Southeastern Regional Association of the National Speleological Society

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SERA Organizations

Constitution, Bylaws, and Acts

Officers of the Governing Committee

SERA Events

SERA Awards

SERA Newsletters

Calendar of Caving Events in the Southeast

Cave Conservation

Cave Safety

Closed Cave Lists


SERA Constitution, Bylaws, and Acts

Constitution of the Southeastern Regional Association of the National Speleological Society

I. The name of this organization shall be the Southeastern Regional Association (SERA) of the National Speleological Society (NSS).

II. The purpose of this organization shall be the same as that of the NSS with the additional goal of furthering the aims of the NSS in the Southeastern portion of the United States of America.

III. Membership shall be extended to all active members of the NSS residing within the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and any adjacent state wising to participate.

IV. The government of SERA shall be by a Governing Committee composed of one representative from each Internal Organization, but at no time shall the Committee consist of less than three active members of the NSS. The Governing Committee shall hold at least one meeting per year.

V. This Constitution may be amended by two-thirds favorable vote at any meeting of the Governing Committee, provided that all member Internal Organizations are sent written notice of the proposed amendment no later than two months prior to the date of the meeting.

VI. The Constitution and Bylaws of the NSS shall be binding on this organization.

VII. Bylaws further defining operation of the Southeastern Regional Association of the NSS may be adopted by the Governing Committee, provided they do not conflict with this Constitution.

VIII. In the event of dissolution, all property of the Southeastern Region shall revert to the National Speleological Society.

As Updated February 27th, 1993

As Updated February 24th, 2001

As Updated March 12th, 2016

Bylaws of the Southeastern Regional Association of the National Speleological Society

1. The Governing Committee shall have full power to conduct and supervise all business of SERA, draft and adopt Bylaws and make changes therein, appoint officers, assess dues, and perform all other functions incident to the proper conduct of the Association.

2. The officers of the Committee shall be (1) a Chairman, (2) a Vice-Chairman, and (3) a Secretary-Treasurer, and shall be known as the Executive Committee.

3. Meetings of the Governing Committee shall be called by the presiding officer of the Committee at his or her discretion, or upon petition by half of the members of the Committee. Notice of the meeting time and place shall be given to all members of the Committee a reasonable length of time before the meeting shall take place.

4. The Governing Committee may designate a voting delegate to the NSS Congress of Grottos if they so desire.

5. The Governing Committee shall have power to authorize such publications of SERA as may be deemed necessary or desirable.

6. An Annual Report, as required in the Internal Organizations Policy of the National Speleological Society, shall be prepared by the Secretary-Treasurer of the SERA Governing Committee. This report will contain a current list of the member organizations of the Southeastern Regional Association together with any other such information, which may be specified by the Internal Organizations Committee. This report will be sent prior to a date set by the Chairman of the Internal Organizations Committee.

7. The Southeastern Regional Association shall annually hold a meeting at a time and place determined by the Committee. The time of this annual meeting shall not conflict with that of the annual convention of the NSS, and the place shall be within the boundaries of the Region as specified in Article III of the Constitution of SERA.

8. These Bylaws may be amended by a favorable vote at any meeting of the Governing Committee, provided that all member Internal Organizations are sent written notice of the proposed amendment no later than one month prior to the date of the meeting.

As Updated February 24th, 2001

Acts of the Southeastern Regional Association of the National Speleological Society

02/24/68 Office of Treasurer combined with that of Secretary.

09/01/68 Existing treasury donated to Shelta Cave fund. Office to be left open as needed. The Secretary shall perform as Treasurer.

02/11/69 SERA Rotation list established by Chairman Francis McKinney.

03/01/69 The Vice-Chairman will automatically step into the position of Chairman after term is up.

03/01/69 Election of officers set for Summer meeting.

07/28/72 The annual Fall Creek Falls event was established as an official SERA Spring event to be co-hosted by the Huntsville and Smoky Mtn Grottos.

07/28/72 Office of Regional Correspondent to the NSS News was separated from that of Secretary/Treasurer (abolished 02/29/92).

02/15/74 Fall Ridgewalk-Cave Hunt established as official SERA event. (Discontinued 03/26/83)

02/16/74 Newly elected officers shall assume their post at the end of the Winter Business Meeting.

Summer 1975 Committee to establish a Francis McKinney memorial award established.

02/07/76 Francis McKinney Award established.

02/??/79 The SERA operating fund surcharge of 50cents a person will only be collected at the Summer Cave Carnival.

02/??/79 The SERA Governing committee is empowered to distribute funds collected from the SERA operating fund surcharge of 50 cents per person.

03/??/80 SERA will pay for the engraving of the Francis McKinney Memorial Award recipient's name on the plaque at the NSS Office.

03/26/83 SERA favors color covers for the NSS NEWS.

03/26/83 SERA Ridgewalk Region Project discontinued.

02/09/85 Defined the Francis Mckinney award and selection of award committee. Requirements of award consideration and purpose of award will be published prior to each meeting.

02/09/85 Committee appointed to look into the problem of contamination of groundwater and caves, including proposed deep well injection of chemical wastes in Northwest Georgia by Tennessee companies.

02/09/85 IN order for SERA funds to be used to finance a project such as a caving publication or caving project, the applicant must:

1. Be a member of the NSS and the Southeastern Region
2. (modified 02/27/93) Must apply in writing to the Executive Committee of SERA stating the purpose of said project, cost of project and time schedule for completion.
3. The project can only be approved for SERA funds by a majority vote of SERA grottos.
4. (modified 02/27/93) A request in writing must be made to Executive Committee, who then will distribute the information to all grottos. The Secretary will distribute ballots to all grottos along with a deadline for voting.
5. (New paragraph five added 02/27/93)
02/09/85 SERA will no longer elect Regional Correspondents because the NSS News no longer has the position.

02/22/86 Dates for SERA Cave Carnival will be decided by the host organization

02/21/87 SERA supports the Florida State Cave Club's Glory Hole Project

02/21/87 SERA supports the 1989 NSS Convention. SERA will make available a loan of $500 to 1989 NSS Convention if needed. SERA will provide a service at the 1989 NSS Convention (this service was sponsoring the Friday BOG Luncheon)

02/13/88 SERA Drug Policy approved

02/18/89 (obsolete) SERA opposes any fundraising for the NSS purchase of an entrance to Roppell Cave as long as Special Exclusionary Rule #2 remains in effect.

02/18/89 an alphabetical rotation list for hosting the Summer Cave Carnival starting with the Huntsville was approved. The winter Business Meeting host will be determined using the same alphabetical list starting at the top with "A" or the Alabama Cave Survey.

02/18/89 SERA Newsletter with minutes and announcements established. Shari Lydy will edit and publish.

03/31/90 Alphabetical Rotation list for hosting the Summer Cave Carnival and Winter Business meeting as set up at the 1989 Winter Business Meeting was approved again. SERA will vote at the Winter Business meeting to approve those organizations who accept to host SERA functions.

03/31/90 Constitution and by-laws update Committee established

03/31/90 Richard Schreiber Award committee established. This committee was setup to develop criteria for an award named in honor of Richard Schreiber.

03/31/90 SERA Grottos, at their discretion, may co-host SERA functions.

03/31/90 (Obsolete) SERA supports continued negotiation by the NSS to purchase or lease the Weller entrance to Roppell Cave.

02/23/91 Updated Francis McKinney Award Criterion with $50 Cash award approved. Richard Schreiber Award with $50 Cash award established.

02/23/91 Organizations, if they request, will be reimbursed $100 by SERA for expenses incurred when hosting the SERA Winter Business Meeting. This money may be advanced to the organization.

02/23/91 SERA surcharge from SERA Summer Cave Carnival is increased from 50cents to $1.00 starting with the 1992 Summer Cave Carnival.

02/29/92 Updated Bylaws eliminating Regional correspondent from Governing Committee and detailing Governing Committee duties was adopted.

02/28/92 Updated Constitution adopted.

02/27/93 Updated Constitution and Bylaws with minor changes was adopted.

02/27/93 Act of 02/27/93 about Requesting SERA funds was modified to what actually is taking place.

Paragraph 2 now reads:

2. Must request funds from the SERA body at the Annual Business meeting.
4. A report will be given at the following years SERA Winter Business meeting, and a written report submitted to the Secretary/Treasurer of SERA to be published in the SERA Newsletter.
New paragraph 5 reads:
5. The SERA Governing Committee is empowered to distribute SERA funds.
02/27/93 Established a committee to look into the formulation of a SERA Cave Conservation Award. The Committee will develop criteria and guidelines for administering the award. The committee will report and may be ready to give an award at the 1994 SERA Winter Business Meeting. John Hoffelt Chair, Fred Callicott, David Nunnally, Shari Lydy, Mike Bose, and Bill Bussey on committee.

02/27/93 The committee established to look into the formulation of a SERA Cave Conservation award will also do the same with a SERA Landowner Recognition Award.

02/27/93 SERA awarded a Certificate of Appreciation to Chuck Hans for his service to the caving community as Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Area Coordinator for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

02/05/94 SERA Conservation Award Established

02/05/94 SERA Larry S Adams Landowner Appreciation Award established.

04/13/96 SERA is concerned about the Colonial Pipeline spill on Lookout Mountain. We support the efforts of the Chattanooga Grotto and other caving organizations in determining the best approach for remediation of damages to cave resources.

03/21/98 The Southeastern Regional Association does not endorse the event to be held in April known as Cavestock.

02/26/2000 Committee established to recommend changes in Constitution and Bylaws. Rob Robbins, Debby Johnson, Jim Wilbanks.

02/26/2000 Committee established to recommend new award for meritorious service. Don Hunter, Dan Barnick, Lynn Roebuck.

02/29/2000 SERA Conservation Award renamed Alexis Harris Conservation Award.

02/24/2001 There is no official SERA Fall event at Fall Creek Falls.

02/24/2001 The Executive Committee is empowered to loan up to five hundred dollars to the host of the upcoming SERA Cave Carnival as start up money. This money is to be returned as soon as possible.

02/24/2001 The Executive Committee is empowered to spend SERA funds for routine expenses such as: bank charges, web fees, newsletter expenses, and supplies.

02/24/2001 Hosts of the SERA Cave Carnival and the Winter Business Meeting will provide the secretary/treasurer with a report of the event. This report will include:

A Report containing a written general overview of the event with problems and suggestions for future hosts
A copy of all the printed material including the guidebook for archival purposes
A copy of the final budget
02/24/2001 SERA Constitution, Bylaws and Acts revision adopted

02/24/2001 SERA Meritorious Service Award established. This award is to be motioned and voted by the Governing Committee. There is no financial reward. More than one can be given in a year.

02/24/2001 SERA Conservation Task Force Committee established to study the role of SERA in promoting conservation activities. The Committee is authorized to lend SERA's name to conservation projects and to sponsor or co-sponsor activities at regional events. Members are: Jim Wilbanks (chair), Brian Williamson, Jermy Hill, Bill Overton, Debby Johnson, Shari Lydy, and Brian Roebuck. (Shari Lydy asked to be relieved of her position and Lynn Roebuck was appointed)

02/23/2002 The SERA Karst Task Force is a committee. The chairman and vice chairman of SERA are members. The chairman appoints at least three other members who serve for that year. The SKTF is to sponsor and foster conservation activities in the SERA region. The SKTF is empowered to use the SERA name to encourage participation. The SKTF is to keep a record of conservation activities in SERA. The SKTF is to generate articles about itself and the record for use by SERA newsletters. The Yahoo group or its' equivalent is to be continued and its' use encouraged by the membership. 

A fund is set up for the purchase of cave cleanup supplies. This fund would take the form of a $100 set aside in the SERA treasury, which can be spent by the committee for the stated purpose with the approval of the Executive Committee.

02/23/2002 SERA endorses the conservation activities of the event called Cavestock.

02/06/2004 The SKTF is authorized to become an NSS Conservation Task Force.

02/06/2004 SERA supports an NSS convention in the Southeast in 2005.

03/12/05    The SKTF committee is authorized to become incorporated as 
a non-profit corporation with its own treasury.

03/12/05     The SERA surcharge is raised from $1 per attendee to $1.50 
with the additional $.50 going to the SKTF treasury.

03/12/05     The $100 set aside for the SKTF established in 02/23/2002 is abolished. 

02/18/2006   Revised Guidelines for Selection of SERA Award Winners

03/12/2016  Amendment to SERA Constitution Section III to include membership to adjacent states.

03/03/2018  Established the Avis Moni Hospitality Award, to be awarded beginning March 3, 2018.

02/19/2019  Revise SERA Award Procedures -- removes required nomination notification of award committee 2 weeks before Winter Business Meeting. Nominations may be made in writing up to the opening of the Winter Business Meeting.

02/19/2019  Requires SERA Webmaster to be active NSS member.