NEPCA Bylaws

Bylaws of the Northeast Popular Culture Association 

Article I: Name and Purpose

The name of the association shall be the Northeast Popular Culture Association. The purpose of the association shall be to encourage and to assist in the study of popular culture: by bringing together the various intellectual disciplines, academic and non-academic areas included, which may deal with the subject matter; by fostering interdisciplinary research endeavors; and by encouraging interested persons to study popular culture and to belong to the Association.  The two primary means the organization will accomplish this will be through an annual conference and ongoing online platform for sharing out news, research, and updates relevant to the membership.  

Article II: Executive Leadership

Section 1: Structure

The activities of the Association shall be directed by an Executive Council, which shall be composed of the following officers: President, Program Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Digital Communications Editor, up to 3 Local Arrangement Chairs, and up to eight Members-at-Large elected by the membership.  The Executive Council shall direct the business of the Association between the annual meetings, in accordance with their role responsibilities. 

Former executive council leadership may serve as nonvoting ex-officio members of the Executive Council at the majority-agreement of the Executive Council.

Section 2: Service Terms

Service terms are defined by roles outlined below. Terms span from January to December of the service year. In the event that there is no replacement candidate available, terms may be extended by majority vote of the Executive Council. The selection of officers shall be as follows: 

The President, Treasurer, and Secretary will be elected to three year terms in staggering years.  They will be elected by voting by organization members that are in good standing within 1 month of the fall conference or by the end of November.  The election of these persons shall be made in the third year of service except when a position is vacated for some reason. Vacated positions shall be filled by a majority vote of the Executive Council and hold the role until the end of the term.  The membership shall be informed of such action via current established communication channels (e.g. NEPCA website, social media, and email).

The Program Chair shall be elected to a three-year term that overlaps 1 year with the previous Program Chair.  They shall be elected by a majority vote of the Executive Council solely.  This position can be renewed in consecutive terms.

The Digital Communications Editor shall be elected to a three-year term that should overlap 1 year with the previous Digital Communications  Editor.  They shall be elected by a majority vote of the Executive Council solely.  This position can be renewed in consecutive terms. 

The Local Area Chair will be elected to a 1-3 year term that may overlap with other Local Area Chairs. They shall be elected by a majority vote of the Executive Council solely.  This position can be renewed in consecutive terms. 

Members-at-Large served three-year terms, once renewable. They will be elected through securing a majority vote among voting members that are in good standing.  The election of these persons shall be made in the third year of service except when a position is vacated for some reason. Vacated positions shall be filled by a majority vote of the Executive Council and hold the role until the end of the term.  The membership shall be informed of such action via current established communication channels (e.g. NEPCA website, social media, and email).

Section 3: Election

The President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Member-At-Large positions shall be by majority vote of all members who participate in the election, which should happen no more than 1 month after the annual conference.  

This vote may be conducted via mail, email, or electronic form and be extended to all members in good standing.  The voting members of the Association shall consist of all persons who have paid their annual dues.

If for some reason no conference occurs, then the election will take place by the end of November. 

Section 4:  Roles & Responsibilities

President

  1. Takes office at the end of the annual meeting.
  2. Presides over meetings of the Executive Council and any other meetings of the Association.
  3. Consults with the Secretary, Treasurer, Program Chair, and Digital Communications Editor regarding the annual conference.
  4. Assists the Program Chair.
  5. Solicits and receives proposals for conference sites and hosting arrangements.
  6. Serves as ex officio member of all committees.
  7. Ensures that the Executive Council is informed about the operations of the Association through periodic communication.
  8. Consults with the Program Chair as to the best ways to involve institutions in the region of the conference site in the conference.
  9. Arrange for pre-program, inter-program, and post-program meetings of the Executive Council.

Program Chair

  1. Develops initial Call-For-Papers to be posted on NEPCA website and shared out through other networks.
  2. Receiving program proposals, promptly informs submitters as to acceptance, advises submitters on improving proposals, informs participants as to length of presentation time, session structure, fees, registration costs, etc.  This process can be structured with Area Chairs submitting approval of proposals and creating panels in collaboration with the Program Chair’s planning.
  3. Periodically updates the rest of the Executive Council about registration numbers, local planning, and other elements of the upcoming conference.
  4. Guides and supports the Local Arrangement Chair.
  5. Serves as member of the Executive Council.
  6. Attends meetings of the Executive Council.

Secretary

  1. Maintain and add to the list of journals, listservs, social media spaces, websites, etc for sharing the CFP and other relevant news updates.
  2. Maintain registration for each conference
  3. Keep membership list up-to-date
  4. Transfer all incoming funds from the conference registration platform into the organization bank accounts.
  5. Periodically update the Executive Council about registration numbers in the 6 months leading up to the conference.
  6. Maintain program and organizational files and records in good order for succession.
  7. Share ownership and editing capabilities of organizational files and records with President and Treasurer
  8. Provide a mailing address for the Association and conduct all correspondence not more appropriate to other officers.
  9. Take minutes at the general business meeting and any Executive Council meetings.
  10. Consult with the Executive Council as to possible amendments to bylaws.
  11. Maintain a copy of the bylaws and that it reflects any changes and updates as well as the public version on the organization’s website.

Treasurer  

  1. Maintain the organizational funds in a proper manner Coordinates with Program Chair about the feasibility of various expenses of the annual conference.
  2. In collaboration with the Program Chair and President, anticipates the total cost of the annual conference and identifies registration fee(s) that will sufficiently cover costs. This proposed registration fee will be submitted to the Executive Council for approval. 
  3. Is responsible for the treasury, including receiving and recording all monies received and disbursed, completing any forms for state or federal agencies, consults with the President if there are any doubts as to the appropriateness of expenses, maintains financial records and transfers these to his/her successor in good order.
  4. Maintains 501(c)(3) status and annually file organization’s taxes, including publishing the annual financial report to membership on the website and/or through appropriate communication channels.
  5. Attends meetings of the Executive Council.
  6. A financial statement shall be issued annually by the Treasurer within 1 month after the annual conference.

Digital Communications Editor

  1. Sends out notices of next year’s conference to social media platforms, listservs, etc. so as to provide for timely publication of such notice.
  2. Maintains social media platforms and shares content, announcements, pieces of interest to the community on a regular basis.
  3. Encourages dialogue on the platforms during the conference.
  4. Assumes primary responsibility for publishing content on the NEPCA website including soliciting content from the Executive Council and general membership, copy-editing, or working with the Peer Review Committee for more scholarly works.  
  5. In consultation with the Executive Council, develops editorial policy for the Newsletter.
  6. Attends meetings of the Executive Council.
  7. An honorarium will be provided for this position decided by vote of the Executive Council, under which the Digital Communications Editor will not be able to vote. The Executive Council reserves the right to review the amount of the honorarium at its discretion by majority vote.

Members-at-Large

  1. Carries out requests of the President.
  2. Promotes and advocates for the Association
  3. Informs the Executive Council on matters of interest.
  4. Recommends potential officers.
  5. Evaluates the meeting and the program and suggests improvements.
  6. Actively serves on one or more committees (standing or ad hoc).
  7. Attends meetings of the Executive Council.

Local Arrangements Chair

  1. May be elected up to 2 years prior to a conference in order for effective planning and securing contracts with hosting institutions.
  2. Work the Conference Committee for assistance, guidance, and support in the development of additional opportunities, experiences, and engagements for the conference.
  3. Negotiate with hotels, conference centers and other institutions on the proposed conference site.
  4. Informs local media.
  5. Arrange for hotel registration materials and local transportation,  as necessary.
  6. Handles A-V requests as feasible.
  7. Consult with the Program Chair and President as to how to foster local institutional support.
  8. Maintain communications with the President, Program Chair, Treasurer, Digital Communications Editor, and Secretary about key conference details.
  9. Arranges for the staffing of the Registration Desk – supplies responsible person to be responsible for transmittal of funds to Treasurer, supplies receipt book, money box, and change.
  10. Maintains presence at conference as trouble-shooter
  11. Attends meetings of the Executive Council.

Article III: Membership

The voting members of the Association shall consist of all persons who have paid their annual dues.  The amount of the dues and the registration fee for the annual meeting shall be determined by the Executive Council.

Article IV: Committees

Section 1: Standing Committees

The organization will have following standing committees:

Conference Committee

The Conference Committee will take the lead in organizing and preparing conferences.  The Program Chair will be the chair of this committee with the Local Arrangements Chair, Secretary and Treasurers as standing members.  

The Committee shall consist of no less than 3 members and no more than 8 members.  

Committee members can join for terms of 3 years that are renewable for a second term before the person must leave the committee.  A Committee member can return to the committee again after being absent from the committee for one term.  

Graduate Student Awards Committee

The Graduate Student Awards Committee solicits and evaluates papers delivered at the conference to identify two graduate students whose papers are exemplary of the scholarship NEPCA wishes to promote.  The Committee shall consist of no less than 3 members and no more than 8 members.  

The Chair for this Committee will be elected to a 3-year term. Terms are renewable though it is encouraged after a Chair serves two consecutive terms (6 years), an effort is made to find a new Chair to help foster growth and leadership across the membership.  Former Chairs are also welcome to join the committee.   The Chair is elected by majority vote of the Executive Council.

Committee members can join for terms of 3 years that are renewable.  Committee members can be nominated by the Executive Council or the Chair of the committee.  The Executive Council and the Chair can vote on whether the nominee can join the committee.

The awards from this committee should reflect the efforts of the entire committee.  However, the Chair can structure the size and the workflow of the committee in how they feel is appropriate to effectively complete the work.  In cases where committee members are not meeting the expectations of the committee set out by the Chair, the Chair can remove them from the committee.  In such instances, the removed committee member can request a review from the Executive Council.

Peer Review Committee

This committee will serve to review and critique any written work that NEPCA seeks to publish as scholarship including research articles, book reviews, and other similar publications. The Committee shall consist of no less than 3 members and no more than 8 members.  

The Chair for this Committee will be elected to a 3-year term. Terms are renewable though it is encouraged after a Chair serves two consecutive terms (6 years), an effort is made to find a new Chair to help foster growth and leadership across the membership.  Former Chairs are also welcome to join the committee.   The Chair is elected by majority vote of the Executive Council.

Committee members can join for terms of 3 years that are renewable. Committee members can be nominated by the Executive Council or the Chair of the committee.  The Executive Council and the Chair can vote on whether the nominee can join the committee.

The work from this committee should reflect the efforts of the entire committee.  However, the Chair can structure the size and the workflow of the committee in how they feel is appropriate to effectively complete the work.  In cases where committee members are not meeting the expectations of the committee set out by the Chair, the Chair can remove them from the committee.  In such instances, the removed committee member can request a review from the Executive Council.

Book Award Committee

The committee will solicit, review, and identify books published in the previous year on the subject of popular culture, with emphasis on the topic or the author being from the Northeast region of the US.  The Committee shall consist of no less than 3 members and no more than 8 members.  

The Chair for this Committee will be elected to a 3-year term. Terms are renewable though it is encouraged after a Chair serves two consecutive terms (6 years), an effort is made to find a new Chair to help foster growth and leadership across the membership.  Former Chairs are also welcome to join the committee.   The Chair is elected by majority vote of the Executive Council.  

Committee members can join for terms of 3 years that are renewable. Committee members can be nominated by the Executive Council or the Chair of the committee.  The Executive Council and the Chair can vote on whether the nominee can join the committee.

The award from this committee should reflect the efforts of the entire committee.  However, the Chair can structure the size and the workflow of the committee in how they feel is appropriate to effectively complete the work.  In cases where committee members are not meeting the expectations of the committee set out by the Chair, the Chair can remove them from the committee.  In such instances, the removed committee member can request a review from the Executive Council.

Section 2:  Ad-Hoc Committees

Ad-Hoc Committees can be called by the Executive Council for short (1 year) or longer-term (up to 3 years) projects and concerns.  If an Ad-Hoc Committee reaches the end of a third year, the Executive Council will have to vote again to keep it going or even consider whether it should be transitioned to a Standing Committee.  

Section 3: Changing Committees

Changes to the structure of the Standing Committees must be reflected in these bylaws.  Ad-Hoc Committees can be created and disbanded based upon the majority vote of the Executive Council.

Section 4:  Committee Chairs

Article V:  Annual Conference

The organization will convene an annual conference in the fall that may be live, virtual, or hybrid depending upon the needs, costs, availability, and safety concerns of the membership.  

Article VI:  Amendments to the Bylaws

The Bylaws of the Association may be amended as follows: Amendments must be submitted to the Executive Council at least one month prior to an Executive Council meeting. Within 1 month of the meeting, the Secretary will update the membership about the proposed changes and the rationale for the changes. The membership will then vote (via electronic form, unless a mail-in ballot is requested) and amendments will be passed by a majority vote of good-standing members who participate in the vote.

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