Bylaws and Standing Rules

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Bylaws of The Renaissance Society
California State University, Sacramento

Article I: Name

The name of this organization shall be THE RENAISSANCE SOCIETY of California State University, Sacramento.

Article II: Purpose

The Renaissance Society shall be a participatory and self-directed group that furthers the intellectual pursuits of its members within the setting of the university community.

Article III: Relationship to CSUS

  1. The Renaissance Society shall be a membership organization under the administrative auspices of the California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), and associated with the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies, CSUS. It shall function in accordance with these Bylaws as approved by the President of CSUS or a designated representative.
  2. An executed Memorandum of Agreement, dated February 14, 2003, describes the partnership between the Renaissance Society and the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies. Either party, with 60 days prior notice, may terminate the partnership at any time.
  3. CSUS shall provide to the Renaissance Society and its membership such physical facilities and auxiliary services as are essential to the proper functioning of the Renaissance Society within available resources.

Article IV: Membership

  1. Membership shall be open to all senior persons who subscribe to the purpose of the Renaissance Society and are willing to abide by the provisions of these Bylaws and have paid their dues.
  2. No person shall be excluded from membership based on color, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference or physical impairment.
  3. All members of the Renaissance Society are eligible to vote in any general or special meeting of the membership.
  4. The Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies, CSUS, shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Renaissance Society.

Article V: Dues

Membership dues are set by the Board of Directors and shall be payable at the beginning of the fiscal year, which shall run from July 1 to June 30. Members joining the Society after January 1 may pay one-half (1/2) the regular dues, plus a nominal processing fee, for their first semester. All dues must be paid before members may participate in Renaissance activities.

Article VI: Officers and Members-At-Large

  1. The elected officers shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary and Controller.
  2. There shall be six Members-at-Large elected by the membership to serve on the Board of Directors.
  3. The officers and members-at-large shall be elected by ballot at the May general meeting of the membership. If a single slate is presented, and there are no nominations from the floor, voting may be by a show of hands. All elected officers shall assume their positions on the succeeding July 1st. The term of office for President, Vice President, Secretary and Controller shall be for one year and/or until successors are elected. The term of office for the Members-at-Large shall be for two years and/or until successors are elected.
  4. If deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors, voting on measures or candidates may be conducted by mail. Ballots must be returned by at least one-third of the membership to be considered a valid election. Procedures for a mail ballot shall conform to those set forth in the Society's parliamentary authority.
  5. Vacancies in the positions of the elected offices shall be filled by appointment of the President, with the approval, by majority vote, of the Board of Directors. In the case of simultaneous vacancies in the offices of President and Vice President, the Board shall elect, by majority vote, a President Pro-Tem to serve until the end of the current term.

Article VII: Duties of Officers

The duties of officers shall be as follows:

The President shall:

  1. Act as Chief Executive Officer for all operations of the Renaissance Society.
  2. Preside over all general meetings of the membership and meetings of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.
  3. Develop agendas for the meetings of the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors and general meetings of the membership.
  4. Seek implementation of decisions reached by the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.
  5. Report to the membership at all general meetings on the activities of the Society.
  6. Appoint all committee chairs.
  7. Be an ex-officio member of all standing committees except the Nominating Committee.

The Vice President shall:

  1. Assume the duties of President in his/her absence and, in the case of a vacancy, fill the office of president until the end of the current term.
  2. Assist the President in carrying out all functions of his/her office.

The Secretary shall:

  1. Handle correspondence on behalf of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee and any such secretarial matters as directed by the Board.

The Controller shall:

  1. Oversee all Renaissance Society financial affairs in accordance with the CSUS Foundation and any such financial tasks as required by the Board.
  2. Present a proposed budget for the fiscal year (July 1-June 30) no later than the June meeting of the Board of Directors.

Article VIII: Board of Directors

  1. The Board of Directors shall be the policy-making body of the Society. All decisions shall be consistent with CSUS policy. The Board shall adopt by a majority vote such Standing Rules as are necessary to carry out the objectives of the Society.
  2. The voting members shall consist of the elected officers; the immediate past president; the elected members-at-large; and the chairs of all standing committees.
  3. The Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies, the Associate Vice President of Finance and Financial Services and/or a designated representative from these offices or the office of the President, CSUS, shall be ex-officio non-voting members of the Board.
  4. Notices of Board meetings and copies of Minutes of all meetings shall be sent to ex-officio Board members.
  5. The Board of Directors shall meet at least ten (10) times a year. Meetings shall be open to the general membership.
  6. A majority of voting members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.
  7. The Board of Directors may establish non-voting liaison and any other ancillary roles as needed for the well-being of the Society. These positions shall be filled by appointment by the president.

Article IX: Committees

  1. The Executive Committee shall be the policy-implementing body of the Renaissance Society. It shall consist of the president, vice president, secretary, controller and immediate past president.
  2. Standing Committees shall be established by the Board of Directors as required to accomplish the objectives of the Renaissance Society. The purpose of each committee and its responsibilities shall be delineated in the Standing Rules.
  3. The Nominating Committee shall consist of at least three members, appointed by the President no later than the month of March, and approved by majority vote of the Board of Directors.

Article X: Membership Meetings

  1. The annual meeting of the general membership shall be held in May. The President, when recommended by the Board of Directors, may call special meetings.
  2. One-fifth of the membership, or one hundred members, whichever is the smaller number, shall constitute a quorum to conduct business.

Article XI: Funds

All funds shall be deposited and disbursed through the CSUS Foundation as the fiscal agent of the Renaissance Society.

Article XII: Parliamentary Authority

Business meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the rules contained in the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order except where these rules are inconsistent with the Bylaws and Standing Rules.

Article XIII: Bylaws' Amendments

  1. These Bylaws can only be amended at a general or special meeting of the members who have been notified of the proposed amendments at least one month prior to the meeting.
  2. Amendments to these bylaws require a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at a general or special meeting provided a quorum is present.

Article XIV: Dissolution

  1. The relationship between the Renaissance Society and the California State University, Sacramento, may be terminated by the President of CSUS or by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting at a membership meeting of the Society provided that notice has been sent to all members at least 30 days in advance.
  2. A decision to move the Society to a new location, other than CSUS, may be decided by two-thirds vote of those present and voting at a membership meeting provided that notice has been sent to all members at least 30 days in advance.
  3. The Renaissance Society may be dissolved by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting at a membership meeting, called for this purpose, provided that notice has been sent to all members 30 days in advance.
  4. In the event of the dissolution of the Renaissance Society, and after payment of all outstanding obligations of the Society, all remaining assets of the Society shall be distributed to such non-profit organization(s) serving seniors as agreed upon by two-thirds of the membership present and voting at the meeting at the time of the dissolution.

Adopted May 5, 1996 Amended November 30, 1999
Revised March 28, 2003
Revised May 1, 2012

/s/ Alexander Gonzalez
ALEXANDER GONZALEZ, President,
California State University, Sacramento

/s/ P.J. Garrido
P.J. GARRIDO, President, Renaissance Society,
California State University, Sacramento


Standing Rules and Policies

Adopted as Amended March 14, 2014

Administration

  1. The Renaissance Society shall maintain an office on the CSUS campus. Minutes of meetings and other records deemed necessary by the Board of Directors shall be kept at this office and at the archives at the CSUS library.
  2. The Board of Directors shall be responsible for hiring office personnel as required to perform duties in accordance with The Renaissance Society policies and relevant CSUS policies.
  3. Staff salaries shall be paid from The Renaissance Society funds. Payroll sheets are to be signed semi-monthly by The Renaissance Society President, Controller or Vice President.
  4. The Executive Committee shall review and approve staff salaries at the end of each fiscal year.
  5. Use of office equipment is limited to staff members or under their direct supervision on a time-available basis.
  6. A membership directory shall be prepared by the staff and mailed or transmitted to all members in the spring of each year.

Members

Privacy

  1. The Renaissance Society shall protect the privacy of members' personal information: name, address, phone number and e-mail address.
  2. No telephone number or e-mail address of a member shall be released to any non-member.
  3. No name or address of a member shall be provided to any for-profit enterprise.
  4. If names or addresses of members are requested by a non-profit enterprise, the request will be considered by the Board. If the Board decides that the members would appreciate receiving the information to be sent by the non-profit organization, the request may be approved.
  5. As The Renaissance Society is part of CSUS, mailing labels may be provided to CSUS or any of its affiliated or subsidiary organizations, upon request.
  6. The membership directory shall prominently display this restriction: "The Directory is only for the use of Renaissance Society members; it is not for use by any other organization or outside project. Members should personally retain or carefully dispose of old directories, and not give access to any directory to a non-member."
  7. Photographs of members and/or their guests, taken at Renaissance Society programs and events, may be used for publicity purposes or displayed on The Renaissance Society Website. However, such photographs shall not be accompanied by the name of a member or guest appearing, without their consent.

Honoring

  1. It is the policy of The Renaissance Society to avoid naming programs or activities in honor of a member.
  2. This policy shall not be interpreted as prohibiting dedication for a semester of a seminar, program, or activity in honor of a current or former member.
  3. A member or members desiring to name a semester of a seminar, program, or activity in honor of a current or former member must submit this proposal to the Board of Directors for its consideration and approval.
  4. A member or members who desire to honor someone may do so by contributing to The Renaissance Society's Scholarship Fund in honor or memory of that person.

Actions in the Name of the Renaissance Society

  1. Any action taken in the name of The Renaissance Society must be approved by the Board of Directors or the Executive Committee. This includes such actions as giving a scholarship or gift to someone in the name of The Renaissance Society, or making a statement to the press in the name of The Renaissance Society, or making a statement to, or a request of, an office in CSUS in the name of The Renaissance Society.
  2. Before making a request or statement on behalf of The Renaissance Society, or committing expenditures of Renaissance Society funds, a member must first obtain the approval of the Board of Directors or the Executive Committee.
  3. Seminar coordinators or attendees shall make requests through the Seminar Committee chair, who shall then contact The Renaissance Society Office, which will make the specific request to Space Management at CSUS. For example, only The Renaissance Society Office shall make a request for facility or service from CSUS (after checking with the relevant Officer or Committee Chair).

Policy Concerning Commercial Activities

  1. The Renaissance Society is a Learning-in-Retirement organization, whose purpose, as defined in its By-laws, is to "further the intellectual pursuits of its members within the setting of the university community." The Society's Standing Rules and Policies include the following statement in the description of the duties of its Seminars Committee: "The coordinators or participants shall not use seminars for the pursuit of private objectives, i.e., promoting a business, forming investment clubs or soliciting memberships to outside organizations."
  2. From time to time, The Renaissance Society invites non-members to assist the learning experience of its members by participating in its forums, seminars, mini-seminars, excursions and travel and adventure programs. The Renaissance Society recognizes that some of those non-member presenters may be the authors of books or other media relevant to their presentation. It is Renaissance Society policy that sales of such items not be promoted or made during Renaissance Society activities, although information concerning their availability through other sources may be distributed following a presentation.
  3. The Renaissance Society is a completely volunteer organization which exists for the benefit of its members. Flexibility in striving to "further the intellectual pursuits" of our members has helped us to thrive. Whenever that goal can be furthered by exceptions to a general policy, we are happy to consider them on an individual case basis.

Committees

  1. The Standing Committees of The Renaissance Society shall be: Excursions, Forums, Gerontology, History, Long-Range Planning, Membership, Newsletter (Recorder), Nominating, Publicity, Rules, Scholarship, Seminars, Social, Technology, University Services and Website.
  2. Chairpersons of standing committees are appointed for one year; the term shall run from July 1 through June 30. The newly elected Renaissance president shall make appointments or reappointments.
  3. Special (ad hoc) committees may be created by the Board of Directors as a need arises. The committee members shall serve until the specified task is completed and the committee presents its final report.
  4. Each committee shall consist of a chairperson and as many members as necessary to carry out the functions of the committee except as specified in these Standing Rules.

Standing Committees' Responsibilities and Policies

Excursions

  1. The purpose of the committee is to plan and arrange regional cultural or educational tours.
  2. Cost of tours shall be paid in advance by registrants and shall include all fees, including charges by the CSUS Foundation, and reimbursement for organizers' reasonable expenses.
  3. Announcements of tours shall be mailed with The Recorder, and shall appear on the website, at least 30 days prior to the tour date, and, where possible, shall describe the level of physical activity involved.
  4. Tours shall be cancelled if sufficient reservations are not received by a specified date.
  5. "No-shows" will not be reimbursed if all spaces are not filled.
  6. Members shall have priority over non-members if space is a consideration.

Forums

  1. The purpose of the committee is to provide a program for each forum.
  2. The chairperson will call a meeting in advance of each fall and spring semester to plan the forums that will meet on Fridays generally between 3 and 4 p.m.
  3. After the committee determines interest in prospective speakers, these people will be contacted, confirmed and thanked by the committee chairperson or a member of the committee.
  4. It shall be the responsibility of the chairperson to submit the programs in a timely manner to the Renaissance Society Office.

Gerontology

  1. The purpose of the Committee is to interface with the CSUS Gerontology Program and provide Renaissance Society members an opportunity to participate in appropriate CSUS activities, programs and events.
  2. The Committee shall work with the CSUS Gerontology Program and other appropriate CSUS programs to provide Renaissance Society member volunteers as student mentors, classroom panel members, classroom presenters, etc. The Committee shall maintain a listing of Elder Mentor volunteers and their assignments.
  3. The Committee shall identify, and in some cases initiate, elder programs, seminars or events and offer Renaissance Society members the opportunity to participate in these activities.

History

  1. The purpose of the History Committee is to collect materials, such as news releases, photos, directories, seminar catalogs, etc., to be preserved for The Renaissance Society history.
  2. Other contributions to the archives shall be limited to material published under the auspices of The Renaissance Society with the approval of the Board. The material should be the product of a Renaissance Society seminar, event or other activity.
  3. All materials will be kept in a secure place that may be determined in cooperation with the director of the CSUS Library Archives.
  4. It is recommended that materials be deposited in the CSUS Library Archives annually.

Long-Range Planning

  1. The purpose of the committee is to project one to five years in the future and evaluate all means toward strengthening current programs and developing innovative programs for the future that will meet the intellectual, cultural and social needs of The Renaissance Society members.
  2. The committee shall be composed of the chairperson(s) and at least five other members.
  3. The committee shall meet at least three times each academic year.
  4. The committee shall study and assess issues referred by the Board as to the needs of The Renaissance Society.
  5. The committee shall develop and provide its recommendations to the Board of Directors.

Membership

  1. The purpose of the committee shall be to insure that all functions necessary to recruit and maintain membership are carried out.
  2. The committee shall meet prior to each fall and spring semester to prepare an orientation program for new members.
    1. Prepare the Orientation agenda and campus tours.
    2. Provide speakers and handouts for orientation.
    3. Facilitate and support office staff with the organization and registration of new members.
  3. The committee chairperson will work with the Seminar Committee chairperson to prepare the fall and spring Renaissance Society Orientation and Rendezvous; the Committee chairperson will direct staff in communications with the appropriate CSUS office to establish dates, times and locations for the events.
  4. The committee will decide the material to be included in mailings to prospective new members, and the chairperson will notify the office staff in this regard.
  5. The committee chairperson will work with the Nominating Committee in the recruiting process of members willing to serve on The Renaissance Society Board of Directors or in other operating functions.

Newsletter (The Recorder)

  1. The purpose of the Newsletter Committee is to collect information, write, edit and publish The Recorder.
  2. The editor (chairperson) shall be a member of the Website Committee.
  3. Only items related to The Renaissance Society or CSUS, members and activities are to be reported.
  4. The Recorder shall be distributed to the membership every month of the spring and fall Renaissance Society semesters.
  5. A group of volunteers is asked to assist in assembling, for mailing, each issue of The Recorder.

Nominating

  1. The primary purpose of the Nominating Committee is to develop a slate of eligible candidates to stand for election as officers or as Members-At-Large of The Renaissance Society Board of Directors.
  2. A secondary purpose of the committee is to recruit members willing to serve other various operating functions of The Renaissance Society.
  3. The current president will appoint a Nominating Committee of at least three (3) members. The committee chairperson should have Renaissance Society Board experience. The commitee will serve for one year, from July 1 to June 30.
  4. The committee will submit the list of nominees to the current Renaissance Society Board of Directors for approval. Candidates will be elected at the Spring Annual Membership Meeting.
  5. A past president of The Renaissance Society shall conduct the election.

Publicity

  1. The purpose of the committee is to send publicity announcements to local newspapers, periodicals and other media, both off-campus as well as to the CSUS Hornet and other on-campus publications.
  2. All publicity material shall relate to The Renaissance Society activities or members' accomplishments, but shall not include material that is intended to promote any individual's private business endeavors or promotions for other outside organizations.

Rules

  1. The purpose of the Rules Committee is to collaborate with the Board to maintain consistency between the operating practices of the Society and the Bylaws and the Standing Rules and Policies.
  2. The chairperson (Parlimentarian) shall advise the President on the application of the Society's Parliamentary Authority to the conduct of business meetings.

Scholarship

  1. The Scholarship Committee will establish criteria for the provision of scholarship awards to qualified students in attendance at CSUS. The number of awards and the amount of each award will be subject to annual determination by the Renaissance Society Board of Directors.
  2. The committee will provide the CSUS Financial Aid Scholarship Office information concerning the Award criteria and the grant amount, for posting on the CSUS Scholarship Website.
  3. Students must transmit their applications to the CSUS Scholarship Website no later than March 15. Applications meeting the Renaissance Society scholarship criteria will be forwarded by the CSUS Financial Aid Scholarship Office to the Renaissance Scholarship Committee for review and award selection.
  4. After the Committee selects those to be awarded scholarships, the Chairperson will provide the CSUS Financial Aid Scholarship Office the names of those selected. The awardees will be invited to an appropriate Renaissance Society function at which they will be presented with a certificate of their scholarship award.
  5. The Renaissance Society Scholarship Program is dependent on adequate funding to support future scholarship awards. Renaissance Society members and the general public will be encouraged to contribute to the Renaissance Society Scholarship Fund when honoring or memorializing a friend or loved one, or when engaged in estate planning or rewriting a will. Advice on procedure for donating to the Renaissance Society Scholarship Fund can be provided by the Renaissance Society Controller.

Seminars

  1. The purpose of the committee is to arrange a sufficient number and acceptable variety of on-campus and off-campus seminars with assigned on-campus classroom space each semester; secure leaders and co-leaders to lead each seminar; gather new subject matter for course offerings; and provide a list of planned seminars.
  2. The committee chairperson(s) shall meet with the chairperson(s) of the Membership Committee to prepare an orientation program for new members. The Seminar Committee shall
    1. Organize and deliver information regarding the seminars.
    2. Describe sign-up procedures to be followed at the Rendezvous.
    3. Support the Membership Committee in the preparation of the Orientation agenda and provide speakers and handouts as requested.
    4. Support the Membership Committee with the organization and registration of new members.
  3. The committee chairperson(s) shall meet with the Membership chair(s) and with Renaissance office staff to prepare for the fall and spring Renaissance Society Rendezvous. The Seminar Committee shall:
    1. Greet and welcome new members.
    2. Provide door security.
    3. Provide an information table.
    4. Insure the room is set up for Rendezvous.
    5. Insure each seminar has a representative to provide information and to sign up members.
    6. Insure leaders have appropriate materials, signs and handouts.
  4. Arrangements will be made to accommodate scheduled Friday morning, noon and afternoon seminars during the corresponding CSUS fall and spring seminars.
  5. Off-campus seminars, times and locations will be scheduled at the discretion of the coordinator.
  6. Each semester an Activities Catalog will be published with a brief description and location of each seminar, the leaders' names and telephones and any pertinent information. The chairs shall ensure that all information to be included in the catalog is provided to the office staff in sufficient time to be proofread, published and mailed or transmitted to the membership prior to the start of each semester.
  7. To encourage The Renaissance Society members to volunteer as seminar leaders or co-leaders, a workshop will be held during each semester to provide guidance, training and assistance for planning and conducting a seminar.
  8. The committee shall encourage ways of recognizing the leaders and co-leaders and their contribution to the Society.
  9. Leaders are responsible for insuring that their seminars are monetarily self-sufficient for planned activities; for duplication of materials using copy machines outside The Renaissance Society office; and for any other costs associated with the seminars.
  10. The chairperson(s) and the manager of The Renaissance Society office shall arrange on-campus classroom space. Scheduling of other Renaissance Society activities or the use of CSUS media equipment is to be made through The Renaissance Society office.
  11. Visitors may attend no more than two seminar classes before joining The Renaissance Society.
  12. The leaders or participants shall not use seminars for the pursuit of private objectives, i.e., promoting a business, forming investment clubs or soliciting memberships to outside organizations.
  13. The Committee chairperson, in cooperation with the Technology Committee, shall include Technology matters in the regular workshops for seminar leaders, and help facilitate regular interaction as required between the leaders and the Technology Committee.

Social

  1. The purpose of the committee is to plan Renaissance Society social events to be held during the year.
  2. The committee shall make all arrangements, including setting up a budget, contacting vendors and coordinating all food, entertainment and speakers at planned events.
  3. The committee will publicize each event, including sending information to the editor of The Recorder, to the webmaster and to the Publicity Committee.
  4. The Renaissance Society Board of Directors shall approve all events, prior to being announced to the membership, that will require a fee

Technology

  1. The purpose of the Committee is to advocate and advance the use of technology within the Renaissance Society and by its members.
  2. The Committee shall work with the Seminar Committee to schedule and conduct periodic technology workshops for leaders.
  3. The Committee shall provide on-call assistance to seminar leaders and individual presenters with issues about interfacing personal equipment with equipment in the classrooms.
  4. The Committee shall procure, maintain, and issue audio-visual equipment to seminar leaders and committee chairpersons as needed.
  5. The Committee shall work with the Seminar Committee to develop, schedule, and present technology seminars to enhance members' knowledge and to improve members' use of available technology during presentations.
  6. The Committee shall work in coordination with the Long-Range Planning Committee to develop a plan for an integrated automation, administrative and management system for the Renaissance Society. Following approval and funding by the Board of Directors, the Committee shall provide oversight throughout the project implementation and operation.

University Services

  1. The purpose of the committee is to recruit volunteer members of The Renaissance Society to provide assistance to CSUS, for example, to the Library Art Gallery and to provide ushers to CSUS theater and musical productions.
  2. The committee shall also coordinate with the dean of CSUS Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies (SSIS) in identifying other opportunities to provide services to the university.

Website

  1. The purpose of the committee is to inform the membership and the community of the programs and activities of The Renaissance Society.
  2. The committee shall be composed of a chairperson, the editor of The Recorder, and other members when necessary.
  3. The committee shall establish and enforce policy regarding the Website and shall specifically address the maintenance and development of the Website as well as overseeing compliance with the CSUS Website policy.
  4. The committee chairperson shall be considered the webmaster who shall be responsible for the day-to-day operation and updating of the Website. The webmaster shall be provided with the necessary software, if needed, to carry out this responsibility.
  5. The committee shall offer members the opportunity to receive e-mails informing them of each Friday's events, particularly regarding rooms, speakers, topics, etc. The e-mails shall also notify members of announcements, including CSUS and other events of interest to them. Members shall have the option of joining the e-mail list. The webmaster shall select the medium used for the e-mail list and shall maintain it.

Members-At-Large

Six members-at-large are elected to the Board each year by the membership at the annual general meeting. These members are to be relatively new members of the Renaissance Society. The purpose of this is to expose newer members to the working of the Board and encourage them to become active participants in The Renaissance Society.
Members-at-large are encouraged to:

  1. Participate in any of the standing committees in order to become familiar with how the committees operate.
  2. Assist in activities of The Renaissance Society such as the Rendezvous, new members' orientation, social functions, etc.
  3. Act as liaison with all members of The Renaissance Society to solicit new ideas for improvement of the society.
  4. Suggest topics for seminars and speakers for forums.