Video: SWE Sections Bylaws Update

Maureen Masiulis, FY19 Bylaws Chair for the Society of Women Engineers, explains why SWE Sections must update their bylaws this summer.
Video: SWE Sections Bylaws Update

By Maureen Masiulis, FY19 Bylaws Chair of the Society of Women Engineers

Why do SWE Sections need to update their Bylaws?
The Society bylaws have been updated to reflect the governance changes the SWE Senate passed at WE17. This has created cascading changes for section bylaws that require review and adoption by your section. Additionally, maintaining up-to-date and approved bylaws is important to stay in good standing with the Society and to remain tax exempt. I know everyone has been asking a lot of questions about what to do. My goal today is to give you an overview of the process and where to go if you have additional questions.

What is the Process? 
SWE has developed new bylaws for both collegiate and professional sections.  The bylaws committee assessed each of the sections existing bylaws and put all sections into two categories. To make things as easy as possible the bylaws committee came up with specific instructions for each of the two categories.

Category 1: Sections that previously accepted one of those templates as is with no modifications (other than inserting the section number, name, and approval date) have what we refer to as the standard bylaws for professional or collegiate sections.

If you have standard bylaws:

  • Review the standard bylaws (professional or collegiate, as appropriate) with your section executive council.
  • Replace the words "Section Number, Section Name" in the file with your section’s name and number in the Title, Article I and the footer. Collegiate Sections will need to insert the school name in Article I.
  • Schedule a section vote to approve using the attached bylaws as specified in Article IX for collegiate sections and Article VIII for professional sections.
  • After your section approves the attached file, insert the approval date in the footer.
  • Create a word document file labeled as "Section XXX, 2018 Approved Standard Bylaws.
  • Send the newly created Word file to bylaws-chair@swe.org. (Note: If you make any changes beyond the edits mentioned above, you will need to use the Modifiable Bylaws Template which will require review with a committee member prior to the section vote.)
  • Once your updated bylaws are approved, you will be notified via e-mail and a final, clean bylaws file will be sent to the section for your records.

Category 2: Sections that have previously modified society bylaws or sections that are in the process of modifying their bylaws

  • Review the modifiable template (professional or collegiate, as appropriate) with your section executive council & insert your section number and name in Article I.
  • Transfer your section’s revisions as allowed or applicable to the new template using track changes. (Send any questions about what changes are allowed to bylaws-chair@swe.org or see the FAQ page.) If you have been working with the bylaws committee on a proposed amendment and do not have a copy of the latest recommended changes, please email bylaws-chair@swe.org.
  • A member of the bylaws committee will review your proposed changes and contact you to resolve any questions.
  • Conduct a vote as specified in Article IX for collegiate sections and Article VIII for professional sections to approve bylaws’ changes & update the footer with your section number and date of approval.
  • Create a word document file labeled as "Section XXX, 2018 Approved Modified Bylaws.
  • Send the updated document in Word with the track changes to bylaws-chair@swe.org
  • Once your updated bylaws are approved, you will be notified via e-mail and a final, clean bylaws file will be sent to the section for your records.
  • When do I need to complete this by?: within 6 months

When do I need to complete this by?
Sections need to update their bylaws within 6 months or by the end of summer. We know we are going to be getting a lot of questions and request for bylaws approval over the next six months, and we need your help to make sure we don't overlook anything. Please use the following format when sending us your bylaws for approval:

Subject Line: Section Number - Section Name

Body of Email: Provide all of the following as applicable

  • Submitter Name
  • Submitter SWE Role
  • Submitter Email
  • Submitter Phone Number
  • Identify if you are using Standard Template or Amended Template
  • Section projected election date (if this is important in the timing).
  • Follow Up Required: Yes or No. If yes, provide a brief description of your sections question(s)
  • Statement: "I acknowledge this has been approved by my section per Article IX of current bylaws.
  • Attach bylaws version that was approved by your section (with header/footer completed)

Where do I go for help?
Find more information on SWE's Governance Update webpage. When in doubt, contact the bylaws chair at bylaws-chair@swe.org. Make sure to include your section number - section name in the subject line and include the submitters name, role, email and phone so that we know how to get a hold of you!