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SSA Constitution

(as approved at the second annual meeting, October 25, 1992 in Portland, Oregon at the Middle East Studies Association Conference, and amended at Providence, Rhode Island, 21 November 1996)

Article 1: Name
The association shall be called the Syrian Studies Association.

Article 2: Objectives
The Syrians Studies Association is an international non-profit, non-political association. It is an association of scholars organized to encourage and promote scholarship, research and understanding of Syria of all epochs and in all academic disciplines.

Article 3: Activities The Syrian Studies Association shall hold an annual meeting, circulate a news letter to its members, support the work of the MESA by proposing panels dealing with Syria, and attempt to promote the publication of scholarship on Syria. As the activities of the Syrian Studies Association grow, separate committees shall be created for on-going projects, or committees shall be created by the board to discuss and pursue initiatives on an ad hoc basis. The mission and work of committees must be reported to and approved by the membership at the annual meeting.

Article 4: Membership
Individuals with a demonstrable scholarly interest in Syria are eligible to be members of the Syrian Studies Association upon condition of the submission of a written application and payment of dues to the association's secretary-treasurer.

Article 5: Dues
Annual membership dues are to be paid to cover the running expenses of the Syrian Studies Association and the costs of the annual meeting, as well as the newsletter.

Article 6: Meetings
The time and venue of the annual meeting shall be decided by majority vote at the previous year's meeting. The annual meeting shall include a business meeting as well as a reception. The annual meeting shall be held in conjunction with the MESA.

Article 7: Board of Directors
The board shall include the association's president, secretary-treasurer, the past president and two other elected members.

Article 8: Officers
The Syrian Studies Association shall elect a president for a two year term. The duties of the president include policy initiation, coordination, management, fund-raising, all in consultation with the board. The association shall elect a secretary-treasurer for a two-year term. The duties of the secretary-treasurer are to keep the membership rolls, collect the membership dues and take minutes of the annual meeting.

Article 9: Elections
Election of officers and members of the board shall take place through a postal ballot with deadline prior to the MESA meeting in the year when elections are due. A quorum of at least one-third of the membership must participate in the vote to be valid. [The election results will be monitored by a member of the association not running for office, elected for that purpose at the annual meeting prior to the election. The election results shall be formally announced at the annual meeting].

Article 10: Fiscal Year
The fiscal year shall run from January 1 of each year.

Article 11: Finances and Fund Raising
The Syrian Studies Association is to be incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania under the IRS Code of 1954. Paragraph 501/c/3 with regard to non-profit organization and under Section 170/c/2 of the same code regarding tax-deductible donations. The president and the board are to review and approve donations and endeavor to raise money for the activities of the Association in line with Article 2. [This article is still under investigation.]

Article 12: Publications
The Syrian Studies Association shall publish at least one annual newsletter. The newsletter shall include the president's report, the secretary-treasurer's report, reports of committees, and the necessary forms for voting in an election year. The association shall endeavor to promote the publication of scholarly works on Syria.

Article 13: American Research Institute in Syria
[This item is pending to the report of the Steering Committee].

Article 14: Amendments
The constitution of the Syrian Studies Association may be amended by a two-thirds vote of its membership following discussion at the annual meeting. Proxy votes in writing are acceptable in the amendment process.

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