DEFINITIONS & DESCRIPTIONS
Section 1.0 Definitions
Section 1.1 The word Club is used to denote The Northeast
Section 1.2 Members refers to all members of the Club.
Section 1.3 Board refers to the Board Directors.
Section 1.4 Board Meeting refers to an open, public meeting
of the Board.
Section 1.5 Executive Session or Executive Meeting means a
closed meeting of Board Members only.
Section 1.6 Annual Meeting refers the yearly meeting of the
members of the organization.
Section 1.7 Election refers to the vote of the membership
to elect officers and vote on Bylaws and Bylaw amendments.
Section 1.8 The corporation refers to all Board members of
the Northeast Ursamen, Inc. and its members.
Section 2.0 Description of ARTICLES
Article 1 Definitions
Article 2 Name, Purpose & Goals
Article 3 Membership, Dues
Article 4 Revocation of Membership
Article 5 The Board
Article 6 Officers Terms & Duties
Article 7 Elections
Article 8 Absentee Ballots & Proxy Votes
Article 9 Meetings & Quorums
Article 10 Annual Meeting
Article 11 Members-At-Large
Article 12 Vacancies
Article 13 Impeachment & Resignation
Article 14 Financial Matters
Article 15 Bylaws & Amendments
Article 16 Dissolution
Appendix 1 Ratification & Amendment History
NAME, PURPOSE & GOALS
Section 1.0 The Northeast Ursamen, Inc. is a non-profit organization
incorporated in the State of Connecticut.
Section 1.1 The Club is a democratic, Gay Brotherhood organization
with the Board's power derived from the membership.
Section 1.2 The Club does not discriminate against individuals
Section 1.3 The primary objective of the Club is to provide
bears and ursaphiles with the opportunity to meet and enjoy
time together in a variety of environments and social activities.
Section 1.4 The Club strives to provide a safe den, for singles
and couples to socialize regularly, where all Members shall
treat each other with respect.
Section 1.5 The Club is independent, non-political organization,
which will not affiliate itself permanently with any bar,
café, or business establishment.
Section 1.6 The Club recognizes that there are Members who
are in recovery for drug or alcohol dependence. Therefore
the Club will not participate in or sponsor any event that
would require the Club to provide alcohol. Club Members may
purchase alcohol at any event where it is available, or may
bring alcohol for their own consumption if the event is designated
as "bring your own bottle" (BYOB).
Section 1.7 The Club may not be committed to any function
or financial obligation without the approval of the board.
MEMBERSHIP, DUES & RESIGNATION
Section1.0 Potential applicants must be clearly informed
that the Club is a gay brotherhood.
Section 1.1 All applicants must attest to be 21 years of age
Section 1.2 All applicants must complete a membership application.
The application is intended as a vehicle for outlining the
purpose and goals of the Club and to obtain pertinent applicant
information (e.g. name, address, telephone number, birth date
or age, etc.) It is not to be used to screen potential applicants.
Section 1.3 All Members must agree to abide by the bylaws.
Section 1.4 All Club memberships run from 1 January to 31
Section 1.5 Members in good standing at the end of the previous
calendar year, whose membership has lapsed for non-payment
of dues, shall be allowed to renew at the previous year's
status prior to 31 March of each year.
Section 2.0 Annual membership dues are determined by the Board
prior to the New Year.
Section 2.1 Dues are to be paid in full when the membership
application is submitted.
Section 2.2 Dues shall be paid by 15 February of each calendar
Section 2.3 Annual membership dues will be pro-rated, minus
fixed costs, for new Members joining after February 15th.
Section 2.4 A former member whose membership has expired for
non-payment of dues may rejoin by completing a membership
application and paying all applicable dues.
Section 2.5 In the event a former member has not discharged
his previous financial obligations to the "Club"
all monies owed the club by the former member must also be
paid at the time the individual reapplies for membership.
Section 3.0 A Member may resign from the Club any time.
Section 3.1 No dues will be refunded in the event a Member
resigns from the Club.
Section 3.2 Former members who rejoin the club shall for all
purposes be considered new Members.
Section 3.3 New Members must pay full membership dues regardless
of when they join.
Section 3.4 They will receive a credit for any pro-rated dues
that will be applied toward the following year's membership
Section 3.5 Dues will be pro-rated and refunded to any Member
who has had his membership in the Club revoked.
REVOCATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Section 1.0 Revocation of membership by a vote of the Board
is a very serious measure. It is not to be undertaken lightly
and reasonable attempts to reconcile the needs of the Member's)
and the purpose of the Club should be considered.
Section 1.2 Any Member who misrepresents his identity or age
on his membership application shall be have their Membership
Section 1.1 Membership in the Club may be revoked by a unanimous
vote of the Board of Directors.
Section 2.0 A Board member must petition the Board at least
fourteen days before a Board meeting to revoke a Member's
Section 2.1 The Member shall be notified by the Secretary
via certified U.S. Mail of the petition, and be encouraged
to attend the Board meeting.
Section 2.2 The Board will discuss the petition, and solicit
input from the Members present.
Section 2.3 The Club Secretary will inform the Member of the
Board's decision by U.S. Mail.
Section 3.0 The petition must include one of the following
reasons for revocation:
Section 3.1 The Member must be accused of violent behavior
at a Club function that either threatened another person or
property, or demonstrated behavior not becoming a bear;
Section 3.2 or malicious behavior intended to offend, hurt,
or ridicule another person or,
Section 3.3 behavior or actions that are not in the spirit
of the Bylaws.
Section 4.0 The Board will be required to vote, in executive
session, whether to revoke the membership.
Section 4.1 If the Member is a Board Member, he will not participate
in the vote and will not attend the executive session.
Section 4.2 In case of multiple petitions, a separate vote
will be required for each petition.
Section 5.0 A former Member who has had his membership revoked
by a vote of the Board must petition the Board before he can
reapply for membership
Section 5.1 The Board will be required to vote, under executive
session, whether to allow the former member to reapply.
Section 5.2 If permission is granted by the Board, the former
member may rejoin by completing a membership application and
paying all applicable dues.
Section 5.3 In the event the former member has not discharged
his previous financial obligations to the club, all monies
owed the club must also be paid at the time the individual
reapplies for membership.
Section 1.0 Board Meetings
Section 1.1 Board Meetings shall be scheduled regularly.
Section 1.2 There will be at least nine Board meetings per
fiscal year, and at least one Board meeting every two months.
Section 1.3 Meetings are open to the public.
Section 1.4 Only Board Members may vote at Board meetings.
Section 1.5 In addition to the monthly meetings, Board Members
may call additional Board or executive meetings at anytime.
Section 1.6 Only Board Members may attend an Executive meeting.
Section 1.7 During an executive meeting, the Board may ask
other individuals to attend part of the meeting, if necessary.
Section 1.8 In the event that a Board member is absent from
a Board meeting, another Board member will assume the duties
of the Board member not present.
Section 1.9 Board Members may enlist volunteers from the Members
to aid and assist them in their duties.
Section 1.10 It is understood that the old Board will help
the newly elected Board in assuming its duties.
Section 1.11 The Board is empowered to create appointed positions,
on an as needed basis, without consulting the membership and
with the duties of the position added to the Rules of Procedures.
Section 2.0 Voting at Executive Meetings will be by simple
Section 2.1 All Board Members have equal voting power
Section 2.2 The Board is responsible for making decisions
and formulating policy to enable the Club to function and
Section 2.3 The decisions of the Board must be consistent
with the Bylaws and previous policy, and should foremost consider
the well being of the Club and its Members.
Section 2.4 The Board should be cautious of any conflict of
interest or the effects of setting bad precedent. Board Members
must make decisions in good conscience and try to obtain as
much data as possible before making decisions.
Section 3.0 Board Meeting minutes can be reviewed by any Member
at any Board Meeting, or by a special request to the Secretary.
Section 4.0 Rules of Procedures
Section 4.1 The Board shall create a reference manual called
Northeast Ursamen Rules of Procedures, the contents of which
shall contain important documents and other materials that
will facilitate the operation of the Club.
Section 4.2 All serving Board Members shall have a copy.
OFFICERS, TERMS & DUTIES
Section 1.0 The Officers are the President, Vice-President,
Events Coordinator, Secretary, Treasurer, along with the newsletter
editor, and the members-at-large constitute the Board.
Section 2.0 Terms
Section 2.1 The term of office for the President, Vice-President,
Events Coordinator, Secretary, and Treasurer is two years
and begins on 1 January and ends 31 December.
Section 2.2 The term of office for Members-at-Large is one
year and begins 1 January and ends 31 December.
Section 2.3 The term of office for the Newsletter Editor ends
December 31 of each year. The board appoints the Newsletter
Section 3.0 Duties
Section 3.1 The President is the official spokesman of the
Club. He chairs meetings, and is responsible for the day to
day management of the Club.
Section 3.2 The Vice-President is the official representative
of the Club if the President is unavailable. His primary responsibility
is to notify the membership of Club activities, and he helps
the Events Coordinator in the planning and execution of Club
Section 3.3 The Secretary takes minutes at all official meetings.
He is responsible for all Club correspondence. The Secretary
is also responsible for notifying the membership of the Annual
Meeting and interim Bylaw changes, maintaining Club records,
incorporation paperwork, and the storage or disposition of
Section 3.4 The Treasurer is responsible for the Club financial
records and bank accounts.
He prepares the annual financial statement with the aid of
Section 3.5 The Events-Coordinator researches, investigates
and arranges Club activities.
Section 3.6 The Members-at-Large are representatives to the
Board for the membership. This office was created to meet
the needs of the Club as the number of Members increases.
Members-at-Large are full voting Board Members.
Section 3.7 The Newsletter Editor is responsible for the publication
and coordinating the circulation of the quarterly publication
Bears and Hunters to our club members and affiliated clubs
with which we correspond.
Section 3.8 The Webmaster is responsible for maintaining and
updating the Club's website and all pertinent related matters.
Section 1.0 The Board is elected at the Election, which is
held during the Annual Meeting.
Section 1.1 The President, Secretary, and Events Coordinator
are elected in even numbered years.
Section 1.2 The Vice-President and Treasurer are elected in
odd numbered years.
Section 1.4 Board vacancies must be filled by the next Annual
Meeting, regardless of the year.
Section 1.5 To qualify for office, an individual must have
been a Member for at least nine months prior to the Election.
Section 2.0 A Member may only hold one Board position at any
Section 2.1 A Member does not have to be present at the Meeting
to be elected to office. However, before the Meeting, the
Member must present in writing to the Secretary, a statement
detailing his willingness to serve if elected. The statement
must include the specific office the member would like to
Section 2.2 Candidates must be nominated by a Member.
Section 3.0 In the event that a quorum is not present, the
offices scheduled for election will become vacant on 1 January.
Section 4.0 Voting is by secret ballot, and tallied by the
Section 4.1 To be elected, a candidate must receive greater
than 50% of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting, including
absentee and proxy votes.
Section 4.2 In the event that no candidate receives greater
than 50% of the vote, the candidates with the two largest
tallies continue to run for office.
Section 4.3 For a given set of candidates, a vote may only
be repeated two times.
Section 4.4 If after three attempts no candidate has secured
greater than 50% of the vote, the office will become vacant
on 1 January.
ABSENTEE BALLOTS & PROXY VOTES
Section 1.0 A Member may vote in the Annual Election by proxy
or absentee ballot if he cannot attend.
Section 1.1 Any Member may designate in writing another Member
as his proxy for the Election.
Section 1.2 No Member may be designated as a proxy for more
than one Member for any particular vote.
Section 1.3 Members will be mailed proxy statements and ballots
at least fourteen days before the Meeting.
Section 2.0 Completed proxy votes and absentee ballots are
to be mailed directly to the Secretary at the Club address.
Section 2.1 A distinct and clearly marked envelope will be
provided for proxy votes and absentee ballots that will identify
it, without being opened, as a proxy vote or absentee ballot.
Section 2.2 All proxy votes and absentee ballots are to remain
sealed until opened by the Election Committee at the Annual
Section 2.3 Proxy votes and absentee ballots not handled in
the above manner will be considered void, with the Member
losing his vote.
MEETINGS & QUORUMS
Section 1.0 A quorum is required for both the Board Meeting
and the Annual Meeting.
Section 1.1 A quorum for a Board Meeting is defined as 75%
of the Board Members.
Section 1.2 No vote will be considered valid without a quorum.
Section 1.3 A quorum for bylaw changes at the Annual meeting
shall be defined as 40% of the total club members at the close
of the fiscal year.
Section 1.4 Proxy votes are allowed at the Annual Meeting,
and are counted toward the quorum.
Section 1.0 There shall be an Annual Meeting of the Corporation
which will be held on a Saturday in October to commemorate
the anniversary of the founding of the Club to satisfy incorporation
statutes, at a place decided by the Board.
Section 1.1 The President shall preside over the Meeting.
Section 1.2 At the start of the Annual Meeting an Elections
Committee shall be selected, and the President may select
a parliamentarian. The parliamentarian is available to assist
in resolving procedural conflicts according to known parliamentary
Section 1.3 The agenda will be prepared by the Board and sent
to the membership at least fourteen days before the Meeting.
Section 1.4 The agenda shall include a report from each Board
member, a brief summary of Board meetings during the previous
year, elections, and votes on ratifying or amending the Bylaws.
Section 2.1 The Election Committee shall consist of no fewer
than three and no more than six members.
Section 2.2 A member running for an office cannot serve on
the Election Committee.
Section 2.3 The Elections Committee shall be responsible for
the handling and the counting of election ballots.
Section 2.4 The Secretary shall provide a copy of the Election
Procedures to each committee member.
Section 1.0 At the March and September board meetings, the
secretary shall report the total number of club members.
Section 1.1The Club will have one (1) Member-at-Large for
the first one hundred (100) club members and one (1) additional
Member-at-Large position for each fifty (50) additional club
Section 1.2 The September membership count will determine
the total number of Member-at-Large positions that will be
on the election ballot at the Annual meeting the following
Section 1.3The annual club membership count that occurs in
March will be used to determine if any adjustment needs to
occur in the number of Member-at-Large positions.
Section 1.4 If the club membership count has risen above the
secretary's previous count, the Board may appoint Member-at-Large.
positions in accordance with the aforementioned formula.
Section 1.5 If it is determined that a Member-at-Large position
needs to be eliminated, it shall be eliminated either at the
end of the term of office, or if a Member-at-Large resigns.
Section 1.0 The Board may elect a member to fill a vacated
Section 1.1 All remaining board members must attend in person
or by phone to vote on the candidates for the vacant position(s).
Section 1.2 The candidate will be elected by a simple majority
of voting board members.
Section 1.3 If there is an even number of remaining board
members, the outgoing board member may participate to avoid
Section 1.4 Anyone elected to fill a vacant position will
hold that office until 31 December of that year.
Section 1.5 That office will then be scheduled for election
by the membership regardless if it were due for election or
not that year.
Section 2.0 Member-at-Large position(s) may be filled by Board
election if the current number of club members, based on the
Secretary's previous club membership count, supports keeping
that (those) position(s).
Section 2.1 The Board, through executive session, may decide
to either fill a vacant position or keep the position vacant.
Section 2.2 The Board may re-address each vacancy at any Board
meeting until such time the decision is to elect a club member
to fill the position, or delete the position and re-evaluate
the needs with the next scheduled club member count.
Section 1.0 A Board Member will be automatically impeached
if he is no longer a Member.
Section 1.1 An Officer may be impeached by a majority vote
of the Board if he misses on average at least 50% of Board
meetings in any six-month period.
Section 1.2 An Officer can also be impeached for financial
Section 2.0 An Officer may resign from the Board at any time.
Section 1.0 The Club fiscal year is from 1 September to 31
Section 1.1 No part of the income, or assets of the club shall
ever be distributed to its members, Board Members or private
Section 1.2 All Officers have signatory power over Club accounts.
Section 1.3 Club assets are to be used solely for the benefit
of the members, in a manner deemed equitable by the Board.
Section 2.0 Within 30 days of the end of the fiscal year,
the Treasurer and President will prepare a financial statement
detailing revenues, expenditures, membership data, and opening
and closing balances of Club accounts.
Section 2.1 It shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer
and President to ensure that each Member receives the annual
financial statement at least fourteen days before the Election.
BYLAWS & AMENDMENTS
Section 1.0 The Board may, by unanimous vote, ratify the
Bylaws at any Board meeting.
Section 1.1 All Board Members must be present at the vote.
Section 1.2 Said Bylaws will be considered interim, and must
be ratified at the next Annual Meeting to become permanent.
Section 1.3 The terms of the Board Members ratifying the Bylaws
expire on December 31 following the next Annual Meeting.
Section 1.4 Interim Bylaws become permanent by an 80% majority
vote of members present at the Annual Meeting.
Section 1.5 Members may submit to the Secretary, in writing,
Bylaw amendments for consideration by the Board.
Section 2.0 If the Board fails to ratify the Bylaws, the Bylaws
can be ratified at the next Annual Meeting by a three-quarter-majority
vote of the entire membership.
Section 2.1 Members must be notified at least fourteen days
before the Annual Meeting that there will be a vote to ratify
the Bylaws. They will also be provided a copy of the Bylaws
at least fourteen days before the Meeting.
Section 3.0 The Board may, by unanimous vote, amend the Bylaws
at any Board meeting.
Section 3.1 All Board Members must be present at the vote.
Section 3.2 Said amendment(s) to the Bylaws will be considered
interim, and must be ratified at the next Annual Meeting to
Section 3.3 Interim amendments become permanent by an 80%
majority vote of Members present at the Annual Meeting.
Section 3.4 If the amendment is not unanimously accepted,
but approved by a majority of all the Board Members then the
proposed amendment must be ratified at the next Annual Meeting
to become part of the Bylaws.
Section 3.5 Proposed amendments become permanent by a three-quarter
majority vote of the entire membership.
Section 3.6 Unlike interim amendments, proposed amendments
do not take effect until ratification.
Section 4.0 Members must be notified at least fourteen days
before the Annual Meeting that there will be a vote to ratify
an amendment to the Bylaws.
Section 4.1 They will also be provided a copy of the current
Bylaws and the interim or proposed amendments at least fourteen
days before the Meeting.
Section 1.0 The Northeast Ursamen Inc. may be dissolved by
unanimous vote of the Board following any Meeting in which
a quorum of members was not represented.
Section 1.1 Upon dissolution, assets of the Club remaining
after payment of all liabilities, shall be distributed to
one or more organizations described in section 501(c) (3)
of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and fulfilling the requirements
of qualifications as a valid recipient of charitable organizations
as prescribed in section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code
of 1954, in such proportions as decided by the Board.
Section 1.2 The President, Vice President, and Treasurer will
be responsible for the ensuring that the assets are properly
distributed within 180 days of dissolution.
RATIFICATION AND AMENDMENT HISTORY
1. Interim Bylaws unanimously approved by the Board of Directors
on Friday, 26 August 1994 in Hartford, Connecticut.
2. Interim Bylaws ratified by the membership at the Annual
Meeting of the Northeast Ursamen, Saturday, 15 October, 1994
in Hartford, Connecticut.
3. Interim Amendments unanimously approved by the Board of
Directors on Sunday, 24 September 1995 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
4. Interim Amendments ratified by the membership at the Annual
Meeting of the Northeast Ursamen, Saturday, 21 October, 1995
in Hartford, Connecticut.
5. Interim Amendments ratified by the membership at the Annual
Meeting of the Northeast Ursamen, Saturday, 23 October, 1999
in Hartford, Connecticut.
6. Interim Amendments unanimously approved by the Board of
Directors on Wednesday, 23 August 2000 in South Windsor, Connecticut.
7. Interim Amendments ratified by the membership at the Annual
Meeting of the Northeast Ursamen, Saturday, 21 October 2000
in East Hartford, Connecticut.
8. Interim Bylaws were approved in Manchester CT July 30,
2001 for the bylaw changes on illegal substances/acts.
9. Interim bylaw changes were approved in Manchester, Connecticut,
September 19, 2001 for article format.
10. Proposed Amendments were ratified by the membership at
the Annual Meeting, Saturday, October 20, 2001 in East Hartford,
11. Interim Amendments were unanimously approved in Manchester,
Connecticut, August 29, 2002 for Annual meeting voting changes
and number of publications of the club newsletter each year.
12. Interim amendment on change of publication of the Northeast
Ursamen “Bears and Hunters” from bi-monthly to quarterly was
approved in Hamden, CT October 19, 2002. The interim amendment
for redefining quorum for the Annual Meeting, was not approved
at the October 19, 2002 Annual Meeting in Hamden, CT.