Constitution and Bylaws




Section 1. This organization shall be known as the SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BRANCH OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MICROBIOLOGY, hereinafter referred to as the Branch.


Section 1. The promotion of the knowledge of microbiology and related subjects through discussions, reports, and publications.
Section 2. The stimulation of scientific investigations and their applications.
Section 3. The planning and organization of projects for the advancement of knowledge in the field.
Section 4. The improvement of education in microbiology and related subjects.
The Branch has been formed exclusively for the aforementioned scientific and educational purposes, and no part of its assets, income, or profit shall inure to the benefit of its members or officers.Further, no substantial part of the activities of the Branch shall be the carrying on of propaganda 01- otherwise attempting to influence legislation, nor shall the Branch participate in, or intervene in including the publication or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.


Archives shall be maintained for the collection, preservation, and display of historical materials relating to the Branch.


Any person or organization interested in the objectives of the Branch is eligible for membership.
Categories of members shall be:
Section 1. Full Member. A person who is a member of the National Society and endorses the objectives of the Branch is eligible to become a Full Member. Such members shall be eligible to vote for and to hold any elective office in the Branch.
Section 2. Associate Member. A person who is not a member of the National Society but endorses the objectives of the Branch shall be eligible to become an Associate Member. Associate members are not eligible to hold the offices of Branch President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Councilor, or Councilor-Elect.
Section 3. Sustaining Member. Any person or organization interested in advancing the objectives of the Branch is eligible for such membership. Sustaining members shall have the right to vote, but are not eligible to hold an elective office in the Branch.
Section 4. Honorary Member. A person whose eminent contributions to microbiology entitle him/her to this highest recognition the Branch can confer, shall be eligible for election to this membership. Honorary members shall have the privileges of the type of membership for which they would be otherwise qualified, and shall be exempt from payment of dues.
Section 5. Emeritus Member. A person who has been a member of the Branch for at least five years prior to retirement from remunerative professional work shall be eligible to apply for emeritus status. Emeritus members shall have the privileges of the member category to which they previously belonged, and shall be exempt from the payment of dues.
Section 6. Student Member. A person who is a regularly matriculated student with a major in microbiology or related field, or trainees in medical technology, public health microbiology, or other microbiology-associated field, may apply for this category of membership. A student member shall not be eligible to vote or hold elective office in me Branch.


Section 1. Composition of the Board. Eight elected officers and the immediate Past-President
shall constitute the Board of the Branch. The elected officers shall be President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Councilor, Councilor-Elect, and two additional Members-at-Large.
Section 2. Terms of Office. The elected officers shall serve a term of two years, beginning the first day of July following their election to office. The President, President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer will begin their terms in odd-numbered years; the Councilor, Councilor-Elect, and the two additional members of the Board shall begin their terms in even-numbered years.
Section 3. Functions of the Officers. The elected officers shall provide general leadership, execute duties that usually pertain to such offices, and perform other duties as specified by the Constitution and Bylaws of the Branch.
Section 4. Vacancies in the Board. Vacancies that occur in elective offices shall be filled by appointment by the President with approval by the Board.
Section 5. Privilege of Attendance at Board Meetings. Any member of the Branch may attend and participate in discussions during Board meetings, but only members of the Board may vote at these meetings. The attendance of at least five (5) Board members shall be required at a Board meeting in order for Branch business to be officially undertaken.


Section I. Any proposed amendment to the .Branch constitution not in conflict with the constitution of the National Society, may be presented in writing by any five members at a business meeting of the Branch. If approved by a majority of the Board, such amendment shall be sent to all members of the Branch together with ballots. The Secretary shall tally the ballots returned within 30 days from the date of mailing the ballots. The proposed amendment shall be considered adopted if it receives the approval of two-thirds of the members voting. The Secretary at the following Branch meeting shall announce the results of the vote.
Section 2. An amendment that has been adopted shall go into effect immediately following the Secretary's announcement.
Section 3. Results of the ballot(s) for the constitutional amendment(s) shall be reported in the Branch newsletter.




Section I. Full Members. A person who is a full member of the National Society and who has paid dues for the first year of membership in the Branch shall be deemed a full member. Each full member in good standing shall be entitled to privileges listed in the constitution.
Section 2. Associate Members. A person who is not a member of the National Society. Associate members are eligible to vote for all members of the Board except Councilor and Councilor-Elect. They may be nominated for, and hold the position of Member-at large.
Section 3. Sustaining Members. A person or commercial organization may become a sustaining member of the Branch if annual dues are paid as stipulated by the Board. Sustaining members may vote, but may not hold elective office in the Branch.
Section 4. Honorary Members. Persons recommended for honorary membership under the constitution, who receive approval of two-thirds of the Board, shall be declared nominated and their names shall be placed on the annual ballot. Majority approval on the ballot will confer honorary membership on the individuals).
Section 5. Emeritus Members. Persons, who have been members of the Branch for at least five continuous years prior to retirement, may apply to the Branch secretary for Emeritus status.
Section 6. Student Members. A student or trainee who qualifies under the constitution (ART. 4, Sect. 6), whose bona fide status is certified by a Branch member who is either a member of the faculty at the institution at which the student is matriculated, or is a training program director or designee (medical technology or public health microbiology), is eligible to become a student member of the Branch after payment of specified dues.


The President, with approval by the Board, shall appoint such committees as may be useful to the Branch. Each committee shall contain at least two members. The Nominations Committee shall not be chaired by a member of the Board. The committees shall include the following:
Section 1. Nominations Committee. This committee shall nominate those officers specified in ART. V, Sect. 1 of the Constitution, and make other nominations as suggested by the Board. Membership of the Nominations Committee shall be announced at an interim meeting and/or published in the Branch newsletter.
Section 2. Membership Committee. The purpose of this committee is to promote, by all available means, membership in the Branch.
Section 3. Program Committee. A Program Committee shall arrange interim meetings, and shall report to the President at least three weeks prior to each of the interim meetings. A separate committee may be appointed to arrange various aspects of the Branch's Annual Meeting.
Section 4. Finance Committee. The financial policy of the Branch is to operate its programs and activities in a fiscally responsible manner in order to assure that the goals and objectives of the Branch are achieved. The financial affairs of the Branch are controlled and monitored by the Board members of the Branch and the finance committee.


At least three months prior to the fall Annual Meeting, The Nominations Committee shall assemble a slate of candidates for those positions, the terms of which expire the following June. One or more nominations shall be shown for each position. At least two nominations shall be made for President-Elect. The Nominations Committee shall report the results of the slate to the President as soon as it is completed.

A ballot bearing the names of the nominees shall be sent to all voting members of the Branch no later than five weeks prior to the Annual Meeting. Ballots shall be provided with spaces for write-in votes. The deadline for receipt of ballots by the Nominations Committee shall be no later than two weeks prior to the Annual Meeting.

The election results shall be announced at the Annual Meeting.


Section I. Frequency of Meetings. There shall be a minimum of two meetings of the Branch each year for the purpose of transacting business and for presenting scientific information.


The Branch shall purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of its officers. Board members, or other duly designated members or committees of the Branch, indemnifying them against costs incurred for any legal or administrative action resulting from any past or present action(s) taken on behalf of the Branch.

No indemnification shall be made in cases of willful misconduct, gross negligence, or reckless disregard of the duties of one's office or committee function.


Section I. An annual budget shall be prepared by the Treasurer with the assistance of the Finance Committee, and presented to the Board for approval within 60 days of the new fiscal year.
Section 2. The Treasurer shall account for funds received and dispersed from the Branch accounts on a quarterly basis, such accountings to be made at Board meetings, and published subsequently in the Branch newsletter.
Section 3. There shall be a periodic audit of the Branch's accounts by a Certified Public Accountant. This audit shall be received and reviewed by an audit sub-committee appointed by the President, no member of which shall be a member of the Board. The sub-committee shall recommend approval to the Treasurer, or propose appropriate actions to be considered by the Treasurer or the Board.
Section 4. Membership dues shall be determined by the Board and shall be payable January 1st of each year. The amount of such dues shall, no less than once each year, be reported by the President at a meeting of the Branch and in the newsletter. Members delinquent in dues payment for two years may be dropped from the Branch's mailing list.


Student members of the Branch may associate to form Student Chapters at their colleges or universities, with the oversight of faculty members who are in good standing in the Branch. Constitutions of such Chapters should be patterned after, and not in conflict with the constitution of the Branch.

Proposals for the formation of student chapters shall be accepted upon majority vote of members of the Board.

Sponsorship of a Student Chapter by the Branch shall be accomplished by presenting to the ASM Council a copy of the student chapter's constitution and bylaws, with a petition asking permission to establish the Chapter. The student chapter shall submit an annual report of its activities to the Branch. The Branch shall assume responsibility for oversight of, and assistance to the Chapter.


Section I. The Secretary of the Branch shall transmit copies of the constitution and bylaws upon adoption or amendment, to the Chair of the Membership Board of the National Society for approval.
Section 2. The Branch Secretary shall transmit annually to the Chair of the Membership Board the names of officers within three weeks after their election, and standing committees, but no later than December 1, and shall notify the Chair of the Membership Board of any changes.
Section 3. The Branch Secretary shall report Branch meeting data as requested by the National Society.


A proposal to amend the Bylaws shall follow the procedure as designated in ART. VI. AMENDMENTS (in the constitution).

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See Also: ASM National Rights and Obligations