AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Section 1. The American Legion Auxiliary, Department of South Carolina shall be divided into Districts 1 through 14.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Section 1. The election of the following officers shall be by secret ballot: Department President, Department Sr. Vice-President, Department Jr. Vice-President, Department Chaplin, Department Historian, Department Recording Secretary and Sergeants-at Arms. A majority of the votes cast shall be necessary to elect. When there is but one candidate for an office, the nominee may be elected by voice vote.
Section 2. The Parliamentarian will be nominated by the Department President and confirmed by the Department Executive Committee at the Post Convention Department Executive Committee meeting.
Section 3. The election of District Presidents shall be nominated on odd-even years consistent with District designations. Such nominations shall be made at District meetings in the designated years with Nominees elected at the following Annual Department Convention. If the District President Nominee is unable to serve at time Convention convenes, a Caucus of the District shall (with consent of Nominee and approval of Unit members present) name a replacement nominee prior to hour of Convention election. If the District President, after election becomes unable to serve, a replacement District President shall be appointed by the President and approved by the Department Executive Committee.
Section 4. The election of officers shall be held during the last business session on the second day of Department Convention.
Section 5. Such officers shall serve until the adjournment of the succeeding Department Convention or until their successors are chosen. Vacancies in these offices occurring between Department Conventions shall be appointed by the President and approved by Department Executive Committee.
Section 6. No member shall hold more than one office at a time.
Section7. No officer shall be eligible for the same office more than two consecutive years, with the exception of the Parliamentarian, and District Presidents. No member shall be eligible for re-election to the Office of the Department President.
Section 8. After adjournment of the Department Convention, Chairman of the Standing Committees shall be appointed annually by the Department President, and shall serve subject to the ratification of the Department Officers.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1. PRESIDENT: The President of the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of South Carolina shall preside at all meetings and have general charge of its affairs. She shall be Chairman of the Executive Committee, shall appoint Chairmen and necessary members of constituted Boards, shall appoint all committees not otherwise provided for in these by-laws, subject to approval by the Executive Committee she shall be ex-officio, a member of all committees. She shall represent the Department as Chairman of the annual National Convention following the Department Convention. She shall make the Department report to the National Convention; shall serve as chairman of the delegation; shall appoint the Department Representative to the National Convention Committee and shall discharge any other executive function in connection with the National Convention. If for any reason the Department President is unable to serve her term, the Department Executive Committee shall meet, declare the position vacant and authorize the Department Senior Vice-President to assume the duties and the authority of the office. In the event the Senior Vice-President has assumed the office of President for a period of less than six (6) months, she may run for a succeeding full term as President.
Section 2. RETIRING DEPARTMENT PRESIDENT: Shall represent the Department at the Annual National Convention, following the Department convention. She shall make the Department report for the National Convention, serve as chairwoman of the delegation, shall appoint the Department representative on the National Convention Committee and shall discharge any other executive function in connection with the National Convention. She shall be responsible, with the Recording Secretary, for securing the recorded material for the annual yearbook prior to July 10. Said yearbook to be in the hands of the printer two (2) weeks prior to National Convention.
Section 3. NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEWOMAN: The NEC for the Department of South Carolina will be the immediate Past Department President and the Alternate NEC will be the immediate Past NEC representative from the Department of South Carolina.
Section 4. SENIOR VICE-PRESIDENT: It will be the duty of the Senior Vice-President to act as Department Membership Chairman coordinating with District Presidents before the Summer Executive Committee Meeting of dates and places for District Meetings. It shall be the duty of the Senior Vice-President to be the presiding officer at a meeting of the organization in the absence of the President. She shall perform such other duties as directed by the Department President and assume the duties of the Department President should the President become unable to serve. If the Senior Vice-President thus assumes the office of President for a term of less than six (6) months, the person so named is eligible to election by regular process to the office of President.
Section 5. JUNIOR VICE-PRESIDENT: It will be the duty of the Junior Vice President to serve as Leadership Chairman, conduct Leadership workshops at all District Meetings. She shall assume the office of Senior Vice-President, if for any reason the Senior Vice-President is unable to serve the Department. In the event the Junior Vice-President assumes the office of Senior Vice-President, the Executive Committee shall appoint a qualified replacement to serve out her term.
If the Junior Vice-President thus assumes the office of Senior Vice-President for a term of less than six (6) months, the person so named is eligible to election by regular process to the office of Senior Vice-President.
Section 6. DISTRICT PRESIDENTS: The District Presidents shall assist the Department Membership Chairman and the Unit Presidents in the respective District with membership and advisory heads of their Districts, maintaining communications with all Units. District Presidents are required to have an annual District Meeting, held during the year but may have other District Meetings as needed. District Presidents shall attend all Executive Committee meetings and if unable to attend, shall notify the Department President and/or Department Executive Director of their attendance. All District Presidents must have a valid reason for not attending an Executive Committee Meeting.
Section 7. RECORDING SECRETARY: The recording Secretary shall record the proceedings of the Department meetings, Fall Conferences, and all sessions of the Department in Convention assembled. She shall record all Executive Committee meetings assembled. She shall forward to all Executive Committee members a copy of the minutes from all Department Executive Committee meetings, Department Convention and Conference within four (4) weeks of the meeting. She shall forward all approved minutes to the Department to be maintained in the proper file. She shall assist the Retiring Department President in compiling the Department yearbook.
Section 8. PARLIAMENTARIAN: It shall be the duty of the Parliamentarian to advise the Department President on all questions pertaining to law, order and rules governing the organization. Questions for a higher decision may be forwarded to the National Organization for the Counsel General’s final decision.
Section 9. HISTORIAN: It shall be the duty of the Historian to complete a historical record of the administrative year in which she serves, and to maintain and update the historical records of the Department through the process provided for in the Standing Rules, and shall perform other duties as assigned.
Section 10. SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: The Sergeants-at-Arms shall preserve order at Department meetings and perform such other duties as prescribed by the President. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall be custodians of the flags.
Section 11. CHAPLAIN: It shall be the duty of the Department Chaplain to offer prayer at the opening of each day’s business of the Department Convention and at all Department meetings. She shall perform such other duties as the Department President and/or Executive Committee may direct.
Section 12. TREASURER: It shall be the duty of the Department Treasurer to serve as custodian of funds of the Department organization and to account for the same, to sign all checks in dispensing the funds of the organization and shall perform other duties as described. In the absence of or in addition to the Department Treasurer, the Department Executive Director and President shall be authorized to sign checks according to policy.
Section 13. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: The Executive Director is the leader of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of South Carolina, who is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, and strategic plan of the organization including fundraising, marketing, and community outreach. The Executive Director works with the Executive Committee in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Department Executive Committee. The Executive Director is responsible for communicating effectively with the Department President and Department Executive Committee and providing in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Department Executive Committee to make informed decisions.
DEPARTMENT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section1. The Department Executive Committee shall serve as the governing body of the organization with fiduciary, policy and strategic responsibility for the organization between Department Conventions. It shall be the duty of the Department Executive Committee, as corporate directors for the American Legion Auxiliary, to ensure that the organization has adequate resources to fulfill its mission. The Department Executive Committee is responsible for the organization’s adherence to legal standards and ethical norms.
Section 2. AUTHORITY: The Department Executive Committee shall adopt the annual budget for the Department; adopt policies and standing rules, unless otherwise noted in the Constitution, these by-laws or Standing Rules, strategic plans and agreements, and memorandums of understanding; review financial statements and accept the Department annual audit; ratify committees; confirm the Parliamentarian; confirm committee and other department appointments, and confirm the appointments of officials not otherwise provided for in these Bylaws; levy assessments as needed; ratify the cancelation of charters and other duties and responsibilities that are the normal function of a corporate board of directors.
All questions affecting the election, eligibility, conduct, and capacity of Department Officers shall be referred to and determined by the Department Executive Committee. The Department Executive Committee shall be responsible for establishing the process and procedure for making the determination that a Department Officer or Department Executive Committee member serving a single or multiple-year term is incompetent, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to discharge the duties of the Department office.
Section 3. DUTY: It shall be the duty of each Department Executive Committeewoman to fulfill the responsibilities of the National Executive Committee, and to articulate the organization’s mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public and to her department.
Section 4. MEETINGS: The newly-elected/appointed Department Executive Committee shall meet within twenty-four hours after adjournment of the Department Convention at the Convention City and shall meet early in the new administrative and/or fiscal year at the call of the Department President. It shall also meet immediately preceding the Department Conference at the Conference City. The Department Executive Committee shall meet as provided in the Standing Rules. Special meetings may be held upon reasonable notice at the call of the Department President. The Department President shall call a meeting of the Department Executive Committee upon written request of not less than three (3) members.
Section 5. QUORUM: Fifteen (15) present voting members of the Department Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.
Section 1. Pursuant to the Article of Duties of Officers, the President may appoint committees as she deems advisable to further the mission of the organization, subject to ratification by the Department Executive Committee. When a vacancy occurs on a committee, the Department President shall appoint a member to serve the remainder of the unexpired term, all subject to confirmation by the Department Executive Committee.
Section 2. There shall be the following Standing Committees: Americanism, Auxiliary Emergency Fund, Children and Youth, Community Service, Constitution and Bylaws, Education, History, Junior Activities, Leadership, Legislative, Child Welfare, Membership, National Security, Public Relations, Poppy, Past Presidents Parley, Girls State, Veteran Affairs & Rehabilitation (VA&R), Finance, and Audit.
Section 3. The Committees on Americanism, Children and Youth, Constitution and Bylaws, and Audit committee shall function as rotating committees, composed of three members respectively, to be appointed by the Department President and ratified by the Department Executive Committee. One of the three members of each committee shall be appointed by the Department President to serve for a three year term. The Department President shall have the privilege of appointing a Chairman of each rotating committee.
Section 4. The finance Committee shall consist of seven members; The Department Treasurer, Department Senior Vice-President, and Department Executive Director, and four appointed members, one of whom is on the Girls State Committee and will be appointed annually. Of the other three members first appointed, one shall serve for one year, one for two years, and one for three years. Thereafter, each member shall be appointed by the Department President to serve for the full three (3) year term. In addition to duties as outlined in the “Unit Handbook”, the Committee may be empowered to arrange funds for emergency needs which may arise between conventions with such funds being approved by the Department Executive Committee. The Finance Committee shall submit the Treasurer’s records to an internal audit committee. If, in their opinion, an outside audit is required, they will select an independent certified public accountant for that task. All resolutions pertaining to the expenditures of money shall be presented to the Finance Committee of the Department previous to presentation at the business meeting. The Executive Director and Treasurer shall have a voice but no vote.
Section 5. The Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Committee shall consist of the Chairman, the Field Service Chairman and Home Service Chairman. There shall be the following appointees for each of the VA Hospitals, VAVS Representatives and Duty Representatives. Each VAMC and VA Nursing Home shall have a Christmas Shop Chairman and Committee members appointed by the Department President and ratified by the Department Executive Committee. Such appointed representatives, deputy representatives and chairmen shall report to the VA&R Chairman.
Section 7. Girls State shall function as a rotating committee composed of five (5) members to be appointed by the Department President and ratified by the Department Executive Committee. The President shall have the privilege of appointing a chairman.
Section 8. The Department President shall appoint an Advisory Committee of four Past Department Presidents.
Section 9. The Standing Committees authorized to confirm to the requirements of the National American Legion Auxiliary and shall follow as nearly as possible the duties outlined in the “Unit Handbook” issued by American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters. Each department chairman shall transmit to Unit Chairman information as soon as it is received from National Chairman. Each Department Chairman shall request a report from each unit chairman from which she shall compile a composite report to be sent to National by deadline dates, as set by the National Chairman. Each Department Chairman shall give a report at time of Convention and file said report with Recording Secretary.
Section 10. The Past Presidents Parley Committee shall consist of the three (3) immediate Past Department Presidents, with the furthest from office being the Chairman. This committee will handle the selection of the Auxiliary Unit Member of the year to be presented at the annual luncheon during the Department Convention.
Section 11. Amendments to the composition, terms, or purpose of such department committees may be determined only by a two-thirds vote of the Department Convention Delegates.
Section 12. All persons handling funds of the Department shall be bonded by a reputable, solvent bonding and surety company; or shall be covered by fidelity-crime insurance in an adequate amount as determined by the Department Executive Committee.
UNIT ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT
Section 1. Those who desire to form a Unit shall apply to the Post to which it will attach as provided in the Standing Rules. Upon receipt of a properly executed charter application from the Department, the Unit charter shall be signed by the National President and National Secretary. No Unit shall be recognized by the American Legion Auxiliary unless acting under a legal and unrevoked charter.
Section 2. The minimum membership of a Unit shall be ten (10) Senior Members, with exception of a Department Headquarters Unit that shall have no minimum membership requirement.
Section 3. A unit shall be given the name, location and number of The American Legion Post to which it is attached.
Section 4. The qualifications and process for establishing and existing as a Unit in good standing shall be as provided in the Standing Rules.
Section 5. Each Unit of The American Legion Auxiliary shall be responsible for verifying eligibility and deciding its membership, subject to the restrictions of the national governing documents. No person who is a member of an organization which has for its aim the overthrow of the United States Government or who subscribes to the principles of any group opposed to our form of government shall not be eligible to become or remain a member of The American Legion Auxiliary.
Section 6. All persons handling funds of the Unit shall be bonded by a reputable, solvent bonding and surety company; or shall be covered by fidelity-crime insurance in an adequate amount as determined by the Unit.
Section 7. The office of the Unit shall be a President, one or more Vice-Presidents, a Secretary, Treasurer, or Secretary/Treasurer, may have a Chaplain and such other officers and committees from time to time may be authorized in accordance with the “Unit Handbook”.
Section 8. All officers of the Unit shall be elected annually.
Section 9. All Units shall adopt a Constitution conforming to the Department and the National Constitution of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Section 10. All Units shall make Bylaws that are not inconsistent with the National Constitution and Bylaws and the Department Constitution and Bylaws. All Units are required to submit a copy of their Unit’s Constitution, By-laws and Standing Rules to the Department’s Constitution and By-laws Committee for review and compliance.
Section 11. Any member in good standing in a Unit shall be entitled to transfer to another Unit.
Section 12. Any member in good standing wishing to transfer to another Unit must present to the new unit her current Membership card. Upon acceptance of the transfer applicant by the new Unit, the Unit Secretary will complete the Certification of Transfer. The member shall then be entitled to active membership in said Unit. No dues shall be transferred.
Section 13. No person may be a member at any time of more than one unit.
Section 14. Each Unit of the American Legion Auxiliary shall be the judge of its own membership, subject to the restrictions of the Constitution and Bylaws, except that no person who is a member of an organization which has for its aim the overthrow of the United States Government by force or violence, or who subscribes to the principles of any group opposed to our form of government, shall be eligible to become or remain a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. Issues that may arise within the Unit or post should first be addressed by the Unit’s Executive Committee prior to the issue being addressed by the Department Executive Committee.
Section 15. Any member may be expelled from membership for any violation of the Unit, Department or National Constitution, or for conduct improper and prejudicial to the welfare of The Auxiliary or the American Legion, provided she has been given thirty (30) days’ notice in writing of the charges and the time and place of hearing when she may submit an answer to the charges. She may have the right to an appeal to the Department Executive Board, and their action thereof shall be final.
Section 16. Annual dues shall be payable July 1 of each year for the next ensuing calendar year. A member failing to pay such annual dues by January thirty-first (31), shall be classed as delinquent and shall be suspended from all membership privileges; provided, however, such suspended members shall be notified in writing by the Secretary of the Unit of such suspension prior thereof. Payment of back dues, after suspension, shall reinstate such member to active membership or such member may establish eligibility by making application as a new member. It shall be the responsibility of each Unit to keep a continuous permanent file of its membership.
Section 17. Unit delegates to the Department Annual Convention shall be elected by a majority vote of those present at a meeting not less than three weeks before said Department Convention, and the Unit Secretary shall immediately thereafter notify the Department Executive Director, giving the names of such delegates.
Section 18. Unit officers shall be elected at a regular meeting prior to the Department Convention. The retiring President should be Chairman of the Delegation at the Department Convention. If the retiring Unit President can attend the Department Convention, she shall be Chairman of the Delegation for the Convention. If the retiring Unit President cannot attend the convention, Chairman of the Delegates shall be determined by the Unit.
Section 19. Each Unit may prescribe the dues, provided that a minimum fee covering Department and National per capita is charged.
Section 20. All Units will file with the Secretary of State for exemption status.
Section 21. All Units will file the IRS 990 form annually.
Section 22. The annual National and Department dues shall be collected by the Unit and paid to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of South Carolina and mailed to the attention of the Department Executive Director. All checks paid to the Department shall be made payable to the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of South Carolina.
Section 23. Department dues to increase or decrease automatically to conform with the National Organization ruling.
Section 1. The Department Executive Committee may suspend, cancel or revoke Unit charters for good cause to it appearing.
Section 2. Any Unit that a) fails to meet the obligations imposed upon it by the governing documents, policies, or requirements of the Department or National Organization, or b) ceases to function as an American Legion Auxiliary Unit from one Department Convention to the next, shall surrender its charter at the direction of the Department President. When a Unit so directed to surrender its charter fails to do so, the Department Executive Committee may take immediate steps to revoke the charter.
Section 3. An American Legion Auxiliary unit whose charter has been suspended, cancelled, or revoked by the Department, may appeal the decision of the Department Executive Committee to the National Executive Committee, as provided in the Standing Rules.
Section 4. Upon suspension of an American Legion Auxiliary Unit charter, the Department Executive Committee is authorized, empowered and directed by and through its duly authorized agents to take possession, custody and control of all records, assets, property, and belongings of the Unit and to provide for the governance and administration of the Unit during said suspension.
Section 5. With regard to suspensions, cancellations, and revocations of Unit charters, in no event shall the Department organization be required to assume any financial obligation with regard to records, assets, property, and belongings.
Section 6. Cancellation of a Unit charter shall be in order when two (2) or more Units merge, when a Unit ceases to function, or under such other conditions as might make such action necessary within a Department. In the event a unit charter is canceled or revoked without the consent of such Unit, it shall have the right of appeal to the National Executive Committee as provided in the Standing Rules.
Section 7. The National Executive Committee may prescribe rules of procedures to be followed in the revocation, suspension or cancellation of Unit charters, with full power from time to time to revise or amend such rules, provided, however, that until such rules have been adopted the procedure now in existence shall be applicable. All rules and procedures shall be in accordance with the principles of due process of law.
Section 1. All officers and Chairman of this Department and the Unit Treasurers holding funds of this organization shall be required to give bond. Premiums on Department Bonds shall be paid by the Department. Premiums on Unit Bonds to paid ANNUALLY by the Unit.
Section 1. The revenue of the American Legion Auxiliary shall be derived from annual membership dues in a per capita amount established by the a) National Convention delegates, and from such other sources as may be approved by the Department Executive Board; b) Department Per Capita is decided by the Department Convention Delegates; c) Units will be established by the individual Units. Modification to the dues for members shall require a two-thirds vote in the affirmative by the Department Convention delegates. Dues shall be payable in amounts as provided in the Standing Rules. A member’s status is dependent upon timely payment of dues as provided in the Standing Rules.
Section 2. The fiduciary responsibility of the Department Executive Board shall include adoption of the Department’s budget and review and acceptance of financial reports and the annual audit.
Section 3. The Finance Committee shall meet at the call of the Finance Chairwoman, Treasurer or Department President. In the event Finance Committee members are unable to be in attendance at a given meeting or they are unavailable for comment, then written or telephone communication will be made to the voting members.
Section 4. The Finance Committee shall provide printed copies of the year to date budget versus actual to the pre-convention Executive Committee.
Section 5. The Finance Committee shall include in the budget annually allocations for the following:
a. Incidental National Convention expenses;
b. Retiring Department President, incoming Department President and Convention Secretary to attend the National Convention;
c. Department President and Senior Vice-President or designate an Officer by the current Department President to attend the annual Washington D.C. Conference;
d. Expenses of and for District Presidents to hold annual meetings pursuant to Department Standing Rules;
e. Monies for the designated meetings/conferences will be paid following the participants’ attendance at such meetings. Action with the stipulation that each officer received payment had attended all meeting sessions;
f. Each year an allocation not to exceed fifteen (15%) percent of PGS and VA&R accounts will be designated for administrative expenses;
g. Following the Girls State session and only after payment of bills and expenses for that year's Girls State session, an allocation not to exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the net income from that year's Girls State income may be transferred to the Department's General Fund for administrative expenses. For purposes of this provision, "net income" shall mean any money remaining after all costs and expenses for a given fiscal year are paid and shall not include money carried forward from previous years or investments, savings, or reserves. Further, no transfer of Girls State funds shall occur until all bills and expenses of the annual session of Girls State are fully paid.
h. Annual funds for the Department President to lay a wreath at Arlington’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And,
i. Other expenses approved by the Finance Committee and ratified by the Department Executive Committee.
Section 1. No officer or committee woman shall receive any salary for their services, with the exception of the Department employees the Executive Director and the Department Treasurer.
Section 2. The salary of the Department Executive Director and the Department Treasurer shall be fixed by the Executive Committee. The Executive Director and Department Treasurer shall not vote in the consideration of the matter. Should the need for any other clerical help be deemed necessary, the position and any such salary shall be approved by the Executive Committee and the Department Finance Committee shall approve the funds for same. Any and all other clerical help will be supervised by the Department Executive Director.
Section 1. Order of Business of the Annual Department Convention shall be as follows:
Call to Order by the President
Salute to the Flag
Preamble to the Constitution of the American Legion Auxiliary
Call for Department Convention
Appointment of Committees
Report of Officers
Report of Committee Chairwomen
Reports of Credentials Committee
Election of Officers (Last business session, second day of convention)
Election of Delegates to National Convention
Report of Resolutions Committee
Section 2. Credentials Committee shall consist of four members: the Department Executive Director, ex-officio and any three elected delegates appointed by the President. The Committee shall be appointed at least fourteen (14) days before date of Department Convention. One of these appointed by the President shall be Chairwoman. The Department Executive Director shall furnish the committee with a certified list of such delegates and alternates and the number of delegates to which each Unit is entitled, prior to the opening of the Convention. The Credentials Committee shall make its reports at the time specified in the “Order of Business”.
Section 3. The Resolution Committee shall consist of five (5) members: The Constitution and Bylaws Chairwoman, The Parliamentarian and Three (3) members appointed by the Department President from the elected delegates. The Committee shall be appointed not less than fourteen (14) days before the Conventions. No resolution presented by an individual member shall be considered by this committee unless approved by the Unit of which she is a member.
Section 1. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern this organization in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the National or Department Constitution, Bylaws or Standing Rules.
Section 1. These Bylaws may be amended at any Annual Department Convention by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the authorized delegates present and voting, provided the proposed amendments have been read at the Convention twenty-four (24) hours before action taken or by Consent Agenda. Amendments shall, unless otherwise stated, become operative upon adoption.
Articles I through Article V amended and approved at the Department Convention May 30, 2015.
Articles VI through XIII amended and approved at the Department Convention June 4, 2016.
Article IX Section 5 g inserted then existing g & h renamed at the department Convention June 3, 2017.