JETAA Tokyo Mission and By-laws

  1. Official Name
    The Official name of the chapter is "Tokyo Regional Chapter of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme Alumni Association" (hereby referred to in this document as "JETAA-Tokyo").
  2. Geographical Boundaries
    For the purposes of JETAA-Tokyo, "Tokyo" shall refer to the Greater Tokyo Area.
  3. Mission Statement
    The JET Programme has enjoyed great success over the years in fostering international exchange and cultural understanding. While most JETs leave Japan after their contracts end, some of us stay on and seek to build a more enduring place for ourselves in the society that we were initially charged to internationalize. Inevitably, a large portion of us have been drawn to the nation's capital. Given our proximity and numbers, it is only natural that we JET alumni in Tokyo should seek a forum to come together, find strength in our shared experience, support each other, and pool our abilities to make greater contributions to society. Thus with the original ideals of the JET Programme and a vision of a one day truly international Japan in mind, JETAA Tokyo is founded with the goal of creating positive value for JET alumni and the society we live in through the 3 pillars of Community, Career, and Service.

    Community: At their heart, all alumni groups are based around a sense of Community. JETAA Tokyo strives not only to develop and strengthen this sense of community amongst JET alumni in Tokyo, but also, through public events and cooperative tie-ups with other organizations and networks, non-Japanese and Japanese alike, has the larger goal of fostering a greater international community here in Japan.

    Career: For many JET alumni considering moving to or already residing in Tokyo, concerns of Career are of top priority. A rewarding career is often an essential part of making a home for ourselves in society but finding the right opportunity can be a challenge. JETAA Tokyo envisions its role as being a valuable vehicle for providing realistic information, direction, resources, and support to former JETs who are seeking career advancement in Tokyo at all stages of their careers.

    Service: Lastly, the concept of Service both within the JET alumni community as well as externally, is a part of every initiative that JETAA Tokyo pursues. As an organization, we strive to give back to the greater society in which we live by supporting worthy causes both international and local. In doing so we hope that JETAA members will not just develop a sense of camaraderie, but also enjoy a sense of meaningfulness in action that is too often absent in the bustling urban landscape.
  4. Membership 
    1. Full Membership
      1. Requirements 
        1. Full Membership of JETAA Tokyo shall be on an individual basis and is restricted to former members of the JET Programme and its predecessors (MEFP, BETS). 
        2. Full Membership of JETAA Tokyo shall be limited to individuals living, working, or studying in the geographical boundaries defined above. 
      2. Application and Review
        1. Prospective Full Members will be required to fill out a form giving various information upon application.  
        2. That information shall then be reviewed and subject to approval by JETAA-Tokyo Steering Committee members. 
      3. Renewal 
        1. Full Members shall be asked whether they wish to renew or change their membership at least once during any given fiscal year. 
      4. Rights  
        1. Full Members shall have the right to vote in referenda, run for elected office, and participate in the Steering Committee. 
      5. Dues
        1. Dues may be collected on Full Members by decision of referendum, and if collected shall be collected and maintained in accordance to the Financial Rules defined below. 
      6. Resignation
        1. A Full Member may choose to end their membership at any time.
        2. Dues, if any have been collected, will not be refunded. 
      7. Expulsion/Suspension 
        1. The Steering Committee may, at any time, if it upon review, a Full Member is found to be acting in a manner deemed inappropriate for a JETAA-Tokyo member, suspend, or in extreme cases, terminate that individual's membership by a 2/3 vote. 
    2. Associate Membership 
      1. Requirements 
        1. None. 
      2. Application and Review  
        1. Prospective members will be required to fill out a form giving various information upon application. 
        2. That information shall then be reviewed and subject to approval by JETAA-Tokyo Steering Committee members. 
      3. Renewal
        1. Associate Members shall be asked whether they wish to renew or change their membership at least once during any given fiscal year. 
      4. Dues
        1. Dues may be collected by decision of referendum, and if collected shall be collected and maintained in accordance to the Financial Rules defined below. 
      5. Resignation
        1. An Associate Member may choose to end their membership at any time. 
        2. Dues, if any have been collected, will not be refunded. 
      6. Expulsion/Suspension 
        1. The Steering Committee may, at any time, if it upon review, an Associate Member is found to be acting in a manner deemed inappropriate for a JETAA-Tokyo member, suspend, or in extreme cases, terminate that individual's membership by a 2/3 vote. 
    3. Membership shall not be exclusive (in that membership in Tokyo-JETAA shall not preclude membership in any other organization (including other JETAA organizations). 
    4. Privacy Policy 
      1. Information gathered by JETAA-Tokyo about its members (e.g. as part of the application process) will be kept, to the best of the organization's abilities, confidential. 
      2. Exception: Upon permission of the member, information may be released to 3rd parties for certain programs and events if that release is in keeping with the overall objectives of JETAA-Tokyo and is for the direct benefit of its members. 
  5. Steering Committee 
    1. Jurisdiction 
      1. The «Steering Committee» shall have jurisdiction over all requests involving the use and acquisition of funding and the use JETAA-Tokyo name. 
    2. Membership
      1. Requirements 
        1. Full Membership in JETAA-Tokyo. 
      2. Elected Members 
        1. Six Non-Specialized Members 
          1. General elected representatives of the organization that serve as representatives of its members in the Steering Committee. 
          2. Chair and Vice-Chair 
            1. The Chair and Vice-Chair shall be elected by Special Election from the Non-Specialized Members 
              1. Duties 
                1. Chair 
                  1. Calls and presides over Steering Committee meetings. Restates all motions before they are put to a vote. 
                  2. Makes, publicizes, and maintains meeting agenda. 
                  3. Acts as default primary contact point for JETAA-Tokyo. 
                2. Vice-Chair 
                  1. Helps the chair in his/her duties. 
                  2. In the event that the Chair cannot be present, fulfills his/her duties.
                3. Specialized Members 
                  1. Secretary 
                    1. Elected separately from but concurrently to Non-Specialized Members 
                    2. Duties
                      1. Keeps minutes at all meetings, makes them available to members within 7 days of meeting's end. 
                      2. Keep track of attendance at meetings and oversees the declaration of intent and instatement of Members-By-Endurance.
                  2. Treasurer
                    1. Elected separately from but concurrently to Non-Specialized Members. 
                    2. Duties
                      1. Keeps record of all resources (finances, materials, etc.) belonging Tokyo-JETAA. 
                      2. Reports on the status of these resources at each regular Steering Committee meeting. 
      3. Members-by-Endurance
        1. Any Full Member may declare their intention to become a Member-By-Endurance of the Steering Committee at a meeting of the Steering Committee. If that member then attends 3 consecutive regular Steering Committee meetings (starting with and including the meeting at which the initial declaration was made), then at the beginning of the 3rd consecutive attended meeting, they shall become a Member-by-Endurance with full voting rights. 
          1. After achieving voting rights, Members-by-Endurance are allowed two absences, regardless of excuse, per year. Upon a third, they forfeit their Membership-by-Endurance and the voting rights it entails. If they wish, they may begin the Membership-by-Endurance application process again at the next meeting they attend. The chair may grant leniency in this rule under extenuating circumstances. 
          2. This membership continues year to year uninterrupted by elections and shall not affect one's eligibility for elected membership. 
      4. Resignation
        1. In the event that an elected member wishes to cease his or her duties, they shall submit their intent to do so in writing to be presented before a full regular Steering Committee meeting. 
        2. Replacement via Special Election shall be held at the soonest possible regular meeting.
      5. Impeachment 
        1. Vote of No Confidence 
          1. At any time, a voting member may call for a Vote of No Confidence in an elected member. 
          2. If the motion is seconded, there shall be an additional procedural vote to determine whether the motion should go forth to a vote. In this: 
            1. All members with voting rights may vote as per a regular motion. 
            2. For the motion to pass, at least one of the Eight Elected Members must vote yes in addition to a general majority. 
          3. If this procedural vote passes, the Vote of No Confidence shall proceed to a vote. 
            1. Requires ¾ vote to pass.
            2. May be tabled as per any controversial motion (though only for one month). 
          4. If the Vote of No Confidence motion passes, the member shall be immediately removed from their seat and denied all the accesses and privileges that it entails. 
        2. Appeal and Replacement 
          1. At the following regular Steering Committee meeting the impeached member may appeal their impeachment if they wish. In that case, after presenting their case (note that the question may be called as per the Parliamentary Rules if this case presentation is seen as having turned unproductive), a procedural vote will be held to see if the appeal shall go forward to a vote. In this: 
            1. All members with voting rights may vote as per a regular motion. 
            2. For the motion to pass, at least 1 of the Elected Members must vote yes in addition to a general majority. 
          2. If the procedural vote passes, a regular motion may be held to reinstate the member (majority passes). 
          3. If no appeal is held or if the appeal fails, the member who was removed shall then be replaced by special election. 
    3. Meetings 
      1. Frequency 
        1. Regular Steering Committee meetings are to be held once a month and the location and time of the meeting shall be sent out to all members at least 7 days before the meeting. 
          1. The Chair shall preside over meetings. If he/she cannot be present, the Vice-Chair shall. If neither can be present, the Treasurer shall. If for some reason all three are unable to be present, the Steering Committee members present shall hold a Special Election to choose a temporary Chair for the duration of the meeting. 
          2. Any Full Member or Associate Member may attend. Unrelated 3rd parties may attend with permission of the Chair. 
        2. Quorum 
          1. No official action may be taken without quorum present. 
          2. Neither may official action be taken at any meeting not convened as required in these bylaws. 
          3. Quorum shall be defined as the presence of greater than one-half of the elected committee members. 
        3. Agenda: The chair shall publicly post the agenda for the next meeting at least one week in advance of the meeting. The chair shall decide the order of the agenda. New items may be added at the time of the meeting.
        4. Proxy votes will not be accepted unless they have been registered with the chair in writing in advance. 
        5. A majority of committee members present may overrule a decision of the chair.  
        6. Absences:
          1. If an elected member misses more than two regular meetings without prior excuse from the chair, they shall lose their seat and be replaced by Special Election (see Steering Committee -> Elections -> Special Elections). 
          2. Endured members are allowed two absences per annum before they lose their Membership-by-Endurance as per (Membership -> Members-by-Endurance -> 1a).  
        7. Reporting: The minutes of a steering committee meeting are required to be reported to the total membership of the organization and made available to members within 7 days of the relevant meeting. 
        8. Emergency meetings 
          1. Special meetings may be permitted if quorum can be obtained. 
          2. Agenda and location must be posted by caller through regular channels. An adequate attempt must be made to inform members as far in advance as possible. 
          3. Parliamentary Rules still hold. 
          4. Absence may be excused without counting towards normal excused absence limit. 
    4. Elections 
      1. Yearly Elections 
        1. Elections shall be held once a year at the General Meeting. All elected members from the previous year (i.e. "Lame Ducks") continue in their positions until the next election. 
        2. Procedure 
          1. The Steering Committee shall designate an Election Facilitator. 
          2. The Election Facilitator shall not be eligible to run for elected office. 
          3. The Election Facilitator shall create an election information document and nomination mechanism and make these available no later than two months before the annual General Meeting. 
          4. Nominations shall be accepted through the General Meeting itself. 
          5. Voting itself shall be accomplished through ballots – members vote their preference for a secretary, a treasurer, and up to three Standard Members.  
            1. Vote numbers are reported; nominees with the most votes get the positions. 
            2. In the case of a tie, have a runoff. If runoff still a tie, janken between the two nominees. 
            3. A victorious candidate may not hold more than one elected office. Rare allowances may be made in the case of extenuating circumstances. 
        3. New Blood Rule 
          1. Each yearly election, the total elected Steering Committee members must include at least 1 person that has never held elected office in the organization before (a.k.a. a "new blood"). If no new blood receives enough votes to be elected in their own right, the new blood who received the greatest number of votes shall be given a seat as a Non-Specialized Member along with the five other candidates that received the greatest number of votes for that position. 
          2. If there are no new blood candidates, the Steering Committee shall do its best to find interested candidates. New members shall be encouraged to attend Steering Committee meetings and made known of this rule as much as is possible. If and only if no candidate emerges despite best efforts, this rule may be waived. 
        4. Special Elections 
          1. A special election may be called in order to elect a Chair or Vice-Chair or to fill an elected post that becomes unfilled at a time other than the regular election turnover (e.g. because an elected member becomes unable to fulfill their duties or is impeached). 
          2. Mechanism: 
            1. All candidates or options are enumerated on the ballot, and a (Steering Committee) vote is cast by ranking these candidates or options from best (1) to worst (n, where n is the number of candidates or options); 
            2. Votes are tallied by summing the number of 1s for each candidate or option; 
            3. If a candidate or option obtains a majority of 1s, that candidate wins; 
            4. If no candidate has a majority, the candidate or option with the fewest 1s is removed, and all rankings on a ballot below that candidate are increased by one rank; 
            5. This process is to be repeated until one candidate or option has a majority; that candidate wins;
            6. In the event of a tie between two candidates, the candidate who had the most ones in the initial election shall win; if there is still a tie, a victor shall be selected by a subsequent runoff elections. 
    5. Parliamentary Rules 
      1. Regular Meetings: Regular meetings of the steering committee shall be held . The date and time may be changed by a majority vote of the full steering committee membership. 
      2. Agenda Items: Whenever possible, items on the agenda shall be presented by the person suggesting them. 
      3. Motions: Any voting members may call a motion at any time. Motions may be about committee procedure, use of money + name of organization, etc. 
      4. Seconding: A motion must be seconded by at least one other voting member to go forward. 
      5. Discussion: Members shall be allowed to discuss a motion before voting, but are encouraged to refrain from making motions in the first place until some discussion has taken place. 
      6. Majority Default: Unless otherwise specified in the charter/bylaws, motions shall be passed with a majority vote. 
      7. Calling the Question: A voting member may at any time make a motion to call the question, meaning to cease further debate on a motion and vote immediately. All motions to call the question must be seconded and passed by a 2/3 vote. 
      8. Tabling: A voting member may at any time call to table a motion, delaying a vote on it until a subsequent meeting. All motions to table must be seconded and passed by a 2/3 vote. 
      9. Abstentions: Abstentions are permitted but shall be noted. 
      10. Controversial Motions: Motions of a possibly controversial nature shall be made known in advance of the meeting at which they are to be raised. If a motion is deemed controversial and was not made known at least (one week? Two?) in advance, requirements for motions to table said controversial motion shall be reduced to a majority vote. 
      11. Absences: Members who miss a significant portion of a meeting may be deemed absent at the discretion of the chair. 
      12. Dividing the House: In the case that abstentions are numerous enough to have a potential effect on the outcome of a vote, a voting member may immediately motion for a division of the house. If the motion to divide the house is seconded and passed by a majority vote, a motion identical to the original motion shall be taken in which  
        1. Members who originally voted yes or no are required to maintain the same vote.  
        2. Members who abstained are required to vote yes or no. 
        3. A division of the house may change the original outcome of a vote from passage to failure or vice versa. 
      13. Deallocations: Motions to revoke an allocation require the same margin to pass as the original motion. i. At the time of deallocation, all funds and resources left unused shall be returned to the general budget. 
      14. Small funds vs. Large funds: Motions involving an amount of 100,000 yen or greater shall require a 2/3 vote to pass. 
      15. Vote of No Confidence: See Steering Committee -> Membership -> Impeachment above. 
  6. Subcommittees 
    1. The Steering Committee may authorize new subcommittees to accomplish specific tasks (e.g. website creation committee) or recurring tasks (e.g. career development committee or community service committee) by a 2/3 vote. Subcommittees remain active until their task is complete. 
    2. Subcommittees should have charters outlining their powers and responsibilities independent of the full Steering Committee. 
      1. No subcommittee may have powers exceeding that of the Steering Committee. 
      2. All active subcommittees must make a report to the Steering Committee at each of its regular meetings. 
      3. The Steering Committee and only the Steering Committee may approve and or amend a subcommittee charter by a 2/3 vote. 
    3. The Steering Committee may disband a standing subcommittee at any time and assume its powers and responsibilities by a 2/3 vote. 
  7. General Meeting 
    1. A General Meeting of all members of JETAA-Tokyo shall be held once a year in March.  
      1. The Steering Committee is responsible for publicizing the meeting as well as possible and encouraging as many members as possible to attend. 
      2. The date, time, and location of the General Meeting must be announced to all members at least two months in advance. 
    2. Quorum 
      1. Quorum for General Meeting shall be defined as 20 people (the minimum number of members necessary to receive a chapter charter from JETAA International) or more, in person or by proxy. 
    3. Agenda 
      1. Officers shall give a report on the year's activities, goals, and progress towards those goals. 
      2. Elections shall be held for the following year. 
      3.  A vote shall be held to accept or reject suggested revisions to the bylaws (see X. Bylaws Review). 
      4. All referenda from the year (e.g. the enactment of dues) shall be explained in full and voted upon. 
        1.  Matters coming to a vote at the General Meeting shall be adequately publicized to all members at least two weeks in advance. 
      5. Full members wishing to vote are strongly encouraged to physically attend the meeting, but if they cannot, they may vote by proxy. 
    4. Minutes and attendance for General Meetings shall be recorded adequately by the secretary and publicized within a week's time. 
      1. Any yearly funding request to CLAIR shall be made contingent on also submitting these minutes with the formal budget request as proof that the general meeting was held as is required by these bylaws. 
  8. Referendum Procedure 
    1. If a referendum is called by the Steering Committee or by petition, the Chair shall solicit statements from parties both within the Steering Committee and among the general broader membership. These statements shall be adequately publicized a reasonable amount of time prior to voting. 
      1. Petition Requirements: 10 signatures or 10% of the organization, whichever is more. 
    2. All Full Members may vote in a referendum. 
  9. Bylaws Review 
    1. Once a year, a subcommittee shall be enacted at the regular Steering Committee meeting 2 months before the General Meeting to review these bylaws. 
    2. This subcommittee shall examine and discuss the bylaws in their own time, then suggest changes and seek approval at the regular Steering Committee meeting 1 month before the General Meeting. 
      1. This approval shall require a 2/3 vote. 
  10. Indemnification 
    1. The organization shall indemnify any person who was or is a party to or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending, or completed action, suit, or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative, or investigative, formal or informal (other than an action by or in the right of the organization), by reason of the fact that the person is or was a director, officer, or nondirector volunteer of the organization, or, while serving as a director, officer or nondirector volunteer of the organization, is or was serving at the request of the organization as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee, nondirector volunteer or agent of another foreign or domestic corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust, or other enterprise, whether for profit or not, against expenses (including actual and reasonable attorney fees), judgments, penalties, fines, and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonably incurred by him or her in connection with such action, suit, or proceeding, if the person acted in good faith and in a manner the person reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the organization or its members, and with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, if the person had no reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was unlawful. The termination of any action, suit, or proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction, or on a plea of nolo contendere or its equivalent, shall not, of itself, create a presumption that the person did not act in good faith and in a manner that the person reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the organization or its members and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had reasonable cause to believe that his or her conduct was unlawful. 
  11. Financial Policy 
    1. All JETAA-Tokyo funds and resources shall be governed and managed by the Treasurer.
    2. The Treasurer will be responsible for drafting and overseeing an annual budget for all of the organization's activities. 
      1. The Treasurer shall report on the previous year's activities and present the coming year's budget at the General Meeting.
    3. Transparency 
      1. Records of all transactions involving these funds and resources shall be maintained in reasonable detail. 
      2. The general status of these funds and resources shall be reported in brief at each Regular Steering committee meeting and in full detail at the General Meeting. 
      3. These records may furthermore be made available at any time to any member of JETAA-Tokyo upon reasonable request, or to a 3rd party upon approval of the Steering Committee. 
    4. Anti-Profiteering 
      1. In principle, any and all profit generate through JETAA-Tokyo activities must be funneled back into the organization towards the goals for which it stands.
        1. Co-sponsoring: In the case of cosponsored, generated funds shall be distributed fairly between sponsoring parties before the above rule applies. 
        2. Charity Events: Fundraising for charities as agreed upon by approval of the event shall be considered to be in line with the goals of JETAA-Tokyo.
      2. If a member stands to profit personally from a JETAA-Tokyo activity, that must be clearly disclosed as part of the proposal for the activity. 
      3. If a member is found to have inappropriately profited from a JETAA-Tokyo activity, that may be grounds for impeachment or expulsion of that member. 
    5. Dedication to original mission statement at all times 
      1. In principle, all allocations of funds and resources shall be required to further the original goals of the organization. 
      2. When a proposal is up for consideration it shall be checked against these goals, and the question be asked as to whether the proposal can be modified to better reflect those goals, or if possible to include more than one of those goals. 
    6. Deallocations 
      1. Deallocations are possible as per the Parliamentary Rules (section VI.E.xiii).