THE SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIETY FOR MICROBIOLOGY (SASM) CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE 1 : NAME
The Society shall be called the South African Society for Microbiology (SASM).
ARTICLE 2 : LIABILITY
2.1.1 The Society is a body corporate, and is vested with all the powers and obligations required for achieving its objects.
2.1.2 No member of the Society shall by virtue of his membership have any claim to the assets of the Society.
2.1.3 No member of the Society and no member of the Council of the Society shall be liable for fulfilling any obligation or for settling any debts incurred by the Society.
ARTICLE 3 : OBJECTIVES
3.1 The objectives of the Society are -
3.1.1 to promote the professional interests of microbiologists, to improve the standing of the profession and to uphold the dignity of an honourable profession;
3.1.2 to act as official and representative mouthpiece of members of the profession;
3.1.3 to create a channel by means of which the authorities may guage the opinion of the profession regarding matters directly or indirectly affecting the profession;
3.1.4 to promote high academic standards in the training of microbiologists and to proffer advice in this regard;
3.1.5 to advise on the professional assessment of microbiologists;
3.1.6 to receive and administer membership fees, other funds and donations for the furtherance of the general or specific objects of the Society;
3.1.7 to lay down such rules as are deemed necessary for the proper functioning of the Society and the achievement of its various objects;
3.1.8 to make awards;
3.1.9 to further knowledge in the various microbiological disciplines and all areas in which it may be applied and to create channels of communication between members who share common interests;
3.1.10to promote affiliation with related scientific societies in South Africa and similar scientific societies beyond our borders;
3.1.11to collect and disseminate information on microbiology.
ARTICLE 4 : MEMBERSHIP AND MEMBERSHIP FEES
4.1 Membership may be obtained in one of the following categories: Patrons, honorary members, ordinary members, affiliated members, student members and corporate members.
The Council may at its discretion nominate a person or persons to act as patron(s) of the Society. Such nomination shall be valid for a term of four years. A patron shall have all the rights and privileges of an ordinary member.
4.1.2 Honorary members
Any member of the Society, seconded by two other members, may nominate a person or persons for election as honorary member on the grounds of a special contribution to microbiology or to the Society. A Merit Committee of the Society shall consider such nominations. Honorary membership is retained for life, and honorary members shall have all the rights and privileges of members, but they shall not be required to pay any membership fees.
4.1.3 Ordinary members
Any person who has completed tertiary education in microbiology or a discipline as approved by the Council may be admitted as ordinary member.
4.1.4 Affiliated members
Any person who has been trained in microbiology, or who is interested in the subject or whose work has a bearing on microbiology or a related field, but who does not qualify for ordinary membership, may be admitted as affiliated member. Affiliated members shall have all the rights and privileges of ordinary members, but shall not have a vote at the General Meeting of the Society.
4.1.5 Student members
Bona fide students who are enrolled in approved courses of study at tertiary institutions and post doctoral research associates may be admitted as student members.
4.1.6 Corporate members
Institutions or organisations may apply to the Council for corporate membership. Corporate members are allowed to appoint two representatives to attend the Biennial Congress and the General Meeting of the Society.
4.2 Membership Fees
Membership fees for a calender year shall be determined annually by the Council and shall be payable on or before 31 March of each year. The membership fees of affiliated members and student members shall be half of that of ordinary members. The membership fees for corporate members shall be ten times that of ordinary members.
4.3 Application for Membership
Application for membership shall be made on the prescribed form, obtainable from the Secretary. All applications shall be considered by the Council, and on approval of his application, the applicant shall receive membership on payment of the applicable membership fees.
4.4 Termination of Membership
4.4.1 Any person who has been admitted as member of the Society shall retain membership until resignation, or until membership fees are two years in arrears, or until membership is terminated by the Council.
4.4.2 Any person whose membership is terminated because of nonpayment of membership fees may, within fourteen days after receipt of a notice to this affect, submit a request in writing, via the Secretary, for Council to approve reinstatement as a member. On payment of all fees in arrears, the person may be re-admitted as member.
ARTICLE 5 : COUNCIL
5.1 The affairs of the Society shall be conducted by a Council elected from among the professional and ordinary members of the Society.
5.2 The Council shall consist of the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Publications Secretary, the Merit Committee Secretary and up to six additional members. The Management Committee of the Council shall consist of the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. The President and Vice-President may each be elected to one non-renewable term in their office as determined by the period between general meetings of the society (defined as a term). Other office bearers may be each elected to a term renewable for two additional terms. A third of the council is required to retire at each general meeting of the society. No council member may serve more than three consecutive terms.
5.3 All decisions of the Management Committee shall be tabled for ratification at the next meeting of the Council.
5.4 All Council decisions shall be by simple majority of the Council Members. The President shall have an ordinary as well as a casting vote.
5.5 Nominations for members of the Council shall reach the Secretary two weeks before the General Meeting. Each nomination shall bear the signature of at least two ordinary members as proposer and shall have been accepted in writing by the nominee.
5.6 Five members of the Council under the chair of the President or Vice-President shall constitute a quorum at meetings of the Management Committee as well as at full Council meetings.
5.7 In the event of the death or resignation of a Council Member, the Council shall appoint a successor for the remainder of the term of the term of office.
5.8 No Council Member shall receive remuneration for services to the Society.
ARTICLE 6 : CONGRESS
6.1 A Congress of the Society shall be held at least every two years at a venue approved at the General Meeting and on a date approved by the Council. Written notice of the Congress shall be sent to all members at least three months before the date of such Congress.
6.2 The Congress shall consist of:
6.2.1 Scientific sessions.
6.2.2 A General Meeting.
6.3 Recommendations by the Council with regard to the next Congress shall be considered at the General Meeting. Applications to present the next Congress shall reach the Secretary at least one month before the General Meeting. The Council may make recommendations as it deems fit.
6.4 A Congress Organising Committee shall be elected at the General Meeting or failing the election of the Committee, appointed by the Council as soon as possible after the General Meeting.
6.5 Arrangements for the Congress shall be made by the Congress Oganising Committee in consultation with the Council, to whom the Congress Organising Committee shall be accountable and to whom a short report and full financial statement shall be submitted for approval within six months of the conclusion of the Congress.
6.6 The Congress Organising Committee shall be responsible for decisions regarding the acceptance of papers.
ARTICLE 7 : GENERAL MEETINGS
7.1 Notice of the General Meeting shall be sent to all members at least thirty days before the date of the meeting.
7.2 General Meeting
7.2.1 The following matters shall be dealt with at the General Meeting:
a) The reports of the President, the Treasurer and the outgoing Congress Organising Committee.
b) Annual reports of Divisions, Branches and Committees of the Society.
c) The election of Council Members for the next term of office.
d) The election of the Congress Organising Committee for the next Congress.
e) Any other matters of importance to the Society.
7.2.2 The President or, if absent, the Vice-President shall act as the chair at the General Meeting.
7.2.3 Twenty-five ordinary Members of the Society shall constitute a quorum at the General Meeting.
7.3 Deferred General Meeting
7.3.1 Should a quorum not be present at the appointed time of the General Meeting, the meeting shall be deferred for thirty minutes.
7.3.2 If a quorum is not obtained after this period, a deferred general meeting shall be held with those members present.
7.3.3 The agenda drawn up for the General Meeting shall then be dealt with by the Deferred General Meeting.
7.3.4 The deferred general meeting shall have the same powers and functions as the meeting, with the exception of the power to discuss or approve proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Society.
7.3.5 The President or, if absent, the Vice-President, shall act as chair at the Deferred General Meeting.
7.4 Extraordinary General Meeting
7.4.1 An Extraordinary General Meeting may be convened by the Council if it is deemed necessary. An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be convened within thirty days after at least twenty ordinary members have submitted a request in writing to the Secretary.
7.4.2 All members shall be given notice in writing of the Extraordinary General Meeting at least two weeks before the date of such meeting.
7.4.3 Only matters referred to in the request by the members and matters put on the agenda by the Council shall be discussed and decided on at such a meeting.
7.4.4 Forty ordinary members of the Society shall constitute a quorum at the Extraordinary General Meeting.
ARTICLE 8 : DIVISIONS AND BRANCHES OF THE SOCIETY
8.1.1 Members of the Society may, with the written approval of the Council, establish divisions.
8.1.2 Divisions represent specific desciplines, such as mycology, virology, bacteriology, clinical and molecular microbiology, yeast, biotechnology, etc.
8.1.3 Divisions shall elect their own executives and may, with the approval of the Council, organise their own congresses.
8.1.4 Divisions may draw up their own rules, subject to approval by the Council, and may manage their own finances.
8.1.5 Members of divisions shall also be members of the Society and shall pay the normal membership fees of the Society in addition to any fees imposed by the division itself.
8.1.6 The Council may, at its discretion, lend reasonable financial support to divisions.
8.1.7 Any fund-raising activities undertaken by divisions shall be reported to the Council.
8.1.8 The Secretary of a division shall annually, in February, report to the Council in writing on the activities of the division.
8.1.9 The chair of each division shall, at the General Meeting, report on the activities of the division since the previous General Meeting.
8.1.10Divisions shall annually submit financial reports to the Treasurer of the Council for inclusion in his report to the General Meeting.
8.1.11Members may obtain membership of more than one division.
8.2.1 Members of the Society may, with the written approval of the Council, establish local branches in any centre.
8.2.2 Branches shall elect their own executives and may organise local meetings.
8.2.3 Branches may draw up their own rules, subject to approval by the Council.
8.2.4 The Council may, at its discretion, lend reasonable financial support to branches.
8.2.5 The Secretary of each branch shall anually, in February, report to the Council in writing on the activities of the branch.
8.2.6 The Chair of each branch shall, at the General Meeting, report on the activities of that branch since the previous General Meeting.
8.2.7 Branches shall annually submit financial reports to the Treasurer of the Council for inclusion in his report to the General Meeting.
ARTICLE 9 : AWARDS
In recognition of exceptional achievements in the field of microbiology, the following medals may be awarded by the Society:
9.1 A gold medal is awarded to a member who has, over an extended period of time, rendered exceptional service in the field of microbiology in South Africa.
9.2 A silver medal is awarded to a member for either an exceptionally meritorious and original research effort in the field of microbiology published in a recognised professional journal, or for exceptional achievement in any branch of microbiology.
9.3 A bronze medal is awarded to a member for an outstanding publication in the field of microbiology.
9.4 Awards shall be made only in meritorious cases and on the basis of fully substantiated, confidential recommendations, in writing, from members to the Council. All recommendations of this nature shall be referred by the Council to the Merit Committee for consideration. No more than five medals (one gold, two silver and three bronze) shall be awarded annually. No award need be made in a specific year.
ARTICLE 10 : COMMITTEES OF THE SOCIETY
The Council or the General Meeting may for specific reasons appoint committees for the purpose of furthering the objects of the Society. These committees shall be responsible to the Council.
10.1 The Merit Committee shall be a subcommittee of five Council Members under the chair of the Merit Committee Secretary. Voting on awards may be done by letter or electronic medium and a 4/5 th majority is required. Discussion by the Merit Committee shall be confidential.
ARTICLE 11 : AFFILIATION WITH AND MEMBERSHIP OF OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
The Council may, with the approval of the General Meeting, on behalf of the Society, apply for affiliation with other organisations or societies, both national and international, with similar objects and interests. Divisions may, with the written approval of the Council, affiliate with other organisations and societies.
ARTICLE 12 : FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
The Treasurer shall submit an audited financial statement of the assets and liabilities of the Society to the Council for approval at the General Meeting. An auditor or honorary auditor shall be appointed by the Council. A financial statement and funds of the previous Congress should be submitted within six months of the end of Congress to the Council for approval at the following General Meeting.
ARTICLE 13 : AMENDMENTS
13.1 The Constitution may be amended only by a two-thirds majority of the members present at a General Meeting of the Society. Proposals to amend the Constitution may be submitted by ordinary members, honorary members, corporate members or patrons; shall be seconded by two ordinary members, honorary members, corporate members or patrons; and shall reach the Secretary at least thirty days before the date of the General Meeting.
13.2 Notice of proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be sent by the Secretary to all members at least fifteen days before the date of the General Meeting.
13.3 Proposed amendments that have been submitted to the Secretary but not dealt with by a General Meeting because of the absence of a quorum, shall be submitted by the Secretary at the next General Meeting.
ARTICLE 14 : LANGUAGE MEDIUM
The language of communication for the South African Society for Microbiology shall be English.
ARTICLE 15 : DISSOLUTION
On dissolution of the Society, its assets shall be made over to any organisation or society designated and approved by the Council.