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The Raven Society
The oldest and most prestigious honorary society at the University of Virginia

Raven By-Laws

(As last amended October 25th, 2018)

By-Law I: Quorum

Any fifteen members of this Society present at a meeting shall constitute quorum.

By-Law II: Time and Number of Meetings

Regular meetings of the Society shall be held at least once a semester. The President may call such additional meetings as he or she deems appropriate, and shall call special meetings when requested in writing to do so by fifteen members of the Society. Notice of the meeting shall be communicated to the Society at least four days in advance.

By-Law III: Voting by Proxy

There shall be no voting by proxy.

By-Law IV: Order of Business

The order of business at regular meetings shall include the following items in such order as the President may determine:

1st: Reading and adoption of the minutes of the previous meeting.
2nd: Nomination, election, or initiation of new members.
3rd: Report of Committees.
4th: Report of Treasurer.
5th: Report of the Raven Council.
6th: Unfinished business.
7th: New business.
8th: Adjournment.

By-Law V: Dues

Section 1. New initiates are exempt from paying dues to the Society for one year following their initiation.

Section 2. Each student member shall pay annual dues after the school year of his or her
initiation. No student member shall be eligible to vote on any matter, nor shall he or she be counted in determining a quorum, nor shall be invited to the annual spring banquet, if he or she has not paid such dues.

Section 3. Faculty, administrators, and resident alumni who are members of the Raven Society shall be invited at the beginning of each school year to be active members of the Society upon paying annual dues. This payment shall entitle the member to all the rights and privileges of membership; these rights include the right to vote upon officers and the election of new members. It is understood, however, that those who do not care to be active will be welcome at all meetings of the Society.

Section 4. The Raven Council shall have the power to determine the dues amounts for new
initiates and current members as well as the power to levy additional assessment on all members attending the Society’s annual banquet

By-Law VI: Archivist

Section 1. The Archivist shall be in permanent residence at the University.

Section 2. The files of the Archivist shall be located in Alderman Library.

Section 3. The duties of the Archivist shall include the supervision and the responsibility for the safekeeping of:

  1. all meeting books except the current one;
  2. biographies of all members;
  3. a master list of all members;
  4. correspondence and other documents of concern to the Society;
  5. books and publications which are the property of the Society;
  6. any other material that the Raven Council deems appropriates.

By-Law VII: The Raven Fund

Section 1. The assets of the Raven Fund shall be invested as the Council directs.

Section 2. The financial records of the operation of the Fund shall be kept by the Treasurer or by such person as the Council may select.

Section 3. The Council shall establish written procedures and policies for the administration of the Fund and for the selection of the grantees. These guidelines shall be available to the membership for inspection.

Section 4. The Council shall see that an annual audit of the Fund is made and shall thereafter report to the Society as to the condition of the Fund and as to all donations made from it in the year preceding the audit.

By-Law VIII: The Raven Fellowship

Section 1. Procedures for Selection.

The Raven Council shall select Raven Fellows. In the spring of each academic session, the
Council shall solicit written applications for the Raven Fellowships from the University
undergraduate and graduate students. The Council shall establish written procedures and policies for the administration of the Fellowship and for the selection of recipients. These guidelines shall be available to the membership for inspection.

Section 2. Number of Fellowships.

In any one session the Council shall award not more than two Fellowships to students in the undergraduate schools, and not more than two Fellowships to students in the graduate schools at the University of Virginia. The Council shall not be obliged to confer any or all of the Raven Fellowships in any one year.

Section 3. Presentation of the Awards.

The Raven Fellowships shall be presented at the annual dinner of the Society, at which each Fellow shall be a guest of honor.

By-Law IX: Membership

For the purpose of the Constitution and By-Laws, members of the Society who are instructors in the University or members of the resident staff of the University Hospital shall be classed as student members.

By-Law X: Nomination and Elections of Members

Section 1. Additional Criteria for Membership.

  1. In addition to the criteria for membership which are set forth in the Constitution and ByLaws, student nominees from the undergraduate schools shall possess the following academic qualifications.
  2. Nominees who are classified as candidates for degrees shall be in the upper twenty-five percent of their class within the nominees’ respective school. Undergraduate students in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies will be classified as ‘candidates for degrees’ upon enrollment in the Proseminar class.
  3. Nominees who are members of the student body, but who are not classified as candidates for degrees, shall be in the upper fifteen percent of their class within the nominees’ respective school.

Section 2. Nomination.

para 1. Appointment of Committees and Nominations.

The President of the Society shall appoint not later than three weeks before each election the appropriate committees on nominations as follows:

  1. Students
    1. For the College of Arts and Sciences, the committee shall consist of at least five Raven student members and two Raven faculty members.
    2. For the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, the committee shall consist of at least two Raven students and two Raven faculty members. This committee may also include as many as two non-Raven representatives from the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program, at the approval of the President.
    3. For each of the other schools in the University, a committee shall consist of three Raven student members and two Raven faculty members.
  2. Faculty and Administrators
    A Committee shall consist of three Raven faculty or administrators and four Raven student members.
  3. Alumni
    A Committee shall consist of three Raven faculty or administrators and four Raven student members.

para 2. Duties of the Committees on Nominations.

It shall be the duty of each of the committees on nominations to determine in its respective school or group which persons fulfill the requirement for membership, and to nominate persons from that group for membership in the Society in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the By-Laws. Each committee shall present a written list of such nominations to the President, at a time specified by the President, before the scheduled election meeting. Furthermore, each committee shall present to the President all pertinent data regarding each nominee. All deliberation concerning nominations shall remain confidential.

para 4. Nominations from the Floor.

No nominations for membership shall be accepted from the floor.

Section 3. Elections.

para. 1. Time of Elections.

There shall be two elections annually, one in the fall and one in the spring, at times designated by the President. Nominees from all schools in the University may be considered in either semester. Election to membership from the students shall take place twice annually in the fall and spring semesters. Election to membership from that faculty and administrators shall take place annually in the spring semester. Election to membership from the alumni shall take place annually in the fall semester.

  1. para. 2. Balloting.
    All voting on election to membership shall be by secret ballot.
  2. No election to membership shall be valid if fewer than fifteen members are present at the time of each ballot shall be required.
  3. For election to membership, the affirmative votes of three-fourths of those present at the time of each ballot shall be required.
  4. The President shall specify the order in which elections from the several schools and groups shall take place.
  5. Ballots shall be taken separately on the entire list of nominees from each school or group.
  6. The balloting for each school or group may continue until the number of persons prescribed by the Council is elected or until a motion to close election from that school or group is passed. For passage of such a motion, a majority vote of those present shall be required. Once closed, a school or group election shall not be reopened.
  7. In the event of a tie vote during any balloting procedure, the President shall be entitled to cast a vote in order to break the deadlock.

Section 4. Number and Allocation of New Members

para. 1. Limits on the Total Number of New Members.

The Raven Council shall specify the total number of persons who may be elected to membership in the Society each semester. The total number of new student Ravens initiated each semester may not exceed one student Raven for every 200 full-time students (both graduate and undergraduate) at the University. The Society shall not be obliged to fill any or all of the permitted slots for each school/college. This is to maintain the high standards and integrity of the Society. The guidelines for membership shall be available to the membership for inspection.

para. 2. Allocation of New Members among Schools.

It is the responsibility of the Raven Council to allocate the number of new members each school or group may nominate to the Society per year using the follow process:

  1. Each school will receive a share of the total new initiates that is in proportion to the number of counted students enrolled in the school. For the purposes of determining enrollment share, counted students are defined as 3rd or 4th year, full-time undergraduates or full-time graduate students. The number of undergraduate students and graduate students initiated by each school should be proportional to the enrollment share of undergraduate and graduate students in that school.
  2. In the case where a school’s share of enrollment decreases, the Raven Council should not decrease that school’s allotment of new initiates by more than one initiate per semester as compared to the previous year.
  3. No school or group shall receive fewer than two new initiates per year, regardless of the number of eligible students.
  4. Should the number of initiates calculated exceed the total limit on new members set forth in the By-Laws, the Raven Council should consider the following three factors in judiciously adjusting the calculated seat allotments:
    1. The extent to which each school or group’s enrollment share was rounded-up in order to achieve their calculated new member allocation
    2. The total number of new members each school has been allocated. It is preferable to take seats away from a larger school than a smaller school if their respective enrollment shares have been rounded-up by equal amounts.
    3. The extent to which the calculated allotment differs from the previous year’s allotment. It is preferable to minimize the change in a school’s allotment from year to year.

para. 3. Updating the Number and Allocation of Members

It is the responsibility of the Raven Council to update the total number of new members and the allocation of new members among schools or groups at the beginning of every academic year based on the current enrollment numbers.

By-Law XI: The Raven Award

Section 1. Procedure for Nomination.

The Council shall make nominations for the Award. In the fall of each academic session, the Raven Council shall solicit recommendations for alumni recipients of the Raven Award. In the spring of each academic session the Raven Council shall solicit recommendations for student, faculty, and administrator recipients of the Raven Award from the membership in general and, in particular, from the various committees on nominations for membership in the Society and from the greater University community. These recommendations shall be submitted in writing and shall include supportive information. The Raven Council may prepare a list of nominees to be presented to the Society, but shall not be obligated to make any nominations for the Award. Any
committee appointed to research nominations for the Council shall not consist of award
nominees or nominators. The committee should consist of individuals from each school. It is preferable that Raven Awards not be conferred to Council members unless they are truly exceptional. This provision is in place to maintain the integrity of the award and the society.

Section 2. Number of Awards.

In any one session not more than four Awards may be conferred on students and not more than two Awards on members of the faculty or administrators, and no more than two awards on alumni of the University of Virginia. The Society shall not be obligated to confer any or all of the Raven Awards in any year.

Section 3. Nomination and Election.

Each fall and spring, the President shall present to the membership the nominations by the Raven Council for the Raven Award, and the Award shall be conferred by vote of the Raven Society. No nominations for the Raven Award shall be accepted from the floor. A three-fourths vote of those present, there being a quorum, shall be necessary for selection. The conferring of the Award shall not constitute election to membership in the Raven Society. However, each Raven Award winner not already a member of the Society shall be considered to be an honorary member of the Society. As an honorary member, a Raven Award winner shall be invited to all Raven scholarly events and social functions, including the annual Spring Banquet. Honorary members shall not be allowed to attend or vote at Society meetings, nor serve on membership committees, nor shall they receive Raven certificates or pins. Honorary members shall not be assessed dues.

Section 4. Presentation of the Award.

The Raven Award shall be presented at the annual dinner of the Society, at which each recipient shall be a guest of honor. Winners of the Raven Award shall receive a sculptured likeness of Edgar Allen Poe mounted on a base bearing a plaque signifying the Award and its recipient. The awards shall be presented by a Raven Society member chosen by or with the agreement of the recipient.

By-Law XII: Mailbox

It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary to check the mailbox of the Society on a regular basis.

By-Law XIII: Raven Society Scholarship

Section 1. Goal

The Raven Society hopes to endow an annual scholarship for each of the ten schools at the
University.

Section 2. Selection

  1. General
    There shall be a two tier selection process.
  2. Specific
    1. Tier One: By School
      1. The Raven Society, through its President and Raven Council, requests each school to nominate, at least three and no more than six, nongraduating students from their school.
      2. The model is flexible for each school. If possible, the Raven Society requests that the Dean of each school or a representative of the Dean’s office, participate in their school’s nominating committee. The Dean or representative must be a member of the Raven Society. Otherwise, the chair(s) of the Raven Scholarship Committee, in consultation with the
        President, will appoint a faculty member or administrator to chair each school’s nomination process.
      3. The committee should include at least two student Raven members and two other faculty members from the respective school.
      4. The selection must be based on outstanding scholastic achievement and merit. The nominee may be a Raven member. The nominee does not have to be a Raven member.
      5. The committee must forward the student’s name and vitae to the Tier Two committee. The committee shall rank the nominees in order of preference before forwarding them to the Raven Scholarship Committee.
      6. Recommendations for Specific Schools
        1. Darden School of Business: The Darden School has exhibited a unique need to attract students to attend the University. The Darden School may nominate a student who has received early admission to the school.
        2. College of Arts and Sciences: The College of Arts and Sciences’ size may be prohibitive in nominating one student from the three fields and twenty plus majors. Recommendations:
          1. Nominate one student from each of the following areas: Humanities, Social Sciences, Mathematics and the Natural Sciences; and/or
          2. Rotate the nominations within each area, allowing one Department in each of the three areas to nominate one student in any given year;
          3. Restrict the nominations to include only those students achieving Intermediate Honors status (the highest award bestowed to Undergraduates by the University).
          4. McIntire School of Commerce: Because the Commerce School is only a two-year program, the nominee could be a third year student whose academic achievement is based on the pre-Commerce School curriculum.
        3. Tier Two: By the Raven Scholarship Committee
          1. The Raven Society President will see that a Raven Scholarship Committee is appointed by the close of the fall semester.
          2. The committee will be comprised of no less than eleven Raven members.
          3. The committee will be comprised of at least the following eleven members:
            1. 3 Raven Council Members
            2. 3 at large Faculty Members
            3. 2 at large Student Members
            4. 3 at large Alumni Members
            5. At large members will be selected by the President at the advice of the Raven Council.
          4. The committee will select the final recipients.
          5. The Raven Council will determine the amount of Raven Scholarships to be awarded.
          6. The committee will convene in the second semester before the annual banquet.
          7. The committee shall review the materials forwarded to it by the school committees and determine the Scholarship recipients by majority vote.
        4. Specific Criteria
          1. The nominee shall be a non-graduating student but must have completed at the time of the committee meeting at least two years of undergraduate studies or one year of a graduate program.
          2. Exception: Any student in the second semester of any two-year graduate program, for example the Darden School or the Architecture School’s
            Master’s degree programs, shall be eligible for the Raven Scholarship.
          3. The committee shall consider the following in order:
            1. Outstanding achievement in the classroom;
            2. Unique achievement in scholarship outside the classroom;
            3. Leadership and community service.

Section 3. Fundraising

a. General

The Raven Scholarship is tied to the Capital Campaign. Any gift earmarked for this scholarship will count toward the capital campaign.
b. Specific

  1. An ad-hoc committee shall be formed with the expressed purpose of raising funds for the scholarship.
  2. The committee shall be appointed by the President with the advice of the Council.
  3. Committee members will serve at the pleasure of the Raven Council.
  4. There shall be no limit of the number of committee members.

By-Law XIV: Raven Banquet Officer

Section 1. Duties

  1. The Raven Banquet Officer will be responsible for the Raven Banquet, with consultation and approval by the Raven Council.
  2. The Raven Banquet Officer will be a member of the Raven Council and will have all general duties and powers of all Raven Officers.

Section 2. Selection
The Raven Banquet Officer will be voted in by the general membership in accordance with the By-Laws governing the elections of all other officers.