ByLaws

Adopted 1992; Amended 1998, 2004.

NDT Charter

Revised by action of the National Debate Tournament Committee, February 6, 1993, Evanston, Illinois, and the National Debate Tournament Board of Trustees, November 18, 1993, Miami, Florida. Approved by membership of the American Forensic Association, November 19, 1993, Miami, Florida. Ratified by American Forensic Association members voting via mail ballot, March 1994. Revisions incorporated by Arnie Madsen, NDT parliamentarian. Revisions to take effect for the 1995 NDT.

Article I: Name, Purposes, and Jurisdictional Structure.

  1. This organization shall be known as the National Debate Tournament and is a unit of the American Forensic Association.
  2. The purpose of the National Debate Tournament shall be to encourage the growth of programs of excellence in forensics education in institutions of higher education in the United States; to conduct a National Debate Tournament which shall be equally committed to encouraging the opportunity for quality debate for students of all institutions of higher education by maximizing the number and geographic representation of participating schools, encouraging the highest standards of debate excellence by maximizing the competitive quality of participating schools, and encouraging the highest standards of educational excellence by conducting a tournament consistent with the educational objectives of intercollegiate forensics competition.
  3. The National Debate Tournament shall be organized around the following:
    1. the chartering organization, the American Forensic Association, which retains authority to alter this Charter, subject to the procedures herein, and to exercise supervisory authority over the organization;
    2. the individual subscribers which provide the base of support for the National Debate Tournament;
    3. the district committees which are chosen by member schools and are responsible for selecting district participants in the National Tournament, and for providing representation for member schools on the National Committee;
    4. the National Committee which is a chartered committee of the AFA responsible for the conduct of the National Tournament;
    5. the Board of Trustees which is a chartered committee of the AFA responsible for the finances of the National Tournament.

 

Article II: Subscription Membership

  1. Membership in the National Debate Tournament shall be granted to any accredited two or four year institution of higher education which sponsors a forensics program, pays the designated subscription fee, and has an institutionally-designated sponsor for its forensics program.
  2. Duties and privileges. Subscribers shall be committed to the conduct and encouragement of programs of excellence in forensics. Subscribers shall have the right to:
    1. participate in all qualifying procedures for the National Tournament;
    2. vote in the selection of district committees;
    3. receive appropriate reports on actions of the district and National Committees;
    4. appeal to the National Committee seeking to alter:
      1. policies or procedures of their district in conflict with the AFA Code of Ethics, the National Debate Tournament Charter, the Standing Rules for the Operation of the National Debate Tournament, or AFA policies;
      2. the number of districts and/or geographical designation of district boundaries.

 

Article III: Districts

 

  1. Districts of a number and with boundaries established by the National Committee shall be responsible for promoting debate activities among the institutions of higher education within their geographic area; and selecting through a tournament or other process the participants in the National Tournament.
  2. District Committees.
    1. Each district shall be governed by a committee elected by subscribers within the district.
    2. Each district shall elect annually or biennially (subject to the provisions of Article IV, Section A.5.b.) a chair, either by committee vote or by vote of subscribers.
  3. Powers reserved to District Committees.
    1. Right to determine their own election procedures as long as the following conditions are met:
      1. all subscribers meeting the requirements of this charter for membership are enfranchised;
      2. elections are conducted by November 1 for each academic year;
      3. committee members' terms shall not exceed 2 years unless reelected;
      4. all candidates are members of the AFA.
    2. Right to determine the policies and procedures of their own qualification process as long as the following conditions are met:
      1. no subscriber in good standing is denied participation;
      2. all policies and procedures governing the qualification process are announced to subscribers by the January 1 preceding the National Tournament;
      3. National Committee deadlines for selection of National Tournament participants are met;
      4. policies and procedures are consistent with the AFA Code of Ethics, the National Debate Tournament Charter, the Standing Rules for the Operation of the National Debate Tournament, and other AFA policies.
  4. Duties of the District Chair.
    1. Communicate district and National Debate Tournament information to subscribers including, but not limited to, district policies and procedures and National Tournament qualification deadlines.
    2. Assist in the collection of membership dues within the district.
    3. Communicate to the NDT Committee and Chair information concerning district qualification results, committee lists, subscriber lists, and other information necessary for maintenance of the NDT process. Subscription fees and lists shall be forwarded to the Board of Trustees Treasurer.
    4. To maintain on file with the Chair of the National Committee a copy of the District Charter and Bylaws, any Standing Rules of the District Tournament, and a statement of compliance with AFA and NDT regulations.
    5. Any additional duties specified by the District Charter or Committee.
  5. Right of Intervention by National Committee shall be reserved under the following conditions:
    1. if elections are not conducted by November 1, the Chair of the National Committee shall conduct the election under the procedures defined by the district;
    2. policies and procedures of the district in conflict with the AFA Code of Ethics, the NDT Charter, the Standing Rules for the Operation of the National Debate Tournament, or other policies of the AFA may be altered after investigation by and a two-thirds vote of the National Committee.

 

Article IV: the National Committee

  1. Committee membership.
    1. The voting membership of the National Committee shall consist of:
      1. the chair or National Committee Representative of each district;
      2. one representative from each of the geographic regions (as defined by the Constitution of the AFA);
      3. The Chair of the National Committee;
      4. the tournament Director.
    2. Ex-officio membership of the National Committee shall consist of:
      1. the President of AFA;
      2. the tournament Host;
      3. the Chair of the Board of Trustees;
      4. the Chair of the Educational Development and Practices Committee of the AFA;
      5. the Chair of the AFA Professional Development and Support Committee;
      6. any other members that the National Committee shall determine facilitate their deliberations.
    3. All voting members of the National Committee shall have the following minimal qualifications:
      1. a member of AFA;
      2. received at least a baccalaureate degree.
    4. Election procedures.
      1. The members representing districts shall be elected to office in accordance with Article III, Sections B.2., C.1., E.1. of this Charter in district election procedures.
      2. By November 1 of the appropriate year, the regional representative shall be appointed by the President of AFA with the advice of appropriate regional associations and with the approval of the AFA National Council.
      3. The Chair of the National Committee shall be elected by a majority of the Committee at the meeting of the National Committee at NDT.
      4. The tournament Director and the tournament Host shall be appointed by the Chair of the National Committee and approved by a majority vote of the Committee.
    5. Term of Office.
      1. The Chair of the National Committee shall serve one year.
      2. All members representing districts and regions shall be elected or appointed for two year terms, with half elected or appointed each biennium. The representatives from even numbered districts and the Midwestern and Western regions shall be elected or appointed in odd numbered years. The representatives from odd numbered districts and the Eastern and Southern regions shall be elected or appointed in even numbered years.
      3. The tournament Director and the tournament Host shall serve as long as the National Committee wishes to retain their services, as long as those appointed to such positions consent to serve.
      4. Terms of office shall begin on May 1.
    6. Vacancies that occur on the National Committee shall be filled as soon as possible using the procedures specified in Section 4 above. Such members shall serve the remainder of the term for which the vacancy occurred.
  2. Powers and Duties.
    1. The following rights shall be reserved to the National Committee:
      1. a. to regulate the number and geographic boundaries of the districts;
      2. to establish a uniform formula for determining the number of teams which the districts may qualify for the National Tournament;
      3. to establish and administer procedures for operation of the National Tournament in compliance with this Charter, the AFA Code of Ethics, and the Standing Rules for the Operation of the National Debate Tournament.
    2. The duties of the chair of the National Committee shall be:
      1. to preside at meetings of the National Committee;
      2. to report committee activity to the annual meeting of the AFA;
      3. to appoint such subcommittees as specified in the Standing Rules or as she/he deems appropriate;
      4. any other duties as designated by the AFA or by the National Committee.
    3. The National Committee shall select the following officers:
      1. a secretary selected from among the Committee who shall maintain and report to the National Committee and to subscribers the minutes of the Committee; maintain an up-to-date list of institutions carrying on forensics programs as well as the subscriber status and instructional staff of these programs; and perform any other duties specified by the National Committee;
      2. a tournament Host who shall be responsible for such arrangements at the hosting institution as the National Committee shall request;
      3. a tournament Director who shall have the following rights and duties:
      4. (1) to work with the Board of Trustees in developing a budget for the NDT;
        (2) to work with the Vice-President of AFA on publicity for NDT;
        (3) to work with the chair of the AFA Educational Development and Practices Committee to implement AFA Code of Ethics sanctions;
        (4) to request any guidance she/he wishes from the National Committee in areas not covered by existing policies and procedures;
        (5) to implement the policies and procedures of the AFA and the National Committee in conducting the National Tournament;
        (6) to report annually to the National Committee on the National Tournament including presentation of motions to alter NDT policies and procedures to facilitate work with the Tournament;
        (7) any other duties specified by the National Committee.
  3. Rules of Procedure.
    1. A quorum of two-thirds of the voting members shall be required for transaction of National Committee business.
    2. Robert's Rules of Order (newly revised) shall govern committee business.
    3. Voting rights.
      1. Voting members of the National Committee shall have all the rights and privileges endowed on the Committee.
      2. The ex-officio members shall have the right to address the Committee but shall not have voting rights on any matter.
      3. In their absence from a National Committee meeting, any member of the Committee may be represented by another person from his or her constituency who shall assume his or her voting rights.
    4. Majorities required for enactment.
      1. Policy decisions with respect to the Standing Rules for the Operation of the National Debate Tournament shall require a two-thirds vote of members present and voting, or a simple majority in two consecutive years. All policy and procedure decisions applicable to the Tournament on an on-going basis shall be enacted into the Standing Rules for the Operation of the National Debate Tournament.
      2. Changes in the Standing Rules of the National Committee shall require a majority vote of all those present and voting.
    5. The chair shall call meetings as necessitated by committee business with the following stipulations:
      1. all meetings shall be open;
      2. at one National Committee meeting each year, students shall be invited and encouraged to voice their opinions regarding the operation of the National Tournament;
      3. at a meeting each year at the AFA National Convention, all AFA members and NDT subscribers shall be invited and encouraged to voice their opinions regarding the operation of the National Tournament.

Article V: the Board of Trustees

  1. Membership.
    1. The Board shall consist of five members appointed by the President of the AFA.
    2. Members shall be appointed for staggered terms of five years. In the event of death or resignation of a member of the Board, the President of the AFA shall appoint a person to fill the unexpired term.
    3. All members of the Board must be members of AFA and none shall serve concurrently as members of the National Committee or as tournament Director.
    4. The Chair and Treasurer of the Board shall be elected by the Board from among the membership of the Board. The term of office shall be one year.
    5. The tournament Director and Host, and the Chair of the National Committee, shall serve as ex-officio members of the Board with no voting privileges.
  2. B. Powers and Duties.
    1. The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for all financial affairs of the National Debate Tournament including:
      1. preparing and approving the budget for each National Tournament;
      2. developing sources of funding for the NDT including establishing any assessments for the districts and the subscribers;
      3. developing the Standing Rules of the Board of Trustees to govern accounting and auditing procedures for the expenditures and income of the NDT;
      4. signing any agreements with sponsoring institutions. The Board shall have the sole authority in negotiating with the agent(s) financing the NDT.
    2. The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for establishing whatever legal framework is required to execute its duties.

 

Article VI: the National Tournament

 

  1. The organization shall annually sponsor the National Debate Tournament on a date determined by the National Committee and at a site approved by the National Committee and the Board of Trustees.
  2. The Tournament shall be under the direction of the tournament Director who is subject to the definition of duties in Article IV, Section B.3.c. of the Charter. Decisions of the Director shall comply with all relevant regulations, policies, and procedures of the AFA, the National Committee, the NDT Charter, and the Standing Rules for the Operation of the NDT. The Director is granted power to formulate further rules and procedures and to make interpretations of rules and procedures as are necessary to operate the tournament subject to the review procedures established by the National Committee. The Director may select whatever assistants necessary for operation of the tournament subject only to Board of Trustees approval of financial arrangements.
  3. Operation of the NDT shall be governed by the Standing Rules for the Operation of the National Debate Tournament subject to the following:
    1. Policies and Procedures of the AFA, the Standing Rules for the Operation of the NDT, and policies and procedures of the National Committee and Director concerning tournament operation shall be published and provided to all NDT subscribers by January 15 of each year. Any changes after this date shall not apply until the following year's tournament unless the emergency clause is invoked.
    2. Emergency alterations or exceptions necessitated by unforeseen circumstances shall be allowed only under the following procedures:
      1. the tournament Director shall provide in writing a request for the alteration or exception, a justification for declaring an emergency decision, and a justification for the request;
      2. the National Committee shall on a two-thirds vote of those present and voting declare the situation an emergency created by unforeseen circumstances;
      3. the National Committee shall by a three-fourths majority of all those present and voting approve the request;
      4. all subscribing members (or schools participating in the NDT if full participation has been determined) shall be notified of the change within five days of the decision.
  4. In addition to the provision for amendment in Article IV, Section C.4.a., the Standing Rules for the Operation of the National Debate Tournament may be amended under procedures identical for amending this Charter defined in Article VII, Section B.
  5. Any member school is eligible to participate in the National Tournament provided they are in good standing with the financial requirements of the Board of Trustees; they are free of disqualifying sanctions from the enforcement of the AFA Code of Ethics; and they have qualified through the procedures established by the districts and/or the National Committee.
  6. Student qualification shall be established by the National Committee consistent with the AFA Code of Ethics.
  7. Qualification procedures shall be established by the National Committee.
  8. In all cases the NDT shall operate in a manner consistent with the provisions of the AFA Code of Ethics.

 

Article VII: Enforcement and Amendment

 

  1. This Charter shall be in effect immediately following the NDT following the annual meeting of the AFA which votes upon it according to the procedures in Section 7.H. of the Bylaws of the American Forensic Association.
  2. This Charter shall be subject to amendment by submitting a printed ballot mailed to the membership of AFA after discussion and passage of the recommendation by those present and voting at the annual AFA meeting. A summary of the pro and con arguments from the discussion at the annual meeting shall accompany the proposal. The ballots should carry instructions that include a return deadline date no earlier than thirty days from the date of mailing. Changes in the Charter will be accepted if ratified by a majority vote of the members voting. Changes in the Charter shall take effect immediately following the NDT following the annual meeting at which the changes are voted upon.

 

Section I: Annual Dues

Annual dues shall be established at the General Business Meeting. Dues may vary from year to year and between membership categories.

Section II: Membership

Section 1: Regular Memberships

Regular membership shall be available to any person supporting the purposes of this Association, and shall include all privileges including voting, receipt of all Association publications, and the opportunity to serve as an officer and on committees.

Section 2: Life Memberships

Life membership shall be available to any person supporting the purposes of this association upon payment of a one-time fee that will entitle that person to all privileges of the Association including voting, receipt of all Association, publications, and the opportunity to serve as an officer and on committees.

Section 3: Student Memberships

Student membership shall be available to any person supporting the purpose of this Association who is enrolled at an institution of higher education and pursing a degree, whether undergraduate or graduate. Student membership shall include the privileges of voting, receiving all Association publications, and serving on committees.

Section 4: Institutional Memberships

Institutional and Library memberships shall be available to any educational institution, department, library, or other organization, and shall include the privilege of receiving all Association publications.

Section 5: Emeritus Memberships

Emeritus memberships shall be granted to members who have retired from their institutions, who have either continuous Regular membership for fifteen years of noncontinuous membership for twenty years, or who have been nominated by the National Council and approved by a vote of the Association in recognition of distinguished service to the profession. Emeritus members shall have all privileges including voting, receipt of all Association publications and the opportunity to serve as an officer and on committees.

Section III: Election of Officers

Section 1: Nominations

The Nominating Committee shall present the names of two Regular, Life or Emeritus members of the Association for each position to be elected not later than thirty days prior to the General Business Meeting at which nominations for officers shall be received. The Committee shall ascertain that each nominee has received a Bachelors degree and will serve if elected. This slate of nominees shall be distributed to the membership at the same time as the Preliminary Agenda for the General Business Meeting. An opportunity shall exist for additional nominations to be made by the membership at the General Business Meeting.

Section 2: Conduct of Election

Election of officers shall then be determined by a mail ballot sent to all Regular, Life, Student, and Emeritus members of the Association, with a deadline for returning ballots to be determined by the Executive Secretary. Newly-elected officers shall assume office and their respective duties on July 1 immediately following the election. They shall hold office until their terms expire and their successor are elected. To be elected, a candidate must receive a majority vote by secret ballot. In the event no candidate received a majority of the first ballot, a second ballot shall be conducted with only the names of the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the first balloting included.

Section 3: Vacancies

In the event of a vacancy for any elected office because of death, resignation, or other cause, the President, with the consent of the National Council, shall appoint any eligible Regular, Life, or Emeritus member to complete the unexpired portion of that term, or until a special election is held, whichever comes first.

Subsection i: President

In the event that the office of President is vacated, the Vice-President shall assume that office and complete the remaining portion of that term. Following completion of the unexpired term, the person serving as President shall proceed to fill her or his regular two-year term in the office.

Subsection ii: VicePresident

In the event that the office of Vice-President is vacated, and interim appointment may be made according to the procedures stated I this section, or in accordance with Subsection iii. If the latter alternative is selected, a Special Election may be held for the office of Vice-President, the winner of which shall succeed to the Presidency. A Special Election for the office of President may also be hald concurrent with the next General Election. Under no circumstances, however, shall the interim Vice-President succeed to the Presidency by virtue of the interim appointment.

Subsection iii: Special Elections

A Special Election may be held if the National Council determines such action to be in the best interest of the Association, and consistent with the Association's Constitution and By-laws, Insofar as possible, a Special Election shall be held in accordance with the provisions of Sections III, 1 and 2.

Section IV: Duties of the Officers

The National council, under the leadership of the President and with the aid of Standing and Special Committees, shall be responsible for planning policy, utilizing personnel, and executing policy once adopted.

Section 1. The President.

The President shall be required to perform the usual duties of such an officer including the power to call meetings of the National Council, the power to appoint members of Standing Committees with the advice and consent of the National council, and the power to appoint members of Special Committees unless the original motion formulating the Special Committee shall designate another method of appointment.

Section 2. The Vice-President.

Besides those duties assigned by the President or National Council, the Vice-President shall be responsible for developing all Association sponsored programs and meetings at the Annual Convention.

Section 3. The Vice-President for High School Affairs

The Vice-President for High School Affairs shall have the special responsibility for representing the needs and concerns of high school forensics professionals to the Association, for representing the Association to high school forensics professionals, and for fulfilling other responsibilities assigned by the President or National Council.

Section 4. The Executive Secretary

The Executive Secretary shall be responsible for the general operations of this Association. The duties assigned by the National Council shall include, but not be limited to, soliciting and maintaining memberships; collecting dues and other revenues; paying financial obligations in a timely manner; organizing and distributing Association publications such as the Tournament Calendar, Directory, and AFA Newsletter; serving as liaison to other professional organizations; coordinating the Job Clearing House; implementing, monitoring and administering programs and policies of the Association; assisting committees with duties and responsibilities; distributing all mail ballots and chairing a "teller's" committee; and gathering, maintaining and distributing information appropriate to the Association and forensic professionals.

Section 5. The Recording Secretary

The Recording Secretary shall be responsible for recording minutes of all General Business Meetings of the Association, and of all meetings of the National Council. The Recording Secretary also serves as editor of the AFA Newsletter.

Section 6. Two-Year College Representative

It shall be the special responsibility of the two-year college representative to the National Council to discover the needs, and make plans for the development and implementation of policies designed to promote the purposes of this Association for and in this specific constituency.

Section 7: Reports of Officers

Each officer shall make a report outlining her or his responsibilities and actions during the preceding year to the membership at the General Business Meeting.

Section V: Bonded Officers

The Executive Secretary shall be bonded.

Section VI: Caucuses

Section 1: Forming Caucuses

Caucuses may be formed through the following procedures: A petition requesting establishment that includes the names of at least twenty-five Regular, Life, Student, or Emeritus members of the Association shall be submitted to the National Council stating the purpose and justification for the proposed caucus. The petition shall then be presented to a General Business Meeting accompanied by a statement from the National Council of endorsement or opposition. If approved by a vote at the General Business Meeting, the caucus shall be established.

Section 2: Officers

Each caucus shall be responsible for determining the nature and selection of officers and their respective duties, and its individual projects so long as they are complementary to the purposes of this Association and to the policies and programs enacted through the National Council, committees and members. When membership of a caucus reaches fifty, it shall be granted representation to the National Council, and shall select its own representative.

Section 3: Annual Report

Each caucus shall submit a report to the National Council and to the membership at the General Business Meeting.  

Section 4: Caucus Dues

Caucus shall be permitted to collect dues from members provided that all collections and disbursements are processed by the Executive Secretary. Any disagreements that may arise between a Caucus and the Executive Secretary over collections or disbursements shall be resolved by the National Council.

Section VII: Committees

Committees shall be of the following types: Standing, Chartered, Nominating, and Special. All committees shall report to the General Business Meeting and, upon request of the President, to the National Council.

Section 1. Standing Committees

Standing Committees shall be appointed by the President with the advise and consent of the National Council Efforts shall be taken to assure appropriate representation of membership interests, constituencies, and geographic distribution. Standing Committees shall consist of six members serving for three-year, staggered terms, and shall select their own chair, who shall vote on Committee business only in the case of a tie. In the event of death or resignation of a member from any Standing Committee, the President shall appoint a person to fill the unexpired term with the advice and consent of the National Council. Members of Standing Committees shall not serve more than two complete, consecutive terms on the same committee. At the beginning of each Presidential term, the President shall, with the advice and consent of the National Council, present a specific charge to each Committee consistent with the responsibilities identified in this section. The following shall be Standing Committees of the Association.  

Subsection i. Finance

The Finance Committee shall be responsible for planning and overseeing the Association's fiscal affairs including creating an annual budget and presenting it to the General Business Meeting, monitoring on a regular basis the collection and expenditure of funds by the Executive Secretary, assuring timely and complete audits are conducted as necessary, and recommending policy to ensure the financial health of the Association.

Subsection ii. Professional Development and Support

The Professional Development and Support Committee shall be responsible for developing and supporting the highest standards of professional conduct within forensics, and for representing the professional interests of this Association's members to all appropriate constituencies. Included within the responsibilities of this Committee will be the following: develop and promote standards concerning the duties, evaluation, and tenure of forensic educators; and development and maintain a consulting program to assist in the development and support of forensics professionals at all educational levels. Additional responsibilities may be assigned as appropriate.

Subsection iii. Educational Development and Practices

The Educational Development and Practices Committee shall be responsible for developing, reporting, and promoting practices that strengthen forensic pedagogy, whether in classrooms, forums, competition, or other circumstances. Included within the responsibilities of this committee will be the following: develop, maintain and distribute information on establishing and promoting argumentation and forensics within curricula; develop and promote ways of increasing broad participation in forensic activities; examine, assess, and evaluate forensic practices in light of the purpose of this Association; and maintain and interpret the AFA Code of Ethics as it relates to educational practices. Additional responsibilities may be assigned as appropriate.

Subsection iv. Research

The Research Committee shall be responsible for the encouragement, development, and evaluation of research activity throughout the profession. Any official research conducted or awards presented in the name of this Association shall have the approval of this Committee.

Subsection v. Publications

The Publications Committee shall have primary responsibility for planning, supervising, and monitoring all publications sponsored by this Association, and shall have the additional responsibility of conducting a search for and nominating to the National Council editors of AFA sponsored publications.

Section 2. Chartered Committees

Chartered Committees shall be created for special, on-going activities by approval of a specific Charter by the Association's voting members.

Subsection i: Formation

Members of this Association desiring that such a Committee be established shall submit a proposed Charter to the National Council stating the purpose and justification for the proposed Committee, and procedures for conducting the proposed Committee's business. The petition shall then be presented to a General Business Meeting accompanied by a statement from the National Council of endorsement or opposition. Upon approval by a vote at the General Business Meeting, the Charter shall then be submitted on a mail ballot to all eligible voting members of the Association. This ballot shall include a summary of the pro and con arguments from the discussion at the General Business Meeting, and shall include a deadline for return to be established by the Executive Secretary. The Charter shall be granted if supported by a majority of those members eligible and voting. The size of these Committees, selection of members, and duties and responsibilities shall be delineated within the approved Charter. Each Chartered Committee shall present a report of its activities at the General Business Meeting.

Subsection ii: Chartered Committees

The following are Chartered Committees of this Association:

Subsection (i). National Debate Tournament

The National Debate Tournament Committee shall have the responsibility for planning and conducting the National Debate Tournament.

Subsection (ii). National Debate Tournament Board of Trustees

The National Debate Tournament Board of Trustees shall be responsible for all financial matters pertaining to the National Debate Tournament including establishing a budget for each Tournament, establishing assessments and fees for subscribing schools, and negotiating and approving any agreements with hosting or sponsoring institutions contingent upon approval by the National Debate Tournament Committee. The Board shall have sole responsibility for all negotiations with any agent(s) financing the National Debate Tournament, and for establishing the legal framework appropriate for the execution of its duties. This Board shall consist of five members appointed by the President of this Association for five-year, staggered terms.

Subsection (iii). National Individual Events Tournament

The National Individual Events Tournament Committee shall have the responsibility for planning and conducting the National Individual Events Tournament.

Subsection (iv). National Individual Events Tournament Board of Trustees

The National Individual Events Tournament Board of Trustees shall be responsible for all financial matters pertaining to the National Individual Events Tournament including establishing a budget for each Tournament, establishing assessments and fees for subscribing schools, and negotiating and approving any agreements with hosting or sponsoring institutions contingent upon approval by the National Individual Events Tournament Committee. The Board shall have sole responsibility for all negotiations with any agent(s) financing the National Individual Events Tournament, and for establishing the legal framework appropriate for the execution of its duties. This Board shall consist of five members appointed by the President of this Association for five-year, staggered terms.

Section 3. Nominating Committee

A Nominating Committee shall have the responsibility for submitting a list of nominees for all elected officers in accordance with the provisions of Section III: Election of Officers.

Subsection i: Membership

This Committee shall consist of five members who shall serve a two-year term concurrent with those of national officers, and shall be elected by mail ballot. No one who has served as a member of the immediately preceding Nominating Committee shall be eligible for membership.

Subsection ii: Election

The Executive Secretary shall issue a call to the membership for nominations to this Committee not later than thirty days prior to the General Business Meeting. These individuals, up to five, receiving the greatest number of nominations from the call, and who are eligible and willing to serve, shall be announced at the Meeting, and shall be included on the mail ballot. Additional nominees for the Committee shall be obtained from the floor at the General Business Meeting such that a total number of nominations to be included on the mail ballot shall equal at least ten. The ballot shall be mailed to all eligible voting members, and each may vote for up to five. The five individuals receiving the greatest number of votes on the mail ballot shall constitute the Committee In the event of a tie for the final position, all those involved in the tie shall be appointed to the Committee.

Subsection iii: Vacancies

In the event of a vacancy occurring on the Nominating Committee, the President, with the advice and consent of the National Council, shall appoint an eligible member to complete the unexpired portion of that term.

Section 4. Special Committees

Special Committees may be appointed by the President, except where the motion creating the Committee shall designate an alternative method of appointment. Special Committees shall be appointed for two years or until their assignment is completed, whichever is shorter.

Section VIII: Affiliates

Section 1: Negotiating Affiliation

When an organization with objectives consistent with those of the AFA requests affiliation, the President of the AFA or his/her representative(s) shall enter into discussions to prepare a Memorandum of Affiliation that outlines the mutual obligations and basis of agreement for affiliation. The Memorandum may be as simple or as complex as agreed to by the negotiators. Upon approval of the Memorandum by the National Council and by the appropriate agency of the organization seeking affiliation, the affiliation shall be submitted to the AFA Business Meeting. Upon approval by the Business Meeting, the organization shall be recognized as an Affiliate.

Section 2: Representation on National Council

Upon petition of fifty members of AFA who also certify that they are members of the Affiliate, the Affiliate may select a non-voting representative to the AFA National Council.

Section 3: Changes in Memorandum of Affiliation

Changes in the Memorandum of Affiliation must be presented to the Business Meeting of the AFA accompanied by a statement of endorsement or opposition from the National Council. Organizations will cease to be Affiliates when disaffiliation is requested by the Affiliate or by action of the AFA Business Meeting, if an AFA initiated disaffiliation. A motion for disaffiliation at the Business Meeting must be accompanied by a statement of endorsement or opposition from the National Council.

Section IX: Editors of American Forensic Association Publications

Section 1: Selection

The editors of American Forensics Association publications shall be nominated by the Publications Committee and appointed by the National Council. Editors shall have the authority to appoint such associate editors as are necessary to complete their responsibilities. The terms of associate editors shall be concurrent with that of the editor. In the event of death or resignation of an editor or associate editor, the appropriate authority as designated herein may appoint a replacement to complete the unexpired term.

Section 2: Term

The editor of Argumentation and Advocacy: The Journal of the American Forensics Association shall serve a three-year term.

Section X: Agenda for General Business Meetings

Section 1: Preparation

It shall be the responsibility of the President, in conjunction with the National Council and Executive Secretary, to prepare and distribute a preliminary agenda to every member at least thirty days prior to a General Business Meeting. The first item on the preliminary agenda shall be approval of a complete agenda for the General Business Meeting.

Section 2: Additions to Agenda

Any member having items to be considered at the General Business Meeting that are not included in the published, preliminary agenda should so inform the President or Executive Secretary at least one week prior to the Meeting. All items submitted should be presented in writing, and should include specific wording of the actionable item supported by a brief justification. A complete agenda, including all additional items, shall be prepared by the President and the National Council, and shall be presented for approval as the first item of business at the General Business Meeting. Approval of the complete agenda by those attending the General Business Meeting shall constitute the order of business. Any modification to the approved complete agenda shall be governed by Section XI rules of procedure.

Sections XI - XIII

Section XI. Quorums for General business and National Council Meetings

A quorum for a General Business Meeting shall exist when twenty members with voting privileges are present. A quorum for a National Council meeting shall exist when a majority of the officially designated and recognized members are present.

Section XII. Rules of Procedure

General Business Meetings and National Council Meetings shall be conducted according to the procedures prescribed in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised (1990 edition).

Section XIII. Amendment

These By-Laws may be amended by a majority vote at any General Business Meeting, provided that the proposed amendment shall be mailed to those members with voting privileges at least thirty days prior to the date of the General Business Meeting; or without prior notice by a two-third majority of those present and voting at the General Business Meeting.