(Approved by general body on May 15, 1999)
ARTICLE I NAME OF THE ASSOCIATION
The name of the Association shall be Bengali Cultural Society,Cleveland, Ohio.
ARTICLE II MISSION OF THE ASSOCIATION
Section 1. The mission of the Association shall be to promote the Bengali culture, literature, traditions and heritage amongst the members of the association and to advance friendship and cultural exchange with other similar organizations in the United States.
Section 2. The Association shall foster all possible scopes and opportunities for its members and their families and friends to learn the Bengali culture, literature and traditions. The Association shall organize and sponsor various festivals and cultural activities to achieve these objectives.
Section 3. The Association shall be a non-profit organization and shall exist as an incorporated organization of its members.
Section 4. The Association shall be a non-commercial, non-sectarian and non-partisan entity, and the name of the Association or the name of any office bearer of the Association shall not be used in any partisan interest if not related to the objectives of the Association.
ARTICLE III MEMBERSHIP AND DUES
Section 1. The membership of the Association shhall consist of individuals of age 18 and over in each family, regardless of their ethnic origin, religion, race and gender, provided the individual or the family pays membership dues and agrees to abide by the bylaws of the Association.
Section 2. Annual membership dues for the members shall be as follows:
Student Family $10
Student single $3
At the beginning of the year, the Executive Committee shall inform the members of the dues, as approved by the general body, for all individual events for the year. Alternatively, some members/member families may elect to make an one-time annual payment, which will include annual membership fee and contributions for events for the whole year, for an amount ( $105 for 1999) as determined by the general body.
ARTICLE IV THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1. An Executive Committee shall be elected for one calendar year by general membership to carry out all activities to fulfill the mission of the association. The election will be held under the supervision of a Nominating Committee at the annual general body meeting of the Association at the end of each year preferably in the month of December.
Section 2. The Executive Committee shall consist of the following office bearers:
The Cultural Secretary
The Youth Secretary
The Immediate Past President (no voting rights)
Section 3. Responsibilities of the Office bearers:
The President shall: (a) be responsible for the overall function of the Executive Committee, (b) preside over and conduct all Executive Committee and general body meetings, (c) coordinate the activities of other office bearers to achieve the goals of the Association, and (d) be the spokesperson for the association to communicate with other similar organizations in the United States to exchange ideas and further the cause of the Association.
The Vice-President shall: (a) act as an aid to the President, and (b) carry out the duties of the President in his absence.
The Secretary shall: (a) be responsible for correspondences of all matters of the Association to its members, (b) record the minutes of the Executive committee and general body meetings, and (c) perform other duties delegated to him by the President, the Executive Committee or the membership as a whole.
The Treasurer shall: (a) be responsible for the financial operation of the Association, (b) keep an accurate account of all revenues and expenses for all activities throughout the year, (c) be, in addition to the President, authorized to sign the Association’s bank checks by virtue of their ex-officio positions and (d) present a financial report at the last general body meeting of the year preferably in December, and at other times if required by the Executive committee or the general membership.
The Cultural Secretary shall: (a) be responsible for all cultural and festive activities throughout the year, (b) plan and organize various events to promote the Bengali culture and traditions, (c) if financially feasible, invite well-known artists or groups of artists from outside for performances, and (d) coordinate all these activities with the Youth Secretary.
The Youth Secretary shall: (a) be responsible for all activities related to young adults and children of the Association, and (b) coordinate these activities with the Cultural Secretary.
Section 4. If necessary under some circumstances, two office bearers for any
position of the Executive Committee may be elected by the general body for convenience of the operation of the Committee.
Section 5. In the event of a vacancy in the Executive Committee, the Executive Committee shall select, after consultation with the Board of Trustees, an individual from general membership to fill the position for the remainder of the term.
Section 6. The Executive Committee shall meet as often as necessary to carry out the activities of the Association. The quorum for the Executive Committee meeting shall be the simple majority of the committee members exclusive of the immediate past President. Any member of the Association may attend the Executive Committee meeting, but shall have no voting right.
Section 7. The Executive Committee shall seek the approval of the general body for expenditure exceeding $7000 for any special event.
Section 8. The office bearers of the Executive Committee shall serve without any monetary compensation.
ARTICLE V BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Section 1. A Board of Trustees consisting of three members elected by the general membership of the Association shall be responsible in an advisory capacity to oversee the overall operation of the Association. The Board shall not have the authority to formulate any policy, but may bring any controversial action by the Executive Committee to the general body meeting for deliberation.
Section 2. Each Trustee shall be elected for a period of three years. The term of one trustee would expire each year and a new one will be elected at the general body meeting at the end of the year preferably in December. In the first year, three trustees will be elected for one year, two year and three year term, respectively.
Section 3. In the case of a vacancy in the Board of Trustees, a Trustee shall be selected from the membership by the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees to serve until the next election.
Section 4. The Trustees shall serve without any monetary compensation.
ARTICLE VI GENERAL BODY MEETING
Section 1. Normally there shall be at least two general body meetings each year called by the Executive Committee, and one of these meetings shall be held at the end of the year preferably in December for the purpose of election. The time and place of these meetings may coincide with the time and place of other activities of the Association. The Executive Committee or the Board of Trustees or one third of the membership may call an emergency general body meeting at any other time for an urgent matter.
Section 2. Notification of the general body meeting shall be given by the Executive Committee to the membership of the Association at least two weeks prior to the meeting. At least a forty eight-hour notice must be given to the members for emergency meetings.
Section 3. The quorum for the general body meeting shall be thirty percent (30%) of total membership.
ARTICLE VII NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Section 1. Every year a temporary Nominating Committee shall be formed by the current Executive Committee to conduct the election of the office bearers at least one month prior to the election of the next Executive Committee. The Committee shall consist of three members – a Chairman and two members – selected by the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE VIII ELECTION PROCEDURES
Section 1. The election of the members of the Executive Committee and one Trustee shall be held at a general body meeting with a quorum at the end of the year preferably in December. Each member of the Association shall have the right to vote and to contest for any position of the Executive Committee.
Section 2. At least one month prior to the election, the current Executive Committee shall send out a nomination form to each family and each single member of the Association seeking nominations for office bearers for the next year’s Executive Committee and a Trustee. Normally the Youth Secretary shall be a young adult of the Association. Interested members will fill out the nomination form with proposed names of those who have consented to accept nominations for the positions of the respective office bearers, and send the form to the Nominating Committee at least one week prior to the election date.
Section 3. The Nominating Committee shall present for voting all valid nomination proposals to the general body meeting held at the end of the year preferably in December. Additional nominations may be sought from the floor at the time of the meeting. An Executive Committee and a Trustee shall be elected by simple majority votes of the members present at the meeting.
ARTICLE IX AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS
Section 1. The bylaws of the constitution may be amended at a general body meeting with a quorum and by two thirds majority votes of the members present at the meeting.
ARTICLE X FINANCES AND ACCOUNTING
Section 1. The Association shall open a checking account and a savings account at a local bank to keep all its funds.
Section 2. The President and/or the Treasurer of the Association shall be authorized to sign all bank checks and carry out pertinent financial transactions for the Association.
Section 3. The Treasurer shall keep all financial records and make two financial reports annually to the general body. In the last of these two reports, which will be the annual report, the Treasurer shall have the records examined by an accountant and present it at the general body meeting at the end of the year preferably in December.
ARTICLE XI TRANSITION
Section 1. The outgoing Executive Committee shall transfer to the incoming Executive Committee all official materials at a joint meeting of both committees within a week after the election.
ARTICLE XII DISSOLUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION
Section 1. In the event the Association is dissolved, the Board of Trustees shall, after paying all of the liabilities of the Association, disburse the remaining assets of the Association to non-profit, tax-exempt charitable, scientific or religious organizations, as they see fit.