Constitution of the Robert Graves Society

1. Object

The object of the Robert Graves Society is to promote interest in, and research on, the life and works of Robert Graves, in co-operation with the St John"s College Robert Graves Tru st. The Society is a not-for-profit organisation.

2. Membership

2.1 Membership is open to all, regardless of race, residence, sex, creed, political or other affiliation, on payment of an annual subscription.

2.2 The annual subscription shall be set at the General Meeting, and become due on 6 April of each year. Any member who allows his or her subscription to become more than four months overdue shall cease to be a member; the Council reserves the right to suspend this rule in special circumstances.

2.3 The Council has the right to terminate the membership of any member(s) provided it has good and sufficient reason to do so. The member has the right to be heard by the Council. Following termination, the member has the right of appeal to the next General Meeting. The decision of that meeting will be final.

3. Council and Officers

3.1 The Council is responsible for policy and for the general management of the Society. Its function is to promote and protect the interests of the Society.

3.2 Ten members of the Society will be elected to the Council at the biennial General Meeting, for a period of two years. Any member of the Society shall be eligible for election provided he/she deposits with the Secretary, not less than 24 hours before the General Meeting, a written notice or notices signed by two other members proposing and seconding him/her and a declaration signed by him/her that he/she is willing to be elected. A current member of the Council shall be eligible for re-election provided he/she deposits a written notice with the Secretary, not less than 24 hours before the General Meeting, confirming his/her willingness to be re-elected.

3.3 Following its election, the new Council shall elect the Officers from among its members.

3.4 The Officers of the Society shall be the President, two Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, Secretary, Journal Editor, Membership and Communications Officer, and, ex officio, the member of the Management Committee of the St John’s College Robert Graves Trust representing the Graves family.

3.5 The Society shall appoint an Honorary President and one or more Honorary Vice-Presidents, on the recommendation of the Council.

3.6 The Council may co-opt up to three additional members.

3.7 If a position on the Council falls vacant between biennial General Meetings the Council has the right to appoint a temporary member.

3.8 The Council may establish committees to undertake specific tasks or to advise the Council.

3.9 The Council shall meet at least twice a year; one of these two meetings may, if a majority of the members of the Council agree, be conducted by email, conference call or other means of digital communication. The quorum for a meeting shall be four, and accurate minutes of proceedings shall be circulated. Voting shall be as laid down in clause 5.6. Meetings of the Council may be called only by the President or a Vice-President.

4. Finances

4.1 All money raised by the Society may only be used for the purpose of furthering the object of the Society as defined in the constitution. The Society’s money shall be held in a bank account (or accounts); cheques must be signed by the Treasurer and either the President or one of the Vice-Presidents.

4.2 The Society shall reimburse reasonable and proper expenses of Officers and Council members incurred in carrying out their responsibilities on behalf of the Society. Claims for expenses must be authorised in advance by the President and a Vice-President.

4.3 The Treasurer shall keep accurate and proper accounts of the Society and present audited accounts to the biennial General Meeting.

5. General Meetings

5.1 The General Meeting of the Society will be held every two years, at the biennial Robert Graves conference (see clause 8). An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called at any time by the Council, provided that the request for such a meeting is made in writing and signed by at least ten members, and that the reason for the meeting is stated.

5.2 At least twenty-one clear days’ notice of a General Meeting must be given in writing to every member of the Society, with the time and place of the meeting and the agenda, which must state the nature of the business to be conducted.

5.3 The business of the General Meeting shall be:

  • To receive and consider the biennial report of the President and other Officers of the Society.
  • To receive the biennial accounts.
  • To set the budget for the coming two years.
  • To set the annual subscription.
  • To appoint the Society’s auditors.
  • To elect the members of the Council, who will then elect the Officers.
  • To consider any other items of business as set out on the agenda.

    5.4 Minutes of a General Meeting shall be circulated to all members of the Society no more than six weeks after the date of the meeting.

    5.5 The quorum for a General Meeting shall be twelve members.

    5.6 All members entitled to attend a General Meeting, an Extraordinary General Meeting or an Council Meeting shall each have one vote, and decisions will be taken on a simple majority system (except for the clauses of the Constitution relating to the object of the Society or its dissolution: see clause 9). In the case of balanced voting results, the President at each meeting -- the President of the Society or, in his or her absence, a Vice-President -- shall have a second or casting vote.

    6. Publications

    6.1 The Journal of the Society shall appear once a year. It will publish articles, reviews and other material relating to the life and work of Robert Graves, and information about the Robert Graves Society.

    6.2 The Editorial Board of the Journal will include the Editor, two Associate Editors, and up to five other members as required. Members of the Editorial Board will be appointed by the Editor in consultation with the Advisory Board. A member of the Editorial Board may not simultaneously be a member of the Advisory Board.

    6.3 The Advisory Board of the Journal will include authorities on Graves Studies. Membership of the Advisory Board shall be at the invitation of the Council of the Society. The President of the Society shall be ex officio a member of the Advisory Board.

    6.4 The Editor will ensure that proper peer review procedures are followed for all articles and reviews.

    7. Conferences

    7.1 The Society will organise an international academic conference on a theme related to Graves’s life and work every two years. The theme, organiser(s) and venue of the conference will be decided by the Council.

    7.2 If considered suitable, papers presented at the conference will be published in the Society’s Journal and/or as a book, the editor(s) of which shall appointed by the Council.

    8. Dissolution of the Society

    8.1 The Society may only be dissolved by a two-thirds or more majority vote of all members of the Society, at a General Meeting.

    8.2 All the Society’s debts or other liabilities must be settled before its dissolution. Any outstanding debt which cannot be met from the Society’s assets will be the personal and collective responsibility of the Officers of the Society.

    8.3 The General Meeting will decide the disposal of any assets belonging to the Society, after all debts and other liabilities have been settled. No such money, property or other assets belonging to the Society may be distributed to individual members or other individuals. Outstanding assets shall instead be transferred to the St John’s College Robert Graves Trust or other such charitable institution(s) having objects which are in sympathy with those of the Society. If no such institution is identified, the default shall be the transfer of all assets to the St John’s College Robert Graves Trust. Should this have ceased to exist, then the default shall be to the Society of Authors, with a request to them to use the benefit received in such a way as supports the objects of the Society.

    9. Amendments to the Constitution

    The Constitution may only be amended by a majority vote at a General Meeting of the Society, with the exception of those clauses which refer to the object and dissolution of the Society, which may not be altered. No change to the Constitution may be made which causes the Society to lose any not-for-profit or charitable status within UK and US law.