Bylaws

BYLAWS OF HUMANIST SOCIETY OF GREATER PHOENIX, INC. A CHARTERED CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION AND A CHAPTER OF THE COUNCIL FOR SECULAR HUMANISM

Revised May, 2018

I. NAME

The name and title of this organization shall be HUMANIST SOCIETY OF GREATER PHOENIX, INC. (HSGP) a Chartered Chapter of the American Humanist Association (AHA), and a Chapter of the Council for Secular Humanism.

II. PURPOSE

The purpose of HSGP is to promote humanistic ideals based on ethics, rationalism, and human concerns.

III. MEMBERSHIP

Any person who is in general accord with the above stated purpose may become a member of HSGP by applying for membership and submitting payment of annual or lifetime dues.

IV. MEETINGS

Membership meetings shall be scheduled at regular intervals. Membership meetings are open to the public. “Open” Board meetings may be attended by any current paid member. Board meetings shall be scheduled by the Board as necessary.

All Board meetings shall be open with the following exceptions:

(a) Employment or personnel matters for the employees of the Corporation;

(b) Legal advice from an attorney for the Corporation;

(c) Past, pending or contemplated litigation;

(d) Past, pending or contemplated matters relating to enforcement of the Corporation’s documents or rules.

A quorum for the transaction of business at Membership meetings shall consist of ten percent of the paid membership. A quorum for the transaction of business at a Board meeting shall be a simple majority of voting board members. Except as otherwise provided in regulations of the membership or of the Board of Directors, all meetings shall be conducted in accord with Robert’s Rules of Order (Current Revised Edition).

V. BOARD of DIRECTORS

A. Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix, Inc. shall be governed by its membership and Board of Directors elected from the membership of HSGP. The Board shall consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Program Director, Property Director, Membership Director, and two at-large Directors, all elected by the general membership for terms of one year, with each Director limited to one vote.

B. Election to the Board. To be eligible for the Board of Directors, a person must have been an active member of HSGP for at least one year.

C. Two individuals may serve as co-board members on the HSGP Board of Directors, and/or as co-officers on the HSGP Board of Directors. In such co-representation, a single vote is shared, but both individuals may speak independently at board meetings, and may serve independently on board level committees. To be a co-director or co-officer of HSGP, the two must run together, and be elected by the membership.

D. Removal of a Board member. A Board member may be removed from the Board for any of the following reasons, by a vote of a majority of the remaining Board members:

  1. Missing three Board meetings in a row
  2. Disruptive or unethical behavior toward the Board or HSGP
  3. Non-payment of dues within three months of due date

E. Replacement of a Board member. Should it become necessary to replace a Board Member who has been removed, or who can no longer serve, or should the Board decide to fill a vacancy, the Board shall have the authority to appoint a new Board member. Approval of this person shall be by a simple majority vote of the Board, followed by a simple majority vote of the current members at the next general membership meeting. The selected person shall then serve until the next normally occurring election.

F. The Board may adjust Officer positions as deemed appropriate by a two-thirds majority of the entire Board.

G. The duties for the Board, the officers and committees of the HSGP shall be those customarily pertaining thereto or as prescribed in Robert’s Rules of Order (Current Revised Edition).

H. Compensation of Directors. No Director shall receive compensation for any service he or she may render to the Corporation. However, any Director may be reimbursed for his or her actual expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties.

I. All disbursements from the treasury shall require the authorization of the Treasurer with the documented approval of the President or the Vice-President.

J. The Immediate Past President may attend but not vote at both open and closed Board meetings for one year following the election of a new President.

VI. ELECTIONS

A Nominating Committee of HSGP members shall be appointed by the President with approval of the Board. This committee shall consist of the Immediate Past President, or a Prior Past President, or other prior officer, and two non-Board HSGP members.

This committee shall nominate one or more persons for each position. Nominations are to be submitted to the Board no later than the first meeting in November. Voting shall take place no later than the last meeting in November. Each then current member has one vote for each Board position that can be cast by a signed, mailed paper ballot received at least two days prior to the meeting, or in person at the meeting. A mailed paper ballot is not counted if the member is present at the meeting. Nominations shall be accepted from the floor. All nominees shall have given prior consent to serve.

The Nominating Committee shall provide ballots and generally officiate at the election.

Election shall be by vote of a majority of those voting for an office, with no voting by proxy.

Officers for the ensuing year commencing January 1st shall be officially installed in December.

VII. FISCAL MANAGEMENT AND RECORDS

A. DESIGNATION OF FISCAL YEAR: The fiscal year of the Corporation shall begin on the 1st day of January and end on the 31st day of December of every year.

B. FINANCIAL RECORDS: The current 990 Tax Filing with the IRS will be made available to any member upon request.

C. STORAGE OF RECORDS: The Treasurer and the Secretary shall both be responsible for maintaining copies of all financial records and all records of the minutes of all meetings. Meeting minutes will be provided to the Treasurer by the Secretary and financial records will be provided to the Secretary by the Treasurer. Storage may be via electronic media provided that both Treasurer and Secretary maintain separate copies on removable media.

D. LIABILITY INSURANCE: HSGP shall maintain Directors and Officers Liability Insurance in effect at all times

VIII. ENDOWMENT FUNDS

HSGP shall have an Endowment account, with the following conditions:

A. The HSGP Endowment funds shall be maintained in an “HSGP Managed Endowment Account” (“HMEA”) such as a bank, investment account, mutual fund, or other investment instrument, or in a “Trust” account, such as a professionally managed trust service under contract for the benefit of HSGP, having operational responsibility for the investments, disbursements, and accounting and legal reports of the Endowment funds.

B. All HMEA funds must be fully segregated from the rest of the HSGP accounts and funds. The HSGP Board of Directors must establish an investment policy statement (IPS) and withdrawal policy. Changes to either policy must be approved by the HSGP Board of Directors.

C. All gifts to HSGP of $5,000 or more which are not otherwise designated shall be added to the Endowment funds (HMEA or Trust), unless a three-fourths vote of the HSGP Board of Directors otherwise designates those gifts.

D. Earnings from the HMEA funds are any amounts in excess of the total of donations contributed (the Principal). Earnings up to a maximum amount equal to five percent of the principal, may be used each year by HSGP as directed by the HSGP Board of Directors.

E. Use of any amount from the HMEA Principal should be only for emergency needs requiring a three-fourths vote approval of the HSGP Board of Directors (with each Board members’ name recorded, i.e., roll-call vote).(Additional disbursements from the Trust will be according to the Trust contract, which should include coordination with the Trust management oversight.)

F. The HSGP Board of Directors shall establish a permanent Endowment Committee, including the Endowment Committee Director, and which has the following responsibilities:

a) continual oversight of the security and appropriateness of investment decisions of the Endowment funds, as directed by the board, and reporting at least twice a year to the Board on the status of the Endowment funds and Endowment fundraising efforts, and

b) ensuring potential donors are aware of the Endowment fund, coordinating with other HSGP fundraising efforts, and assuring appropriate help and guidance is provided to potential donors.

IX. DISSOLUTION OF CORPORATION

Should HSGP disband and unincorporate at some future date per the laws of the State of Arizona, all assets thereof, including monies, real property, books, furniture, electronic and other audio-visual equipment and any other assets shall be liquidated or donated in a manner to be determined by a vote of the Board. All proceeds and property shall be donated to the American Humanist Association and/or to one or more non-profit organizations that promote Secular Humanism.

X. AMENDMENTS

These Bylaws and any portion thereof may be amended, repealed, or modified, or new Bylaws adopted at any time by a two-thirds vote of those voting at Membership meetings, provided all members have been advised in the newsletter, by email, or via U.S. mail, of the proposed changes at least fifteen days prior to the meeting at which the vote is to take place.

XI. SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND CODE OF CONDUCT POLICY

At the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix (HSGP), we believe it’s essential to provide all members and guests with a respectful and safe environment at our community center. As a result, we do not tolerate harassment or any mistreatment of any person at our community center or official events, including unlawful harassment based on the following protected categories:

  • Race, color, ethnic or national origin;
  • Age;
  • Religion or religious creed (or belief, where applicable);
  • Sex, including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions;
  • Sexual orientation;
  • Gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, or sexual stereotypes;
  • Nationality, immigration status, citizenship, or ancestry;
  • Marital status;
  • Protected military or veteran status;
  • Physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information or characteristics (or those of a family member);
  • Political views or activity;
  • Status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; or
  • Any other basis prohibited under federal, state, or local law.

Harassment under this Harassment Policy (Policy) is behavior that creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or maliciously offensive environment for member or guest. Engaging in such conduct is a violation of this Policy.

If, by a vote of the Board of HSGP, it is determined that a member or guest’s conduct has violated this Policy, we will take steps to ensure the conduct is effectively addressed, and any member or guest found to have engaged in harassing conduct may be subject to a corrective action, up to and including cancellation of membership, a request that they not return to HSGP’s community center or events, and prosecution in extreme circumstances.

When determining whether conduct violates this Policy, we consider whether a reasonable person could conclude that the conduct created an intimidating, hostile, degrading, or demeaning environment.

This Policy applies to everyone who visits the HSGP community center or attends any of its events. Everyone—including guests, members, speakers, contractors, and board members—is responsible for following and upholding this Policy.

All HSGP board members are required to attend a mandatory sexual harassment training, which includes a comprehensive review of our Policy.

EXAMPLES OF HARASSMENT

Harassment can range from extreme forms such as violence, threats, or physical touching to less obvious actions like ridiculing, teasing, or repeatedly bothering others.

For example, harassment may include the following types of conduct:

  • derogatory or insensitive jokes, pranks, or comments;
  • slurs or epithets;
  • unwelcome sexual advances or invitations;
  • non-verbal behavior such as staring, leering, or gestures;
  • ridiculing or demeaning comments;
  • innuendos or veiled threats;
  • intentionally excluding someone from normal conversations and making them feel unwelcome;
  • displaying or sharing offensive images such as posters, videos, photos, cartoons, screensavers, emails, or drawings that are derogatory or sexual outside of an appropriate context;
  • offensive comments about appearance, or other personal or physical characteristics, such as sexually charged comments or comments on someone’s physical disability;
  • unnecessary or unwanted bodily contact such as groping or massaging, blocking normal movement, or physically interfering with the activities of another individual;
  • threats or demands that a person submit to sexual requests as a condition of continued membership or participation with the community or to avoid some other loss and offers of something of value in return for sexual favors.

This list of examples is not exhaustive, and there may be other behaviors that constitute unacceptable harassment under the Policy.

“I was joking” or “I didn’t mean it that way” are not defenses to allegations of harassment.  Nor is being under the influence of alcohol or other substances. This Policy applies to conduct at our community center and HSGP-related social events.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexual harassment, which is harassment specifically based on sex, can take two forms:

Hostile Environment: Conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a member or guest’s ability to be engaged with the HSGP community, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or contextually inappropriate offensive environment; and

Quid Pro Quo Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a member or guest’s ability to be a part of the HSGP community, or when submission to or rejection of such conduct by an member or guest is used as the basis for decisions affecting that member or guest (e.g. Offering a position on a committee, a leadership role, or speaking opportunity in exchange for a date).

Sexual harassment can happen regardless of the individual’s gender, gender identity, or gender expression and can, for example, occur between same-sex individuals as well as between opposite-sex individuals, and does not require that the harassing conduct be motivated by sexual desire.

BULLYING

HSGP does not tolerate abusive conduct, bullying or other intimidating or aggressive behavior among member or guests or others covered by this Policy, whether or not it is based on a protected category. If a member or guest is found to be mistreating others, the Board of HSGP will take appropriate action to stop the behavior. If you would like to report behavior that you believe is bullying, you may use the same reporting procedures outlined below.

REPORTING PROCEDURES

We want to do all we can to ensure that we have a safe and friendly community.

Members or guests at HSGP are asked to promptly report any violation or suspected violation of this Policy. Any member or guest who believes that they have been harassed, or have witnessed or heard about a potential violation of this Policy, should report the conduct so that the Board of HSGP can take steps to remedy any violations of the Policy.

If you suspect harassment, discrimination, or retaliation occurred, you are to promptly provide a written or oral complaint to an HSGP Board Member. When possible, a complaint should include details of the incident or incidents, names of individuals involved, and names of any witnesses. As soon as reasonably possible, HSGP will investigate any allegations and take appropriate remedial action.

We will keep all complaints confidential to the extent possible while still fulfilling our obligation to investigate and end any harassing conduct.

INVESTIGATION PROCESS

Upon learning of conduct requiring further review, the Board of Directors will conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. If the complaint is made against a Board Member, the conduct will be investigated outside of normal business without the knowledge of the accused board member.

All persons to whom a complaint is made or who learn of a complaint as part of an HSGP investigation must do everything reasonably possible to keep the complaint confidential in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation while it is ongoing, to ensure fairness to all involved, and to protect the privacy of member or guests who have brought complaints or are accused of misconduct.

Member or guests are asked to cooperate and provide truthful information in an investigation.

Nothing in this Policy is to be construed as a guarantee of absolute confidentiality or intended to curtail member or guest rights under the law to discuss harassment. Disclosure of information learned through the complaint process and the investigation will be limited to disclosures that are necessary for HSGP to take prompt action to end harassment or as required by law.

POLICY PROHIBITING RETALIATION

We recognize that members or guests may find it difficult to raise complaints about harassment, so we have a policy meant to encourage members or guests to come forward with their concerns without fear of retaliation. It is against HSGP policy for any members or guests to retaliate against another for their participation in the complaint process.

Retaliation is when someone penalizes another person for any of the following:

  • Reporting what they believe in good faith to be harassment and/or a violation of this Policy;
  • Expressing an intent to report what they believe in good faith to be harassment and/or a violation of this Policy;
  • Assisting another member or guest in an effort to report harassment and/or a violation of this Policy; or
  • Participating in any investigation under this Policy.

Retaliating against a member or guest who made a complaint or otherwise participates in the investigation process is grounds for cancellation of membership and a request that the perpetrator of the retaliatory behavior not return to our community center or events.

If you have questions about this Policy, please contact an HSGP board member.