Chi Upsilon Iota Tri-Ess

Chapter Bylaws

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Bylaws of Chi Upsilon Iota Chapter, Tri-Ess
Initial draft created
 Feb 06, 2006-02-06
By Rae Louise Wall
Revised Mar 10, 2006
web version Feb 16, 2007

Article I. Name
Article IV. PURPOSE:


Article I.              NAME:

Section 1.01               The name of this organization shall be: Chi Upsilon Iota Chapter, an affiliated chapter of The Society for the Second Self, Inc., hereafter referred to as CUI and Tri-Ess, respectively.



Article II.           DEFINITION:

Section 2.01               CUI is a non-profit, volunteer, educational, social and outreach organization.



Article III.        AFFILIATION:

Section 3.01               CUI is an affiliated chapter of Tri-Ess, but reserves the right to co-affiliate with other organizations provided those organizations are in compliance with Tri-Ess by-laws and policies.

Section 3.02               CUI may, with the consent of a majority of the members voting, participate in communications with, and the mutual support systems of, other groups or organizations, which support, or promote the free expression of gender, but may not become bound by the by-laws or policies of any group other than Tri-Ess. 



Article IV.       PURPOSE:

Section 4.01               The purpose of CUI is to act as a non-sexual support group for heterosexual crossdressers, and if it pertains, spouses and life partners of crossdressers, and their families.  Toward this end, CUI will:

(a)    Provide programs, speakers, services and social activities for the support of its members and to promote the acceptance and understanding of crossdressing and gender presentation.

(b)    Provide opportunities for crossdressing, for the purpose of developing self-understanding and self-acceptance as well as social interaction with other crossdressers and supporters.

(c)    Pass on knowledge and understanding of crossdressers and their families to related organizations and to the public.

(d)    Assist members and others who ask with problems related to crossdressing, whenever possible.

(e)    Promote the Bylaws, Policies and goals of Tri-Ess as stated in the Tri-Ess By-Laws and Policies.



Article V.          MEMBERSHIP

Section 5.01               General Provisions

(a)    Individuals seeking full voting membership in CUI must be heterosexual crossdressers or spouses, partners, adult children or parents of heterosexual crossdressers, must be at least eighteen (18) years of age, and not actively seeking, nor having had, sexual reassignment.  All prospective members must be approved by two or more authorized representatives of CUI Chapter. 

(b)    Membership will not be denied on the basis of race, religious preference, physical appearance or disability, genetic sex, marital status, inability to pay, or the amount of time spent crossdressed. This includes how well a member \93passes\94 or not.

Section 5.02               Full voting members

(a)    Heterosexual crossdressers and the spouses, life-partners, adult children or parents of heterosexual crossdressers are eligible to become full voting members of CUI Chapter provided they are members in good standing of Tri-Ess nationally.

(b)    Full voting members are entitled to all benefits of CUI Chapter membership stated herein.  In addition, they shall be entitled to hold office in CUI Chapter, to cast one vote in chapter elections and/or referenda, and to attend all meetings,  use the library and all other privileges as they become available unless otherwise stated in these by-laws and policies.

Section 5.03               Non-voting Memberships

(a)    Persons having a legitimate constructive interest in CUI Chapter but otherwise ineligible for membership under Article V, Section 5.01 (a), are eligible for non-voting membership. This includes members who feel they are TS, vendors, partners of non member crossdressers and others.  Non-voting members are required to obtain membership in Tri-Ess as members or as Friends of Tri-Ess, as appropriate.

(b)    Non-voting members may attend chapter meetings. They are entitled to use the library and to receive the monthly newsletter, but may not vote or hold office in CUI Chapter.



Section 6.01               Participation in CUI Chapter

(a)    All members of CUI are allowed and encouraged to participate in all chapter activities that are open to the membership within the guidelines of article V as appropriate.

Section 6.02               Spouses or partners who have lost a partner may maintain their full voting membership status if desired.  This will be handled on a case by case basis.

Section 6.03               Participation in the Spouses' and Partners' Support Group and/or Couples\92 Group

(a)    All participants in any CUI maintained support group (for example a partners group or a couples group) must be qualified for membership under the general All participants provision of Article V, A, of the by-laws.

(b)    In any CUI maintained support group must be members of Tri-Ess and of CUI Chapter unless they are a visitor.

Section 6.04               Participation in CUI chapter as a visitor or guest

(a)    A visitor is defined as someone who is not eligible for full membership in the chapter, and who is not seeking membership.  Visitors may include program presenters, representatives of other Tri-Ess chapters or transgender support groups, vendors, helping professionals, or friends of members.  A visitor must obtain the approval of two members of the chapter's board of directors.  A host sponsoring a visitor is responsible for the behavior of her visitor, who is subject to the bylaws and policies of the chapter.

(b)    A guest is a person who is eligible for full membership in the chapter. Guests can attend up to 2 meetings before they are required to join Tri-Ess and CUI.  Failure to do so will result in the guest being unable to attend future meetings until membership dues for both CUI and Tri-Ess have been paid for.




Section 7.01               Minor children shall be considered special visitors of CUI Chapter.

(a)    Their rights to attend all chapter meetings shall not be abridged or denied.

(b)    Attendance by minor children at CUI Chapter functions is a family issue and will be decided as such, although it is strongly recommended that children attend only with the approval of both parents and/or legal guardians. 

(c)    All minors attending meetings must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.




Section 8.01               All members of CUI shall support and abide by the By-laws and policies of CUI and Tri-Ess.

Section 8.02               Members shall conduct themselves in an appropriate manner and strive to make others feel welcome.

(a)    Members shall honor the security and confidentiality of their fellow members.

(b)    Members will refrain from any inappropriate sexual behavior.

(c)    Members will refrain from speech, behavior or dress that would be expected to offend spouses and partners.  This specifically includes promotion of transsexualism and other sensitive topics. The rule is when in doubt, ask.

(d)    Members will abide by the \93no drugs\94, \93no weapons\94, and \93no alcohol\94 policy of CUI Chapter during meetings.

(e)    Members will come dressed in ladylike or gentlemanly attire.

(f)      Members will abide by the policies of businesses the chapter patronizes.

(g)    Members will not bash any gender-gifted persons or organizations.

(h)    Members shall also vote, if eligible, in CUI elections and referenda.

(i)       All members shall promote CUI and Tri-Ess whenever possible.

(j)       It is expected that every CUI member will do his/her share of work on chapter committees and projects.




Section 9.01               Annual Dues

(a)    CUI may levy annual dues against members payable on the date membership commences and in the month of January and every year thereafter.  Dues collected shall include both Chapter dues and Tri-Ess dues when appropriate.  The Chapter Treasurer shall remit Tri-Ess dues to the office of the Membership Director of Tri-Ess.

(b)    Initial chapter dues shall be prorated from the time the member joins the chapter to the next January.

(c)    New members must pay one year\92s Tri-Ess dues at the time they join CUI unless they are already members of Tri-Ess. Prorating of Tri-Ess dues will be done the second year of membership.

(d)    Annual CUI dues may be modified with the consent of a two-thirds majority of the voting members in attendance.

(e)    Those failing to renew their memberships in CUI or Tri-Ess within sixty (60) days of the date due shall immediately lose all membership privileges.  The chapter shall keep accurate records of membership in CUI Chapter and Tri-Ess.

Section 9.02               Meeting Fees

(a)    Members may be assessed a nominal fee to defray meeting expenses. This fee, if any, will be announced prior to any meeting or event CUI sponsors.

(b)    Visitors (defined in Article VI , Section 6.04) will not be assessed  a meeting fee.

(c)    Persons living more than 1.5 hours outside the location of the chapter shall be assessed one-half the established meeting fee.

(d)    Meeting fee assessments may be adjusted by a two-thirds majority of the voting members in attendance.

(e)    Any member who attends a CUI Chapter Meeting must pay meeting fees, if any, regardless of his/her time of arrival.

(f)      Members failing to pay the assessed meeting fees may not attend subsequent meetings and shall forfeit voting rights until said fees are paid in full.

(g)    Meeting fees shall be waived for the December meeting and one other meeting per year.

Section 9.03               Special Assessments

(a)    Members may be assessed fees for special purposes, with the consent of a majority of the voting members in attendance.

(b)    Special assessments may not be levied on a recurring or on a continuing basis.

Section 9.04               Hardships

(a)    A member may petition the Board in writing for the granting of a hardship status.  This petition shall be reviewed in closed session of the Board and hardship status shall be reviewed annually.  It is the member's responsibility to keep the Board apprised of his/her financial status.

(b)    In the case of severe financial hardship only the Board of Directors, at its discretion, may invoke one of the following hardship plans:

                 (i)     Payment of full dues in quarterly installments

               (ii)     Payment of dues discounted by one-third, in quarterly installments

             (iii)     Waiver of dues for one year, after which time a member is expected to move to one of the other hardship plans or pay dues in full. 

(c)    The CUI Chapter Board of Directors will send to the Membership Director of Tri-Ess a recommendation for hardship status and the type of hardship recommended.

(d)    In cases of permanent and total disability the chapter may request permanent waiver of dues from Tri-Ess.

(e)    Cash flow problems other than indigence will not be considered valid grounds for granting a hardship status.  Unwillingness to pay dues is not grounds for hardship status and will result in loss of all membership privileges.

(f)      Members granted hardship status will enjoy full membership privileges provided they meet all other criteria for membership. 



Article X.          MEETINGS:

Section 10.01          Chapter Meetings

(a)    Chapter meetings shall be held on the second Saturday of each month unless rescheduled or canceled at a previous Chapter meeting with the consent of a majority of the voting members in attendance.

(b)    CUI reserves the right to restrict the number of guests (non members) at chapter meetings and the right to deny attendance to hostile, intoxicated or otherwise undesirable individuals.

Section 10.02          Board Meetings

(a)    The CUI Board of Directors shall meet each month prior to the Chapter Meeting.  The CUI Board of Directors Meetings shall be open, except for discussion of items related to hardship or discipline.




Section 11.01          General Provisions

(a)    The voting members of CUI shall annually elect a Facilitator and a Board of Directors of at least three persons, (hereinafter referred to as the Board), to serve from January 1st through December 31st of the calendar year.

(b)    The Board shall consist of the Facilitator and Board Members to do the following jobs:

                 (i)     Event/Outreach Coordinator

               (ii)     Liaison to Tri-Ess

             (iii)     Membership-Treasurer Coordinator

             (iv)     Newsletter Editor

               (v)     Screening/Orientation Coordinator

(c)    Eligibility to serve on the Board shall be restricted to voting members who:

                 (i)     Have been members for 1 calendar year

               (ii)     Who have not previously been removed from the Board

             (iii)     CUI officers can be officers in other transgender organizations as long as the other organization is beyond 100 miles of the CUI chapter.

             (iv)     CUI officers can hold office in any other group or organization that is not directly serving the transgender community as the primary focus of the group. 

(d)    No one person or family shall hold more than one of the following positions:

                 (i)     Facilitator

               (ii)     Treasurer - Membership Coordinator

             (iii)     Newsletter Editor

Section 11.02          Duties of the Board

(a)    The Board shall be responsible for the effective administration of CUI, its By-laws, Policies and Board Directives and toward this end shall:

                 (i)     Hold monthly meetings scheduled at the discretion of the Facilitator to discuss and pass on administrative matters.

               (ii)     Appoint committees and/or delegates to perform tasks for the fulfillment of Board responsibilities.

             (iii)     Make recommendations for action to the members of the chapter to be voted upon by the members of the chapter. 

(b)    The Board shall be responsible to the voting members of CUI and to the governing body of Tri-Ess.

(c)    The Facilitator shall:

                 (i)     Preside at all Chapter and Board Meetings.

               (ii)     Represent CUI to the public, to Tri-Ess and to other transgender organizations.

             (iii)     Appoint a secretary from those members present to serve for the duration of a given meeting.

(d)    The Event/Outreach Coordinator shall:

                 (i)     Secure a meeting place suitable for CUI'S monthly meetings.

               (ii)     Make arrangements for special events when they are scheduled.

             (iii)     Contact area colleges/universities and other appropriate organizations for outreach programs.

             (iv)     Recruit other chapter members to assist with research or arrangements as needed.

               (v)      Manage and maintain the chapter Internet presence.

(e)    The Liaison to Tri-Ess shall:

                 (i)     Maintain required communication with Tri-Ess as needed. This involves the following (as needed):

\B7        Postal communication
\B7        Email communication
\B7        Phone communication
(f)      The Membership-Treasurer Coordinator shall:
                 (i)     Attend all Chapter meetings for the purpose of collecting dues and activity fees from members and for paying for immediate meeting expenses at the time of the meeting.  In the event that the Treasurer cannot attend the meeting, they may delegate these responsibilities to another trusted chapter member; however, the Treasurer is still responsible for the collected funds and the associated reporting.
               (ii)     Reimburse authorized expenses related to chapter business incurred by members, such as postage, telephone charges, food & beverage items, etc.
             (iii)     Maintain the membership database.
             (iv)     Submit membership information and dues for new members and renewals to Tri-Ess in a timely manner.  The actual submission will be coordinated between the Treasurer and the Liaison to Tri-Ess.
               (v)     Provide a monthly financial report to the Board.
(g)    The Newsletter Editor shall:
                 (i)     Review all articles submitted by chapter members and forward any controversial articles to the Facilitator to review and approve.
               (ii)     Assemble, print and mail or electronically mail the chapter newsletter.  The chapter newsletter shall be published in a timely manner.
(h)    The Screening/Orientation Coordinator shall:
                 (i)     Answer and screen all inquiries from the chapter's Internet site, Tri-Ess or any other source of inquiry.
               (ii)     Send chapter "inquiry packages" to all persons who inquire and pass the initial screening.
             (iii)     Provide all new members with a copy of the bylaws and all policies.
             (iv)     Coordinate a "Newcomers" meeting which will be provided for potential members who attend meetings.

Section 11.03          Conduct of Business

(a)    The Board shall conduct business in accordance with ARTICLE XII, unless otherwise started in these bylaws and policies.

(b)    A quorum shall consist of 2/3 of the Board Members.

(c)    Board decisions on matters specifically requiring a membership vote shall not be binding unless ratified by the voting members at a subsequent chapter meeting.

Section 11.04          Vacancies on the Board

(a)    Should the Facilitator's seat become vacant for any reason prior to the end of the current term the Board of Directors shall elect an interim Facilitator to serve until the end of the term or until the originally elected Facilitator returns to office, whichever comes first.

(b)    Should the seat of a Director become vacant, for any reason, prior to the end of the current term, the Facilitator shall appoint an interim Director, with the advice and consent of the Board to           serve until the end of the term or until the elected Director returns to office, whichever comes first.

Section 11.05          Tenure and Removal of Board Members

(a)    Tenure of Board Members shall be for one (1) year.

(b)    At its discretion the Board may appoint an assistant(s) to any board member.

(c)    If a board member is unable to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of his/her board position, she/she will be expected to resign his/her office.



Article XII.              CONDUCT OF BUSINESS:

Section 12.01          Calendar

(a)    The social year of CUI shall be from January 1 through December 31 of the calendar year.

(b)    The business or fiscal year of CUI shall be from January 1 through December 31 of the calendar year.

Section 12.02          CUI business shall be conducted during chapter meetings unless stated otherwise in these bylaws and policies as follows:

(a)    Elections and referenda shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the members voting.

(b)    The eligible voting members shall decide membership admission codes, conduct, security, financial assessments and other matters having an impact on the membership provided such matters are consistent with these bylaws.

(c)    The conduct of all business meetings shall follow Robert's Rules of Order, unless otherwise stated in these bylaws and policies.

Section 12.03          Inspection of Votes:

(a)     On any question at which votes are taken, it shall be the right of all sides to provide a representative to confirm vote tallies.



Section 13.01          The bylaws of CUI may be amended as set forth herein, with the exception of ARTICLE XIII and ARTICLE XIV.

(a)    All voting members must be advised in writing of any proposed amendments a minimum of twenty days prior to the meeting at which the matter is to be voted on.

(b)    Each amendment to be made must be voted on independently.

(c)    Members may vote in person or by mail, but voting shall be conducted during the business portion of a chapter meeting by secret ballot and tabulated by the Facilitator and another person as determined by members present.

(d)    A two-thirds majority of those voting shall be required for any amendment to pass.

(e)    Typographical or grammatical corrections are not considered as amendments.

Section 13.02          Amendments to ARTICLE XIV

(a)    Require a two-thirds majority of all the members eligible to vote.

(b)    Shall constitute a withdrawal from membership in Tri-Ess and require immediate notification be given to that organization.



Section 14.01          CUI Chapter being an affiliated chapter of Tri-Ess, any bylaw, policy or provision thereof which conflicts with any Tri-Ess bylaw or policy is hereby declared null and void.