Section I. Annual
Annual dues shall
be established at the General Business Meeting. Dues may vary from year
to year and between membership categories.
Section II. Membership
Section 1. Regular
membership shall be available to any person supporting the purposes
of this Association, and shall include all privileges including voting,
receipt of all Association publications, and the opportunity to serve
as an officer and on committees.
Section 2. Life
membership shall be available to any person supporting the purposes
of this association upon payment of a one-time fee that will entitle
that person to all privileges of the Association including voting, receipt
of all Association, publications, and the opportunity to serve as an
officer and on committees.
Section 3. Student
membership shall be available to any person supporting the purpose of
this Association who is enrolled at an institution of higher education
and pursing a degree, whether undergraduate or graduate. Student membership
shall include the privileges of voting, receiving all Association publications,
and serving on committees.
Section 4. Institutional
and Library memberships shall be available to any educational institution,
department, library, or other organization, and shall include the privilege
of receiving all Association publications.
Section 5. Emeritus
memberships shall be granted to members who have retired from their
institutions, who have either continuous Regular membership for fifteen
years of non continuous membership for twenty years, or who have been
nominated by the National Council and approved by a vote of the Association
in recognition of distinguished service to the profession. Emeritus
members shall have all privileges including voting, receipt of all Association
publications and the opportunity to serve as an officer and on committees.
Section III. Election
Section 1. The
Nominating Committee shall present the names of two Regular, Life or
Emeritus members of the Association for each position to be elected
not later than thirty days prior to the General Business Meeting at
which nominations for officers shall be received. The Committee shall
as certain that each nominee has received a Bachelors degree and will
serve if elected. This slate of nominees shall be distributed to the
membership at the same time as the Preliminary Agenda for the General
Business Meeting. An opportunity shall exist for additional nominations
to be made by the membership at the General Business Meeting.
Section 2. Election
of officers shall then be determined by a mail ballot sent to all Regular,
Life, Student, and Emeritus members of the Association, with a deadline
for returning ballots to be determined by the Executive Secretary. Newly-elected
officers shall assume office and their respective duties on July 1 immediately
following the election. They shall hold office until their terms expire
and their successor are elected. To be elected, a candidate must receive
a majority vote by secret ballot. In the event no candidate received
a majority of the first ballot, a second ballot shall be conducted with
only the names of the two candidates receiving the highest number of
votes in the first balloting included.
Section 3. In the
event of a vacancy for any elected office because of death, resignation,
or other cause, the President, with the consent of the National Council,
shall appoint any eligible Regular, Life, or Emeritus member to complete
the unexpired portion of that term, or until a special election is held,
whichever comes first.
In the event that the office of President is vacated, the Vice-President
shall assume that office and complete the remaining portion of that
term. Following completion of the unexpired term, the person serving
as President shall proceed to fill her or his regular two-year term
in the office.
In the event that the office of Vice-President is vacated, and interment
may be made according to the procedures stated I this section, or
in accordance with Subsection iii. If the latter alternative is selected,
a Special Election may be held for the office of Vice-President, the
winner of which shall succeed to the Presidency. A Special Election
for the office of President may also be held concurrent with the next
General Election. Under no circumstances, however, shall the interim
Vice-President succeed to the Presidency by virtue of the interim
A Special Election may be held if the National Council determines
such action to be in the best interest of the Association, and consistent
with the Association's Constitution and By-laws, Insofar as possible,
a Special Election shall be held in accordance with the provisions
of Sections III, 1 and 2.=20
Section IV. Duties
of the Officers
The National council,
under the leadership of the President and with the aid of Standing and
Special Committees, shall be responsible for planning policy, utilizing
personnel, and executing policy once adopted.
Section 1. The
President. The President shall be required to perform the usual duties
of such an officer including the power to call meetings of the National
Council, the power to members of Standing Committees with the advice
and consent of the National council, and the power to appoint members
of Special Committees unless the original motion formulating the Special
Committee shall designate another method of appointment.
Section 2. The
Vice-President. Besides those duties assigned by the President or National
Council, the Vice-President shall be responsible for developing all
Association sponsored programs and meetings at the Annual Convention.
Section 3. The
Vice-President for High School Affairs. The Vice-President for High
School Affairs shall have the special responsibility for representing
the needs and concerns of high school forensics professionals to the
Association, for representing the Association to high school forensics
professionals, and for fulfilling other responsibilities assigned by
the President or National Council.
Section 4. The
Executive Secretary. The Executive Secretary shall be responsible for
the general operations of this Association. The duties assigned by the
National Council shall include, but not be limited to, soliciting and
maintaining memberships; collecting dues and other revenues; paying
financial obligations in a timely manner; organizing and distributing
Association publications such as the Tournament Calendar, Directory,
and AFA Newsletter; serving as liaison to other professional organizations;
coordinating the Job Clearing House; implementing, monitoring and administering
programs and policies of the Association; assisting committees with
duties and responsibilities; distributing all mail ballots and chairing
a "teller's" committee; and gathering, maintaining and distributing
information appropriate to the Association and forensic professionals.
Section 5. The
Recording Secretary. The Recording Secretary shall be responsible for
recording minutes of all General Business Meetings of the Association,
and of all meetings of the National Council.
Section 6. Two-Year
College Representative. It shall be the special responsibility of the
two-year college representative to the National Council to discover
the needs, and make plans for the development and implementation of
policies designed to promote the purposes of this Association for and
in this specific constituency.
Section 7. Each
officer shall make a report outlining her or hisresponsibilities and
actions during the preceding year to the membership atthe General Business
Section V. Bonded
The Executive Secretary
shall be bonded.
Section 1. Caucuses
may be formed through the following procedures: Apetition requesting
establishment that includes the names of at least twenty-five Regular,
Life, Student, or Emeritus members of the Association shall be submitted
to the National Council stating the purpose and justification for the
proposed caucus. The petition shall then be presented to a General Business
Meeting accompanied by a statement from the National Council of endorsement
or opposition. If approved by a vote at the General Business Meeting,
the caucus shall be established.
Section 2. Each
caucus shall be responsible for determining the nature and selection
of officers and their respective duties, and its individual projects
so long as they are complementary to the purposes of this Association
and to the policies and programs enacted through the National Council,
committees and members. When membership of a caucus reaches fifty, it
shall be granted representation to the National Council, and shall selectits
Section 3. Each
caucus shall submit a report to the National Council and to the membership
at the General Business Meeting.
Section 4. Caucus
shall be permitted to collect dues from members provided that all collections
and disbursements are processed by the Executive Secretary. Any disagreements
that may arise between a Caucus and the Executive Secretary over collections
or disbursements shall be resolved by the National Council.
Section VII. Committees
be of the following types: Standing, Chartered, Nominating, and Special.
All committees shall report to the General Business Meeting and, upon
request of the President, to the National Council.
Section 1. Standing
Committees. Standing Committees shall be appointed by the President
with the advise and consent of the National Council Efforts shall be
taken to assure appropriate representation of membership interests,
constituencies, and geographic distribution. Standing Committees shall
consist of six members serving for three-year, staggered terms, and
shall select their own chair, who shall vote on Committee business only
in the case of a tie. In the event of death or resignation of a member
from any Standing Committee, the President shall appoint a person to
fill the unexpired term with the advice and consent of the National
Council. Members of Standing Committees shall not serve more than two
complete, consecutive terms on the same committee. At the beginning
of each Presidential term, the President shall, with the advice and
consent of the National Council, present a specific charge to each Committee
consistent with the responsibilities identified in this section. The
following shall be Standing Committees of the Association.
Finance. The Finance Committee shall be responsible for planning and
overseeing the Association's fiscal affairs including creating an
annual budget and presenting it to the General Business Meeting, monitoring
on a regular basis the collection and expenditure of funds by the
Executive Secretary, assuring timely and complete audits are conducted
as necessary, and recommending policy to ensure the financial health
Professional Development and Support. The Professional Development
and Support Committee shall be responsible for developing and supporting
the highest standards of professional conduct within forensics, and
for representing the professional interests of this Association's
members to all appropriate constituencies. Included within the responsibilities
of this Committee will be the following: develop and promote standards
concerning the duties, evaluation, and tenure of forensic educators;
and development and maintain a consulting program to assist in the
development and support of forensics professionals at all educational
levels. Additional responsibilities may be assigned as appropriate.
Educational Development and Practices. The Educational Development
and Practices Committee shall be responsible for developing, reporting,
and promoting practices that strengthen forensic pedagogy, whether
in classrooms, forums, competition, or other circumstances included
within the responsibilities of this committee will be the following:
develop, maintain and distribute information on establishing and promoting
argumentation and forensics within curricula; develop and promote
ways of increasing broad participation in forensic activities; examine,
assess, and evaluate forensic practices in light of the purpose of
this Association; and maintain and interpret the AFA Code of Ethics
as it relates to educational practices. Additional responsibilities
may be assigned as appropriate.
Research. The Research Committee shall be responsible for the encouragement,
development, and evaluation of research activity throughout the profession.
Any official research conducted or awards presented in the name of
this Association shall have the approval of this Committee.
Publications. The Publications Committee shall have primary responsibility
for planning, supervising, and monitoring all publications sponsored
by this Association, and shall have the additional responsibility
of conducting a search for and nominating to the National Council
editors of AFA sponsored publications.
Section 2. Chartered
Committees. Chartered Committees shall be created for special, on-going
activities by approval of a specific Charter by the Association's voting
Members of this Association desiring that such a Committee be established
shall submit a proposed Charter to the National Council stating the
purpose and justification for the proposed Committee, and procedures
for conducting the proposed Committee's business. The petition shall
then be presented to a General Business Meeting accompanied by a statement
from the National Council of endorsement or opposition. Upon approval
by a vote at the General Business Meeting, the Charter shall then
be submitted on a mail ballot to all eligible voting members of the
Association. This ballot shall include a summary of the pro and con
arguments from the discussion at the General Business Meeting, and
shall include a deadline for return to be established by the Executive
Secretary. The Charter shall be granted if supported by a majority
of those members eligible and voting. The size of these Committees,
selection of members, and duties and responsibilities shall be delineated
within the approved Charter. Each Chartered Committee shall present
a report of its activities at the General Business Meeting.
The following are Chartered Committees of this Association:
(i). National Debate Tournament. The National Debate Tournament
Committee shall have the responsibility for planning and conducting
the National Debate Tournament.
(ii). National Debate Tournament Board of Trustees. The National
Debate Tournament Board of Trustees shall be responsible for all
financial matters pertaining to the National Debate Tournament including
establishing a budget for each Tournament, establishing assessments
and fees for subscribing schools, and negotiating and approving
any agreements with hosting or sponsoring institutions contingent
upon approval by the National Debate Tournament Committee. The Board
shall have sole responsibility for all negotiations with any agent(s)
financing the National Debate Tournament, and for establishing the
legal framework appropriate for the execution of its duties. This
Board shall consist of five members appointed by the President of
this Association for five-year, staggered terms.
(iii). National Individual Events Tournament. The National Individual
Events Tournament Committee shall have the responsibility for planning
and conducting the National Individual Events Tournament.
National Individual Events Tournament Board of Trustees. The National
Individual Events Tournament Board of Trustees shall be responsible
for all financial matters pertaining to the National Individual Events
Tournament including establishing a budget for each Tournament, establishing
assessments and fees for subscribing schools, and negotiating and
approving any agreements with hosting or sponsoring institutions contingent
upon approval by the National Individual Events Tournament Committee.
The Board shall have sole responsibility for all negotiations with
any agent(s) financing the National Individual Events Tournament,
and for establishing the legal framework appropriate for the execution
of its duties. This Board shall consist of five members appointed
by the President of this Association for five-year, staggered terms.
Section 3. Nominating
Committee. A Nominating Committee shall have the responsibility for
submitting a list of nominees for all elected officers in accordance
with the provisions of Section III: Election of Officers.
This Committee shall consist of five members who shall serve a two-year
term concurrent with those of national officers, and shall be elected
by mail ballot. No one who has served as a member of the immediately
preceding Nominating Committee shall be eligible for membership.
The Executive Secretary shall issue a call to the membership for nominations
to this Committee not later than thirty days prior to the General
Business Meeting. These individuals, up to five, receiving the greatest
number of nominations from the call, and who are eligible and willing
to serve, shall be announced at the Meeting, and shall be included
on the mail ballot. Additional nominees for the Committee shall be
obtained from the floor at the General Business Meeting such that
a total number of nominations to be included on the mail ballot shall
equal at least ten. The ballot shall be mailed to all eligible voting
members, and each may vote for up to five. The five individuals receiving
the greatest number of votes on the mail ballot shall constitute the
Committee In the event of a tie for the final position, all those
involved in the tie shall be appointed to the Committee.
In the event of a vacancy occurring on the Nominating Committee, the
President, with the advice and consent of the National Council, shall
appoint an eligible member to complete the unexpired portion of that
Section 4. Special
Committees. Special Committees may be appointed by the President, except
where the motion creating the Committee shall designate an alternative
method of appointment. Special Committees shall be appointed for two
years or until their assignment is completed, whichever is shorter.
Section VIII. Editors
of American Forensics Association Publications
Section 1. The
editors of American Forensics Association publications shall be nominated
by the Publications Committee and appointed by the National Council.
Editors shall have the authority to appoint such associate editors as
are necessary to complete their responsibilities. Theterms of associate
editors shall be concurrent with that of the editor. In the event of
death or resignation of an editor or associate editor, the appropriate
authority as designated herein may appoint a replacement to complete
the unexpired term.
Section 2. The
editor of Argumentation and Advocacy: The Journal of the American
Forensics Association shall serve a three-year term.
Section IX. Agenda
for General Business Meetings
Section 1. It shall
be the responsibility of the President, in conjunction with the National
Council and Executive Secretary, to prepare and distribute a preliminary
agenda to every member at least thirty days prior to a General Business
Meeting. The first item on the preliminary agenda shall be approval
of a complete agenda for the General Business Meeting.
Section 2. Any
member having items to be considered at the General Business Meeting
that are not included in the published, preliminary agenda should so
inform the President or Executive Secretary at least one week prior
to the Meeting. All items submitted should be presented in writing,
and should include specific wording of the actionable item supported
by a brief justification. A complete agenda, including all additional
items, shall be prepared by the President and the National Council,
and shall be presented for approval as the first item of business at
the General Business Meeting. Approval of the complete agenda by those
attending the General Business Meeting shall constitute the order of
business. Any modification to the approved complete agenda shall be
governed by Section XI rules of procedure.
Section X. Quorums
for General business and National Council Meetings
A quorum for a
General Business Meeting shall exist when twenty members with voting
privileges are present. A quorum for a National Council meeting shall
exist when a majority of the officially designated and recognized members
Section XI. Rules
Meetings and National Council Meetings shall be conducted according
to the procedures prescribed in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised
B Section XII.
These By-Laws may
be amended by a majority vote at any General Business Meeting, provided
that the proposed amendment shall be mailed to those members with voting
privileges at least thirty days prior to the date of the General Business
Meeting; or without prior notice by a two-third majority of those present
and voting at the General Business Meeting.