Bylaws of the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists
Adopted in 2019
ARTICLE I — NAME
The “New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists,” also known as NJ-SPJ, is the New Jersey chapter of the national Society of Professional Journalists, founded in 1909. NJ-SPJ was founded in 1959.
ARTICLEII— MISSION STATEMENT
Our mission is to further the ethics and ideals of journalism.
Section 1 — It is recommended that members live in New Jersey or cover New Jersey news to be eligible to be a member of the chapter. (“New Jersey news” shall also include cross-state regional news that affects people in New Jersey.) Those who grew up in New Jersey or were educated in New Jersey are also eligible, as are retirees who previously met any of the above criteria. Chapter members who leave New Jersey or retire may retain their chapter membership.
Section 2 — Chapter members must pay dues to the national Society and the chapter will accept all categories of the SPJ as members of the chapter. (See section on Voting.)
Section 3 — The chapter encourages student members to be active in their campus chapter, if one exists. Their participation in NJ-SPJ will not be limited by their campus membership.
Section 4 — The chapter will also accept educators as members if their responsibilities include Journalism, English, History or Communication, or a similar field; as well as an advisor to campus news media.
ARTICLE IV — OFFICERS
Section 1 — The executive officers of the chapter shall be: President, vice president, treasurer and secretary.
PRESIDENT — The president shall be the chief executive officer and shall supervise and direct the business and affairs of the chapter. The president shall have the power to delegate such functions to other officers as necessary. The president shall have the power to create committees of officers, directors, members, or any combination thereof, to further the business and affairs of the chapter.
VICE PRESIDENT— The vice president shall exercise the functions of the president in the absence or inability of the president, either temporarily or for the duration of the president’s term.
SECRETARY —The secretary shall record the minutes of meetings of the chapter membership and the executive officers or board of directors, be custodian of chapter records, maintain chapter membership rolls, and maintain contact with the national Society. The Secretary shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the president or board, and provide all notices required by these Bylaws. The secretary will certify that people running for the board are members in good standing.
TREASURER —The treasurer shall be the principal accounting and financial officer of the chapter. The treasurer shall be responsible for the financial books of account for the chapter, will have custody of all chapter funds and securities, and will make disbursements of funds in accordance with chapter policies and at the direction of the executive officers.
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT — The Immediate Past President shall serve as an ex-officio officer of the chapter.
Section 2 — If the president and vice president are both unable to carry out their duties, executive power shall flow to the following officers, in order: the secretary, the treasurer, the immediate past president.
Section 3 — Officers’ terms shall begin on July 1, and each shall serve for one year or until their successors have been selected and qualified.
Section 4 — The board, by majority vote, will have the power to fill any board positions that become vacant before the next scheduled election. New members of the board of directors shall be nominated by the president with input from the executive officers.
There shall be six directors, who will serve staggered terms. Directors will begin their terms at the first board meeting after they are elected. Terms for board members will be two years, beginning July 1.
ARTICLE V — OPEN MEETINGS & OPEN PROGRAMS
Section 1 — “Meetings” as used herein shall mean regularly scheduled or special meetings that are publicized or announced and approved by the executive officers.
Section 2 — At a meeting of the chapter, a quorum consisting of six of the board members must be present to conduct any business.
Section 3 — Any action of the executive officers and/or board of directorsmay be rescinded by a majority vote of the members in good standing present at a meeting of the chapter membership if notice has been given in accordance with Section 2 above thatthe action previously taken by the executive officers and/or board of directors shallbe put to a vote of the membership at the meeting.
Section 4 — ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER shall be the parliamentary authority for all matters of procedure not specifically covered by these bylaws.
Section 5 — All membership meetings and programs of the New Jersey chapter of SPJ shall be on the record and open to coverage by any or all communications media, unless the board will be considering personnel, financial or legal matters. Coverage of programs of the New Jersey chapter of SPJ shall be encouraged in order to acquaint the profession and public at large with the issues discussed by and before the chapter membership. Individual guest speakers shall be apprised in advance that this is a chapter policy.
Section 6 — 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 the executive officers or board of directors.