Article I - NAME :
- The name of this organization is "Northwest Sherpa Association".
- The name of this organization in Sherpa is "Northwest Sherpa Kyidug".
- It shall be also known by the acronym of "NSA".
Article II - PREAMBLE :
The mission of NWSA is to preserve and promote Sherpa culture and unite all the Sherpas residing in the Northwest America including Portland, Montana, Idaho, and Vancouver Canada.
Article III - NATURE :
The organization is non-profit, non-political, non-racial and is secular.
Article IV - OBJECTIVES :
- To promote and preserve the Sherpa culture and traditions.
- To establish network among Sherpas living in Northwest America.
- To create and establish a Sherpa Culture Center in Seattle.
- To organize social, cultural, and religious events related to Sherpa community.
- To assist NSA members and family that are in need.
Article V - PROGRAM & ACTIVITIES :
The following programs and activities will be implemented with the active participation of all members :
- Sherpa New Year (Losar) celebration in late February/early March.
- Any events decided by NSA executive committee.
- Fundraising programs to support NSA objectives.
- Summer activities such as picnic, camping, hiking and field trips.
NWSA website URL address : www.northwestsherpa.org
NWSA E-mail address : [email protected]
Article VI - GENERAL ASSEMBLY :
Section 1. General Assembly :
The General assembly shall consist of all the members of the Society 21 years of age or above. Anyone, who has resided in the Northwest part of America with no criminal background, shall be eligible for the general membership. The absolute authority for decisions on all matters concerning NSA shall ultimately rest with a two-thirds majority vote of members present at the General Assembly, unless otherwise mentioned in the other bylaws of this constitution.
Section 2. General Assembly Meeting :
The General Secretary shall convene the General Assembly, in consultation with the President and Vice President of the organization. The Assembly shall meet, at least, once a year. The Executive Committee shall inform all the members of NSA at least 30 days earlier.
Section 3. Functions of General Assembly :
The General assembly shall elect members of the Executive Committee at the General Assembly meeting. The assembly will hold General election for Executive Committee once in 2 years.
The assembly shall establish general policies and programs, which shall be in the best interest of NWSA.
The assembly shall hear and review reports from the appropriate officers and make necessary recommendations. At each annual assembly, the General Secretary shall present the annual report and treasurer shall present annual financial report.
The General Assembly, by a two-thirds majority vote, has the ultimate right to evict or deny the membership, or evict the members of the Executive Committee or the advisors in the best interest of NWSA.
At least Ten (10) general members can request a special meeting of the General assembly, through a written and signed request submitted to the Secretary of NWSA, who shall comply with this request within two months of the receipt of the request. The Executive Committee can also request a special meeting of the General Assembly.
Article VII - ADVISORS :
Section 1. Number and Term :
The number of Advisors may be adjusted in accordance with the objective and goals of NWSA. However, the number of Advisors must be an odd number. The term of the Advisors shall be for 2 years. The existing Executive Committee shall propose the existing or new persons for the Advisors to the General Assembly at the time of the new election every two years for its approval. However, the newly elected Executive Committee, by its two-thirds majority vote, add new Advisors.
The Executive Committee shall be responsible to seek the approval of any new Advisors by the next General Assembly meeting. The Committee must file the names of the new Advisors (and remove the names of those ousted Advisors) with the office of the Secretary of State of Washington.
Section 2. Role of Advisors :
The Executive Committee is responsible to propose the policies and programs, within the general policies of the General Assembly under Article VIII section 3, to the Advisors. The Advisors, with its majority vote, will approve such policies and programs. In case, the Advisors returns such policies and programs to the Executive Committee for further changes, the Committee can again propose these policies and programs with changes to the Advisors for its approval.
The Advisors, with its two third majorities, can veto the decisions of the Executive Committee if those decisions may cause any harms, directly or indirectly to NWSA or its members.
Section 3. Qualifications for the Advisors :
A candidate for the Advisor must be interested in promoting the interest of NWSA by maintaining and furthering its social, cultural, educational and charitable activities. She/he must be 21 or above. The majority of the Advisors must be nominated among NWSA's members. The rest of the Advisors can be elected/nominated among any members. A person cannot hold position of Executive committee at the same time.
Section 4. Removal of the Advisors :
The Advisors, by its two-thirds majority, can remove any Advisors if it found that she/he acted against the interest of NWSA or was involved in illegal activities. The Executive Committee must file the names of the new Advisors (and remove the names of those ousted Advisors) with the office of the Secretary of State of Washington.
The Executive Committee can also propose for the removal of any Advisors if it found that she/he acted against the interest of NWSA or was involved in illegal activities. The Advisors shall decide the case at hand, and by its two-thirds majority, can remove the alleged Director. The Advisors shall inform the Executive Committee about the removal of the alleged Director and the Committee shall be responsible to seek the approval of this removal in the next General Assembly meeting. The Executive Committee shall also be responsible to file the names of the ousted Advisors (and add the names of any new Advisors) with the office of the Secretary of State of Washington.
Article VIII - EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE :
Section 1. Number and term :
Executive committee shall be at least 2 people. Except as otherwise provided in sections 4 and 5 of this Article, each member shall serve on the Executive Committee for a period of 2 years and is eligible to be re-elected.
Section 2. Positions :
- President- 1 Person
- Vice President- 1 Person
- General Secretary- 1 Person
- Secretary- 1 Person
- Treasurer- 1 Person
- Executive members- 4 Persons
Section 3. Duties and powers :
- President :
The President shall preside over the General Assembly and meetings of the Executive Committee; shall be responsible for NWSA's policies and programs. That individual shall also be principal spokesperson for NWSA and shall exercise general supervision over the activities of the Society. The President may cast her/his vote only in case of a tie vote in meetings.
- Vice President :
In the absence or incapacity of the President, the Vice President shall assume the responsibilities of the President in presiding over the meetings of the General Assembly and the Executive committee.
- General Secretary :
The General Secretary shall be responsible to convene all the meetings of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee in consultation with the President. She/He shall record and keep the minutes of the General Assembly, Executive Committee meetings and a register of the members and friends of the Organization. The General Secretary shall perform other duties as the Executive Committee may assign him/her from time to time. She/He shall be responsible for presentation of the annual report.
- Treasurer :
The Treasurer shall be responsible for all monetary concerns of the organization and shall keep a fair and accurate account of the income and expenditures. The Treasurer shall deposit in the bank, in the name of the Society, any and all amounts. He/She shall prepare a budget and present it to the Executive Committee. With the approval of the Executive Committee, the Treasurer shall present the budget to the General Assembly for its approval and/or recommendations.
- Executive members :
The executive members shall have power to exercise the general affairs of the Society, to vote on policies and changes therein; to specify and conduct the work of the committee for the furtherance of its policies and objectives. She/He shall carry out any responsibilities given by the decision of the Executive Committee.
Section 4. Qualification of the Candidates :
Anyone who has resided in the state of Washington with no criminal background shall be eligible for the candidate of any executive positions except for President. For the post of President, the candidate has to be residence of Washington State for at least 6 months in addition to above requirements. However, she/he must be the general member of NWSA to become eligible for the Executive Committee. The eligible age for the executive positions is 21 or above and the voting age is 18 or above. A person cannot hold position of an Executive committee and a Director at the same time.
Section 5. Removal of Executive Committee's Members :
The Advisors, by its two-thirds majority, can remove any member of the Executive Committee if it found that she/he acted against the interest of NWSA or was involved in illegal activities. The Advisors shall seek the approval in the next General Assembly meeting after the removal of any member from the Executive Committee.
Article IX - RESIGNATION, DISCIPLINARY ACTION, MEMBERSHIP CANCELLATION, VACANCIES, AND COMPENSATION :
Section 1. Resignations :
Any general member or member of the Executive Committee may resign with 1-month advance notice to the Executive Committee. The President and General Secretary, on behalf of the Executive Committee, may request the member to withdraw her/his resignation. Any Advisors may resign with 1-month advance notice to the Advisors. The Advisors may request the Director to withdraw her/his resignation. Such resignation shall be made in writing, and shall take effect at the time specified at the time of its receipt.
Section 2. Disciplinary Action :
If any general member or Executive Member or Advisors acts or their actions are against the interest of NWSA, or the authorized members/Advisors misuse the funds, she/he will be subject to disciplinary action. In case, the Executive Committee finds any member acting against the interest of NWSA, it will send her/him a letter of warning requesting to stop acting against NWSA. Even after receiving a warning letter, if the alleged member does not stop her/his actions against NWSA, the Executive Committee, by its two-thirds majority vote, will dismiss her/his membership, subject to the approval of the next meeting of the General Assembly. Upon approval of the General Assembly, he/she will no longer be eligible to receive any benefits from NWSA.
If any Advisor is found guilty of acting against the interest of NWSA or misusing the NWSA' funds, the Advisors, by its two-thirds majority vote, will evict the alleged Director, subject to the approval of the next meeting of the General Assembly.
The alleged person will be required to pay back NWSA's misused funds unless the two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee, in the case of a member, and the Advisors, in the case of a Director, exempts her/him from repaying.
Section 3. Voluntary Membership Cancellation/Refund :
Written request must be submitted for Membership cancellation after 60 days. After 60 days of membership (individual or lifetime) payments can not be refunded. However, the individual must submit a written request to cancel the membership so the individual will not receive any information related to NWSA. Otherwise individual are required to sign off membership cancellation statement for finalization.
Section 4. Vacancies :
If vacancy occurs in the Executive Committee besides the post of President, the Executive Committee shall fill the vacancy from General Members for the remaining period. For President, it requires approval of two-third majority of the general members.
Section 5. Compensation :
General Members or executive members or Advisors shall not receive any salary or compensation for their services.
Article X - MEETING, PLACE AND ACCESS TO MEETING, QUORUM, AND VOTING:
Section 1. Meeting of the Executive Committee and Advisors :
The Committee Members may hold meeting of the Executive committee at any time upon call. The Advisors may hold meeting of the Advisors at any time upon call. General-secretary shall inform all the executive members of the meeting at least 7 days prior. Attendance by the members in each Executive Committee meeting and attendance by the Advisors in each Board meeting is mandatory unless prior consented by the respective committee or the Board.
If the section 3 of this Article X applies, the members in each Executive Committee meeting and the Advisors in each Board meeting shall reach the decision on issues for which the meeting was called upon.
Section 2. Place of Meetings :
General Assembly and meetings of the Advisors and Executive Committee shall be held at the place specified in the notice of the meetings. Any meetings and events notification will be given in a month advance.
Section 3. Quorum :
The presence in person of two thirds of the number of general members or Executive members or Advisors shall constitute of a quorum of the transaction of business at any meeting.
Section 4. Voting :
Each member shall have one vote. A two-thirds majority vote of the present shall be necessary for exercising the powers of the General Assembly or the Advisors or the Executive Committee.
Section 5. Access to Meetings :
All interested members will have access to the Executive Committee meeting or the Board meeting. However such members shall be quite listeners and shall not be allowed to vote or influence the decisions of the Committee or the Board.
Article XI - GENERAL ELECTION :
General Election will be held once in 2 years (December through January) before Sherpa New-year. Any officer or executive members may be re-elected for the same position for maximum of 2 terms.
Section 1. Date and Place :
Two month prior to Sherpa New Year (February/March), notice shall be provided to all general members living in the state of Washington informing via email for open elections.
Section 2. Election Committee :
Executive Committee shall make an Election subcommittee of 2 persons among the general members to hold the election according to the constitution. Election subcommittee shall be dismissed after the new Executive Committee is formed.
Section 3. Nomination :
Election subcommittee shall seek nomination for the election from general members for all positions one month earlier.
Section 4. Election procedure :
If there is only one candidacy for a position, the position will be automatically elected, if not, election will be held to decide. Each member shall count for one vote and ballot will be used for election. A candidate will be declared elected if she/he secures at least one vote more than the nearest rival candidate. In case of two candidates, who secure most votes but equal number of votes, a second round of voting will be held between the two top candidates. If the tie still remains between these candidates, a drawing will be made to elect the candidate.
Article XII - GENERAL MEMBERSHIP :
Section 1. Membership :
General Membership is for anyone who is interested in fulfilling the NWSA' s objectives and wants to attend Nepali social, cultural and educational activities hosted by NWSA or learn more about the other important Nepali events and language. The Northwest Sherpa Association welcomes members from all different nationalities.
Section 2. Membership Fee :
- Individual: $25.00
- Immediate Family: $50.00 (includes spouse and children under 21)
- Life Long Family Membership $500.00 (one time fee, applicable per family)
- Life Long Membership $300.00 (one time fee per individual)
In addition to the membership fees, NWSA will appreciate the donations or other contributions from members that will enable NWSA to run various activities and events. The general membership fee may change subject to the approval of two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee of NWSA. It is up to the Executive Committee to decide when and what amount of annual membership fee will be introduced.
Section 3. Benefits of General Membership :
General members will:
- Have right to vote and run for election of Executive committee.
- Reduced/discounted fees for NWSA's various activities.
- Opportunities to network with other members.
- Receive advance notice of all the cultural events and NWSA activities.
- Receive On Line pertinent information.
Section 4. Enrollment period :
Annual membership enrollment period are March and April which NWSA will send membership information to current and prospective members. If a current member does not subscribe her/his annual membership before May1st, her/his membership will automatically expire. A prospective member can subscribe annual membership at any time of the year, but it will be valid after Sherpa New Year for the following year only.
Article XIII - ADVISORY BOARD :
The President shall appoint at least 3 persons in consultation with the approval of the executive committee. Advisory board shall consist of nationally and internationally distinguished individuals who have demonstrated by the active interest or participation in the Society's program, that they would make a valuable contribution. The Executive Committee shall decide their functions and responsibilities.
Article XIV - FISCAL YEAR :
Fiscal year of the organization shall be from March 2nd to March 1st.
Article XV - PUBLICATION :
Organization shall have a Publication Department. Executive Committee will select an editorial board every 2 years and they will run the publication.
Article XVI - SOURCE OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT :
Source of financial support of the Society shall be membership fees, donations, fund raising parties and other activities. The Executive Committee shall determine all the fees for different activities. All the proceeds from different sources must be deposited into NWSA's bank account by the next official day. NWSA receipts will be provided for any kind of financial contribution to NWSA.
Article XVII - EXPENSES, AUDITING AND ACCESS TO ACCOUNTS :
Section 1. Expenses :
No expenses can be made without the prior approval of the Executive Committee. In case of urgency or emergency, Section 2 of this Article applies for the purpose of withdrawing money from the bank's NWSA account for these types of expenses. However, these expenses must be approved in the Executive Committee meeting after the expenses occur.
Section 2. Authorized Signatures :
No checks can be written or money withdrawn from the bank without being authorized by at least two members. The two authorized executive members shall be the President and Treasurer.
The priority order of the two authorized signatures will be as follows:
- President and Treasurer
- Vice President and treasurer
The above priority order must be followed and must not be skipped unless approval of proceeding orders.
Section 3. Auditing :
The book of financial accounts of NWSA shall be reviewed on regular basis and audited annually by a 3 members subcommittee established by the Executive Committee. The subcommittee will submit its report to the Executive Committee.
Section 4. Access to Accounts :
Any member can request with the Executive Committee in writing and have an access to the society's financial accounts to review during official hours. However, she/he cannot have authority to make any changes. She/He may bring any issues to the attention of Executive Committee in writing if she/he finds any discrepancies in accounting.
Article XVIII - AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION :
Any or all of these constitutions may be altered, amended or replaced only by a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly at any regular or special General Assembly called for that purpose.