Chapter Bylaws

Chicago Professional Chapter
The Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi

ARTICLE I – Definitions

Section One
“Chapter,” as used herein, shall refer to The Chicago Headline Club, Chicago Professional Chapter of the national Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, located in Chicago, Illinois.

Section Two
The name of this chapter shall be “The Chicago Headline Club, Chicago Professional Chapter of The Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi.”

Section Three
“Meetings,” as used herein, shall mean regularly called or stated meetings as decided upon by the Board of Directors or the President’s duly appointed committee chairmen.

Section Four
All action taken by this chapter shall be by a majority vote of the duly accredited professional members present at any meeting at which a quorum shall be present. Chapter bylaw amendments shall be proposed at one meeting and voted upon at a subsequent meeting, after at least seven days’ written notice of the proposed amendment has been given to the members by the Secretary of the chapter.

Section Five
For the transaction of business at any regular chapter meeting a quorum shall be no less than twenty-five (25) members in good standing.

Section Six
Unless otherwise stated in these bylaws, all meetings of this chapter, its board and its committees shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order.

ARTICLE II – Meetings

Section One
There shall be a regular meeting of the chapter at least every other month, except July and August, the time and place to be decided upon by the Board of Directors or the President and his or her duly appointed committee chairman.

Section Two
The Board of Directors shall be authorized to call special meetings of the chapter or the Directors. Any elected officer can, with the approval of the President or the President-elect, issue a call for a special board meeting.

Section Three
There may be special or regular designated meetings for the observance of Founder’s Day, and special meetings for initiations, for honoring special guests and observing special occasions, the time and place to be designated by the Board of Directors.

Section Four
In keeping with the national goals of The Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi and to set an example for other organizations, all membership meetings of The Chicago Headline Club shall be open to coverage by any or all communications media on an equal basis. Coverage of programs of The Chicago Headline Club shall be encouraged in order to acquaint the profession and public at large with the issues discussed by and before the club membership. Individual guest speakers shall be apprised in advance that this is a club policy.

ARTICLE III – Officers

Section One
The officers of the chapter shall be a President, a President-elect, two Vice Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer.

Section Two
The President shall be chief executive officer and shall supervise and direct the day-to-day business and affairs of the chapter. The President shall see that all orders or resolutions of the chapter, Board and committees are carried into effect. The President also shall perform the functions usually pertaining to the office and others as may be assigned by the Board.

In the absence or in case of the inability of the President to act, the President-elect shall have all the powers and shall perform all the duties of the President or other duties and powers prescribed by the Board or by the President.

The President-elect and two Vice Presidents shall serve as chairmen of the Membership, Freedom of Information and Program Committees, and shall perform the functions customarily associated with those titles.

The Secretary shall record the minutes of the meetings of the membership of the chapter and the Board, be custodian of the chapter records and seal, and perform all duties incidental to the office of Secretary and such other duties as may be assigned by the President or Board. In addition the Secretary shall see that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws or as required by law and shall keep a register of the postal address of each member of this chapter.

The Treasurer shall be the principal accounting and financial officer of the chapter. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the financial books of account for the chapter, be responsible for and have custody of all funds and securities of the chapter and for the receipt and disbursement thereof, and perform all the duties incidental to the office of Treasurer and such other duties as may be assigned by the President or the Board.

Assistant Secretaries and Assistant Treasurers may be appointed by the President to perform duties assigned by the Secretary, the Treasurer, the President or the Board.

Section Three
The officers of the chapter shall be elected at a meeting in May of each year, shall take office July 1, and each shall serve for one year or until a qualified successor may be elected.

At the March board meeting each year, a Nominating Committee shall be named. The President shall appoint three members to the committee, naming its chairman, and the Board shall elect two other members from the Board and/or membership. The Nominating Committee shall consider service on a chapter committee as a qualification for office of director. There shall be no policy of discrimination on the basis of employment in the selection of nominees for office.

The Nominating Committee shall report its recommendations for officers and directors at the Board’s April meeting, and the Board’s slate shall be presented to the chapter membership in a newsletter mailed to the members no later than April 20. The elections of officers and directors shall take place at a May meeting of the chapter. Nominations also may be made from the floor at that meeting prior to the election.

Section Four
All directors and members who may be involved in judging any event or competition falling under the jurisdiction of the organizations shall not be held liable for the outcome of such event or competition as it may affect individual participants or competitors.

ARTICLE IV – Board of Directors

Section One
The Chapter shall have a Board of Directors of 23 members, which shall be responsible for direction and planning of all the chapter’s activities, subject to the will of the membership. The Board shall consist of the six current officers of the Chapter and 16 other professional members, and the immediate Past President, who shall serve ex officio and whose term shall be for one year.

Section Two
Directors will be elected to serve two-year terms, each term to begin on July 1, with one-half of the Board to be elected annually, except to fill vacancies. Board members shall be prohibited from serving more than three consecutive full terms (six years). Election as an officer does not constitute a term on the Board of Directors.

Section Three
Representation on the Board must include from among the officers and elected Board members a minimum of 12 representatives from the newspaper editorial field, from the wire service field, from the radio and television news field, and from the magazine, business and/or professional publications field.

Section Four
The President of the Chapter shall chair the Board of Directors meeting.

Section Five
The Board of Directors shall be responsible for these basic functions: (1) Membership and attendance; (2) Regular and special meetings; (3) Professional programs; (4) Planning; (5) Convention representation; (6) Cooperation with the national Society in all manners furthering the programs, goals and aims of the society, including submission of financial reports, membership rosters and other reports required; and (7) The administration of any awards, scholarships or citations deemed necessary.

Section Six
The Board of Directors is empowered to have such Director’s meetings as a majority of the Board shall deem necessary at such times as they choose or at the discretion of the chapter President (board chairman). The chairman shall call a Board meeting when requested by a majority of the Directors or the chairman may call a meeting whenever the chairman thinks such a meeting is advisable.

Section Seven
The Chapter President is authorized to appoint such committees as the President deems necessary. Chairmen of the appointed committees may be from the Board or from the regular membership.

Section Eight
Any officer or Director who is unable to attend a Board meeting is to seek to be excused from attendance by informing the President and Secretary at least 24 hours before the meeting is scheduled to begin. Failure to attend consecutively or cumulatively three or more Board meetings between July 1 and the following June 30 shall constitute grounds for removal from office.

Vacancies in the complement of officers and in the Board of Directors, due to death, resignation, removal from the Chicago area or removal from office, shall be filled by a majority vote of the Directors present at any meeting, regular or called, attended by a quorum of such Directors.

At all meetings of the Board, seven members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, whether officers, Directors or a combination of both.

Standing Rules

Conforming with national bylaws of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, The Chicago Headline Club extends Chapter membership at special rates for retired members and members enrolled as full-time students. In either case, a member must notify the President or Board of Directors in writing of his or her retirement or enrollment in school to qualify for the special rate, which is one-half the current regular Chapter dues.

Dues for recent graduates who wish to affiliate with The Chicago Headline Club also are one-half of the current regular rate for the first year of membership. This special rate is restricted to members who pay the national Society’s initiation fee and dues and are accepted as members of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi.

For students attending full-time, admittance to chapter programs is one-half the regular admission unless there is a stated price for students.

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