The Rules Committee
Learn about the Rules Committee
The Rules Committee works with, updates, and revises the Bylaws, Special Rules of Order, Standing Rules, Custom, and Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR) as needed. We also work with the membership to interpret the meaning of a particular item.
Bylaws generally describe the name, objective, membership, officers, executive committee, standing committees, parliamentary authority, how to amend and other stringent laws and procedures of an organization. All bylaws and standing rules must conform to state statutes. Bylaws cannot be suspended.
Special Rules of Order
The term rules of order refer to written rules of parliamentary procedure formally adopted by an assembly or an organization. Such rules relate to the orderly transaction of business in meetings and to the duties of officers in that connection. The object of rules of order is to facilitate the smooth functioning of the assembly and to provide a firm basis for resolving questions of procedure that may arise.
Standing rules are related to the details concerning the administration of an organization. They generally provide a pathway to implement the bylaws. Standing rules are usually not adopted at the time a society or organization is organized, but individually if and when the need arises. A standing rule can be adopted by a majority vote without previous notice, provided it does not conflict with or amend any existing rule or bylaw. A standing rule can be amended or rescinded by a 2/3 vote or advance notice. Some standing rules can be suspended by a 2/3 vote and others by a majority vote. Rules which have their application outside of one meeting cannot be suspended.
A particular practice is sometimes followed and becomes an established custom as if it were a rule. Established custom should be adhered to unless a majority of the assembly votes in a particular instance to do otherwise. If a custom is in conflict with parliamentary authority or any written rule and a point of order is raised, citing the conflict, the custom is discarded. If it is then desired to follow the custom declared invalid, a rule or bylaw can be added or amended to incorporate it.