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I belong to a deliberative body of a non-profit, and we are considering amendments to our by-laws.  One of the proposals states that the definition of "mail" shall be as defined by the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order.  However, my online searches for RROR's definition of "mail" have been fruitless.  Does RROR define "mail?"

 

 

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I belong to a deliberative body of a non-profit, and we are considering amendments to our by-laws.  One of the proposals states that the definition of "mail" shall be as defined by the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order.  However, my online searches for RROR's definition of "mail" have been fruitless.  Does RROR define "mail?"

 

No. RONR doesn't bother defining words when the definition is the same as the usual definition.

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RONR does bother to put the word "postal" or the "e-" designations before the word mail in many instances and even uses the word "electronic" a couple of times - probably in cases where it's important to note the distinction between e-mail and postal mail.  In cases where it does not, you would be correct thinking "postal" mail applies.

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On p. 89, we find:

 

 

When notice is required to be sent, unless a different standard is specified that requirement is met if written notice is sent to each member either:   

a )   by postal mail to the member’s last known address; or   

b )   by a form of electronic communication, such as e-mail or fax, by which the member has agreed to receive notice.

 

 

So rather than looking for a definition for mail, you may want to specify that the notice requirement in RONR will apply.  Then use the phrase "notice will be sent" where necessary in your bylaws.  Or just use that phrase without specifying that RONR will apply, because it already does if RONR is your parliamentary authority.

 

Note well that to use part b ), above, the member must have agreed (in advance)  to the use of that method. 

 

By extension, text (SMS) messages would also be allowed by that rule long as the member agreed to receive notice by that means, but a telephone call would not be allowed, since is not written notice.

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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