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by laws vs other documents and process used


Guest Jodi
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Question:  Does the 6 month waiting period, noted on our website and on the application, conflict with our by-laws?  We have bee following this 6 month waiting period process for at least 20 years.

This is in the by-laws:

Member. This class of membership is open to any candidate member, 18 years of age and older, who has attended at least two member meetings, assisted with at least two club functions, has two members as sponsors and has shown an active interest in promoting the goals and objectives of the club

This is on the website:

“You may become a full member of xxx six to twelve months after becoming a Candidate Member, after fulfilling service requirements and attending meetings. Please fill out the Regular Membership application and submit.”

This is on the Regular Membership application:

“I/we have been a member candidate of the xxx for the required six months, and I/we would like to be considered for full Membership.”

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Apparently your bylaws do not support your six-month waiting period, and it would fall to a Point of Order.  Membership conditions listed in the bylaws can only be changed by amending the bylaws, according to the proper procedure for doing so.

If you want to have an enforceable waiting period it would have to be in the bylaws.

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21 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

Apparently your bylaws do not support your six-month waiting period, and it would fall to a Point of Order. 

Hmm.  The aggrieved party here, though, cannot raise a point of order, since they have been denied membership (for the time being).  Even once they join, a person who was upset about it is unlikely to make waves as a brand-new member.

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I had thought that a Point of Order was only if the action was in conflict with, or violated, the By-laws.  I also thought that standing rules and past practices can clarify criteria, and/or create a rule that is more easily changed than by-laws.  For example if we wanted to create the policy of a 6-month waiting period, but may want to change it to 1 year, we should do a standing rule so we could change it more easily than the by-laws?

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3 hours ago, Jodi said:

I had thought that a Point of Order was only if the action was in conflict with, or violated, the By-laws.  I also thought that standing rules and past practices can clarify criteria, and/or create a rule that is more easily changed than by-laws.  For example if we wanted to create the policy of a 6-month waiting period, but may want to change it to 1 year, we should do a standing rule so we could change it more easily than the by-laws?

I concur with my colleagues, but would add that if flexibility on this subject is desired, the organization could adopt a rule in the bylaws that “The organization may adopt a rule providing for a waiting period for membership.”

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29 minutes ago, Josh Martin said:

I concur with my colleagues, but would add that if flexibility on this subject is desired, the organization could adopt a rule in the bylaws that “The organization may adopt a rule providing for a waiting period for membership.”

Apparently, one of the bylaw requirements for admission to membership is that a candidate must have "shown an active interest in promoting the goals and objectives of the club". I suppose this may provide some wiggle room for the adoption of rules concerning what one must do in order to demonstrate sufficient interest to meet this requirement. 

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