Virginia Professional Chapter, the Society of Professional Journalists
(Amended and approved by the general membership in April 2021)

Article I. Definition

Section 1. Chapter means the professional chapter of the national society in Virginia.

Section 2. The name of the chapter is the Virginia Professional Chapter, the Society of Professional Journalists.

Section 3. Meetings mean membership meetings or special meetings called by the president.

Section 4. A quorum is the minimum number of members needed at meetings to transact chapter business.

Article II. General Membership Meetings

Section 1. The chapter will meet at least six times a year.

Section 2. Members are to receive notice of meetings at least seven days in advance. Notice will be given by email and posted on the chapter’s website and social media platforms.

Section 3. The members present will constitute a quorum.

Section 4. All regular meetings shall be open to non-members who are guests of members, including professional journalists, former journalists and journalism educators.

Section 5. Guest speakers will be on the record and will be so informed in advance. 

Section 6. General membership meetings will include a public comment period.

Section 7. The president and treasurer are authorized to reimburse guest speakers for travel and lodging but may pay no speaking fees.

Section 8. If advance reservations are required, a chapter member must cancel before the specified reservations deadline or be required to pay the full cost.

Article III. Business at General Membership Meetings

Section 1. A majority vote of the members present is necessary for all chapter actions.

Article IV. Officers

Section 1. The chapter will have the following officers: president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. They will perform the duties normally associated with such offices. The president or the treasurer may sign checks.

Section 2. Officers will be elected at the last meeting of the spring or via an electronic vote. They will take office on July 1 and will serve until June 30. The retiring president will inform national headquarters of the names of the new officers each June.

Section 3. The Nominating Committee will prepare a slate of candidates. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor at the election meeting.

Section 4. The chapter president may serve no more than two consecutive years in that position.

Section 5. The president may appoint the following standing committees each year: Program, FOI, Scholarship, Nominating, Membership, Awards and Audit. The president may also appoint any other committee he or she or the board thinks necessary.

Section 6. Three-fourths of the board may require an officer to resign for gross abuse or neglect of duties.

Section 7. Vacancies among officers because of resignation, death or other cause will be filled at the next meeting by majority vote.

Article V. Board of Directors

Section 1. The chapter will have a board of directors comprising the officers and elected directors. They will be responsible for overseeing all chapter activities, for authorizing official actions or positions taken by the chapter when a vote of the full membership is impractical, and for recommending changes in chapter policy to the membership.

Section 2. The board will consist of the current officers, the immediate past president, a representative from an SPJ student chapter at a Virginia college or university, and nine directors.

Section 3. Except for the members sitting because of past or current office, the directors will be elected for three-year terms. Three of the nine will be elected each year.

Section 4. The student-chapter representative will be selected by the SPJ Virginia Pro president from among campus chapters that are in good standing as determined by the national society. The position should rotate among the institutions of higher education in Virginia. The student-chapter representative must be a member of SPJ.   

Section 5. The immediate past president and the student-chapter representative will be ex-officio members of the board with voting privileges. 

Section 6. The chapter president will serve as chairman of the board and preside at board meetings.

Section 7. The board will be responsible for the following basic functions: membership and attendance, meetings, professional program, planning, convention representation, and cooperation with national headquarters.

Section 8. The board will meet whenever a majority of members think necessary or at the initiative of the chairman. Board members must have at least three days’ notice of each meeting. Notice will be given by email and posted on the chapter’s website and social media platforms.

Section 9. A majority vote of the board is necessary for board actions.

Section 10. Three-fourths of the officers and directors may require a director to resign for gross abuse or neglect of duties.

Section 11. Vacancies among directors because of death, resignation or other causes will be filled by a majority vote at a membership meeting or by an electronic vote open to all chapter members.

Article VI. Membership

Section 1. All professional members in good standing with the national society will be eligible for membership in the Virginia Professional Chapter.

Section 2. Any chapter member may sponsor a prospective member for membership.

Section 3. The national headquarters must approve a proposed new member.

Article VII. Convention Attendance

Section 1. The chapter will elect at least one delegate to represent it at each national convention.

Section 2. The chapter may pay all or a portion of the delegate’s or delegates’ expenses.

Article VIII. Dues

Section 1. Each member must pay local annual dues.

Section 2. The board of directors will set the dues and the payment deadline.

Section 3. Local dues are in addition to national dues and fees.

Section 4. A member whose dues are more than one year in arrears no longer will be considered in good standing and will forfeit his or her vote in chapter matters.

Article IX. Finances and Audit

Section 1. The financial records of the chapter and minutes of all meetings shall be open for inspection to members in good standing. Requests for inspection shall be made to the custodian(s) of such records and shall be made available, if practical, at the next meeting of the membership or board. 

Section 2. The chapter shall conduct a review of its finances at least once a year. The treasurer shall present all relevant financial records to a committee of three chapter members who are neither officers nor board members for this review.

Article X. National Bylaws

Section 1. The chapter will operate in accord with the bylaws of the national Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi.

Article XI. Amendments and Revisions of the Chapter’s Bylaws

Section 1. Amendments and revisions must  be adopted by a two-thirds majority at a meeting or by an electronic vote of the general membership.

Section 2. Members shall receive a copy of any proposed amendments a month before the vote is held.

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