Table of Contents
Name and Affiliation
- Section 1. The name of the corporation shall be The "Humanists of Minnesota" (the "Corporation"). The Corporation shall be a chapter of the American Humanist Association according to the Chapter Charter granted to the Humanists of Minnesota dated December 27, 2000, shall be an affiliate of the Council for Secular Humanism and shall operate as a nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Minnesota.
Principles and Purpose
- Section 1. We accept the basic principles of Humanism as expressed in "What is Humanism?" from the American Humanist Association and "The Affirmations of Humanism" from the Council for Secular Humanism.
- Educate the public on humanist and naturalist worldviews
- Promote the use of the democratic process, scientific inquiry, critical thinking and moral reasoning to support a secular society
- Advocate for the separation of church and state
- Champion human rights, global ethics and planetary sustainability
- Cultivate personal growth, humanist values and ethical decision-making
- Create and sustain a caring humanist community
- Section 1. Membership shall be limited to those who identify with the Principles and Purpose of the Corporation and who satisfy the dues requirements.
- Section 2. Those interested in membership shall be supplied with a copy of "What is Humanism?" and "The Affirmations of Humanism" and supplied with a copy of the Corporation bylaws and Articles of Incorporation on request.
- Section 3. An applicant, having indicated agreement with the Principles and Purpose of the Corporation, shall become a member upon payment of dues.
- Section 4. Any member may resign by filing a written resignation with the president. A member can have their membership terminated by a majority vote of the members. A member whose membership is being considered for termination must be notified in writing at least two weeks before a vote is to be taken, and must be given an opportunity to respond either orally or in writing to the members before a vote is taken. Resignation or termination of membership shall not relieve a member of unpaid dues, or other charges previously accrued.
- Section 5. Except as provided in these Bylaws, no person shall speak or act for the Corporation unless authorized to do so by the Board.
- Section 6. Membership lists of the corporation are to be held in confidence and used only as directed by the Board.
- Section 1. Membership dues shall be determined by the Board. Dues include a subscription to the Corporation newsletter. The Treasurer shall notify members when their dues are two months in arrears. If dues are not paid within 30 days thereafter, the Membership Committee chair shall notify the President for action.
- Section 1. Program meetings shall be held monthly from September to May inclusive unless otherwise ordered by the Board. Program meetings shall be open to the public. Official business will not be conducted at these meetings.
- Section 2. There shall be a meeting in April known as the Annual Meeting. It shall be for the purpose of electing officers and Board members, for the purpose of receiving reports from the officers and committees and to consider any other matters which may be raised.
- Section 3. Special Membership Meetings
- A special membership meeting may be called by the President, and must be called by the President upon receipt of a written request signed by at least five members. The request shall specify the subject(s) to be discussed at the special meeting.
- Notice of the special meeting, including the subject(s) to be discussed, the date, time and place of the meeting shall be printed in the next issue of the Corporation newsletter. Only the subject(s) specified in the newsletter notice can be discussed or acted upon at the special meeting. The special meeting may be held separately or in conjunction with a program meeting at the discretion of the President but must be held sometime during the month for which the newsletter is published and in no case less than seven days after the expected date of delivery of the newsletter.
- Section 4. A current list of members and their addresses will be available at the Corporation's office and at membership meetings to directors and members in good standing for the purpose of communicating with other members concerning upcoming meetings of the Corporation. Information contained in such lists may not be used for any other purpose or shared with nonmembers or other organizations without Board permission.
- Section 5. Notice of upcoming membership meetings shall be prominently displayed in the Corporation
- Section 6. A quorum for conducting business shall consist of twelve members of the Corporation.
- Section 7. All issues to be voted on except adoption, amendment, or repeal of the Corporation bylaws or Articles of Incorporation shall be decided by a simple majority of the members present at the meeting in which the vote takes place.
Nominations and Elections
- Section 1. At a special meeting of the membership held in February a Nominating Committee of
from three to five persons shall be elected by the majority of members present. The President may not be a member of this Committee. It shall be the duty of this Committee to organize elections and to nominate candidates for the offices and the Board to be elected at the Annual Meeting in April. All nominees must have been members in good standing of the Corporation for at least one year. The Nominating Committee may nominate more than one candidate for any office, and they shall report their nominations at a special meeting in March. Additional nominations from the floor shall be permitted at the special meeting in March at the end of which nominations will be closed. The names of all nominees to all offices and a brief background of each candidate shall be published in the April 1 edition of the Corporation newsletter.
- The officers shall be elected to serve for one year or until their successors are elected. Their term of office shall begin at the close of the annual meeting at which they are elected.
- At-large Directors shall be elected to serve for two years or until their successors are elected. Their term of office shall begin at the close of the annual meeting at which they are elected. Three
Directors shall be elected in odd years and four Directors in even years.
- Absentee ballots shall be permitted.
- Section 3. Vacant offices may be filled by appointment by the President with the approval of the Board and the appointee shall serve until the expiration of the term being filled. The offices of president and treasurer can not be left unfilled.
- Section 4. Resignation or removal from office.
- A member may not serve as an officer and/or at-large Board member for more than ten consecutive years.
- Resignation by an officer or at-large director must be in writing and received by the president.
- An officer or at-large director, whether elected or appointed, may be removed, with or without cause, by vote of a simple majority of the members present at an annual meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose.
Officers and Duties
- Section 1. The officers of the Corporation shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
- Section 2. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these bylaws. Duties of the officers include serving as Directors. Officers shall keep accurate records of Corporation business conducted by them to be transferred to their successors.
- Section 3. Officers shall receive no compensation other than reasonable expenses.
- Section 4. The President shall be the principal officer and shall:
- Preside over all membership and Board meetings of the Corporation.
- Be the official spokesperson for the Corporation.
- Insure that complete and accurate copies of the Corporation's Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, financial records and minutes of all meetings for the last six years are available at the Corporation's registered office.
- Be the contact person for the conduct of official Corporation business with the American Humanist Association and all other outside organizations.
- Appoint committee chairs and leaders of working groups created by the Board.
- Be an exofficio member of all committees, subcommittees and working groups except the nominating committee.
- Call special meetings of the Corporation or the Board as provided by these bylaws.
- Have discretion to take any action necessary and proper to carry out the Principles and Purpose of this Corporation such actions not being inconsistent with these Bylaws or the actions and directives of the Board or the members.
- Section 5. The Vice President shall:
- Perform the duties of the President in the absence of that officer.
- Serve in such other capacities as may be assigned by the President.
- Section 6. The Secretary shall:
- Keep accurate minutes of all Corporation and Board meetings and distribute copies to all officers and directors in a timely manner.
- Prepare correspondence as directed by the President or the Board.
- Preserve in a permanent file the minutes of all Corporation and Board meetings in which business is transacted and all other records, letters, etc. of value to the Corporation.
- Keep and maintain a record of all policies established by the Board.
- Section 7. The Treasurer shall:
- Not make any disbursements or allocations of Corporation funds beyond those budgeted without prior authorization of the Board.
- Receive all income and make all disbursements in accordance with these Bylaws.
- Keep a permanent record of all receipts and disbursements of the Corporation.
- Give a full financial report to the Corporation annually and interim reports monthly to the Board.
- Section 8. Officers shall not be indemnified by the corporation.
Board of Directors (The "Board")
- Section 1. The Board shall have a minimum of three members and shall consist of the four officers and up to seven at-large members.
- Section 2. Directors shall receive no compensation other than reasonable expenses.
- Section 3. The Board shall be responsible for conducting all Corporation business in accordance with these Bylaws. The Board shall set the time and place of Corporation and Board meetings and shall perform such other duties as are specified in these bylaws. There shall be a minimum of one Board meeting a year. The Board's actions shall not conflict with actions taken by the members at annual or special meetings.
- Section 4. The President may, at his/her discretion, but must at the request of two or more directors, call a special meeting of the Board. There must be a minimum of three days between the call and the time of the special meeting. Every reasonable effort must be made to inform all Board members of the time, date, place, and reason(s) for the special meeting. Only the subject(s) stated as the reason(s) for calling the special meeting may be discussed and acted on at the special meeting.
- Section 5. A quorum for a Board meeting shall consist of a majority of the Board.
- Section 6. Notice of Board meetings and reports of Board actions shall be conveyed to the members through the Corporation newsletter. Board meetings are open to all members and they are encouraged to attend.
- Section 7. Directors shall not be indemnified by the corporation.
Committees, Subcommittees, and Working Groups
- Section 1. The Board may create such committees and working groups as it deems necessary and appropriate to carry out the responsibilities of the Board and the Principles and Purpose of the Corporation. Such committees and working groups shall have only such powers and responsibilities as are granted to them by the Board.
- Section 2. A working group is a task oriented group created by and responsible to the Board, a committee, or a subcommittee. A working group is under the direction of a leader, has no policy making role and is solely concerned with the accomplishment of its assigned task.
- Section 3. A committee, or working group created by the Board shall consist of one or more persons. Chairs of committees and leaders of Board created working groups shall be appointed by the President and serve at the pleasure of the President subject to review by the Board.
- Section 4. Committee chairs and leaders of working groups created by the Board shall be responsible for appointing their own members subject to review and approval by the Board. Chairs and leaders must report to the Board regularly and are encouraged to attend Board meetings.
- Section 5. Committees may create and staff such subcommittees and working groups as they deem necessary and appropriate to assist them in carrying out the responsibilities, goals, and purposes assigned to them by the Board. Committee chairs must report the creation and staffing of such entities to the Board. Committees are responsible to the Board for all actions of the entities they create.
- Section 6. No committee, subcommittee, working group, or individual member shall speak or act on behalf of the Corporation or a committee, subcommittee, or working group of the Corporation on any position unless authorized by the Board.
- Section 1. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall
govern the Corporation in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with
these bylaws and any special rules of order the Corporation may adopt.
Amendment of Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation
- Section 1. Proposed bylaws or Articles of Incorporation amendments must be submitted to the Board of Directors in writing signed by five or more members. The Board will review such proposed amendments but may not make any changes in them without the permission of the submitters. Following review by the Board, the proposed amendments shall be published in the next Corporation newsletter with the Board's recommendations.
- Section 2. The proposed amendments shall be submitted to the members for voting at a special meeting called by the President. No changes to the proposed amendments may be made at the special meeting. A two thirds vote of the members present at the special meeting is required for approval.
- Section 3. Exception: The corporate address in the Articles of Incorporation may be amended by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
Dissolution of the Corporation
- Section 1. Upon the dissolution of the organization, assets of the corporation shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government for a public purpose.
These bylaws were approved by a two thirds majority of the voting members at a special meeting on January 16, 2003.
Article II, Section 2 was amended and approved by a two-thirds majority of the voting members at a special meeting on May 15, 2015
I enjoy having my hidden biases unveiled and demolished, so last month was stupendous. Browsing CNN.com, I came across a TED talk by American model Cameron Russell, which is going viral as we speak. Looks are superficial and vacuous - this is one of the central themes of Russell’s talk, by the end of which you realize that she has unintentionally exemplified this adage by being a glamorous fashion model full of wisdom and depth.
Read more The Genetic Lottery
Yesterday President Obama became the first U.S leader to visit Burma, as part of a trip to South Asia that is laden with optimism for a better future in the region. Burma was renamed Myanmar in 1989 by the military government - which is why opposition groups, prodemocracy groups and some countries (including the U.S) that do not recognize the legitimacy of the military authority have continued to call it Burma. Yet the name change seems benign when compared to the litany of injustices that have plagued the nation thanks to decades of military rule. With Burma’s percieved move towards a more democratic, reformed nation, there is simmering hope for a better tomorrow – though the path seems arduous.
Read more Burma inching towards progress
Minnesota has embarrassingly enforced a seemingly regressive stance on free online education. The Office of Higher Education has asked educational startup Coursera to back off from offering its online courses to Minnesota residents, else pay a registration and hefty annual renewal fee. Why would it do so? To align with an antiquated law requiring that colleges and universities get the state government’s permission to offer instruction within its borders.
This seems to me like this a perfect example of a law with good intentions going awry. Of course we want regulations around the quality of education being offered in the state, to ensure that educational institutions are credible and not duping the public by disseminating nonsense as knowledge and awarding degrees based on impoverished curriculums (see Liberty University). But applying such a law to an institution that does not offer degrees, but simply free courses on the internet, is lunacy. In fact, it seems to border on an infringement on speech.
Read more Minnesota Takes a Step Backwards on Free Education
Imagine you are walking to work one morning passing by a nearby lake when you hear the sound of water splashing and cries for help. Looking around, you see a small child drowning in the lake. You have the ability to wade in and pull the child to safety, but you would surely ruin your expensive pair of clothes. What would you do – save the child, or ignore the situation to avoid losing money on new clothes?
We all know the answer to the above thought experiment. It is morally unacceptable to let a child in front of us suffer to death when we have the means to do something about it.
Now let us change the situation a little bit. The child is no longer in front of us, but 8000 miles away in a village in India. The child is not drowning to death, but succumbing to diarrhoeal disease, the second leading cause of child mortality in the world. The child can be saved by providing a regiment of ORS solutions, zinc supplements and nutrient rich foods, which could be covered with your pocket change.
Read more You can save a life