Wherever applicable, the designation of President, Treasurer, Secretary, Chairman, etc., regardless of gender, shall refer to the charge and not to the person holding the office in question.
A. Name, location and purpose
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.
The registered office of the company shall be at the domicile of the President or the Co-President.
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.
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.
The society is open to anyone interested in Quaternary research. It is composed of individual, collective and honorary members.
Individual members are interested individuals.
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.
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.
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.
Use of image and video material
Insurance is matter of the participants. This applies to all events organized by the society.
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.
Rights and obligations
All members have the right to vote.
The obligations are limited to payment of the annual membership fee.
The bodies of the society are:
- the General Assembly
- the Committee
- the Auditors
A General Assembly shall be held annually, to which the members shall be invited by the Board of Directors with at least one month’s notice.
The General Assembly, under the direction of the Chairman (President, Vice-President or one of the Co-Presidents), shall be responsible for the following:
- Acceptance of the annual report
- Approval of annual accounts and budget
- Election of the President or Co-Presidents, other board members and auditors
- Determination of the Board of Directors’ financial competence
- Establishment of working groups and election of their members
- Determination of membership fees
- Appointment of honorary members
- Exclusion of members
- Revision of statutes
- Application for the dissolution of the company.
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
In general, the General Assembly shall pass its resolutions openly by a simple majority of the valid votes cast. In the event of a tie vote, the Chairman shall have the casting vote. Upon request, the General Assembly may decide to hold a 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.
The Board of Directors shall be composed of: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and two to four other board members with special functions. Instead of a President or Vice-President, these two positions may also be filled by two Co-Presidents or two Co-Vice-Presidents respectively. These shall exercise their office jointly and may represent each other. They shall speak with one vote only; if they cannot agree on a specific case, no decision shall be reached. Anyone who has exercised the role of President or Co-President during a term of office may attend future meetings of the Board of Directors as Senior President in an advisory capacity.
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 Board of Directors shall oblige the company by collective signature of the President or the Vice-President with another board member or of a Co-President with another board member.
The Board of Directors shall have a quorum if more than half of its members are present. The Board of Directors shall decide by a simple majority. In the event of a tie vote, the President or a Co-president shall have the casting vote.
If necessary, the President or Co-President shall be represented by the Vice-President or the other Co-President. He/she shall submit an annual report to the General Assembly.
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 board members shall be elected by the General Assembly for a period of three years (one term of office). All members shall be eligible for re-election twice (max. 3 consecutive terms of office), but in terms of the function of President or Co-President only once (max. 2 consecutive terms of office).
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
The society meets its expenses from the assets of the association. These are fed from membership fees, donations and any further support posts.
The fiscal year begins on the 1. of January and lasts until the 31. of December.
Liability for obligations shall be limited to the assets of the society. Members are free from any personal liability.
E. Dissolution and statutes revision
For a revision of the statutes, a two-thirds majority of the voting members present at the General Assembly is required.
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.
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.
Dr. Frank Preusser
Dr. Irka Hajdas