Let’s Make It Official: Writing By-Laws

stock_bylaws Now that we’ve gotten ourselves established as a club and have been meeting consistently, it’s time to finalize the definition of the fencing club. Every group has rules of some sort: The Constitution defines the laws of the land; HHS has policies that must be observed; and even many websites have terms and conditions that must be agreed to before registering or becoming a member. Such is the same with clubs, and should be with the HHS Fencing Club. I know that some of you have been thinking about this, so let me offer you some guidelines, or at least some prompts, to help you develop the by-laws for the club.

The following is a broad outline for you to follow when thinking about what information and rules should be included in the new by-laws:

  1. Name – We already have a name for the club, so let’s make it official.
  2. Purpose – I’ve already started a paragraph on this site explaining the purpose of the club. You, as club members, should review it and decide if it says everything that should be said or if it should be changed to fit your purpose as a club.
  3. Financial, Fundraising – some of these points are dictated by the school (all monies flowing in and out of the club are technically owned by the school, etc.) What will you do to raise money for the club?
  4. Membership – some questions you can ask yourselves might be: What qualifications should there be for members of the club (will it depend on number of practices attended, membership dues paid, etc.)? What would make a member no longer eligible to be in the club? How often will membership need to be renewed?
  5. Officers – we have already elected our officers, however think about how long you would like them to serve (1 year?) and how you should elect officers in the future.
  6. Elections – how should they be conducted? At what time of year? Who is eligible to vote?
  7. Meetings – how often will you meet as a club? When and where? Will attending meetings be required for members, and if so, will members lose their membership of voting rights for not attending? What will be your minimum number of members needed to qualify as a meeting (see quorum)?
  8. Amendments – what procedure should be followed in the future if you want to make changes to the by-laws?

You can also look at examples of by-laws of other fencing clubs –

Decide on a meeting time to discuss these points, and appoint someone to type up the draft. All members should review the draft and vote on it before you make it the official by-laws of the group.

As always, I’m here to help, so if you have any questions, just let me know.

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