A Must-Have to Obtain Funding
By-laws establish the specific rules of governance by which the group is to follow and implement. They describe how the group is structured, how it is organized and its methods of operation. Most student-fee funding sources require student groups to submit their bylaws along with funding requests in order for them to receive funding for operations, events and travel.
See sample bylaws:
Bylaws (From Robert's Rules of Order, 10th Edition)
The bylaws of a society are its own basic rules relating to itself as an organization, and which:
- Should have essentially the same form and content whether or not the society is incorporated;
- Defines the primary characteristics of the organization-either establishing an unincorporated society, or conforming to the corporate charter if there is one;
- Prescribes how the society functions; and
- Includes all the rules that the society considers so important that they (a) cannot be changed without previous notice to the members and a vote of a specified large majority (such as 2/3 vote), and (b) cannot be suspended (with the exception of clauses listed in Robert's Rules of Order).
Basic Bylaw Articles
- Article I: Name. List the full name of the society. (Student Group's Name)
- Article II: Objectives.List concisely the objectives and purpose of the student organization. Example The (organizations name), serving the University of Colorado, is committed to (purpose of organization). The organization accomplishes its mission by (list objectives).
- Article III: Members. List the eligibility for membership. Include the application and acceptance procedures, including method of reviewing and voting on applications. Indicate whether the group is open to all students and whether dues are required. Discuss attendance requirements here. (Member eligibility, who can vote)
- Article IV: Officers. Specify the officers required and how they shall be elected or appointed. Next, rank the officers in the order listed. The method of nominating officers may be prescribed in this article. (Qualifications for each office, terms of office, duties, selection, replacement and removal)
- Article V: Meetings. List the frequency of meetings; biweekly, monthly, each semester, etc, and discuss quorum and the process for calling special meetings.
- Article VI: Executive Board. If there is to be a board entrusted with administrative authority and responsibility, then (1) specify the board's composition; (2) delineate the powers of the board; and (2) set forth any special rules for the board to conduct its business.
- Article VII: Committees.
- Article VIII: Handling of Funds (Who is responsible for handling organizations funds, keeping track of balances, expenses and making deposits at SOFO)
- Article IX: Amendment of Bylaws. Prescribe the procedure for the amendment of bylaws, usually with advance notice to members, and approval of 2/3's vote.
- Additional Articles: Some national societies have additional articles to address the officers, finance, etc., however most local societies will find additional articles to be unnecessary.