Statutes of the Swiss Society for Quaternary Research

A. Name, location and purpose

Article 1

Under the name "Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Quartärforschung", or "Société Suisse de Recherche sur le Quaternaire" and "Società per la Ricerca del Quaternario Svizzera" (CH-quat), an association exists under Article 60 of the Swiss Civil Code.

Article 2

The society's headquarters are located at the home of the President.

Article 3

The society strengthens the science in the field of the exploration of the Ice Age (Quaternary) and promotes, in close contact with the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT), the dialogue between science, praxis and society.

With this aim the society pursues the following objectives:

  • encouraging consolidation and dissemination of knowledge about the Ice Age (Pleistocene and Holocene), especially in the areas man, environment and climate,
  • commitment to matters of the Quaternary in science, practice and the public,
  • mediating and facilitating contacts and relationships between experts in the field of Quaternary research, practice and society,
  • commenting on matters of public interest relating to Quaternary research,
  • supporting the mutual exchange of knowledge and cooperation between its members,
  • maintaining relationships with national and international organizations, especially the INQUA, and related organizations,
  • promoting young scientists at universities.

Article 4

The fulfilment of the society's tasks serve primarily to aid in:

  • the provision of appropriate forms of knowledge transfer and archiving (e.g. publications, websites, databases),
  • organizing public lectures, field trips and panel discussions,
  • establishing technical working groups (e.g. for knowledge preparation for the answering of questions relevant to society),
  • organizing of conferences and field trips for the training of members, preferably in the context of SCNAT events.

B. Membership

Article 5

The society is open to anyone interested in Quaternary research. It is composed of individual, collective and honorary members.

Article 6
Individual members

Individual members are interested individuals.

Article 7
Collective members

Collective members are legal persons, authorities, associations, institutions, companies and other institutions with an interest in Quaternary research. The collective membership does not include the individual membership of the staff.

Article 8
Honorary Members

Members who have distinguished themselves in an extraordinary manner to the society or the field of Quaternary research in general may be appointed at the request of the Committee by the General Assembly as honorary members. They do not pay a membership fee.

Article 9

The entry can be made at any time by written notification to the Committee. If the candidate applies after the middle of the fiscal year (June 30), the membership fee is only due to be paid for the next fiscal year.

Article 10
Use of image and video material

in preparation

Article 11

Insurance is matter of the participants. This applies to all events organized by the society.

Article 12
Resignation and expulsion

A withdrawal from the society can be made only at the end of each fiscal year by giving written notice to the Committee. Membership shall automatically terminate when the annual fee is not paid for two years despite a reminder. Members who damage the society through their conduct may be excluded at the request of the Committee by the General Assembly.

Article 13
Rights and obligations

All members have the right to vote.
The obligations are limited to payment of the annual membership fee.

C. Organization

Article 14
Governing bodies

The bodies of the society are:

  • the General Assembly
  • the Committee
  • the Auditors

Article 15
General Assembly

Every year there will be a general assembly to which the members will be invited at least one month in advance by the Committee.

The General Assembly, led by the president, is responsible for:

  • the acceptance of the annual report,
  • the approval of the annual accounts and the budget,
  • the election of the President, the remaining Committee members and the Auditors,
  • the determination of the financial competence of the Committee,
  • the establishment of working groups and the selection of its members,
  • the setting of membership fees,
  • the appointment of honorary members,
  • the exclusion of members,
  • the revision of the Statutes,
  • the proposal for dissolution of the society.

Extraordinary General Assembly
The Committee is entitled to convene extraordinary General Assemblies. It is obliged to do so if one-fifth of the members request such a meeting.

Elections and resolutions
The General Assembly passes resolutions openly with a simple majority of the valid votes. In a tie, the President casts the deciding vote. Upon request the General Assembly may decide upon secret ballot or election.

Each member has the right to submit proposals. Proposals which are not closely related to items on the agenda must be delivered in writing to the Committee at least 14 days before the meeting.

Article 16

The Committee shall be composed of: the President, the Vice President, the Treasurer, the Secretary, and two to four other Committee members with specialized functions. The retiring President may attend as Past President in an advisory capacity to the Committee meetings.

The Committee is responsible for:

  • the management of the society,
  • the proper execution of the General Assembly,
  • the enforcement of the decisions of the General Assembly,
  • the composition of the budget and annual accounts,
  • the preparation the meeting and excursion programme,
  • the nominations to the General Assembly,
  • the proposals to set up working groups,
  • nominations for the working group members,
  • the admission of new members,
  • the setting of membership fees for the General Assembly,
  • the representation of the association to the outside.

The Committee obligates the society through joint signature of the President, Vice President and one other Committee member.

The Committee has a quorum if more than half of its members are present. The Committee shall decide by simple majority. In a tie, the President casts the deciding vote.

The President can, if necessary, be substituted by the Vice President. He / she shall submit to the General Assembly an annual report.

The Secretary keeps the minutes of the meetings and is responsible for correspondence. He / she is responsible for the membership directory.

The Treasurer manages the coffer and takes care of the financial transactions within the framework of the budget. He / she shall submit to the General Assembly the society's accounts and present the budget for the coming fiscal year.

The Committee members are elected by the General Assembly for a term of three years (one term). All members can be re-elected twice (max. 3 periods in office in a row), however in the role of President only one re-election is permitted (max. 2 official periods in a row).

Article 17

Two auditors review the financial statements, report to the General Assembly and request the discharge of the Committee. The auditor shall be elected by the General Assembly for three years. A double re-election is permissible.

D. Finance and Liability

Article 18

The society meets its expenses from the assets of the association. These are fed from membership fees, donations and any further support posts.

Article 19
Fiscal Year

The fiscal year begins on the 1. of January and lasts until the 31. of December.

Article 20

Liability for obligations shall be limited to the assets of the society. Members are free from any personal liability.

E. Dissolution and statutes revision

Article 21
Statutes Revision

For a revision of the statutes, a two-thirds majority of the voting members present at the General Assembly is required.

Article 22

The General Assembly may request to dissolve the society if a two-thirds majority of the voting members votes for it and submit this in writing to all members for a vote. The dissolution can occur only if two-thirds of all the members vote for it.

Article 23

Upon dissolution of the society its wealth will go to SCNAT.

These Statutes were adopted and put into effect by resolution of the first General Assembly of the CH-Quat on the 27. of October 2007 in Bern.

The President:
Dr. Frank Preusser

The Secretary:
Dr. Irka Hajdas