Deadly Serious

(and no funny business)[1]


of the



Article 1: Name and Purpose

Section 1: The name of this organization is the Permanent Floating Riot Club (PFRC), but for obvious diplomatic reasons it will frequently go by the name of the Michigan Technological University Science Fiction and Fantasy Society or its initials (MTUSFAFS)[3]

Chapter 2: The prupose[4] of this organization is to provide an outlet for the promotion of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and other related sicknesses of the mind[5].

Sub-Section 1: Activities can fall into one or more of the following categories:


  1. Movies
  2. Conventioning
  3. Printing the newsletter (the Riot Act) and/or fanzine
  4. Throwing an occasional party
  5. Throwing an occasional banquet
  6. Throwing an occasional neo[7] for getting out of line
  7. Bringing speakers up hear
  8. Becoming rich and famous

Paragraph 3: This organization will abide by all the rules of Michigan Technological University[8], the city of Houghton, Houghton County, the Constitution of the United States, the United Nations Charter, and anyone else that could give us trouble[9].

Article 2: Membership Dues, and Don'ts[10]

Section 1: Qualifications

Members shall be all people[11] that show an interest in the activities of the organization and are willing to pay good money for the privilege of joining our honored ranks each year. Dues will be paid annually, and will give the payee the right to attend all club functions, receive any club newsletters, and generally be considered One of the Gang[12]

Section 2: Franchise

Only students of Michigan Tech may be officers and/or voting members, although non-students can be non-voting associate members. All officers must have greater than a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average[13]. Each voting member gets one vote[14]. No voting member shall be allowed any more than his/her/its vote nor any less.

Chapter 3: Discrimination

No discrimination on the bases of race, creed, sex, age, handicap, species, national or planetary origin, or ANYTHING else, shall exist in this fine, upstanding organization, in full compliance with the MTU Board of Control equal opportunity policy effective July 20, 1990[15].

Addendum 4: University BroilerPlate(tm) brand Verbatim Phrase[47]

In compliance with Michigan Technological University's Board of Contorl Equal Opportunity Policy effective July 15, 2009, the Association will not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, secual orientation, gender identity, height, weight, or marital status. The organization must also be committed to the policy of not discriminating against disabled individuals or veterans.[48]

Section 4: Responsibility

Each individual membership unit shall be responsible for his/its/her own behavior at any organizational activity. Should anyone be caught[16] doing anything in the name of the organization, without the express permission of the organization, the Minister of Truth will disavow any knowledge of its/his/her actions[46].

Article 3: Fearless Leaders

Chapter 1: Officer Titles

the officers of this organization are as follows:

Section 2: Duties

Supreme Dictator for Life: To preside over meetings, act as a figure head, and attempt to get things done.

President in Charge of Vice and Keeper of the Loose Change: Shall be responsible for the receipt and disbursement of all funds and record all the business transactions of the club, to be made available at all meetings. Also in the absence or deference of the Supreme Dictator for Life to preside over meetings. Should be familiar with the base 10 number system and comfortable with it, and also be able to count well past one hundred.

Minister of Truth and BOFH: To conduct all correspondence of the organization and record and preserve all minutes of meetings, and make these records available at all meetings. Should be able to write[18].

Section 3: Elections

Sub-Section 1: Nominations for all PFRC offices will be opened in April, and the elections will be held sometime in May, preferably with at least two weeks separating the two events. Nominations will remain open until the last possible moment[19]. All offices will be filled[20], and nominations to regular offices may be refused[21].

Paragraph 2: The candidate who receives the most votes on the first ballot gets stuck with the job[22]. If a tie occurs, the decision may be made by any method agreeable to both candidates involved[23]. All offices take effect at the last regular meeting of spring term[24]. voting will be carried out either by a show of hands[25] or by secret ballot[26]. If an officer should be somehow misplaced and does not seem likely to return, an immediate election shall be held to replace the wayward one with some other unlucky sap[27].

Addendum 3: Officers who abuse their position[28] are subject to removal by a 2/3 vote of the organization at a regular meeting. A vote to remove an officer must be announced at least one regular meeting previous to the vote.

Article 4: Meetings

Section 1: Meetings shall be held every week at a predetermined time and place[29].

Section 2: 25% of the active membership shall consitute a quorum to do business unless active membership should fall below 25% of total membership, in which case a quorum shall become 90% of those active members present.

Section 3: Special or emergency meetings may be called by a majority of officers and a regular quorum (although scheduled meetings are generally the only ones recognized).

Section 4: Any member who suggests use of Robert's Rules of Order to govern meetings may become subject to club activity number six (see Article 1, Chapter 2, Sub-section 1, Example 6)[30]

Chapter 6: A member shall be considered an active member if said member does not accumulate more than four unexcused[31] absences from regular meetings per term.

Article 5: Committees

Section 1: All committees shall be formed and recognized by a majority vote of members at a regular meeting, and shall report to the Supreme Dictator for Life. The number of committees shall at no time exceed the number of members[32].

Section 2: Committees will be formed as needed, and automatically dissolved once their purpose is accomplished[33]. These purposes include organizing social events, carrying out particular projects, or running small conventions.

Article 6: Amendments

Section 1: Amendments to this constitution may be proposed at any reglar meeting. The organization may ignore the silly ones.

Section 2: Such amendments shall go into effect upon ratification by a 2/3 vote cast at any regular meeting or election provided that a quorum can be had[34]

Section 3: Proposed amendments must be announced at least one meeting prior to voting on said amendment. The amendment may be amended, and the amendments to the amendments amended, as much as desired until the vote is completed.

Article 7: Establishment of a PFRC alumni association.

Section 1: This association will be known as ASAKCA, or the All Seeing, All Knowing Council of the Ancients. The members of said association being dully graduated or otherwise released members of the PFRC; The graduated members being furthermore referred to as the "All Wise Ancients" or less formally, simply the "Wise Guys"

Section 2: The active PFRC membership would be duly enjoined to see that each venerated member receives each copy of the Riot Act, or similar alumni newsletter, regularly[35]. The honored alumni members would remit 1/20,000 of their annual salary, or $1.00 per year, whichever is easier.

Section 3: All venerated most honored Alumni members shall be treated as full members at any and all meetings of the PFRC that they shall deign to grace with their presence, noting here that at their discretion the revered one may suspend the requirement that the undergrad members genuflect in their presence.

Section 4: Conditional upon availability, each member of the Circle of the Enlightened shall receive an ancient and powerful scroll proclaiming their worthiness, or a xerox thereof.

Section 5: Also, a chairman, themself exemplary among the revered, shall be appointed in ASAKCA to execute, if any should arise, all the most direr and important shit jobs needed to keep the association functioning in harmonious accord with the Universe as a hole.

Article 8: Bylaws

Section 1: Meetings will be governed by the PFRC bylaws, which will be set forth in a separate document[36]. These bylaws will also include rules which are subject to change, such as dues, spending guidelines, and short-term organizational goals[37].

Section 2: Bylaws can be proposed, amended, or deleted with a simple majority vote, at any regular meeting where a quorum is available.

Section 3: One member, designated as the Seargent at Arms, will be responsible for halting[38] the more egregious abuses of the club's patience, and for settling questions of whether the club bylaws and Constitution are being followed.

Article 9: Advisor

The club will have an official academic advisor, as required by University policy[43]. The advisor will be kept up-to-date on club activities at all times.

Addendum 5: University BroilerPlate(tm) brand Verbatim Phrase

[49] ... the name of the desired advisor is forwarded to Student Activites for approval.

Article 10: Finances

Club funds will come mainly from dues, with additional amounts from miscellaneous[44] fund-raising activities when more money is needed for special projects. Expenditures will be authorized by a simple majority vote at any regular meeting[45]. Funds will be placed in a checking account, and the check records may be examined by any member upon request. The Supreme Dictator for Life, President in Charge of Vice-Keeper of the Loose Change, and Minister of Truth will all have the authority to sign checks, but under normal circumstances only the ident in Charge of Vice-Keeper of the Loose Change will actually do so.

Article 11: Ratification

This constitution will be ratified by a 2/3 vote by a quorum at a regular meeting, as defined earlier. It will go into effect upon approval by the Dean of Students or her designee.

Addendum 6: University BroilerPlate(tm) brand Verbatim Phrase

It will take effect when approved by Student Activities.[50]

[1] Well, OK, maybe a little.

[2] Alias the Michigan Technological University Science Fiction and Fantasy Society when we want to sound halfway respectable.

[3] Whichever is most inappropriate at the time. Historically, the club has also been called "Michitrek", "Captain Duester's Lonely Hearts Club Band", and a variety of other unpleasant names.

[4] Most of the apparent misspellings in this document are puns. This one isn't.

[5] And help us forget for a moment our dull, wretched lives.

[6] Or miserable stinking hole, depending on point of view

[7] If you don't know what one is, you probably are one.

[8] Although we don't promise to take them all that seriously in the process.

[9] So there!

[10] This is a pun. Readers who don't get it are eligible for a small grant to buy themselves a sense of humor. Small, secondhand ones are readily available, and in many cases have hardly been used.

[11] This includes any being which is sentient (or can fake it well). [39]

[12] And to wear our unbelievably nifty buttons and T-shirts (when available)

[13] While this may cut seriously into our pool of officer candidates, it is University policy, so I guess we have to live with it.

[14] Not two. Three is right out.

[15] We were required to say all that last bit about the Board of Control. Just as a point of interest, we exceeded their policy by a good margin in the first place.

[16] The obvious corrollary being that if you are not caught, you can do whatever you like.

[17] Or, President in charge of Vice.

[18] Preferably in a language that other members can read. English is good.

[19] Or, in some cases, just slightly after that.

[20] Including those cooked up on the spur of the moment.

[21] Spontaneously-proposed offices[40] cannot be refused, as their sole purpose is ridicule and abuse.

[22] Unless none of them receive more that one vote, in which case they will all be hauled off and shot!

[23] i.e., flipping coins, arm wrestling, a quick hand of poker, spitballs at twenty yards, etc.

[24] This will give everyone a chance to get in a few jeers before going home for the summer.

[25] Or other body parts.

[26] Whichever is least convenient

[27] Any blood shed in the course of elections shall be cleaned up before the meeting is adjourned.

[28] That is, arouse the homicidal fury of a significant portion of the membership, or succeed in getting (or almost getting) us into dire and unspeakable difficulties.

[29] Traditionally, this is 7:05 pm on Saturday, in Room 101 Fisher Hall. If it isn't there, look around for the room where people are yelling and throwing things.

[30] Sorry, but this is supposed to be an amusing organization, and there is no way that anyone in their right mind would consider Robert's Rules of Order to be "fun". Besides, we hardly ever do anything important anyway!

[31] Excuse policy is generally pretty loose. "I Forgot" is about as good as "I was deathly ill with pneumonia, appendicitis, and my leg broken in three places while saving the Free World for democracy." "I was abducted by aliens" is always good in a pinch.

[32] The preferred size of these committees is one person, since two people push off the work on each other, three fight with each other, and four or more can never all get together at once[41].

[33] This keeps the club from being lulled into a sense that things are getting done when in fact they are not. It also saves us the trouble of keeping track of what committees exist and who is on them over long periods. Shrewd, isn't it?

[34] As in duped, hoodwinked, or conned.

[35] "Regularly" being a subjective term. "Once in a blue moon" or "whenever Hell freezes over" might be more accurate.

[36] Assuming, of course, that we ever feel strongly enough about it to get around to writing them.

[37] Such as, for example, enslaving all mankind or destroying the Universe[42], or just developing a novel alcoholic drink, like the "Floating Riot."

[38] Usually by shouting them down and/or throwing them out. Supression (stuffing the offender into a gunny-sack and sitting on them) is reserved as a last resort.

[39] Turing Tests are available upon request.

[40] Like "Club Pervert", "Seargent at Legs or Other Body Parts", or "Scapegoat".

[41] Taking this to the logical extreme, the most efficient committee size should be zero members, but this is just another case where theory goes all to hell, I'm afraid.

[42] Speaking of which, this brings up the very good question, if you destroy the Universe, where will you live? An the almost as good of a question, how are you going to pay for it? Just go to a bank and apply for a universe-improvement loan? At least you would never have to worry about paying back the principal!

[43] Whether the advisor actually comes to meetings is another question entirely. Say, who is our advisor these days, anyway?

[44] Preferably legal.

[45] Embezzlement will be severely punished. Bamboo splints will be made available, as will honey and ants.

[46] This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.

[47] I, for one, welcome our new Student Activties overlords.

[48] Favorite color is considered fair game.

[49] As per our commitment to the inglorious institutionalization of Student Activities, ...

[50] Who have apparently been designated by the Dean of Students.