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General Bylaws / Règlements Généraux
General Bylaws / Règlements Généraux
The following is an informal non-binding summary of the CSA general bylaws contained in the 2010 Executive Handbook. Refer to the CSA General Bylaws document for the official list of current bylaws. A copy of the 2010 Executive Handbook is available. Both documents can be downloaded in pdf format (see right).
Section / Article 1: Generalities / Règlements
Section 1 is entitled “Generalities: Importantly, clauses 1.4 and 1.5 define how to change the bylaws. Amendments can be proposed either by the Executive or by a member. Notice of one month must be given to the membership before they are asked to approve an amendment. Member proposals for an amendment must be passed through the CSA Secretary or the National Office, and the Treasurer is charged with notification of the membership. Amendments would then be voted on at a general meeting of the membership or at “any other kind of vote decided by [sic] Executive Committee.”2 Amendments require a two-thirds approval vote (of votes cast, not entire membership roster) and must be approved by the Minister of Industry.
Item 1.7 regarding the legal address of the head office of the association location was added in December 2011. The membership approved Mississauga, Ontario as the new location and the by-law revision was submitted to and approved by Corporations Canada.
Section / Article 2: Object of the asociation / Buts
Section 2 defines the objectives of the CSA as “the encouragement of research and publication in, and teaching and general development of, Sociology in Canada.”
Section / Article 3: Membership / Membres
Section 3 is about membership. Our bylaws expressly disallow institutional memberships and define CSA as an association of individuals. “Categories, privileges, and fees of membership” are decided by simple majority of the membership upon recommendation from the Executive Committee. Clause 3.5 calls for adherence to the CSA statement of professional ethics.
Section / Article 4: Officers of the Association / Câdres
In Section 4 the officers of the CSA are outlined, beginning with the three-year sequence in which a President-Elect is chosen and termed “Vice-President,” serves for one year, then becomes President for a year, and in the third year serves as Past-President. The other core members of the Executive Committee are the Treasurer/Election Officer and the Secretary, both elected to three-year terms.
The President “is the chief executive officer of the Association; presides over General Meetings of the members and meetings of the Executive Committee. . .” The Vice-President (President-Elect) would become President in the event of the President ceasing to serve. The Treasurer keeps the books, “has custody of the funds of the Association” (clause 4.4), and is next in line ofsuccession to the Presidency following the VP. The Secretary keeps minutes for general meetings and Executive Committee meetings.
For all these officers, there is a residual clause saying the holder shall discharge “such other responsibilities as may be assigned to him/her by the General Meeting or the Executive Committee.”
Section / Article 5: Executive Committee / Conseil
The Executive Committee is specified in Section 5. The Executive Committee (hereafter often abbreviated to EC) must have at least three but no more than 20 members. Alongside the Officers of the Association (President etc., defined above), the Managing Editor of the Canadian Review of Sociology sits on the EC, along with chairs of the standing subcommittees of the Association. Chairs of the subcommittees are elected by each subcommittee, not by the Executive Committee. The bylaws state in clause 5.1 that a non-CSA member can be a member of the EC. Theoretically, we could, for example, have a CSA President who was not a member of the CSA. This seems to be a legal requirement dictated by the government, rather than a preference of the membership.
The EC makes decisions by simple majority vote, the President voting only to break ties.
Under clause 5.3 the EC meets at the call of the President or at the wish of four EC members. The bylaws allow for non face-to-face EC meetings (e-mail, telephone etc.). Ten day’s notice is required to EC meetings. The quorum for any EC meeting is four. The EC has wide powers: It: “. . . shall have charge of the general interests of the Association, shall call the general and any special meetings of the Association, appropriate money, create and terminate subcommittees with appropriate powers, have the general responsibility for publications of the Association, and in general possess the governing power in the Association except such powers as are reserved to the General Meeting” (clause 5.6). The EC is charged with appointing CSA representatives onto other bodies such as the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences (hereafter CFHSS).
In the event of EC members being unable to serve their full terms, the EC has the power to appoint substitutes who hold office until the next annual election of officers. The EC also is empowered to extend the term of any officer (except President) or standing subcommittee member until the next election, in order to stagger positions in aid of continuity.
Section / Article 6: Election and Appointments / Nomination et élection des câdres et des membres du Conseil
Section 6 defines the Nominating Committee, which is chaired by the Past-President. One other member must be from the EC, and two others are appointed by the EC on recommendation of the Past-President. A slate of nominations for CSA positions is made by the Nominating Committee, but further nominations can be advanced by any five CSA members in good standing (sending names to the Nominating Committee). The Nominating Committee sends names of all nominees to the Treasurer/Election Officer in sufficient time to conduct an election. Further election details are in clause 6.7. The new officers assume their positions once the election results are announced at the Annual General Meeting (hereafter AGM). Nominations Committee members and Managing Editor and Editorial Board the Canadian Review of Sociology (CRS) are simply approved by the EC rather than requiring membership approval. Clause 6.8 covers the procedural details on this. Clause 6.9 says that any CSA position-holder can be removed from office by a two-thirds vote at the AGM. Thus the EC has wide powers, but is also accountable to the membership.
Section / Article 7: Meeting of the association / Assemblée plénière
Section 7: Meetings of the Association. The normal general meeting of the CSA is the AGM, but clause 7.2 says that additional membership meetings can be called by the EC if necessary. A “special” general meeting can also be called at the request of 5% of more of the membership. The quorum at general meetings is defined within the bylaws as 35. One month’s notice is required for any general meeting of the CSA. The bylaws define how motions may be presented at general meetings. Motions for inclusion in the formal agenda of the AGM must be received by the Secretary or the National Office six weeks prior to the date of the meeting, and must be proposed by five members in good standing. Motions for discussion at “the General Meeting” as new business must be submitted to the Secretary twenty-four hours before the meeting. For any motion before a general meeting of the CSA, if two-thirds of the members present so vote, the motion must be referred to a ballot of all members of the Association. There are some exceptions to this, detailed in clause 7.9.
Section / Article 8: Journal / Publications de la Société
Section 8 concerns the main publication of the CSA, the Canadian Review of Sociology (the former Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology). A later section of the Handbook summarizes this section of the bylaws. Section 9 has some legalese of lesser interest for the present summary.
This webpage content revised August 2, 2012.