Name and Incorporation
The Organization shall be called the Interamerican Committee of Societies for Microscopy (CIASEM). It will be referred to in the remainder of this document as CIASEM.
CIASEM is a regional committee of the International Federation of Societies for Microscopy (IFSM).
CIASEM was founded in 1997, in Merida, Venezuela, and was incorporated for legal purposes as a “Civil Association” in Mexico on March 27, 2001. When appropriate, the name “CIASEM” or “The Interamerican Committee of Societies for Microscopy” may be followed by the words “Asociación Civil”, or their abbreviation “A.C.”.
CIASEM shall have the authority to establish annual dues to be paid by the members
The resources of CIASEM shall include the ordinary and special dues of the members, as well as any furniture and other materials that the Organization may acquire, and any voluntary contributions made. Furthermore the Organization shall count as part of its resources any items donated by third parties. Also, any income that the Organization obtains from registration fees at meetings,
and any other income related to the activities of the Organization.
The resources of the Organization shall be used exclusively for purposes related to the objectives of the Organization.
The General Assembly
The General Assembly is the highest authority of the Organization. Its decisions are binding on the Organization and its member societies including those member societies not present.
The General Assembly is composed of delegates appointed by the member societies, together with the members of the Executive Committee (however see section 6, below, with regard to voting rights).
Delegates to the General Assembly shall attend in person, or – if this is not possible – may be replaced by a substitute delegate carrying a letter of authorization signed by the absent delegate.
The General Assembly shall be held once every two years at a time and place set by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee also has the responsibility of notifying the members in good time, of the call to the General Assembly.
The President of CIASEM shall preside over the General Assembly, or – in the President’s absence – the Vice-President or the General Secretary shall preside.
Each member society shall have the right to nominate two voting delegates to the General Assembly. The General Assembly shall vote by written ballot. For a resolution to pass, a majority of the votes cast is necessary. (Article Six, section 4 makes for provision for electronic ballots between meetings of the General Assembly. Such ballots shall have the authority of a decision of the General Assembly.) Thus, each member society shall have the right to two votes, provided that two delegates are present. A member of the Executive Committee does not vote at the General Assembly unless they are also acting as a delegate for a member society. In the case of a tied vote, the vote shall be repeated. In the case of three consecutive tied votes, the officer presiding shall cast a deciding vote.
The General Secretary shall keep minutes of the General Assembly.
The President of CIASEM shall make a report to the General Assembly presenting the activities of CIASEM and of the Executive Committee. The President shall also report on the finances of CIASEM.
The General Assembly shall elect the officers of CIASEM, and the members of the Executive Committee.
The General Assembly shall select the site of future meetings of the Interamerican Congress of Microscopy.
Meetings of the General Assembly shall normally be held in public and, at the
discretion of the presiding officer, any of those present may be permitted to contribute to the discussions. However, the General Assembly may vote to hold a meeting, or part of a meeting, in private (that is to say with only members of the Executive Committee and voting delegates present) whenever appropriate.
Elections and Mandates
The members of the Executive Committee shall take office on the first of January following the General Assembly in which they are elected.
The members of the Executive Committee shall serve in their posts for a period of two years. At-large members may be re-elected for a second consecutive two-year period. The General Secretary may be elected for as many as three consecutive two-year terms. The Editor in Chief of Acta Microscopica may serve for as long as the General Assembly determines. The President may not be re-elected to a second term.
The Vice-President shall normally ascend to the presidency for the period following the period as Vice-President, but this requires the ratification, by simple majority, of the General Assembly.
Election to office shall be at the General Assembly by simple majority of those present and eligible to vote. In the case of a person unable to continue to serve, an electronic ballot may be held to fill the post (see Article six, section 4).
Amending the Constitution
Amendment to the Constitution requires a decision by the General Assembly. At least two thirds of the votes represented at the General Assembly are required for the passage of an amendment.
At the General Assembly, any member society may propose an amendment to the constitution.
If the Executive Committee so determines or if a resolution is passed at the General Assembly, an amendment to the constitution may be put to electronic vote. A proposed amendment submitted to electronic ballot shall be accepted if two-thirds of the total number of all member organizations accept it.
Unless specifically stated to the contrary, an amendment becomes effective immediately upon passage.
The purpose of the CIASEM shall be to increase and diffuse, for scientific and educational goals, the science, practice and instrumentation of microscopy, on the American continent.
Among the activities of CIASEM in pursuit of the goal of Section 1 shall be to:
a) hold an Interamerican Congress of Microscopy every two years.
b) sponsor and organize regional meetings and conferences
c) publish Acta Microscopica
d) appoint the Editor-in-Chief of Acta Microscopica
e) set up committees and other bodies
f) initiate, promote and co-ordinate exchange programs between member societies and with societies having related interests in other continents
g) participate in joint committees with other scientific bodies in matters of interest to CIASEM.
Membership of CIASEM is open to any society that represents microscopists of the nations of the American continent. In general, it is to be assumed that any society that can reasonably claim to represent the microscopists of any country in the Americas will be admitted to membership. Membership of CIASEM is not restricted to one society per country, but only one society per country shall have voting rights at the General Assembly.
Individual microscopists from countries in which there is no recognized microscopy society may join CIASEM but without the right to vote.
The General Assembly shall decide whether to accept as a member any society that seeks membership. If there is more than one member society from a given country, the General Assembly shall decide which society shall have voting rights in the General Assembly, based on which society is more representative of the microscopists of that country. The Executive Committee may admit a society as a provisional member for later approval by the General Assembly.
The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall carry out the decisions of the General Assembly during the periods between meetings of the General Assembly. The Executive Committee shall have full power to carry on the business of CIASEM. If necessary it may make provisional arrangements in all matters assigned by the Constitution.
The Executive Committee shall consist of:
a) The President
b) The Vice-President
c) The General Secretary
d) At-large committee members. The number of such members, five in 2008, may be changed by the General Assembly, without amending the Constitution.
e) The immediate Past-President
f) If the principal organizer of the forthcoming CIASEM Congress is not otherwise a member of the Executive Committee, then that person shall be a member, ex oficio.
g) The Editor in Chief of Acta Microscopica shall be a member, ex oficio.
The At-large members of the Executive Committee shall be from different countries.
In the period between meetings of the General Assembly, The Executive Committee acts for CIASEM, but it shall
have the authority to call for a decision by the member societies using electronic ballot, when it deems this action appropriate.
The Executive Committee is responsible to the General Assembly and participates in its deliberations.
The President (and therefore the Vice-President) shall alternate between persons working in the biomedical sciences and in the physical sciences.
The President shall be the chief executive officer of CIASEM; shall be the official representative of CIASEM; shall preside at all meetings of the General Assembly and of the Executive Committee; shall have the authority, in consultation with the Executive Committee, to delegate these responsibilities; and shall perform such duties as usually pertain to the office.
The Secretary shall maintain the records of The Society; maintain minutes of all meetings of the General Assembly and of the Executive Committee; maintain a record of the member societies and their officers; prepare the agenda for the General Assembly; maintain a financial record for CIASEM; assist the President in preparing a financial statement to present to the General Assembly.
If this revised constitution is approved by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly, it will take effect immediately. Any decisions made prior to the adoption of this new constitution will not be modified.