Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bylaws: Structure

I have posted a very first draft of the chapter's bylaws on meta. You can find those bylaws here:

My purpose with this draft was basically to get a lot of ideas on paper, although it's a dreadful mess and needs much work. One of the issues over which there has already been some argument is the issue of the chapter's structure. I envision a two-part structure as such:

  1. A "General Assembly", which consists of all the members.
  2. An "Executive Council", which consists of a small number of members.
If the chapter meets en masse only once or twice each year, the majority of the chapter's members should be tasked with making the big decisions of the chapter: setting the dues, electing next year's executive council, and any other big issues which require chapter input. In order to facilitate the General Assembly in making decisions, I envision a number of "Representative Councils", ad hoc committees which are tasked with informing and guiding the general assembly. A representative council is, essentially, a group of experts from among the General Assembly, which can efficiently debate an issue, and provide the results to the Chapter for discussion and vote.

A representative council is selected by the executive council in times of need. If there are important issues to discuss at an annual (or bi-annual) meeting, the executive will select the representative council in advance, and then the results will be presented at the meeting (or in advance) in order that the general assembly may act on that information without delay.

This is, of course, just a first draft. We can expect there to be some changes to this structure as time goes on, but I'm pretty proud of the first attempt.