prospective members to the executive board; and shall perform all other duties incident to the office.

C) The Secretary/Treasurer shall keep records and receipts of the organization; shall submit financial reports to the executive board; shall disperse all funds incident to the operation of the organization; shall record all minutes of the executive and general membership meetings; shall be responsible for all correspondence and files of correspondence; shall maintain the membership roster; and shall perform all other duties incident to the office.

Section 4.3 - Procedure to fill vacancies

Vacancies during the term of an office may be filled by a special election called by the executive committee.

Section 4.4 - Impeachment proceedings

Any member of the executive board is subject to removal by a 2/3 vote of the membership at any meeting where a quorum is present.

Article V - Organizational Structure

Section 5.1 - Executive members

The executive board shall consist of the president, vice-president, and the secretary/treasurer.

Article VI - Advisors

Section 6.1 - Qualifications and method of selection

The Faculty Advisor shall be a member of the UNO faculty staff; shall serve as a consultant and counselor to the organization; shall oversee the operation of the organization and the responsibilities of the officers; shall be approved and removed by a majority of voting members; and shall have voting rights only in the event of a tie vote by voting members.

Article VII - Meetings and procedures

Section 7.1 - Regular meetings

Regular meetings of this organization shall be decided upon each semester by the executive board and the members of the organization notified of the meeting times.

Section 7.2 - Special meetings

Special meetings may be called by a simple majority of the executive board or a simple majority of the membership.

Section 7.3- Quorums

A simple majority of the total membership is necessary to constitute a quorum at a meeting.

Section 7.4 - Policy for Absences

Any voting member of this organization who shall be absent for two consecutive meetings without an excuse accepted by the officers shall be deprived of the privilege of voting in any subsequent meetings of the organization, until such time that they shall have attended two consecutive meetings thereafter. Nor shall such a member, while under such limitations, be counted in reckoning a quorum.

Section 7.5 - Use of recognized authority on procedures

Robert's Rules of Order will be used as a reference guide by the UNO Chapter of Nebraskans for Peace.


Article VIII - Finances

Section 8.1 - Dues and membership fees

A $10 membership fee will be collected at the time of joining.

Section 8.2 - Spending and accounting of funds

Expenditures will require the signature of two members of the executive committee.

Section 8.3 - Fundraising

Funds for this organization may be attained through the process of fund raisers and contributions.


Article IX - Non-Campus Affiliation

Section 9.1 - Name of parent group

Nebraskans for Peace

Section 9.2 - Power and purpose of affiliated group

Nebraskans for Peace is a statewide grassroots advocacy organization working non-violently for peace with justice through community building, education and political action.


Article X- Amendments- Method of Adoption

Section 10.1 - Proposal of amendments

Amendments may be proposed in writing to the executive board by any member at any time. The executive board shall act on the amendment within 30 days of the submission.

Section 10.2 - Voting procedure for approving amendments

These bylaws may be amended at any general meeting by a two-thirds vote of the membership present, provided that: (1) a quorum is present and (2) a copy of the proposed amendment has been sent to each member by the advocate(s) at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which the bylaws are to be amended, or the proposed amendment has been posted in a prominent location where all members can have access to it for at least two weeks.

Article XI- Student Government Approval

Section 11.1

All changes to this constitution must be approved by Student Government in the same manner as a completely new constitution.

 

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