Are your branch bylaws up to date?
Note: Mandatory bylaws amendments do not require a vote of the members in the branch because they are required in order to bring the bylaws into conformance with the AAUW Bylaws. Non-mandatory amendments must follow the usual process and be voted on by the members.
What did change in AAUW Bylaws
- Wherever the words “Association” or “Foundation” appear, they should be replaced with “AAUW.”
- If there is a reference to the Charter, that should be deleted. The restructured AAUW is under articles of incorporation now. For example, you may have a sentence that refers to the “Charter and Bylaws of the American Association of University Women, hereinafter called the Association.” That should be changed to “The Bylaws of the American Association of University Women, hereinafter called AAU
- The purpose/mission statement in your bylaws must be the same as the revised AAUW Bylaws: “The purpose of AAUW is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.” This should replace the wording, “The purpose of AAUW is to promote equity for all women and girls, lifelong education, and positive societal change.”
- Use of Name: Retain Sections 1 and 2; delete the rest. Add a new “Section 3. Violations. Violation of the Use of Name policy shall result in action taken in accordance with AAUW policy.” Details will be moved to policies and procedures and made available to members via the website.
- Delete any references to regions or regional directors since these no longer exist.
- Loss of recognition of a branch: delete references to loss of recognition if the branch has fewer than 15 members. Viable branches with fewer than 15 members will be allowed to continue. We would suggest that you simply state that the conditions for loss of recognition of a branch are located in Article XI, Section 3. of the AAUW Bylaws.
- Remove any reference to delegates for the AAUW convention. All members now have a vote on national AAUW business (elections, adoption of the Public Policy Program and resolutions, and amendments to the AAUW Bylaws). There will no longer be a delegate system for national AAUW meetings.
What didn’t change in AAUW Bylaws
- The requirement for membership in AAUW remains an associate or equivalent degree or higher. There is no change in the categories of membership or in the student affiliates category.
- Branches continue to be the basic unit of AAUW, although there is more flexibility given for a branch’s governance structure.
- States remain but they are optional structures, and there is flexibility given for the state’s governance structure. States also have the flexibility to decide if they want to join in a multi-state structure or other configuration.
- No branch or state is required to change its current leadership structure if it works well and meets the needs of the branch or state.
Where to find more
The full text of the 2009 AAUW Bylaws is posted on the AAUW Web site and will also be printed for distribution to state and branch presidents in early September. Model state and branch bylaws are also posted on the AAUW Web site.