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Membership Rejection


Guest Susan Smith
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My membership application was recently rejected from a club.  The bylaws of the club are silent on whether membership reviews are public knowledge.  The bylaws are also silent on whether names of applicants and the Boards decision on the applications are to be recorded in the board minutes.  And lastly, the bylaws are silent on whether the applicant is to be notified of the deficiency or reason why the application was denied.  The bylaws do say that an re-application cannot be made for 12 months.  In my case, the Board minutes simply state the number of applications that were denied.  So, my question is whether a public recording of the person's name that was rejected should be in the minutes and also whether the reason for denial should be published.  And lastly, if the reason for denial is not public, should the applicant be advise in a private letter as to why they were not accepted?  I am trying to understand the basis of my denial in order to correct it.  thank you

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RONR says this regarding the content of the minutes regarding motions:

"The body of the minutes should contain a separate paragraph for each subject matter, and should show: 
    6)    all main motions (10) or motions to bring a main question again before the assembly (pp. 74–79; 34–37) that were made or taken up—except, normally, any that were withdrawn*—stating: 
        a)    the wording in which each motion was adopted or otherwise disposed of (with the facts as to whether the motion may have been debated or amended before disposition being mentioned only parenthetically); and 
        b)    the disposition of the motion, including—if it was temporarily disposed of (pp. 90–91, 340–41)—any primary and secondary amendments and all adhering secondary motions that were then pending; "  RONR (11th ed), p.469

The reasoning behind the decisions are not recorded.

9 minutes ago, Guest Susan Smith said:

And lastly, if the reason for denial is not public, should the applicant be advise in a private letter as to why they were not accepted?  

RONR says nothing about this at all.

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57 minutes ago, Guest Susan Smith said:

My membership application was recently rejected from a club.  The bylaws of the club are silent on whether membership reviews are public knowledge.  The bylaws are also silent on whether names of applicants and the Boards decision on the applications are to be recorded in the board minutes.  And lastly, the bylaws are silent on whether the applicant is to be notified of the deficiency or reason why the application was denied.  The bylaws do say that an re-application cannot be made for 12 months.  In my case, the Board minutes simply state the number of applications that were denied.  So, my question is whether a public recording of the person's name that was rejected should be in the minutes and also whether the reason for denial should be published.  And lastly, if the reason for denial is not public, should the applicant be advise in a private letter as to why they were not accepted?  I am trying to understand the basis of my denial in order to correct it.  thank you

RONR would require that the motion be recorded in the minutes, which would include the fact that the motion was defeated, and the text of the motion would presumably record the name(s) of the applicants. I would note, however, that RONR only requires that the minutes of the board be available to the board. They need not be made available to the membership (or the public) unless required by the organization's rules or applicable law or ordered by the membership in a particular case, such as by a 2/3 vote, a vote of a majority of the entire membership, or a majority vote with previous notice. The board could certainly also decide on its own to make its minutes available to the membership (or the public).

The minutes should not include the reasoning behind the board's decision. RONR neither requires nor prohibits the board from making its reasoning public through other means. RONR neither requires nor prohibits the board from sending the applicant a private letter as to why they were not accepted.

57 minutes ago, Guest Susan Smith said:

In my case, the Board minutes simply state the number of applications that were denied.  So, my question is whether a public recording of the person's name that was rejected should be in the minutes and also whether the reason for denial should be published.

I don't think it is appropriate for the board minutes themselves to simply state the number of applications that were denied. The primary purpose of the minutes is to serve as a record, for the assembly and its officers, of the decisions made by the assembly. Simply recording the number of applications that were denied does not accomplish this.

As noted above, however, the board is not required to make its minutes available to the membership (or the public) unless required to do so by the organization's rules or applicable law or ordered by the membership in a particular case, such as by a 2/3 vote, a vote of a majority of the entire membership, or a majority vote with previous notice. Unless the board has been required to make its minutes available as just noted, the board could (if it wished to do so) make a version of the minutes available to the membership (or the public) which does not contain all of the information in the actual minutes, such as simply noting the number of applicants that were denied.

In any event, the minutes should not include the reason for denial.

Edited by Josh Martin
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