Article 1 Name
The name of the organization is the International Women’s Club of Moscow, hereinafter referred to as “the IWC” or “the Club.”
Article 2 Purpose
The purpose of the Club is to promote friendship and to further cultural activities among women of all nationalities residing in Moscow and to raise funds to be donated to charitable activities.
Article 3 Language
The working language of the Club is English.
Article 4 Membership
Any woman who resides in Moscow is eligible for membership in the Club; however, at any time, no more than five percent of the current membership may be held by women who hold only Russian passports (unless her spouse holds a passport issued by a country other than Russia). A woman is admitted to membership upon completion of the application form and payment of the full annual membership fee (if applicable) for the current Club year. A member’s rights include the right to attend all Club general meetings, to obtain the newsletter and membership directory, and to participate in interest groups, subject to availability of space. The annual membership fee may be waived as set forth in the Standing Rules.
No Club member may accept payment for her services provided to the Club, nor shall any club member use her membership for commercial purposes of any kind. Violations of this rule shall be referred immediately to the Steering Committee and may result in forfeiture of membership as provided in Article 10.
Article 5 Steering Committee
A. OFFICERS AND GROUPS The Steering Committee is responsible for running the affairs of the Club. The Steering Committee consists of the following officers and groups, each of which shall have the right at Steering Committee meetings to cast the number of votes as follows:
The following shall have one vote:
First Vice President
Second Vice President
The following shall have two votes:
Winter Bazaar Coordination
The President and the two Vice Presidents shall be the officers of the IWC. The President and first Vice President shall be members of the diplomatic community. Any of the Steering Committee groups, except the Club officers, may have more than one member, consisting of a leader, an assistant(s), as requested by the group, recommended by the Nominating Committee, and approved by the Steering Committee. If at any time, a group consists of one member, or if only one member of a group is present at a Steering Committee meeting, the group shall have one vote.
B. STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS The Steering Committee consists of IWC members who are in good standing and are willing to commit their services to the leadership of the Club.
B.1 Selection - Candidates for the Steering Committee positions shall be presented by a three-member Nominating Committee consisting of two Steering Committee members and one other IWC member who is not a member of the current Steering Committee. Announcements will be made at the February and March general meetings and notices published in the February and March editions of the IWC Newsletter, inviting members of the Club to submit nominations to the Nominating Committee of the Steering Committee. The Nominating Committee shall present recommendations for each of the Steering Committee officers and groups at the May meeting of the Steering Committee, and shall recommend, for each group, a leader and, if applicable, assistants. At the May meeting, the Steering Committee shall vote on the candidates presented by the Nominating Committee and shall select a Nominating Committee to serve for the next Club year. Voting for each Steering Committee position shall be by written ballot.
B.2 Vacancies - All vacancies on the Steering Committee occurring during the year shall be filled in the following manner. Any Steering Committee member who is vacating her position shall, as soon as possible, notify the Officers and the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall notify the Steering Committee of such vacancy as soon as possible and then recommend to the Steering Committee one or more candidates for the vacancy. The Steering Committee shall vote by written ballot for approval of the candidate; however, a vote may not be taken by the Steering Committee for approval of any vacancy without a one-week notice of such vacancy. At her discretion, the President may appoint an interim Steering Committee member until the Nominating Committee recommends a candidate. Vacancies on the Nominating Committee shall be recommended and approved by the Steering Committee.
In the event the vacancy is the President of the Club, the first Vice President shall serve as interim President until the Steering Committee elects a new President. In the event the vacancy is the first or second Vice President, the Liaison Officer shall serve as interim Vice President until the Steering Committee elects a new Vice President.
B.3 Term - Each Steering Committee position shall be for a one-year term. A Steering Committee member (except the officers) may serve in the same position for no more than three consecutive years. A member may serve as President or as a Vice President for no more than two consecutive years.
A member shall not serve on the Steering Committee in any capacity, whether voting or non-voting, for more than five consecutive years. A Steering Committee member who has filled a position for part of the Club year shall be considered to have occupied the position for the full year if her appointment was made prior to the February Steering Committee meeting.
C. STEERING COMMITTEE MEETINGS AND VOTING The Steering Committee shall hold monthly meetings, except during the months of July and August. A quorum consisting of a simple majority of the voting officers and groups of the Steering Committee must be present to conduct business. In the absence of a voting leader, the group’s assistant may vote. A vote in favor of a motion by a simple majority of the members present and eligible to vote shall be binding. Voting shall be by a show of hands; provided that upon the request of a member of the Steering Committee, a vote may be by written ballot. As provided in B.1 above, and as provided in Article 9, all Steering Committee positions and amendments to the Constitution shall be by written ballot.
Article 6 Standing Rules
In order to facilitate the smooth running of the Club and to establish a code of conduct, the Steering Committee shall from time to time adopt and publish Standing Rules. Standing Rules may be amended by a majority vote of the Steering Committee. Standing Rules are binding on all members of the Club.
Article 7 General Meetings
The Club holds general meetings, open to all members, once a month, except during the months of July and August. Proof of membership, in a form that may be determined by the Steering Committee, will be required for admission. Meetings of interest groups are held as determined by the respective interest group leaders, and attendance may be restricted to members of the interest group. Newcomers meetings are held periodically as determined by the Newcomers Committee. Because of space limitations, attendance shall be regulated by the Newcomers Committee.
Article 8 Interest Groups
Interest groups are formed each Club year according to member interest and subject to availability of group leaders. Only those interest groups instructed by a Russian passport holder, who is not a member of the Club, may be run on a paid basis. Fees shall be established by the group leader, subject to the approval of the Interest Group Coordinator. These Russian interest group leaders may attend the Club’s general meetings as guests. No other paid interest group instructors shall be authorized by the Club.
Article 9 Amendments to Constitution
Amendments to the Constitution shall be adopted by the Steering Committee. Any member of the IWC (whether or not a member of the Steering Committee) wishing to amend the Constitution may propose an amendment to the Steering Committee. Notice of a proposed amendment to the Constitution shall be given to the members of the Steering Committee at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which the amendment will be voted on. An amendment to the Constitution shall be adopted by a majority of the voting membership of the Steering Committee. The voting shall be by written ballot.
Article 10 Termination of Membership
Any member who terminates her membership voluntarily shall NOT be entitled to a refund of dues paid for the year in which she resigns.
Membership may be terminated for violation of this Constitution or Standing Rules by a majority vote of the Steering Committee. In such case, the member shall receive a letter from the President of the IWC describing the reasons for the Steering Committee’s decision. The member shall have the right, within 15 days of receiving notice of
termination of her membership, to appeal the decision to a meeting of the officers of the IWC. A vote of the officers to affirm the Steering Committee decision shall not be appealed further. The member whose membership has been terminated shall receive a refund of her annual membership dues for that year.
Article 11 Dissolution
In the event of the dissolution of the Club, any assets remaining after the payment of debts shall be donated to a not-for-profit organization designated by the Steering Committee. In the event of the dissolution of the Club’s charities group, the group funds shall revert to the Club’s general funds.
IWC STANDING RULES
These are the Standing Rules of the International Women’s Club of Moscow (IWC), adopted and published in accordance with Article 6 of the IWC Constitution.
2000- 2001 Club Year
The Club year begins September 1 and ends August 31.
Each member must register or renew her membership once each Club year in order to maintain her membership, receive the newsletter and directory and participate in interest groups.
Part-year memberships are not available.
New members may join the Club at any General Meeting or Newcomers Meeting, or at the Club office.
A membership takes effect upon payment of full membership dues (as established by the Steering Committee) for the then current Club year.
Heads of the diplomatic missions and their wives may pay the annual dues on a voluntary basis.
The Steering Committee may, at its discretion, approve honorary memberships.
Membership information (names, telephone numbers, etc.) is confidential and must not be supplied to anyone who is not an IWC member nor used by any IWC member for commercial purposes.
Proof of membership is the official Club name badge and must be worn to Club events. A new name badge will be issued each year. Lost badge holders can be replaced for a nominal fee.
Each Steering Committee member agrees to assume the specific responsibilities for her position as outlined in the position descriptions, which are approved each year by the Steering Committee and attached to these Standing Rules for information. Additionally, each Steering Committee officer and group leader is required to attend monthly Steering Committee meetings as provided in the Constitution, attend one Newcomers Meeting during the Club year, serve as a “greeter” for one general meeting during the Club year, and work in the IWC Office for a two-hour interval every other month of the Club year, except when that Office is closed. Charities group leaders shall be exempt from IWC Office duty as long as this group maintains a separate Charity Office. Each Steering Committee member shall also be supportive of the Club’s fundraising activities, charitable activities, and other Club events. A Steering Committee group leader may request an assistant to assume any of the above stated Steering Committee responsibilities.
A Steering Committee member who does not perform her responsibilities may be removed from her position by a majority vote of the Steering Committee. A Steering Committee member may also be removed from her position for repeated unkind behavior to other members, or for violation of the IWC Constitution or these Standing Rules.
When the new Steering Committee is selected for the upcoming Club year, the officers shall coordinate a “Handover Meeting” to welcome the new members of the Steering Committee, distribute the IWC Constitution and Rules, distribute position descriptions to the new members, and announce the date and time of the first Steering Committee meeting.Steering Committee Meetings shall be held the first Thursday of each month except July and August unless otherwise decided by the Steering Committee. Every Committee member shall be notified each month of the time and place of the monthly Steering Committee meeting.
Steering Committee members must attend the monthly Steering Committee Meetings; more than three unexcused absences within six months may result in the Steering Committee’s request for removal of a Steering Committee member. A Steering Committee member may designate one of her assistants to attend the meeting in her absence and vote on any matters in the Steering Committee meeting. Committee members should not have personal conversations during the meeting, should not leave the meeting early and should not make or receive cellular telephone calls during the meeting except in the case of an emergency.
The President of the Club shall preside over all Steering Committee meetings. The President may designate any Steering Committee member to assist her or to conduct a meeting on her behalf in an emergency situation, or when the meeting is being conducted to specifically address one matter.
All Steering committee meetings will be conducted following the Roberts Rules of Order.
Financial and personnel matters made by the Steering Committee shall remain confidential.
Each meeting shall follow an Agenda that shall include the approval of minutes from the last meeting, the treasurer’s report, and any items of Club business. Any additional committee reports or discussion items to be included on the Agenda must be submitted to the President at least two days prior to the meeting
The Club newsletter is published every month except January, July, and August, and is first available for pick-up at the General Meeting held that month.
A member may elect to have her newsletter delivered to her according to one of the options listed on the membership registration form by supplying all information requested on that form.
Any newsletter not otherwise delivered or picked up at a general meeting will be left at the IWC Office after the General Meeting and is available for pick-up during office hours.
Newsletter announcements include information concerning IWC events, trips, interest groups and Steering Committee messages, as well as non-IWC events to which IWC members are invited.
Any IWC member may contribute items of general interest to IWC members (for example, events sponsored by international schools or embassies). Such items are published without Club responsibility and are subject to editing and space considerations. Advertising for local businesses will not be accepted for publication in the newsletter; however, the final page of the newsletter is reserved for the sponsor who provides for the printing of the newsletter. At the discretion of the newsletter editor, members’ personal notices will be accepted for a nominal fee.
The Club office is provided by Glav UpDK and is located at the UpDK Sports Complex, Olaf Palme Ulitsa 5, Korpus 2, ground floor, phone 147-2240. The nearest intersection is Olaf Palme and Mosfilmovskaya Ulitsa. The office is open from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Wednesdays. The Club office is closed during July and August, for a few weeks during the Christmas/New Year holidays and for certain Russian holidays, as announced in the newsletter. Outside office hours, messages may be left on the answering machine at the office or a Steering Committee member may be contacted.
Steering Committee members will staff the office during specified office hours. The Office shall be used for newsletter distribution, membership registration and administrative needs. Any other use of the office must have Steering Committee approval.
General meetings are held once a month from September through June. The September meeting is General Registration, the December meeting is the Winter Bazaar. General meetings are not held in July and August. All IWC members may attend general meetings and may bring out-of-town guests. A non-member resident in Moscow may not attend any general meetings, except as a guest of a member at the Winter Bazaar.
A bulletin board is available for members to post items of general interest to the membership.
Newcomers Coffee Mornings are held once a month except September, December and August. New and prospective members are welcome to attend one Newcomers Coffee. Anyone interested in attending a Newcomers Coffee must pre-register. Members of the Steering Committee will be available at each Coffee to explain Club activities.
Other general events (lectures, cultural events, charity events, dinners, etc.) are scheduled periodically and are open to all IWC members, sometimes, due to space limitations, on a first-come, first-served basis. No event may be organized or promoted as an IWC general event without prior approval of the Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee may prohibit or restrict the promotion of non-club items or materials.
Children are not permitted at IWC functions unless invited for a specific event.
IWC trips are organized and based upon member interest and are open to all IWC members. Trips will be made available on a “first come, first served” basis. An IWC trip may also, if so organized, be open to members’ families. The Club is not responsible for any last minute difficulties, charges or delays on Club trips. Any penalties charged by airlines, hotels, etc., for changes or cancellations must be paid by the individual Club member making such change or cancellation. All travel expenses must be paid in full before departure. No trip may be promoted as an IWC trip without prior approval of the Steering Committee.
Newcomers to Moscow
The Club’s Newcomers Committee is available to help newcomers become oriented to Moscow. The Committee provides a Welcome Folder for all newcomers upon registration that includes Club information and information about Moscow. The Committee is also available at Club meetings and by telephone to answer inquiries from Newcomers.
Interest groups are open to all members. If size is limited, a waiting list must be maintained and new group members accepted only from the waiting list.
It is the responsibility of the member to contact the leader of those interest groups she is interested in joining. If a member leaves an interest group, she shall notify her group leader as soon as possible.
An interest group leader may require members to inform her in advance of absences and may ask a member to give up her place in the group after three unexcused absences.
Groups are not obligated to accommodate guests and the group leader must be consulted in advance.
Nominal fees may be charged by groups to cover the costs of materials, entrance fees, fees paid to non-member specialist teachers and other experts, rental of premises and similar costs. Any group member who does not pay the fees assessed by the group will be asked to leave the group.
New groups may be started in consultation with the interest group coordinator.
An interest group may meet during the summer; these groups will be announced in the June newsletter.
IWC Charities shall meet on a regular basis in support of its charitable activities in Russia. IWC Charities is responsible for screening all projects receiving its assistance and for monitoring all funding services and in kind donations it distributes. In April-May, the IWC Charities shall propose projects to be funded by the proceeds from the upcoming Winter Bazaar. The Steering Committee shall approve these proposed projects. After the Bazaar, the Steering Committee shall finalize its approval and authorize disbursement of the funds.
Special Events group shall meet on a regular basis in support of the Club’s fundraising activities except the Winter Bazaar. The group is responsible for determining the fundraising projects for the Club year, scheduling the events, and coordinating the collection of funds with the Treasury group.
Any expense in excess of $500 incurred by a Steering Committee member on behalf of the Club must be approved in advance by the Steering Committee and will only be reimbursed by the Treasurer upon presentation of the appropriate receipts.
The Club treasurer or her assistant(s) shall attend every general meeting to collect funds or provide other financial assistance, if appropriate.
The Steering Committee shall provide for an annual audit of the Club’s finances including the IWC Charities’ funds. The auditor shall not be a member of the Steering Committee. Such financial audit shall be presented to the Club officers, the Treasury group and the liaison officer and shall remain confidential.
Members should notify group leaders if they are unable to attend any Club event for which they had previously registered.
Telephone calls regarding Club business shall be confined to the hours between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Members shall be considerate of other members’ customs, culture and beliefs. Violations of this rule may be brought to the attention of the Steering Committee and may result in forfeiture of membership.