The International Rebecca West Society

Images of Rebecca West through out her life.
The International Rebecca West Society

By-laws

Article I: Name and Legal Status

Section 1
The name of this organization shall be the International Rebecca West Society (henceforth referred to as Society)

Article II: Purpose

Section 1
The purpose of this Society shall be to foster and encourage the scholarly study of, critical attention to, and general interest in, the work and career of Rebecca West, and to facilitate ways in which all people interested in her writings--scholars, critics, teachers, students, and common readers--may learn from one another, meet together, contact each other, and help one another.

Article III: Membership

Section 1
Any individual, corporation, educational institution, library, or special collection, interested in the aims of the International Rebecca West Society may join it.

Section 2
Every member, including institutions, has one vote to be used in ballots, polls, and elections.

Section 3
General membership in this Society shall be through payment of annual dues, according to schedules determined by the General Meeting of the Society.

Section 4

  1. Any individual who made outstanding contributions to the study and publicity of Rebecca West , who is related to Rebecca West, or who has acted as a benefactor of the Society, shall be eligible to become an honorary member of the Society.

  2. Honorary members shall be elected by the General Meeting of the Society.

  3. Honorary members are not required to pay membership fees.

  4. Honorary membership ends only with death of the honorary member or after revocation of the honorary membership for pressing reasons by a two-thirds majority of the General Meeting.

Section 5
Membership in the Society shall include reception of the "Rebecca West Newsletter," a regular publication sent to Society members by e-mail or hard-copy.

Section 6
A general member who has not paid dues for two years shall be classified as not in good standing.

Article IV: Privileges

Section 1
All members in good standing, as well as honorary members, shall have the right to stand for office, to vote for officers of the Society, to propose and vote on topics for sessions sponsored by the Society at conferences, and to receive all publications issued by the Society, notably the "Rebecca West Newsletter."

Section 2
As soon as eligibility rules permit, the Society shall seek status as an Affiliate Organization at the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) and henceforth sponsor scholarly events at the annual MLA Conventions.

Article V: Officers

Section 1
The President and Vice President of the Society shall be elected by the Society membership to serve four-year terms. The Secretary-Treasurer and the Librarian-Bibliographer are to be appointed by the President and Vice-President; their term shall be two years.

Section 2
The officers shall perform the following duties:

  1. The President shall serve as the Society's chief ambassador. The President shall call, arrange the agenda for, and preside at the General Meeting, to be held every year, and he/she shall call and preside at all other Society meetings unless unable to do so, in which case the Vice President shall preside. The President shall be responsible for organizing future Rebecca West Conferences, possibly every two years, and for seeking membership status as an allied organization at the MLA. The President shall consult closely with the other officers throughout the term on dues, budgetary, and other issues and perform miscellaneous tasks as required. The President shall be responsible for election procedures, including the call for nominations and the voting process; for presenting proposals for, and conducting the balloting on, any changes to the bylaws; and for ensuring that the Society's procedures are in accordance with these by-laws.

  2. The Vice President shall write and/or solicit copy for, edit, and mail the "Rebecca West Newsletter." The Vice-President shall maintain the mailing list for the Newsletter and maintain or update the homepage of the Rebecca West Society as needed. The Vice President shall handle correspondence with Society members and others, promote and publicize the Society, notably at the MLA and at other venues, and preside at Society meetings in case the President is unable to attend.

  3. The Secretary-Treasurer, who is appointed by the President and Vice-President, shall maintain the Directory of members-in-good-standing. He/she shall further receive and disburse monies on behalf of the Society, keep records of all monies received and disbursed, and prepare and publish an annual report of the Society's finances.

  4. The Librarian-Bibliographer, who is also appointed by the President and Vice-President, shall prepare and submit to the Vice-President an annual bibliography of West Studies and represent the interests of curators of special collections with holdings of Rebecca West papers.

Section 3
An Advisory Board, consisting of three elected members-at-large, shall represent the interests of the following specialized groups: a) general readers (fans) and non-academic professionals such as diplomats and journalists; b) students and/or scholars; c) relatives of Rebecca West and liaisons to her literary estate. These members-at-large shall be elected by the same process as the President and Vice-President and shall serve the same term. The primary responsibilities of the Advisory Board members shall be to publicize the Society, to develop outreach programs, to facilitate interaction between the Societyís different constituencies, and to broaden the appeal and membership of the Society.

Section 4
All officers and members of the Advisory Board shall serve without compensation. They shall be entitled to reimbursement for legitimate Society expenses.

Section 5
A vacancy in any of these offices occurring during the incumbent's term of office because of illness, death, resignation, or any other reason shall be filled by a volunteer chosen by the remaining officers of the Society until such time as a new election can be held.

Section 6
The President, Vice-President, and the members of the Advisory Board shall be elected (or re-elected) for four year terms by the Society membership, by mail, e-mail, or vote at the general meeting, from a slate of nominees. The election shall be conducted during the month of September, and results shall be reported by October 15th. Names of nominees may be submitted by any member of the Society. Terms of office shall be four years, beginning January 1st. The term of the appointed officers, i.e. the Secretary-Treasurer and the Librarian-Bibliographer, is two years.

Article VI: Meetings

Section 1
A general meeting of the Society shall be held annually, whenever possible in conjunction with a Rebecca West conference.

Article VII: Legal Status, Funds, and Liabilities

Section 1

  1. The Society is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and/or scientific purposes under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


  2. No part of the net earnings of the Society shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensations for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the Society shall be the carrying on of progapanda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Society 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 this document, the Society shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

  3. Upon dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed 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 a public purpose.

Section 2
The funds of this Society shall be collected and dispersed by the Secretary-Treasurer, for the Society's needs and lawful expenditures.

Section 3
No member of the Society shall be liable except for the payment of dues.

Article IX: Procedures

Section 1
Amendments to these by-laws shall be voted upon, by mail, e-mail, or vote at the general meetings, to which the full membership is invited; approval shall require a two-thirds majority of those voting. Amendments may be proposed by the officers of the Society, or by petition signed by twenty or more Society members in good standing. Amendments to these by-laws are subject to a three-month open discussion period in public forums prior to the vote.