CUUPS Bylaws

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Chapter Bylaws

Last Revised: Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Mission Statement

To enlighten and share our experiences and knowledge with the greater community and to provide a welcoming home for all Earth Centered practitioners and for all Unitarian Universalist centered practitioners.

Article 1

Name

The chapter will be called the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans at UUC Binghamton, hereafter referred to as UUCB-CUUPS, also known as Binghamton CUUPS. Marketing materials will refer to us as Binghamton CUUPS.

Affiliation

UUCB-CUUPS is a part of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton (UUCB), and a chapter of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS). We fully support the purposes of CUUPS, UUCB, and the UUA.

Purpose

  1. We will provide Earth-Centered and Pagan members of the UUCB with a space for communion, fellowship, ritual, and education.
  2. We will provide the greater UUCB with education on Pagan and Earth-Centered paths, as well as opportunities to explore and to observe Pagan practices.
  3. We will provide Earth-Centered and Pagan individuals in the Greater Binghamton, Tompkins, Tioga, Cortland, and Northeast Pennsylvania area with with a nondenominational, accepting, democratically-run worship circle, where they can explore and celebrate their religion with their children, other Pagans, and other Pagan families.

Article 2

Membership

Membership in the chapter shall be open to any individual who meets the following three criteria:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age or older. **
  2. Signs the chapter membership book indicating their agreement with our Mission, the UUCB Behavioral Covenant, the Unitarian Universalist Principles, and the CUUPS Continental Vision Statement.
  3. Must have attended a minimum of 12 meetings within the last year, and must maintain a minimum attendance of 12 meetings annually. If a member has failed to maintain this “active status”, their membership is automatically “deactivated”, but can be “reactivated” if the member achieves sufficient attendance once more.

Though not a requirement for membership in UUCB-CUUPS, membership in CUUPS Continental as well as in the UUCB itself is encouraged.

If an individual in the organization acts in a consistently inappropriate, destructive, or disrespectful manner at CUUPS events, the members can vote to revoke membership with a two-thirds majority.

One does not need to be a member of UUCB-CUUPS to participate in circles and activites as set forth in Article 7.

** MINORS (under 18) — In an effort to avoid conflict between parents of one religious tradition and children who may be exploring another, the members of the chapter request that any minor first present the chapter with an authorization form that has been signed by their parent or guardian. Authorization forms are available upon request from the UUCB-CUUPS Secretary. For any off-site trips, minors are only permitted if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Article 3

Chapter Year

The “Chapter Year” shall refer to the chapter’s calendar year and shall begin on November 1 and end on October 31.

Officers

Officers will be elected once each Chapter Year at the Annual Meeting, as set forth in Article 5. Officer’s terms of service will be for the entire Chapter Year. There is no limit to how many terms a Member may serve in a particular office. An Officer may serve concurrently in more than one named position, provided that there are (1) an odd number of Officers elected to the UUCB-CUUPS Board for that Chapter Year, and (2) that there are no fewer than three elected Officers in total. Anyone desiring to serve the chapter as an Officer must be a Member of the chapter as of the date of election. Office candidates must be nominated by a member in good standing of at least one year. Individuals may self-nominate after one year of membership.

Coordinating Officer

Primary facilitator of officer and member meetings. Responsible for ensuring that all members serving as Officers are adequately fulfilling the responsibilities of their positions. This officer must be a voting member of the UUCB.

Secretary

Shall record, distribute and maintain meeting notes, and team membership. Shall set up and maintain an archive of notes and ritual scripts. Shall be responsible for the Internet as set forth in Article 6.

Ombudsperson

Serves as the primary liaison between the Officers and Members/friends of the chapter, between the chapter and CUUPS Continental, between the chapter and the UUCB Board of Trustees, and between the chapter and the community at large; acting as general spokesperson for the chapter. Primarily responsible for communicating member concerns to the UUCB-CUUPS Board.

Events Coordinator

Primarily responsible for managing the chapter calendar, e-mailing calendar events and ensuring timetables are followed. This officer shall ensure that organizers/leaders are in place for all planned events, that meeting/event locations are reserved, and event information is transferred to the Membership Officer, and will assist the Coordinating Officer as needed. The Events Officer is responsible for ensuring events take place in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Membership Officer

Primarily responsible for publicity of chapter events and recruiting of new members. This officer will maintain the membership roster, be responsible for actively raising awareness of UUCB-CUUPS with other groups and the community at large, and will be responsible for follow-up contact with visitors.

Program Council Representative

Responsible for attending the monthly meetings of the UUCB Program Council. This officer will represent UUCB-CUUPS’ interests at the Program Council, and will report back to UUCB-CUUPS any Program Council s/he deems pertinent.

Board

The Board shall consist of the elected Officers of UUCB-CUUPS, and may create or abolish positions and committees as needed. The Board will meet as deemed necessary by a majority of the Board members with a minimum of four times a year, as set forth in Article 4. A quorum of the Board shall be three members.

Article 4

Business Meetings

Chapter Business Meetings will be held quarterly. Other meetings may be called by the Coordinating Officer as deemed necessary by a majority of the Board members. All members should be notified at least 14 days in advance of a chapter business meeting. The last meeting of the Chapter Year, in October, shall be designated as the “Annual Meeting.” While it is not required, all Members are strongly encouraged to attend all business meetings, especially the Annual Meeting. All major issues (elections, bylaw changes, etc.) up for vote will be announced 14 days prior to the business meeting at which the vote will take place. Officers are required to attend business meetings. In case of absence, an officer will be considered to be in attendance at a business meeting if s/he makes arrangements with the other Officers at least a week in advance. Such arrangements may include asking another officer to deliver a report or assigning a proxy for an important vote.

Article 5

Elections

Regular Elections of officers will be held once each year at the Annual Meeting in October. Only Members may vote in elections. Procedures for nominating and electing new Officers shall be as follows:

  1. The Coordinating Officer will preside over the nominations process. After nominations have been made and comments have been heard, the Coordinating Officer will ask for an Election Volunteer from among those not running for office to preside over the voting and counting of ballots. In the event of a tie, the contested position will be re-voted on by the population of the room to break the tie. All attending members are required to vote in such a tiebreaker; no abstenstions will be permitted. The exception is if there are an even number of persons voting in the tiebreaker, in which case the Coordinating Officer is required to abstain in order to prevent a second tie.
  2. No assumption will be made as to a current Officer’s intent to run for re-election without nomination.
  3. Any Member may make nominations from the floor on the day of the election. Members may nominate themselves.
  4. All Officers seeking re-election and all nominees will be given not more than 5 minutes to speak on their own behalf before the election.
  5. Any Member who has comments or concerns regarding either a current Officer seeking re-election or a nominee will be given not more than 5 minutes to speak before the election.
  6. Votes will be taken by secret ballot (this doesn’t have to be fancy, blank paper will do). The election volunteer will distribute, collect, tally the ballots (aloud with a witness), and announce the winners.
  7. Members unable to attend elections may designate a proxy.
  8. The election shall be won by a simple majority (51%) of votes present. In the event that there are more than two candidates for a position and no candidate receives a majority of the votes, a run-off election shall be held between the two candidates who received the most votes. The candidate receiving a majority of votes in the run-off election shall the be new Officer.

Special Elections may be called by the Coordinating Officer at any time in the event that an Officer position is vacated. Members must be notified at least 14 days in advance of a Special Election. Procedures for nomination and voting in a Special Election will follow the same form as the for Regular Elections.

Article 6

Internet Policies

A chapter web presence will be maintained that will include, but not be limited to:

  1. Content, which will be subject to the current communications policies of the UUCB.
  2. Timely announcements of chapter events.
  3. Basic information about the chapter’s organization.
  4. A public group email addresses will be posted so that people may inquire about the group via the web.
  5. A chapter list serve and one or more social media pages will be maintained to discuss chapter business and to promote community and communication between members.

Article 7

Circles and Activities

The chapter shall have at least eight (8) circles per year to celebrate the Neo-Pagan “Wheel of the Year” (Sabbats). These are to be open to the public. Any number of additional circles may be held over the course of the calendar year, and may either be open to the public, or closed (invite only). We encourage most of our circles to be open to the public as that better refelects the spirit of our Mission Statement. All persons are welcome, although the rules on minors (persons under the age of 18) still apply as defined in Article 2. Any Member may lead/organize any circle for the chapter. Non-members may lead/organize an open circle in conjunction with a Member. Guidelines for organizing and leading a circle can be obtained from the officers.

Bullying, harrasment (sexual or otherwise), or any other form of disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Persons may be asked by an Officer to leave a ritual if they are deemed to be exhibiting any such behaviors. Any such persons can make an appointment with the Ombudsperson, Coordinating Officer, and UUCB Minister to discuss any additional repercussions and whether they will be permitted to return to any other UUCB-CUUPS event in the future.

Article 8

Adoption and Amendment, Rules of Order

Adoption

Requesting Amendments. Proposed amendments to the bylaws must be submitted to the board in writing accompanied by the signatures of at least 25% of the voting members. This will then be placed on the agenda for the upcoming business meeting, unless it does not meet the one-month deadline (see below). If this is the case, it will be placed on the following business meeting’s agenda, or a special business meeting can be called.

Notification. The board will provide each voting member with a full written text of the proposed changes accompanied with all relevant bylaws, at least three weeks before the meeting in which the proposed amendments will be voted on. Proposed changes and signatures must be submitted a week previous to this three-week deadline. Motions for changes to the proposed amendments shall be allowed from the floor.

Adoption of Amendments. Proposed bylaws amendments shall be adopted after a two-thirds majority vote at a business meeting with a quorum of 50% of the voting members of UUCB-CUUPS.

Proxy Voting. As defined in Articles 4 and 5, Members and Officers unable to attend Business Meetings or Elections may designate a Proxy. Proxy votes should be sent to any officer via email or in written form.

Rules of Order

Unless a different rule is provided in these By-Laws, matters of procedure at any meeting of the Membership, The Board, and committee or organization of UUCB-CUUPS shall be governed by the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of order.

Ratification and Acknowledgements

Ratification

First edition ratified on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
First edition, revision 1 ratified on Thursday, May 5, 2016