Constitution and By-Laws


(revised and approved April 9, 2010)


The Southern Labor Studies Association (SLSA), organized on May 19, 2007, is open to anyone with an interest in any or all aspects of the lives and history of the working classes in the southern region of the United States.

Article I. Name

The name of the organization shall be the Southern Labor Studies Association (SLSA, hereinafter “Association”).

Article II. Corporate Status

The Association will conduct business as a non-incorporated voluntary association.

Article III. Purpose

The purposes of the Association shall be:

  1. to promote the historical study of and research in the field of southern labor and working-class history;

  2. to build and strengthen a sense of community among scholars of labor and the working-class residing in the southern U.S.;

  3. to facilitate active programs of scholarly exchange and recognition among scholars, teachers, archivists, and activists working on the lives and history of the southern working classes, and among labor and working-class scholars residing in the southern U.S.;

  4. to provide institutional support for the regular Southern Labor Studies Conference, and to organize and sponsor relevant panels and programs on the lives and history of the southern working classes at other conferences;

  5. to contribute to the larger field of labor and working-class history by recruiting new members to LAWCHA and encouraging participation in LAWCHA conferences and other activities

Article IV. Membership and Authority

Section 1. Membership

Membership in the Association is open to any individual who supports the purpose of the Association and pays annual membership dues.

Section 2. Authority

Final governing authority in the Association resides in the voting membership.

Article V. Elections. 

Section 1. Officers and Executive Board Members

The membership elects officers and executive board members to oversee the operations of the Association. Election of Association officers or executive board members will occur in the spring and shall be conducted by mail or e-mail ballot, with completed ballots e-mailed to the chair of the Elections Committee on the date set by the Executive Board.

Section 2. Balloting Process

The Elections Committee chair shall mail or e-mail ballots and candidate statements to members entitled to vote at least one month before completed ballots are due.  Along with two members of the Association who are neither current officers or directors nor candidates for office, the Elections Committee chair is responsible for certifying and counting ballots, notifying those elected, and announcing the results to the Board of Directors no later than seven (7) business days after ballots are due. Only members in good standing as of the date of the e-mailing of ballots are eligible to vote.

Article VI. Officers & Executive Board

Section 1. Definition

The officers of the Association shall be the president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, immediate past president, and graduate student officer.

Section 2. Terms of Office

Each officer will be elected by the Association membership to a two year term of office.  Officers may not serve simultaneously in more than one position. Terms of office for all officers shall begin one month after the election results are announced, as stipulated in Article V.

Section 3. President

The president is the Association’s chief executive officer and spokesperson. The president shall preside over meetings of the members, and of the executive board; supervise operation of the Association; and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this Constitution, the By-Laws, and by the executive board.

Section 4. Vice-President

The vice-president shall assist the president, perform the duties of the president in his or her incapacity or absence, and perform such other duties as may be delegated to him or her by the  executive board, or the president. The vice-president will succeed to the presidency at the end of the president’s regular two-year term. The vice-president is a voting member of the executive board and will also chair the Association’s Program Committee (see Article VIII).

Section 5. Secretary

The secretary shall record and preserve in the books of the Association the true minutes of the proceedings of meetings of the members and the Executive Board; ensure that notices of meetings are prepared and sent out; edit the association’s H-Net list serve or designate this task to another member of the Association, and perform such other duties as may be delegated to him or her by the Executive Board, or the president. The Secretary is a voting member of the executive board.

Section 6. Treasurer

The treasurer shall have custody of all Association funds and securities and shall keep in books belonging to the Association full and accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The treasurer shall deposit all moneys, securities, and other valuable effects in the name of the Association in such depositories as may be designated for that purpose by the Executive Board. The treasurer also shall maintain membership records; make annual reports to the Board and the annual meeting of the members; oversee the preparation and filing of Association non-profit and tax documents, as required by law; and perform such other duties as may be delegated to him or her by the Executive Board,or the president. The treasurer is a voting member of the executive board.

Section 7. Immediate Past President

The immediate past president shall chair the Association’s Elections Committee and is a voting member of the executive board.

Section 8. Graduate Student Officer

The graduate student officer will be responsible for coordinating the association’s activities in regards to graduate student members and is a voting member of the executive board.

Section 9. Fiduciary Officers

The fiduciary officers of the Association shall be the president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary. Email approval by two fiduciary officers shall be required for all disbursement checks.Disbursements over five hundred (500) dollars shall require approval of the Executive Board. The Association’s financial records shall be audited every two years and at other times at the discretion of the Executive Board.

Article VII.  Executive Board 

The Executive Board shall be responsible for performing the functions of the Association  between meetings of those bodies. The Executive Board may conduct business at meetings as well as by telephone, mail, e-mail, or other means of communication, as appropriate. An action of the Executive Board shall be authorized when at least a simple majority (as defined as half of the members plus one more member) of the Executive Board members, including the president, participate in the vote and the action is supported by the majority of the votes cast.

Section 1. Composition

The Board will consist of the six officers and six at-large members. At-large members will be elected to two-year terms on a staggered basis, with three members elected annually.

Section 2. Powers and Responsibilities

The Executive Board is authorized to act in the name of the Association and to further its objectives. Among its powers and responsibilities are the following:

  1. to supervise SLSA finances;
  2. to authorize formation of committees within the Association;
  3. to appoint individuals to perform functions as authorized by the Board;
  4. to approve agreements, including affiliations with other organizations, in the name of the Association;
  5. to facilitate the regular convening of the Southern Labor Studies Conference;
  6. to establish awards as pertinent to SLSA’s objectives; and
  7. to perform other functions as prescribed in this Constitution.
Section 3. Vacancies
A vacancy occurring on the Executive Board or among the officers may be filled by a simple-majority affirmative vote of the remaining directors for an interim term of office extending until the next election.
Section 4. Definition of Action
The vote of the majority of Executive Board members present at an actual, online or conference call meeting at which a quorum is present shall constitute an action of the Board, except that a two-thirds majority vote of the directors then in office shall be required to remove with cause one or more Executive Board members or officers or to suspend with cause the authority of an officer to act as an officer.
Section 5. Meetings
The the Executive Board shall meet at least annually in person, online, or by conference call.

Article VIII. Committees

In addition to the permanent committees listed below, the Executive Board may establish additional committees, both permanent and ad hoc, and appoint members of the Association as chairs or coordinators for activities or special projects as deemed fit and as prescribed by this Constitution. The term of service for members of committees shall be two years. Committee members and chairs may succeed themselves if reappointed by the Executive Board. Members of the Association may serve on multiple committees as desired or needed.

Section 1. Elections Committee

The Association shall have an Elections Committee. This Committee will be chaired by the immediate past-president, and the Executive Board will appoint two additional members to the committee. These members must be neither current officers nor candidates for office. The Elections Committee will be responsible for compiling a slate of nominees. The committee chair will also supervise elections and certify and count returned ballots as outlined in Article V of this Constitution.

Section 2. Program Committee

The Association shall have a Program  Committee, chaired by the vice-president, and consisting of additional members appointed by the Executive Board. The Conference Committee shall be responsible for:

  1. facilitating the regular organization and convening of the Southern Labor Studies Conference through the work of a Conference Subcommittee;organizing the Association’s annual membership meeting;
  2. facilitating the inclusion of panels, presentations, or programs in southern labor and working class history into the programs of other academic conferences, as deemed reasonable and appropriate.

Article IX. Membership Meeting 

The meeting of members shall be held at least biennially in conjunction with the meeting of the SLSA unless otherwise designated by the Executive Board. Notice of the time, place, and purpose of a meeting of members shall be sent via e-mail eight weeks before the date of the meeting to each member of record on the day of said mailing. Only members in good standing seventy-two (72) hours prior to the commencement of the annual meeting will be permitted to vote on motions.

Article X. Actions, Referenda, Initiatives, and Recall

Actions of the Association may also be undertaken by a majority of those voting in an e-mail ballot vote of the membership. Matters may be submitted to the membership for a vote upon initiative by petition of ten percent of the members of the Association, by a majority vote at the annual meeting of members, or by a majority vote of the Executive Board. Members may also initiate a recall election of officers or at-large members of the board of directors by submitting a petition by email or at the annual membership meeting and signed by twenty-five percent of the voting membership. A two-thirds majority of those members voting by email or at the annual membership meeting is required to recall an officer or director.

Article XI. Quorum

Section 1. Biennial Membership Meeting

There is no quorum needed in order to call an annual membership meeting to order. However, in order to consider motions and take action a meeting of members requires a quorum of ten percent of the members entitled to vote at the meeting. Once quorum has been established, the members present in person at such a meeting may continue to do business until adjournment, in spite of the withdrawal of enough members to leave less than a quorum.

Section 2. Executive Board Meeting

A quorum for meetings of the Executive Board shall be one-third of the board members then in office. The board members at such a meeting may continue to do business until adjournment, in spite of the withdrawal of enough members to leave less than a quorum. Whether or not a quorum is present, the meeting may be adjourned by a vote of the directors present.
Section 3. Email Balloting
There is no quorum for elections of officers and at-large board members. However, at least ten percent of the voting membership must participate in e-mail referenda and recall elections in order for quorum to exist.
Article XII. Nominations

All committee members and all candidates for office must be members in good standing of the Association. Nominations may be made by petition from at least ten Association members in good standing. Members may also nominate candidates from the floor at the annual membership meeting. All nominations by the Elections Committee are due by the date set by the Executive Board as stipulated by By-Laws Article V, but in any event no later than March 1 of any given election year. By majority vote, the Board subsequently may make additional nominations in conformity with the goal of diversifying Association leadership.

Article XIII. Amendments

Section 1. Constitution

The Constitution of the Association may be amended only by a two-thirds vote of the members voting in an e-mail ballot or at an annual membership meeting. The respective meeting and referenda quorum requirements stipulated in Article XI apply.

Section 2. By-Laws

The By-Laws of the Association may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Directors present, or by a two-thirds vote of the members voting at an annual meeting. In either case, the respective quorum requirements for membership meetings and bylaws as stipulated in Article XI apply.


Article I. Headquarters

Administrative headquarters shall be designated by the Executive Board.

Article II. Conferences

By action of the Executive Board, the Association may sponsor, endorse, organize, participate in, or designate conferences, symposia, and programs as official Association events.

Article III. Executive Board Meetings

The time and location of the meetings of the Executive Board shall be determined by the officers, with the stipulation that an eight-week notice of any said meetings shall be given to the Executive Board members.

Article IV. Biennial Meeting of Members

The biennial membership meeting of the Association will be held at the Southern Labor Studies Conference, unless otherwise designated by the Executive Board.

Article V. Election Schedule

Nominations shall be due to the Elections Committee by March 1, commencing in the 2008 election cycle. The record date for members eligible to vote in the e-mail ballot shall be March 1. Scheduling of the election process shall proceed according to Article V of the Constitution.

Article VI. Newsletter and Listserv

The Association shall provide members information on the Association’s activities. The President shall be responsible for compiling and submitting this information.

Article VII. Affiliations

The Association is affiliated with the Southern Historical Association (SHA). The Association may also seek to become an affiliate of other appropriate bodies as designated.

Article VIII. Dues and Membership

Section 1. Dues

Annual dues for the association will be $25 for individuals (faculty, independent scholars, and activists) and $10 for graduate students and anyone who is unemployed.

Section 2. Length of Membership Term

Memberships shall be issued for one year.