Sample Organization Bylaws

This is an example of the format that your organization might find useful in the development of its bylaws. The structure has been developed for general use, but your organization needs to customize it for your particular needs and purposes. The ( ) and…are areas that need more specific development. In addition, pay special attention to Article II, III B, and V C.

Aaron Mahmod, Assistant Director for Student Organization, can assist you with the formation of this document if necessary.

(Name of Organization) By-Laws


Article I. Name

The name of this Organization/Club shall be the (organization's formal name).

Article II. Purpose

The (organization's formal name), serving the University of Richmond, is committed to...(purpose of organization). The organization accomplishes its mission by...(list objectives).

Article III. Membership

  1. Members:
    1. The members of this organization shall be currently enrolled students at the University of Richmond.
    2. They become members by (invitation/try-outs/self selection/active participation/application).
  2. Privileges and Responsibilities of Membership:
    1. Voting: Each member is entitled to one vote.
    2. Privileges: Each member shall be entitled to all services of the organization.
    3. Participation: Each member shall be entitled to participate in all organizational events.
    4. Responsibilities: Each member shall…(list responsibilities of members).

Article IV. Membership Meetings

  1. The business meetings of the membership will be held…(annually in the spring or fall, weekly, or other). Notification of this meeting shall be made…(how many days) prior to said meeting.
  2. The President/Chairperson/Captain of the organization may call other meetings.
  3. Quorum: At all meetings of the organization, a quorum shall consist of the members. (quorum = one half + 1)

Article V. Officers

  1. Titles:
    1. (The organization's formal name) shall have the following officers elected from the current membership:
    2. President/Chairperson/Captain
    3. Vice-President
    4. Secretary
    5. Treasurer
    6. Advisor/Coach
    7. Miscellaneous Officers (ex. Board of Elections Chair)
  2. Qualifications:
    1. The President/Chairperson/Captain shall have been (elected/appointed/self selected) to the organization and serve…(how long)
    2. The other officers must be current members of the organization.
  3. Duties of Officers:
    1. The President/Chairperson/Captain shall preside at all meetings and be responsible for appointing all standing, special, and ad-hoc committees and shall perform such other duties as usually required of this office. The President/Chairperson/Captain of the organization shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
    2. The Vice-President shall act in the absence of the President/Chairperson/Captain in all capacities as listed above and shall assist in conducting the business of the organization.
    3. The Secretary shall…(list responsibilities).
    4. The Treasurer shall…(list responsibilities)
    5. The Advisor/Coach shall…(list responsbilities).
  4. Terms of Office:
    1. Officers shall be elected annually (fall or spring) by the members at one of the regular meetings. Elections shall be by ballot and a majority of the votes cast shall elect.
    2. Each officer shall take office…(date), and serve a one-year term and may be re-elected consecutively to the same office for an additional one-year term.
  5. Vacancies and Removal:
    1. A vacancy in the office of the President/Chairperson/Captain shall be filled by the Vice-President unless he or she is unable to serve, at which time the vacancy shall be filled by election of the members by a majority of votes cast. A vacancy in the office of the Vice-President shall be left vacant with the President/Chairperson/Captain delegating the duties of that position.
    2. Any officer, including the President/Chairperson/Captain, may be removed from office or suspended from office by a vote of two-thirds of the members at a regular meeting. Removal or suspension may be with or without cause. The person under consideration shall be given an opportunity to be heard at the meeting with sufficient notice of the proposed removal or suspension, the person under consideration shall not be counted in determining the presence of a quorum not whether the required two-thirds vote has been obtained. Upon a vote of removal or suspension of the President/Chairperson/Captain, the Vice-President shall preside at the meeting.

Article VI. Committees

  1. The President/Chairperson/Captain, subject to the approval of the organization, shall appoint such standing, special, or ad hoc committees as may be required by the bylaws, as he or she finds necessary. Committee Chairpersons shall be appointed by and responsible to the President/Chairperson/Captain.
  2. A vacancy in a Committee Chairperson position shall be filled by appointment of the President/Chairperson/Captain of the organization with input from the outgoing Committee Chairperson.

Article VII. Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the bylaws or the special rules of order of the organization.

Article VIII. University Policies

This organization shall abide by all applicable policies instituted by the University of Richmond.

Article IX. Amendments

These bylaws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the organization present at any regular meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose. The membership shall be notified of adopted bylaw amendments by the most feasible means.