Proposed Changes to OC Mensa’s Bylaws

Greg De Hoogh, Bylaws Chair

The OC Mensa Board of Directors is proposing to amend OCM’s Bylaws. Because the changes touch so many areas of the bylaws, the board determined that it would be best to publish the complete text of the bylaws, with all proposed changes incorporated, in the June issue of the Oracle. The board has scheduled a special election for August for OCM members to vote on the proposed revised bylaws. That ballot will ask just one question – whether the revised bylaws should replace the current bylaws.

Here is the text of the proposed revised Orange County Mensa Bylaws. (The proposed revised bylaws are also included in the June, 2018, Oracle.)Here is the text of the current bylaws.

Here is a file showing the differences between the current bylaws and the revised version.

If you’d like to receive printed versions of any of these documents, please contact me at president@ocmensa.org, or 949-362-5529.

To help you understand the proposed changes, I’ll list what we, the board, consider to be the most important changes, along with an explanation for why we’re proposing them.

1. Removal of term limits for board offices. Currently, an individual may serve indefinitely on the board (provided they’re reelected each year, of course), but may only be elected to a given position for a maximum of two full one-year terms. Some of the positions require a fair amount of time to learn, and the board believes that removing the two-year limitation will enable us to more easily keep qualified and knowledgeable individuals in those offices.

2. Change to the required frequency of board meetings to quarterly. Currently, the Board of Directors is required to meet at least once every other month. While an every-other-month schedule generally works well most of the year, it can be challenging for the board to schedule meetings during the holidays at year-end.

3. Revision to the requirements for removal of Board Officers. The revised bylaws add a provision that allows the board to remove one of its officers for cause by a 2/3 vote of the other board members. The board feels this is needed to deal with a “problem officer” (e.g., a negligent or dishonest treasurer) in a timely manner. This provision is present in the Model Bylaws for Local Groups, and the wording chosen was suggested by the national bylaws committee.

4. Clarification of the term “Officer.” In line with the term “officer” being defined as anyone in the local group who has a title (mandated by the national bylaws committee), the proposed new bylaws more clearly distinguish between “Board Officers” and “Appointed Officers.”

5. Elections. The current wording for election scheduling is vague at best, and the national bylaws committee requires that we clarify that scheduling – particularly for special elections.

6. Succession of officers. See V.B.5.b.3 and V.B.5.c.3.

7. Revision of appointment of Appointed Officers and committee members. See V.C.2.

8. Removal of Appointed Officers. See V.C.4.

9. Deletion of some standing committees. The current bylaws specify only a subset of OCM’s standing committees. The revised version reduces the size of that subset to only the Financial Review and Regional Gathering committees. The board feels that these are the only two committees that need to be specified in the bylaws. The rest may be specified in the Standing Orders, as needed.

In addition to the above, other changes include some structural reorganization to support the above changes and some relatively minor changes in wording needed to satisfy national bylaws requirements (e.g., “American Mensa Limited” was changed to “American Mensa, Ltd.” in 1.B).

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Mensa does not hold any opinions, or have, or express, any political or religious views.

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