Bylaws of the Humanists of Rhode Island

These Bylaws were amended by a majority vote of the members on 2014-01-13 and become effective immediately.


The purpose of the Humanists of Rhode Island is (1) to lead and promote a humanistic lifestance with ideals based on ethics, freedom, rationalism, and human concerns, (2) to promote a naturalistic (as contrasted to supernaturalistic) view of all life, (3) to enact our values through service work, (4) to defend the separation of church and state, (5) to educate the public regarding humanism and freethinking, and (6) to provide an environment where freethinkers can develop friendships, socialize, and support one another.


This association shall be called “Humanists of Rhode Island” and shall be a Charter Chapter of the American Humanist Association (AHA). The provisions of these Bylaws are in conformity with and subservient to the Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation of the American Humanist Association. Nothing herein shall be interpreted in any manner to be in conflict with the Constitution of the United States of America, the laws of our land required to maintain a tax-exempt, non-profit educational organization, or with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.


Any person who regards himself or herself as a Humanist, and pays any prescribed dues established by Humanists of Rhode Island, will be considered a voting member. Dues are to be set by the Board of Directors (Board) and will be for one (1) year. Currently dues are set at $25.00. Dues are renewable and are due on the date of the original individual membership.


Humanists of Rhode Island shall be governed by its membership and an elected Board of Directors consisting of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and five additional Directors all elected by the membership (see “ELECTIONS”). Board members who miss three (3) consecutive regularly scheduled board meetings may be removed from the Board.

The Board of Directors shall serve no more than three consecutive terms.

The President and Vice President shall be required to be a member of the AHA during their term of office and shall be responsible for presiding at general meetings of Humanists of Rhode Island, at meetings of the Board of Directors, and at other Humanists of Rhode Island events. The President will be, or will designate, the chief public spokesperson for Humanists of Rhode Island.

The Vice President will be responsible for assuming the duties of the President in his or her absence, facilitating election of officers, recruiting new members, and serving as Parliamentarian.

The Secretary will be responsible for taking minutes during Board Meetings, providing communication within the group and maintaining the written record for the Humanists of Rhode Island.

The Treasurer will be responsible for maintaining the Humanists of Rhode Island accounts, providing an annual budget for the Humanists of Rhode Island, and ensuring that the Board is kept up-to-date with the financial standing of the group.


Regular meetings of Humanists of Rhode Island and Board Meetings shall be scheduled in accordance with the times and places set by the Board. Meetings are open to the public. A quorum for the transaction of business at regular meetings shall consist of eleven voting members. Quorum for Board Meetings shall consist of five elected members.


A nominating committee consisting of three voting members, at least one of whom will be a prior or current officer, will be appointed by the President in February and approved by the Board. The committee will nominate voting members for open Board vacancies. The committee will nominate at least as many voting members as there are open Board positions, but may nominate as many candidates as they choose. The nominations will be posted on the Humanists of Rhode Island website or emailed to all voting members no later than March 31st. Elections will be held during the regular business meeting in April, with additional nominations from any voting member present being allowed. Voting members not able to attend the April meeting may vote for candidates for the Board or make additional nominations via email or mail to the Humanists of Rhode Island Secretary, such correspondence to be received no later than midnight on the Friday prior to the April meeting. All nominated members must agree to serve on the Board prior to elections taking place. The top candidates, in order of most votes won, will fill open positions until all Board vacancies are filled. The new Board (newly elected Board members plus any Board members starting the second year of their term) will meet at this same April meeting and will conduct a second vote amongst themselves to determine who will assume officer positions. The remaining Board members will be considered Members-at-large. The new Board members will assume full duties of those positions beginning May 1st.

Board member positions will be elected for four (4) year terms. Officers will serve in their positions for two (2) years. The remaining two (2) years of their four (4) year term may be served as a member-at-large, another officer position, or the same officer position.

If a Board position is made vacant during the year, the Board will nominate a voting member to fill the position and will present the nomination at the next Humanists of Rhode Island monthly meeting for confirmation by voting members present. The newly appointed Board member will immediately assume full responsibilities of the position and will finish out the remaining time that position was originally elected for (until the end of the current year or the following year).


These Bylaws and any portion thereof may be amended, repealed, or modified, or new Bylaws adopted at any time by a majority vote of those voting members present at a regular monthly meeting provided all members have been advised through the website or by email of the proposed changes at least 1 month prior to the meeting at which the vote is to take place. Proposed changes to these Bylaws must be approved by either a majority of the Board or by at least thirty percent (30%) of the voting members of Humanists of Rhode Island.


A resolution to dissolve the association of the Humanists of Rhode Island shall only be voted on at a regular meeting provided all voting members have been advised through the website or by email of the proposed resolution to dissolve at least 1 month prior to the meeting at which the vote is to take place. The resolution to dissolve must be approved by at least three-quarters (¾) of voting members present. The dissolution shall take effect from the date of the resolution and the Board of Directors shall be responsible for the winding-up of the assets and liabilities of the association. Any property and/or funds remaining after the discharge of debts and liabilities of the association shall be given to The American Humanist Association.

1 comment:

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