Constitution

PREAMBLE:

Where as the need exists for cohesive action on the part of the people of telugu origin residing in GTA and neighbouring cities, it is hereby resolved that an organization be formed to preserve and propagate the telugu cultural heritage and maintain the identity of said group of people, to provide a forum for telugu literary, cultural, educational, social and charitable interaction among its members.

Article 1: NAME
The name of the association shall be “TELUGU CULTURAL ASSOCIATION OF
GREATER TORONTO” (herein after called TCAGT)

Article 2: MAILING ADDRESS
As a permanent arrangement P.O.Box in central location should be rented. Each year one executive committee member closest to the Postal Station shall be responsible to collect mail on a regular basis. This would facilitate other organizations to communicate on a permanent basis.

Article 3: AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

3.1 Promote, preserve, maintain, perpetuate and enrich the cultural heritage of people of Telugu origin in GTA and neighbouring cities.
3.2 Establish association with similar cultural organizations in GTA and cooperate with ethnic and multicultural groups in cultural and social activities in Canada.
3.3 Promote Telugu language development classes among children and adults
of Telugu community.
3.4 Organize, promote & sponsor cultural, educational, recreational, musical,
literary and sports events, festivals, pageants and conventions to promote the objectives of TCAGT.
3.5 Organize cultural, recreational and musical events to promote young talent
in the community and bring awareness among young generation about the rich Telugu cultural heritage.
3.6 Raise, solicit, collect, and disburse funds for charities. Collect donations for cultural, educational and charitable purposes either directly or in cooperation with other non-profit organizations in Canada and abroad.
3.7 Provide information, guidance and assistance to new immigrants and
needy families of Telugu origin wherever necessary.
3.8 Maintain and promote the website of the TCAGT in accordance with the association’s objectives.

Article 4: MEMBERSHIP

A person aged 18 or older residing in GTA and neighbouring cities, subscribing to the objectives of TCAGT, willing to abide by the Constitution and Bylaws, is entitled to become a member of the association upon payment of prescribed fees as determined by the General body from time to time, subject to the conditions set forth in Article 4.2.
All members shall furnish their full name(s), along with all family member
details, address, telephone number and email. They shall inform Secretary of
the TCAGT in a timely fashion of any changes.

4.1.A. SINGLE MEMBER:
A person aged 18 years or older shall be eligible to become a SINGLE MEMBER of TCAGT by submitting an application in the prescribed form with appropriate fees.
The annual SINGLE MEMBERSHIP fee shall be ($20.00) or as determined by the
General body. A SINGLE MEMBER shall enjoy all basic privileges of TCAGT membership, including the right to contest (for executive committee only) and vote in TCAGT elections

4.1.B. FAMILY MEMBER:
A person or a family shall be eligible to become a member of TCAGT by submitting an application in prescribed form with appropriate fees as determined by the general body.
FAMILY MEMBERSHIP consists of member, spouse, children (under the age of
25 and unmarried) and dependant parents living at the same address as the member.
The annual FAMILY MEMBERSHIP fee shall be ($40.00) or as determined by the
general body. FAMILY MEMBERS shall enjoy all basic privileges of TCAGT membership excluding the right to contest (for executive committee only) and vote in TCAGT elections, which is for spouses only.

4.1.C LIFE MEMBER:
A person or a family shall be eligible to become a LIFE MEMBER of TCAGT by
submitting an application in prescribed form with appropriate fees. The life membership fee shall be $400. Life members shall have all basic privileges of TCAGT membership, including the right to contest and vote in TCAGT elections. They are also eligible to stand and vote for board of trustees as well as executive committee. Life membership consists of member, spouse and children (under the age of 25 years and unmarried) and dependant parents living at the same address for entire life.

4.2 A member shall remain in good standing provided that:
a) The member is not more than 120 days in arrears of the membership fee.
b) The member resides in the GTA or its neighbouring cities.

4.3 MEMBERSHIP TERM:
A membership term for all members begins and ends on Jan.1st and Dec.31st respectively. Membership is considered active, when membership fee is paid on or before April 30th in that particular year. Life members shall be member of TCAGT for their entire lifetime.

Article 5: MEMBERSHIP RIGHTS
5.1 A member in good standing is entitled to take part in the activities of the Association including elections.
5.2 A single member will carry one vote; a family and life member will carry not more than two votes (spouses only).
5.3 A member in good standing, for at least two consecutive years, is entitled to contest the elections to the Executive Committee,
5.4 A life member is eligible to contest the elections to the Board of Trustees as well as Executive Committee, provided that person is nominated and seconded by another life member in good standing.
5.5 A member shall be entitled to receive the Minutes of the general body meeting together with the yearly financial statements two weeks prior to the Annual general body meeting.

Article 6: ORGANIZATION
TCAGT shall be made up of a General Body, Executive Committee and Board of
Trustees.

6.1 GENERAL BODY:
All members, Single, Family and Life constitute the general body. General body
shall determine the basic philosophy and policies of the TCAGT.

6.2 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (EC):
Executive Committee shall consist of 9 Directors elected by the general body annually. 3 Directors out of 9 shall be directly elected for the positions of President, Secretary and Treasurer and 2 Directors positions shall be reserved for youth members. The executive committee shall provide the leadership and execute the policies and objectives of TCAGT on a day today basis.

6.2.1 The constitution of the Executive Committee shall be:
1. President
2. Secretary
3. Treasurer
4. Director – Youth Representative
5. Director – Youth Representative
6. Director
7. Director
8. Director
9. Director

President:
The President shall be the coordinator of the executive committee and shall perform all duties incident to the office of the President. The President shall preside at all meetings. The President and members of the executive committee shall be responsible to one nother and shall be jointly responsible to the Board of Trustees and general body. President shall be the ex-officio for the next year executive committee with no voting rights.

Secretary:
The Secretary shall be the public relations liaison for TCAGT. The Secretary shall call for meetings of the executive committee, and the general body, prepare the minutes of the meetings and shall be responsible for the maintenance of records, documents, official
correspondence of the organization. Secretary shall maintain an updated list of all members. He/She shall be responsible to ensure that all reports, documents and records are maintained in order and he/She shall be responsible for transferring all the records of TCAGT to the incoming Secretary within 30 days after the end of his/her term. Secretary shall assist Election Officer.

Treasurer:
The Treasurer shall be the only authorized person empowered to have custody of the general operations fund of TCAGT. He/She shall be responsible for issuing notice and collection of all dues and deposit the same in such banks as the Executive Committee may designate. He/She shall have custody of all accounts, receipts, expenses and disbursements. He/She shall submit quarterly financial reports to the executive committee and provide this information at the annual general body meeting. He/She shall transfer all records, documents and accounts to the incoming Treasurer within 30 days after the end of his/her term.

Director – Youth Representatives (2):
Youth representative shall be responsible to promote the objectives of TCAGT among the young members of the community. Youth Representative shall be responsible to organize various cultural events and festivals that benefit the youth. All other directors shall assist executive committee in the day to day functioning of TCAGT.

6.3 BOARD OF TRUSTEES (BOT):
The Board of Trustees shall look after the fiscal welfare of TCAGT and make long range planning for TCAGT. Board of Trustees shall consist of 3 members elected amongst life members and elected by the life, single and family members. The first election for Board of Trustees shall be held in general body meeting in the year 2005 or in a specially convened general body meeting when paid subscription for life membership reaches 30, whichever is earlier and every alternate year thereafter. The term for Board of Trustees shall be 2 years and among the elected life members. Board of Trustees shall elect one member as Chairman, who will represent Trustees in the executive committee. Chairman shall be an ex-officio in executive committee with non-voting rights. Chairman shall coordinate the activities of the Board. He/She shall call for meetings, prepare meeting minutes and maintain record of the Board.

Article 7: ANNUAL GENERAL BODY MEETING (AGM)
7.1 General body meeting shall be held annually within GTA in an indoor hall. The executive committee shall recommend the agenda for this meeting and President of executive committee will preside over the meeting. The meeting shall be a forum for a dialogue between the members, executive committee and the board of trustees so that prudent policy decisions can be made.
7.2 The Treasurer shall present audited financial statements for member’s approval. The Secretary shall present the past year’s activities.
7.3 The Chairman of BOT shall present the financial statements for various funds under its jurisdiction as well as the activities of the Board during the year. BOT shall present proposals/resolutions on activities that needs approval of the general body.
7.4 Elections for Executive Committee (every year), Board of Trustees (once in 2 years) shall be conducted.
7.5 The quorum for the general body meetings shall be minimum 20% of the current membership or 60 members which ever is less, present.
7.6 General body meeting shall be conducted at least 60 days before the expiry of present executive committee term.
7.7 The general body Meeting shall be conducted by the executive committee with the objective of conducting elections and approval of financial statements. Any other related matters related to the TCAGT shall also be discussed and approved.
7.8 A simple majority of the members present and proxies at a general body meeting may approve accounts and decide upon proposals put forward for its consideration.
7.9 If a request for a special general body meeting is made in writing by at least 10% of the current membership or 30 members which ever is less to discuss specific subject, the Secretary will convene such a meeting within eight weeks from the date of receipt of such a request. Special meeting shall be limited to the topics mentioned in the written request.
7.10 If a general body meeting cannot be held due to lack of a quorum, Executive committee shall hold another general body Meeting within 5 weeks.
7.11 Each member is permitted to represent a maximum of 2 proxies for the purposes of election. The proxies must be verified for proper membership identification. Also proxy holder should be a member of good standing.
7.12 The Auditor shall be appointed by general body for a 3 year term, to audit all association accounts.

Article 8: DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
8.1 Executive committee shall carry out the activities of TCAGT in accordance with Article 3.
8.2 It shall report its actions to the general body for information or ratification as applicable.
8.3 The executive committee shall hold meetings as often as required or at least once in 2 months to decide on day-to-day affairs of the association.
8.4 The executive committee’s quorum shall be 5, out of which 2 shall be office bearers.
8.5 The executive committee shall reach decisions on a simple majority of members present at the respective meetings.
8.6 Prior to organizing any event, an estimate of expenses shall also be approved for the event. Executive committee shall make an effort to organize the event within the budget. After the event all the receipts and accounts shall be submitted to the Treasurer.
8.7 The executive committee shall seek prior approval of 2/3 of executive committee (6) to incur expenses in excess of $1,000.
8.8 Executive committee meetings shall be called by the Secretary at the request of the President or by the written request of any four members of the Committee.
8.9 If an executive committee member resigns before the end of his/her term, the executive committee shall have the power to co-opt a member from the general membership for the remainder of the term. The co-opted executive committee member shall have the powers and responsibilities of an elected executive committee member.
8.10 If an executive committee member is absent for 2 consecutive executive committee meetings or 2 events consecutively without notice and valid reason or non-performance or activities harmful to the association, the executive committee is empowered to remove that person from office by 6 members agreeing to the decision after giving that elected member 15 days notice of the proposed action.
8.11 A brief summary of important decisions/resolutions made, including the members present shall be posted on the website after each meeting.
8.12 President, Secretary and Treasurer are authorized to sign cheques and other mportant documents with two signatures being mandatory for each transaction.
8.13 Executive committee is responsible to collect annual membership for single and family member in a timely manner.

Article 9: DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES:
9.1 The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for collecting and maintaining all revenues such as life membership fee, donations, sponsorship fee, fund raising and any other collections. A separate bank account shall be maintained for this purpose.
9.2 BOT shall coordinate special projects, like community building, various conferences of similar organizations with the assistance of executive committee.
9.3 If a Board of Trustees resigns from office before the end of the term, the Board of Trustees shall have the power to co-opt a member from the life membership for the remainder of the term. The co-opted BOT member shall have the powers and responsibilities of an elected BOT member.
9.4 An elected member of BOT may be removed from office for non-performance/compliance or activities harmful to the association by Two Third majority present at a specially convened general body meeting, after giving that elected member 15 days notice of the proposed action.

Article 10: ELECTIONS

10.1 ELECTION PROCESS:

10.1.1 Elections shall be conducted every year for all 9 directors of the
executive committee for the following year, at least 60 days before
the expiry of the term, preferably in October in conjunction with
the Annual General Meeting of the TCAGT.
10.1.2 Election for Board of Trustees shall be held once in 2 years. Only
Life Members are eligible to contest for Board of Trustees.
10.1.3 Nominations have to be sent for each position in the executive committee every year and for 3 Board of Trustees (every 2nd year)
should reach Election Officer within the due date specified (see Article 10.4).

10.2 CANDIDATES:

10.2.1. Executive Committee:
A single and family member in good standing for at least 2 consecutive years, over the age of 18 and 18 to 25 in case of youth representative, residing in the GTA and neighbouring cities, with a paid up membership before April 30th of that year and life members are entitled to stand for election for any one position of the executive committee. They are eligible for re-election at the end of their term, but not for the same position.

10.2.2. Board of Trustees:
A paid up life member and who has been a member of TCAGT, in good standing for past 2 consecutive years, over the age of 18, residing in the GTA and neighbouring cities, is entitled to stand for election for BOT. Life members are eligible to contest for Board of Trustees. They are eligible for re-election at the end of their term, but not for more than 2 consecutive terms.
10.2.3 No candidate shall contest simultaneously for more than one office in the Executive Committee and/or the Board of Trustees during the elections.

10.3 VOTERS:
Single and Family members of the TCAGT with a paid up subscription before April 30th are eligible to nominate a candidate as well as cast vote for all positions for which elections are conducted. Life members are eligible to nominate and vote for both Executive Committee and Board of Trustees.

10.4 ELECTION OFFICER:
10.4.1 Present executive committee will appoint an Election Officer (EO) to conduct the elections. Election Officer will choose 2 other members to form a 3 member Election Committee to conduct the elections. The Election Committee will be responsible for the following functions.
10.4.2 Election Committee shall call for nominations for all offices of the executive committee from the eligible members of TCAGT on a notice of at least 6 weeks. Two weeks later the nominations are closed. The Election Committee allows one-week time for any withdrawal of nominations. Right after that, the final list of candidates will be announced for elections to be held at the AGM. In the AGM, if no more than one member is proposed for any office, the Election Committee shall announce that member elected unopposed to that office. A nomination will be entertained on the floor only if there is no nomination received by the due date for any specific position. The Election Committee will distribute the ballot papers to all eligible voters at the meeting along with the proxies and conduct secret balloting for the remaining offices and declare the winners after counting.
10.4.3 Members of Executive Committee and the Board of Trusties, who are not candidates in the Election, shall assist the Election Committee if needed.
10.4.4 The Executive Committee is responsible to maintain accurate records of paid membership for publishing eligible voters list and eligible candidates list, six weeks in advance to the elections. The E.C. shall also provide all the necessary documents such as nomination and proxy forms etc. pertaining to the election process to the Election Officer for carrying out his/her responsibility.

Article 11: FUNDS/ASSETS
A portion of the life membership fee shall be set aside as a reserve fund. The balance shall be deposited as special fund for long term goals of the TCAGT and managed by Board of Trustees. Also, Board of Trustees shall be responsible for youth scholarship fund, maintaining accounts thereof and shall make decisions on policies and selections of youth candidates for scholarship. No part of the net earnings of TCAGT shall be distributed to its members, trustees, officers or any other private persons. If the Association is dissolved the general body should decide on the process of disbursement of available funds.

Article 12: AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION
The bylaws of this constitution can be amended at a general body meeting by two third majority of members present and the proposed amendment shall be circulated to members at least 3 weeks prior to such meeting.

Article 13: CODE OF CONDUCT
In accordance with aims and objectives of TCAGT, it is imperative for each and every member to respect fellow members and maintain professional behaviour at all times and in all kinds of communications.

Leave a Reply