Monday, May 14, 2012

DI Rules and Regs - What You Need to Know - Part II

This is the second in a series of posts that details some specific information from the DeMolay International Rules and Regulations. These articles are in response to questions we have gotten from local leaders asking what the official rules are for their Chapter and position.

Every Chapter must have a copy of the Rules and Regs of DeMolay International, however, in many cases they are out of date, misplaced, or just forgotten. Frankly, much of what is contained in the document has little to no bearing on what you do in a local Chapter, but there are some very specific sections that are important for you to know about. In the PA DeMolay version of DAD Training we discuss these, but sometimes we don't look at them as closely as we should. I hope this will help new and veteran advisors alike.

As a warning, some of these posts are going to be a bit longer, as we show the section of the Rules and Regs and then talk about it.

This time we take a look at Part II: Article 15 - Membership

315.1   Residence, Election of Members.  A person who resides in the territory of a Chapter may not be lawfully elected to receive the degrees from any other Chapter, except one having concurrent territory, without consent of the Executive Officer of the Jurisdiction where the applicant resides.

Discussion: This is an interesting rule, because it describes the area from which Chapters can recruit members. However, most Chapters don't have a defined territory, so this section is often overlooked. It is more or less a carry over from times when there were several Chapters in one area and rules needed to be established to make sure that each Chapter had a sufficient area to recruit from.

315.2   Eligibility.  An application for membership may be received only from a young man who has passed his twelfth birthday and who has not reached his twenty-first birthday and who is recommended by two members of the Order, or by a Senior DeMolay, or by a Mason.  The applicant must be sponsored by a Mason.  Membership shall be considered on the basis of character and moral qualifications as prescribed in The Sacred Landmarks of the Order of DeMolay.  (1999)

Discussion: This is the section that establishes the age for DeMolays - 12 to 21. It says he must also be recommended by a two members of the order, or by a single Senior DeMolay, or by a Master Mason. All applicants must be sponsored by a Master Mason. The rest of it talks about moral character and the Sacred Landmarks of DeMolay (which is a whole other discussion.)

315.3   Application Received.  Every application for membership or for affiliation must be received at a meeting of the Chapter.

315.4   Visitation Committees.  Unless otherwise directed by the Executive Officer, all applications for membership or for affiliation when received, shall be referred by the Master Councilor to a visitation committee which shall inquire thoroughly into the character and fitness of the applicant and report in writing, by the next stated meeting, when the application for membership will be voted on.  The visitation committee must report favorably or unfavorably, by a majority of its members.  If the committee fails to report at the proper time, the Master Councilor may continue the committee or appoint a new committee.  When desirable, an advisor may make the visitation and report instead of the committee.

Discussion: I'm grouping 315.3 and 315.4 together. Basically, every application for membership must be read at a regular meeting of the Chapter. Then, unless the EO says otherwise, the Master Councilor must set up a group of members to act as a Visitation Committee. They will go meet with the potential member and report back to the Chapter their feelings on the applicant. Notice, it says they should report it in writing, but we know that this rarely happens. It also allows for an Advisor to make the visitation instead of the members. Here in PA, we prefer that the young men complete the visitation.

315.5   Election for Membership.  Election for membership or for affiliation must be only at a meeting of the Chapter and unless otherwise directed by the Executive Officer, after a visitation committee has reported.  A secret ballot shall be conducted in the following manner:
(a) The Master Councilor reads the name of the applicant and the facts set out in his application.  If applicable, he states whether the report of the committee is favorable or unfavorable and may give any information reported by the committee.  If applicable, an unfavorable report by a committee of visitation or any members thereof, or an objection to an application by any member of the Chapter before balloting on the application, shall be referred to the Chapter Advisor, or in his absence to a member of the Advisory Council.  The Advisory Council shall decide if the unfavorable report or objection itself constitutes a rejection.
(b) A collective ballot may be taken if there is more than one applicant to be balloted on.  If no more than one black cube appears, the applicants are elected.  If two or more black cubes appear, there must be an individual ballot on each application.
(c) When there is an individual ballot, if no more than one black cube appears, the applicant is elected.  If two black cubes appear, the ballot shall not be declared, but shall lie over until the next meeting when another ballot shall be taken.  If three or more black cubes appear, the applicant is rejected.
(d) When a ballot lies over, an applicant is rejected if three or more black cubes appear on this second ballot, otherwise the applicant is elected.

Discussion: Now that an applicant has been visited, when are they allowed to officially join? That's what Section 315.5 covers! It describes how a Master Councilor will call for a ballot and what information he must share with the Chapter about the Applicant. Please note - that we have modified balloting procedures in PA - you can find them here.

315.6   Rejected, May Apply Again.  
(a) When an applicant for membership has been rejected, he cannot again apply to any Chapter for three months.
(b) When an applicant for affiliation has been rejected, he may again apply after one month, and the application must then lie over for two weeks before ballot.
(c) An applicant rejected upon application must, when applying to another Chapter, disclose his former rejection.

Discussion: What if the applicant does not receive a favorable ballot? Then follow the rules in 315.6!

315.7   Objection Filed.  After an applicant has been elected and before the beginning of the conferral of the Initiatory Degree, a written objection signed by three members of the Chapter may be filed with the Chapter Scribe.  The objection must be considered by the Chapter and voted upon.  If sustained by one-third of the members present the degrees cannot be conferred, and the applicant is rejected.  After an applicant has received any degree, objections can only be sustained by regular trial before the Advisory Council.

Discussion: We don't really see objections any more, but this Section tells us what to do with them.

315.8 Initiation Fees and Dues.  No applicant may be initiated until he has paid the initiation fee.

Discussion: Yes, you have to pay a fee. Pretty simple, right?

315.9   Receiving Degrees.  An applicant elected for membership must present himself at the proper time and place to receive the degrees within three months of election.  If he does not, or does not show good cause for his delay, he forfeits election for membership and must apply again.
315.10   Enrollment.
(a) Every applicant who receives the Initiatory Degree in any Chapter becomes a member of the Chapter which elected him, and his name is entered upon its roll.
(b) The Grand Secretary shall mail a Leader's Resource Guide to the members when the Initiatory Degree is reported.
(c) The Grand Secretary shall issue a patent when both the Initiatory and DeMolay Degrees have been reported.
(d) An applicant who does not present himself to receive the DeMolay Degree within twelve months is placed in an inactive category and shall be so reported by the Grand Secretary.  Members in this category are not eligible to receive a Senior DeMolay certificate or card.

Discussion: Basically, every member is supposed to see the Degrees within three months of joining DeMolay. This means the full degrees, not the Obligation Ceremony. Is your Chapter following this rule? Once he does join, a new member get some welcome materials. But wait - read Section D! Technically, if a member doesn't see the Degrees in 12 months, he's not actually a member and can't be a Senior DeMolay!

315.11   Application for Affiliation.
(a) A member applying for affiliation must present in addition to his application, a transfer certificate, or a certificate from his Executive Officer.  His application for affiliation must be on a regular application blank marked "Affiliation", and be accompanied by the affiliation fee.
(b) Applications for affiliation must be acted upon in the same manner as applications for membership.
(c) If a DeMolay is elected for membership in the new Chapter, the Scribe of the Chapter shall immediately notify the DeMolay’s former Chapter and the DeMolay is a member of the new Chapter from the date of election.
(d) A DeMolay’s standing is not impaired by rejection of his application.  He remains a member of his former Chapter until that Chapter receives notice of his election by another Chapter and deletes his name from its rolls effective the date of his affiliation election.
315.12   Dual Membership.
(a) Dual membership in Chapters is permissible with the approval of each Executive Officer concerned.  All requirements for membership by affiliation must be met.  If a DeMolay is elected for membership in the Chapter applied to, the Scribe of the Chapter shall immediately notify the DeMolay's other Chapter, and the brother shall be a member of both Chapters from the date of his affiliation election.
(b) A member may not hold office in more than one Chapter at the same time.

Discussion: Sometimes guys want to be members of more than one Chapter or to change what Chapter they belong to. This Section explains the process for that. It's pretty simple.

315.13   Obligation Card Required.  Unless otherwise directed by the Executive Officer, a member must, by standing examination in an open Chapter meeting, demonstrate that he has committed to memory the obligations and examination queries of both degrees in order to vote or hold office.  When a member has demonstrated his proficiency, he will be issued an obligation card.

Discussion: The Obligations card remains a point of contention in PA DeMolay, especially for sports tournament participation. The key to this section is "Unless otherwise directed by the EO." I advise that you read the PA DeMolay policy on obligations cards.

315.14   Member At Large.
(a) When a Chapter surrenders its Letters Temporary or Charter, or the Letters Temporary or Charter are suspended or forfeited, a member of the Chapter may affiliate as a member-at-large.
(b) The application is made to the Grand Secretary.  The Grand Secretary shall issue a membership card entitling the member-at-large to all privileges of a member of the Order, except that he may not vote or hold office in any Chapter.
(c) A member who has moved from the vicinity of his original Chapter and who is unable to obtain a satisfactory reply regarding a transfer can be accepted as a member-at-large upon application to the Grand Secretary.
(d) A member-at-large in good standing may apply for affiliation with any Chapter.

Discussion: What happens when a young man wants to join DeMolay but there isn't a Chapter close by? Then we go to this Section for direction.

315.15   Senior DeMolays.
(a) When a member of the Order reaches the age of twenty-one, his active membership in the Order ends unless serving as an elected International, Congress or Jurisdictional Officer who was installed in office prior to his twenty-first birthday. Such officers shall not be reclassified as Senior DeMolays until completion of the term of office or resignation or removal therefrom, whichever occurs first.
(b) A Senior DeMolay who does not hold a Senior DeMolay certificate or a Life Membership card cannot, as such, visit any DeMolay Chapter.
(c)  A Senior DeMolay who holds a Senior DeMolay certificate or Life Membership card will be permitted to visit a DeMolay Chapter, but without the right to participate in the business or activities of the Order, except as provided in these rules and regulations. (2009)

315.16   Former Member May Secure Senior DeMolay Certificate.  A former DeMolay may secure a Senior DeMolay certificate by making application to the Grand Secretary.

Discussion: The status of Senior DeMolay is valued by many and this Section discusses how that title is imparted. Note sub-section B - you aren't technically allowed to visit another Chapter as Senior DeMOlay without a card or a certificate! 

315.17   Charter Members.  All members initiated into or affiliated with a Chapter prior to the granting of a Charter are Charter Members.

Discussion: This deals with the opening of new Chapters and doesn't really affect much.

315.18   Resignations.  An Active or Senior DeMolay may resign his membership and request that his name be removed from the Chapter and DeMolay International rolls by written letter to the Advisory Council and the Executive Officer in the case of an active DeMolay, and to the Grand Secretary and the Executive Officer, in the case of a Senior member.  Upon approval by the Advisory Council, the Executive Officer and the Grand Secretary, the individual will be notified and the resignation will be recorded.

Discussion: If someone truly wants out of DeMolay entirely, they have to follow this procedure.

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