What are the SOT policies and procedures for holding elections?
SOT Council has approved the policy to have all Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, and Specialty Section ballots disseminated, received, and reported by SOT Headquarters. Ballot information and any proposed Bylaws revisions should be provided to SOT Headquarters no later than December 31. SOT will disseminate the ballot promptly and return the results by March 1. Officer terms run from May 1 to April 30. Please send all Regional Chapter ballot information to Ashley Black and all Special Interest Group and Specialty Section ballot information to Raul Suarez.
What are the eligibility requirements to hold a leadership position in SOT Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, or Specialty Sections?
Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, and Specialty Section Officers in the Presidential chain (President, President-Elect, Vice President, and Vice President-Elect) and the Treasurer chain (Treasurer-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary/Treasurer) must be Full or Associate (active, retired, or emeritus) Members in good standing in order to fulfill SOT Financial Policies. All Student and Postdoctoral Representatives must be SOT Members at the beginning of their term. Eligibility during the term requires current enrollment in a graduate program for Student Representatives and engagement in a formal mentored postdoctoral position for Postdoctoral Representatives.
What should we do after we have elected our Officers?
Once your election has concluded, the results will be sent to the current President of the Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, or Specialty Section, who should then inform all candidates of the outcome of the election. After you have informed the candidates, you should send an announcement to the membership introducing your new Officers. You may do so by utilizing your ToXchange Membership Community site and/or newsletter. You may also announce new officers at your annual meeting/reception.
I’m a new Officer. What are my duties?
Some officer duties are outlined in your Bylaws. However, the way that specific responsibilities are distributed (meeting planning, newsletter production, etc.) does vary and should be explained in detail by an existing or outgoing Officer to facilitate effective and efficient succession.
Where is information on the SOT website with which officers should become fully acquainted?
We strongly encourage all officers to familiarize themselves with all areas of the SOT website and to utilize both your leadership and membership Community sites on ToXchange. The Leadership Resources available through your Leadership Community on ToXchange contain valuable information relevant to your RC/SIG/SS. Other areas of importance are open to the general public, including all Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, and Specialty Section web pages, and information about opportunities for graduate students/postdoctoral fellows and SOT’s public outreach initiatives (e.g., K–12).
Does SOT have a financial policy of which Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, and Specialty Sections should be aware?
Yes, please see the SOT Financial Policy for specific information about the financial responsibility each group has to SOT.
Does SOT Headquarters provide assistance with financial reports and check requests?
Monthly financial statements and general ledger reports are posted to the respective Leadership Communities on ToXchange. At the end of each month, SOT Headquarters receives a bank statement which is reconciled with the SOT database for information on dues, and other revenue is confirmed. Expenses from credit card bills, timesheets, conference call services, plaques, etc., are then posted to the account of the respective group. This process can take up to six weeks or longer (especially after the SOT Annual Meeting when a large number of expenses are incurred). Once the accounts have been reconciled, SOT Staff posts the financial statements in your file library on your ToXchange Leadership Community site. Current account balances are available upon request. For additional assistance, please contact Ashley Black (RC), or Raul Suarez (SIG and SS).
What is the SOT National policy for disbursing funds and how do Regional Chapters obtain checks?
The Regional Chapter President or Treasurer should send an email to Ashley Black at SOT Headquarters to make a request for checks. Ten checks are sent after the request is made. Make sure you ask in advance so there is sufficient time to receive the checks needed for a specific function. Normally, once the request is made, the checks are mailed within 24 hours. Checks can be written for up to $500 by the chapter Officers who are listed on the signature card. Disbursements by check of more than $500 must be sent from SOT Headquarters.
Can SOT Headquarters process credit card payments for registrations for Regional Chapter meetings and dues payments received at these meetings?
Yes, SOT can work with your Chapter to establish online meeting registration and credit card processing (see #42), and staff can provide assistance with processing credit card payments for registrations or member dues paid at meetings. Collect the following credit card information: name of cardholder as it appears on credit card; credit card type (Amex, MC, Visa, etc.), number, and expiration date (mo/year); and total amount to be charged. When you send these payments to SOT, staff will make the charges and deposit the money to your RC account, usually within 48 hours.
Are Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, and Specialty Sections able to solicit for donations?
Yes, you may solicit members and employers of members and can accept donations from organizations that seek to support your endeavors. However, you should not solicit SOT Affiliates (listed in the SOT Membership Directory) and/or SOT Annual Meeting Sponsors (listed on the SOT Annual Meeting website). For example, you could contact the department or division of a member’s employer, but not the corporate office if they an SOT Affiliate.
Is funding available for student travel to Regional Chapter meetings?
Yes, to increase attendance of graduate and undergraduate students at Regional Chapter meetings in large regions, there is funding available. Several of the Regional Chapters cover large geographic areas and it can be difficult and expensive for students to travel to Regional Chapter annual meetings. Potential attendees would be eligible for this travel support if they are at a distance of over a four-hour drive from the venue of the meeting. Up to $2,000 per Regional Chapter can be requested annually. Requests, with justification, should be submitted by the Regional Chapter (and not from individual students or institutions) to the SOT Council Subcommittee for Non-SOT Meeting, Component, and Global Funding which will make a decision on whether a Regional Chapter should receive the funding. Requests will most likely be honored if the funds will support multiple trainees (such as for travel in a single vehicle and/or for sharing hotel rooms) and if these trainees come from multiple laboratories within the Regional Chapter. Funds are not to be used for meeting registration costs, food, or incidentals for graduate students. However, undergraduates who are likely recruits to toxicology may have their registration costs and food paid for by these funds. The Executive Committee of the Regional Chapter (and not the Subcommittee for Funding) would set the procedure and policy for reimbursements of travel costs. The payment would be made by the Regional Chapter, and the Regional Chapter would submit a request for reimbursement with justification for the expenses after the Regional Chapter meeting. For more information, visit the SOT website or contact Kevin Merritt.
Does SOT provide funding for our Postdoctoral and Student Representatives to attend the SOT Annual Meeting?
RC/SIG/SS Student Representatives who serve on the Graduate Student Leadership Committee (GSLC) receive $700 in travel funding for the SOT Annual Meeting. Half ($350) is provided by SOT and half is provided by the RC/SIG/SS. Please budget for this amount if your section has a Student Representative who will attend the Annual Meeting. Postdoctoral Representatives do not automatically receive travel funding from SOT; however, they are encouraged to apply for travel awards—see the SOT Awards webpage for details.
Is there funding available for Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, and Specialty Section webinars, which are a popular and successful method of distance learning?
Yes, there is up to $2,000 in funding available per webinar. Please note that honoraria may not be paid from this funding. Organizations are encouraged to work with prominent toxicologists experienced with presenting webinars. Recent webinars have been available to the SOT Membership and have attracted participants from around the world. For more information please visit the Webinar Funding page. If you have any questions or would like to apply for funding please submit a webinar proposal to Kevin Merritt at SOT Headquarters.
What are Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology (CCT) Meetings?
CCT meetings are one- to two-day focused, open registration, scientific meetings in contemporary and rapidly progressing areas of toxicological sciences. CCT meetings may be held as a satellite to the SOT Annual Meeting, as specialty or regional meetings, or may be held independently. In order to maintain the quality standards of the Society, only meetings in which SOT maintains scientific and administrative control will be considered as CCT meetings. Applications for CCT meetings will be reviewed quarterly and should be sent to Clarissa Russell Wilson by January 1, April 1, July 1, or September 1. Please see the CCT Guidelines website for more information.
What, if any, restrictions are there with respect to net earnings and expenditures?
No part of the net earnings of the Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, or Specialty Section can inure to the benefit or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the RC/SIG/SS shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions to further the purposes of the organization as stated in the bylaws of each group. No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation and the RC/SIG/SS shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. No expenditure can be made by the RC/SIG/SS that, if made by SOT, would not be proper.
Can a Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, or Specialty Section use their funds to reimburse speakers and officers for travel?
Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, and Specialty Sections are bound by the same financial policy as SOT. SOT Financial Policy states that SOT Members cannot be reimbursed for expenses and travel to the SOT Annual Meeting. SOT Member Speakers can be reimbursed for travel to a Regional Chapter meeting and there is funding available. Nonmember Speakers can be reimbursed for their expenses to any meeting. RC, SIG, and SS Officers cannot be reimbursed for their travel to any meeting unless otherwise sanctioned by SOT Council.
Does SOT provide assistance with rosters, database information, and membership retention?
Yes, SOT is pleased to provide assistance in all of these areas. At this time, Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, and Specialty Sections Officers can access rosters with complete contact information online through the Membership Download link on their ToXchange Leadership Community site. (Note that “member type” is included in the downloadable rosters now.) SOT Headquarters can provide the rosters that include past members upon request. Moreover, SOT Headquarters can, at the component group’s request, help remind members of dues payments through broadcast emails.
Can SOT Headquarters assist with setting up conference calls?
Yes. If you would like to set up a conference call through SOT Headquarters, please contact your SOT Staff Liaison with a time and date already confirmed. SOT Headquarters will then give you the call-in information for distribution. All conference calls are billed back to the group account.
How does a member of SOT join a Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, or Specialty Section?
At the time of paying national dues, SOT Members can designate which Regional Chapters, Specialty Sections and/or Special Interest Groups that they would like to join. If a National SOT Member wishes to add a specific group after dues have been paid, he/she may simply return to the online Renewing Membership section of the SOT website or contact SOT Headquarters. Nonnational SOT Members can only join a Regional Chapter or Special Interest Group by completing the printable membership form found on the designated chapter’s or group’s website. SOT Members who are graduate students or postdoctoral fellows can join one Specialty Section and one Special Interest Group at no cost.
Can SOT Nonmembers join the SOT Regional Chapters and Special Interest Groups through the SOT website?
Individuals who are not National SOT Members often ask to join a Regional Chapter or Special Interest Group having found information about these groups through the SOT website. Although these SOT Nonmembers cannot join online, information provided on the Regional Chapter or Special Interest Group website is available to complete the membership application process. Regional Chapter or Special Interest Group membership renewal for SOT Nonmembers can be completed via the SOT website. Prospective Regional Chapter members are encouraged to contact chapter officers or to seek assistance from Ashley Black at SOT Headquarters, and prospective Special Interest Group members are encouraged to contact chapter officers or seek assistance from Raul Saurez at SOT Headquarters.
When are membership dues assessed?
Dues are assessed on a calendar year basis and are due no later than December 15 of the preceding year. Dues unpaid on December 15 shall remain due and payable in full.
If a member misses the dues deadline, what does it take to be reinstated?
A Regional Chapter or Special Interest Group member who is an SOT Nonmember would be reinstated as soon as he/she started paying dues again. In the case of a National SOT Member, in order to be reinstated, all membership dues in arrears must be paid or reapplication for membership must occur. Failure to pay dues within two months of the due date shall result in suspension of all member privileges. Failure to pay dues within 12 months of the due date shall result in forfeiture of membership. A member who has forfeited membership by nonpayment of dues must reapply for membership as per SOT Bylaws.
How can a member check on their dues status? How does a member renew through the SOT website?
Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, and Specialty Section membership and dues status can be accessed and dues can be paid electronically through the SOT website. To renew your SOT National and/or component membership, (1) Log into the site (email and member password required), (2) Select Manage Membership, Renew Membership/Make a Payment from the left navigation option drop down, (3) Select SOT Membership Renewal Online at the top of the page and (4) Complete the online renewal form. A receipt will be automatically emailed to the email address listed in the SOT Database. If you don’t know your login information or are unable to complete dues payment via the web for some other reason, please contact SOT Headquarters. It is quite likely that if you can’t access the site, you haven’t paid your dues.
I’ve recently moved out of my original Regional Chapter area and updated my contact information through the SOT website. Am I still a member of that original chapter?
Yes, updating contact information does not change your status in that chapter. If you would like to be removed from the roster of the Regional Chapter and/or become a member of the chapter in your new area, please contact Ashley Black.
I understand that SOT Headquarters can assist in the dissemination of information to members. Is that correct?
SOT Headquarters will be pleased to disseminate broadcast emails or ToXchange announcements to the membership of Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, and Specialty Sections. All broadcast messages must be approved by the President of the organization (i.e., RC, SIG, or SS) before the message is sent for SOT leadership review prior to distribution. If a representative of one component group requests that the message be sent to a number of groups (e.g., several RCs), the President of each individual group must approve the message. In addition, messages may be sent to Nonmembers of an RC, SIG, or SS who are SOT Members with approval from the SOT President. You are responsible for providing copy for your message.
A member in an RC, SIG, or SS joined recently but is not receiving email notices. What could be the problem and how could it be solved?
There are many possible reasons why emails are not delivered to a given individual. Three common reasons we can address here are that the member’s email address changed after joining, SOT messages are being caught in a spam filter, or the information originally provided was not entered correctly. We all know how unforgiving the email system can be if even a tiny period or space is missing! To verify the contact information, the member should go to the SOT Member database section of the SOT website and make updates if necessary. If the member information is correct, please contact Ashley Black (RC) or Raul Saurez (SIG and SS) for assistance.
Why does our Regional Chapter member list contain names of individuals who do not reside in our geographical region? Other chapters have told us that individuals from our region are in their chapter list. Are these mistakes? Were these individuals placed into the wrong Regional Chapters?
More than likely, these are not mistakes. Individuals can join any—and as many—chapters as they wish. SOT does not assign individuals to chapters. Also, if you yourself wish to resign your membership in a chapter before the end of the calendar year, then you must contact SOT Headquarters and ask to be removed from that chapter’s database.
Does the number of members shown for our RC, SIG, or SS on the secure web page include non-dues paying members? How long does it take for a new member to show up in that count and on lists we may request?
At the present time, the number of members shown on the website count includes members currently in good standing; i.e., those who are current in dues payments (or in the case of a Regional Chapter that does not require dues, everyone that chapter officers have requested SOT to renew annually). The roster information on the secure webpage is populated from the main SOT database, thus it is continuously refreshed and up-to-date.
We’d like to request a list to print mailing labels and want to reach all of our members, not just those shown as having paid dues recently. Can SOT do this?
Yes, a variety of different customized lists and subsets of your list may be possible. For example, you may want to contact only those you believe to still be interested in membership but have not paid dues. Or, you may want to increase your Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, or Specialty Section membership by contacting National SOT Members who may be interested in joining a specific group. Regional Chapters also may wish to contact National SOT Members who are not regional members for a number of reasons (e.g., to invite them to your annual meeting). Remember, if one Regional Chapter wishes to contact the members of another region, permission must be obtained from each affected Regional Chapter President. For further information, please contact SOT Headquarters.
We understand that SOT staff can also help with membership lists, maintaining our websites, publicizing events, and possibly more. Are there any charges associated with SOT Headquarters staff assistance?
No charges are associated with the routine types of assistance mentioned above. Special projects specific for your group, such as logo development or developing a paper brochure, may involve a staff charge. If you would like SOT staff to help implement or facilitate these tasks, please contact your Staff Liaison.
Does SOT help to advertise our awards?
Yes, SOT Headquarters sends out an award broadcast email to all SOT Members advertising the Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, and Specialty Section awards starting in July. To ensure that SOT is advertising the correct information, we advise that you update your award information during the summer. Awards can be updated through the Leadership Resources link in ToXchange. Please note that SOT does not permit groups to advertise awards from other societies. For any questions regarding awards, please contact Ashley Black (RC) or Raul Saurez (SIG and SS).
Does SOT Headquarters provide assistance with certificates and plaques?
Yes, SOT Headquarters can facilitate the production of plaques and certificates. Please note that plaques take four to six weeks to complete from date of order. For further information and assistance, contact Ashley Black (RC) or Raul Saurez (SIG and SS).
How does a Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, or Specialty Section create a new award?
New awards can be created and added to the SOT Awards page through the Leadership Resources. Funds donated for these awards should be sent to SOT Headquarters for deposit with the intended usage of these funds indicated on the check. In addition, groups may want to consider starting an Endowment Fund. For more information please contact Ashley Black (RC) or Raul Saurez (SIG and SS).
We have an Endowment Fund Award. What are our responsibilities?
As a Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, or Specialty Section with an Endowment Fund Award, you are expected to use the full name of the award in all publications, including newsletters, broadcast emails, and any information posted to the website. It is also encouraged that award recipients send a thank you letter to those who have donated funds. In addition, you are expected to fundraise for the award on a regular basis. Endowment Fund money is to be used for Endowment Awards ONLY and cannot be used for any other purpose.
Does SOT have the capability to administer an Internet survey? We would like to poll our membership. If you do have this ability, then can we make use of it and how much would it cost?
Yes, SOT Headquarters has this capability through ToXchange. You can use this mechanism at no cost. Contact Ashley Black (RC) or Raul Saurez (SIG and SS) to discuss the use of this member service.
A Member in a RC, SIG, or SS, did not receive the recent ballot. What would be the problem?
The member’s email address could be incorrect or the message may have been caught in the spam filter. If a member is not current on his or her SOT and RC/SS/SIG dues, he or she will not receive messages through ToXchange, including the ballot.
If something in the printed SOT Membership Directory needs to be updated, for example on the Specialty Section Officer page, who should be contacted and when must this be done? Who is responsible for producing the printed SOT Membership Directory that comes out annually?
SOT produces the Membership Directory in-house annually and has it printed using a vendor. After RC/SIG/SS elections are complete, an email goes out to the Officers of the prior year requesting confirmation of the new officers. The Membership Directory information comes from the Officer response. If an officer or representative has not been elected or appointed, the Membership Directory will show a “TBD” (to be determined) next to the officer designation, and no name will be in the Membership Directory. Work on the Directory begins soon after the SOT Annual Meeting and the production process requires approximately two months for completion. Contact information for other SOT Members is taken from the online Membership Directory that all members are expected to keep current with their contact information through the SOT website.
Are there any restrictions regarding employment announcements?
All national and international employment positions must be advertised via the SOT Job Bank online system or in the SOT’s quarterly newsletter, the Communiqué. Geographically relevant announcements may be announced by a Regional Chapter, scientifically relevant announcements may be announced by a Specialty Section; and announcements relevant to a special interest audience may be announced by the Special Interest Group.
Are there any restrictions regarding announcements for awards, journals, and meetings?
Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, and Specialty Sections are not allowed to announce student awards and journals for other societies. However, SOT will post a research fellowship on the SOT website. RC, SIG, and SSs are allowed to advertise meetings that apply to their membership in the same fashion as the employment announcements.
Is my RC/SIG/SS permitted to have a presence on Facebook or LinkedIn?
Facebook: The Facebook site should ONLY serve as a promotional portal to information posted on the SOT/Component Group Website (for Members/Non-members) and the Component Group ToXchange site. As such, new content should not be generated on the Component Group Facebook Site (including posting of photos and other communications). Photo-posting can be set up on either the Component Group Website or as a flickr widget on the Component Group ToXchange site. Sites may be inter-connected utilizing the widgets on ToXchange and links from the Facebook site. The ToXchange community site will be the main communication forum for Component Group Members. As such, a Component Group Facebook site should restrict posts to those only from an approved administrator.
Linked In: ToXchange does offer a widget that all members can use to link to their LinkedIn accounts. While individual members may set up LinkedIn accounts, the use of LinkedIn as a professional site is not approved as the LinkedIn messaging center would take members away from communicating via ToXchange rather than promoting it.
What is SOT’s policy on advertising?
SOT policy does not allow email or community postings of advertisements; however, you may acknowledge sponsors on your website or in your newsletter with their name and contact information.
Is it permissible for an RC, SIG, or SS to institute a raffle to attract students to events, such as the Annual Meeting receptions?
It is not appropriate to use SOT Funds as a cash award to induce students to attend one function over another. Non-cash awards that are educational or professional in nature and that are relevant to SOT and to the RC/SIG/SS may be given, up to a limit of $500 per year.
Should SOT Headquarters review any of our Regional Chapter meeting materials?
Yes. SOT Headquarters requests that you send all contracts to SOT for review prior to signing them. This is to ensure that the contract is competitive and fair and does not violate any SOT Policies. Please send information to Ashley Black at SOT Headquarters.
Can SOT Headquarters assist with RC Annual Meeting Online Registration?
Yes. SOT Headquarters is able to provide online registration for Regional Chapter Annual Meetings that will be linked to your Chapter’s website. Nonmembers will be able to register online as well. Please provide an updated registration form and send in this request approximately six weeks in advance in order for the event registration to be established. Up-to-date registration lists can be provided by request for planning/catering and name badge purposes. Please contact Ashley Black at SOT Headquarters regarding any inquiries.
The Society of Toxicology encourages its component groups (e.g., RCs, SIGs, SSs) to be actively involved in furthering the profession and advancing the Society’s strategic goals as outlined in the 2012–15 Strategic Plan. Toward this end, component groups may wish to prepare white papers or other publications on issues of importance and may wish to attribute authorship to the component group itself (rather than to individual authors). Authorship by a group within the Society implicitly implies endorsement by the Society. Therefore, it is appropriate that Council, the elected body for the entire Society, review and approve any document that has such an attribution. Our goal is to develop a process that is not unduly burdensome and prevents needless expenditure of effort by our component groups, yet provides for appropriate review and approval by Council. The process for obtaining approval is described below. Component groups are encouraged to informally contact Council as early as possible in the conceptualization phase of any document development process to obtain a sense from Council relative to approval/concerns about the subject matter of interest.
A review of the focus and subject matter of a potential document at the early stages of its conceptualization would serve to provide constructive feedback from a more broad perspective and to prevent needless expenditure of effort on a document that is unlikely to achieve ultimate approval by Council. Therefore, an initial review process has been delineated. For this initial review, the component group (or its designee) shall submit a brief planning document that should include: 1) the subject area; 2) a statement of the need or value for the document that is being envisioned that includes an indication of the anticipated audience (and/or a goal statement); and 3) a brief outline of the proposed document. This submission need not be extensive, but sufficient information should be provided to allow Council to formulate a thoughtful evaluation of the document that is being envisioned. A point of contact should be identified.
The planning document shall be submitted to the SOT Executive Director for review. The Executive Director will determine if a review is needed, and, if so, will forward the planning document to a subcommittee of Council (consisting of the Presidential Chain) for review. The subcommittee will review the planning document and determine whether and under what circumstances the component group should move forward with preparation of a first draft of the full document. At their discretion the subcommittee may provide the component group with suggestions for preparation of the first draft. It is anticipated this review could be performed expeditiously so as to avoid needless delay in the component group’s plan of action. The subcommittee will keep the full Council informed of its actions.
After approval in the initial review stage, the component group shall prepare a first draft of the full document utilizing the procedure it deems most appropriate. This first draft shall be submitted to the Executive Director for review. This submission should identify the forum anticipated for dissemination and the intended audience. The Executive Director will forward the full document to a subcommittee of Council (consisting of the Presidential Chain) for review. The subcommittee shall review the full document and recommend a course of action. Typical recommendations would be to:
The subcommittee will keep the full SOT Council informed of its actions and, at their discretion, may involve the full SOT Council in its deliberations. Full involvement of Council may be desirable in those circumstances in which negative recommendations are anticipated. As for the initial review, the full review should be performed as expeditiously as possible so as to avoid needless delay in the component group’s activity.