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  1. Hello: I am on the board of a 100+ year old organization. We recently had a person who claims to be an RP tell us that under RONR 12th Ed., we are "not allowed" to have a constitution. We operate under a constitution and separate bylaws, with the constitution being harder to amend, and RONR The closest thing I could find in RONR (Section 2:8), says that it's now advisable practice to combine those separate documents into one - but nothing about it being required. (For what it's worth, we are incorporated in the State of New York). So, my question to the group is: is this "const
  2. Our congregational constitution requires that members receive a "copy" of any constitutional amendment (motion) 30-days before the discussion/vote on same. In the new world of electronics, does RONR consider electronically-mailed copies to be the same as "copies" (which, obviously, was originally meant to be "paper", but, of course, they didn't know better.) Does RONR speak to this nowadays, or is it a state-by-state kind of thing? Our current "amendment" situation actually involves adopting a whole new 35-page constitution, and we'd rather e-mail than print one for everyone...
  3. Our constitution indicates the vote for Board takes place at our May meeting and there is the opportunity to nominate from the floor. Due to the current environment our Board is suggesting we do the vote by email and thereby not having the option of nominating from the floor. My question, can the board make this decision or does this change need to be brought to a vote of the membership to change this procedure.
  4. Can a motion be made to suspend (or place a "hold") the constitution and bylaws of a Student Government Association? We generally don't meet quorum (we're working on that), but say we do, if it's absolutely necessary for this motion to be put in place, is it possible? How can I word that? I'll be trying to find as much information as I can before the General Assembly Meeting this next Wednesday.
  5. Hello, Our small church is divided on topics which require a 2/3 vote to change bylaws/constitution and possibly leave our current denomination. There has been some confusion as some members seem to believe that there would need to be 2/3 vote just to leave things as they are. As I read Robert's Rules, I believe it means a 2/3 vote to make changes. Can someone help clarify this for me? Thank you.
  6. Hi all, I am part of a committee that is working on some major changes to my organization's primary and secondary documents. We are planning to (mostly) merge the two documents together, and also create some other secondary documents. The way we are planning to do this is to take the existing Bylaws (the current secondary document) and redistribute its language into other documents. Much of the language will be placed in the Constitution, some of it will become Special Rules of Order, and perhaps a small portion will become Standing Rules. The Constitution of the organization will th
  7. I am a council member of a university department. We are currently in the process of trying to update our 1978 constitution. Our department has an executive committee that in the past has been appointed by the chair for a term of 3 years. The last executive was approved by council in a motion 3 years ago. In our 1978 constitution it is outlined that he executive is elected by council and has a term of 1 year. Some members of our council want to revert back to this elected 1 year term, others want the appointed 3 year term. The chair has indicated that since the last executive was passed by mot
  8. Our constitution says the following, which I believe is quite standard: "All meetings of the Society shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order insofar as they may apply." What is the meaning of "insofar as they may apply"? I have looked in many places and haven't found a clear description, except in the constitution of a youth soccer league, which confirms my own understanding, but is perhaps not enough to convince others. I believe that it means they Robert's Rules apply whenever they don't conflict with the Society's constitution and by-laws, and of course
  9. If the constitution and bylaws list a protest, appeal and complaint committees for hearing same, can a "review panel" be set up without putting the issue to a vote of the entire board? The mentioned committees have a time line for start, information presentation and result. The review panel made recommendations and was later presented to the whole board for discussion and then to vote on to receive as information, vote to accept or make further recommendations, either to increase or decrease the proposed penalties in the recommendations. The Review Panel was set up by the President, who also c
  10. Guest

    Editing By Laws

    1) Does a 501©(3) Non Profit need to hire an attorney to edit their bylaws? Many of our organization want to edit our bylaws, but some of the members that have been around for a long time state that we need an attorney to draft our changes in order for them to be legal and what they don't want to pay for it to be edited so the same bylaws are in place. I do not believe this to be true, i thought that our bylaws are written for the organization by the organization with the organizations needs in mind. Please assist with this. 2) Guidance with 501©(3) organizations, Does anyone have any exp
  11. On our boards, we have an antiquated constitution that is currently being revised. We make motions and pass them as a board for things like elections. After the fact, people are angry that we are not following the constitution even though it was motion discussed at length and passed at a board meeting. Who is in the right?
  12. Simply put, can a body pass a motion that would add additional requirements to members than are in the body's constitution?
  13. The church I serve is rewriting its constitution. In the new model, it will state that the only member of the church staff who will be on the governing Board of Elders will be the Senior Pastor. However, the church has an Associate Pastor who was hired to also be a member of the board. So, we want him to be an exception for as long as he’s a member of the Church Staff. The question is…how do we handle this? As I see it, there might be a number of options: 1. Insert a sentence into the main part of the constitution that states that the Associate Pastor shall also be a member of the Board o
  14. Hello. This is my first time here, so I'm not sure if this is an appropriate question, so please pardon me if it isn't. It's really more about constitutional construction, but I don't know if anyone here might be able to answer it, or if there is someplace in the Rules (which control over both organizations) that can settle this question. Thc Constitution of Organization A states (call it Clause 1): "The Legislative Branch [of Organization A] exists in order to represent the [members], and to enact Legislation in the interest of the [members]. Organization B exists to exercise all judicia
  15. We have approved three minor changes to a church constitution. The question has been raised if we should ratify all the changes at once or can we (should we) vote to ratify the three changes all as one or individually?
  16. It sounds like a silly question but How does one go about interpreting their by-laws? When a discussion comes up, people tend to interpret them in such a way to favor their point of view/agenda, so how does an organization go about with the interperatation to keep it plain, simple and "neutral" Sure we could ask the "founders" but they have all either moved on, or passed away. Suggestions?
  17. Dear forum members, I need some help untangling this. Our organization meets annually in June, at which time all the offices change hands. We have an election coming up in spring 2014. Our board would like to change the makeup of the board, which requires constitutional changes. For various reasons, the board would like to make the change effective right away, before the election -- but this would put some elected officers out of office before their terms are up. And the revision would create a new office, which would be vacant until the spring election. So, my problem is how to best sched
  18. I'm the secretary for my organization, and I want to revise our constitution. We don't have a bylaws section, but we do have 6 or 7 amendments listed out at the end of the constitution. Our constitution hasn't really been updated in over 10 years, so a lot of it's contents are out of date. There's a lot of things I need to change to make the constitution reflect how my organization currently functions, so it seems like it would make more sense to write an updated constitution and have it ratified at a meeting instead of voting on multiple, specific amendments. The amendments sections of our co
  19. Constitution states: Minutes of all Executive Committee meetings, including teleconferences, shall be kept and promptly promulgated to the Association members within 30 days of the meeting. So if a vote is caried out in Executive Session, do the members have the right to see the passing of that vote in the promulgated minutes?
  20. I belong to a 501c3 organization that currently allows membership to spouses of officers and civilian equivalents. This is stated in our constitution and bylaws. Our president recently sent out an URGENT email stating that the Board of Governors had passed a motion "I move that the club be open to all ranks." The email further stated that she intended the membership to vote on this issue at the next general membership meeting in less than two weeks. No further information was provided on how the constitution would be rewritten to incorporate this motion. Our current C&B states the followin
  21. Few years back, I recollect one of your interpretations as to: " In case of ambiguity, the intent of the founding member is final " or something to this effect. Please help me with this interpretation in the Roberts Rule of Order, 10th Edition
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