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The Philomathesian Society



Constitution – 1822 Version

            Whereas by an act of incorporation passed by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont Nov 1822, Julian G Bud, Lyman Gilbert, Chauncy W Fitch, their associates and successors. Members of Middlebury College are constituted a body politic and corporate for the purposes of promoting useful knowledge and of establishing, enlarging, and protecting a permanent Library in Middlebury College to be known and distinguished by the name of the Corporation of the Philomathesian Society: therefore we the undersigned, to promote those objects, do agree to abide by the following Constitution. 

Chapter 1
Sec 1st
This society shall be known by the name of the Corporation of the Philomathesian Society and consist of two divisions which shall be denominated the first and second divisions of the Corporation of the Philomathesian Society.
Sec 2nd
Each division shall have the power of governing itself by its own laws; provided however that none of their regulations shall violate or interfere with the common … and laws of the Philomathesian Society.
Sec 3rd
Each division shall have the power of expelling its own members which expulsion shall be considered an expulsion from the common society.
Sec 4th
The ordinary members of this society shall consist only of those who are members of this Institution.
Sec 5th
Any person wishing to become a member of the society must sign the general constitution by applying to the common Sec. The Secretary shall then assign him to the division which contains the fewest members of his class. If the number be equal he shall be assigned to the first division.
Sec 6th
Each member of the society shall pay one dollar for initiation and also fifty cts each term, to be paid to the collector at the commencement of each succeeding term.

Chapter 2
“Of the appointment and duty of officers”
Sec 1st
There shall be a President to which office senior Sophisters shall be eligible.
Sec 2nd
The President shall have the power of calling a joint meeting of the two divisions of the society when deemed necessary by the Presidential Committee and it shall be his duty in the same to keep order and to put all motions and resolutions regularly submitted.
Sec 3rd
For the exercise of this power the Presidents have the authority to inflict fines. Not however in each instance to exceed fifty cents
Sec 4th
It shall be the duty of the President to receive letters and writings directed to the Society and the same before the Presidential Committee
Sec 5th
There shall be a Vice President to which Junior Sophisters only shall be eligible
Sec 6th
It shall be the duty of the Vice President to act in all the capacities of the President in case of absence.
Sec 7th
There shall be a common Secretary; who shall also serve as “Librarian”; to which office Senior Sophisters only shall be eligible.
Sec 8th
It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep a regular journal of all the proceedings of the common Society; to read all letters, resolutions, and writings laid before the Society, to call the names of the members at the opening & close of each meeting, to “…” the names of the delinquents to the Judicial Committee of the Common Society, and also to give any member a dismission who may request it & present a receipt from the collector of the final payment of his bills.
Sec 9th
It shall be the Secretary’s duty as Librarian to keep an exact account of all books taken from and returned to the Library, to assess all fines for damages done them, and for not returning them in due season as prescribed in the laws and to transmit the same to the Collector.
Sec 10th
It shall be the duty of the Librarian, when any book or books shall have been newly received to announce them within one week, by inserting their names in the blank leaves of the catalogues.
Sec 11th
There shall be a Treasurer to which office Junior Sophisters only shall be eligible.
Sec 12th
It shall be the duty of the Treasurer safely to keep all money and property of the society and to pay all such sums as the Presidential Committee shall decide. The Treasurer shall be accountable to the Society for all money and property entrusted to his care, he shall lay before the Society at the time of the annual election of officers a regular statement of all receipts and expenditures during the year and state of the treasury. No property shall be taken from Treasury except by order of the Presidential Committee.
Sec 13th
It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to call on all debtors for the sums which they respectively owe to the soc. To collect them by law when advised by the Presidential Committee.
Sec 14th
There shall be a Presidential Committee consisting of six persons, one from each division from the three upper classes.
Sec 15th
It shall be the duty of the Presidential Committee to lay before the society all letters and writings submitted to them by the President, to accept all donations which may be made to the society, to recommend to the President to call a joint meeting of the divisions, to purchase books for the Soc. and to draw from the Treasury whatever sums may be necessary to defray them and all expenses approved by a majority of the Committee.
Sec 16th
The Presidential Committee shall have power to limit fines which have been assessed by the Librarian as presented in the laws, for not returning books after having been drawn out one fortnight, if the detention may appear to have been unavoidable.
Sec 17th
The Presidential Committee shall exhibit at the annual election of officers a report of the expenditures of money drawn by them from the Treasury, also of the debt owed by the Soc. and also a report respecting the State of the Library.
Sec 18th
There shall be a collector to which office Junior Sophisters only shall be eligible
Sec 19th
It shall be the duty of the collector to collect all sums due from each division and give a receipt to each individual for the sum received from him. The collector shall once in each term deliver over to the Treasurer all the money of the society in his hands. The collector shall at each annual meeting for the election of officers make a report of the sums which he had received and also the names of those from whom money is still due and shall be considered bound for the payment of the sums due from those whose names are not mentioned. The collector shall one week previous to the examination for degrees, transmit to the Treasurer the names of all seniors whose bills remain unpaid. After which transmission said persons shall be liable to be sued.
Sec 20th
It shall also be the duty of the collector to make known to the society by public notice at the commencement of each term that all bills due the soc. Must be paid to the collector within three weeks; if any member shall fail to call on the collector and pay his bills within this time – it shall be the duty of the collector to debar him from the use of the Library by posting his name in the Library Room.
Sec 21st
There shall be a Judicial Committee consisting of three persons from each of the three upper classes.
Sec 22nd
The Judicial Committee shall fine those whom are absent from any meeting of the society or mere tardy or egressed without rendering a reasonable excuse, in writing, within one week after their delinquency. No fine, however, shall be imposed by the Judicial Committee exceeding 25 cents. It shall also be the duty of the Judicial Committee to transmit the names of persons fined and the sum each individual is fined to the collector at or before the close of each term.
Sec 23rd
The Presidential Committee, the collector, and the Treasurer shall meet together the Monday preceding the day appointed for the annual elections of officers & compare and assist their accounts under the inspection of the Auditors.
Sec 24th
There shall be two Auditors chosen from the junior class, one from each division. They shall meet the Presidential Committee, Treasurer, and Collector on the Monday preceding the day appointed for the annual election of officers and examine and compare their several accounts, sign the same if they approve them, and if not shall share their reasons to the Soc.
Sec 25th
The annual meeting for the election of officers shall be held on the Wednesday preceding the examination for degrees.

Chapter 3rd
Honorary Members
Sec 1st
Any person who has received the honors of some public institution or who has entered upon the study of some one of the learned professions may be admitted an honorary member of the Soc. by a vote of the same.
Sec 2nd
Honorary Members shall have no office nor vote in the society.

Chapter 4th
Celebrations and Public Debates
Sec 1st
There shall be an annual celebration of the society on the Tuesday preceding commencement.
Sec 2nd
After, a Writer of a literary conference and two Orators shall be chosen on the first Wednesday in May and exhibit their respective performances at the annual celebration. An Orator to be chosen by each division, the Poet and Writer of literary conferences shall be chosen by the General Society.
Sec 3rd
There shall be two meetings of the general society in each year. The first on the last Wednesday in October, the second on the third Wednesday in April at which times a public debate shall be conducted by six individuals chosen, 3 from each division, two from each of the three upper classes.
Sec 4th
No disputant shall speak more than twice, or longer than twelve minute at a time; after the disputants have finished, the question shall be proposed for further discussion by the Honorary Members only.

Chapter 5th
“Of the Powers of the Society”
Sec 1st
The Society shall have power to grant petitions, pass bills and resolutions, impeach its officers by means of the Judicial Committee, and punish its members fines, admonition, or expulsion.
Sec 2nd
No petition shall be granted, bill or resolution passed without the concurrence of a majority of the two divisions of the Society.
Sec 3rd
No Honorary Member shall be expelled, nor laws enacted or repealed, nor any findings of the Society transacted without concurrence of a majority of the members then resident in Middlebury.

Chapter 6th
“Of the Library”
Sec 1st
Each member shall be entitled to the use of two volumes only at a time, which shall be returned to the Library once every fortnight, or penalty of 12 cts. and two cents per day until returned, provided however that the fine on any single book shall never exceed twice the value of that book.
Sec 2nd
No member of the society shall take down or put up any book in the Library or penalty of 12 cents; but shall receive them from and return them to the Librarian or to some person whom he shall appoint.
Sec 3rd
If any member shall materially damage or lose and volume or volumes, he shall take the book or books or the whole set and return new ones of the same kind to the Library or pay the value in money to the society.
Sec 4th
No member shall be allowed to take out books or another account without a written order from him to the Librarian.
Sec 5th
No member shall be allowed to draw books from the Library who is indebted to the Society and shall have received three weeks notice of the same.
Sec 6th
All books shall be returned to the Library on the Saturday preceding the annual election of officers of the Society or penalty of twenty five cents for each book
Sec 7th
The Librarian shall be furnished with a room at the expense of the Society.
Sec 8th
The Librarian shall give a receipt of all the books of the Library to the Presidential Committee to whom he shall be accountable for the same.
Sec 9th
The Library shall be opened on the same day and at the same hour of the day with the College Library.


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