By-Laws of the
Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions
Approved March 15, 2008
Amended, January 10, 2009
Amended January 9, 2015
1. The name of the Society shall be the Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions.
2. The Purpose of the Society shall be to further research in, and the teaching of, ancient Mediterranean religions, in cooperation with the Society for Classical Studies, the Archaeological Institute of America, the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Classical Association of Canada, the International Association for the History of Religion, and other societies to which this field is of interest. Ancient Mediterranean religions, for the purpose of this Society, shall be defined as the religions of the ancient Mediterranean basin, with a particular focus on the polytheistic religious traditions, their interaction with each other, and with the monotheistic religious traditions of the region.
3. Membership of the Society shall be open to all persons engaged in research in ancient Mediterranean religion or in the teaching of ancient Mediterranean religion, including graduate students. Members shall pay an annual subscription, the amount to be determined by majority vote at the Annual Meeting, on recommendation of the President and Secretary-Treasurer. Student members shall pay a reduced annual subscription.
4. The Officers of the Society shall be a President and a Secretary-Treasurer, and a Program Committee consisting of three members of the Society.
5. No Officer shall belong to the same institution as another Officer, provided that different campuses within the same university system shall be regarded as being different institutions.
6. At the first election of the Society, the President shall be elected for a three-year term and the Secretary-Treasurer for a two-year term. The Program Committee Members shall be elected for terms of one, two and three years respectively; the holder of the one-year term shall be its first Chair, and the holder of the two-year term shall be its second Chair. After that, the senior member of the Program Committee (in terms of continuous service on the committee) shall serve as its Chair.
7. After the first election, the Officers shall hold office for three years, ending at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting, except as provided in Section 10 below.
8. The President and Secretary-Treasurer shall be eligible for nomination for one additional term of office. Renomination to the Program Committee shall be permitted only after an interval of at least three years.
9. The process of nomination and election shall be as follows:
(a) A vacancy arising in one of the offices shall be notified to members not later than three months before the Annual Meeting at which the vote is to be taken.
(b) Nominations shall reach the Secretary-Treasurer not later than six weeks before the Annual Meeting at which the vote is to be taken.
(c) Nominations must be supported by three members of the Society not belonging to the same institution as outlined in Section 6, and the willingness of the nominee to serve must be confirmed by the nominators prior to submission of the nomination. No one shall be nominated whose election would lead to a contravention of Section 6.
(d) Care shall be taken in the nomination of candidates for the Program Committee so that a range of scholarly interests and approaches (e.g. geographical, chronological, methodological) is represented.
(d) If only one valid nomination is received, the person nominated shall be declared elected by the President at the business meeting held at the Annual Meeting.
(e) Voting for President and Secretary-Treasurer, if more than one valid nomination is received, shall be conducted by mail (electronic or postal) prior to the Annual Meeting, allowing at least two weeks for the return of ballots. The results shall be announced at the Annual Meeting.
(f) Voting for members of the Program Committee, if more than one valid nomination is received, shall take place at the business meeting held at the Annual Meeting. The Secretary- Treasurer shall prepare paper ballots containing the names of all those nominated. All members, including student members, are eligible to vote. Proxy voting is not allowed.
(g) Preferential balloting shall be used to determine the outcome of all elections. Voters shall list their choices in order of preference; if no candidate receives a majority of votes, the candidate with the least number of votes shall be eliminated and that candidate’s votes redistributed to the other candidates according to the preference given on the ballot. This process shall be repeated until one candidate obtains a majority of the votes cast.
(h) If an Officer of the Society is unable to function for any reason, the President (or Secretary– Treasurer if the President is so incapacitated) shall appoint a temporary substitute (if the Officer in question can be expected to be able to resume the post in a reasonable time) or an interim successor to serve until the next election. Should both the President and the Secretary-Treasurer become unable to serve at the same time, then the immediately preceding ex-President of the Society shall temporarily serve as President to invite nominations and conduct a mail ballot for both Officers as expeditiously as possible.
10. The Society shall organize a panel session in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies and may organize panels at other times as well. Participants in panels sponsored by the Society will be strongly encouraged to join the Society. In addition, presenters must ensure that they are eligible to present papers a the relevant meetings, by maintaining membership as necessary in the appropriate society, such as the SCS, AIA, SBL, or others.
11. The Officers, principally the Secretary-Treasurer, shall compose a newsletter at least once per year, and see to its distribution to all members. The President or his/her appointee shall receive abstract submissions for the Annual Meeting, and for all other panels organized by the Society, and distribute them anonymously to the Program Committee Chair, who shall arrange for the further distribution to, and discussion among, the Program Committee. The Program Committee Chair shall report decisions back to the President, who shall then notify proposers of the decisions made by the Program Committee.
12. The Society shall hold its annual business meeting at the Annual Meeting of the SCS.
The organization for the next-to-be scheduled panel session at the Annual Meeting, including but not limited to the theme for the panel, shall be decided at the business meeting. The Program Committee shall make every effort to involve the member who originally proposed the theme in the session, either as presider, presenter, or respondent. Student members shall have full rights to propose and/or chair panel sessions, as well as to present papers.
13. Proposed Amendments to these By-laws shall be signed by two members of the Society not belonging to the same institution as defined in Section 6, and shall be submitted to the Secretary- Treasurer at least six week prior to the Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies. The Secretary-Treasurer shall see to the distribution of proposed amendments at least one month before said Meeting. Proposed amendments must be approved by at least two thirds of the members present at the business meeting.
(a) The Society shall be carried on without purpose of gain for its members and any profits or other accretions to the Society shall be used in promoting its objects.
(b) In the event of the dissolution or winding up of the Society, all of its remaining assets, after payment of liabilities, shall be distributed to recognized charitable organizations.