GHATS Constitution & By-Laws
The name of the organization shall be: Greater Houston Athletic Trainers’ Society (GHATS).
2.1 Purpose and Mission Statement
The Greater Houston Athletic Trainers’ Society is a social, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the communication, continuing education, and organization of the greater Houston Athletic Training community, and to the furtherance, promotion, improvement and enhancement of the Athletic Training profession.
2.2 Objectives, Goals, and Events
(a) Student Athletic Trainer Workshop and other educational events
(b) Newsletter and member communications
(c) Communicate employment opportunities and information
(d) Various social events
(e) Student scholarships
(f) Plaques and trophies, and other methods of recognition, honors and awards
(g) Public service, cooperation with charities and support of greater Houston’s athletic community
2.3 Other Attributes
(a) Notwithstanding the purposes set forth above, or any other provisions of these bylaws, GHATS shall not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on by an organization exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(6) of the Code. By way of illustration and not limitation:
(1) No part of the net earnings of GHATS shall inure to the benefit of any private member or individual;
(2) GHATS shall not permit any practices which discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or other basis prohibited of organizations described in Code section 501(c)(6).
3.1 Classes of Membership
(a) Professional Member
(b) Honorary (Non-Voting)
(c) Junior College & College-Level Athletic Training Student Membership (Non-Voting)
3.2 Membership Qualifications
(a) Professional Member
(1) Any Licensed or NATABOC Certified Athletic Trainer
(2) A Professional Member remains a Professional Member as long as Membership standards are maintained [see below 3.4], or until the Professional Member resigns or is suspended from Membership.
(b) Honorary [determined by Honors and Awards Committee]: Non-Voting status
(c) College-Level Athletic Training Student Member
(1) A non-licensed or non-certified athletic training student that is currently enrolled in a junior college, an undergraduate or graduate Athletic Training Program.
(2) A Student Member remains a Student Member as long as Membership standards are maintained [see below 3.4], until the Student Member resigns or is suspended from Membership or until the Student Member passes the Texas State Licensure Exam or the Board of Certification exam.
(i) It is the Athletic Training Student Member’s responsibility to notify GHATS of any changes to their membership status.
3.3 Application for Membership
(a) Any Texas Licensed or National Athletic Trainers’ Association-Board of Certification (NATABOC) Certified Athletic Trainer may apply for Membership by submitting the requisite application form and paying dues.
(b) Any College-Level Athletic Training Student (non-LAT/ATC) may apply for Membership by submitting the requisite application form, which will include the supervising AT’s name, and paying dues.
(c) A qualified applicant shall become a Member upon receipt of payment of the annual dues as applicable and determined by the Executives.
3.4 Membership Standards
(a) All Professional Members must maintain active Texas Athletic Trainer Licensure or NATABOC Certification.
(b) All College-Level Athletic Training Student Members must be enrolled at a college, university or junior college and be involved in the school’s Athletic Training/Sports Medicine Program.
(c) All Members must remit dues annually, as determined by the Executives.
3.5 Membership Rights and Privileges
(a) Each Professional Member in good standing shall have the right to one (1) vote on any matter coming before the Membership and the right to attend all Business and Executive Meetings, except those meetings deemed Executive Session by Presidential Directive.
(b) Professional Members shall be eligible to serve as Officers, as Regional Representatives, and on Committees, insofar as they meet the requirements to serve in those capacities.
(c) Professional Members shall have the right to exercise other privileges as may be prescribed by the Officers and set forth in this Constitution and Bylaws.
(d) Honorary Members shall have no voting rights, and shall not be eligible to serve as Officers, as Regional Representatives or on Committees.
(e) College-Level Athletic Training Student Members shall have no voting rights, and shall not be eligible to serve as Officers, as Regional Representatives or on Committees.
3.6 Membership Dues
(a) Dues will be paid upon application for Membership and annually thereafter upon renewal of Membership.
(b) Dues will be determined by the Executives for both Professional and College-Level Athletic Training Student Members.
3.7 Termination of Membership
(a) Any Member may terminate Membership at any time by written notice to an Officer. There will be no rebate of dues paid.
(b) Any Member whose dues have not been paid by three (3) months after the due date (December 1st) will be suspended from Membership and all rights thereof.
(c) Membership may be suspended or terminated for violation of this Constitution and Bylaws, or failure to uphold professional conduct as stated by the NATA Code of Ethics.
4.1 Officers and the Regional Representatives
(a) “Officers” shall be defined as the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.
(b) “Executives” shall be defined as the Officers and the Regional Representatives.
(c) President. Any Member may be nominated as a candidate for President by any other Member in good standing. A candidate must have been a Member in good standing for two (2) years preceding the nomination. The term of office shall be two (2) years. The President is eligible for re-election to two (2) consecutive terms, and may seek re-election after sitting out one two (2) year term.
(d) Vice President. Any Member may be nominated as a candidate for Vice President by any other Member in good standing. A candidate must have been a Member in good standing for two (2) years preceding the nomination. The term of office shall be two (2) years. The Vice President is eligible for re-election to two (2) consecutive terms, and may seek re-election after sitting out one two (2) year term.
(e) Secretary. Any Member may be nominated as a candidate for Secretary by any other Member in good standing. A candidate must have been a Member in good standing for two (2) years preceding the nomination. The term of office shall be two (2) years. The Secretary is eligible for re-election to two (2) consecutive terms, and may seek re-election after sitting out one two (2) year term.
(f) Treasurer. Any Member may be nominated as a candidate for Treasurer by any other Member in good standing. A candidate must have been a Member in good standing for two (2) years preceding the nomination. The term of office shall be two (2) years. The Treasurer is eligible for re-election to two (2) consecutive terms, and may seek re-election after sitting out one two (2) year term.
(g) Regional Representatives. Any Member may be nominated as a candidate for Regional Representative by any other Member whose administration office is in the same geographical region [see 4.1(e)(2)]; the position may also be self-nominated. A candidate must have been a Member in good standing for two (2) years preceding the nomination. The term of office shall be two (2) years. Regional Representatives are eligible for re-election to two (2) consecutive terms, and may seek re-election after sitting out one two (2) year term.
(1) Regional Representatives are elected according to geographical region of GHATS. An eligible candidate’s employer’s administrative office is in the region for which the candidate is being nominated (Secondary School) or clinic in which they are employed (clinical or corporate).
(2) Boundaries of the Regional Representatives’ geographic regions:
North: Boundary is Interstate I-10. There are 2 representatives for this region.
South: Boundary is Interstate I-10. There are 2 representatives for this region.
(h) President-Elect: Defined as the nominee that is elected President during the period before assuming office. This person shall resign all elected position or committee chairs, effective immediately upon election or appointment of a replacement. The President-Elect shall be responsible for attending all Executive and General Meetings.
(i) Executives shall live within a reasonable distance from downtown Houston in order to allow regular attendance at meetings and performance of the duties of their elected position.
4.2 Election of Executives
(a) President/Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer shall be elected according to the following schedule: President/Secretary and Vice President/Treasurer will alternate years of election.
(b) Regional Representatives shall be elected according to the following schedule: North and South representatives will alternate years of election.
(c) All elections are conducted electronically to those Members who have voting rights.
(d) All Members who have voting rights (PAID BY DECEMBER 1ST) may vote for the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Regional Representatives.
(e) Order of Elections.
North Rep E
South Rep E
Vice President – Special Election. 1 year term
North Rep O
South Rep O
(f) Special elections may be held as necessary. [see 4.4(b)(5), 4.6(a), 4.6(b), 4.6(c)]
4.3 Duties and Roles of Officers and Advisory Council
(a) President: The President is responsible for the administration of GHATS and enforcement of the policies according to this Constitution and Bylaws. The President serves as the public representative of GHATS and the official liaison with the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association (SWATA). The President shall preside at all Meetings of GHATS. The President shall also conduct and oversee the Vice President Elections. This is a voting position.
(b) Vice President: The Vice President serves as the communication liaison to other athletic training organizations. The position is also in charge of coordinating elections (except the Vice President elections, which will be run by the President). The Vice President will coordinate with the Treasurer to maintain membership records. The Vice President shall also act as a conduit for the Student Athletic Trainer Workshop Host. This is a voting position.
(c) Secretary: The Secretary will record the minutes from the GHATS meetings and provide oversight to the GHATS social media platforms. This is a voting position.
(d) Treasurer: The Treasurer is responsible for the financial records of GHATS and will provide a current financial roster, which will include paid members and current sponsors; the Treasurer shall also coordinate with the Vice President to maintain membership records. The Treasurer will provide oversight to the Honors and Awards (Scholarship) Committees, the Social Committee (Golf Tournament) and any needed or corresponding photographer(s). This is a voting position.
(e) Regional Representatives: The Regional Representatives serve as a conduit to enhance communications between Members and Officers of GHATS. The Regional Representatives assist and advise the Officers in the operations of GHATS. These are voting positions.
(f) Voting: The GHATS Board will vote upon any proposed matter, or change, that affects the administration of GHATS the organization or the GHATS membership.
(1) Presidential appointments are excluded from the voting process [see 5.2(a)].
(2) Breaking a Tie Vote: In the event of a tie, the issue will be tabled until the next meeting. At the next meeting, both sides will present their sides again; and, the Executives will re-vote on the matter. If there is still a tie, then the President can break the tie with a vote in either direction.
4.4 Resignations; Voluntary and Automatic
(a) Voluntary: Any elected position holder may resign at any time by written notice to the other Officer(s) and Regional Representatives.
(1) If a position is voluntarily resigned, a special election will occur as soon as possible to replace the representative, unless the remainder of the term is less than one year.
(2) If the term is less than one year, the President may appoint a Professional Member in good standing to complete the term of the vacated position.
(i) The remainder of the time served will not count towards the new position holder’s service term limits.
(b) Automatic: Any Officer or Regional Representative shall be deemed to have resigned and their position vacated when:
(1) Inactivation of such Member’s Texas Athletic Training Licensure and NATABOC Certification status;
(i) Such Member’s Texas Athletic Training License is inactivated, if the Member has only a Texas Athletic Training License;
(ii) Such Member’s NATABOC Certification is inactivated, if the Member has only NATABOC Certification;
(2) Ceases to be a Member in good standing of GHATS [see 3.7 above];
(4) They are elected as an Officer; this resignation is effective immediately upon election or appointment of a replacement for the vacated position;
(5) A Regional Representative changes employment such that their new employer’s administrative office is in a different geographical region.
(i) In such case, a special election will occur as soon as possible to replace that representative, unless the remainder of the term is less than one year;
(ii) If the remainder of the term is less than one year, the President may appoint a representative to complete the term.
4.5 Removal of Executives
(a) The General Membership may bring a motion to remove an Executive by submitting a petition outlining the violation(s) and containing the signatures of thirty (30) Members in support of the petition. The petition is submitted to an Executive. The matter is investigated by the Executives as a group in Executive Session. If the violation(s) are found to be valid, the Executives will present a motion to the General Membership. Fifty-one percent (51%) of the General Membership must then elect to remove the Executive, which is effective immediately. An election will be held to fill the vacated position.
(b) Removal may only be deemed necessary if one of the following has occurred:
(1) Conflict of interest by entering a relationship that is in significant conflict with the goals of GHATS and Athletic Training or the rights and obligations of the respective Executive position.
(2) Commits a breach of ethical conduct as outlined in the NATA Code of Ethics.
(3) The Officer or Advisory Council representative is no longer able to fulfill the obligations of the Executive position competently.
4.6 How to Fill a Created Vacancy
(a) If the Office of President becomes vacant, the Vice President shall assume the duties of President until such time that a special election is held to replace the Officer to complete the term. If the time remaining in the President’s term is less than six (6) months, the Vice President shall remain as Interim President until the usual election is held.
(b) If the Office of Secretary or Treasurer becomes vacant, Regional Representative shall be appointed by the President to serve as Interim Secretary or Treasurer until a special election is held to replace the Officer to complete the term. If the time remaining in the Secretary or Treasurer’s term is less than six (6) months, the Regional Representative shall remain as Interim Secretary or Treasurer until the usual election is held.
(c) If a Regional Representative position becomes vacant, a special election shall be held to replace the position and complete the term [see 4.2 above and 6 below].
(d) Partial terms for Executives shall only count as a term for the person elected to complete a term if greater than half of the term is served.
COMMITTEES & APPOINTMENTS
(a) The Executive (standing) Committees shall be as follows: Honors and Awards; Membership; Social; and Student Athletic Trainer Workshop Planning Committee. Other Executive Committees and Subcommittees shall be formed as deemed necessary by the President.
(b) The President shall appoint a Chair or Co-chairs to each Committee, except the Student Athletic Trainer Workshop Planning Committee which will have a Program Chair who is an Athletic Trainer of the facility hosting the Workshop.
(c) Committee size shall be determined by the Committee Chair/Co-Chair, and Committees shall be made only of GHATS Members in good standing chosen by the Chair and approved by the President. The President is an ex officio member of every Committee.
(d) Committees and subcommittee will meet as necessary, as determined by the respective Chair. These meetings may be attended by any Member of GHATS.
(e) Committee Chairs shall be subject to review every two (2) years [coinciding with election of the President], and may resign at any time.
(a) Executive Appointments shall be made by the President to fill certain positions in GHATS that are essential to maintain its functions. Other Appointments may be made as deemed necessary by the President. Appointed positions are reviewed every two (2) years [coinciding with election of the President] and may be changed at any time.
(b) Newsletter Editor, who is responsible for collection of information, assembly of a quarterly Newsletter, and delivery of such Newsletter to the Membership and other parties.
(c) Committee Chair(s) [see 5.1(b)].
(a) Regular elections shall be held to elect Officers and Regional Representatives [see above 4.2].
(b) Special elections and voting shall be held as necessary for issues on which the Executives deem a Membership vote necessary.
(c) All general elections, voting, ballots, tallying, and results will be managed by the Vice President, except that of electing the Vice President which will be tallied by the President.
(d) All ballots will be distributed electronically to each Professional Member in good standing (Must pay dues by DECEMBER 1ST).
(e) Announcement of election results will appear in the Newsletter following the election.
(f) Officers and Regional Representatives will assume the obligations of their respective positions at the next GHATS Student Athletic Trainer Workshop.
(g) A quorum for elections and other voted matters shall be the number of Member’s ballots returned by the deadline. [excepted 4.5(a)]
(h) In the event that no nominations for an Officer or Regional Representative election are made by the General Membership by the set deadline, the Executives will secure suitable nominees within an appropriate time frame. Nominations from the General Membership will continue to be accepted during this time.
(i) In the event that a nominee for Officer or Regional Representative election is unopposed, it is the discretion of the Executives, by unanimous vote, to dispense with elections and declare the unopposed nominee successfully elected.
7.1 General Business Meetings
(a) General Business Meetings of GHATS Executives and Members shall be held regularly at the Student Athletic Trainer Workshop. Other meetings will be held as decided by the President and Executives. Other
(b) General Business Meetings will be held as determined by the President.
7.2 Executive Business Meetings
(a) Executive Business Meetings, consisting of Officers, Regional Representatives, as well as Committee Chairs, Appointed Members, and any Member who wishes to attend, shall be held quarterly. Additional meetings may be called by the President.
(b) Executive Sessions may be called at Executive Business Meetings. These Sessions are ordered by Presidential Directive and are only attended by Executives and those deemed necessary as determined by the President.
(a) All Meetings will be conducted according to the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
7.4 Notice of Meetings
(a) Members will be notified of Meetings by Newsletter notice, fax or email. Members may be notified by personal phone call if their presence is integral to the business to be discussed.
FINANCIAL AND BUSINESS
8.1 Execution of Contracts
(a) The Officers may authorize any Member in the name of GHATS to enter into contracts, and any such authority may be general or specific and limited.
8.2 Checks, Drafts, Deposits, etc.
(a) All checks, drafts or other orders for money issued in the name of GHATS shall be signed by the Treasurer.
(b) Deposits shall be made in such depositories as the Executives select.
(c) The principal office of GHATS shall be the mailing address of the Treasurer.
(a) Officers may accept gifts on behalf of GHATS, except those gifts made with limitations or conditions imposed by the donor, which must then be presented in Executive Meeting for review.
(b) Any gifts or donation of items that have inherent monetary value (as opposed to honorary or sentimental value) must be disclosed on the annual financial report of the Treasurer.
8.4 Fiscal year
(a) The fiscal year of GHATS shall run from January 1 to December 31 of the same year.
(b) Auditing of books shall occur annually and is the responsibility of the Treasurer, who may determine the need for auditing service of an outside firm, subject to review and approval of the Executives.
(c) The Treasurer shall make an annual financial report available to the Membership.
AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
9.1 Approval of Constitution and Bylaws
(a) This Constitution and Bylaws become valid and binding upon the approval of the GHATS Officers, Regional Representatives, and the majority of voting Members on May 31, 2014.
9.2 Substantive Changes to the Constitution and Bylaws
(a) This Constitution and Bylaws may be altered, amended, supplemented, or repealed after any such changes are submitted to the President with a list of 10 Members in support of the changes.
(b) Upon acceptance by the President, the proposed change(s) will be published in the next available Newsletter.
(c) Opportunity for discussion of the change(s) will be given to the General Membership at the next Business Meeting.
(d) Upon approval of a majority (51%) of the voting Members returning ballots, the change(s) become part of the GHATS Constitution and Bylaws.
9.3 Technical Changes to the Constitution and Bylaws
(a) Technical corrections to the Constitution and Bylaws may be made by unanimous vote of the Executives.
(b) If the Constitution and Bylaws are altered in this manner, the change(s) shall not become effective until 60 days after the Membership has been notified of the change(s) in the next Newsletter.
10.1 Upon dissolution of GHATS, its assets shall be distributed exclusively to one or more organizations which:
(a) Are described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, which organizations:
(1) Shall have favorable determinations from the Internal Revenue Service in effect that they are described in Code section 501(c)(3), and
(2) Shall be listed in Internal Revenue Service Publication 78 or any successor publication as organizations which are described in Code section 501(c)(3) to which contributions may be deductible under Code section 170;
(3) No part of the net earnings thereof are permitted to inure to the benefit of any private member or individual;
(4) Shall not permit any practices which discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or other basis prohibited of such organizations.
(b) Any such asset not so disposed of shall be disposed of according to the terms of an order of the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of GHATS is then located, which order shall specify that the assets shall be disposed of exclusively to organizations described in the preceding sentence, or for purposes permitted of organizations described in the preceding sentence.
Updated: May 2014