Article I – Name

The name of this organization is Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS).

The Principal Office of Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS), a nonprofit Organization hereinafter referred to as the “Organization”, shall be located at 1415 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 716, Lawrence, KS 66045

The Organization may relocate the principal office, and may also establish such other offices, as the Executive Council shall direct if the business of the Organization so requires.

The Organization shall maintain a registered office and a registered agent within the State of Rhode Island. The location of the registered office and the designation of the registered agent shall be approved by the Executive Council.

Article II – Purpose

The Organization is a nonprofit Organization and is not organized for the private gain of any person. It is organized under the laws of the State of Rhode Island and is organized for the purposes set forth in Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(6) or the corresponding provision of any future United States internal revenue law. Within the context of these general purposes, the Organization’s specific purposes shall be:

SWS is a not for profit scientific and educational organization of sociologists and others dedicated to:

1. Encouraging the development of sociological feminist theory and scholarship
2. Transforming the academy through feminist leadership, career development, and institutional diversity 3. Promoting social justice through local, national, and international activism
4. Supporting the publication and dissemination of cutting edge feminist social science

All corporate property Is irrevocably dedicated to the purpose set forth in the above section. No part of the net earnings of this Organization shall inure to the benefit of any of its directors, trustees, officers, or members, or to the benefit of any private person except as reasonable compensation for services rendered, goods received, and other property or valuable thing which may be acquired by the Organization for the accomplishment of its purposes.

Article III – Members

Section 1. Levels of Membership

A. Regular Members Any social scientist who shares our goals can be a member. Membership requires payment of annual dues at the appropriate level for one’s income.

B. Regional and Local Affiliates An SWS membership includes eligibility to join a regional and/or local affiliate. Regional and Local affiliates must have at least 5 current SWS members, including a designated chair, in order to be considered active.

Section 2. Qualifications/eligibility for Membership. Any person who accepts and supports the purpose of this organization is eligible for membership.

Section 3. Privileges of Membership. Members shall have the right to vote, to hold office and to chair committees, to receive all regular publications of SWS, to be included in electronic lists and forums run by the organization, to attend all open membership and committee meetings, and to set dues and provide general direction to Council in General Meetings. Members are entitled to belong to the local or regional affiliates in their area although there may be additional dues assessed.

Section 4. Fees and Dues. Annual dues shall be determined by a majority vote of the membership. Other fees may be set by Council. Uniform procedures for notification of members shall be set by the Council.

Section 5. Resignation. Any member in good standing may resign by submitting that resignation in writing to the Executive Office. Section 6. Non-Payment. If a member fails to pay dues, fees or assessments within three months from the date they become due, membership shall automatically terminate.

Section 7. Suspension/Termination. Membership in this organization may be suspended or terminated by the Council for just cause. The decision for suspension or termination shall be by a 60% vote of the Council.

Section 9. Voting. Votes of the membership will be conducted online or by regular surface mail. All members shall have the option of returning ballots by email or FAX as well as regular surface mail. It is the responsibility of the Executive Office to maintain confidentiality of the ballots within the office.

Article IV – Officers

Section 1. General Officers. The general officers of SWS shall be the President, President-Elect, Past President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer-Elect, Treasurer, Past Treasurer7, and Student Representative. All general officers, together with the Parliamentarian and the Executive Officer serving ex officio, shall constitute the Council, or Executive Council.

Section 2. Operating Officers. The operating officers of SWS shall be the Executive Officer and the Newsletter Editor. Section 3. Eligibility. All officers shall be members in good standing.

Section 4. Nominations. Nominations for all elective offices will be made by a nominations committee, chaired by the Past President and composed of four elected members, two elected each year for two-year terms. It is the responsibility of the nominations committee to ensure that candidates presented for election represent the diversity of the organization, are cognizant of and able to carry out the responsibilities of their office, and have agreed to serve.

Section 5. Election. General Officers shall be elected each fall by a vote of the full membership..

Section 6. Terms of Office. The term of office of the Presidency and the Treasurer shall follow 3 year cycles, serving as “Elect” the first year, the President or Treasurer the second year, and as “Past” the third year. The Vice President and Secretary serve two year terms. The Student Representative serves a 1 year term.

The terms of office for all officers and committee chairs will begin at the Winter Meeting following any reports presented by the outgoing officers/chairs.

Section 7. Limitations on Service. No member shall hold more than one office at a time, and no member shall be eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office. A member having served more than half a term in an office shall be deemed to have served a term. This limitation extends to journal editors and deputy editors and any other persons who receive money from the organization.

Section 8. Vacancies. Should the office of President become vacant, the Vice President shall become President automatically, to serve for the unexpired term. Should the office of President-elect become vacant, it shall be filled by the Vice President. Should the office of Treasurer become vacant, it shall be filled by the Treasurer-Elect. A vacancy in any other General Office shall be filled by appointment by the Council.

Article V – Duties of Officers

Section 1. Officers shall perform the duties as prescribed in these bylaws and such other duties applicable to the office as prescribed by the parliamentary authority adopted by the society and including attendance at both the Winter and Summer meetings. A general officer who fails to attend these Meetings without presentation of due cause to the Council shall be deemed to have resigned the office.

Section 2. President. The President shall serve as official spokesperson of the organization and represent SWS before the public, present policy resolutions on behalf of SWS to ASA and other organizations or associations, chair the Winter and Summer meetings of the members and all meetings of the Council, prepare reports on progress toward meeting organizational goals for all Council and membership meetings, with the advice and consent of Council establish Ad Hoc Task Forces to accomplish particular organizational tasks, serve as a member of the Operating Budget Management Committee, and provide leadership and general supervision of the organization on behalf of the Council.

Section 3. President-Elect. The President-Elect shall work with the Executive Office on the planning for the Winter Meeting to be held in the following year, including appointing and leading the local arrangements and the program committees and planning the plenary sessions. The Program Committee for the Winter Meetings will include representatives of the Sister-to-Sister Committee and the International Committee. The President-Elect will also prepare to assume the Presidency at the conclusion of the term of office and perform such other duties as may be determined by the Council. The Vice President shall fill a vacancy in the office of President.

Section 4. Past President. The Past President will chair the Nominations Committee. The Past President may also chair Ad Hoc Task Forces and perform such other duties as may be determined by Council.

Section 5. Vice President. The Vice President shall preside in the absence of the President, fill any vacancy in the office of President or President Elect, chair the Membership Committee and Committee on National/Local Collaborations, survey candidates for ASA office on memberships in women’s organizations and feminist commitments, and perform other duties as may be determined by the Council.

Section 6. Secretary. The Secretary shall record, report and distribute minutes of the Council and general membership meetings, providing these in a timely fashion to the Executive Officer who will post them on the website; be responsible for the collection, safekeeping and distribution of SWS documents, reports and correspondence; collaborate with the other officers in drawing up agendas for Council and membership meetings; serve on the Membership Committees, and perform such other duties as may be determined by the Council. The Secretary serves a two year term and is elected in

Section 7. Treasurer. The Treasurer prepares the budget, oversees long and short-term investments, and provides general oversight to the operations of the Executive Office. The Treasurer shall serve as Chair of the Operating Budget Management Committee and member (non-voting) of the Publications Committee; cooperate with the Executive Officer in overseeing SWS budget, income and expenses; appoint, with the approval of the Council, an independent auditor to conduct a financial audit of SWS; report in writing annually to the Winter and Summer Meetings on the financial status of the organization; meet on-site annually at the Executive Office with the Executive Officer and staff; report annually in executive session to Council on the performance of the Executive Office, and perform such other duties as may be determined by the Council.

Section 8. Treasurer-Elect. The Treasurer-Elect assists the Treasurer in all activities pertaining to that office, prepares to assume the responsibilities of that office in succession, serves on the Executive Office and Budget Committee and performs such other duties as may be determined by the Council and serves as an non-voting member of the Operating Budget Management committee..

Section 9. Past Treasurer. The Past Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer in preparation of the budget, and in oversight of organizational investments, and perform such other duties as may be determined by the Council.

Section 10. Student Representative. The Student Representative shall represent the interests of undergraduate and graduate student members of SWS on the Council and shall chair the Student Caucus. The Student Representative will be elected by the members of the Student Caucus and serve for 1 year term.

Section 11. Parliamentarian. The responsibility of the parliamentarian is to ensure Council and the business meetings are adhering to bylaws and advising council when the By-Laws require revision. The parliamentarian serves for two years and is elected in odd- numbered years.

Section 13. Executive OfficerThe Executive Officer oversees the ongoing operations of the organization as implemented by the executive office, works with leadership to provide administrative support, and serves as a liaison with other professional organizations. The Executive Officer shall sign and oversee contracts, except for the executive officer’s own contract which is signed by the President and disperse funds within the budget approved by Council and consistent with the policy of the organization. The executive officer shall supervise and direct the ongoing work of the Administrative Officer within guidelines established by the Council, including collecting dues and maintaining membership records and financial accounts. The Executive Officer shall, report on the status and functioning of the organization at each General Meeting. The Executive Officer serves ex officio without vote on Council and as a voting member on the Operating Budget Management Committee.

Section 14. Ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson shall be made available to any employee receiving compensation for their work for SWS as an advocate to adjudicate disagreements regarding working conditions. The Ombudsperson is jointly appointed by the Past-President and the Executive Officer. In the event that an agreement cannot be reached between the Past-President and the Executive Officer, then the ombudsperson is jointly appointed by the President and the Executive Officer.

Article VI – Council

Section 1. Composition. The Council shall be composed of the General Officers (President, Past-President, President-Elect, Vice- President, Past-Treasurer, Treasurer, Treasurer-Elect, Secretary, and Student Representative), with the Executive Officer and Parliamentarian serving without vote. Council will be chaired by the President.

Section 2. Powers. The Council shall have full authority to conduct all business of the organization except that which is reserved to the Executive Officer, the Publications committee, or to the members by these bylaws.

Section 3. Duties. The duties of the Council shall include: to provide for and maintain an office for the organization; to be responsible for all property, real and personal, owned or held by the organization, to select and delegate responsibilities to an Executive Officer and to cause to be bonded all officers and employees entrusted with such property; to cause the accounts of the organization to be audited annually; to adopt an annual budget for the organization; to adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of the affairs of the organization; to appoint such agents, attorneys and others it deems necessary; to perform such other duties as are prescribed or permitted by the State of Rhode Island for Boards of Directors or by these bylaws.

Section 4. Meetings. There shall be at least two meetings of the Council each year. Special meetings may be called by the President or President Elect or three members of the Council. Seven members shall constitute a quorum. A conference will be called after the site-visit to update the Council on the outcome of that visit.

Personnel Sub-Committee

The Personnel Sub-Committee is chaired by the Past President and includes the Treasurer, and the Treasurer-Elect. The Committee is responsible for reviewing the performance of the Executive Officer, deciding on the renewal of the contract governing the Executive Officer and if necessary, terminating that contract. This Committee keeps Council informed of personnel decisions and modifications, as appropriate given the requirement to honor confidentiality.

Article VII – Committees

Section 1. Standing Committees: the standing committees shall be as follows:


Operating Budget Management Committee: The Operating Budget Management Committee includes the Treasurer, Treasurer- Elect, President, the Executive Officer and the Publications Chair (non-voting). The Treasurer chairs the committee. A subset of the Operating Budget Management Committee visits the Executive Office annually to review its organization and practices, to assure that all policies and practices are being appropriately observed, and to draft the Society’s budget for the coming year. The Site Visit team consists of the President, President-elect, Treasurer, and Treasurer-elect and it is chaired by the Treasurer. The Treasurer prepares the site visit report for the Operating Budget Management Committee.

Investment Committee: The Investment Committee will consist of the Past Treasurer (Chair), three members appointed by Council for their expertise in the area, and the Executive Officer in an advisory role.

The Investment Committee works to build and protect SWS’s financial resources to support the organization’s overall goals and mission into the indefinite future. Within overall policies determined by the membership and its elected leadership, it oversees the work of any financial advisors by whom funds are administered, including recommendations concerning specific investment goals and assessments of the advisors’ success in achieving those goals. It reviews periodic reports from advisors, meeting with them in person as needed, and is the primary point of communication between SWS and the advisors. As appropriate, the Committee will make recommendations to leadership for modification of the relationship between SWS and its external advisors.

Within SWS, the Committee keeps leadership informed of how financial assets (specific investments and reserves) are being managed and formulates recommendations for decisions relating to short-term outflow and inflow of funds including, but not limited to the extent to which current revenues and expenditures relate to longer term finances (e.g. wisdom of transfers from current surpluses into investment or reserves and/or prudent use of revenue from current investments to support current programs or new initiatives), policies for accepting bequests, donations, establishment of endowments for specific purposes and the like. More generally, it serves as a council of advice concerning the relationship between long-term financial planning and operating budgets. The Committee reports to Council regularly on its work.

Nominations Committee: The SWS Nominations committee annually develops a pool of nominees for all elected SWS positions which includes Council officers, chairs and members of committees for which those positions are elective and whose terms are expiring. The committee prepares a slate for submission to a vote of the members in October of each year. The Past- President serves as chair, along with four elected members, two of whom are elected each year to serve a 2-year term.

Membership Committee: Two members of the Membership Committee will be elected each year to serve two-year terms. The Vice President (chair), Student Representative, and the Secretary also serve on the Membership Committee during their terms of office.

The committee is responsible for 1) recruiting new members, 2) helping to integrate them into the organization, for example, via the Hand Program, and 3) serving as Liaison between the national organization and local and regional affiliates.

Committee on National and Local Collaborations: The Committee on National and Local Collaborations is chaired by the Vice President and populated by the Committee Chairs as well as the liaisons from each local and regional affiliate. The Committee provides a way to maintain communication between Committee Chairs in order to foster collaboration where appropriate and avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts.


Publications Committee: The Publications Committee is composed of six elected members, two elected each year to a 3-year term. The Committee elects its own Co-chairs, one of whom serves as junior co-chair for a year and becomes senior-co-chair in the second year. The Co-Chairs will each serve 3-year staggered terms. Six non-voting members include the Treasurer (Treasurer-elect may observe), Gender & Society Editor, Network News Editor, Book Review Editor and the Executive Officer. The Committee reports to Council.

The Publications Committee oversees publications issued by the organization, including its journal(s), newsletter, and any other publications under the auspices of SWS. The committee’s duties include (but are not limited to): negotiation of a contract with publishers for Gender & Society, appointment of editors for Gender & Society and approval of budgets for the journal, review of proposals for special issues of Gender & Society and appointment of the Book Review editor of Gender & Society. The official appointment (term of service, compensation, duties) of the Book Review Editor and Network News Editor is made by the Executive Officer after consultation with the Publications Committee and Council, as appropriate.

Awards Committee: Members of the Awards Committee consists of a Chair who is elected by the membership, one member who is elected each year for a two-year term, and chairs of the various subcommittees that oversee the awards that SWS confers. With the advice and consent of the committee, the Chair recruits and appoints chairs for each award subcommittee for a two-cycle term (in the case of annual awards; a four-year cycle in the case of alternative year awards). Subcommittee Chairs turn over at the Summer Meeting. The Chair of each Subcommittee recruits members for that subcommittee to review nominees/applicants and select the winner of the Award. The Awards Committee Chair keeps track of the terms of all members and chairs of the award-conferring committees and reports them to the Executive Office for record-keeping purposes and for posting on the website.

Career Development Committee: The Career Development Committee consists of an elected chairperson, elected in even years to serve a 2-year term, and volunteer members. It is charged with supporting the professional development of feminist sociologists at all stages of their careers.

Sister to Sister: The Sister to Sister Committee is led by two Co-Chairs, one elected each year to a two-year term, served on a staggered basis. Other members are volunteers. The Sister to Sister Committee is charged with guiding SWS toward becoming a fully inclusive organization, including identifying obstacles toward that goal, informing the leadership and members, and supporting networking and mentoring relationships among members across race/ethnic lines.

Student Caucus: The Student Caucus is led by the Student Representative and includes volunteer members who each year elect the Student Representative for the next year from their ranks. It is charged promoting the interests of students in SWS through overseeing the SWS student listserv, coordinating student functions at Summer and Winter Meetings, and undertaking projects designed to increase and maintain student membership in SWS and meet the needs of student members. The committee works with other SWS committees and with SWS officers on issues of particular concern to student members.


Social Action Committee: The Social Action Committee is composed of an elected chair and volunteer members. The chair is elected by the membership in odd numbered years for a two-year term. The charge of this committee is to engage SWS in projects that facilitate achieving its goal of promoting social justice through local and national activism and via members’ research, teaching and community service.

Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice: The Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice is composed of two co-chairs, elected in alternate years to two year terms, and a volunteer membership. The Academic Justice Committee has two charges. First, it guides the organization’s response to a member’s allegations of discrimination based on gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, disability, age and other identities within sociology or that involve SWS members. Where appropriate to protect confidentiality, the committee will appoint a sub-committee chaired by a tenured person. Second, it identifies structural and institutional issues in academia that are pertinent to gender, race, sexual orientation and other marginalized groups, collects pertinent data, coordinates and communicates with other organizations addressing these issues, and organizes information on best practices toward creating a just academy.

International Committee: The International Committee (IC) consists of an elected Chair and volunteer members. The chair is elected by the membership in odd numbered years for a two-year term. It is charged with providing the organization with direction in supporting global and transnational feminist scholarship and gender justice, including maintaining SWS’s role as a non- governmental organization member of the United Nations and our collaboration with other international feminist organizations.

Section 2. Ad HocTask Forces and Special Committees. The President-Elect may appoint chairs and members to program and/or local arrangements committees for help in organizing the Winter and Summer Meetings. The President with the advice and consent of Council may appoint chairs for Ad Hoc Task Forces to deal with specific organizational mandates. Task Force members may be self- nominated and appointed by the chair. These Task Forces shall be reviewed annually by the Council, and renewed or discharged.

Section 3. Additional Standing Committees. Additional standing committees may be created by majority vote of the Council.

Article VIII – Meetings

There are two General Meetings of the membership each year, the Winter Meeting and the Summer Meeting. The Winter Meeting shall be designated as the Annual Business Meeting. At either of these general meetings, the membership is authorized to create Ad Hoc Task Forces at the request of the President or Council and to receive their reports, to approve budgets submitted by the Operating Budget and Management Committee, to make organizational policy recommendations to the President and Council, to approve materials for public dissemination other than the regular publications of the organization, and to approve policy statements to be made on behalf of the organization.

The Executive Council, the President, or 20 percent (20%) or more of the Members having a right to vote may call a special meeting of the Members for any lawful purpose at any time.

A special meeting, including a virtual meeting, called by Members pursuant to the above section shall be called by written request, specifying the general nature of the business proposed to be transacted and signed by the required number of Members, and submitted to the President or any Director of the Organization. The Secretary shall cause notice of any special meeting to be given promptly to the members entitled to vote stating that a meeting will be held at a specified time and date fixed by the Executive Council, provided, however, that the meeting date shall be at least 10 but no more than 120 days after the receipt of the request. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as limiting, fixing, or affecting the time at which a meeting of members may be held when the meeting is called by the President or the Executive Council. No business, other than the business that was set forth in the notice of the meeting, may be transacted at a special meeting.

Meetings of the Members shall be held at any place designated by the Executive Council.

Ten percent (10%) of the voting power shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of members. “Voting Power” means those Members in good standing entitled to vote. The members present at a duly called or held meeting at which a quorum is present may continue to transact business until adjournment, even if enough members have withdrawn to leave less than a quorum, if any action (other than adjournment) is approved by at least a majority of the members required to constitute a quorum.

Article IX – Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern this organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the organization may adopt.

Article X – Amendment of Bylaws
Section 1. Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed by any two members in writing to the Executive Officer or submitted to Council for its advice and recommendation.

Section 2. Amendments shall be approved by a majority vote of Council and submitted to vote by the members by an online ballot.

Approval of 60% of those voting by a date clearly marked upon the ballot shall be necessary for adoption.


The current bylaws were approved by member vote on October 1, 2015 and took effect on January 1, 2016.

PDF version of Bylaws

Bylaws Revisions