Amendment & Resolution Guide
This page is a guide for members on how to present ideas to the chapter and to navigate our democratic process with Robert’s Rules. In general, proposals to the chapter should be made either in the form of 1) a resolution or 2) a by-laws amendment, though sometimes proposals can also be made in the form of a simple 3) motion at a meeting. These different formats are described below with examples and templates. Please keep in mind, your propositions to the chapter do not need to look exactly like these templates and examples as long as the key components are still present.
If you have questions about these proposition formats, want feedback on your document, or need help drafting something up, please contact the Executive Committee for further guidance at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposals to the chapter should be made in the form of resolutions.
Resolutions may require detailed planning or oversight, and may or may not have budgetary implications. Resolutions can also be used to suggest changes in chapter protocol or priorities.
Resolutions must be submitted to the chapter for consideration no later than 6 days before the meeting where it is voted on. This means that if the meeting is held on Saturday the 18th, the proposal must be distributed to the chapter no later than 11:59 PM on Sunday the 12th. All resolutions will have time for discussion, where chapter members ask clarifying questions, voice concerns, discuss amendments to the proposal, and decide collectively whether the proposal has merit. These can be voted on at a single meeting and require a simple majority vote to pass.
Voting occurs when a motion to vote is made and seconded, then approved of by the chapter.
Special kinds of propositions that specifically detail how chapter bylaws should be changed.
Bylaw Amendment examples include changes to the rules regarding the role of the Executive Committee and elections, how donations should be collected, or how caucuses are formed.
These kinds of propositions are the hardest to pass and require the most chapter agreement. Proposed amendments to these Bylaws must be endorsed by five chapter members and submitted to the Executive Committee a month in advance of a General or Regular Meeting. The Executive Committee is required to provide the Local Chapter membership with two weeks’ written notice of the proposed amendments.
The amendment must be approved by a two-thirds vote of two consecutive Local Chapter meetings. These types of propositions often face more rigorous scrutiny, as they change the very structure of the chapter, and having ample discussion time about them is crucial.
Un-agendized, simple/quick proposals brought up during a meeting.
Proposals to the chapter should mostly be made in the form of agendized resolutions, but there will be times when it is appropriate to raise an idea in the form of a motion at a meeting, such as when time is limited or if the idea or action is very simple in nature.
Motions can be verbally made at meetings according to Robert’s Rules, discussed, and voted on, requiring only a majority vote to pass.
If a motion seems like it needs more consideration, has budgetary implications, or would initiate an ongoing project, then another motion can be made for the idea to be put in the form of a resolution and brought to the chapter more formally before it is voted on.