Constitution of The Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society
The MRDS Constitution is the governing document of the organization. It is reviewed annually by the Executive Council.
There shall be a non-profit educational society called the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society. Its purposes shall be to effect annual meetings of scholars and other persons interested in medieval and Renaissance drama, to sponsor long-range projects of interest to such persons, and to support the publication of material of interest to the Society including the Early European Drama in Translation (EEDT) Series and Research Opportunities in Medieval and Renaissance Drama.
In the present document, "Society" shall mean and refer to the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society, its successors and assigns. "Member" shall mean and refer to those persons who are dues-paying participants in the work of the Society and who are thus entitled to vote. Membership shall be open to all medieval and Renaissance Drama scholars and to other persons to whom the study of medieval and Renaissance Drama is personally important. A member shall forfeit membership if that person is in default of dues six months after being billed or two months after a second notice of dues has been mailed to him.
The executive powers of the Society shall be vested in a Council consisting of a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary-Treasurer, and six other officers elected by the paid-up members of the Society. The Vice-President shall be elected every three years for a single three-year term, after which (s)he will ordinarily succeed the President without further election; the President shall serve a single three-year term; the Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected for an initial five-year term and, thereafter, shall stand for election every three years for three-year terms; the other officers of the Council shall be elected two each year in rotation for no more than two successive three-year terms. An Editor of the MRDS Newsletter shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Council. (S)he shall be a non-voting member of the Council.
Should the Vice-President not wish to succeed the President or should at least twenty members of the Society petition the Secretary-Treasurer at least one month before the appropriate annual meeting to hold an open election for President, the Nominating Committee shall ensure that at least two candidates for President be presented to the Society. Those petitioning for an open election may, but are not obliged to, nominate a candidate.
Should the President resign or be otherwise incapacitated before her/his term is completed, the Vice-President shall succeed the President and (unless at least twenty members of the Society petition the Secretary-Treasurer at least one month before the appropriate annual meeting to hold an open election for President) serve a full three-year term. Should the Vice-President resign or be otherwise incapacitated before his/her term is completed, the Council shall appoint an interim Vice-President, who shall serve until an election can be held. Should an at-large officer of the Council resign or be otherwise incapacitated before his/her term is completed, the seat shall remain vacant pending an election. Term of office shall normally be from the conclusion of the annual meeting following the election until the conclusion of the annual meeting three years following, or as appropriate to the length of term to which the officer has been elected.
Annual business meetings of the Society shall normally be held during the International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo). Notice of meetings shall be mailed to members by the Secretary-Treasurer at least 30 days prior to the time of meeting, unless members are duly notified by an announcement in the official program of the International Congress on Medieval Studies. Sponsored sessions will ordinarily be organized by the Society for the International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo), the Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association, the International Medieval Congress (Leeds), and any other venues approved by the Society.
Nominations for election to Council office shall be made by a Nominating Committee. Nominations may also be made by petition of twenty members of the Society in writing to the Secretary-Treasurer. Such petitions must be received at least one month prior to the annual meeting preceding the election. The Nominating Committee shall consist of a chair, who may but need not be an officer of the Council, and one or more members of the Society. The Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the President of the Society prior to each annual meeting, to serve from the conclusion of that annual meeting until the conclusion of the following annual meeting. Such appointment shall be announced at each annual meeting. The Nominating Committee shall make at least two nominations for each vacancy on the Council, taking carefully into account the various constituencies making up the Society. The candidate receiving the largest number of votes will be appointed to the vacant position.
The Council shall have the power to nominate to the annual meeting candidates for honorary membership. The number of honorary members shall at no time exceed six.
The Council will normally meet each year in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Society. The Council shall have the right to take any action in the absence of a meeting of the Council which they could take at a meeting of the Council by obtaining the written approval of a majority of the total number of Council members. Any action so approved shall have the same effect as though taken at a meeting of the Council. The Council shall, at its discretion, poll the membership of the Society as a whole to assist it in making various decisions, either by mail or at the Society's annual meeting.
The Council shall be empowered to conduct the affairs of the Society. Specifically it shall have the power:
- To fix annual dues, and to receive the annual dues of the members and administer the Society's funds;
- To determine the editorial policy of the Society, and have general oversight over publication and the appointment of editors;
- To plan the annual meeting, or to appoint at its discretion a Program Committee for this purpose, or to act itself as a Program Committee;
- To adopt and publish rules and regulations governing the Society.
The President or a duly elected representative shall preside at all meetings of the Council and of the Society. The President shall appoint the Nominating Committee and other pertinent committees, and shall supervise the affairs of the Society during the year.
The Vice-President shall serve as presiding officer in the absence of the President, shall manage the Society's annual Research and Publication Awards, and shall assist in the affairs of the Society.
The Secretary-Treasurer shall keep records of actions taken by the Council and by the Society, including all voting matters, and shall present minutes for approval at the next annual meeting of the Council. The Secretary-Treasurer shall also serve as Treasurer, receiving and depositing in appropriate bank accounts all monies of the Society, keeping proper books of account, and presenting annually to the Council an annual statement of income and expenditures. The Secretary-Treasurer shall keep an up-to-date membership list of the Society, with addresses, and shall conduct mail ballots when necessary, and shall give notice when dues are payable and overdue.
Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by the Council or by written petition signed by at least twenty members in good standing. Such proposed amendments shall be moved and seconded at an annual general meeting and voted upon by the membership at the next annual general meeting.
March, 1980; amended December 1985, May 1995, May 2002, May 2004, May 2006 and May 2007.