MESTA Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution and Bylaws of the Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association (MESTA)

This page contains both the Constitution and the Bylaws for MESTA. The Constitution will be displayed first, followed by the Bylaws.


MESTA Constitution

Article I (Name)

Section 1: The name of this organization shall be the Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association, hereafter known as MESTA.

Article II (Purpose)

Section 1: The purpose of MESTA shall be the advancement, stimulation, extension, improvement, and coordination of Earth Science education at all educational levels through the voluntary and donated efforts of MESTA members.

Section 2: MESTA shall operate exclusively as an educational non-profit organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Section 3: In the event of dissolution, all assets, real and personal, shall be distributed to the National Earth Science Teachers Association, or such organizations as are qualified as tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding provisions of a future United States Internal Revenue Law.

Article III (Membership)

Section 1: Membership is available to those actively engaged in the teaching of Earth and Space Science and to those with an interest in Earth and Space Science education.

Section 2: MESTA is formally committed to the principle of equal opportunity for all persons, without regard to consideration of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ancestry, citizenship, ethnic or national origin, race, color, political affiliation, creed, disability, or age.

Section 3: For purposes within MESTA, a member in good standing shall refer to members whose dues are current and whose conduct as a member is coincident with the aims, goals and vision of MESTA.

Article IV (Organization of Officers)

Section 1: The elected officers of MESTA shall be the President, President-Elect, Past President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and Membership Director.

Section 2: The Appointed Officers shall include Committee Chairpersons, Editors, Coordinators, Advisors and Board members-at-Large as appointed by the President and approved by the Executive Committee.

Section 3: The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, President-Elect, Past President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Director and (Journal) Editor. Each position (role) on the Executive Committee is discrete - there shall be no dual role individuals.

Section 4: The Governing Board shall consist of the Executive Committee plus the remaining Appointed Officers.

Section 5: The powers and duties of the officers, together with the method of their selection shall be prescribed in the Bylaws.

Article V (Quorum)

Section 1: Four Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum of any scheduled meeting of the Executive Committee.

Section 2: Four Executive Committee members and four additional Governing Board members shall constitute a quorum of any scheduled meeting of the Governing Board.

Section 3: A quorum of the Executive Committee and those MESTA members attending any announced MESTA General Membership Meeting shall constitute a quorum for that meeting.

Article VI (Removal from Office)

Section 1: Any elected or appointed official may be removed from office for cause.

Section 2: Removal from office shall be by majority vote of the Executive Committee.

Article VII (Amendments)

Section 1: Proposed amendments to this Constitution shall be presented to the Executive Committee by any MESTA member in good standing. Proposed amendments shall be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee before being forwarded for approval by the Governing Board.

Section 2: Proposed amendments to this Constitution, if approved by a majority vote of the Governing Board, shall be submitted to the membership by mail and/or electronic means for ratification.

Section 3: This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those members responding to the mail or electronic ballot, or at any planned General Membership Meeting providing a Board-approved copy of the proposed amendment is made available to every member at least 5 days before the period for ratification. The Governing Board shall determine the length of the ratification period.

Article VIII (Organizational Liability: Liability of Officers and Representatives)

Section 1: Documents with legal standing shall be attached to, and included as part of, this document to limit to the fullest extent of the law the liability of any MESTA Officer, Board Member, or designated Representative.

Latest Changes to the Constitution:

October 1993: "Voluntary and donated" reference added to purpose of organization.

October 1993: (Journal) Editor added to Executive Committee.

October 1994: Organizational liability clause added.

October 1997: Changed membership year to coincide with fiscal year.

October 1999: Membership Director position was created and separated from the job of Treasurer.

September 2005: Renamed Executive Board as Governing Board.

September 2005: Redefined quorum for Executive Committee and Governing Board.

September 2005: Established new procedure for appointing Governing Board members which requires the approval of the Executive Committee.

July 2008: Substitute Constitution approved by committee and sent to the Executive Committee.

August 2008: Constitution approved by the Executive Committee and sent to the Governing Board.

September 2008: Constitution approved by the Governing Board.

October 2008: Constitution approved by the general membership.

May 2018: Article IV updated - immediate Past President changed to Past President, language changed to Board members-at-Large, section VI moved to Bylaws Article IV (Section 7).


MESTA Bylaws

Article I (Officers)

Section 1: Only those who are members in good standing shall be eligible for elected or appointed office.

Section 2: The President shall appoint a member of MESTA to fill the vacancy of an elected or appointed office. These appointments will terminate at the end of the regular term of office for that position.

Article II (Duties)

Section 1: The President shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee, Governing Board, and at the General Membership meeting held at the annual MESTA conference. Upon taking office, the President shall appoint, subject to the ratification of the Executive Committee, all Committee Chairpersons, Standing Committee Members, Editor of the Michigan Earth Scientist, Coordinators, Advisors and Governing Board members. The President, under the direction of the Executive Committee shall have charge of the affairs of MESTA.

Section 2: The President-Elect shall preside at all meetings in the absence of the President. The President-Elect shall serve as Program Chair of the annual MESTA Conference. The President-Elect shall temporarily carry on the regular duties of the President in any instances where the President is incapacitated or unavailable to perform their duties for a short period of time.

Section 3: The role of Past President shall be to advise in the governance of the organization.

Section 4: The Recording Secretary shall keep an official record of the proceedings of the Executive Committee meetings, Governing Board meetings, and MESTA General Membership meetings.

Section 5: The Treasurer shall have charge of all MESTA monies and shall submit to the Governing Board an annual report.

Section 6: The Membership Director shall keep accurate records of the membership.

Section 7: The Executive Committee shall have power to act for the Governing Board and shall ratify all appointments.

Section 8: The duties of the Governing Board Members shall be the advancement, improvement, and coordination of Earth and Space Science education within their region, so far as they are able.

Section 9: The Governing Board shall transact business, make recommendations regarding proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws, establish annual dues, authorize publications and productions, and devise and carry out measures for the growth and welfare of the organization.

Section 10: Advisors shall be appointed at the discretion of the President to advise and assist in the affairs of MESTA, and shall report to the President.

Article III (Committees)

Section 1: The President shall appoint the members of Standing Committees.

Section 2: Committee membership is open to all members in good standing.

Article IV (Nominations and Elections)

Section 1: The Nominations and Election Committee shall be appointed by the President to prepare and present a slate of nominees to the membership by mail and/or electronic means prior to the date when officers are to be elected. Any member in good standing may submit nominations to the Committee. The Committee shall also conduct the election in accordance with established guidelines.

Section 2: Election of officers shall be by paper ballot and/or by voting on a secure online platform.

Section 3: Balloting shall be limited to the membership in good standing.

Section 4: The election of officers shall be held prior to, or at the annual MESTA meeting. Installation of elected and appointed officers shall be at the close of the General Membership meeting. The official term of office for newly install officers shall be two years.

Section 5: The period allotted for mail or electronic voting shall be not less than 15 days.

Section 6: Re-election to any office shall not be limited in any way.

Section 7: The President-Elect shall ascend to the position of President upon completion of his/her term of office as President-Elect. The President-Elect shall ascend to the Presidency in the case of the permanent inability of the current President to fulfill the duties of the office.

Section 8: The President shall be offered the role of Past President of MESTA upon the completion of his/her term of office. If they decline, the role of Past President will be filled by a former President of MESTA as selected by the Executive Committee.

Article V (Meetings)

Section 1: At least four Governing Board meetings shall be held annually. At least one General Membership meeting shall be held annually.

Section 2: Executive Committee meetings may be called as needed by the President.

Section 3: Additional Governing Board meetings may be called as needed by the Executive Committee.

Section 4: Except for the General Membership meeting, meetings of the Executive Committee, Governing Board, and committees may be conducted electronically as long as all participants can hear all other participants.

Article VI (Conferences)

Section 1: There shall be at least one MESTA Conference each year.

Section 2: Field Conferences shall be organized according to the rules approved by the Governing Board.

Article VII (Dues and Publications)

Section 1: Membership dues, and dues categories, shall be established by the Governing Board. Changes in the membership dues shall be effective one month after establishment. Annual membership shall expire 12 months from the date of joining.

Section 2: The Michigan Earth Scientist shall be the official journal of MESTA, and shall be made available to all members in good standing in a timely manner by mail or electronic delivery.

Section 3: The Editor of the Journal shall be appointed by the President and shall bear responsibility for publication of the Michigan Earth Scientist.

Section 4: The Governing Board may authorize additional publications and productions.

Article VIII (Amendments)

Section 1: Proposed amendments to the Bylaws shall be presented to the Governing Board by any MESTA member in good standing. Proposed amendments to the Bylaws, if approved by a majority vote of the Governing Board, shall be submitted to the membership by paper and/or electronic means for ratification.

Section 2: These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those members responding to the mail or electronic ballot, providing a copy of the proposed amendment shall be available to every member before it is to be voted upon.

Section 3: The Bylaws also may be amended at any planned General Membership meeting by a two-thirds vote of the membership present, provided a copy of the proposed amendments have been made available to all members 5 days prior to the planned meeting.

Article IX (Parliamentary Authority)

Section 1: In all questions of parliamentary law not covered by the Constitution and Bylaws, Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall prevail.

Latest Changes to the Bylaws:

July 2008: Substitute Bylaws approved by committee and sent to the Executive Committee.

August 2008: Bylaws approved by the Executive Committee and sent to the Governing Board.

September 2008: Bylaws approved by the Governing Board.

October 2008: Bylaws approved by the general membership.

May 2018: Article III Section 2 allows all members of good standing to be a member of a committee. Article IV Section 2 clarifies online voting. Article IV Section 7 was moved from the Constitution Article IV Section 6. Article IV Section 8 allows for an alternate selection of Past President. Article V Section 1 allows for General Membership meetings to be held electronically and not required to be held at the annual conference. Article VII Section 1 allows flexibility in changes to membership dues and categories.

The Constitution and Bylaws, as well as the current practices and procedures used by MESTA are contained in MESTA's Operational Manual (MOM). You may download and printout a copy of MOM by clicking on the file displayed at the bottom of this page.

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