Writing and keeping bylaws that accurately reflect your circle’s practices and procedures is an important part of maintaining the health and well-being or your organization. These sample bylaws are intended to help petitionary circles as well as those who wish to revisit documents that may have been written decades previously.
Model Circle Bylaws
Article I – Name
*Section 1. The name of this Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society, shall be the (name of the college or university) Circle at (name of city).
Article II – Meetings
*Section 1. Regular meetings for the transaction of business shall be held at least once each month of the collegiate year at such time and place as may be designated by the circle. Additional meetings may be called at any time by order of the president.
Section 2. There shall be two meetings each year for the election of members. They shall be held in the autumn and spring, at a time and place to be designated by the President (or by circle action). The Circle Coordinator shall give a written notification of this meeting to all voting members at least two weeks in advance.
Section 3. The meetings for the initiation of new members shall be held three weeks after the respective elections, or as soon thereafter as practicable, the time and place to be provided for at the election meeting. The Circle Coordinator shall notify all resident members of this meeting as soon as the time and place shall have been designated.
Section 4. The election of officers shall be held annually at the regular meeting in April, and their installation shall take place at the regular meeting in May following.
Section 5. A quorum for the transaction of regular business shall consist of a majority of all the voting members of the circle, but for the election of members, two-thirds of the voting members shall be required to constitute a quorum.
Article III – Officers and Committees
*Section 1. The officers of the circle shall be those provided for in the Omicron Delta Kappa Policies and Procedures Manual.
Section 2. All officers of the circle shall be elected by secret ballot, except where there is only one nominee, and a majority of the total votes cast shall be necessary to elect.
Section 3. Their duties shall be those that usually devolve upon such officers.
Section 4. The President shall be authorized to appoint all committees whose membership has not been otherwise provided for by the circle.
*Section 5. All incoming officers shall have familiarized themselves with the rules and regulations of Omicron Delta Kappa, as embodied in the National Bylaws, the Policies and Procedures Manual, the Circle Officer Handbook, and the Circle Bylaws.
*Section 6. At the time of their installation, officers shall be required to state as a part of their pledge under oath that they have complied with the requirements of Section 5.
Section 7. All outgoing officers shall be urged to prepare written reports upon the program and procedures of their respective circle to serve as guides for new officers.
Article IV – Nominations and Election of New Members
Section 1. The President shall appoint a committee of five voting members at least two months before each election meeting, whose duty it shall be to prepare a list of all eligible candidates for membership and to present this list to the circle at election meetings.
Section 2. Each member may present to the committee a list of not more than ten people in the institution whom that member considers eligible and wishes to have considered for election.
Section 3. The membership committee shall be assisted in the selection of its list by the preferential lists submitted by the members as far as it is consistent with the requirements for eligibility.
Section 4. At election meetings, the membership committee shall post its list of candidates conspicuously before the assembled members and render a report of its findings.
*Section 5. Immediately prior to the balloting, and as many times thereafter an occasion demands, the presiding officer shall cast the attention of the members to the requirements that no person of unquestioned eligibility should be barred for personal reasons, and that any questions as to personal qualifications must be fully discussed at the circle election meeting.
*Section 6. The vote shall be by secret written ballot. These ballots shall be counted by tellers appointed by the President. If any candidate receives the required number of votes for election as provided in the Omicron Delta Kappa Policies and Procedures Manual, that candidate shall be declared elected and the vote shall then be taken individually by secret ballot on the remaining number, in the order in which they appear on the committee’s list.
Section 8. Candidates shall be notified of their election personally by the Circle Coordinator or by some other member appointed for the purpose, and by letter.
Section 9. Until formal public pledging, each member shall be under the oath of secrecy not to divulge in any way or suggest to anyone except a member the names of those who have been elected. Each elected candidate upon notification shall be pledged to absolute secrecy until a public announcement has been made.
Article V – Initiation
Section 1. The membership-initiation fee shall be the national lifetime membership fee, as approved by the Board of Trustees, plus any local dues amount to be determined by the circle, payable in advance of initiation. Initiation fees shall be collected by the circle advisor(s) and forwarded to the National Headquarters as required by the Policies and Procedures Manual.
*Section 2. The procedure for initiation of new members shall be that provided in the Official Ritual of the Society.
Article VI – Finance
Section 1. The membership-initiation fee shall be the national lifetime membership fee, as approved by the Board of Trustees, plus any local dues amount to be determined by the circle, payable in advance of initiation. Initiation fees shall be collected by the circle advisor(s) and forward to the National Headquarters as required by the Policies and Procedures Manual.
Section 2. All voting members shall pay monthly dues during the academic year of $___________ to the Treasurer.
*Section 3. An Auditing Committee shall be appointed by the President composed of two student members and one voting faculty member who are not officers, to audit the books of the circle within two weeks after the beginning of the academic year and again in two weeks prior to end of the academic year, and shall submit a signed report to the circle.
Article VII – Suspension of Voting Power of Active Members
Section 1. Any voting member of this circle who shall be absent for two consecutive meetings without an excuse accepted by the officers of the circle shall be deprived of the privilege of voting in any subsequent meetings of the circle.
Section 2. Reinstatement of a member shall be when the member shall have attended two consecutive meetings thereafter, and met any and all financial obligations to the circle.
Article VIII – Order of Business
Section 1. The order of business for all regular meetings shall be as follows:
a. Roll Call
b. Reading of minutes of previous meeting
c. Unfinished business
d. Reports of committees
e. New business
f. Voluntary remarks
g. Election of officers
h. Installation of officers
i. Election of new members
j. Initiation of new members
Section 2. The regular order of business may be changed by the circle when desired.
Article IX – Amendments and Suspensions of Bylaws
*Section 1. These bylaws may be amended by three-fourths of the voting members present at a meeting called for the purpose, or where this purpose has been mentioned in the call.
Section 2. In case of an emergency, any part of these bylaws may be suspended by a three-fourths vote of the voting members present, but only for a single meeting.
*Items required in all circle bylaws by the Omicron Delta Kappa Policies and Procedures Manual.