OAPA Working for You: Bylaws Committee
In her book, "The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure" Alice Sturgis says, "Good bylaws alone do not make an effective organization; they are an outline of its structure. However, suitable bylaws are necessary to enable an organization to function well.” She further suggests that bylaws should be designed to fit the needs of an organization rather than being applied in a one-size-fits-all approach.
You aren’t alone if reading the OAPA Bylaws does not sound like your definition of fun, but it is important to have a basic understanding of how and why our Bylaws are written! The Bylaws Committee is chaired by OAPA Vice President, Michell McDiffett, PA-C, and works to make sure that OAPA has written rules to guide our affairs that are clear, enforceable, legally sound, and can assist us in handling any new situations or ideas as they emerge.
In addition to outlining OAPA’s mission and vision, our Bylaws provide a framework for our membership categories, board of directors roles and responsibilities, elections, financial and judicial affairs, and guide how our Board and membership meetings are conducted. In this way, OAPA Bylaws are essentially a blueprint for our purpose and our day-to-day operations. What you might not have considered is that OAPA Bylaws serve as a legal guideline for our association and violations are subject to legal action.
As you know, OAPA is a constituent chapter of AAPA and our Bylaws must be consistent with those of our parent organization whenever state law permits. The Bylaws Committee is tasked with reviewing OAPA and AAPA Bylaws at least annually and propose changes to achieve parity. For example, the Bylaws Committee has recently proposed a change to allow OAPA retired members voting privileges consistent with a resolution that passed the 2023 House of Delegates for AAPA retired members.
Additionally, the committee develops appropriate language for amendments to the OAPA Bylaws and policy manual. As another example of our commitment to upholding our responsibilities, the Bylaws Committee has recently proposed an update to the language used throughout the document that is more inclusive including the use of “they” where “he/she” is used to refer to OAPA members.
These are just a few of the various and important functions of the Bylaws Committee, and a peak at some of the proposed Bylaws changes that you will be voting on at the membership meeting in April. If this has piqued your interest and reviewing, developing and updating OAPA’s processes and guiding rules sounds like something you would like to be a part of, please reach out to volunteer as a member of the committee!
View the Governance page for more details about the upcoming Bylaws vote.