Constitution of Riverside Boat Club
Name and Principal Office
The name of this club shall be "Riverside Boat Club of Cambridge" and its principal office shall be at 769 Memorial Drive, City of
Cambridge, County of Middlesex, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 02139.
The objective of this club shall be the encouragement and furtherance of aquatic and athletic sports among amateurs, more particularly the
instruction and improvement in and enjoyment of the art of rowing and the promotion of a friendly and social spirit among its members.
The club shall consist of the following classes of members who shall be entitled to clubhouse privileges.
1. Life Members. Life membership shall generally be reserved for the purpose of honoring persons who shall have been of lasting and
outstanding service to the club or to the sport of rowing. It shall not be awarded as compensation for specific services rendered. Life
members shall have all the rights all privileges and responsibilities of senior members, but shall not be liable for any dues and fees. A person
shall be elected to life membership only by unanimous vote of the Membership Committee and the Board of Directors present at the meeting
at which membership is proposed. A nomination for life membership may be submitted by any senior member.
2. Senior Members. Any person who shall have attained the age of eighteen years shall be eligible for election as a senior member after a
period of one year as a provisional member or as a junior member. Senior members may hold office in the club and shall be entitled to cast
one vote at any meeting of the club at which said member is present. Senior members shall be elected by two-thirds vote of those senior
members present at the meeting to which application is made.
3. Provisional Members. Any person who shall have reached the age of 18 shall be eligible for election as a provisional member after, except
in the case of a junior member, having been a guest of a senior member for a period of four weeks. Provided that a novice at either sweeps
or scull must also log a minimum of 50 miles of rowing under the supervision of the host member prior to application. A provisional member
may apply for senior membership at any time after twelve months as a provisional member and will continue as a provisional member if that
application is denied. Provisional members shall be elected by a simple majority of those present at the meeting to which application is made.
The Membership Committee, by unanimous vote, may designate a person a provision member temporarily until the next meeting to which an
application for such membership is presented.
4. Junior Members. In order to provide the opportunity for younger persons to engage in rowing under the supervision of club members, any
person under the age of eighteen may be eligible for election as a junior member after having been a guest of a senior member for a period of
four weeks, provided that a novice at either sweeps or sculls, must also log a minimum of 50 miles of rowing under the supervision of the
host member prior to application. Junior members shall be elected by two-thirds vote of those present at the meeting to which the
application is accepted. A junior member may not hold office in the club and shall have no vote. At age eighteen and after at least a year as a
junior member, a junior member may be eligible for senior membership. If not so elected, such junior member shall become a provisional
5. Supporting Members. Upon application, a person age 18 or over may be elected as supporting member by a two-thirds vote at a meeting
to which application is made. A supporting member may not hold office in the club and shall have no vote. A senior, provisional, family, or
junior member may be transferred to and from supporting membership status. A supporting member may be reinstated to provisional
member status upon payment of appropriate dues and fees. A supporting member will have limited access to club facilities as established by
6. Family Membership. Any senior or provisional member with a spouse or with children under age of 18, or 22 if a full-time student, with an
interest in rowing may apply for a family membership. Each family member shall be elected by two-thirds vote of those present at the
meeting to which application is made. A senior member who is part of a family membership shall retain his/her right to vote and hold office.
7. Short Season Membership. The purpose of this membership shall be for enabling individuals and groups to participate in competitive
training programs offered by the Club. Any new class of Short Season Membership shall be first recommended to the Board by the
Membership Committee as a pilot program. Proposed pilot programs shall be presented by the Board at a Board meeting and voted on by
the Board at an upcoming Board meeting. The proposed pilot program and its parameters shall be published to the membership 21 days
prior to its vote to provide members an opportunity to comment and object. The parameters of the pilot program, including: program size,
overview of program intent, equipment use and practice times, expected racing schedule, dues and fees assessed, leadership/coaching,
opportunities for existing members to join the program, and impact on daily boathouse operations shall be defined when the pilot program is
first introduced. No pilot program shall last longer than 10 weeks. The Board may end a pilot program at any time. At its completion, a pilot
program shall be put for approval as a new class of Short Season Membership at the following Annual Meeting, or shall end.
An Annual Review, led by the Membership Committee, of all Short Season Memberships shall be conducted. The result of the review and
any recommended changes shall be published to the membership no later than two weeks prior to the Annual Meeting and shall contain all
Short Season Membership parameters. If any changes are recommended to Short Season Membership parameters, they shall be voted on
at the Annual Meeting.
Participants in Short Season Membership programs shall not have a vote, be eligible to hold office, or receive a key to the boathouse unless
they already hold a membership that grant them these privileges. Upon completion of a Short Season Membership program, a Short Season
Member may be eligible for Provisional Membership if s/he is eighteen years old or older. If s/he is under eighteen years of age, s/he may be
eligible for Junior Membership and must comply with the membership application process defined in Article III, Section 4.
A provisional/senior/life/family member from programs with short season members shall serve on the membership committee and act as
liaison between the program and the rest of the Club. In programs where all participants are short season members, a short season member
8. No guest shall be permitted to log more than 50 miles without being proposed for junior or provisional membership.
9. Voting upon applications for membership shall be by secret ballot unless waived by unanimous consent.
10. All persons holding comparable memberships in the club prior to the adoption of these by-laws shall continue as life, senior, or
supporting members as the case may be.
Board of Directors and Officers
1. Unless otherwise directed by the membership or otherwise specified by the By-laws, all matters of governance of the club in every
respect shall be determined by the Board of Directors including without limitation the setting of dues, fees, assessments and numerical
membership limits, the maintenance of order, the protection of club property, the handling of club funds, the discipline of members and all
other matters incident to successful continuation of the club into the future in accordance with its objectives. The Board of Directors shall
have no power to render the club liable for any debt exceeding the amount of money which shall at the time of contracting such debt, be in
the treasury and not needed for discharge of prior unfunded debts or liabilities of the club. A decision of the Board of Directors may be
overruled only by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at a meeting called for that purpose on two weeks notice. At such a meeting
each member of the Board of Directors shall have one vote on the issue in question.
2. The Board of Directors shall consist of eight members as follows: the President, The Vice President, the Secretary, the Treasurer and the
Captain, plus three Trustees elected at the Annual Meeting. To ensure continuity, at the first election following adoption of these By-laws,
one Trustee shall be elected for a 1 year term; one Trustee shall be elected for a 2 year term and one Trustee shall be elected for a 3 year
term; and thereafter one Trustee shall be elected for a 3 year term at each subsequent annual meeting. The Board of Directors shall meet not
less frequently than once a month and five members shall constitute a quorum.
3. Terms. The President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Captain shall take office immediately upon their election at the annual
meeting and shall serve for a term of one year and until successors are duly elected. Officers are eligible for reelection. Vacancies in any
office may be filled for the balance of the term by the Board of Directors.
4. President. The President shall be the chief officer of the club and shall preside at meetings of the club and of the Board of Directors. S/he
shall be a member ex-officio of all committees. S/he shall communicate to the club such matters and make such suggestions as may in his
opinion tend to promote the welfare and increase the usefulness of the club, and shall perform such other duties as necessary incident to the
5. Vice-president. The Vice President shall perform all duties of the president during the absence of the president. S/he shall be a member
ex-officio of all committees and shall be chairman of the Membership Committee.
6. Secretary. The Secretary shall issue all notices, keep a record of the meetings of other members of the club, the proceedings of the Board
of Directors and of other matters concerning which a record shall be at all reasonable times be open to the inspection of any senior member
of the club. The Secretary shall conduct all correspondence pertaining to the office and shall have custody of the seal, if any, of the club.
7. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall keep an account of all moneys received and expended for use of the club and shall make disbursements
authorized by the Board of Directors. All sums received shall be deposited by him in a bank or banks approved by the Broad of Directors,
and s/he shall make a report at the annual meeting or when called upon by the President. Funds may be drawn only on the signature of the
Treasurer. The duties of the Treasurer, under the approval of the Board of Directors, maybe delegated to an assistant treasurer. The funds,
books, and vouchers in his hands shall at all times be subject to verification and inspection by the elective officers of the club. At the
expiration of his term of office, the treasurer shall deliver to the successor all books, money, and other property of the club.
8 Captain. The Captain shall have charge of the Club's boats and the placement of member's boats and their use and storage under the
direction of the Board of Directors, shall see that proper repairs are made and equipment furnished, and shall enforce the rules of the club
relating thereto. S/he shall ex-officio be a member of the Regatta Committee.
Election of Officers
1. The elections of club officers shall take place annually at the time and place of the annual meeting. Any senior member who has been such
for at least 2 years shall be eligible for office. Any senior member who has been a club member for at least 1 year may also be eligible if two-
thirds of the voting members present approve such nomination.
2. An officer may be removed from office only by a majority vote of the Board of Directors, followed by a two-thirds vote of the members
present at a meeting specifically called for such purpose on two weeks notice. The person charged shall have no vote on such issue.
3. Nominations and Elections. Nominations for club officers and trustees shall be open 30 days prior to the annual meeting in November and
shall remain open up to and including the time of vote. An official list of nominees for all positions will be posted. At the annual meeting in
November the elections of club officers and trustees will be held. Each candidate has five minutes to give a campaign speech, followed by a
question and answer period to be controlled by the election monitor.
1. The Annual Meeting of the club shall be held on the second Tuesday of November in each year, unless adjourned by the Board of
Trustees, for election of officers and trustees, receiving reports, and transactions of other business. Monthly meetings may be held on the first
Tuesday of any other month by decision of the Board of Directors or by the membership at a previous meeting.
2. The President may at any time, and upon written request of eight senior members, the secretary shall call, a special meeting with two
weeks notice to the membership.
3. The presence of one-third of the total number of senior and life members shall constitute a quorum at any meeting.
4. The order of business at the Annual Meeting shall be as follows:
a. Call to order
b. Reading of minutes from previous meeting
d. Election of officers
e. Unfinished business
f. New Business
The order of business may be altered or suspended at any meeting by a majority vote of the senior members present. The usual
parliamentary rules as laid down by Robert's Rules of Order shall govern when not in conflict with these by-laws.
1. The club shall have at least three standing committees: a Membership Committee of five persons, a Regatta Committee of five persons
and a Presidential Committee of three persons. Additional standing committees may be established from time to time by the Board of
Directors. Members of these committees shall be appointed by the Board of Directors which shall, unless otherwise provided herein, also
designate the chairperson of each committee. Three year terms shall be staggered so that one or more expire each year. No person shall
serve more than two consecutive three year terms. Elected officers and trustees may also be appointed to these committees. Appointments
may be revoked at any time by majority vote of the Board of Directors.
2. Membership Committee. The Membership Committee shall be responsible for screening prospects for all classes of membership and
reporting its recommendations to the membership for action not less often than quarterly. It shall be established and publish its ruling
regarding applications which are not inconsistent with these by-laws. The Vice President shall be chairman ex-officio.
3. Regatta Committee. The Regatta Committee shall be responsible for the planning and supervision of all regattas for which the club is host,
and in cooperation with the Captain and individual competing members, for coordinating participation of the club and its members in regattas
and other competition hosted by sister organizations. It shall establish and publish rules regarding such activity which are not inconsistent with
4. Presidential Committee The Presidential Committee will consist of three members each having a three year term staggered such that one
member’s term expires each year. The domain of this committee is to generate and administer long term plans for the club. The committee
will meet a minimum of four times per year and the residing President will be included in any committee votes. The three members will report
to the board in June and December. During the December meeting the Presidential committee members will also vote to approve the budget
for the following year.
Nothing herein shall constitute members of the club as partner for any purpose. No member, officer, agent, contractor, or employee shall be
liable for the acts or failure to act of any other member, officer, agent or employee of the club. Nor shall any member, officer agent, or
employee be liable for his/her acts of failure to act under these by-laws, excepting only acts or omissions arising out of his/her willful
When in the judgment of the Board of Directors, any question shall arise that should be put to a vote of the membership, and when it deems
it inexpedient to call a special meeting for that purpose it may, unless otherwise required by these by-laws, submit the matter to the
membership in writing by mail for vote and decision, and the question thus presented shall be determined according to a majority of the votes
received by mail within two weeks after such submission to the membership, provided that in each case votes of at least fifty percent of the
senior members shall be received. Action taken in this manner shall be as effective as action at a duly called meeting.
If any member shall be charged by any other member, in writing addressed to the Board of Directors or any member thereof, with conduct
injurious to the good order, peace or interest of the club, or at variance with the requirements of the by-laws, the Board of Directors shall
thereupon inform the member charged in writing. If upon inquiry the Board of Directors shall be satisfied of the truth of the charge, and that
the same demands such action, the Board of Directors shall request the charged member to resign, and if such charged member declines to
do so, shall refer the matter to a regular or special meeting (notice of the purpose of which shall be given to the membership two weeks in
advance of such meeting), and the club, after the presentation of the case, and hearing the person so charged if such person desired to be
heard, may proceed to expel such person. A motion for expulsion shall be decided on a secret ballot, and the vote of two-thirds of the
members present shall be necessary to expel. The person shall have no vote on such issue.
Articles of these by-laws (except Article XIII) may be amended or repealed by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at any regular
meeting, provided that notice of the general character of such amendment or repeal shall have been given at the preceding meeting.
Club House Privileges
No intoxicating beverages shall be allowed in the premises without express permission of the Board of Directors.
The club shall not be dissolved or the boathouse disposed of as long as ten members in good standing are willing to contribute, and this
article with respect to dissolution shall not be altered or amended unless by unanimous vote of all the members present at a regular or special
meeting, provided that due and sufficient notice of the purpose of such meeting be mailed to each member not less than 30 days prior to the
date of such meeting. In the event of dissolution of the club pursuant to laws of these by-laws, the remaining assets of the club shall be given
to the National Rowing Foundation (United States Rowing Association).
Membership Conduct and Sexual Harassment
1. Member Conduct
The Club requires all of its members to behave appropriately and respectfully toward each other, guests and employees of the Club while
using the Club facilities, attending regattas, events or in public forums or discussions related to the Club or the rowing community. Acts of
conduct which, in the opinion of the Board, is injurious or detrimental to the good order, welfare, best interests, or character of the Club, or
at variance with the requirements of these by-laws or promulgated rules and regulations of the Club will not be tolerated. Although it is not
possible to list every type of prohibited conduct, examples of such misconduct include but are not limited to the following:
physical or verbal abuse of a fellow member, an employee or a guest, including but not limited to discourteous and/or disrespectful treatment
of coaches and staff;
physical or verbal abuse of a member, employee or guest of other boat clubs or river organizations, including but not limited to discourteous
and/or disrespectful treatment of other boaters, coaches, race officials and staff;
damage to, or destruction, misuse or theft of any property owned by the Club, a fellow member, an employee or a guest;
intentional falsification of the Club records including, but not limited to the payment of dues or fees;
defrauding or attempting to defraud the Club;
violation of the Club’s Harassment/Sexual Harassment Policy;
violation of the Club’s By-Laws, or other member rules, regulations or policies.
2. Harassment/Sexual Harassment
It is the policy of the Club that all of our members, guests and employees/contractors should be able to enjoy a Club and work environment
free from discrimination and harassment including sexual harassment. Riverside Boat Club will not allow any form of sexual harassment
within the work/social/boat club environment. Sexual harassment creates an intimidating, hostile, and/or offensive environment. It will not be
Sexual harassment, as defined in this policy, includes, but is not limited to, sexual advances, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature,
visual forms of a sexual or offensive nature [e.g., signs and posters], or requests for sexual favors.
The Club’s Harassment/Sexual Harassment Policy provisions which cover prohibited conduct toward employees is also applicable with
respect to such conduct toward or between members/guests.
3. Complaints of Member Misconduct; Disciplinary Action
If any member shall be charged in writing, addressed to the Board of Directors by any other member, by any employee of the Club or by an
outside party, with conduct injurious or detrimental to the good order, welfare, best interests, or character of the Club, or at variance with
the requirements of these by-laws or promulgated rules and regulations of the Club, or if the Board on its own accord shall become
cognizant of such conduct, then the Board, after such investigation and deliberation as it deems appropriate in each particular circumstance,
may proceed to:
-reprimand said member orally or in writing; or
-suspend said member for a period not to exceed six months; or
-request said member’s resignation.
If member declines to resign, shall refer the matter to a regular or special meeting and may proceed to expel said member by two-thirds vote
of senior members present, pursuant to Article X of these bylaws.