Constitution and Bylaws
Our constitution and bylaws are legal documents that govern how the society is structured and governed. We also use our constitution and bylaws to educate incoming officers in the running of the society.
Article I – Title
The Society shall be known as The Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians, Inc., hereafter referred to as SVBT.
Article II – Purpose/Objectives
The purpose or objectives of SVBT are as follows:
- Develop and advance opportunities for continuing education in animal behavior.
- Improve the relationship between pets and their owners thus strengthening the human-animal bond.
- Promote animal welfare.
- Decrease the euthanasia of healthy animals occurring for behavior reasons.
- Foster cooperation with related veterinary behavior organizations.
- Promote and maintain the professional image and high ethical standards of veterinary technicians.
- Achieve specialty status in animal behavior for members who meet the criteria established by NAVTA
Article III – Membership
Section 1. Professional Membership:
Open to any veterinary technician who has graduated from an AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) approved and accredited college or school of veterinary technology or any currently credentialed veterinary technician. Professional members shall have voting privileges and shall be eligible to hold office.
Section 2. Student Membership:
Open to those students currently enrolled in an AVMA accredited program for veterinary technicians. Student members shall not be eligible to serve as officers of SVBT or vote in society affairs, but may at the discretion of the Board of Directors, serve on committees.
Section 3. Subscription Membership:
Open to persons not described in the professional or student categories. Subscription members shall not be eligible to serve as officers of SVBT or vote in society affairs.
Section 4. Honorary Membership:
Open to a veterinarian chosen by the Board of Directors to serve as a Member at Large on the SVBT Board of Directors. They retain all rights and responsibilities of Board Members. Membership dues are waived.
Section 5. Membership dues:
Membership to the above categories may be obtained after formal application and payment of dues is mailed to SVBT for approval. The Board of Directors shall establish annual dues. The fiscal year of SVBT shall be July 1st through June 30th and there will be no prorating of dues. Annual dues are payable to SVBT by July 15th of each year. Only professional members in good standing (i.e., dues of current year paid) may vote for officers or in other affairs of SVBT.
Section 6. Advertisement:
Members are prohibited from using the society name or logo in advertising including use of the society’s name or logo on letterheads, business forms, business cards, and advertising copy. The membership categories of professional, student and subscription are distinct and separate categories.
Section 7. Revocation of Membership:
If in the opinion of the Board of Directors, a member of SVBT (in any membership category) is believed to have participated in activities which grossly misrepresent or undermine the profession and/or SVBT, said member shall be notified in writing of this belief and invited to a hearing of his views or rebuttal. The Board of Directors shall hold the hearing within a reasonable period of time following notification. After such a hearing, a written poll will be taken of the Board of Directors regarding whether to revoke the membership of the individual in question. A majority vote of those present is necessary to initiate revocation of membership. If the individual in question is unable to appear at the time designated for the initial hearing, a second hearing shall be arranged for not sooner than two weeks and at the convenience of both the member and the Board of Directors.
Article IV – Officers, Their Election and Duties
Section 1. The Officers of SVBT:
The elected officers of SVBT are the: Past-President, President, President-Elect, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, and Board Members at Large. These officers shall comprise the Board of Directors.
Section 2. Election of Officers:
Only professional members in good standing with SVBT may be nominated for elective offices.
Nomination and Election:
The President will appoint a Nominating/Election Committee. The Committee will be temporary and no persons will be allowed to serve a consecutive term in the committee. Professional members of SVBT may submit nominations officers to the Nominating/Elections Committee. The Nominating/Elections committee will secure the written acceptance of all nominees before preparing the nominations slate (ballot). All voting (professional) members will be mailed a ballot to be returned to the Nominating/Election Committee postmarked no later than designated by the committee for vote tabulation. Majority rule. Run-offs will be held in the case of a tie and voting members will be mailed a second ballot for said circumstances.
Terms of office and Installation:
Officers newly elected will be installed at the annual general membership meeting. Terms of office shall begin at the close of the annual meeting, in which the election results are announced, until the close of the next succeeding meeting of SVBT when successors to office are installed.
Automatic Succession to Higher Office:
The office of President-Elect is an elective office; at the end of the one-year term of office, the President-Elect will automatically succeed to the office of President without the formality of election. In like manner, the office of President shall undertake the office of Past-President of SVBT in order to serve in an advisory capacity to SVBT. If in the opinion of other members of the Board of Directors, an officer is believed to be unable to continue in a office due to poor health, nonattendance and/or malperformance of duties, said officer shall be notified by the Board of Directors in writing of this belief and invited to a hearing of his views or rebuttal. The Board of Directors shall hold the hearing within two weeks following written notification. After such a hearing, a written poll will be taken of the Board of Directors regarding whether to request the resignation of the officer in question. The Board of Directors will set the hearing date and time. A majority vote of those present is necessary to request resignation. If resignation is requested, an officer must resign. If the officer in question is unable to participate at the time designated for the initial hearing, a second hearing shall be arranged. That hearing must take place within two weeks after the initial hearing and at the convenience of both the Board of Directors and the officer in question.
In the event of a vacancy in the office of:
- Past-President: The President shall assume the duties of this office in addition to the duties of the office of President. At the next annual meeting, the President shall assume the office of Past-President as is designated in the Automatic Succession to Higher Office Protocol (Article lV, Section 2.d.).
- President: The President-Elect shall assume the duties and responsibilities of this office in addition to the duties of the office of President-Elect. At the next annual meeting, the President-Elect shall assume the office of President as is designated in the Automatic Succession to Higher Office Protocol (Article lV, Section 2.d.).
- President-Elect: The Corresponding Secretary shall assume the duties and responsibilities of this office in addition to the duties of the office of Corresponding Secretary until such a time as the Nominating/Election Committee makes arrangements for a special election for the office of President-Elect.
- Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and Members at Large: The Board of Directors shall appoint a substitute for the vacant position until the next annual meeting.
Any member of the Board of Directors who wishes to resign his position must notify the Board of Directors, in writing, within 30 days of his intention to resign.
Duties of the Officers:
- Past-President: One (1) year term
The past-president shall:
- Serve as an advisor to the Board of Directors and SVBT’s membership.
- President: One (1) year term
The President shall:
- Preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors and the annual general membership meeting.
- Create the agenda for the meetings.
- Represent SVBT in all matters.
- Oversee that the Board of Directors and the Committee Chairpersons are informed of the activities and operation of SVBT.
- Appoint the Chairpersons of all standing and ad hoc committees except as otherwise provided in the Constitution, outline the purpose and duties of each committee and monitor their progress.
- Promote the interest and active participation in SVBT on the part of the membership and report activities of SVBT to the members by means of SVBT publications and speeches.
- Present an address at the annual general membership meeting, at the end of the term in office and at other appropriate meetings.
- In cooperation with the persons having the responsibility for SVBT’s financial affairs, help develop, recommend, and oversee that SVBT operates within the proposed annual budget and have an annual accountant review.
- Act as the spokes person for SVBT to: the press, the public, and related organizations.
- Appoint a formal liaison with all designated allied associations.
- President-Elect: One (1) year term with automatic succession to the office of President
The President-Elect shall:
- Serve as President in the temporary absence of the President.
- Cooperate in the promotional activities of SVBT under the direction of the Board of Directors, particularly in the relationship to student members.
- Have charge and responsibility of SVBT’s annual meeting and program including the continuing education program.
- Chair the Finance Committee and appoint members of the Finance Committee to aid in fulfilling its responsibilities of proposing a budget for the following year.
- Upon incapacitation of the Treasurer, the President-Elect shall sign checks for SVBT.
- Secretary-Recording: Two (2) year term
The Recording Secretary shall:
- Record the minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors and annual general meetings.
- Maintain a file of all standing and ad hoc committee meeting minutes for a period of not less than five (5) years.
- Maintain an accurate record of the members of the Society.
- Assist the Corresponding Secretary as necessary.
- Turn over all SVBT records to his duly elected successor within one month of the completion of his term.
- Secretary-Corresponding: Two (2) year term
The Corresponding Secretary shall:
- Conduct the correspondence of the Society and the Board of Directors.
- Supply information to the Society members regarding the annual meeting and related continuing education programs.
- Send members of the Board of Directors notices of all meeting within the society.
- Assist the Recording Secretary as necessary.
- Turn over all Society records and correspondence to his duly elected successor within one month of the completion of his term.
- Treasurer: Two (2) year term
The Treasurer shall:
- Keep an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements for a period of not less than five (5) years and give a written report at the annual meeting of the Society.
- Submit all books of account for annual accountant review by February 1st.
- Be bonded at the expense of the Society and shall be the only officer permitted to sign checks for the Society, unless incapacitated in which case the President-Elect may sign checks.
- Supervise any financial matter of the Society.
- Serve as a member of the Finance Committee and in the event of the temporary absence of the President-Elect, the Treasurer shall chair the Finance Committee.
- Be responsible for submitting current lists of names and addresses of all members to the Secretaries as dues and application forms are received.
- At the close of the General Membership Meeting, deliver to the newly elected treasurer all money, vouchers, books and papers of the Society held in his custody.
- Members At Large: Two (2) year term
There shall be two (2) Members At Large. Terms will be staggered such that each Member at Large position will be elected on alternating years, beginning with one (1) Member at Large position increasing to two (2) year term for 2007-2008 election, and the other Member at Large position increasing to two (2) year term for 2008-2009 election.
The Members At Large shall:
- Act as voting members of the Board of Directors with all rights and responsibilities of same.
- Advisory Panel: One (1) year term – a panel of advisors elected by the Board of Directors.
The Advisory Panel shall:
- Advise the Board of Directors as to direction and propriety of future projects and liaisons.
- Not vote at or attend Board Meetings.
Article V – Society Meetings
Section 1. Annual Meeting:
The Society shall hold an annual meeting at such time and place as determined by the Board of Directors. The annual meeting arrangements shall be made at least one year in advance.
Section 2. Board of Directors Meetings:
Additional Board of Directors meetings may be called at the request of the Board members and shall be arranged by the President.
Section 3. Notification of Board Meetings:
The Corresponding Secretary shall notify each member of the Board of Directors in writing, can use e-mail, of the meeting twenty (20) days or more days prior to the meeting. Notification shall include date, time, and place of the meeting, in addition to the business to be transacted at it. Each member of the Board of Directors shall inform the President of his intent to attend the meeting as notified.
Section 4. Notification of Annual Meetings:
Annual meeting notification shall appear in at least two (2) issues of SVBT’s official publication prior to such annual meetings.
Section 5. Standing and Ad Hoc Committee meetings:
The Chairperson of each committee shall call such meetings. The Chairperson of the committee, prior to the meeting date, shall inform all committee members, the President, and the Corresponding Secretary of the meeting.
Section 6. Fiscal Year:
For simplicity in correlating the proposed budget, terms of office, duration of dues, and the fiscal year, the annual meeting shall be held as soon as possible after July 1st each year.
Article VI – Committees
Section 1. Authorization:
SVBT shall have such standing committees as may be specified in the Constitution of the Societies (By-Laws Article ll, Section 1.) and such Ad Hoc Committees as may be specified from time to time by the Board of Directors.
Section 2. Appointment:
The President shall regularly appoint the Chairpersons of all Committees except as otherwise provided in the Constitution of the Society.
Article VII – Amendments
Section 1. Presentation:
- Amendments may be proposed by written petition, signed by five (5) active members of SVBT.
- A proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Board of Directors at least ninety (90) days before an annual meeting.
- Copies of amendment proposals shall be distributed to the voting members of SVBT at least thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting.
Section 2. Passage:
The Constitution and by-laws may be amended at the annual meeting by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the professional members of the voting body present and voting.
Section 3. Adoption:
Approved amendments will be formerly adopted at the meeting at which they were passed, and will become affective at the close of said meeting unless otherwise stipulated in the amendment.
Article VIII – By-Laws
The By-Laws of SVBT shall appear following the last Article of the Constitution and shall be proposed, passed, amended, and adopted as stated in Article VII, Sections 1., 2., 3. of the Constitution of SVBT.
BY-LAWS – Article I
Section 1. Grammatical Note:
For the purpose of brevity, the use of the pronoun his or he in the Constitution denotes the individual discussed and is not a reflection of the gender of the individual.
Section 2. Society Meeting Protocol:
All meetings of SVBT will be conducted by use of Robert’s Rules of Order.
BY-LAWS – Article II
Section 1. Purposes of the standing committees of SVBT:
- Continuing education/program – The purposes of the committee are:
- To provide SVBT presence at selected CE meetings.
- To serve in an advisory capacity for proposed continuing education programs for veterinary technicians.
- Finance – The purpose of the committee is:
- To propose a budget for each fiscal year to recommend to the Board of Directors.
- Membership – The purposes of the committee are:
- To promote membership in SVBT.
- To work in cooperation with the Board of Directors on all membership drives and activities of SVBT.
- To solicit student members from veterinary technician programs.
- Nomination/election – The purpose of the committee is:
- To conduct the nominations and elections of the officers comprising the Board of Directors as provided for in Article IV, Section 2.b.
- Public Relations – The purposes of the committee are:
- To promote the profession of veterinary technology.
- To promote SVBT.
- To develop programs for presentation to other professional groups and to the public at the direction of the Board of Directors.
- Newsletter/Publications – The purpose of the committee is:
- To provide SVBT membership with a newsletter/publication at an interval established by the Board of Directors.
- State representatives – The purposes of the committee are:
- To contact state representatives on a quarterly basis to keep informed of their proceedings and to offer assistance if necessary.
- Maintain contact information with state representatives.
- To solicit representatives from unrepresented states.
- Solicit and write articles to be submitted to Newsletter/Publication Committee on a quarterly basis.