Bylaws

ARTICLE I. PURPOSES

1.1. Purpose of Corporation

The Online Writing Centers Association (OWCA) provides community and support to individuals aiming to offer dynamic and/or interactive online writing support services, in fully online, hybrid, or on-site contexts.

This corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP

2.1. Membership

Membership in the OWCA will include individuals who research and/or implement online writing support services. We welcome members from all online and on-site institutions and organizations as well as from all states and nations.

Members are considered to be in good standing if they are current on designated dues or have made alternative arrangements with the Executive Board and have not acted contrary to the stated purpose and values of the organization.

2.2. Dues

Those wishing to become members may pay annual membership dues, if the Executive Board deems it appropriate for the future of the organization. Any dues will be determined by the Executive Board and will be kept to a minimum with consideration of limited resources in the writing center community. Any collected dues or funds will be used for communication, resources, technology, events, accessibility, and other projects as determined by the Executive Board. Any dues or funds will be used in compliance with the IRS’s regulations for 501(c)(3) organizations.

2.3. Rights

OWCA members have the right to nominate themselves or other members for Executive Board positions and for positions on long-term or short-term committees. Members have the right to vote electronically in Executive Board Member elections, to attend General Meetings by the use of authorized communications equipment, and to vote at General Meetings when needed. The Executive Board may determine additional benefits of membership.

Members may also send a petition, letter, proposal, or idea to the Executive Board for consideration and may request to present their document or idea at a meeting with the President or Executive Board.

2.4. Termination of Membership

The Executive Board reserves the right to terminate the membership of any person who engages in behavior that is discriminatory, inappropriate, or otherwise contrary to the stated purpose and values of the organization.

ARTICLE III. EXECUTIVE BOARD

3.1. Responsibilities

The Executive Board shall serve on a volunteer basis to oversee the mission and direction of the OWCA. The Executive Board is responsible for the following:

  1. Meet quarterly each year, at the minimum
    1. Quarter 1: January to March
    2. Quarter 2: April to June
    3. Quarter 3: July to September
    4. Quarter 4: October to December
  2. Present, discuss, and vote on plans that affect or represent the OWCA
  3. Set annual membership dues (the fiscal year begins on September 1).
  4. Schedule General Meetings for OWCA membership
  5. Serve designated terms as Officers and carry out duties in Article IV
  6. Participate in OWCA events and represent the OWCA in all professional settings
  7. Work towards obtaining and maintaining 501(c)(3) status and affiliation with related organizations
  8. Propose and approve OWCA position statements and revisions
  9. Propose and approve revisions to the bylaws, as needed

3.2. Qualification and Nomination

Any OWCA member in good standing can be nominated to serve on the Executive Board in one of the following Officer positions. Official duties are specified in Article IV.

  • President: 2-year term, followed by 1-year term as Immediate Past President
  • Vice President: 2-year term, followed by 2-year term as President
  • Secretary: 3-year term for Founding Secretary; 2-year term for successors
  • Treasurer: 3-year term for Founding Treasurer; 2-year term for successors
  • Conference Organizer: 1-year term
  • 3 At-Large Representatives: 2-year terms
  • 2 Student Representatives: 1-year terms

The OWCA values multiple voices and perspectives, and as such, the Executive Board should ensure, as much as possible, that Officers reflect the diversity of the organization, including diversity in institution, language background, race and ethnicity, gender identity, and (dis)ability.

3.3. Election

The First Executive Board, as indicated in the Articles of Incorporation, shall elect Officers from among themselves. The First Executive Board may fill any vacant Officer positions by conducting an election or by selecting an OWCA member for the position.

Successors to the First Executive Board will be nominated and listed on an electronic ballot distributed to OWCA membership. Nominated members who receive the plurality of votes in their respective races will be elected as Executive Board Members.

3.4. Resignation and Removal

Executive Board Members may resign before the end of their term by submitting a letter of resignation to the Executive Board.

The Executive Board may request the resignation of Board Members who display a conflict of interest, act in an unethical or discriminatory manner, or are no longer meeting their commitments. Board Members can be forced to resign based on a 2/3 majority vote by the Executive Board. The Board Member in question will be exempted from this vote.

If an Executive Board position becomes vacant due to resignation or removal, the Executive Board may choose to hold an election for the vacant position or select another OWCA member to fill the position for the remainder of the original term. If the President’s position becomes vacant, the Vice President shall assume the role of President.

3.5. Meetings of the Executive Board

The Executive Board shall meet quarterly and additionally as needed. Meetings will be held at times and places as determined by the Executive Board, with at least 1 week written notice. The President may also schedule open-membership meetings with at least 2 weeks written notice to OWCA membership. Meetings may be conducted online using teleconferencing or web conferencing technologies.

3.6. Voting and Quorum

An Executive Board Member is considered in attendance if they are present in person or through the use of authorized communications equipment. More than half of the Executive Board Members must be in attendance to constitute a quorum for decision-making. The Executive Board can approve decisions with a simple majority of the quorum.

In the event of a tie among the Executive Board, the decision will be put to a tie-breaking vote by the larger OWCA membership.

ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS

4.1. Terms of Office

Officers shall serve for their respective terms (as indicated in the sections below) or until their successors have been elected or until their earlier resignation, removal from office, or death.

4.2. President

The President will serve for 2 years (position non-renewable) and, upon end of term, will serve as Immediate Past President for 1 year. The President will be a voting member of the Executive Board, with the following duties:

  1. Coordinate all OWCA activities, Board Member duties, and Committee duties, in collaboration with the Vice President
  2. Recruit and appoint OWCA members to serve on committees
  3. Chair the Executive Board
  4. Conduct Executive Board meetings and General Meetings
  5. Serve as liaison to affiliate organizations
  6. Chair or co-chair at least 1 committee in Article V
  7. Train the incoming President on the duties of the office

The President may act independently to make time-sensitive decisions on behalf of the organization, without prior approval from the Executive Board.

4.3. Immediate Past President

The Immediate Past President will serve for 1 year (position non-renewable) after they have ended their term as President. The Immediate Past President will be a non-voting member of the Executive Board, with the following duties:

  1. Support and guide the incoming President
  2. Chair or co-chair at least 1 committee in Article V

4.4. Vice President

The Vice President will serve for 2 years (position non-renewable) as President-elect and become President at the expiration of the previous President’s term. The Vice President will be a voting member of the Executive Board, with the following duties:

  1. Coordinate with the President on the activities and duties of the organization
  2. Undertake responsibilities as delegated by the President
  3. Serve in place of the President in the President’s absence
  4. Work with the Website and Communication committee to increase membership and visibility of the organization
  5. Chair or co-chair at least 1 committee in Article V
  6. Train the incoming Vice President on the duties of the office

4.5. Secretary

The Founding Secretary will serve for 3 years and their successors will serve for 2 years (position renewable). The Secretary will be a voting member of the Executive Board, with the following duties:

  1. Record accurate minutes, attendance, and votes at Executive Board meetings and General Meetings of the association
  2. Keep records of Executive Board decisions made via writing
  3. Distribute minutes to the Executive Board for approval and make any corrections before archiving
  4. Update and organize documents in OWCA’s digital archive
  5. Maintain an active list of Officers, committee chairs, and committee members
  6. Keep current records of OWCA members
  7. Correct and update subscribers to OWCA mailing lists
  8. Add and remove administrative access to the archives and OWCA website
  9. Coordinate elections by distributing calls for nominations, collecting applications, creating and distributing forms for voting, and announcing results
  10. Chair or co-chair at least 1 committee in Article V
  11. Train the incoming Secretary on the duties of the office

4.6. Treasurer

The Founding Treasurer will serve for 3 years and their successors will serve for 2 years (position renewable). The Treasurer will be a voting member of the Executive Board, with the following duties:

  1. Maintain bank accounts, financial records/transactions, and receipts for the organization
  2. Maintain a budget with the President
  3. Deposit funds into an account specifically designated for official OWCA use and follow guidelines for non-profit organizations
  4. Report at each board meeting on the financial status of the organization
  5. File necessary applications and forms at the state and federal level
  6. File annual tax returns with the IRS
  7. Oversee obtaining and maintaining 501(c)(3) status with the IRS and advise the Executive Board about compliance with 501(c)(3) regulations
  8. Research and draft proposals for grant funding, when needed
  9. Archive all financial reports and records
  10. Chair or co-chair at least 1 committee in Article V
  11. Train the incoming Treasurer on the duties of the office.

4.7. Conference Organizer

The Conference Organizer will serve for 1 year (position non-renewable) and will be a voting member of the Executive Board, with the following duties:

  1. Propose a topic or theme for the OWCA conference
  2. Work with the President to recruit OWCA members for a short-term conference committee
  3. Chair the conference committee for that year
  4. Work with the Treasurer on the conference budget
  5. Consult the Diversity Committee, Accessibility Committee, and Virtual Events Committee on the conference design
  6. Work with the Website and Communication Committee on the conference website and branding
  7. Develop and update conference-planning resources for the organization
  8. Serve as contact for other writing center associations planning virtual conference events
  9. Serve on the following year’s conference committee to assist the incoming Conference Organizer

4.8. At-Large Representatives

 

OWCA may elect up to 3 At-Large Representatives. Each At-Large Representative will serve for 2 years (position non-renewable) and will be a voting member of the Executive Board, with the following duties:

  1. Represent the interests of underrepresented individuals and/or institutions in online writing center work
  2. Assist other officers with tasks, according to the needs of the organization and the representative’s interests and professional goals
  3. Chair or co-chair at least 1 committee in Article V
  4. Train the incoming At-Large Representatives on the duties of the office

4.9. Student Representatives

OWCA may elect up to 2 Student Representatives. Student Representatives will serve for 1 year (position renewable) and will be a voting member of the Executive Board, with the following duties:

  1. Represent the interests of secondary school, undergraduate, and/or graduate students engaged in online writing center work
  2. Assist other officers with tasks, according to the needs of the organization and the representative’s interests and professional goals
  3. Chair or co-chair at least 1 committee in Article V
  4. Train the incoming Student Representatives on the duties of the office

4.10. Ohio Statutory Agent

At least 1 Officer must be a current resident of the State of Ohio and serve as the Statutory Agent for the OWCA. An additional Officer position can be created for this purpose, if needed.

4.11. Transfer of Powers and Duties

During the absence of any Officer, the Executive Board may delegate and assign the powers and duties to any other Officer or Executive Board Member.

ARTICLE V. COMMITTEES

5.1. Purpose

Committees are responsible for completing long-term or short-term tasks for the organization.

5.2. Committee Chairs

The Executive Board will appoint 1 or more Officers to chair each committee. Any OWCA member in good standing can also be appointed to co-chair, if needed. The chair(s) of a committee have the following responsibilities:

  1. Determine qualifications and application process for committee members
  2. Recruit and select committee members with support from the Executive Board
  3. Schedule and conduct committee meetings
  4. Keep meeting minutes and report them to the Secretary
  5. Delegate tasks and provide or arrange training (when needed)
  6. Keep records of committee member tasks and duties
  7. Act as liaisons to other committees
  8. Report committee progress to the Executive Board

5.3. Committee Members

Any OWCA member in good standing can apply to serve on a committee. Committee member positions are non-voting and do not have term limits. One individual can serve on more than one committee.

5.4. Long-Term Committees

The OWCA will maintain the following committees for long-term purposes:

  1. Diversity Committee
  2. Accessibility Committee
  3. Virtual Events Committee
  4. Website and Communication Committee
  5. Mentoring and Resources Committee
  6. Liaison Committee

5.4.1. Diversity Committee

The Diversity Committee has the following responsibilities:

  1. Assist the organization with recruiting and retaining OWCA members and leaders with diverse identities, experiences, perspectives, and research interests
  2. Review organization resources, event topics/design, nomination procedures, by-laws, and other areas for inclusivity
  3. Share and develop resources to assist professionals in embedding social justice into online writing center training, pedagogy, and research
  4. Suggest presenters and event topics to the Virtual Events Committee
  5. Propose and assist in the development of diversity and inclusion initiatives
  6. Propose and review organization position statements
  7. Create and maintain job aides for future committee members

5.4.2. Accessibility Committee

The Accessibility Committee has the following responsibilities:

  1. Advise on the accessibility of the OWCA website, resources, events, and other areas of the organization
  2. Create and maintain accessibility guides for other OWCA committees and for presenters and attendees of OWCA events
  3. Create edited closed captions and transcripts for recorded events
  4. Edit presentation materials submitted to the scholarship archive for accessibility
  5. Work with the Virtual Events Committee to implement effective practices for accessible presentations
  6. Propose and review organization position statements
  7. Create and maintain job aides for future committee members

5.4.3. Virtual Events Committee

The Virtual Events Committee has the following responsibilities:

  1. Schedule and host regular virtual events
  2. Set up virtual participation at onsite events
  3. Provide technical support to presenters and attendees
  4. Submit proposals for special interest groups on online writing center work at the International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) conference and similar events
  5. Record all events and make recordings available to the Accessibility Committee and Website and Communication Committee
  6. Maintain event registration and attendance lists
  7. Work with the Diversity Committee and Liaison Committee to recruit presenters
  8. Work with the Website and Communication Committee to advertise events
  9. Work with the Accessibility Committee and presenters to implement effective practices for accessible presentations
  10. Create and maintain job aides for future committee members

5.4.4. Website and Communication Committee

The Website and Communication Committee has the following responsibilities:

  1. Manage and update the OWCA website on a timely basis
  2. Research website plugins and applications that will offer additional features for Officers and members
  3. Work with the accessibility committee to make the OWCA website accessible to all users
  4. Compile and maintain reports on website statistics
  5. Initiate community and discussion with OWCA members
  6. Work with the Vice President to increase membership and visibility of the organization
  7. Maintain OWCA logos and branding
  8. Create and maintain job aides for future committee members

5.4.5. Mentoring and Resources Committee

The Mentoring and Resources Committee has the following responsibilities:

  1. Coordinate the OWCA mentorship program and serve as mentors
  2. Increase visibility of the OWCA mentorship program
  3. Solicit content contributions, training materials, or other resources
  4. Develop OWCA resources, such as training materials, suggested readings, and content videos
  5. Work with the Website and Communication Committee to add and update entries in the OWC scholarship database
  6. Propose virtual events, in collaboration with the Virtual Event Committee
  7. Create and maintain job aides for future committee members

5.4.6. Liaison Committee

The Liaison Committee will include OWCA members who are also members of other relevant associations or organizations. The Liaison Committee has the following responsibilities:

  1. Attend annual conferences or events hosted by related associations or organizations
  2. Document OWC-related issues, concerns, barriers, and reflections from affiliate constituents, to be presented to the Executive Board
  3. Promote OWCA to affiliate constituents engaging in online writing center work
  4. Suggest presenters from other affiliates to the Virtual Events Committee
  5. Work with the Website and Communication Committee to promote related events hosted by IWCA and other affiliate organizations
  6. Act as liaison between OWCA and their designated affiliate
  7. Create and maintain job aides for future committee members

5.5. Other Committees

Additional committees may be added or deleted by the President or by a majority vote of the Executive Board. OWCA members may propose a long-term or short-term committee by submitting a proposal to the President.

ARTICLE VI. AMENDMENT

The Executive Board will approve revisions to OWCA bylaws. OWCA members may propose a revision to the bylaws by submitting a proposal to the President.

ARTICLE VII. DISSOLUTION

Upon the dissolution of the corporation, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be donated to the International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) on the condition that IWCA has retained their 501(c)(3) status at the time of dissolution.

DATES OF ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT

The OWCA by-laws were adopted by the Executive Board on September 16, 2020.