CACLALS Constitution (updated: June 1, 2003)
The name of this Association is the Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, referred to in the Constitution as “the Association.”
The Association is a non-profit, unincorporated, professional organization.
- To promote research in the field of Commonwealth/Postcolonial literature and language studies. b. To provide a forum for the discussion of curricular and pedagogical matters related to the teaching of Commonwealth/Postcolonial literatures. c. To maintain connections with other Associations with shared interests in the theory and practice of Commonwealth/ Postcolonial literatures, in particular, the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS).
Membership is open to any academic, professional, or interested person engaged in the research, teaching, or study of any Commonwealth/Postcolonial literature.
There are four categories of membership: Regular, Associate, Student, and Honorary.
- Regular: Regular membership in the Association gives a member the right to vote, to speak, to present motions, and to stand for election.
- Associate: Associate membership in the Association is open to persons resident outside Canada. They have the full privileges of Regular membership, with the right to vote, to present and support motions, but not to stand for election.
- Student: All full-time or part-time students studying in the field of Commonwealth/Postcolonial literatures are entitled to Student membership in the Association. They have the full privileges of Regular membership, with the right to vote, to present and support motions, and to stand for election as Student Representative on the Executive Committee of the Association. Student members shall pay a reduced membership fee.
- Honorary: The Executive of the Association, with the voted approval of the membership, may grant Honorary membership to persons who have distinguished themselves by their scholarly achievements in the fields of Commonwealth/Postcolonial literatures, or who have rendered outstanding service to the Association. They have the full privileges of Regular membership, with the right to vote, to present and support motions, but not to stand for election. Honorary members are exempt from paying membership fees.
The chief officers of the Association shall be the President and the Secretary-Treasurer.
The President of the Association shall be responsible for the following:
- The overall management of the Association.
- Convening and chairing the Annual General Meeting and meetings of the Executive Committee.
- Acting as the official spokesperson for the Association.
- Representing the Association on the international Executive Committee of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS).
The Secretary-Treasurer of the Association shall be responsible for the following:
- Maintaining the membership rolls of the Association.
- Maintaining the records of the Association and handling its regular correspondence.
- Collecting the membership fees of the association.
- Preparing an annual financial statement and presenting it to the Annual General Meeting of the Association.
- Providing each member with the financial statement of the Association for the latest fiscal year.
7. Executive Committee
The Executive Committee of the Association will consist of the President, the Secretary-Treasurer, the Past President (for one year), the President Elect (for one year), a Colleges Representative, four Regional Representatives, and two Student Representatives.
8. Executive Committee: Terms of Reference
The Executive Committee shall observe the following terms of reference:
- Regional Representatives will be distributed in the following manner: British Columbia and the Territories: one; Prairies: one; Ontario: one; Quebec: one; Atlantic Provinces: one. The region in which the Headquarters of the Association is situated shall be held to be represented by the President.
- The Student Representative(s) may come from any region of Canada.
- The position of Past President, as an ex officio appointment, is a non-voting one.
- Each elected member of the Committee has one vote.
- The Executive Committee shall be convened at least once each year by the President, who will give notice of the meeting to its members by email, mail, or telephone.
- An Executive Committee meeting shall always be convened during the regular Annual Meeting of the Association as a whole.
- Executive Committee conferences may be held at any time of the year by telephone, but such teleconference must have a quorum of at least four members of the Executive Committee.
- All policy actions taken by the Executive Committee shall be ratified by the Annual General Meeting.
9. Executive Committee: Duties
The Executive Committee has the following responsibilities:
- To authorize any expenditures necessary to the running of the Association.
- To establish ad hoc committees to facilitate and further the activities of the Association.
- To recommend membership rates to be set by the Annual General Meeting of the Association.
- To appoint a liaison person to handle the local arrangements at conferences.
- To decide on all questions touching on the interpretation of this Constitution.
10. Terms of Office
- The President and the Secretary-Treasurer shall be appointed for a term of two years.
- The Colleges Representatives shall be appointed for a term of two years.
- The Regional Representatives shall be appointed for a term of two years.
- The Student Representatives shall be appointed for a term of two years, but in alternating years.
- Elections for Chief Officers and College, Regional, and Graduate Representatives (the latter if not conducted by email) shall take place at the Annual General Meeting marking the conclusion of the Executive Committee’s second year of office.
- The official headquarters of the Association shall be the institutional address of the current President.
The position of an Officer or a Regional Representative shall be considered vacant under the following circumstances:
- Death or incapacity.
- Resignation, in the form of a letter to the Secretary-Treasurer.
- Relocation of a Regional Representative.
- Failure to retain paid-up membership in the Association.
- Removal from the Executive Committee by a vote of three-quarters of the membership present at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be convened by the Executive Committee or the President upon the receipt of a petition signed by at least twenty members, or by five percent of the membership, if this figure is higher.
12. Notice of Election
Notice of Elections shall be sent out to all current members no later than three months before the Annual General Meeting of the Association at which the elections are to take place and normally in the Fall Issue of Chimo.
Nominations for all positions on the Executive Committee shall be conducted in the following manner:
- The call for nominations to all Executive positions except those of graduate students in the Association, most particularly for the institutional (Headquarter) positions of the chief officers of President and Secretary-Treasurer, should be included in the Notice of Elections.
- The Fall issue of Chimo will include a Call for Nominations for a graduate representative. The Spring issue of Chimo will normally include a slate of nominees: the election for one graduate representative for a 2-year term may either be held amongst graduate student members at the annual AGM, or, alternatively at the discretion of the Executive Committee, this process to nominate and elect a graduate representative may be conducted via email at any suitable time. Their terms will be staggered, to ensure continuity.
- Written nominations, including the written consent of the nominee, and the supporting signatures of two paid-up members of the Association, shall be submitted to the Secretary-Treasurer two months before the Annual General Meeting of the Association.
- A full slate of a prospective Executive Committee (minus the President Elect), together with the site of a proposed Headquarters, shall be prepared by the outgoing Executive Committee for presentation at the Annual General Meeting of the Association.
- The proposed slate and the submitted nominations shall be included in a mail or email ballot to be sent out to all members one month before the Annual General Meeting of the Association.
- Nominations for any position may be made from the floor at the Annual General Meeting, with the consent of the nominee and the support of two members of the Association present at the Annual General Meeting.
- If there are more nominations than vacancies, there shall be a mail or email ballot.
- Mailed ballots should be submitted in a plain, sealed envelope. This envelope should be placed inside another envelope, sealed, with the member’s signature written across the sealing strip. These ballots shall be verified by the Secretary-Treasurer against the current membership rolls. The signed envelopes shall be opened by the Secretary-Treasurer at the appropriate point in the agenda of the Annual General Meeting. A member of the Association approved of by the general membership present shall then record the ballots in the plain envelopes. Emailed ballots shall be downloaded and similarly verified and recorded by the Secretary-Treasurer for presentation at the AGM in conjunction with the process for recording regularly mailed ballots.
- Each member shall have one vote.
- Voting at all elections of the Association shall be by secret ballot. Where this is rendered impossible because of email identification, then the Secretary-Treasurer and/or the President shall be entrusted with blacking out identifying marks and with maintaining confidentiality.
- No member of the Executive Committee may stand for more than two consecutive terms.
- The new Executive Committee shall assume office on September 1 after the Annual General Meeting of the Association at which the elections have taken place.
14. General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting or any other Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association shall take place at the time and location of the annual meeting of the Association, usually at and during the meetings of the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities.
- The membership convened at the Annual General Meeting constitutes the Association’s highest authority.
- The order of business at the Annual General Meeting of the Association shall proceed, where appropriate, in the following manner:
(1) Report of the President.
(2) Report of the Secretary-Treasurer.
(3) Elections of Officers, Colleges, Regional, and Student Representatives.
(4) Fixing the date and place of the next Annual General Meeting.
(5) Appointment of Committees.
(6) Unfinished Business.
(7) New Business.
15. Convening General Meeting
In order to convene an Annual General meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting, the President or the Executive Committee shall:
- Give written notice to all members at least three months in advance.
- A quorum shall consist of those members present at the Annual General Meeting or the Extraordinary General Meeting.
- Each member shall have one vote.
- All decisions shall be based on a majority vote.
- Notice to convene or to postpone a General Meeting shall be mailed to the most recent email address of members in the records of the Association.
16. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Association shall run from January 1 to December 31.
Except where otherwise provided for, contracts, documents, cheques, or other notes made out in the name of the Association shall bear the signatures of the President and the Secretary-Treasurer.
18. Constitutional Changes
- Any member may propose an amendment to the Constitution. Such amendments shall require the signatures of ten current members of the Association.
- Notice of amendment motions should be sent, with the correct number of supporting signatures, to the Secretary-Treasurer twelve weeks in advance of the Annual General Meeting at which it is proposed to have these amendment proposals considered.
- The Secretary-Treasurer shall circulate these motions to the membership at least six weeks before the Annual General Meeting.
- Ratification of amendment motions shall require a two-thirds vote in favour by members in good standing at the Annual General Meeting.
19. Change of Name, Status, Terms of Reference
- The Association may change its name, status, or terms of reference only after a referendum indicating that three-quarters of paid-up members are in favour of such a change.
- A motion to this effect must be submitted by twenty-five members.
- Such a motion should reach the Secretary-Treasurer at least three months before the date of the Annual General Meeting at which it is proposed to be considered.
- Approval of such a motion shall require the assent of two-thirds of the members present at that Annual General Meeting.
- A referendum shall then be organized by the Executive Committee between October 1 and December 31 of that year.
- The Association may be dissolved only after a referendum organized according to the same methods, procedures, and time-frame covered in the preceding section dealing with change of Name, Status, or Terms of Reference.
- In the event of the dissolution of the Association, its remaining financial assets shall be given over to a registered Canadian charity.
This Constitution, with amendments, adapts the Constitution of the Canadian Association for Commonwealth and Literature Studies (CACLALS) at the Annual General Meeting of the Association, held at the University of Prince Edward Island on 25 May 1992.