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Dedicated to the Study, Conservation, and Exploration of Kansas Caves
Take nothing but pictures,
Leave nothing but footprints,
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The Constitution and Bylaws of the Kansas Speleological Society
As an Internal Organization of the National Speleological Society

As amended in 1993

I. The name of the organization shall be the Kansas Speleological Society of the National Speleological Society.
  1. For the purpose of this constitution and bylaws the name, Kansas Speleological Society, shall herein be abbreviated to KSS. The name, National Speleological Society, shall likewise be abbreviated to NSS.
  2. If it should become necessary, for whatever reason, for the name to be changed; the majority vote shall be taken, either at a meeting called by the executive committee and all members notified in advance of said meeting or by a mailed vote of any member, to be considered a vote in absence.

II. *The purpose of this organization shall be the same as that of the NSS, with the purpose of organizing NSS members and interested parties, in the Kansas and Midwestern area, to better promote the objectives of the NSS.
  1. Any person in the world may become a member subject to item III and the inclusive subsection provided they subscribe to the KSS conservation ethic.
   a. Conservation ethic of the KSS as published January, 1984 in the "Kansas Kaver": Members of the KSS shall in no way deface, break, or remove any formation from any cave. All refuse brought into a cave should be removed when leaving the cave. Landowner permission is a must for entering a cave. Any member entering a cave without landowner permission should not consider themselves as acting in any official capacity of the KSS.
    1. Removal of samples from the cave environment, whether living or not, for scientific study shall be done only at the express approval of the executive committee. See item: III. See also Item: VIII, 9.

III. The Kansas Speleological Society is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any federal tax code.

IV. No part of the net earnings of the Kansas Speleological Society shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Kansas Speleological Society shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Amendment III. hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the Kansas Speleological Society shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, except that the Kansas Speleological Society shall be authorized and empowered to promote the objectives of the National Speleological Society as outlined in the constitution of the Kansas Speleological Society under section II and for the purposes of study, exploration and conservation of natural resources within the state of Kansas and issues of concern to the National Speleological Society, and the Kansas Speleological Society shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the Kansas Speleological Society shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code. Should these aforementioned limitations be invalid or not applicable in the state of Kansas or for the purpose of gaining tax-exempt status for the Kansas Speleological Society the following statement may replace the preceding sentence: Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the Kansas Speleological Society shall not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the purposes of the Kansas Speleological Society as an internal organization of the National Speleological Society.

V. Upon dissolution of the Kansas Speleological Society, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principle office of the Kansas Speleological Society is then located, exclusively, for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes. (See Sections XI through XIII inclusive of the constitution of the Kansas Speleological Society).

VI. *Full membership shall be limited to members of the NSS, as is a specific requirement of the NSS policy on Internal Organizations. Historically, the founders of the NSS felt that it was crucial to the effectiveness of pursuing NSS goals to have the members of Internal Organizations demonstrate their support of the NSS by becoming members.
  1. Associate membership shall be given to all non-NSS members who pay the required full membership dues, can cave safely and are sponsored by a full member of the KSS.
   a. Associate members shall be given full voting rights within the KSS on leadership or business matters only.
    1. Associate members may not vote on constitutional matters or matters of KSS/NSS policy.
   b. *Associate members shall not be listed on the NSS charter of the KSS.
   c. Access to any NSS property held by the KSS, by an associate member will be denied.
   d. Access to any KSS property by an associate member will be at the discretion of a full member of the KSS.
   e. *Associate members may not accrue tenure in the KSS and must resubmit application for membership annually.

  2. Dues shall be made payable no later than February 1 of each year to retain membership.
   a. Membership dues will be set by the executive committee (see item VIII, 9); however, provision is herein made for payment to be made at 1/10 of the annual dues per month for any months remaining in the fiscal year or parts of months to be counted as one month, that year ending December 31.
   b. No member may be dropped from membership for any reason, unless written notice of the action to the member being dropped is sent by a member of the KSS executive committee, with an explanation of the reason(s). An allowance in order to appeal termination of membership before a hearing of the executive committee's discretion, is herein granted, if desired by the individual in question.
    1. If no appeal is made within one month of the date of notice of termination, the individual waives all rights and privileges of KSS membership and shall be dropped from membership.

  3. Provision is herein made to allow the formation of committees and other classes of membership within the KSS as the needs may arise. These shall be written as amendments to this constitution by the executive committee.

  4. Any full member may make an appeal, or request, additions or amendments to this constitution by the executive committee.
   a. If said appeal or request is considered by the executive committee a majority vote on the issue will be made at a scheduled meeting or by a stated deadline of decision of the executive committee.
    1. One month notification shall be given to the membership on the issue at hand; to allow for attendance of the scheduled meeting and/or to receive signed mailed in votes.
   a. Votes must be received by the time of the scheduled meeting or the stated deadline of decision to be counted as valid.
   b. See Item XIV, 1. for the exception to this rule.

VII. There shall be four business meetings of the Kansas Speleological Society per year.
  1. The times and dates of these meetings will be published in advance by one month to all members, with the location given.
  2. Any member shall be allowed to attend these meetings.
  3. All votes on business matters or leadership matters shall carry by a majority of those in attendance at the meeting.
  4. Provision is herein made for additional meetings to be held for other reasons not stated in this constitution.
   a. Any group of the KSS membership may hold a meeting at any time or place to discuss issues of importance as determined by said group.
   b. A written record of each or any meeting shall be made and a copy shall be delivered to the KSS librarian as soon as it is possible.

VIII. *The KSS shall be governed by an executive committee made up of the following officers, who must be NSS/Full members, elected annually by the membership:

  1. A Chairman.

  2. A Vice-Chairman.

  3. A Treasurer.

  4. An Editor.

  5. A Librarian.

  6. A Secretary.

  7. A Safety and Techniques and National Cave Rescue Commission officer for the Kansas Speleological Society.

  8. The election of KSS officers shall be conducted in accordance with the KSS election guidelines outlined below.

   a. The Vice-chairman will appoint and advise a three person nominating committee at the second regularly scheduled KSS meeting of the year. The nominating committee will consist of KSS members not actively seeking office. Members of the nominating committee shall not nominate themselves or other members of the nominating committee.
   b. The Vice-chairman shall announce the nominating committee's slate of candidates at the third regularly scheduled KSS meeting of the year. At this meeting there will be a call for additional nominations from the floor. All nominations received thus far will be published in the next Kansas Kaver prior to the election. Absentee ballots will be accepted by the Vice-chairman any time after this meeting, but prior to the election.
   c. At the fourth regularly scheduled KSS meeting, a secret ballot election will be conducted after one last opportunity is provided for final nominations from the floor. All nominees must give an attending member verbal or written consent prior to the actual election. Each KSS member participating in the election shall vote for only one person per office by using a blank ballot and clearly writing down their choice for each given office. Completed ballots will be personally deposited by each voter into a common collection receptacle.
   d. All valid and eligible ballots will be tallied by two impartial KSS members who are not running for office. Each office will be filled by the individual receiving the greatest number of vote for that position. The new officers will be immediately announced and will assume office at the termination of this KSS meeting. The actual election tally will not be publicly announce, however, the Vice-chairman will make the complete election results available upon request to any KSS member who wishes to examine the tally in private.
   e. Any given KSS member shall hold a maximum of one KSS office at any given time. An individual elected for more than one office must immediately decline all but one of these offices. In the case where an office is vacated by an individual elected to multiple offices, then that office will be filled by the person with the next greatest number of votes for that particular office. Any other unfilled or vacated offices may be filled by appointment from the Chairman, unless overruled by a majority vote.

  9. The executive committee shall have complete power to manage the business, to raise funds in any manner not inconsistent with the policies of the NSS; and to perform all other necessary functions.

  10. Decisions or actions of the executive committee may be overruled by a 2/3 majority vote of the full members.

IX. Executive committee and general meetings shall be held at such times and places or in the manner desired, allowing for mail-in votes as desired in item VI. 4. a. 1. inclusive, as are determined by the executive committee.

  1. A petition signed by 2/3 of the full membership, shall be mandatory upon executive committee to call a special meeting for the purpose stated in the petition.

X. The constitution and bylaws of the NSS shall be binding on the KSS. Any action inconsistent therewith shall be null and void.

XI. Any NSS property shall revert to the NSS in the event of dissolution.

XII. All KSS property shall be returned to the executive committee in the event of dissolution.

  1. These items will be sold and may be bought by any member at a fair and reasonable price.
   a. The money received shall be held by the KSS.

XIII. All money held by and for the KSS shall be donated to the NSS in the event of dissolution.

XIV. Amendments to this constitution shall be made by majority vote as outlined in item VI. 4. a. inclusive.

  1. If an amendment should be proposed during any scheduled business meeting, annual, or as called by the executive committee, only the majority vote of those members present will be necessary for the passage of the amendment.

* = Items are specifically required by the NSS Internal Organization Committee.

  This amended KSS constitution was drafted on Aug. 29, 1993, by the KSS Executive Committee and approved at a regularly scheduled KSS meeting on Nov. 6, 1993, by the KSS membership. Published in Kansas Caves No. 7, January 1994, pp. 17-23.

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Join the NSS!   The K.S.S. is formed as an internal organization of the
National Speleological Society
and was officially chartered on May 30, 1984.
Visit www.caves.org for N.S.S. membership information.

Extra! Extra! Read all about Kansas kaving! The K.S.S. publishes a newsletter, the Kansas Kaver, six times a year. In addition, a publication called Kansas Caves is published once per year. Both publications are available to K.S.S. members.

   Membership to the K.S.S. is open to anyone who supports cave conservation. Send annual dues of $15 per year to the K.S.S. Treasurer Steve Kite. For more information, email kss@caves.org

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