Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rules of the Club

These rules, adopted in 1869, are still in force, although many of the formalities are no longer observed.  In particular the "two cubes" blackball rule is no longer observed — new members are accepted by consensus following discussion.

Rules of the Monday Evening Club, Pittsfield, Mass. 1869

I.  This Club shall consist of not more than twenty members.

II. Members shall be elected by secret ballot, by balls and cubes; two cubes shall reject.  Every member shall vote upon proposals.  No person who has been rejected as a member of the Club, under this rule, shall be eligible for membership during six months next succeeding his rejection, and shall not be balloted for as a member during that period.

III.  The Officers of the Club shall be a Chairman, Secretary, and an Executive Committee of three.
The Chairman for the time being shall be the member at whose house the session is held.

The Club may elect a permanent Secretary who, if a member of the Club, may be excused from entertaining or reading while acting as such Secretary: He shall keep a record of the members; of the transactions of the Club; have charge of any papers or property of the Club; act as its Treasurer; collect dues and pay moneys at the order of the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee shall be elected at the first session in November of each year; and shall act as a committee of reference and arbitration, and of nomination to membership.

IV.  The sessions of this Club shall be held on Monday Evening as scheduled by the Executive Committee.

V.  Every member, as called upon in alphabetical order, shall prepare and present to the Club a written essay upon any subject, scientific, literary or of general interest, chosen by him; or shall procure as his substitute another member, whose regular turn he shall then take; or failing this, except for such cause as the Club may deem satisfactory, his membership shall thereby become vacant.

VI.  Not more than one paper shall be presented at one session; and shall occupy in reading not to exceed forty minutes; and the reading and discussion of it shall be entitled to occupy two hours.

VII.  Proposals for membership shall be made by a member of the Club to the Executive Committee.  If acted upon favorably by it they shall be announced by the Secretary in his regular mailed notices for balloting at the next session. No invited guests shall be balloted for membership while present.

VIII.  The Secretary shall notify persons of their election, sending a copy of these rules, and each person elected shall before the next session, signify his acceptance thereof and his assent to these rules, otherwise his election shall be void.

IX.  The Secretary shall, at least three days before each session, give notice by mail of the time and place thereof; of the business to be transacted under these rules; of the papers to be presented, and of the persons presenting the same.

X.  Five gentlemen, not members, may be invited to attend at any session, by the member who is host for the evening.

XI.  Necessary expenses shall be borne by a tax to be equally assessed by the Executive Committee.

XII.  These rules may be changed by a two-thirds vote at the next session after written notice of the proposed change has been given.

XIII.  If any member of the Club shall be absent from more than five meetings of the Club during the year, unless he be detained by illness, absence from town, or presents some other excuse which shall be adjudged by the Club satisfactory, then such member shall be deemed to have resigned and forfeited his membership; but under this Rule no member shall be dropped from the roll of the Club until he shall have been notified of his delinquencies, and had opportunity to present to the Club his excuse therefor.

XIV.  Any one who is or has been a member of the Club may be elected an Honorary Member.  Such member shall not be required to perform the duties of member or be counted as such.

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