Constitution of the University of Alberta Palaeontological Society



It is the goal of the University of Alberta Palaeontological Society to promote understanding and interest in all fields of palaeontology, systematics and evolution. This will be done by gathering together people interested in these subjects, hosting lectures on these topics and offering the opportunity to do palaeontological fieldtrips.


Article 1: Name and Purpose

We shall be known as the University of Alberta Palaeontological Society. We may also be referred to as U of A Palaeo Society and UofAPS.

Article 1.1: Compliance

This group operates at the University of Alberta, subject to University of Alberta policies and procedures as well as the Students’ Union’s bylaws and policies. We will also comply with all local, provincial, and federal laws and procedures.

Article 1.2: Objectives and Goals

This group shall operate for the purpose of promoting the understanding and interest in all fields of palaeontology, systematics, and evolution.


Article 2: Membership and Eligibility

Article 2.1: Who is Eligible

Students of the University of Alberta, whether graduate or undergraduate students, are eligible for membership in this organization. Professors, postdoctorate students, and members of the public shall also be eligible.

Article 2.2: Classes of Membership

There is only one class of membership, that of regular members. No honourary or associate members will be designated.

Article 2.3: Member Standing

A member in good standing is one who upholds the goals of the club. A member in bad standing is one who does not follow good, scientific methods with regard to the fields of palaeontology, systematics, and evolution. Persons who do not pay their dues shall be considered an affiliated non-member.

Article 2.3b: Description of Member Standings

A member in good standing shall be placed on the mailing list and will be entitled to attend all functions held by the Society. A member in bad standing shall be removed from the mailing list and restricted from attending all future events. An affiliated non-member shall be placed on the mailing list and invited to attend functions, an affiliated non-member shall not be eligible to be on the Executive committee or vote on issues concerning the Society. Members in good standing may be given priority to field trip events where there is limited space or availability over non-members.

Article 2.4: Admitting and Expelling Members

Any person who wishes to become a member of this group shall be allowed. A member shall be expelled if they cause serious harm (physically or verbally) to another person.

Article 2.5: Membership Dues

There will be a five dollar ($5) yearly membership due. All executive members will also be required to pay membership dues at the beginning of the year. All monies collected will be used for operating costs of the Society. No monies shall be used as profit.


Article 3: Executive Committee

Article 3.1: Titles

Our executive shall consist of a President, Vice President, Vice President Finance, Secretary, Vice President Communications , Vice President External, Vice President Academics, and Vice President Social.

Article 3.2: Election procedures

Elections shall take place by the end of March of each year during the Annual General Meeting. Information about each position will be advertised to all members starting in February and nominations will be taken up to and including the day of the election. The elections shall be supervised by a member of the executive that is not running for a position in the new executive. Should all executive members be running for another year, the elections will be supervised by a pre-determined paying member in good standing. Supervisor of election herein referred to as “objective member”. A minimum of 10 members shall be present in order for the election to be held. If there is more than one person who wants to run for a position, candidates will give a short speech to the other members, and following that, confidential votes will be placed by filling out paper ballots, which will then be counted by the objective member  . These will then be counted and the candidate with the most votes will assume the position of interest. Appeals of vote results may be made in an orderly fashion after the results are decided. If there is a tie, a recount of placed ballots will be conducted by a different objective member than the one who had originally counted it, and then a revote shall be conducted if necessary.

Article 3.3: Eligibility for Office

Only University of Alberta students (undergraduate and graduate) are eligible to run for and hold office.

Article 3.4: Term of Office

The term of office is for one year. The candidate may run again in the following election.

Article 3.5: Duties

President: To oversee all meetings and make final decisions if necessary about Society policies and events, as well as represent the Society in any matter which requires involvements with other campus groups. The President will reserve the right to delegate tasks to executive members if any concerns regarding responsibility of said tasks arises. The President will also update the constitution on the website at time of confirmation of re-registration. The President will be responsible for re-registering the group and registering the group for the September Clubs Fair, both of which must be done in the spring. When the President is unavailable to attend any matter which requires a representative of the Society, the President shall designate a representative on their behalf.

Vice President: To coordinate with members of the Society about its various functions. This will include monitoring the email inbox and Facebook inbox, and responding to emails and messages on both and notifying relevant executive members if there is an email for which they need to respond.

Secretary: To take minutes at all meetings and ensure all members who are not in good standing have their memberships revoked. It will be the Secretary’s responsibility to revisit the Constitution on an annual basis for needed amendments. It will also be the Secretary’s responsibility to maintain an up-to-date email list of all members and affiliated non-members (as mentioned in Article 7).

Vice President Finance: To oversee all monetary transactions and keep records of these transactions. All previous financial information is held by the Vice President Finance and will be passed on to the new Vice President Finance at the beginning of their term. The Vice President Finance will create a budget for the year, which is to be approved by the executive members, and monitored by the Vice President Finance. Updates will be given at each monthly meeting. The Vice President Finance will also investigate any possible grants for fundraising and apply for any necessary grants for the Society.

Vice President Social (1-2 positions): To organize social functions, both for members and for non-members, to prepare and submit relevant forms to pertaining organisations (BearsDen, AHS, RAP and EAP forms), and to investigate fundraising events.

Vice President External: To organize all interactions with outside organizations, especially the Alberta Palaeontological Society and the Canadian Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology. It will also be the responsibility of the Vice President External to organize donations for the Silent Auction, held each year, and the Biennial Symposium, held every second year.

Vice President Academics: To organize all academic functions, such as monthly speaker series events and to research and contact possible guest speakers (both internal speakers and external speakers) for academic functions (eg., speaker series and the keynote speaker for the Biennial Symposium).

Vice President Promotions: To email the Society’s email list with newsletters, create advertisements and promotional materials for upcoming events and Society affairs, as well as creating posts for our Facebook and Instagram accounts to promote more social media engagement. This includes creating advertisements for the Faculty of Science SciTV and the Department of Biological Sciences advertising television. Posters may also be used for promotion of events. Other options can also be used.

Article 3.6: Vacancies

Unexpected vacancies will be filled by another person of the executive, decided by the executive at the time, and a new election held as soon as possible in order to fill the office.

Article 3.7: Removal of an Executive Member

Any concerns with an executive member not fulfilling their duties shall be brought to the President by any member in good standing or affiliated non-member. The President shall then investigate the allegations and, if valid, will issue that executive member a formal warning. If it is the President not fulfilling their duties, concerns shall be brought to the Vice President. If the executive member in question fails to comply after two (2) formal warnings, the President will call an executive meeting and the executive committee will vote on the removal of the executive member in question. A majority of executives must vote against the executive member in question in order for that member to be removed from the executive committee.


Article 4: Other Executive Members

No other executive members shall exist. No group shall have power over our own. Yearly internships with preference given to first, second, and third year students interested in the Society  may be appointed by the President, so long as they are members in good standing. Interns will attend executive meetings, and will participate in discussions, but are not executive members. Interns may be granted voting privileges in the event of a tied vote. Should more than one intern be present at such a vote, then this privilege will be given randomly. Internships may be granted at any point, and may only be terminated by the President if said Intern shows a lack of initiative in their responsibilities.


Article 5: Committees

No other committees shall exist, unless it is deemed necessary by the executive when a special event needs to be taken care of.


Article 6: Meetings

Article 6.1: Number of Meetings

An annual general meeting will be held in March. In addition, meetings will be held at least once a month. Other events where the members of this club will meet, such as guest lectures, will be determined by the event itself. Members will be called to meeting by email and by posters in the Biological Sciences Building.

Article 6.2: Meeting Attendance

There shall be a minimum of 9 persons present at the annual general meeting, and 5 executive members at monthly meetings in order for the meeting to be held.

Article 6.3: Meeting Space

The Society has use of the Department of Biological Science’s Clubs Room (BioSci B-109) and may use this as the meeting space, however, other meeting spaces may also be used. 5 members of the executive will have swipe access to the Clubs Room.


Article 7: Contacting Members

It shall be the duty of the Secretary to maintain an up-to-date email list of all members and affiliated non-members, including clearing the email list of the previous year’s emails at the beginning of the new year, after notifying the previous email list that it will be cleared beforehand, and adding new members to a new email list at the beginning of the year. This list shall be kept confidential from all non-executive members, and shall not be solicited to any other persons or organizations.


Article 8: Finances

Article 8.1: Fiscal Timelines

The Society’s fiscal year runs from September 1 to August 31.

Article 8.1b: Bank Deposits

The VP Finance will be responsible for all bank deposits. Deposits will be made as soon as possible after a large event or when  the cashbox exceeds $500. All deposits must be recorded in the Society’s Deposit Book or Deposit Book spreadsheet, which will be held by the VP Finance.

Article 8.1c: Financial Documents

Bank Statements and other financial documents are to be kept in a secure location for at least one year before being destroyed. An electronic document and/or spreadsheet of each fiscal year shall be created by the VP Finance. All electronic files created by the VP Finance shall be sent to the incoming President, VP Finance, and Society’s email account prior to the end of the fiscal year. All hard copies of financial records (including receipt books, deposit books, etc.) shall be held by the VP Finance and kept in a secure location known to the President and at least one other Executive Member.

Article 8.2: Budget

The VP Finance is responsible for creating and presenting the upcoming fiscal year’s budget at the first Executive Meeting. Executive Members will be required to then either approve the budget, or discuss needed revisions. The budget will require a simple majority vote to pass. If the budget does not pass, the VP Finance will be required to revise the budget, based on suggestions from the Executive. The revised budget will then be presented at the following Executive Meeting and will be voted on again.

Article 8.3: Expenses and Reimbursement

The VP Finance and President must approve all expenses prior to any purchases and/or reimbursement by any Society Member.

Article 8.3b: Reimbursement

Members may be reimbursed for approved expenses either by cash or cheque as long as reimbursement requests are accompanied by original receipts, prior to the end of the current fiscal year. If a Society member must be reimbursed in cash, approval to do so must be obtained from both the President and the VP Finance. A record of all member expenses and reimbursements must be kept by the VP Finance. All cheques written by the Society are required to have two signatures from signing authorities (i.e. the President, Vice President, or VP Finance). A signing authority may not sign his or her own reimbursement cheque.

Article 8.4: Signing Authority on Bank Account

The signatures of the President, Vice President and Vice President Finance of both the most recently concluded year and the upcoming year are required to transfer the UofAPS bank account, which must be completed before the end of April 30th. The President, Vice President and Vice President Finance have signing authority on said account.

Article 8.5: Nick Derksen Honorarium Award. This award is to honor Nicholas Derksen for his generous donation to the UofAPS during the 2016 Silent Auction fundraiser. Due to his donations we made enough money to give this award successfully the following year and to expand our venue options beyond the University campus. This award will be given to the undergraduate student who gives the best presentation, as voted by a group of chosen judges, at the UofAPS Biennial Symposiums. The value will be up to $500 with a minimum of $100, and will be given with the purpose of offsetting travel and accommodation costs for the recipient to attend the Canadian Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting. The award will only have monetary value during years where we hold $1500+ in the society’s account prior to the planning of the Symposium. The award will be honorary regardless of whether money is given.

Article 9: Amendments to the Constitution

Article 9.1: Amending the Constitution

It will be the Secretary’s responsibility to revisit the Constitution on an annual basis for needed amendments (Article 3.5). Amendments to the constitution may be brought to the President by any member. The President will then call a General Meeting to share the proposed amendment with the members of this group, with at least a week’s notice in advance. After a discussion, the amendment will be voted on. A 75% majority of attending members will be necessary to pass the amendment.

Article 9.2: Quorum

For General Meetings, a minimum of 10 members (at least 50% of which are non-executive members) need to be in attendance for changes to the constitution to be accepted.


Article 10: Dissolution of the Society

The Society may be dissolved by a 2/3 majority vote at a Special General Meeting convened for the purpose of which 90 days notice must have been given in writing to all members. The Society is automatically dissolved when it fails to re-register by not having enough executive members to operate. Upon dissolution, the Executive Committee is responsible for ensuring that all monies and resources will become property of the Department of Biological Sciences. If the Society does not start up again within 5 years, the monies and resources are to be evenly distributed among all remaining Biological Sciences groups, but will not be distributed to individual members, and the bank account will be closed down.