Bylaws for the Rochester Chapter of SfN

Bylaw I. Name

The name of this organization shall be the Rochester Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.

Bylaw II. Purpose

The purpose of the Rochester Chapter shall be a) to advance our understanding of the nervous system, central and peripheral, in vertebrates and invertebrates, during development, adulthood, health and disease; b) to promote education in the neurosciences; c) to inform the general public of the results and implications of current research in this area; and d) to unite those interested in the neurosciences within the upstate NY geographical area through common activities and meetings.

Bylaw III. Membership

Section I. Regular Membership 

Regular membership in the Rochester Chapter shall be open to any person holding advanced degree(s), and residing in the Greater Rochester Area, who is interested in the nervous system. In special cases, persons not holding advanced degrees may be eligible for Regular Membership in the Rochester Chapter, if approved by a majority vote of the Council.

Section II. Student Membership

Student membership in the Rochester Chapter shall be open to any person studying for undergraduate or graduate degrees. Student members cannot hold the office of President or Secretary/Treasurer.

Section III. Partner Membership

Individuals and organizations that have an interest in the nervous system can become Partner Members, with the approval of the President and Secretary. Partner Members cannot vote or become Officers of the Chapter.

Section IV. Dissolution of the Chapter

The Rochester Chapter shall be dissolved after a maximum period of one (1) year immediately following such time as it may have fewer than ten (10) Regular Members. Upon dissolution of the Chapter any remaining assets shall be conveyed to a registered charitable organization decided by the majority vote of the members.

Section V. Eligibility to Hold Office

Only Regular members of the Chapter are eligible to hold office in the Chapter and to represent it in the affairs of the Society for Neuroscience (SFN).

Section VII. Dues and Assessments

There will be no annual dues or special financial assessments for the members of the Chapter.

Bylaw IV. Officers

Section I. President   

The President shall be the chief executive of the Chapter, shall preside at meetings of the Chapter, shall be responsible for contact with the Society for Neuroscience, for executing policies of the Chapter and shall act as spokesperson for the Chapter. The President together with the Secretary (see below) shall be responsible for all moneys and valuable effects in the name and to the credit of the Chapter and for full and accurate accounting of receipts and disbursements in books belonging to the Chapter.

Section II. Secretary/Treasurer

The Secretary, to be appointed by majority vote of the regular membership of the Chapter, shall be responsible for everyday operations of the Chapter, arrangements for visiting speakers, seminars, as well as other local, national and international organizations or entities as appropriate, and any other duties assigned by the President. The Secretary shall have signatory powers, and must be a Regular Member of the Chapter. The Secretary (along with the President) shall be responsible for all moneys and valuable effects in the name and to the credit of the Chapter and for full and accurate accounting of receipts and disbursements in books belonging to the Chapter. The secretary may also act as President-Elect.

Section III. Councilors.

Chapter affairs shall be conducted through a Council consisting of three elected

Councilors, the President, and the Secretary/Treasurer. One of the Councilors shall be a Student Member, elected by the local, graduate neuroscience student body.

Section IV. Terms and Succession of the President and Secretary

The President and Secretary shall be elected for two-year terms by an email vote and may be re-elected for one additional, consecutive term. After the end of his/her term, the President will remain part of the Chapter Council as past-President, for a two-year term.  Elections shall be by simple plurality of votes received thirty days after the emailing of ballots to all Regular Members. The Chapter Representative/President will be responsible for collecting nominations and holding elections for the next President. 

Section V. Election Terms for Regular and Student Councilors. 

The Regular and Student Councilors shall serve a three-year term. Regular Councilors may be re-elected for another term.

Section VI. Nomination and Election Procedures.

A slate of Regular Member candidates for President, Secretary and/or Councilor positions shall be prepared by a Nominating Committee consisting of Regular members and convened by the Chapter President as needed, for this purpose. Additional candidates may be nominated by letter to the President. Only Regular Members can nominate other Members. These additional candidates will be forwarded to the Nominating Committee for inclusion in the Ballot. Once the Ballot has been agreed upon by the Nominating Committee and each Member on the Ballot has agreed to stand for election, the election will be carried out electronically.  The President, Secretary and both Regular Councilors shall be elected by a simple plurality of votes on the ballots received.

Bylaw V. Meetings and Quorum

Section I. Annual business meeting

The Chapter shall hold an annual business meeting to which the entire membership should be invited, at a place and time designated by the Council. 

Section II. Special Meetings

A special meeting may be called at any time by the President, or in case of his/her absence or disability, by the Secretary or at the request of at least ten (10) members. A notice specifying the purpose of such a meeting shall be emailed to each member at least ten (10) days previously thereto.

Section III. Quorum

A quorum shall consist of not less than ten (10) regular members or 25% of membership, whichever is greater, at the business meetings of the Chapter, but in the absence of a quorum any number of attendees shall be sufficient to move adjournment to a fixed date.

Section IV. Non-business meetings

Meetings for the purpose of scientific presentations or discussions may be sponsored by the Chapter after they have been approved by the President and Secretary. It is the duty of the President and Secretary to notify all members of the Chapter in advance of non-business meetings.

Bylaw VI. Special Committees.

Committees as necessary for the proper operation of all aspects of the Chapter’s missions can be suggested by any member of the Chapter and shall be established by the President with agreement of the Secretary and Council. The purpose of such Special Committees may include Chapter Annual Meeting planning, Graduate Neuroscience Bootcamp planning, Community Outreach planning, etc.

Bylaw VII. Amendments of Bylaws.

Any proposed amendment to the Rochester Chapter Bylaws must be submitted in writing to the President who will present the case to the Council. The Council will evaluate the request, and by a plurality of votes (all council members being equal), will either approve or refuse a motion to bring this amendment to a vote by the entire membership.  If the Council motions to approve the vote, then not more than one (1) week after the next annual Chapter meeting, the amendment will be put up for approval by the membership via an electronic poll. The amendment will be implemented if it garners a plurality of votes on the ballots received.

Bylaw VIII. Fiscal Year.

The fiscal year of the Chapter shall be the academic year commencing on the 1st day of July and ending on the 30th day of the following June.