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SVP Constitution

ARTICLE 1. NAME

This Society shall be known as "The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology" (SVP).

ARTICLE 2. PURPOSE

Section 1. Mission
The purpose of this Society shall be to:

  1. advance the science of vertebrate paleontology throughout the world;
  2. serve the common interests and facilitate the cooperation of all persons concerned with the history, evolution, ecology, comparative anatomy and taxonomy of vertebrate animals, as well as the field occurrence, collection and study of fossil vertebrates and the stratigraphy of the beds in which they are found;
  3. support and encourage the discovery, conservation, and protection of vertebrate fossils and fossil sites;
  4. foster the scientific, educational, and personal appreciation and understanding of vertebrate fossils and fossil sites by avocational, student and professional paleontologists and the general public.

Section 2. Non-Profit Purpose

  1. This corporation is a nonprofit, public-benefit corporation and is not organized for the private gain of any person. It is organized under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law for public purposes.
  2. The Society is organized exclusively for educational and scientific purposes, including the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law.

Section 3. International organization

  1. This Society was organized in the United States and as such maintains a primary focus on North American vertebrate paleontology. However, the Society is committed to serving vertebrate paleontologists worldwide.
  2. The name and address in the State of California of this corporation's initial agent for service of process are: CT Corporation System, 818 West Seventh Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

ARTICLE 3. MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Eligibility
The members of this Society shall be individuals who are concerned with vertebrate paleontology and who meet additional requirements as established in the Bylaws.

Although the recommended age for membership in the Society is a minimum of 18 years, the Membership Committee may use its discretion in regards to the age of an SVP member. The Society also allows for the existence of a Junior Membership category within SVP. The requirements for, and the establishment of, such a member class is under the joint discretion of the Membership and Executive Committees.

Section 2. Membership classes and rights
Various classes of membership and the qualifications thereof shall be established in the Bylaws of this association.

ARTICLE 4. GOVERNANCE

The governance of this Society shall be vested in an elected Board of Directors, consisting of the Society's officers. The officers shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Members-at-Large, and immediate Past President. The Board of Directors may be known to the Society as the Executive Committee. There will be no fewer than three and no more than seven Members-at-Large, as determined by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may appoint committees and representatives to other organizations and define the duties and receive the reports of these committees and representatives.

ARTICLE 5. BYLAWS

The Bylaws, consisting of articles appended hereto, are hereby adopted and may be amended, enlarged, or reduced as provided in the Bylaws.

ARTICLE 6. AMENDMENTS

These Articles of Incorporation may be amended by approval from a three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of the members of the Society responding in the vote.
Such amendments may be proposed by:

  1. Resolution by the Board of Directors,
  2. Petition endorsed by at least 3% of the total voting members of the Society, or
  3. By motion at the Annual Business Meeting.

The legality of all amendments shall be determined by the Board of Directors with advice of counsel prior to consideration by voting members of the Society. Upon affirmation of legality of the proposed amendments, the Board of Directors shall cause them to be published at least 30 days prior to a vote.

ARTICLE 7. FOUNDATION

The Society may establish an autonomous Foundation to receive contributions and carry out activities that support the Society's mission. The Board of Directors of the Society or its designated committee shall represent the Society's dealings with the Foundation.

ARTICLE 8. DISSOLUTION

Upon dissolution of the Society, any assets remaining after payment of or provision for its debts and liabilities shall be paid over to charitable organizations exempt from tax under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding provisions of subsequently enacted U.S. federal law. Such charitable organizations must be organized exclusively for scientific, educational, or other purposes consistent with the purposes of the Society.