Constitutions and Bylaws

In order to be effective, RSO's need rules and guiding principles. Constitutions and/or bylaws are used to formalize rules, operating standards, and organizational structure in written format. These documents can establishes things such as the reason for conception of the group, the group’s objectives, mission, and roles and responsibilities for leaders. Student Leadership & Involvement requires that all RSO's have a constitution.

What is a Constitution?

A constitution organizes, regulates, distributes and limits the functions and powers of each position along with laying out some rights and duties. An effective constitution should be simple and direct. While creating an RSO constitution it is important to keep in mind that this document is designed to cover basic principles, but does not prescribe operating procedures for the organization.

What are Bylaws?

A bylaw is a specific type of rule with limited application within the organization, who's applications are limited. Bylaws are mostly used to regulate, organize, and establish functions, powers, and specific functioning rules. While bylaws are not required in order to register or re-register as an RSO, these operating procedures can be helpful for certain organizations.

Drafting Constitutions and Bylaws

Writing a constitution and bylaws can be very time consuming--delegating the drafting of the sections of the constitution and bylaws to various members allows your RSO to work collaboratively.  Spending time writing, editing, and amending your foundational documents allows your organization to have a solid foundation.