The name of this organization shall be the Société Rencesvals,
The purpose of the Société Rencesvals, American-Canadian
Branch (henceforth designated in this document as "Branch") shall be
to coordinate activity of the American and Canadian members of the Société
Internationale Rencesvals and to promote the study of medieval epic
literature in the various Romance tongues. The Branch shall further
these goals by participating in meetings of the Société
Internationale Rencesvals, by sponsoring various additional meetings
and conferences in North America, by promoting and sponsoring publications
devoted to medieval epic literature, and by otherwise facilitating contacts
and discussion among scholars interested in the goals of the Branch.
The Branch is formed exclusively for educational purposes within the
meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the United States Internal Revenue
Code of 1954, provided that no part of the net earnings thereof shall
inure the benefit of any individual, and no substantial part of the
activities thereof shall be the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise
attempting to influence legislation; furthermore, it 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.
Membership shall be open on payment of the currently stipulated dues
to all persons interested in furthering the purposes of the branch.
Classes of membership shall be established in the Bylaws.
IV. Management of the Branch:
A. The Officers of the Branch shall be:
1. The President, whose term of office shall be three years
and who shall succeed to this position after having served one term
as Vice-President. The President, as the chief executive officer of
the Branch, shall:
a. Preside over meetings of the Branch and of the Executive Council;
b. Be an ex-officio member of all Committees of the Branch
2. The Vice-President, whose term of office shall be three years
and who shall be elected to this position by a secret ballot of the
general membership. The Vice-President shall perform those of the President's
duties as shall, from time to time, be delegated to him or her by the
President. After serving for one three-year term, the Vice-President
shall normally succeed to the position of President.
3. The Secretary-Treasurer, who shall be appointed by and serve
at the pleasure of the Executive Council. It shall be the responsibility
of the Secretary-Treasurer to:
a. Keep minutes of the General Business Meetings and Executive Council
Meetings of the Branch;
b. Maintain accurate and timely records of all income and expenditures
of the Branch;
c. Be responsible for the safekeeping of all documents relating to
the fiscal affairs of the Branch;
d. Receive all dues or subscriptions to the Branch and keep the funds
of the Branch safely deposited in a chartered bank approved by the
e. Draw checks against deposited funds;
f. Prepare the annual financial statement for the approval of the
g. Report at the annual meeting of the Executive Council, or as it
shall require, on the collection and disbursements of the Branch;
h. Carry out, as required, other policies established by the Executive
4. The Bibliographer, who shall be appointed by and serve at
the pleasure of the Executive Council. S/he shall be responsible for
compiling an annual bibliography of works published in North America
which deal with the medieval Romance epic.
B. The Executive Council:
- The affairs and business of the Branch shall be managed and controlled,
subject to the provisions of the Bylaws, by an Executive Council consisting
- The officers of the Branch and four Advisors, at least one of
whom shall represent Canada;
- The four Advisors shall serve terms of three years and be eligible
for re-election to a second term;
- The outgoing President will become an Advisor for one term, after
which s/he may become eligible for re-election to the Executive
Council, as an Advisor, or as an Honorary Member without term;
- No Advisor shall serve more than two consecutive terms;
- All members of the Executive Council may vote, except that the
President or other presiding officer at a meeting shall vote only
to break a tie.
- The Executive Council shall be the basic policy-making organ
of the Branch. The function and duties of the Executive Council shall
- To appoint the Secretary-Treasurer and Bibliographer;
- To approve the financial statement submitted by the Treasurer
and to set the dues and other financial conditions of membership;
- To appoint persons responsible for functions and publications
of the Branch;
- To establish and terminate Standing Committees and Specific Study
- To accept reports as required from persons responsible for functions
and publications of the Branch;
- To maintain liaison with the Société Internationale
Rencesvals and other professional societies in related fields;
- To establish, subject to the approval of a majority of the membership,
- To transact all such other business which furthers the purposes
of the Branch and which is not subject to the approval of the General
Business Meeting of the Branch.
A. General Business Meeting
1. A General Business Meeting of the Branch shall take place at least
once per year in conjunction with an appropriate language or literary
conference held in North America. At these Business Meetings, fifteen
members shall constitute a legal quorum.
2. A General Business Meeting of the Branch shall also beheld in
conjunction with each congress sponsored by the Société
Internationale Rencesvals. A legal quorum shall consist of at least
two thirds of the members of the Branch who are present at the Congress.
3. Other Business meetings may be ordered at the discretion of the
Executive Council and called by the President.
B. Executive Council Meetings
1. A regular meeting of the Executive Council shall be held at least
once a year, normally in December, on a date and at a location to
be determined by the Council.
2. Additional Council meetings may be convened by the President or
on notice signed by half of the members of the Council.
3. A quorum shall consist of half of the members of the Council.
If a quorum of the Executive Council is present and wishes to conduct
official business, but the President and the Vice-President are unavailable,
the Secretary-Treasurer may preside. If the Secretary-Treasurer is
also unavailable, the Executive Council may elect a chairperson pro
tem to preside.
4. At any meeting of the Executive Council, other persons may be
invited, at the discretion of the Council, to participate in Council
meetings without vote.
5. Notice of meetings of the Executive Council shall be given to
its members by the Secretary-Treasurer in sufficient time for the
members to be able to attend the meeting. No public notice shall be
required. Notice of special meetings shall specify the matters proposed
to be dealt with at such meetings.
The Constitution may be amended as follows: Either the Executive Council
or the General Business Meeting may approve an amendment by a two-thirds
majority. Then a mail ballot shall be sent to the entire membership
and eighty days allowed for return. The counting of ballots shall be
conducted as for elections. The ratification shall require a two-thirds
Upon dissolution of the Branch, the Executive Council shall, after
paying or making provisions for payment of all the liabilities of the
Branch, dispose of all the assets of the Branch exclusively for the
purpose of the branch in such a manner, or to such organization or organizations
organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes or as shall
at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under
section 501 (G) (3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1954
(or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal
Revenue Law), as the Executive Council shall determine. Any such assets
not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas
(or other court of general jurisdiction as appropriate) of the county
in which the principal office of the Branch 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.
BYLAWS OF THE SOCIETE RENCESVALS,
I. Membership and Dues:
A. The membership of the Branch shall consist of:
- Regular Members. Any person may become a Member of the Branch upon
payment of an annual Regular Membership fee fixed by the Executive
Council; s/he shall be eligible for holding office and shall have
a voice in the affairs of the Branch.
- Joint Members. A husband and wife may become Joint Members of the
Branch upon payment of one and one half times the dues for Regular
Membership, and with entitlement to only one copy of whatever publications
Regular Members receive, Each of the Joint Members shall have a vote.
- Honorary Members. Honorary Membership may be confer on any person,
for life, upon the recommendation of the Executive Council, approved
by a majority vote of the Branch at any General Business Meeting thereof.
Such Honorary Members shall, without payment of any fee whatever,
enjoy all the rights and privileges of a Regular Member except that
of voting or holding office in the Branch.
- Institutional Members. Any institution may become a Member of the
branch upon payment of an annual Institutional Membership fee fixed
by the Executive Council.
B. Privileges of Membership.
- Each Regular Member, Honorary Member, and Institutional Member in
good standing in the Branch shall receive, as part of the privileges
of membership, a subscription to any publication of the Société
Rencesvals. Joint Members in good standing are entitled to one subscription
- All classes of membership, except as otherwise specified, shall
be entitled to such reduced prices on publications as the Branch may
arrange, and to other benefits as may be negotiated by the Executive
- Participation in the activities of the Branch or of the International
Société shall normally be limited to members of the
C. Payment of Dues.
- The annual dues payment for Regular Members, Joint Members, and
Institutional Members shall be sufficient to cover costs (including
postage and handling) to the Branch for subscriptions furnished to
the membership, as well as for other incidental costs of running the
Branch. The annual dues payment for Regular Members and Joint Members
shall not be less than fifteen dollars, in U.S. funds, or its equivalent
in Canadian funds. The annual dues for Institutional Members shall
not be less than twenty-three dollars, in U.S. funds, or its equivalent
in Canadian funds.
- The annual dues for Regular Members, Joint Members, and Institutional
Members shall be payable on the first of January for the calendar
year then commencing.
- Honorary Members shall not be required to pay annual dues.
D. Removal and Resignation of Members.
- The privileges of membership in the Branch shall be withdrawn from
any Regular or Joint Member who has not paid the requisite annual
dues by the first of April of any given year.
- Any member of any class may withdraw from the Branch by notifying
A. At each annual meeting of the Executive Council it shall appoint
a Nominating Committee consisting of the President and four other
members of the Executive Council.
B. At least ninety days prior to the subsequent annual meeting of
the Executive Council, the Nominating Committee shall transmit to
the Secretary-Treasurer nominations of candidates for the positions
which will be vacant among the officers and among the members of the
Executive Council at the next election.
C. Only members in good standing are eligible to run for office.
Care shall be taken by the Nominating Committee to see that candidates
so nominated are eligible for and willing to serve in the position
for which they are nominated.
D. Nominations of eligible candidates may also be made by the membership
of the Branch, provided that each nomination is signed by five members
in good standing in the Branch, that the nomination is also signed
by the person so nominated, and that the nomination is in the hands
of the Secretary-Treasurer in due time prior to the subsequent annual
meeting of the Executive Council.
E. At the appropriate time, prior to the annual Executive Council
meeting, the Secretary-Treasurer shall distribute to each voting member,
along with any applicable dues notice, a ballot listing all persons
nominated to run in this election, and space for one write-in candidate
for each office. The ballot or an enclosed letter, or both, must also
indicate the number of seats that are to be determined (which shall
also be the maximum number of persons for whom members may vote),
the address to which the ballot must be sent, sealed in a signed envelope,
and the final date by which the ballot must be returned in order to
F. All ballots returned within eighty days shall be opened and counted
by at least two members of the Executive Council and one of the officers.
A. Should the President resign or be unable to serve his or her term,
the Vice-President shall succeed to the position of President for
the remainder of that term and shall continue as President for the
subsequent term in which he or she would normally have served as President.
B. Should any elected member of the Executive Council resign or be
unable to serve his or her term, the resulting vacancy shall be filled
by presidential appointment, subject to ratification by the Executive
Council and a majority vote of a duly constituted Business Meeting.
IV. Standing Committees:
The Executive Council shall establish Standing Committees, appoint
their members and chairpersons, and accept their reports. These Committees
A. A Program Committee, the members of which shall be appointed at
each annual meeting of the Executive Council. This Committee shall
oversee the organization of any special functions sponsored by the
Branch and held during the following calendar year.
B. A Nominating Committee, as described above in Section 11 of the
C. A Committee on Bibliography. This committee will help the Bibliographer
of the Branch compile the annual Bibliography of works which were
published in North America and which deal with the medieval Romance
D. A Committee on Research Activities. This committee will compile
an annual report on work in progress, recent papers presented, and
other such information that would be of interest to the membership.
V. Specific Study Groups.
Members shall be encouraged to form Specific Study Groups. With the
approval of the Executive Council, they may hold sessions within the
context of functions sponsored by the Branch, distribute newsletters,
and in other ways further their particular concerns within the general
framework of the Branch.
VI. Fiscal Year:
The fiscal year of the Branch shall run from January first to December
The Bylaws may be amended as follows: Either the Executive Council
or the General Business Meeting may approve an amendment by a simple
majority. Then a mail ballot shall be sent to the entire membership
and eighty days allowed for return. The counting of ballots shall be
conducted as for elections, The ratification shall require a simple
VIII. Rules of Order:
In all matters not determined by the Constitution or the Bylaws, the
Proceedings of the Branch shall by governed by Roberts' Rules of Order.