BYLAWS OF HOMICIDE RESEARCH WORKING GROUP
The name of this organization shall be the Homicide Research Working Group (hereafter, HRWG), which is incorporated in and whose agent is a resident of the State of Illinois.
The HRWG is a multi-disciplinary, international organization of practitioners, researchers, theorists, and others interested in the study of homicide, including lethal violence and violence that may become lethal.
The specific purposes of the HRWG are:
- To forge links among theory, research, and practice to reduce levels of mortality from violence;
- To foster collaborative, interdisciplinary research on lethal and non-lethal violence;
- To promote improved data quality and the linking of diverse homicide data sources;
- To encourage more efficient sharing of techniques for measuring and analyzing factors related to homicide;
- To develop and cultivate links between homicide researchers and the criminal justice, public health care, and other systems;
- To generate a stronger working relationship among those who conduct homicide research, those who fund it, and those who use research results in practical applications; and
- To create and maintain a communication network among those who collect, maintain, analyze, use, and fund datasets on homicide.
Membership in the HRWG shall be limited to those persons who agree with the purposes of the organization as set forth in Article II and who are current in their dues. Regular members are those who have paid their annual dues to the association and are, therefore, eligible to vote. Active members, those who for at least the last two years have paid their annual dues to the association prior to an election, as well as have attended annual meetings or American Society of Criminology (ASC)-related HRWG meetings within the past two years and/or have participated on HRWG committees, are eligible to hold office.
The membership year and the fiscal year of the HRWG shall be from January 1 to December 31 of each year. Membership fees are due by January 1 of each year.
The amount of the annual dues for members shall be proposed by the Steering Committee and approved by the assembly at the Annual Meeting.
Any member who has not paid dues by March 1 shall automatically be terminated as a regular member. However, a member so terminated may be reinstated by means of payment of dues.
The officers of this organization shall be a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Membership Coordinator. All but the Membership Coordinator shall be filled by election; the Membership Coordinator shall be appointed by the President and approved by the Steering Committee.
To be eligible for election or appointment as an officer of the HRWG, a person must have been an active member for at least two years prior to the date of the election or appointment, and must have agreed to be a candidate for this office.
The term of office for all officers shall be for two years. Elected offices shall be filled on a staggered basis, with the President and Vice President elected in even-numbered years and the Secretary and Treasurer elected in odd-numbered years. The term for officers filling full terms shall begin at the end of the Annual Meeting following the election or appointment. Except for the Treasurer, no officer shall serve more than three (3) successive full terms in the same office. Upon completion of the third consecutive term of office, a member must wait a period of at least one full term before running again for the same office.
The powers and duties of the officers shall be as follows:
The President shall be the principal representative and spokesperson for the HRWG in issues consistent with, and limited to, the purposes set forth in Article II; shall preside at all meetings of the organization and the Steering Committee; shall review the annual budget for the future year in conjunction with the Vice President and the Treasurer for submission to the Steering Committee for its approval; shall appoint all committees and committee chairs, except as noted, with the approval of the Steering Committee; shall supervise the activities of any staff within the guidelines approved by the Steering Committee; shall receive notice of any substantive business proposed by members for meetings; shall prepare and cause the proper notice of all meetings to be sent to the members; shall periodically review and approve web site changes; and shall otherwise carry out the duties customarily associated with the office of President, including signing contracts.
The Vice President shall assist the President in the duties of that office, as requested by the President, shall co-review the annual budget for the future year in conjunction with the President and the Treasurer for submission to the Steering Committee for its approval, and shall preside at meetings of the organization and the Steering Committee in the absence of the President. The Vice President shall serve as the chair of the Publications Committee.
The Secretary shall keep an accurate record of the HRWG business meetings and of Steering Committee meetings and shall prepare and submit minutes of each to the Steering Committee for approval. The Secretary shall be the custodian of all official records and files of the HRWG; shall assure that HRWG archive materials are properly maintained and stored; shall be responsible for all HRWG official correspondence, for the collection and maintenance of records on the interests of HRWG members, and for dissemination of these data to members for networking purposes; and shall chair the Communications Committee.
The Treasurer shall cause an accurate set of accounts to be maintained for the HRWG, and shall prepare an annual budget for the future year, in conjunction with the President and Vice President, for submission to the Steering Committee for its approval. The Treasurer shall present an annual report on the financial status of the HRWG, in writing, to the Steering Committee for its approval. The Treasurer shall arrange to have an independent audit conducted at least every two years, which shall then be presented to the Steering Committee for approval. Auditors may be two members of the HRWG appointed by the President and approved by the Steering Committee. The Treasurer shall serve as a member of the Membership Committee, shall maintain current records of members in good standing, and shall otherwise carry out the duties customarily associated with the office of Treasurer.
The Membership Coordinator shall be responsible for maintenance of a current membership database in conjunction with the Treasurer; for the preparation of mailing labels and/or electronic distribution for HRWG publications; and for coordination of the HRWG telecommunications network (listserv). The Membership Coordinator shall serve as chief disseminator of information about HRWG to prospective members and shall chair the Membership Committee. The Membership Coordinator shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Steering Committee.
Vacancies that occur in the office of the Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, or Membership Coordinator shall be filled for the remainder of the term by appointment by the President with the approval of the Steering Committee. Appointees shall assume the duties of the vacant office immediately after the office is vacated. A vacancy in the office of the President shall be filled by the Vice President. The new President shall appoint a new Vice President with the approval of the Steering Committee.
Officers shall receive no compensation for holding office but may be reimbursed for the ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in the fulfillment of their HRWG duties.
There will be a Steering Committee comprised of the HRWG’s current five officers, the immediate past President, the current editor(s) of Homicide Studies, the chair of the Program Committee, the Local Arrangements Committee for the upcoming annual meeting, the chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee, the ASC Coordinator, the Marketing Coordinator, and the Web site liaison. All Steering Committee members must be active HRWG members.
The powers and duties of the Steering Committee shall be the following:
- To act for the HRWG between meetings of the organization;
- To form policies for the operation of the HRWG;
- To consider the annual budget for future expenditures, submitted by the President, and, after approving it, submit it to the organization for adoption at the annual meeting;
- To consider the annual financial status report, submitted by the Treasurer, and, after approving it, submit it to the organization for adoption at the annual meeting;
- To consider guidelines submitted by the President for any HRWG staff who might be employed and to approve guidelines to be used by the President in the supervision of this staff;
- To approve the specific time and place of the Annual Meeting (usually held in June) and any other meetings of the organization;
- To approve the establishment of ad hoc or special committees recommended by the HRWG assembled;
- To approve the appointment of the Membership Coordinator, the members of the Nominations and Elections Committee, and all other committee appointments made by the President;
- To approve the arrangements for an independent audit and the results of that audit;
- To approve the selection of the editors and/or co-editors and editorial board members, if applicable, of all publications sponsored by the HRWG, in accordance with the approved guidelines for each such publication;
- To approve the final ballot for elections as prepared by the Nominations and Elections Committee; and
- To carry out such other duties and responsibilities as are customarily associated with a Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee shall meet at least once annually, in person or through use of a conference telephone or other communication technique by means of which all Steering Committee members participating in the meeting can communicate with each other.
The active membership shall meet in assembly at least once annually at a specific time and place approved by the Steering Committee but usually sometime in the month of June. This meeting shall be called the Annual Meeting, even if it is divided into two or more segments over several days.
Special meetings may be called by the President or by a majority vote of the Steering Committee. Only those matters contained in the notice for such special meetings may be acted upon at that special meeting.
The HRWG assembled shall have the following powers and duties:
- To adopt and amend standing rules;
- To adopt an annual budget, prepared by the President, Vice President, and Treasurer, and approved by the Steering Committee;
- To approve the financial status report, prepared by the Treasurer, and approved by the Steering Committee;
- To adopt statements of policy and take actions appropriate to the purposes of the HRWG;
- To recommend the establishment of ad hoc or special committees to the President or to the Steering Committee;
- To consider and recommend to the President candidates for the position of Membership Coordinator;
- To consider and recommend to the Steering Committee times and places for the Annual Meeting and any other meetings of the organization;
- To consider and recommend to the Steering Committee proposed amendments to these Bylaws; and
- To act as the final authority on all matters arising in the organization for which authority has not been given to some other officer or governance body by these Bylaws.
- A quorum at a meeting of the HRWG shall consist of 30 active members or one-fifth of the active membership, whichever is smaller. Proxies are not allowed for the establishment of a quorum or for the transaction of the business of the organization.
There shall be nine standing committees of the HRWG:
The Program Committee shall be responsible for planning and implementing the Annual Meeting of the HRWG. The committee shall be chaired by the Program Chair of the Annual Meeting, and shall include the Local Arrangements Chair of the Annual Meeting, the past Program Committee Chair, and other interested members appointed by the President. The Program Chair and the Local Arrangements Chair shall be appointed by the President and approved by the Steering Committee.
The Communications Committee, chaired by the Secretary, shall be responsible for facilitating mentoring between senior professionals in the field and new researchers or those changing careers; for facilitating international networking among members; and for coordinating the work of HRWG with other professional organizations of similar or related interests. This includes assisting the Membership Coordinator in identifying other professional organizations that may welcome receiving information about the HRWG.
American Society of Criminology Coordination Committee
The ASC Coordination Committee, chaired by the ASC Coordinator, will include active HRWG members appointed by the President, in consultation with the Steering Committee. This committee shall be responsible for planning an agenda and implementing HRWG sessions, workshops, presentations, and a reception at the American Society of Criminology in consultation with the President, Treasurer, and other Steering Committee members as required.
The Publications Committee, chaired by the Vice President, shall be responsible for the general oversight and central policy formation for all publications produced on behalf of the membership of the HRWG, and for the recommendation to the President of editors, co-editors, and editorial board members for all such publications. The Publications Committee shall consist of the editor and/or co-editors of the journal, the annual meeting proceedings, the HRWG Web site, and any other publications sponsored by the HRWG. The President may also appoint other interested active HRWG members. Editors and/or co-editors of all publications sponsored by the HRWG shall also be selected by the President and approved by the Steering Committee in accordance with the approved guidelines for each publication. Editorial board members shall be recommended by the journal editor and/or co-editors, and approved by the Publications Committee and the Steering Committee.
Nominations and Elections Committee
The Nominations and Elections Committee shall be responsible for preparing a slate of candidates for elected positions and shall conduct the elections. The committee shall consist of at least three members appointed by the President and approved by the Steering Committee.
The Membership Committee, chaired by the Membership Coordinator, shall consist of members who are in charge of major network maintenance activities, such as the manager of the telecommunications network (listserv), the manager of the member interest database, the Treasurer, and other interested HRWG members appointed by the President with the approval of the Steering Committee.
The Marketing Committee shall consist of at least three members appointed by the President and approved by the Steering Committee. This committee shall be responsible for the choice and design of marketing products, including but not limited to shirts, jackets, mugs, and caps, in consultation with the President and Steering Committee members.
Richard Block Award Committee
To honor the scholarly achievements of Richard Block, as well as his role as co-founder of the Homicide Research Working Group, the membership has established a thesis/dissertation award for the outstanding thesis or dissertation with a focus on homicide and/or lethal violence. The Committee Chair shall be appointed by the President.
Carolyn Rebecca Block Award Committee
To honor the scholarly and practitioner achievements of Carolyn Rebecca Block, as well has her role as co-founder of the HRWG, the membership has established this award to recognize outstanding research contributions by a practitioner in the field of homicide and/or lethal violence. The Committee Chair shall be appointed by the President.
Each of the standing committees shall have two or more members. Members serving on committees by virtue of an appointed or elected office shall serve a term consistent with that position; other appointed members shall serve one-year renewable terms. All members in good standing are eligible for appointment to committees.
The Steering Committee or the President of the HRWG may create such other ad hoc or special committees as are needed to accomplish the work of the organization.
The President shall appoint all members of committees, with the advice and consent of the Steering Committee, except as specified elsewhere in these Bylaws. The President shall serve ex officio on all committees, except the Nominations and Elections Committee.
The President with the approval of the Steering Committee shall appoint a Nominations and Elections Committee consisting of at least three members in good standing. The Nominations and Elections Committee will receive names in nomination for each office to be filled the following year and will select two names, when two or more active members agree to run, to be included on the ballot in the appropriate year for the elected offices of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, except in uncontested cases. The final ballot must be approved by the Steering Committee.
Nominees for elected offices must have been active members in good standing of the HRWG for at least two years prior to the date of the election, must meet the qualifications specified for the offices for which they are to be considered as candidates, and must have agreed to serve in this capacity.
Elections of officers will be held every year by means of mail ballot and/or electronic ballot. Elections will be managed by the Nominations and Elections Committee, who shall disseminate ballots and supporting information to all members at least two months before the Annual Meeting and shall set a deadline for return of such ballots such that elections will be completed at least two weeks before the start of the Annual Meeting after which these persons are to assume office.
The HRWG shall be governed by these Bylaws and by any standing rules of the organization. The latest edition of Cannon’s Concise Guide to Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary authority for the HRWG on matters not governed by these Bylaws and the standing rules.
Proposed amendments to these Bylaws may be submitted by petition by any active member or members in good standing. All such proposed amendments that meet the requirements below shall be determined to be qualified for consideration by the Steering Committee:
- The proposed amendment receives the written support of one-fifth of the total membership in good standing; or
- The proposed amendment is introduced at an Annual Meeting of the HRWG and receives a two-thirds affirmative vote of those present.
- The proposal shall then be referred to a Bylaws Revision Committee, constituted by the President with the approval of the Steering Committee, which will consider any qualified proposal and make recommendations regarding same to the Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee or the President with the approval of the Steering Committee may establish a Bylaws Revision Committee to review the bylaws and recommend revisions of the bylaws to the Steering Committee for their approval.
Proposed amendments or recommended revisions will be approved upon a two-thirds affirmative vote by mail and/or electronic ballot returned by HRWG members in good standing. Ballots will be prepared and distributed by the Steering Committee immediately after the approval of the Steering Committee and shall be distributed to all members in good standing at least one month prior to the vote deadline established by the Steering Committee. The results will be reported to the HRWG membership no later than the next Annual Meeting. Newly adopted amendments and/or revisions shall take effect immediately upon their approval by the HRWG membership.
Revisions Approved 7/24/2012