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MAY YOU AMEND A BYLAW BY A SIMPLE MOTION?

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We are an association of journalists.

Our Bylaws detail how members should renew their active status, annually, by submitting proof  of

current published work ("clippings"). The bylaw says:

 

..".Submit six original clippings...from the preceding twelve months (July 1 through June 30)".
 
A proposed change is to add the following language, not by going through the mandated bylaw change procedure, but by a simple motion:
..."and must be based on...press conferences ... occurring during the period starting January 1st prior to the qualifying fiscal year (e.g. an 18 month period) to qualify as clippings; stories based on and photographs taken during activities occurring prior to that 18-month period may not be submitted"
 
Those objecting to this proposed motion say that you cannot make any change to our bylaws, no matter how minor, unless you
do it by a proper bylaw amendment, as required by our bylaws.
 
Those supporting this proposed motion say that it simply "clarifies" the current bylaw and that all it takes to add
that clarifying language to the bylaws is a simple motion.
 
What say you, please?

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46 minutes ago, star1441 said:

We are an association of journalists.

Our Bylaws detail how members should renew their active status, annually, by submitting proof  of

current published work ("clippings"). The bylaw says:

 

..".Submit six original clippings...from the preceding twelve months (July 1 through June 30)".
 
A proposed change is to add the following language, not by going through the mandated bylaw change procedure, but by a simple motion:
..."and must be based on...press conferences ... occurring during the period starting January 1st prior to the qualifying fiscal year (e.g. an 18 month period) to qualify as clippings; stories based on and photographs taken during activities occurring prior to that 18-month period may not be submitted"
 
Those objecting to this proposed motion say that you cannot make any change to our bylaws, no matter how minor, unless you
do it by a proper bylaw amendment, as required by our bylaws.
 
Those supporting this proposed motion say that it simply "clarifies" the current bylaw and that all it takes to add
that clarifying language to the bylaws is a simple motion.
 
What say you, please?

According to the language on pages 571-572 of the 11th edition, provisions regarding qualifications for membership and requirements for continuing membership must be in the bylaws.  Therefore, the additional requirements sought to be imposed must be in the bylaws.  Here is pertinent language regarding requirements for continued membership from page 572:  "Some organizations require attendance at a certain proportion of the meetings or a specified minimum participation in the society's activities as a requirement for continued membership; this also can be done only by provision in the bylaws". (Emphasis added).

 

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The suggested change to the bylaws can only be implemented by following the rules set forth in your bylaws for their amendment. It doesn't matter whether the change is 'simply clarifying' an existing bylaw provision, is introducing an entirely new provision, or is even just adding some punctuation. You need to follow the rules in the bylaws for their amendment to do this.

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6 hours ago, star1441 said:
Those objecting to this proposed motion say that you cannot make any change to our bylaws, no matter how minor, unless you
do it by a proper bylaw amendment, as required by our bylaws.
 
Those supporting this proposed motion say that it simply "clarifies" the current bylaw and that all it takes to add
that clarifying language to the bylaws is a simple motion.
 

Those objecting are correct. Those supporting admit it adds language to the bylaws. Thus, it amends them and must follow the procedure for amending the bylaws.

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7 hours ago, star1441 said:
Those objecting to this proposed motion say that you cannot make any change to our bylaws, no matter how minor, unless you do it by a proper bylaw amendment, as required by our bylaws.

They are correct. I'm not even sure I agree that this amendment is "minor" or a "mere clarification," but it doesn't matter anyway. There is no provision in RONR (and presumably no provision in your bylaws) which allows bypassing the procedure to amend the bylaws in order make "minor" or "clarifying" amendments

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