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Constitution and By-laws

Initially suspicious of too much formality after the bureaucracy experienced in its predecessor organization, the Canadian Speleological Society, the founders of VICEG let formal society status lapse with the transition in November 1970. However, the group registered itself formally again in 1973 because of its involvements in guiding for BC Parks at the Horne Lake Caves. Since then, the original Constitution and Bylaws have been amended several times, most recently in 2003, when the sponsorship requirement for new members was dropped in order to make the club more inclusive.

In 2011, in order to participate in liability insurance coverage provided through the BC Speleological Federation to all of its unincorporated member organizations, VICEG cancelled its formal registration as a separate society. However, it continues to govern itself under the following Constitution and Bylaws as amended at the November 8, 2003 Annual General Meeting and approved by the Registrar of Companies, December 31, 2003:

Certificate No. S-10327

CONSTITUTION and BY-LAWS OF
THE VANCOUVER ISLAND CAVE EXPLORATION GROUP

CONSTITUTION

The name of the organization shall be "Vancouver Island Cave Exploration Group".

The purpose of the Society shall be: to locate, explore and study caves; to conserve caves for the appreciation of future generations; to promote safe caving practices, fellowship and teamwork among cavers; and to advance public understanding and appreciation of caves, cave conservation and caving safety.

The operations of the Society are to be conducted chiefly on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

BY-LAWS

I. MEMBERSHIP

A. Admission of Members
1. Membership shall be open to anyone interested in speleology and willing to:
  1. comply with the conditions as set forth in the Society's Constitution and By-Laws;
  2. acquire a knowledge of cave conservation requirements and safe caving techniques and make a commitment to practice and promote them; and
  3. meet any other conditions or procedures for admission as may be set by the Executive Officers of the Society and approved by vote of the membership.
2. Organizations having purposes similar to those of the Society may become affiliated with it by vote of a two-thirds majority of the voting membership.

B. Classification of Members

Members are classified as follows:

  1. Honorary Members -are individuals to whom membership is nominated by the Executive Officers for outstanding contributions to the field of speleology. Only one Honorary Membership may be awarded each year. Honorary Members shall have the same status as Regular Members. They shall be nominated by the Executive Officers and approved by a two-thirds majority of the voting membership.
  2. Regular Members - are responsible individuals of any age who, upon meeting the admission requirements and remaining in good standing, have all the privileges of the Society including the right to vote and to hold office. (Charter Members are Regular Members who were present at the first meeting of the Society when it was originally incorporated under the name "British Columbia Speleological Society", on 3 February, 1967).
  3. Sustaining Members - are responsible individuals of any age who meet the admission requirements, do not receive the Society publications and pay annual dues reduced by the cost of receiving the Society publications, but otherwise have all the privileges of Regular Members.
  4. Institutional Members - are incorporated organizations and unincorporated entities other than individuals whose interest or activities are related to speleology. Institutional Members are not entitled to hold office or to vote in Society business.
  5. Occasional Members - are individuals of any age who fill out a day member release form and are sponsored on an expedition by a Society member in good standing. Such individuals have no formal membership rights or privileges.

C. Dues, Assessments and Gifts

  1. Membership dues of the Society shall be effective as of the date of incorporation of the Society, and shall be as follows:
    1. Annual dues shall be as set by the voting membership.
    2. Voting members must be notified of any proposal to change dues at least two weeks before a vote on such a change is to take place.
    3. Dues-paying members must pay their annual membership dues before the opening of each Annual General Meeting in order to remain in good standing during the Meeting and throughout the following year. Members not in good standing may be reinstated upon payment of back dues not exceeding one year.
    4. All new membership applications processed throughout the year will have annual dues pro-rated by month to the end of the month preceding that in which the Annual General Meeting is held.

  2. No special assessments may be made against any members of the Society.
  3. Voluntary contributions may be solicited by the Executive for special purposes. A charge may be made for the Society's special publications and extra copies of regular publications, and fees may be collected for the use of the Society's property when approved by the membership.
  4. Gifts and bequests may be made to the Society in any form or amount and for any use compatible with the purposes of the Society, or for any use as specified by the donor.
  5. A charge may be made to non-members for:
    1. Attendance at Society sponsored activities;
    2. Use of the Society's property or library;
    3. Copies of publications, maps or other data;
    4. Inclusion of non-members on the Society's mailing list.

D. Termination of Membership and Expulsion of Members

  1. Membership in the Society shall be terminated by failure to pay any required annual membership dues by the date prescribed.
  2. In the event that a majority of the membership shall have voted to suspend payment of annual dues, a dues-paying membership in the Society will expire at the opening of the Annual General Meeting subsequent to the date of issue of the annual membership unless the member specifically requests renewal.
  3. Members may be dropped or expelled from the Society by majority decision of the voting membership for any of the following reasons:
    1. Wilful abuse of the Society's property, publications or funds;
    2. Wilful disregard for their own safety or the safety of others;
    3. Wilful disregard of cave conservation principles;
    4. Conduct detrimental to the Society.

II. MEETINGS

  1. The Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held in the month of November.
  2. Regular and special meetings may be called at such times and places as approved by the Directors. The entire membership shall be notified as to the dates, places and purposes of such meetings at least two weeks in advance thereof .
  3. A quorum of the Society shall be considered to be two-thirds of the voting membership.

III. ADMINISTRATION

  1. Elections


    1. Officials to be elected: At each Annual General Meeting, the membership shall elect an Executive consisting of: one President, one Vice-President, one Secretary, one Treasurer, and any additional officers as deemed necessary by a majority of the membership.

    2. Nomination procedure: Nominations shall be made by voting members in good standing and only voting members in good standing may be nominated. An individual may be nominated for more than one office. Members of the Executive may stand for re-election. In all cases, consent of nominees must be obtained in advance. Nominations may be made at the Annual General Meeting or may be conveyed in writing to any member of the Executive within five weeks before the Annual General Meeting. Nominations for all offices shall be completed before balloting occurs.
    3. Balloting procedure:
      1. An election may be by acclamation; otherwise it shall be by secret ballot. Voters shall place the name of only one candidate on the ballot for each office.
      2. A committee appointed by the President shall count the ballots in the presence of the membership at the Annual General Meeting.
      3. If no candidate obtains more than half of the total votes cast for an office on the first ballot, the candidate with the least votes shall be dropped and run-off balloting shall continue until one candidate emerges with a clear majority of votes over all remaining candidates combined. A candidate who has been nominated for and is elected to more than one office may accept only one position. The runner-up for the declined office shall be deemed elected to that office. In the event of a draw for an office, the winner will be decided by a run-off election held by secret ballot at the Annual General Meeting.

    4. Duties of Executive at the Annual General Meeting:

      Upon the election of all officers, the past Executive shall surrender all possessions of their offices to the new Executive as their last official act. The Executive-elect shall, after assuming their new positions, complete the business of the Annual General Meeting and declare it adjourned.

    5. By-Elections: The voting membership shall have the power to remove officers by a two-thirds majority vote and to fill the vacancies which may occur in any office by a by-election. All voting members must be notified by the Executive at least two weeks in advance of any vote for removal or by-election of officers.
  2. Directors and Officers

    1. The Board of Directors of the Society shall consist of all members of the annually elected Executive, together with the members of the previous year's Executive and members of the Executive Committee appointed by the Executive.
    2. The Directors of the Society shall serve without remuneration. A Director does not have the right to appoint a substitute for his office.
    3. A formal Directors' meeting may be convened by any two Directors. Those Directors serving on the current Executive shall constitute a quorum at any formal Directors' meeting.
    4. Duties of officers:
      1. The President shall chair all formal meetings of the membership, Executive, and Directors, direct the Society in all matters of its business, co-sign any financial and business transactions of the Society, and perform other duties appropriate to his position.
      2. The Vice-President shall participate as necessary in all aspects of t he Society's administration, and in the absence of the President, shall also assume the duties of the President.
      3. The Secretary shall keep the official seal of the Society, have responsibility for the official correspondence of the Society, and record minutes of all formal meetings.
      4. The Treasurer shall co-sign any financial and business transactions of the Society, maintain financial accounts, and prepare an audit of the Society's books for the Annual General Meeting. In addition, the Treasurer s hall have responsibility for all financial and administrative matters concerning membership in the Society.
  3. Committees

  4. Committees may be created by the President to assist in executing the work of the Society. Such committees shall exist at the pleasure of the Executive and individual members may be added, removed and replaced as deemed necessary by the Executive.

  5. Directives

  6. Each action approved by the Board of Directors which serves to establish new policies or to establish new administrative procedures will be designated a "Directive"; The Secretary of the Society shall consecutively number in chronological order each Directive and shall be responsible for forwarding the contents thereof to the Society and to any publication of the Society.

    1. PROPERTIES and TRUSTEES
      1. The Society may acquire real and personal property, including equipment, literature and other materials for use by and on behalf of the membership.
      2. The administration of such properties shall be the responsibility of the Board of Directors.

    2. PUBLICATIONS, LIBRARY AND FILES
      1. The Society may issue and distribute publications under the heading "Vancouver Island Cave Exploration Group". Publication and distribution must be authorized by the Executive.
      2. The Society shall maintain a library and files on speleological subjects for the use of members.
      3. The library, files, books and records of the Society shall be open to members of the Society by arrangement with the members of the Executive responsible for their custody.

    3. BORROWING OF MONEY
    4. The Society shall not borrow any money from commercial institutions except as authorized by an Extraordinary Resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of the membership.

    5. OFFICIAL SEAL AND SOCIETY CRESTS
      1. The Official Seal of the Society shall be kept in the custody of the Secretary.
      2. The Official Seal of the Society may only be affixed or employed by authority of the Executive of the Society.
      3. Society crests reproducing the Official Seal may only be displayed by members in good standing. A fee for such crests may be charged to members who wish to display them, and this fee should be refundable, depending upon the condition of the crests, upon return of the crests to the Society.

    6. AMENDMENT OF THE BY-LAWS
      1. These By-Laws may be amended only by:
        1. Submitting the proposed amendments to the membership at least two weeks prior to their consideration.
        2. Approval of a two-thirds majority of the voting membership.
      2. Only minor changes of language from that presented may be allowed at the time of adoption.


This site created Sept '07, last updated .