A chapter’s bylaws are the guiding principals and procedures that govern its operations. While Statewide Friends offers sample bylaws as a recommendation for chapters, the actual content of the bylaws is up to the chapter leadership to establish. Assuming there are no contradictions with any of the other three governing documents or with state law, the bylaws can contain virtually any provision the chapter leadership determines appropriate for the operation of the chapter.
Chapter bylaws should not be perceived as static. A primary reason they are not dictated by Statewide Friends is to allow for the flexibility required from site to site. As such, it is recommended that bylaws be reviewed periodically to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the chapter. Bylaws should also include a provision for amendments. It is unrealistic to assume that, once created, a chapter’s bylaws will always meet the needs of the chapter and the site. Bylaws should be thorough enough to help set the guidelines for chapter operations but, at the same time, should not be so restrictive as to make compliance difficult.
Should a chapter’s bylaws be modified by the chapter leadership, they must be resubmitted for approval to Statewide Friends to ensure there are no conflicts and to help the organization keep track of chapter functions.