Thursday, July 26, 2012

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

As I recover from Convention (and gear up for Key Man) the days only seem to get busier. I've been getting lots of responses back from the post-Convention survey that I sent out. If you attended Convention 2012 and would like to fill out a quick survey on how you thought the event went, drop me a line at and I'll get one emailed to you right away. I have 30 or so responses right now, but I'd like to get to 50 before drawing some conclusions and sharing them with you.

Today we are going revisit a series of posts that I started earlier this year - a discussion of the DeMolay International Rules and Regulations. Every Chapter must have a copy of the Rules and Regs of DeMolay International, however, in many cases they are out of date, misplaced, or just forgotten.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.

Today we're taking on Part IV: Article 18 - Meetings

318.1      Stated Meetings.  Stated meetings of a Chapter must be held at least monthly.

Discussion: This one is pretty simple. Your Chapter has to meet at least once a month. 

318.2      Special Meetings.  Special meetings of a Chapter may be called by the Master Councilor, with the approval of the Advisory Council, but no business may be transacted other than conferring of degrees, unless specified in a notice mailed to each member at least five days before the meeting.

Discussion: This is a throw back to our Masonic roots. If the Chapter needs to have a meeting other than what is scheduled, the Master Councilor can call for one, with the approval of the Advisory Council. To do so, he must send out a letter to each member, at least five days in advance, and specify what the meeting is about. Only the items that were specified can be discussed or acted on that that meeting.

318.3       Conduct of Business.  Business of the Chapter must be conducted while the Chapter is open on the Initiatory Degree.

Discussion: Again, a Masonic hold over. This permits members who have only seen the first of our two degrees to participate.

318.4      DeMolay Degree, When Opened In.  When the Chapter is opened in its highest degree, all preceding degrees are opened and it may pass from work in one degree to work in another without other form than the declaration that it does so.

Discussion: Now here is an odd-ball rule! Basically, when you open your Chapter on the DeMolay Degree, you can switch to working in the Initiatory Degree without any declaration. What does this really have to do with operating your Chapter? Not much, I'm afraid.

318.5      Quorum.  Eight members are a quorum for the transaction of business.

Discussion: For a quorum to be reached in your Chapter, you have to have at least 8 voting members present. In PA, we handle this a bit differently. Check out the EO's policy on this at

318.6      Request for Special Meeting.  The Master Councilor shall, upon the written request of fifteen members, call a special meeting in accordance with Section 318.2.  The request shall state the purpose of the meeting.

Discussion: This piece provides a way for the members to over-rule the Master Councilor and force him to have a meeting to transact a specific piece of business, even if he doesn't want to.

318.7      Voting by Proxy, Prohibited.  A member may not vote by proxy.

Discussion: If a member wants to vote, he needs to be present to do so.

318.8      Exclude Objectionable Persons from Chapter Functions.  Any member of the Advisory Council who is present may exclude from Chapter meetings, or entertainments or functions held by a Chapter, any member, any visiting DeMolay, Senior DeMolay, Mason or other person, whose presence is objectionable or detrimental to the peace and harmony of the Chapter.

Discussion: This article provides a way for any adult volunteer to stop or prevent an unpleasant situation that might arise. It grants pretty broad powers that most Advisors don't know they can exercise.

318.9      Visitors.
      (a)   A Mason who is in good standing and has been examined by a member of the Advisory Council of a Chapter or vouched for by a Mason is eligible to visit a tiled Chapter or witness any of the secret work.
                (b)   The father, mother, stepfather, stepmother and legal guardian of a candidate for the degrees or of a member of DeMolay, and any other individuals who have attained the age of 21 permitted to attend by the Executive Officer, may, after giving a pledge not to reveal the secrets of DeMolay, visit a tiled Chapter.  (2001)

Discussion: Who can visit your Chapter? Just about anyone, as long as the the EO has given his approval and the Chapter is okay with it. In PA, your EO has automatically approved any adult invited by your Advisory Council, as well as any adult family members, teachers, administrators, clergy, government officials, and law enforcement personnel.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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