Club Bylaws

1.0 Mission
To support the BDSM (Bondage & Discipline and Sadomasochism) community of the greater New Orleans area through outreach, example, and education. To create a community where those new to the lifestyle along with those who are experienced are welcome. To provide support for those who realize that BDSM is fundamental to their lives and need assistance in forming the definitions and friendships that are needed to make the practice of BDSM a safe, sane, and consensual part of their lives. To create a community where no one need fear abusive behavior. To promote mutual respect and tolerance in achieving the goal of a pansexual BDSM community.

2.0 Structure
New Orleans Bondage & Leather Enthusiasts (NOBLE) is a private, legally incorporated not-for-profit adult social organization comprised of individuals devoted to the practice of BDSM in the greater New Orleans, Louisiana area.

3.0 Council of Officers
3.1 NOBLE shall be governed by a Council of Officers that shall embody the sole and only executive authority of the organization. This Council shall consist of seven (7) voting members elected at large at a required annual general membership meeting.
3.2 The Council of Officers shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the stated mission of NOBLE.
3.2.1 The Council of Officers shall provide education, promote outreach, and maintain a strong policy against abuse within the BDSM community.
3.2.2 Council members shall preserve confidentiality when dealing with sensitive issues concerning NOBLE members.
3.3 In the event that a vacancy should occur on the Council for whatever reason, the Council shall call a special general membership meeting within thirty days to elect an interim replacement until the next annual general membership meeting.
3.4 The Council shall take action only with a quorum of its officers five (5) participating.
3.5 The Council's first order of business following any change in composition shall be to select a Chairperson. The Chairperson's sole special power is the ability to call meetings of the Council or general membership and set the initial agenda. The Council may replace its Chairperson at any time, at will, and regardless of any established agenda.
3.6 Memberships on the Council shall officially begin when the newly elected Council member attends his or her first official Council meeting. Failure to assume Council duties within thirty (30) days shall constitute resignation from the Council by default.
3.7 Resignations from the Council become official when a public statement of resignation is posted to the NOBLE members list.
3.8 If a Council member resigns within thirty (30) days of his or her election, that seat shall be given to the first runner up in the most recent election.
3.9 If a Council member resigns with fewer than ninety (90) days remaining prior to a general election, the Council may choose either to operate with one vacancy or to appoint an interim member for the remainder of the unexpired term. Selection of this interim member shall be by simple majority vote of the Council.

4.0 Membership
4.1 Memberships in NOBLE shall be of three types: Associate, Regular, and Lifetime.
4.1.1 Associate memberships may be granted in accordance with standing rules announced by the Council without specific Council action or oversight.
4.1.2 Regular memberships are granted by specific action of the Council for a maximum period of one (1) year and are automatically renewable (i.e. remain in good standing) pending good behavior and the payment of annual dues. All Regular memberships expire on December 31st of each year.
4.1.3 Lifetime memberships are granted by specific action of the Council requiring a unanimous vote. They are permanent unless revoked by the council in the same manner as deciding not to renew a Regular membership.
4.1.4 Lifetime and Regular members in good standing together form the "Voting Membership" of the club. Associate Members may not vote on matters of club business, nor may other members deemed to not be in good standing by action of the Council.
4.1.5 Any member found to be in violation of NOBLE's Code of Conduct, or meet other conditions, set by Council Policy, such as failure to pay dues in a timely fashion, can be held by the Council to be not in Good Standing. Members not in good standing loose the rights and privileges of membership until these conditions are resolved.
4.2 In their actions regarding the Club, NOBLE members shall observe all rules and policies of the Club as set forth by the Council of Officers, and shall deal with the Club in an honest and straightforward manner. In order to promote the fellowship of the organization NOBLE members are expected to treat one another with civility and respect. All NOBLE members shall observe confidentiality in matters regarding other NOBLE members.
4.3 A member who fails to comply with these standards may be subject to disciplinary action by the Council. The Council may discipline a member or refuse to renew a membership based upon a simple majority vote by the Council. The Council may ban a member based upon a supermajority vote of the Council; a supermajority defined as a minimum of five (5) votes out of seven (7). Prior to taking disciplinary action against an individual, the Council will invite that member to discuss with the Council the issues involved. No decision will be made by the Council until such an offer has been made and is either declined or is not accepted. The Council will at all times attempt to act fairly and will act deliberately and with consideration, adhering not just to the letter but to the spirit of NOBLE's bylaws and mission. In all cases the Council's decision is final.
4.4 The Voting members assume all duties and powers of the Council in the event that the Council is dissolved and shall immediately take steps to fully reconstitute the Council as outlined in section 6.2.1.
4.5 Each Regular member will be assessed yearly dues, the amount to be set by the Council of Officers. Member benefits will be determined by the Council.
4.6 Voting members must have been in good standing for sixty (60) days prior to the opening of nominations to vote in or nominate candidates for Council elections.
4.7 To be eligible to run for office an individual must have been a Voting Member in good standing for at least one hundred and eighty (180) days prior to the date of that election.

5.0 Elections
5.1 Annual elections will be held no later than fourth (4th) week of October. The newly elected Council will be seated after a transition period of two weeks.
5.2 The nomination period shall begin two (2) weeks prior to the annual election and close one (1) week prior to the election.
5.3 All Council members are to be elected at-large from a common vote on all eligible candidates, each eligible regular member casting a single vote for each of the seven (7) candidates of their choice.
5.4 In the event there are more than more than fourteen (14) eligible candidates a run off election shall be held between the ten (10) eligible candidates with the highest vote total from the initial election. The run off election shall be conducted in accordance with sections 5.1 and 5.3.

6.0 General Provisions
6.1 Bylaw amendment: The Council may amend these bylaws by a majority vote. Such changes are not effective unless and until ratified by a majority of participating Voting Members in good standing. All votes conducted for such an amendment will be held open for two weeks online and have an opportunity for in person voting at least once. All members will only be able to vote once.
6.2 Removal of the Council: a simple majority of the Regular members in good standing may call for a special membership meeting at any time to remove the Council of Officers. A two-thirds (2/3rd) majority of the regular members in good standing shall be required to remove the Council of Officers.
6.2.1 A special membership meeting shall be convened for the sole purpose of electing a new Council of Officers no sooner than one (1) week and no more than one (1) month after the Council has been removed. Election of the new Council of Officers shall be held in accordance with section 5.0 of the bylaws.
6.3 Term limits: no member may be elected to more than two (2) full consecutive terms on the Council in any three (3) year period. A member who has been elected to complete an unfinished term may after that, be eligible to be elected to two (2) full terms.
6.4 Council meetings: the Council shall meet monthly at a minimum. Such meetings shall be open to all members, the sole exception being discussions pertaining to conduct of individual members.
6.5 Financial accounting: the Council shall make available a full accounting of organization finances on a monthly basis. The Council shall include such an accounting as a part of the minutes of the first Council meeting of the month.
6.6 Reporting of Council decisions: all Council decisions, including the vote count of their adoption, shall be reported to the membership in timely fashion. The Council shall also maintain a permanent record of all Council decisions and shall make that record available to any member upon request.
6.7 Nepotism: no person shall be a candidate for the Council if an immediate member of their family, house or lifestyle relationship is also a candidate. Two (2) persons who are members of the same family, house or lifestyle relationship may not serve on the Council at the same time.
6.8 No person shall be a candidate for election who is not eligible to serve if elected.