Constitution of the Tolkien and Fantasy Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Last modified: June 13, 2013

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CONSTITUTION Revised, Fall, 2012

Article I (Name)
The name of the organization shall be the Tolkien and Fantasy Society.

Article II (Purpose)
It shall be the purpose of the Tolkien and Fantasy Society to discuss the creative and scholarly work of British author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) and related topics such as ancient and medieval literature, modern fantasy and science fiction, world mythology, linguistics, the oeuvre of Tolkien’s friends and associates (e.g., C. S. Lewis, et al.), adaptations of Tolkien’s work into other media, and critical and scholarly work in these areas.

Article III (Membership and Eligibility Criteria)
Section A: Membership is open to any enrolled University student who is interested in any of the subjects discussed by the Tolkien and Fantasy Society. Members are accepted into the Society by the consensus of the group. Any member in good standing may attend private as well as public meetings, participate in discussions, receive mailings, and vote (in person or by mail) on official business of the Society including the constitution and amendments thereto.

Section B: University faculty, academic and classified staff, alumni and suchlike interested parties may be non-voting associate members, attend public meetings, participate in discussions, and receive mailings.

Section C: There shall be no discrimination based on race, color, creed other than commitment to the beliefs of the organization, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status, or sex.

Article IV (Governance)
Section A: Following the wishes of the founding generation of the United States of America as to how people should govern themselves, we shall normally conduct meetings by consensus.

Section B: The Society may accept an advisor as an associate member, who: shall assist the group in their execution of roles and responsibilities; provide feedback to the organization regarding its operation and functioning; serve as a resource; provide advice upon request; and share knowledge, expertise, and experience with the group.

Section C: Each member in good standing may vote, in person or by mail.

Section D: In any case where the Society deems it advisable to use parliamentary procedure, Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall be followed when it does not conflict with the constitution. The rules may be suspended by two-thirds vote of the present membership.

Article V (Funding)
In the very rare cases where the Society may need to disburse funds for something, donations shall be accepted from any member.

Article VI (Meetings)
Section A: The normal practice shall be to hold meetings once a month, though these may be more or less frequent depending on circumstances and what seems good to the membership.

Section B: Topics for discussion may be suggested by any member and shall be voted on by the membership either in person or by mail.

Section C: The schedule of meetings and discussion topics shall be mailed to the membership, advertised in local media, and posted on the Society’s website.

Article VII (Amendments)
Section A: Amendments to the constitution may be proposed by any member in good standing.

Section B: Any proposed amendment(s) shall be distributed to the membership in writing.

Section C: Any proposed amendment(s) shall be discussed at two meetings, at least, before being voted on.

Section D: Approval by two-thirds of the membership shall be required to adopt any amendment(s) to the constitution.

For historical comparison, here is the original constitution adopted when the Society was founded in September, 1966:

Constitution of the J. R. R. Tolkien Society at the University of Wisconsin


In view of the intense interest in the works of Professor Tolkien, and related subjects, the purpose of this Society is to promote good-fellowship among Hobbits and friends of Hobbits.

Article I

The name of the Society shall be the University of Wisconsin J. R. R. Tolkien Society.

Article II

Membership in the Society shall be open to all interested University of Wisconsin students, faculty, and spouses. Other interested persons may be accepted into the Society as honorary members.

Article III

The officers of the Society shall be a Chairman (Thane) and a secretary-treasurer (Gimli), elected by majority vote of the membership in May of each year, to hold office during the next academic year.

Article IV

Meetings shall be held at the discretion of the members.

Article V

The Executive Committee shall consist of the two officers and any additional members they wish to appoint.

Article VI

Each member of the Society shall pay $1.00 (one dollar) in initiation and membership dues. Subsequent dues shall be adjusted according to expenses incurred by the Society’s activities. Funds for special Society events shall be appropriated after discussion, by vote of all members present and voting.

Article VII

Suggested constitutional amendments shall be accepted during any meeting of the Society. However, to allow for thought and preparation, active discussion and decision will occur only at the following meeting. Acceptance of any constitutional change shall be by a three-fourths vote from all members present and voting.

Article VIII

Faculty advisers shall be accepted by the concurrence of the members.

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