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Member of Good Standing


Guest Dee Wheeler
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Our club rules and by-laws have many references to "member of good standing" but no where that it is described. I thought that the following applied:

Q: What is a “member in good standing”?

A: A member in good standing is someone who has completed the membership process which is as follows:

1.Submitted an application

2.Paid their annual fee and all other club fees

3.Completed an orientation

4.Been approved by the membership committee.

5.Has not had their membership revoked for any reason.

Now we have been put on Probation and I am told I can not vote or run for a Board position because I am not a member of good standing. I did not understand that Probation made me not a good member!

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RONR doesn't define "a member of good standing" and the implied definition supplied by members of the authorship team (stay tuned for the exact wording) isn't close to what your thinking is. Why don't you ask someone who would (or at least should) be in the know of the definition what it means?

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I sure hope that definition shows up in the 11th....

Me too. What I don't get is why so many organizations puts terms in their bylaws when there is no definition in them (or the parliamentary authority) and no one has a clue what it means. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Oh well, it allows us to earn our virtual paychecks (which are worth less than the electrons they are not made out of) telling them that RONR doesn't define it.

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Me too. What I don't get is why so many organizations puts terms in their bylaws when there is no definition in them (or the parliamentary authority) and no one has a clue what it means. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Oh well, it allows us to earn our virtual paychecks (which are worth less than the electrons they are not made out of) telling them that RONR doesn't define it.

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In Good Standing:

When RONR uses the term "member in good standing" (RONR, p. 6, l. 20-21, p. 279, l. 34-35, & p. 585, l. 7-8) it is referring to a member whose membership rights are not in suspension, either as a consequence of disciplinary proceedings (Chapter XX) or by operation of some specific provision in the bylaws of the organization.

Unfortunately, the current edition of the book doesn't actually state this definition (although it was written by a member of the RONR Authorship Team). So if you use the phrase "in good standing" in the bylaws be sure to define exactly what you mean: what causes a member not to be in good standing, what he has to do to get back into the good graces of the association, &c. Also, you should specify which membership rights, duties, privileges, &c. are lost (or retained) by a member as a consequence of his being in "bad standing" because of a suspension, as distinct from his being in good standing or ceasing to be a member at all.

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"When RONR uses the term "member in good standing" ..."

Which means, then, that the bylaws should specify what "probation" entails. Such as, prohibited from running for office, or voting. Or even, does being on probation really take away a member's good standing?

And if the bylaws don't say, then we can't tell. More importantly, Dee Wheeler's organization can't tell. Indeed, when Dee says that "I am told" -- in the passive voice -- one wonders who told her, and what authority that person has to make the claim. I would say that that person is talking through his hat, unless he's actually quoting from or referring to some act of the organization that nails down what probation does, and doesn't, do.

So, if the organization really has defined for itself what the effects of probation actually are, then Dee needs to find out what the organization decided. And if the organization hasn't decided at all, it needs to. Certainly someone, anyone, can't just declare ab initio (or a priori, or ad absurdum, or something) that Dee or anyone else on probation can't run for office, or vote, or smoke in the gazebo, or wear a party hat in September, or whatever comes off the top of their little head.

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"When RONR uses the term "member in good standing" ..."

I suspect most people, and, by extension, many organizations, think they have an intuitive sense of what it means to be a member in good standing and that, further, one ought to be one of those (a member in good standing) in order to fully participate in the affairs of the organization. And so, with no malice aforethught, and with the best of prophylactic intentions, the phrase is inserted into the bylaws. If a member were asked what it meant they might (unknowingly) reprise Justice Potter Stewart's 1964 comment on pornography, "I know it when I see it".

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  • 8 years later...

Last week a majority of our board members voted to declare our Board President "not in good standing", which removed him from office.  First, it was a hastily called meetings.  Second, one board member accused the president of a poor decision (depending on your point of view) and third, the President wasn't at the meeting to defend himself by giving his side of the story.

Nowhere in our Bylaws does it define what a member in Good Standing is.  Any thoughts on how I as a board member should approach this?  I'm thinking of calling a special board meeting on a day & time where I know the president can be available to make a statement and answer any questions any board member may have.

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When this thread was started in 2010 the 10th Edition didn't have a definition for a "member in good standing".  However, 8 years later the 11th Edition now does define it.  See the asterisk on RONR p. 6 for the definition. 

As for the President being removed from office check the bylaws to see what procedures are necessary to remove him from office and if they were not followed then raise a Point of Order pointing it out.

Edited by Chris Harrison
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Guest Gary should really post his question by starting a new topic per the instructions for use of the Forum. This Thread is 8 years old. Even though the question may seem related to the other posts in this thread, the practice in this foreign is to post a new question as a new topic and not piggyback on to an existing thread. https://robertsrules.forumflash.com/topic/25416-important-read-this-first-faq-and-information-for-new-members-and-guests/

 

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  • 1 year later...

What happen if only one of seven board members is in good standing, does the one member appoint new board members? Per the bylaws if dues aren't paid by x date then you become a member not in good standing,  In our case , our president, vice president and 4 other board members paid their due late, making them members not in good standing. 

What's should happen now???

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