Proposed Constitution of the National Fantasy Fan Federation – December 1941

Article I. Name.

The name of this organization shall be The National Fantasy Fan Federation.

Article II. Purpose.

The purpose of the NFFF shall be:

A. To unite all local fan clubs and solitary fans into a single organization capable of making single decisions representative of the majority.

B. To prevent confusion and misunderstanding among fans, and to prevent local groups or cliques from exerting disproportionate influence on fandom.

C. To sponsor and help finance worthy fan projects with the exception of subscription fanzines, or any projects not wholly amateur in intent.

D. To better conditions with fandom and the stf and fantasy field, by speaking approval or disapproval of outstanding conditions in a strong and united voice.

E. To provide an efficient administration of this federation, based on the democratic theory of self-government.

F. To encourage and promote the growth of local clubs and sectional federations, and to co-operate with and assist the said organizations whenever possible.

G. To formulate and put into effect all possible activities of present and future benefit of fandom.

Article III. Membership.

A. The Advisory Board of the NFFF shall pass upon all applications for membership, which should be submitted to the Chairman.

B. In order to be eligible for membership, the applicant must be able to meet any two of the following 3 requirements:

1. Give proof of activity in the fan field, such as literary, artistic, or other journalistic endeavor, attendance of conventions, active membership in fan organizations recognized by the NFFF, etc. Further definition of activity shall be left to the discretion of the Advisory Board.

2. Secure the recommendation in writing of three incumbent members, residing in any three states.

3. Pass an examination testing the prospective member’s knowledge of science or fantasy fiction, and fandom. The grading of these tests and determination of tje passing mark shall be left to the Advisory Board. (Art. VI, D.)

Article IV. Finances.

Funds sufficient to pay the routine expenses of the NFFF, such as the issuance of the official bulletin, mimeographing examinations and forms, etc., shall be raised by taxation, as follows:

A. A tax shall be levied at need upon the publication of fanzines by members of the NFFF. The amount of this tax and the extant of its application shall be determined by the Finance Committee. (Art. VI, E.)

B. A tax shall be levied at need upon contribution, literary, artistic, or other, to fnzines by members of the NFFF. The amount of this tax and the extent of its application shall be determined by the Finance Committee.

C. A per capita tax shall be levied at need upon the general membership of the NFFF. The amount of this tax shall be determined by the finance committee.

D. Taxes shall become effective when recommended by the Finance Committee, approved by a majority of the Advisory Board, and proclaimed by the President in the Official bulletin.

Article V. Officers.

A. The elective officers of the NFFF shall be: President, Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, and an Advisory Board of five. In each case, the term of office shall be one year; incoming officers shall assume their duties one week after the polls are closed.

B. The appointive officers of the NFFF shall include: The Chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee, and not more than twelve or less than four additional members of the same; the Chairman of the Finance Committee, and not more than four nor less than two additional members of the same; the Chairman of the Advisory Board, to be appointed from the five duly elected members of the same; the Official Editor, and such assistants as may be deemed necessary; and any additional officials who may be required to perform the work of the NFFF.

C. Appointive officers shall be appointed by the President, and with the exception of the Official Editor, their terms shall be co-terminous with his. Article VI, F controls the term of the Official Editor. Any incumbent member of and appointed office may be reappointed at the discretion of the incoming President. The Advisory Board shall be promptly notified of all appointments made under this article, which shall be considered approved unless a majority of the Advisory Board returns an adverse decision within one month from the time of such notice. In the latter case, another candidate, acceptable to the Advisory Board, shall be named to fill the vacant post.

Article VI. Duties of Officers.

The duties of the officers shall be:

A. The President shall direct the activities of the NFFF; at the commencement of his term make the appointments required by Article V, B and C; appoint members to fill vacated offices until next election; call special elections, and in conjunction with the Advisory Board authorize polls; put the recommendations of the several committees before the Advisory Board; announce the dates of the annual election; be the official voice of the NFFF in decisions involving contacts outside the organization; and perform such duties as devolve upon an executive officer. He shall have all necessary powers to deal with such situation as not covered by this constitution or subsequent amendments.

B. The Vice-President shall take over the President’s office in case it shall be vacated; be the President’s consultant and adviser; assist the President in the execution of his duties as is needful; and keep the Archives of the NFFF. The Archives shall consist of the permanent records of the NFFF; the membership list at each publications of the official organ; the list of officers and committee members each year; the list of affiliated organizations, together with officers, membership, and activities of the same; a record of activities engaged in by the NFFF and their results; and any other information related to the NFFF which is of permanent interest.

C. The Secretary-Treasurer shall collect and record all payment and non-payment of authorized dues, taxes, or appropriations; prepare the ballot for the Official Editor; inform the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the names of those members who fail to pay authorized taxes twice in succession; and perform all other duties of a similar nature which may be required of him.

D. The Advisory Board shall investigate the credentials of all prospective members; pass upon the recommendations of the several committees; take action regarding members who fail to pay taxes or vote in elections; act upon requests for the expulsion of any member or the impeachment of any officer; devise the examinations for prospective members, altering at lest 20% of the questions therein each year; act as a check on the other officers; and act as a judiciary of the federation. The Board shall have sole jurisdiction over the acceptance or rejection of new members, and the devision and alteration of the entrance tests. All other board decisions shall become final only when approved by the President; or when not vetoed within two weeks of the time the President is notified of the decision. A presidential veto may be over-ridden by a four-fifths majority of the Board, after which the decision stands.

E. The Long Range Planning Committee shall devise, ask for, and investigate the possibilities of all ideas, suggestions, and proposals tending towards the benefit of fandom and he NFFF in the immediate and distant futures, The Chairman shall correlate the work the work of the several members of this committee, and submit frequent reports of the committee activity to the President. When the committee has worked out the practical application of a specific idea, the Chairman shall send the President full details and request that the Advisory Board be asked to act upon the matter. The Chairman shall also, when asked to do so, prepare a report of current committee activity for inclusion in the official bulletin.

F. The Official Editor shall edit and publish the official organ of he NFFF at intervals of not more than two months. A consistent failure to maintain this publishing schedule shall be construed as grounds for removal from office by action of the Advisory Board, unless such failure be due to delays of the other officers, or can otherwise be shown not to be the fault of the Editor. The material for inclusion in the official organ shall consist of the reports of the several officers. Other material may be included in the official bulletin at the discretion of the Editor, provided that the President and Chairman of Advisory Board also approve. Other fanzines or material may be sent out with the official bulletin on the same conditions. Members submitting such material or fanzines to the Official Editor are advised to mail single copies to the President and Chairman of the Advisory Board. The Official Editor shall also reproduce the ballots from copy supplied by the Sec’y Treas., and mail them out with the proper issue of the official bulletin. The term of office of the Official Editor shall not expire until he has issued the official bulletin listing the results of the annual election of officers.

G. The Finance Committee shall investigate the financial needs of the NFFF, determine as nearly as possible the kind and amount of taxes necessary to sustain the organization, and recommend the imposition of such taxes to the President for action by the Advisory Board. The Chairman shall on request submit a report on the financial problems of the NFFF for inclusion in the official bulletin.

Article VII. Privileges.

All active members in good standing shall be entitled to run for office, vote in all elections, receive all official publications, use the name of the organization on stationery, letterheads, or any other honorable way, be granted appropriations for the furtherance of approved NFFF projects; and participate in all other activities or benefits.

Article VIII. Elections.

A. Elections of the elective officers shall be held annually, and the date of such elections shall be announced in the official bulletin two months before the said date. Ballots shall be distributed with the copies of the succeeding issue of the official bulletin, which may contain election platforms of the several candidates. Balloting shall be by mail, and the ballot shall contain the name and address of the officer in charge of the polls. Candidates for office shall secure nominations by filing their intentions, signed by ten members, with the Sec’y-Treas. at least three weeks before the date of election. All votes to be counted must be in the hands of the designated officer four weeks after the ballots are mailed. No votes received later shall be counted.

B. To be elected to office, a candidate for President, Vice-President or Sec’y-Treas. must receive a majority of the votes cast, which majority must amount to at least 40% of the total active membership at the time of the election. Failing these conditions, a re-election limited to the two candidates with the highest totals must be ordered. Th the event that there are more than two candidates for any of these posts, the Sec’y-Treas. shall prepare a proportional-representation (multiple choice) ballot, allowing each voter to list the candidates in order of preference.

C. To be elected to the Advisory Board, a candidate must be one of the five candidates receiving the greatest number of votes. A tie for the fifth position shall be broken by the vote of the other four members; if they divide equally, the President’s vote shall decide.

D. Candidates for re-election to the same office must obtain twenty signatures of members for their re-nomination.

E. Voting in elections is an activity requirement for the maintenance of NFFF membership (Article IX, 3) members shall mail their ballots in envelopes plainly marked with their names and return addresses, but the balloting shall be secret, and the officer in charge of the polls shall record only the fact that the several members voted. He shall keep no record of the actual vote by any member, nor publish or mention the actual vote of any member, unless for any reason the Advisory Board has ordered an open ballot for that particular election.

F. Special elections or polls called at times other than that of the annual election shall be conducted under the same rules which apply to the annual election.

 

Article IX. Expulsions.

 A. Any officer or member may be expelled from the organization by a majority vote of the entire membership. Any member (not officer) may be expelled by unanimous vote of all the officers. Full report of such action and the grounds thereof should be published in the issue of the official bulletin immediately following. (This last sentence also applies to the next two sections of this Article.)

B. A member who is reported by the Sec’y-Treas. to have failed to pay two consecutive tax assessments shall be liable to expulsion by 4/5 vote of the Advisory Board. A member who is reported by the official in charge of the polls not to have voted in three consecutive elections, including special elections, is automatically suspended from active membership. Such a member shall twice be listed in the official bulletin under the heading “Inactive members” and shall then be dropped, unless he shall meanwhile given the Board of Advisers satisfactory evidence of his intention to become active in the future, when he may be re-instated by vote of the board.

C. Any member exposed as using a pseudonym or fictitious character as another member in order to vote for himself or for any reason submitting said pseudonym as an actual member of the NFFF for any purpose whatsoever shall automatically become ineligible to hold office, and may be expelled from membership if a majority of the active members so votes.

D. No member shall be expelled or suspended without having been duly notified in advance of the proposed action to be taken against him, and given ample change to offer a defense.

E. Any member may submit to the Chairman of the Advisory Board reasons why he believes another member should be expelled for the good of the NFFF; but an accusation proven to be false may ne in itself taken as grounds for expulsion, if the Advisory Board so decides.

Article X. Amendments.

Amendments to this Constitution shall be proposed in writing, signed by five members, and submitted to the Sec’y-Treas., who shall include such amendments in the copy for the ballot which is sent to the Official Editor. At the request of the proposers of the amendment, the President may, however, order a special vote on the amendment, if he believes it advisable. A majority vote of the entire active membership shall be necessary for the adoption of amendments.

(Written by L. R. Chauvenet, submitted to the membership on Dec., 1941)