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Bylaws of Dabney House

a California Nonprofit Mutual Benefit House


The name of this house is Dabney House.


This house shall be open to undergraduate students currently enrolled in or on academic leave from the California Institute of Technology (herein referred to as “the Institute”). This house shall also be open to former undergraduate students, aka “alumni”. There are two membership levels for undergraduate students currently enrolled in or on temporary academic leave from the Institute, full membership, and social membership unless amended by vote (see voting procedures below). The sole membership level for alumni and students who have withdrawn will be special membership. Upon graduation, the membership status of all full and social members of good standing will automatically convert to special membership.

All members are entitled to attend all meetings, functions, and activities. The exception is Executive Committee (“Excomm”) meetings, which will be open to members only at the discretion of Excomm. Each full member is entitled to a single vote in the election of officers and on other businesses consistent with these Bylaws. Additionally, all members are entitled to bring guests to functions and activities, subject to additional fees if non-member participation is not to an insubstantial degree. Guests may not attend voting meetings and may not vote. Members are responsible for their conduct and that of their guests at all house activities.

Each full member and social member must pay dues for each academic term they remain a full member or social member, excluding summer term and any terms they are on academic leave, in amounts meeting or exceeding those set by Institute policy, to be fixed from time to time by member vote. Special members need not pay dues but must have been either a full or social member in good standing at time of graduation or withdrawal.

(a) Causes of Termination. A membership shall terminate on occurrence of any of the following events:

(i) Resignation of the member, on reasonable notice to the house;

(ii) Failure of a full or social member to pay dues as set by the house within the period of time set by the house after they become due and payable; or

(iii) Occurrence of any event that renders the member ineligible for membership, or failure to satisfy membership qualifications

(b) Procedure for Expulsion. If grounds appear to exist for expulsion of a member, the member must be notified in advance by a member of Excomm and afforded an opportunity to discuss with Excomm the claim and circumstances under which their membership has been jeopardized.


Excomm shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, two Social Vice Presidents (herein referred to as “Social VPs”), Steward. Officers may be added to or removed from Excomm by a majority vote open to all full members of the house. Meetings of Excomm may be called by any member of Excomm and do not require a quorum for transaction of business.

(a) President. The President shall preside at all meetings of Excomm. The President shall serve as the house's representative to the Institute's Interhouse Committee.

(b) Vice President. The Vice President shall organize events including, but not limited to, Thanksgiving dinner, Initiations, and Formal Dinner once per term. The Vice President shall assist other Excomm officers in their duties if necessary. The Vice President shall develop an annual budget. The Vice President shall authorize and issue disbursements from the house's funds to be paid by any means agreed upon between Vice president and recipient including, but not limited to, cash or check. The Vice President shall preside over a capital improvement meeting once a term, excepting summer term, with items to be bought decided by member vote. The Vice President is the custodian of house funds and shall keep records in such a manner that will ensure adequate accountability. The Vice President shall file the house's annual tax returns as well as a budget report to the Institute once per term.

(c) Secretary. The Secretary shall maintain the mailing lists and organize elections, Rotation, and the lottery for occupancy at the physical location. The Secretary shall also be the house’s Revcomm Rep for ASCIT. The Secretary shall maintain the membership roster and preside over membership votes.

(d) Social VPs. The Social VPs shall organize House-sponsored social and recreational activities based on member suggestions and in the interest of positive alumni relations. The Social VPs shall manage the social budget and the retreat budget. The Social VPs shall notify members of activity-specific details. The Social VPs may authorize, fund, and assist other members in organizing House-sponsored social and recreational activities. The Social VPs shall meet with Institute administration to ensure Institute approval of the aforementioned activities.

(e) Steward. The Steward shall organize cleanup of communal spaces and supplies. The Steward shall act as the liaison to the various Institute housing departments, requesting improvements to the house property as well as making sure the members' requests are followed. The Steward shall sit on the Steward Committee.

All officers are elected on a yearly basis. Officer terms begin immediately after their respective election, at the date and time determined by the Secretary with input from the other members of the house, and terminate after the new officer is announced the following year.

In the event of the resignation of an officer, a willing appointee may be specified by the individual vacating the office. This appointee will bear all of the responsibilities of that office, excluding Excomm membership if applicable, until a special election is held. In the event that an officer is no longer capable of bearing the responsibilities of their office and is additionally unable to specify a willing appointee, Excomm may specify an appointee for their office until a special election can be held. An officer may be forcibly removed in the event that all members of Excomm, excepting the officer in question if applicable, deem the officer unable or unqualified to carry out the responsibilities of office. In this event, Excomm may specify an appointee for their office until a special election can be held. Any individuals appointed in these manners must be approved in a special election before Excomm membership is granted, if applicable.

Officers of the house shall serve without compensation except that they may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in conducting the business of the house subject to the approval of the Vice President.

ExComm may create other non-ExComm offices in the house with consent of a majority vote of the house.


(a) Place of Meeting. Meetings of the members shall be held at any place on Institute property. In the absence of any such designation, members' meetings shall be held at Dabney House.

(b) Special Meetings. A special meeting of the members may be called for any lawful purpose by any full member.

(c) Notice Requirements for Members' Meetings. Whenever members are required or permitted to take any action at a meeting, an electronic written notice of the meeting shall be given to each member entitled to vote at the meeting. The notice shall specify the place, date, and hour of the meeting, and general nature of the business to be transacted.

(d) Quorum. No quorum is required for the transaction of business at any meeting of members, including for amendment of these bylaws.

(a) Eligibility to Vote. The only persons entitled to vote at any meeting of members shall be full members.

(b) Manner of Casting votes. Voting may be by voice, ballot, show of hands, or online poll, except that any election of Excomm members must be by ballot.

(c) Voting. Each member entitled to vote shall be entitled to cast one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the members. Cumulative voting shall not be permitted.

(d) Approval. The affirmative vote of a plurality of the voting power represented at the meeting or casted by the deadline of online votes shall be the act of the members, except in the case of election of Excomm members, membership votes, and instances as determined on a case-by-case basis by a member of Excomm. Election of Excomm members shall be by majority and counted in a way specified by the Secretary and approved by members of the house. Membership votes shall follow fair procedures as determined by the Secretary and shall be kept secret from nonmembers to discourage strategic membership applications.

(e) Absentee voting. Each member entitled to vote shall have the right to do so either in person or by electronic written absentee vote from a valid email address connected to the member.

(f) Election of Officers. Any full member may nominate candidates for officer positions. Nominees must confirm with the Secretary their intent to run in order to officially become a candidate. Candidates may communicate to members their qualifications and the reasons for candidacy and solicit votes. Only full members may be appointed to an officer position.

(g) Special Elections. Special elections may be held to fill officer vacancies and to invest Excomm membership in individuals appointed to fill officer vacancies, if applicable. Special elections may be held through an internet vote.


The Vice President shall develop an annual operating budget. The budget shall provide for the payment of operating expenses, the conduct of activities consistent with the purpose of the house, and the procurement of services, equipment, and temporary facilities for the benefit of the membership.

Disbursement of house funds may be made by check drawn by the Vice President. Check signature authority shall also be vested in the Vice President.

Individuals and other organizations shall have no proprietary interest in house funds. Temporary reserves generated by house activities shall not accrue to any individual or organization.

Excomm members and committee members shall ensure that house funds are not placed at risk, and shall apprise Excomm of any significant deviations from approved activities. Committees are formed by appointment of Excomm.


No part of the net income or net assets of the house shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its officers or members. Specifically, house revenue generated from nonmembers shall not be used to the personal advantage of a member (such as in reduced dues, improved facilities, and the like).

In the conduct of all aspects of its activities, the house shall not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sexual or romantic orientation, religious beliefs, ethnicity, age, citizenship, veteran status, gender, sex, disability, or any other federally protected class.


Any proposed adoption, repeal, or amendment of any provision of these bylaws shall first be submitted to and approved by Excomm. If approved by Excomm, the proposed bylaw adoption, repeal, or amendment shall be presented to the members for approval at a meeting. Copies of the proposed amendments must be made available to all members in advance of any vote. The approval of 2/3rds of the members present at the meeting shall be required for the adoption, repeal, or amendment of any bylaw. The meeting must be announced at least one week in advance.

The exceptions to this are changes to membership voting procedure, the composition of Excomm, and minor responsibilities of Excomm officers, which may be amended by a standard vote as outlined in section 4.02.

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  • Last modified: 2020/09/06 04:48
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