Kim Goldsworthy

classes of membership

9 posts in this topic

Quote

[RONR page 3]

A member of an assembly, in the parliamentary sense, as mentioned above, is a person entitled to full participation in its proceedings, that is, as explained in 3 and 4, the right to attend meetings, to make motions, to speak in debate, and to vote.

No member can be individually deprived of these basic rights of membership — or of any basic rights concomitant to them, such as the right to make nominations or to give previous notice of a motion — except through disciplinary proceedings.

Some organized societies define additional classes of “membership” that do not entail all of these rights.

Whenever the term member is used in this book, it refers to full participating membership in the assembly unless otherwise specified.

Such members are also described as “voting members” when it is necessary to make a distinction.    

(See RONR's explanation of "member" in Chapter 1.)

If an organization's bylaws have defined their membership into CLASSES, then,

Q1. Is it true, that for all classes which have had the right to vote taken away,

all members of THAT class have simultaneously lost the right:

   (a.) to attend executive session?

   (b.) to receive notices of meetings?

   (c.) to make motions?

   (d.) to speak in debate?

   (e.) to nominate people for office?

***

Put another way:

Q2. If some classes of membership have had the right to vote taken away,

then, what "rights" do remain within those classes?

 

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14 minutes ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

. . . .

Put another way:

Q2. If some classes of membership have had the right to vote taken away,

then, what "rights" do remain within those classes?

Those members retain all rights of membership except those expressly taken away by the bylaws, in this case, the right to vote.

I DO NOT believe they lose any of those rights that you mentioned in your Q1 unless expressly stated in the bylaws.

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In my opinion, although not strongly held, they lose any rights they hold solely by virtue of RONR granting those rights to members, but retain any rights they hold via the bylaws granting that right to members.

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>> excerpt, RONR page 3 re use of term 'member' <<

A member of an assembly, in the parliamentary sense,    
as mentioned above, is a person entitled to full
participation in its proceedings, that is, as explained
in 3 and 4,
[S1] the right to attend meetings,
[S2] to make motions,
[S3] to speak in debate,
and
[S4] to vote.

No member can be individually deprived of    
these basic rights of membership -- or of any
basic rights concomitant to them, such as
[S5] the right to make nominations
or
[S6] to give previous notice of a motion
-- except through disciplinary proceedings.

Some organized societies define additional classes of
“membership” that do not entail all of these rights.

Whenever the term member is used in this book, it refers
to full participating membership in the assembly unless
otherwise specified. Such members are also described as
“voting members” when it is necessary to make a
distinction.   
 

I have taken the text of page 3 and enumerated the rights so listed. -- There are six.

Let's label this kind of RONR "member" as "R6" (for the six "rights" so listed on page 3).

***

Now on to the hypothetical.

• Assume one's bylaws define the president as being

• "a non-voting member of the board while the president acts as the presiding officer."

***

Q. Per RONR page 3, and per RONR page 95-96 (re "executive session"),

does the president have the right to attend executive session?

If page 95-96 holds that only [fully-empowered] R6 "members" have the right to attend executive session,

then must the organization exclude the president?
 

Quote

 

>> excerpt, RONR page 95-96 re "executive session" <<

Whenever a meeting is being held in executive session,
only members of the body that is meeting, special invitees,
and such employees or staff members as the body or its rules
may determine to be necessary are allowed to remain in the
hall.
Thus, in the case of a board or committee meeting being    
held in executive session, all persons -- whether or not they
are members of the organization -- who are not members of
the board or committee (and who are not otherwise specifically
invited or entitled to attend) are excluded from the meeting.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

then must the organization exclude the president?

I'm hesitant to interpret your hypothetical bylaw, but the answer to this question is, no.  Even if you assume he has no right to be there, it doesn't mean they have to exclude him.  They are welcome to have anyone they want present during an executive session.

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30 minutes ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

Well put.

Now the question becomes,

"May the assembly ban the president from executive session?"

 

The question of what the bylaws must or should say to answer this question is the subject of much debate in the other thread in Advanced Discussion.  Read it and draw  your own conclusion, since there seems to be more than one reasonable opinion.  

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See RONR, "Some principles of interpretation", page 589.

***
2) When a provision of the bylaws is susceptible to two mean-
ings, one of which conflicts with or renders absurd another
bylaw provision, and the other meaning does not, the latter
must be taken as the true meaning.

 
For example,
assume the bylaws define the officers as
“a president, a vice‑president, a secretary, a treasurer,
and five other members,
all of whom shall serve as members of the Board …”
Assume also that elsewhere the bylaws speak of “Directors”
being board members.
A suggestion that the “Directors” are not officers
and are additional members of the board
would create a conflict within the bylaws
and cannot be taken as the true meaning.
The “other members” are the same as the “Directors.”
***

To repeat, the above text is from RONR page 589.

Note that RONR uses as its example a board with nine (9) sitting board members, namely:

• 4 traditional officers, plus

• 5 untitled people.

***

I took the "for example" paragraph and reworded it.

Namely:
• I changed one term, "directors", to the term, "non-voting committee heads".

Below is the text of #2 with that swap.

***
2) [...]

For example,
assume the bylaws define the officers as
“a president, a vice‑president, a secretary, a treasurer,
and five other members,
all of whom shall serve as members of the Board …”
Assume also that elsewhere the bylaws speak of “[NON-VOTING COMMITTEE HEADS]”
being board members.
A suggestion that the “[NON-VOTING COMMITTEE HEADS]” are not officers
and are additional members of the board
would create a conflict within the bylaws
and cannot be taken as the true meaning.
The “other members” are the same as the “[NON-VOTING COMMITTEE HEADS].”
***

Now my question.

Q1. Are the non-voting committee heads members of the board?

Q2. When the board meets in executive session, may the 4 voting members of the board (viz., P., VP, Sec., Tr.) prevent the 5 non-voting committee heads from attending executive sessions of the board?

 

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