FAS Constitution

FAS Constitution

This is the Forsyth Astronomical Society’s Constitution and By-Laws:

Founded: 1937


As Amended: September 1994

  • Article I:
    • Name
      • The name of this organization shall be: Forsyth Astronomical Society.
  • Article II:
    • Purpose
      • a) To provide an enjoyable atmosphere for gaining and exchanging information in all fields of the science and practice of astronomy.
      • b) To provide observations for members and the public.
      • c) To promote the science of astronomy among the public and increase public education in astronomy.
      • d) To provide members a means of participating in the activities of amateur astronomical societies.
      • e) To assist in professional research studies.
  • Article III:
    • Meetings
      • Section 1: Regular Society meetings shall be scheduled at least once a month, on a particular day and time of a particular week, as a policy determined by a majority vote of the membership attending such a meeting.
      • Section 2: Regular Society observations shall be scheduled at least once a month at times determined by the Society’s officers.
      • Section 3: Special meetings and or observations may be called by the Society’s president on agreement of the Society’s officers. Scheduling such meetings and observations may preclude the scheduling of regular meetings or observations during a given month.
      • Section 4: Any member under the age of 14 shall be accompanied by an adult when attending Society meetings.
  • Article IV:
    • Membership
      • Section 1: Membership shall be open to the general public.
      • Section 2: Interested parties submitting membership dues become members on having been notified that their dues submittable have been received by the Society’s treasurer or their welcome as new members is indicated in the Society’s newsletter.
      • Section 3: Membership lasts only for the term specified for the exchange of the membership dues.
      • Section 4: Membership entitles members to receive the Society’s newsletter, borrow the Society’s instruments or library materials under the conditions administered by the Society’s executive board, vote in the Society’s elections, participate in any of the Society’s meetings, observations, or projects specified exclusive, or petition any of the officers or trustees according to the wishes of the member or members. Those that are of the family of a Society member may attend Society functions, but otherwise possess no membership privileges or duties. Each member shall receive a copy of this constitution.
      • Section 5: Honorary membership may be bestowed on non-members only when the full membership votes by a majority to confer this status. Honorary members shall have all membership privileges except that of voting.
      • Section 6: Regular membership may be conferred by the Society on non-members who have met some special obligation or deserve some special acknowledgment according to the conditions established by the Society for the acquiring of this membership status.
      • Section 7: Membership in the organization shall not be restricted in any manner according to sex, race, religion, age, physical capacity, or any other characterization considered to be a form of discrimination under local, state, or federal laws.
  • Article VI:
    • Officers
      • Section 1: The officers of the Society shall be president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer.
      • Section 2: Officers shall be elected and shall serve a term of one year, covering the period from May 1 of the election calendar year through April 30 of the following calendar year. Newly elected officers shall assume the duties of the office on May first of the term-year.
      • Section 3: Should a vacancy occur in any office between May 1 and January 1 of the term-year, the Society shall elect a replacement. If a vacancy occurs in any office between January 2 and April 30, the President shall designate a replacement or assume the duties of the vacated office himself or herself.
  • Article VII:
    • Trustees
      • Section 1: The trustee positions shall be librarian and historian. On the establishment of an observatory, the position of observatory director shall be conferred as a trustee position on the date of the observatory dedication. Thereafter, the position of observatory director shall be conferred as are the positions of librarian and historian.
      • Section 2: Trustee positions are to be appointed by the Society’s president after agreement is achieved among the Society’s officers on who shall hold these positions. Vacancies shall be handled promptly, through appointment in the same manner.
      • Section 3: Trustees’ terms shall be no longer than the remaining term of the society’s president.
  • Article VIII:
    • Executive Board
      • Section 1: The executive board shall consist of the Society’s officers and trustees.
      • Section 2: Members not serving on the executive board may petition the executive board for the removal from office, members of the executive board. The executive board must then investigate whether the office-holder petitioned against has violated provisions of this constitution, or any local, state, or federal felony law. The office-holder petitioned against shall be made promptly aware of the investigation. A findings report shall be presented by the executive board the attending membership of a regularly scheduled Society meeting on a date previously announced in the Society’s newsletter. The report shall contain the voluntary responses of the office-holder petitioned against. After the report is made and appropriate debate has completed, including the voluntary remarks of the office-holder petitioned against, the executive board shall accept motions for removal from the attending membership. After an appropriate second is accepted, a majority vote of the attending membership shall effect removal from office of the office-holder petitioned against, as of the date of that vote. The executive board shall then provide for the return of all items belonging to the Society in the removed officer’s possession.
  • Article IX:
    • Amendments
      • Amendments to this constitution must be submitted to the executive board for its evaluation. This board shall present the amendment in the Society’s newsletter and at the meeting following that newsletter’s publication with an advisement as to the amendment’s suitability. A proposal favoring the amendment from the membership must be received at the meeting, and a second must follow. A vote on the proposal shall then be taken, and a two-thirds majority of those members present decides in the amendment’s favor. The amendment is then incorporated into this document.
  • Article X:
    • Financial Distribution
      • This organization is organized exclusively for the educational and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).
      • No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private groups, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article II hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the corporation 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 provisions of these articles, the organization 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©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law) or
        • (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under section 170©(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).
      • Upon the dissolution of the organization, the Executive Board shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all liabilities of the organization, dispose of all of the assets of the organization exclusively for the purposes of the organization in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under section 501©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Executive Board shall determine. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Superior Court of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.



As amended: September 1994

  • Article I:
    • Officers’ Duties
      • President: The president shall preside at meetings of the Society and the executive board. He shall act as public-liaison for the Society, and contact for other astronomical societies. He provides direction for Society activities, shapes, with other officers and trustees, Society policy, and oversees the activities of officers, Society committees, and special projects. He calls officers meetings , or effects some other means of communication within a reasonably short time after the last Society meeting, for the purpose of discussing Society business or policy and providing information for the publication of the next Society newsletter. He may request the presence of other members as necessary at these meetings.
      • Vice-President: The vice-president acts as president in the absence of the president at Society and committee activities. He sets, with the president the agenda of Society and special meetings. He may choose to establish a program committee for his assistance, but he must assure that informative and or entertaining programs are presented at Society and special meetings. He determines, with the president that the public are made aware of the Society and special meetings and public observations.
      • Secretary: The secretary collects the minutes of each meeting and incorporates them in a manner that facilitates their utilization in the preparation of the Society business and publication in the Societies newsletter. He also acts as, or appoints the Society’s newsletter editor, and determines that the newsletter is published in a timely manner. He may appoint a committee in service to the editor. The secretary maintains the society’s business records, provides the society’s official correspondence and maintains this constitution in a timely fashion. The secretary presides at Society meetings in the absence of the president and vice-president.
      • Treasure: The treasure receives and records membership dues, and notifies the society’s newsletter editor of any new members joining. He shall maintain a listing of members, showing their names, addresses and telephone numbers and shall enter the list into the newsletter at least once a year. He also maintains records of all transactions involving Society funds, including donations, expenditures fees, interest, members’ through-the-Society subscriptions etc. He advises the officers and, or trustees on financial matters, and shall provide a written financial report at a Society meeting or in the Society’s newsletter quarterly. He writes Society checks when required, and reimburses the Society’s newsletter-editor and historian for expenses incurred in the publication of the Society’s newsletter and scrapbook. He may spend, under the direction of the Society’s president, with the agreement of the executive board, up to $50/quarterly without the membership’s voting consent for items not having to do with the Society’s newsletter, subscriptions or scrapbook.
  • Article II:
    • Trustee’s Duties
      • Librarian: The librarian shall maintain in good condition the Society’s books, magazines pamphlets, slides, tapes, charts, and other reference materials in his possession He shall allow membership access to these materials to the degree that it is reasonable. He may designate others to assist in the storage of these materials. He shall maintain lists of those members borrowing these materials, and shall retrieve these borrowed materials when the borrowing member’s membership expires, when another member has requested to borrow these materials, and after a reasonable period has passed. He shall maintain a borrowers list of the Society’s observing equipment until the position of observatory director is established He shall accept donations to the library on behalf of the society and shall acknowledge them in the newsletter. He shall maintain a list of materials in the library and shall, at least once a year, enter the list into the newsletter. He shall present said list for use to the attending members at each Society meetingNo property donated to orpurchased by the Society, excepting general office supplies shall be disposed of without the voted consent of a majority of the entire Society membership.
      • Historian: The historian shall maintain a scrapbook in good condition presenting pictures documents, newspaper clippings, writings, etc. of the Society’s history that is of interest to the membership. The historian shall accept historical items donations on behalf of the Society and shall acknowledge them in the newsletter. The historian shall bring the scrapbook to each regularly scheduled Society meeting. No property donated to or purchased by the Society excepting general office supplies shall be disposed of without the voted consent of a majority of the entire Society membership.
  • Article III:
    • Dues
      • The basic term of dues for membership shall be one year, covering a period from May I of one year through April 30 of the next year, and dues shall be payable by May 3 I for the fiscal year. Dues for new memberships shall be prorated based on the dues-fee for one year of membership and the date of the Society’s reception of payment. Categories of increased-term membership may be established with an appropriated dues-fee not necessarily based on the current practice. Current dues-fees shall be published in each month’s Society newsletter. The Society may raise the cost of membership dues after the affirmation of a majority vote held among the attending members at a regularly scheduled Society meeting. Prior announcement of the voting at the meeting shall have been given in the Society’s newsletter. The new dues rate shall be noted in the following Society newsletter.
  • Article IV:
    • Officers’ Election
      • Section l: An elections committee, made up of three members not desiring to be officers, shall be appointed by the president at the Society’s meeting for the month of January. The committee shall tabulate nominations made by the membership for the various officers positions, and the committee shall evaluate these potential candidates for their willingness and qualifications to serve, and their telephone numbers shall be published in the Februarynewsletter.
      • Section2: The elections committee shall announce their final listings of candidates at the Society’s February meeting and the list shall be published in the Society’s March newsletter.
      • Section3: Voting shall take place at the Society’s March meeting. The candidate for a given office with the greatest tally of votes shall be declared the winner, and the results shall be published in the April newsletter. Tie votes will be settled promptly by run-off.
      • Section 4: All candidates for officer positions must verify that they have, and will continue to have throughout their term of office, telephone service at their place of residence.
      • Section5: The new officers will have their names, addresses and telephone numbers published each month in the Society’s newsletter starting at the beginning of their terms and continuing as long as they actively serve in those official capacities.
      • Section 6: The currently-serving officers shall work with the newly-elected officers to establish an outline for the next term-year for the Society, showing schedule of meetings, programs, and observations as best as can then be determined. The final outline shall be published in the Society’s May newsletter of the term-year. The program and date of the May meeting shall have been announced in the previous April’s newsletter.
  • Article V:
    • Founders Meeting
      • The Society shall acknowledge its Founders, and those in the Society’s history that have given important service to the Society, at its August meeting. The Society’s historian shall make a presentation on the Society’s founding and other important historical events of the Society. Other activities commensurate with the occasion shall be carried out with the intent of demonstrating the Society’s appreciation of those that have participated in its organization and growth.
  • Article VI:
    • Amendments
      • These by-laws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Society with a two-thirds vote of the attending members.
  • Article VII:
    • Establishment
      • This Constitution shall be considered established as the document governing the procedures of the Forsyth Astronomical Society on the affirmation of a 2/3 voting majority of the entire membership of the Society. This date of affirmation of May 20, 1992 is duly noted, and this document, as constitution, is established of this date. Any other pre-existing constitution of this Society is, hereby declared null and void. We, the currently serving officers of this Society, verify that this is true:
        • President: Stan R. Griffin
        • Vice-President: Vacant
        • Secretary: Jeff Poplin
        • Treasurer: William Sonntag
        • Witnesses: David Morgan and Rick Blakely


Life Member Policy

  • Members of the Forsyth Astronomical Society may purchase Life Membership in the Society with the following provisions:
    • 1. Purchase of a Life Membership is open to any current Regular Member of FAS.
    • 2. Purchase of the Life Membership shall be at a cost of 15 times the current regular Membership dues rate at the time of the purchase.
    • 3. Life members will be entitled to all benefits of a regular member, including but not limited to:
      • a. receiving a subscription to the Society newsletter
      • b. receiving one vote on all matters voted upon by the Society
      • c. having all family members participate in all FAS activities
      • d. qualifying for magazine and book discounts, and any other such benefits
    • 4. Life Members will NOT pay regular annual membership dues. Life Members are excused from membership for the remainder of their life.
    • 5. The Life Membership will terminate upon the death of the member. Benefits of Life Membership will NOT transfer to other family members.
    • 6. Life Members are NOT excused from any fees or assessments charged to other members except for the annual membership dues.