Black Swamp Gamers Constitution and By-Laws
ARTICLE I: NAME & PURPOSE
Section A: Name – The name of this club shall be Black Swamp Gamers.
Section B: Location – The club main office is located at 18 N. 3rd St (basement suite), Waterville, OH 43566.
Section C: National Affiliation – Black Swamp Gamers is not affiliated with any nationally known organizations. We are currently independent of any other board game clubs or retail stores.
Section D: Purpose – The purpose of this club shall be:
1. To Provide a safe and encouraging atmosphere with like-minded people who have a common interest in board games, card games, etc; also known as hobby gaming.
2. To give our members a relaxing and entertaining experience through group interaction and conversation.
3. To raise awareness of the growing community of hobby gaming.
Section E: Codes of Conduct – It is important that members have a common understanding of what behavior is expected to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of our members and guests.
- We are a private group. Guests who intend on playing must be accompanied by a member and in some cases, approved by a limited partner OR have donated for a guest pass. This is for security reasons. Visitors, such as walk ins, are welcome to browse and converse but are not allowed to participate in any gaming unless said guest pass is used.
- There is absolutely NO CHEATING while gaming. If caught, you’ll be warned but if it’s consistent, you’ll be asked to leave and possibly have your membership revoked. These will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Please keep our area clean and tidy. Once a game is played, please put it back properly in its box and put it back on the shelves where you found it. Please also dispose of any trash into the waste basket.
- Please also remember to practice clean personal hygiene while gaming. Many other people will be playing these games after you so to keep the spread of germs to a minimum, always remember to wash your hands after using the bathroom or eating greasy foods. There will also be hand sanitizer bottles placed around the club area.
- Accidents do happen but to try and prevent them all together, UNCAPPED drinks are not allowed to be placed on tables where games are in play. Leave your drinks anywhere OTHER than the play area to keep spills from ruining the games.
- If you intend on playing a game with others, you are expected to FINISH the game as well. We understand if you have to leave, then someone else can take over your turns, but not finishing a game simply because you don't want to is not fair to the other players. To keep each game going smoothly, you should only be playing 1 game at a time, no jumping back and forth between tables.
- The way you play your game is different than how others play theirs. BE RESPECTFUL of other people’s playing styles.
- Be considerate of other players opinions and ideas. Everyone is neither right nor wrong. If needed, grab an officer to settle your disputes. EVERYONE INCLUDING OFFICERS, are expected to be mindful of your topics of conversation and refrain from excessive foul language, racist comments or slurs, etc. Conversation as such creates a bad, uninviting image that the club does not condone. Members or Officers caught using such language will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
- ABSOLUTELY NO TABLE FLIPPING. Calmly remove yourself from the table and relieve your tensions outside.
ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP, DUES, & MEMBER RIGHTS
Section A: Eligibility - Membership shall be open to the public for anyone who has an interest in Black Swamp Gamers upon payment of the dues as outlined below.
Section B: Dues – Dues are as follows for each membership type:
Partner –$225 per year
Basic Membership –$100 1st year, $125 at renewal
RPG(D&D) Membership –$60 per year
Additions to primary account holder plus 1 named family member – see below Sec B
All dues are to be paid in full at completion of application. If a membership is being renewed, any date prior of expiration date for payment is allowed. Installment plans are accepted with the approval of the club treasurer. (NOTE – the only installment option is only broken up from the single payment into 4 smaller payments and no further.)
Section B: Membership Rights
Partner - This allows you *AND 1 NAMED FAMILY MEMBER to be a voting member in the club. Being a partner, you “may” be asked to help open the building on game days and be a staff organizer of hosted events (must be a key holder to open club, see Article VIII, Sec G). Partners can bring as many guests as they please, as often as they want with the intent to try and get them to become a member down the road. Partners are also allowed to store their game collections at the shop. Lastly, being a partner also will allow you first access to game demos and special events that BSG may hold with game designers in the future. Participation as a partner for their involvement can be as little or as much as they choose to give to the club. In 2019, the contributor membership was absorbed into this membership status.
Basic Membership - This allows you *AND 1 NAMED FAMILY MEMBER access to the building only when a key holding member is available. This level of membership does not have voting rights when it comes to club changes to rules and procedures. Basic Members are allowed to bring 1 guest a month. If they would like to come more than 1 time, a guest pass would be necessary for additional attendance. Basic members can check out games from the shelves making sure they record it through the club website. Basic members also are automatically enrolled in the rewards system, which through group participation, members are awarded points with highest points member at the end of a 2-month cycle, gets to pick an unopened game from our donation shelf. More details can be obtained through a club officer. Basic members must have approval to leave games at the club due to possible shelf space limitations.
RPG Membership – This is exclusively for people who intend on ONLY playing RPG’s on scheduled group nights at the clubhouse. This pays for the players use of space, lighting, use of club resources such as tables, chairs, dungeon mats, miniatures, RPG books and guides, etc. This membership does not allow them to play on regular games night and should only be at the club on planned RPG campaign nights.
Explanation of 1 named family members - All plans listed (except RPG Membership) are to be considered “Family” plans that include 1 named family member. This means that every plan consists of its primary account holder and 1 named family member. This would include a spouse, child, sibling, or other immediate family member. This does not include “Significant others” or “Longtime boyfriend/girlfriend”. ID proof would be appreciated when filling application in which all additions named should also be listed. Age restrictions apply for family member additions, see Article VIII, Section C. For example: If a married couple with no kids would like to become members, they would only need a Basic Membership level plan for $100 the 1st year OR a parent and a single named child would also only pay $100 the 1st year. Any additional children or family members would cost an additional $50 per year PER named addition.
New Members – There is a 3-visit grace period that we ask all members must do to get to know the officers before checking out any games. This is to ensure that someone isn’t becoming a member, just to check out a game, then we never hear or see them or the game again. This is flexible and at the officers’ discretion.
Termination of Membership – If a club member violates any of the following club bylaws, codes of conduct, or there is probable cause that the member should not be associated with Black Swamp Gamers, the member may be removed by an affirmative vote by two thirds majority of the capable voting shares.
ARTICLE III: OFFICERS
Section A: Officers – The officers shall be a Club President, Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer, Event Organizer, and Public Relations (PR) officer.
Section B: Eligibility – Officers must have a partner membership status.
Section C: Election – The officers shall be elected by ballot, distributed 1 month prior to the last meeting of the 4th quarter. Results are a majority of the votes cast for that office by all paid club members and appointed board members.
Section D: Term – The officers shall serve for one year and their term of office shall begin at the commencement of the 4th quarter meeting. All officer positions can be held for multiple terms until they are voted out of office or choose to resign. Black Swamp Gamers 1st Quarter starts July 1st.
Section E: Vacancy – If a vacancy occurs in the office of Club President, the Vice-President shall assume the office for the remainder of the term and vacancies in any other office shall be filled by a special election (Article V, Sec B).
ARTICLE IV: DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section A: President – it shall be the duty of the Club President to:
- Preside at meetings
- Represent the club in an appropriate manner
- Appoint Events Committee chairpersons/members subject to the approval of the other officers
- Serve as an ex-officio member of all committees
- Perform such other duties as ordinarily pertain to this office
- Coordinate with all officers and create officer meeting agenda
- Votes from President are counted last to break ties.
Section B: Vice-President – It shall be the duty of the Vice-President to:
- Preside in the absence of the President
- Serve as chairperson of the Events Committee
- Coordinated with other officers to provide help to any officers as needed
- Keep records of current RPG sessions/groups/campaigns that are utilizing the club space (all DM’s, members of each group, general description of their style of game if D&D or other)
- Work with DM’s to fill possible open slots with other interested members that are looking to get into role playing
- Help get other RPG groups formed on other days that are not currently filled by a group
- Generate new ideas on how we can get more role players into the club (D&D Adventure league, Other events strictly in RPG gaming, More 1-off sessions, etc.)
Section C: Secretary/Treasurer – It shall be the duty of the Secretary/Treasurer to:
- Record the minutes of all meetings
- Maintain club’s records
- Maintain current roster of membership
- Receive all funds and process Request for Payment, Deposit Slip, and Officer Signature Forms. This also includes control of the club bank account.
- Keep an itemized account of all receipts and expenditures for reports as directed
Section D: Event Coordinator – It shall be the duty of the Event Coordinator to:
- Work with the Events Committee and Public Relations Officer to organize and plan any events that the club will be involved in such as local retail store events, conventions, public Saturday event at the club, Out-Reach events, etc.
Section E: Public Relations Officer – It shall be the duty of the PR Officer to:
- Maintain the clubs outward/public facing social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Intsagram, etc)
- Create posts of recent news for social media pages
- Generate ideas for local marketing, possibly working in tandem with the Event Coordinator.
- Concentrated efforts in networking and community outreach.
Section F: Future Officer Positions – The following are position that have been consider but are currently not offered as valid roles to be filled:
- Recruitment Officer – combine PR officer into this role
- Club Librarian – would maintain list of all games for checkout by club members
ARTICLE V: MEETINGS
Section A: Meetings – Regular Officer meetings shall be held on the 3rd Thursday of every month to discuss club happenings and ideas. Club-wide “state of the club” meetings are to be held (as necessary) every other quarter during the year; May and November, to discuss larger events, club finances, etc.
Section B: Special Elections – Special elections may be called by the President to fill a vacant or newly created officer role.
Section C: Quorum – A quorum shall consist of at least 4 officers or board members for meetings to be considered valid.
Section D: Parliamentary Authority – Officer majority shall govern this club in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws.
Section E: Board Member (non-officer) – In addition to officers stated above, other individuals listed in Article VIII Section F may attend the officer meetings and are considered part of said officer meeting, allowing them to share ideas and comment on discussions. This role also allows for a right to vote with parliamentary authority. Board members are appointed by the President and Vice President and are to be persons who have a background in the gaming community or feel would provide important knowledge on board games or club functionality related topics. They do not have to be a paying club member to be an appointed board member but if they are not a member, they may not participate in any other club functions and events other than officer meetings.
Section F: Means of voting – All votes cast for changes to club functionality and bylaws will be held through Doodle.com with links to all votes distributed either through the club CRM website, Bitrix24.com or given directly to board members through Facebook messenger. All votes cast must be done before the next officer meeting in which any open votes will be closed at that time.
ARTICLE VI: EVENTS COMMITTEE
Section A: Responsibility – Management of this club’s publicly held events shall be vested in an Events Committee responsible to the entire membership to discuss any plans with local events, conventions, out-reaches, etc. that Black Swamp Gamers is to participate in.
Section B: Membership – This committee shall consist of the officers as listed in Article III and appointed members.
Section C: Meetings – This committee shall meet as necessary between monthly officer meetings.
ARTICLE VII: OTHER COMMITTEES
Section A: Other committees – listed are possible future committees that may be needed once the club becomes more established: Marketing, Game Design, Fundraising, etc. When new committees are announced, they will be drafted into these bylaws once officers agree on the same conditions stated in Article VI (Responsibility, Membership, and Meetings).
Section B: Special Committees – The President shall have the authority to appoint any special committees, with the approval of the officers, from time to time as need demands.
ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENTS
Section A: Bylaw Changes – These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the partner membership level and appointed board members.
Section B: Notice – All Officers & Partner Memberships shall receive notice of the proposed amendment up to a month prior of the next officer meeting in which a majority vote is needed and completed through the Doodle.com website.
Section C: Age Restriction – Although we encourage people of all ages to participate in the club and in the board game community, for liability reasons, we ask that all primary account holders are 18 years of age and older. Family member additions may include individuals under 18 years of age but must be accompanied by their parent or guardian. Remember that if you are bringing your children with you, they may be subjected to conversation that may not be appropriate for their age.
Section D: Limited Partner Memberships – As of August 5th 2021, there is no longer a limit on the number of partner memberships allowed for the club.
Section E: Guest Passes – Weekend & Monthly guest passes are available through donation that will allow the presenter of the pass between 2 and 8 days of game play on any publicly accounted member day. A donation of $5 for each weekend pass is required and will expire 3 month after being issued for 2 days’ worth of gaming. A $10 donation for each monthly pass is required and will expire 3 month after being issued for to 8 days’ worth of gaming. Passes must be approved and dated by an officer before being handed out. If they are received with no signature, date, or approved hole punch, they cannot be accepted. Specialized hole punch for either Weekend or Month will also be verified. Once a day is used, use the same hole punch to mark how many uses the guest pass card has left. At the end of the pass, guest may keep it for club information. Guests may sign the visitor sign in form on the club tablet when using a guest pass so that we can later contact them with membership information.
Section F: Current officers & Board Members – Current elected & appointed board members as of August 5th 2021 are:
Club President: Anthony Kniss
Club Vice President: Matt Gruenwald
Secretary/Treasurer: Natalie Kniss
Event Coordinator: Kyle Smith
PR Officer: Aimee Gruenwald
Board Members: Josh Sapp – Owner of Old School Gaming
JJ White – Original Club Founder
Daniel Crews – Original Club Founder
Michael Coulter – Original Club Founder
Mike Pelton – Original Club Founder
Section G: Club Liability Waivers
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISK OR INJURY POSSIBILITY - As a member, volunteer, or guest of the Black Swamp Gamers club and facility, each person recognizes the risk and acknowledges that there are certain risks of physical injury – including death, damages, property damage, or loss – which said person may sustain as a result of participating in any and all activities connected with Black Swamp Gamers, or the use of the facilities or equipment.
WAIVER OF CLAIM FOR INJURY CLAUSE - Members, volunteers, or guests agree to waive and relinquish all claims that they may have for injuries or damages as a result of participating in the club or using the facilities or equipment against Black Swamp Gamers and its officers, agents, servants, employees, other volunteers, and affiliates.
RELEASE FROM LIABILITY CLAUSE - Members, volunteers, or guests do hereby release and discharge Black Swamp Gamers and its officers, agents, servants, employees, volunteers and affiliates from any and all claims for injuries, including death, damages, property damage, or loss which may have or may in future accrue to said person in account of participating in or volunteering for Black Swamp Gamers.
Section H: Fiscal Year for taxes – Black Swamp Gamers fiscal year begins July 1st
1) Has been a member with the club for over 1 year
2) has paid their membership in full
3) has paid the Key Holder service fee of $50 (paid annually in addition to their membership payment)
4) and has unanimously been voted on for approval by BSG officers.
The key holder can use the club at any time they so wish to utilize the club space. Key holders will have to sign an additional agreement form stating their responsibilities to the contents of the club as well as the people either they are bringing or members/guests that walk in looking for information about the club. The keys may not be shared with other members who have not paid for a key unless authorized to do so by an officer. If a member’s key are caught being used by another member, the officers hold the right to remove the members key holder access with no refund as well as the possible termination of their membership, depending on the severity of the issue. The clubhouse is monitored 24/7 with motion activated cameras.