Queer Neuropsychological Society ByLaws

Article I: Name, Purpose, & Objectives

1.1 Name.  The name of this organization is Queer Neuropsychological Society (QNS).  

1.1a A Note on the Use of "Queer": Although we acknowledge the historical oppressive and pejorative nature of the word “queer,” we also strongly believe in its power around which we may rally to reclaim the beauty of the term.  It is inclusive of all those who have felt “othered” by dominant heteronormative expectations, and it seeks to create a space in which individuality is celebrated. Queerness is fluid, dynamic, and includes a myriad of identities, all of which are valued and celebrated. 

1.2 Purpose.  The purpose of QNS is to develop a platform from which research and clinical applications thereof may be disseminated to neuropsychologists, allied professionals, and the community at large in the service of queer individuals’ neuropsychological health needs.

1.3 Objectives. QNS objectives span research, treatment, clinical competency, diversity, and training and education.

1.3a Collaboration: To collaborate with individuals of diverse experiences, perspectives, and expertise in order to promote understanding of the varied intersectionalities within the Queer community. 

1.3b Research: To promote clinicians access to existing research, encourage new directions for future studies, and provide both a digital resource library and a forum in which findings may be discussed.

1.3c Treatment: To inform adequate patient care in the form of understanding neuropsychological performance in unique groups, identifying appropriate recommendations, and linking patients to helpful resources.

1.3d Clinical Competency: To increase awareness in neuropsychologists and allied professionals regarding care decisions (interpretation, diagnoses, terminology, etc).  QNS also seeks to support clinicians in developing a compassionate, excellent bedside manner for queer individuals and their families.

1.3e Diversity: To increase visibility and inclusion of the variety of ways queer people are born and live.

1.3f Training and Education: To ensure easy access to quality information in the form of resources, consultation, supervision, mentorship, and seminars.

Article II: Membership and Leadership

2.1 Membership Qualifications.  There shall be two classes of members: Professionals and Associates. Membership will currently be granted free of charge. As QNS grows and demands increase, QNS may institute membership dues solely to fund educational, research, or advocacy action.  

2.1a Professional Members.  Licensed psychologists with specialized education and training in neuropsychology; licensed psychologists and other mental health clinicians with an interest in improving service provision to queer patients; licensed allied physicians, including neurologists, endocrinologists, primary care, and so on.

2.1b Associate Members.  Students, interns, and unlicensed fellows with an interest in queer neuropsychology.

2.2 Granting Membership.  Member applications shall be reviewed by an appointed Committee.  As rights and responsibilities of members are updated, they shall be posted herein.  Membership shall be continued annually.  Members may resign membership at any time.  Membership may be revoked for violation of bylaws or related professional standards; appeal inquiries may be directed to the Executive Board.

2.3 Membership Standards.  Members understand and agree to abide by expectations of professional decency:

2.3a Decorum & comportment: Members will hold themselves to a high standard of respectful communication and other behavior.  We will practice restorative communication in a humanistic setting.

2.3b Judgment & nonmaleficence: Members will express curiosity in a nonjudgmental way and the assumption of nonmaleficence will be afforded to all.

2.4 Leadership.  Leadership shall evolve over time, with timely updates to this document as appropriate.

2.4a Executive Board.  The Executive Board shall consist of an odd number of neuropsychologists.  Specific roles will be determined at a later date.  They will meet once per month to discuss administrative QNS matters.

2.4b Special Committees.  Appointed individuals will oversee special projects or subdivisions of QNS for specific purposes.

2.5 Establishing New Procedures.  Interested members, including the Executive Board, will determine fair voting practices for the establishment of members, committees, and other future roles.

Article III: Meetings 

3.1 Annual Meetings.  It is a priority of QNS to create community, which we hope to do through annual gatherings.  We will formalize organizational and financial matters at an appropriate future time, post-pandemic.

Article IV: Executive Board & Committees

4.1 Executive Board.  The Executive Board shall consist of the co-founders and other interested and vested parties until such time that a more complex structure is appropriate.  Roles will likely include President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Members-at-Large, Student Representative, and Media Manager.  The Board will be composed of Professional Members.

4.1a Prerogative to Intervene.  If significant concerns are brought to the attention of the Executive Board, especially those pertaining to issues and behaviors that may not best represent QNS and/or the queer community, the Board shall review concerns and decide appropriate courses of action to address the issue.

4.2 Project-based Committees.  Project-based Committees have specific and actionable goals to address the strategic plan.  All Committees will keep a written record available to Members detailing their priorities, methods, and progress, as well as clear financial logs, if relevant.  Committee Chairs will liaise with and regularly meet with the Executive Board.  Chairs will be Professional Members.  If members of committees have specific concerns about leadership, formal complaints may be submitted to the Executive Board.

4.2a Temporary Committees.  The Steering Committee will constitute the first formal committee, to the purposes of determining initial organizational structure and priorities.  The following committees are presented for consideration by members in accordance with our vision and mission statements, and may be amended as the Steering Committee deems appropriate.  Occasionally, the Executive Board will mobilize committees for specific purposes not listed below.  

4.2b Membership Committee.  To the purposes of recruitment, ambassadorship, and communication with other societies and organizations about QNS.

4.2c Research Committee.  To the purposes of initiating new research, tracking new publications, and disseminating resources to membership.

4.2d Student and Education Committee.  To the purposes of providing support to student members and organizing educational opportunities.  Mentorship will be a priority of this committee. 

4.2e Advocacy Committee.  To the purposes of promoting policy and other public changes that support the advancement of neuropsychological service provision, especially where it pertains to queer wellness.

4.2f Communications Committee.  To the purposes of interfacing with the broader neuropsychological community and public about QNS.  Social media presence will be managed by this committee.

4.3 Processes for Committee Applications.  The co-founders invite members to submit statements of interest in available positions.  Statements of interest would ideally include the specific role the member would like (i.e., committee chair versus general committee member) and a description of relevant experience and personal/professional goals to be attained by taking on the role.  Open positions will be posted on the Membership page of the QNS website.

4.4 Processes for Installing Committee Positions.  Presently, the co-founders will review Committee Applications to build a core team which will support initial stages of growth and organization of committees.  Delegation of tasks and installment of additional leadership positions will follow.  Selected members agree to commit to regularly scheduled meetings and completion of tasks as agreed upon by interested parties.  Service terms are currently set to 6-months, and will likely transition to year-long terms when democratic protocols are established.

4.5 Processes for Removal of Committee Members.  Members may be removed from committee positions due to a) resignation or b) majority agreement of leadership, as determined by quorum and for the best interests of QNS.  In the event that a committee member is unable to serve out the remainder of their term, leadership will vote on elevating an existing member or review new applications for service of the remainder of the term.

4.6 Committee Restructuring.  As demands of the organization change, leadership may expand committee roles and/or add or collapse committees, as determined by majority agreement.

Article V: Matters of Future Development

5.1 Right to Amend.  In the interest of transparency and purposeful planning for the future, the QNS bylaws were created during its infancy.  As we grow, the Executive Board reserves the right to amend, modify, and otherwise update any aspect of this document.  This includes but is not limited to: establishing new systems, developing responsible financial policies, and creating new member or organization functions.  Matters likely to significantly impact members will be put to a vote.