எங்களுக்கு உறுதுணையாக இருந்து எங்களை பல நிகழ்ச்சிகள் நடத்த பலமாக நிற்கும் தன்னார்வலர்களுக்கும், சியாட்டில் வாழ் தமிழ் அன்பர்களுக்கும், தமிழ் பாராட்டும் நல்ல உள்ளங்களுக்கும், மனமார்ந்த நன்றி.
தமிழால் இணைவோம் !!
தமிழால் உயர்வோம் !!
Bylaws of Seattle Tamil Sangam
Article I. Definition
The Name of the organization shall be called “Seattle Tamil Sangam” (STS) hereinafter called the “Association”, will be organized by residents of Seattle, WA and adjoining areas.
Article II. Location of Principal Office
The registered office of the Association shall be located in Seattle or in the suburb of Seattle, WA, based on the resolution of the Board of Directors of the Association from time to time.
Article III. Objectives/Mission
This corporation is organized exclusively for CHARITABLE, EDUCATIONAL purposes of promoting Tamil Culture to Tamil community in the state of Washington within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The Association shall be a nonprofit, nonpolitical, and nonpartisan organization. The objectives are as follows:
- Serve and bring together the Tamil community in the Greater Seattle area.
- Provide the stage for many generations of Tamils living in the Greater Seattle area to showcase their talents (both cultural and popular).
- Promote knowledge of Tamil language and Tamil culture among those who are interested.
- Arrange Tamil literary, cultural, social and sports functions of interest among Tamils living in Greater Seattle area.
- Promote Tamil related music, dance, drama, literary debates and lectures by inviting experts in those fields.
- Identify and support some charitable NPOs in Tamil Nadu, India when we can.
- All funds, whether income or principal, and whether acquired by gift or contribution or otherwise, shall be devoted to the said purposes.
- The Association shall not align with or lend support to any national Tamil association. It will attempt to participate in all events organized by all national Tamil associations in the USA and Canada without prejudice.
- The Association shall not align with or lend support to US political parties or any political campaigns.
- The Association shall not align with or lend support to any Indian political / religious group or such campaigns.
- The Association shall not engage in caste, religion or an individual’s personal based activities.
Article IV. Governing Body
Section 1. Board of Directors
The governing body shall consist of 6 officers elected annually and their title are as follows: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Joint Secretary and Joint Treasurer. The Governing Body will be called as the Board of Directors.
- Board members of STS should not be a board member in other Non-Profit organizations to address conflict of interest and bandwidth issues.
- Members of the Board should have served STS, as a Committee member, at least for a year, and will be nominated without opposition prior to the annual General Body Meeting (GBM) to be held in the month of January. If more than one individual is nominated, then absolute majority of votes by the existing board members will decide which committee member will be elected.
- Elected officials shall serve in their position for duration of one year from January to December of that calendar year and can be re-elected for an additional term
- Board Members term and two role election policy: No Board member can serve in the same role more than two years and Board members will have to step out after serving the board for three years. Every board member should have served as a Committee member at the least for a period of one year to be eligible for a board position.
- If a board member/committee member has to leave mid-term, that position will be filled by other board members. The leaving member cannot resume the role they played before quitting or any other role in the Board or the Committee. They will remain as a STS volunteer for that calendar year.
- Other than the primary roles – President, Secretary, Treasurer, any other Executive Committee role(s) is considered optional and can either be added or modified or removed from the Executive Committee structure based on the needs/vision of the incoming Executive Committee. Duties of the newly added role will be amended to the existing By Law after an absolute majority of votes.
Section 2. Duties of officers
- Shall call and preside over meetings of the Association and the Board of Directors.
- Shall present at each annual meeting of the Association, a written report of the Association’s activities during the year.
- Shall, with the approval of the Board of Directors, appoint members of all Special Committees as and when he/she deems necessary.
- Shall sign all documents in the name and on behalf of the Association. He/she can also sign checks on behalf of the Association.
- Shall see to it that all account books, reports, statements, minutes and other papers pertaining to the activities of the Association are properly kept and filed in accordance with the requirements.
- Shall assume charge of the duties of Secretary, Joint Secretary and/or Treasurer during their temporary absence.
- Shall enforce the Constitution; perform all the duties incident to this office and such other activities which may be assigned to him/her from time to time by the Board; and carry out the policies and affairs of the Association.
Shall perform all of the duties of the President during his temporary absence, and any other duties which may be assigned to him/her from time to time by the President.
- Shall operate under the general direction of the President.
- Shall be responsible for recording and presenting the minutes of all the meetings.
- Shall sign and attend to correspondences and present the same to the Board of Directors at its meetings.
- Shall be the custodian of the records, papers, minutes, and documents of the Association other than those of under the jurisdiction of the Treasurer.
- Shall maintain an up-to-date list of all members of the Association.
- Shall send to all members, notices of all meetings and functions held in the name of or on behalf of the Association.
- Shall file any certificates required by any statute, Federal or State.
- Shall perform such other duties as needed to aid the Board of Directors.
2.4 Joint Secretary
- Shall send to all members, notices of all meetings and functions held in the name of or on behalf of the Association.
- Shall arrange for places and reserve auditorium for Association’s functions.
- Shall perform all the duties of the Secretary in his/her absence and shall perform any other duties assigned by the Board.
- Shall make, counter sign and endorse in the name of the Association all checks, drafts, notes, and other orders for the payment of money, under the direction of the Board of Directors.
- Shall have charge and custody of and be responsible for all funds which the Association may receive and shall deposit such funds in the name of the Association in such banks as are designated by the Board of Directors.
- Shall maintain books of accounts and records of receipts, disbursements, and other financial transactions made by or on behalf of the Association in accordance with accounting principles approved by the Board of Directors.
- Shall present an up-to-date financial report at the Board of Directors meetings and the General Body Meetings and send the audited financial statement of the year to all members annually.
- Shall establish and maintain a reserve fund with the annual balance and the reserve fund shall be used only with the approval of the members of the Association. The amount to be set aside in the reserve fund every year shall be decided by the Board of Directors.
- Shall assume charge of the duties of the Vice-President and Joint Secretary during their temporary absence.
- Shall perform all duties incident to the office of Treasurer and such other duties as may be assigned to him/her by the Board of Directors.
- Shall prepare and file tax returns each year as required.
2.6 Joint Treasurer
Shall perform all of the duties of the treasurer during his/her temporary absence, and any other duties which may be assigned to him/her from time to time by the treasurer.
Section 3. Committees
Committees to arrange cultural activities, education and other essential services to the members shall be formed to encourage wider participation and planning. Conveners of such sub committees formed shall participate in the meetings of the Board. There will be seven committees with a lead and the leads are selected through self-nomination process. If there are more than one nomination for the same position in the committee, they will be chosen by simple majority in the election during GBM.
Committee leads for areas like Events coordination, Event-logistics, Membership, Marketing, Food, Tech, Visual Media. Committee leads should have actively volunteered for the STS for at least a year and at least three events in that one year period. Each board member is responsible to support 2 committees at the very least.
- The executive committee shall have 15 voting members which consists of 6 board members and the 9 committee leads.
- The executive Committee shall appoint officers for any mid-term or temporary vacancies by a simple majority vote.
- No committee shall have the authority of the board in reference to amending, altering or repealing the bylaws; electing, appointing or removing any member of any such committee or any director or officer of STS.
- The designation or appointment of any committee and delegation to it of authority shall not operate to relieve the board or any director of any responsibility imposed by law.
Section 3. Honorary Committee
1. Honorary Committee will include members who are willing to show their support for the mission and vision of STS.
2. This Committee will consist of 1 to 3 members maximum
3. They will be kept up to date about Corporation plans and activities.
4. They are invited to attend and participate in Board meetings
5. Unlike Executive Committee, an Honorary Committee does not have any formal legal responsibilities or decision-making authority or cast their votes.
6. The honorary committee does not have formal authority to govern the organization, that is, the advisory committee cannot issue directives which must be followed. Rather, the Honorary committee serves to make recommendations and/or provide key information and materials to the Executive Committee.
7. Members appointed in honorary committee will include the executive committee members (Board and Committee) who have served STS less than 4 years with no break during their tenure.
8. Members can stay in the honorary committee till they complete 4 years including their active service as an Executive member in STS.
9. If an Honorary committee member has to leave mid-term, the leaving member cannot resume the role they played before quitting or any other role in the Board or the Committee. They will remain as a STS volunteer for that calendar year.
Article V. Membership
- Any resident of Seattle, or suburb of Seattle, WA, who can speak or read or write or has an ethnic background related to the language of Tamil, or any interest in the language of Tamil language, or Tamil culture shall be eligible to become a member of this organization.
- Any eligible resident paying the appropriate membership dues and complies with the organization’s rules and regulations, can become a member.
- The governing board may expel any member violating the code of conduct of this organization.
- The membership dues can be changed by maximum vote obtained from the Board of Directors and the sub-committees. However, it should always have at least two annual rate plans – Family Membership rate plan and Individual Membership rate plan.
- Members with an Individual Membership plan cannot avail the benefits of Family Membership.
- The membership dues can be waived by the governing board at any time.
- All Board of Directors and Committee must pay membership for serving term years in advance.
- Members do not have voting rights to nominate or elect the Committee Leads or the Board of Directors or change any existing amendments. Changes that are proposed by the members have to be presented to the Board, for consideration and prior approval, before presenting it to the General Body. The Board has the right to dismiss the changes if there are no majority of votes to implement the change.
Article VI. General Body Meeting (GBM)
- The General Body of the Association shall meet at least once a year in or around Seattle, WA. The specific date, time and location of this annual meeting will be designated by the Board of Directors. The admission to such a meeting shall be free.
- All resolutions to be passed in a GBM have to be presented to the Board of Directors for consideration and prior approval before presenting to the General Body.
- The newly formed Board of Directors and the Committee for the current year, will be introduced to the members present in the meeting.
- At the annual meeting, the members present shall receive oral reports on the past year’s
activities of the STS, and highlight the direction of STS for the coming year.
Article VII. Code of Conduct
- The Board of Directors can expel any member from the membership of the Association, who violate the objectives of the association, after due process.
- Any member or volunteer causing disruptions of the Association’s activities including the General Body Meeting shall be barred from attending such activities in the future or for a definite period of time as determined by the Board of Directors.
- The Board of Directors can also expel any member or volunteer from returning to serve the organization, if found misusing STS finances or accessing STS documents, mails without prior approval from the Board or the Committee. They will be not be eligible to serve STS as a Committee or a Board member in the future.
Article VIII. Amendments
- Any member of the Executive Committee shall propose any amendment to the Constitution.
- Any proposed amendment can be considered approved when a simple majority of the executive committee agrees to it.
- The amendment shall be effective from the date of its approval.
Article IX. Dissolution
In the event of dissolution, the Board of Directors will dispose all the assets remaining exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. Remaining funds can be utilized for the purchase of Tamil books, Tamil educational material, or Tamil media such as CD/DVD/audio cassettes and donate them to the Seattle Public Library System. The Redmond/Bellevue is considered as the ideal location.