By Gretchen Denton
Proving that bylaws aren’t boring, LSPU Presenters Joan C. Price, PRP and Beth Delaney engaged the membership of the Louise Saks Parliamentary Unit (LSPU) in over an hour discussion of how to create and change bylaws. Indeed, the questions and stories were still coming, but we needed to move on to keep our meeting timely!
What’s different about first approving bylaws than all the subsequent changes you will make?
It takes only a majority vote to approve an organization’s first bylaws, instead of a 2/3 vote (generally) when you are amending.
What needs to be in all bylaws?
Name, Object, Members, Officers, Meetings, Executive Committee (if you have one), Committees, Parliamentary Authority, and Amendments are the standard articles but there may other things that are important in a particular organization.
Who can have ideas for changing bylaws?
Any member can have ideas for changing BUT how an organization deals with those ideas is in their bylaws.
What if you don’t like your bylaws?
Let’s realize that not everything may please you personally but bylaws belong to the organization as a whole and should reflect the organization’s needs and ideals. Talk with others if you think the bylaws are unfair or unclear and you want to make changes.
Who enforces the bylaws?
Every member has access to bylaws and can raise issues if the bylaws are not being followed. Here’s a suggestion—don’t do this until you have shown your commitment and desire to be involved as a quality member.
What’s the difference between a revision and amendment of bylaws?
An organization decides (by motion) to revise its bylaws and establishes a committee to work to that end. When the revision is being considered everything in the bylaws can be changed but amending bylaws is limited by the scope of changes proposed.
Who can find out what’s in the bylaws?
ALL members should have access to the bylaws.
These were a few of the ideas discussed but there was much more. You are welcome to join us on the third Tuesday of the month,November 20, 9:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, 1669 West Maple to have another parliamentary lesson that will keep your brain fresh and your organization working well. Guests are welcome to visit and engage in our lively conversations.