Know Your Bylaws
Posted June 7, 2018 in Membership
By Lauri Rowland, Bylaw Committee Chair
DID YOU KNOW… Section IX –Procedure of the Bylaws states: “Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of all meetings except as provided herein.”
What exactly are Robert’s Rules of Order?
Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, commonly referred to as Robert’s Rules, is the most widely used manual of parliamentary procedure in the United States. It governs the meetings of a diverse range of organizations—including church groups, county commissions, homeowners associations, nonprofit associations, professional societies, school boards, and trade unions—that have adopted it as their parliamentary authority.
The manual was first published in 1876 by U.S. Army officer Henry Martyn Robert, who adapted the rules and practice of Congress to the needs of non-legislative societies. The procedures prescribed by the book were loosely modeled after those used in the United States House of Representatives, with such adaptations as Robert saw fit for use in ordinary societies. Although he was in the military, the rules in his book were not based on military rules. The author’s interest in parliamentary procedure began in 1863 when he was chosen to preside over a church meeting. In his later work as an active member of several organizations, Robert discovered that members from different areas of the country had very different views regarding what the proper parliamentary rules were, and these conflicting views hampered the organizations in their work. He eventually became convinced of the need for a new manual on the subject, one which would enable many organizations to adopt the same set of rules.
Ten subsequent editions have been published, including major revisions in 1915 and 1970. The 11th and current edition was published in 2011.