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RSE Constitution

(to get the constitution in a PDF see here)

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ARTICLE 1: NAME

Section A: The name of this organization shall be: The Rhetoric Society of Europe (hereafter referred to as RSE or as the Society).

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ARTICLE 2: PURPOSE

Section A: The purpose of RSE is to promote and advance the research, study and teaching of rhetoric in Europe, and to facilitate professional cooperation between its members. This shall be accomplished amongst other things by:

-          Providing a forum where researchers and others involved in rhetorical research can meet and exchange information and documentation about their work.

-          Encouraging the development of research and systematic study, especially on subjects, areas and methods where such work is not well developed.

-          Stimulating European research in rhetoric through the organizing of meetings and sponsoring the publication of materials dealing with rhetoric as well as supporting the exploration of European rhetoric.

-          Collecting and disseminating information concerning European rhetorical research as well as the professional position of European researchers in rhetoric.

-          Contributing to improving, developing and enhancing the quality of European research in rhetoric.

-          Connecting European research and scholars to scholars and research in other parts of the world, as well as facilitating international cooperation in the research, study and teaching of rhetoric.

Section B: RSE shall establish and maintain a website functioning as an information channel and member’s forum for the organization.

Section C: RSE shall hold a biennial conference.

Section D: RSE shall establish an international European based research journal for the study of rhetoric.

Section E: RSE shall work for the establishment of a student society within the framework of the RSE.

Section F: These are the exclusive purposes of RSE and it shall be accomplished by the Society only in a charitable manner.

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ARTICLE 3: MEMBERSHIP

Section A: Membership is open to any individual subscribing to its aims and interested in promoting the purposes of the RSE.

Section B: Members pay a membership fee, which the General Assembly determines at the ordinary biennial meeting.

Section C: A member of the RSE is any individual who has paid the membership fee and is registered as member.

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ARTICLE 4: CONFERENCE

Section A: The RSE shall hold a Biennial Conference.

Section B: During each Biennial Conference, normally on the last day of the Conference, there shall be a General Assembly for members of the Society. In accordance with the bylaws of the Society (see Bylaws) the agenda of the General Assembly shall include the reports of the President and of the Treasurer for the approval by the members, and it shall include the election of members of the executive board (cf. article 7, section E).

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ARTICLE 5: PUBLICATIONS

Section A: The RSE shall issue a research journal, a newsletter, and other publications that may help serve the purpose of the Society.

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ARTICLE 6: LANGUAGES

Section A: The official language of the RSE shall be English. The Society shall take into account the desirability of different languages and cultures in Europe. RSE shall acknowledge, respect and cultivate the fact that Europe consists of different nations, cultures, and languages.

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ARTICLE 7: GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Section A: The general organ of direction of the RSE is the General Assembly, which has the ultimate authority in implementing the purpose of the Society.

Section B: The General Assembly ordinarily meets every second year during the biennial conference of the RSE. The General Assembly will be chaired by the President of the Society.

Section C: The General Assembly consists of members present or represented at the ordinary biennial meeting and at any extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly.

Section D: An extraordinary meeting must be conveyed if requested by at least one fifth of the members of the Society.

Section E: The agenda of the General Assembly shall be determined by the Executive Board of the RSE. The agenda must include: i) the report of the President, ii) the report of the Treasurer for the approval by the members, iii) the election of the members of the Executive Board who are up for election.

Section F: A proposal signed by at least nine members can be put on the agenda of the General Assembly. A proposal signed by at least one twentieth of the members must be put on the agenda of a General Assembly meeting. The proposals must be delivered to the Executive Board in accordance with the bylaws of the Society (see Bylaws).

Section G: The General Assembly votes and elects by a simple majority of those present and represented. In the case of a tie, the vote of the President or of a Board member representing the President will be decisive.

Section H: The General Assembly holds the powers expressly recognised by the Constitution and the Bylaws. Of its exclusive competencies are, among others: i) change of the Constitution, ii) appointment, discharge and forced resignation of members of the Executive Board, iii) determining membership fee, iv) approval of budgets and accounts, v) adoption of the biennial report by the President of the Society, vi) dissolution and liquidation of the Society.

Section I: The Secretary shall take minutes and record the decisions of the General Assembly in a register, signed by the Secretary and the President. The register shall be available to all members.

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ARTICLE 8: EXECUTIVE BOARD

Section A: The Executive Board shall consist of twelve members of the RSE. The Executive Board will manage the Society’s current business. The Executive Board meets at least once a year. The Executive Board must meet in connection with the biennial RSE conference and prepare the agenda for the General Assembly.

Section B: Elections to the Executive Board are held every two years. The General Assembly shall, in accordance with the Bylaws of the Society (see Bylaws) elect by relative majority the members of the Executive Board for a four year term. Two members shall be student representatives; both of these shall be PhD students. Student members serve a two-year term. An Executive Board member may serve no more than two consecutive terms. Executive Board members can be forced to resign by the General Assembly by a two-thirds majority of the members present or represented.

Section C: The International European nature of the RSE shall in so far as possible be reflected in the nomination and election of members of the Executive Board. No more than three persons in the Executive Board shall be from the same country.

Section D: Efforts shall be made to have members of the Executive Board represent various fields, disciplines and methods in the study of rhetoric.

Section E: The Executive Board can decide on all management matters, except those which fall within the authority of the General Assembly.

Section F: The Executive Board shall make decisions by a simple majority of votes, either present or represented. In case of a tie, the vote of the President or the Board member representing the President will be decisive.

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ARTICLE 9: OFFICERS

Section A: The Executive Board shall in accordance with the Bylaws of the Society (see bylaws) elect and appoint from its members the President, the Vice President, the Secretary and the Treasurer. The President and the Vice President shall be citizens or residents of different countries.

Section B: Any member of the Executive Board can propose candidates for the four positions as officers – including themselves.

Section C: Elections of officers will be determined by simple majority. In case of a 6-6 tie in the Executive Board, the election must be determined at the General Assembly.

Section D: The President shall be the presiding officer of the Board and the representative of the Society. The President shall present a report to the General Assembly dealing with the activities of the RSE during the previous two years and including a financial report prepared by the Treasurer.

Section E: The Vice President shall perform the functions of the president in the absence or incapacity of the officer.

Section F: The Secretary shall take minutes of all meetings of the Executive Board and the General Assembly. The Secretary shall secure that the RSE collects and publishes at least the following information about each member of RSE: preferred title; full name; academic degrees; academic position; area of research or interest.

Section G: The Treasurer shall, either personally or through a fiscal agent approved by the Executive Board, collect, safeguard, and distribute the funds of the RSE according to the provisions of this Constitution, and shall present a report through the President at the biennial General Assembly.

Section H: As officers of the RSE, the President, the Vice President, the Secretary and the Treasurer have the primary responsibility for governing an efficient working Executive Board and for securing that the Society pursues the purposes of this Constitution. In order to achieve this, the four officers must regularly gather for working meetings. Working meetings shall be called by the President. There shall be at least one working meeting preparing the agenda for every meeting of the Executive Board.

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ARTICLE 10: ADVISORY BOARD

Section A: The Advisory Board provides the Executive Board with advice on the long-term strategies of the association as well as any other kind of counselling the Executive Board may seek from the Advisory Board.

Section B: The Advisory Board shall consist of ten persons. The Executive Board decides on the composition of the Advisory Board, taking disciplinary, regional, gender and age diversity into account. The members of the Advisory Board will elect the Chair of the Advisory Board by simple majority. Former service on the Executive Board shall be considered favorably during the nomination and election process of new members to the Advisory Board.

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ARTICLE 11: ASSETS

No part of the net earnings of the RSE shall injure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, officers, or other private persons, except that the RSE shall be authorized to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions as set forth in Article 2.

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Copenhagen January 18, 2013

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Revised 30.06.2015