Constitution & By-Laws
Student American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics
Article I – Name
The name of this association shall be the Student American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics.
This name shall officially be abbreviated “SAOAO”.
A non-practicing affiliate member of the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics.
Article II – Objectives
A. Objectives – The objectives of SAOAO shall be:
- promote and advance interest in the specialty of Orthopedic Surgery;
- improve the quality of health care delivery to the American people and the world;
- provide opportunities and stimulation for research and publication;
- contribute to the interest, knowledge, welfare, and education of osteopathic medical students in the specialty of Orthopedic Surgery;
- familiarize its members with the purpose and ideals of osteopathic medicine and orthopedic surgery;
- aid in residency application procedures;
- encourage voluntary community service;
- establish lines of communication with other health science students and organizations; and
- prepare members to meet the social, moral, and ethical obligations of the osteopathic medical profession.
B. Legislative Assistance – The Association shall assist each chapter in its efforts to educate its state governor and legislators concerning the osteopathic medical profession by writing letters, paying visits, and making phone calls to key officials. The Association shall come to the aid of any of the colleges of osteopathic medicine facing political attack in their own state.
C. Policy Determination – Responsibility for determining the policies of the Association shall be vested solely in the Board of Directors.
Article III – Membership
A. Membership Classes – Membership in the Association shall be through local chapters of an accredited osteopathic medical school. Membership in the National SAOAO shall be classified into two groups:
- Active Membership – Only Active Members shall have voting privileges
- Honorary Membership
B. Active Membership – To be admitted to Active Membership in the National SAOAO, an applicant must be enrolled at an accredited osteopathic medical school, have paid the appropriate national and local chapter dues, and be a member in good standing of SAOAO, their local student chapter. Active Membership is limited to students through their date of graduation. Any student who is dismissed from their osteopathic medical school of record shall have their Active Membership in the Association summarily terminated. No appeal process is available in this action.
C. Honorary Membership – Honorary Membership may be granted to individuals or organizations making outstanding contributions to the success and perpetuation of SAOAO. They can be awarded on a yearly basis by the local chapter officers and/or on a lifetime basis in a closed session of the local chapter officers and the National SAOAO Executive Board. Honorary members shall not be required to pay dues. Honorary members shall have none of the lifetime obligations of membership in the Association, but shall be entitled to all of the privileges except those of making or seconding motions, voting in the local chapter officers, or of holding office.
D. Suspension of Membership
- Process of Suspension – The Association reserves the right to terminate membership, of any member if circumstances justify such an action. The National SAOAO Executive Board, by a two-thirds majority vote in a Quorum session, may take this action after due consideration.
- Appeal of Suspension – An appeal may be made if the ex-member alleges that the sanction was given arbitrarily, capriciously, in bad faith, or in violation of the law. In such cases the burden of proof for these allegations shall rest with the exmember. The National SAOAO Executive Board shall deliberate on the validity of the appeal and, by a two-thirds majority vote of a Quorum session, take such appropriate action as:
a. To accept the appeal, reopen the issue, and then vote again on the suspension or,
b. Deny the appeal and allow the sanction to officially stand
E. Membership Dues
- National Dues Assessment. (a) Dues for active members shall be a one-time fee of $60.00 for a 4-year Active Membership paid to the National SAOAO. (b) National Active Member dues will be $60.00 regardless of the students’ year in Medical School. (c) Active Members who paid their dues prior to May 1, 2020 will be considered Active Members and be granted full access to Member Resources throughout their tenure as a Medical Student.
- Local Chapter Dues Assessment. (a) Each local SAOAO chapter reserves the right to charge a chapter assessment in addition to the national dues. Chapter Assessment is not to exceed $40. The local chapter officers shall determine the Chapter Assessment annually and will notify SAOAO of any changes to the determined assessment by September 1st. (b) In addition to the Assessment, local SAOAO chapters have the right to develop and sell goods for educational use and/or for promoting the SAOAO or AOAO.
Article IV – Officers
A. Executive Committee – The Executive Committee shall consist of:
- Vice President
- Physician Sponsor
B. Terms of Office – With the exception of the Physician Sponsor all other positions will have a term of office on one year but are eligible for re-election. The Physician Sponsor and Administrator will have a term of five years to provide stability to the Association.
C. Election Process – Where there is no contest among nominees, the candidate shall be asked to leave the room and a simple majority vote without ballot shall elect the office. All other elections shall be by secret ballot.
D. Required Votes – the candidate receiving at least 50% + 1 of possible votes shall be declared the winner. If no candidate received 50% + 1 of the votes, a runoff of the candidates with the two highest vote totals shall be held. If neither candidate receives a winning number of votes, additional run-offs will be held until a winner is declared.
E. Transition of Officers – It shall be emphasized that the outgoing Officers work closely with the newly elected officers to ensure a smooth transition of both the knowledge and workings of the Association for a period mutually agreed upon by the incoming and outgoing Officers.
F. Vacancies – When a vacancy on the Board exists, the Secretary may receive nominations for new members of the present Board two weeks in advance of a Board meeting. These nominations shall be sent out to the Board members with the regular Board meeting announcements, to be voted upon at the next Board meeting. These vacancies will be filled only to the end of the particular Board member’s term.
G. Resignation, Termination and Absences – Resignation from the Board must be in writing and received by the Secretary. A Board member shall be dropped for excess absences from the Board if she / he has three unexcused absences from Board meetings in a year. A Board member may be removed for other reasons by a threefourths vote of the remaining Board members.
Article V – Requirements for Voting
A. Quorum for the Board of Directors – A Quorum shall be required for the Board of Directors to conduct any business. A Quorum shall be defined as 50% +1 of all occupied seats of the Board of Directors.
B. Required Votes – All business, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution and Bylaws, shall be transacted by a simple majority of votes cast.
Article VI – Discrimination
Neither the Association nor its constituent chapters may refuse membership on the basis or race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or creed. Chapters shall otherwise determine the qualifications of their own members where not inconsistent with the Constitution and Bylaws of this Association.
Article VII – Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics of this Association shall be a version of the AOAO’s Code of Ethics modified to reflect the student physician’s role in today’s medical practice environment. The Code of Ethics shall govern the professional conduct of the members of the Association. The Association shall amend the Code of Ethics, as may be needed from time to time, following the protocol for amendments to the Association’s Constitution and Bylaws.
Article VIII – Rules of Order
Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the parliamentary procedures of the Association in all cases where applicable and where not inconsistent with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association.
Article XIV – Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws
A. Amendment Consideration – Proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws shall be considered by the Executive Committee.
B. Amendment Submission – Any five members of the Association may propose an amendment to the Constitution and Bylaws by submitting the resolution with a brief explanation, postmarked to the Secretary of the Association at least sixty days prior to the next meeting.
C. Amendment Approval – A vote of at least two-thirds of the Executive Committee quorum required shall be required for passage of any new amendment.
Article XV – Dissolution of the Association
In the event that the Executive Committee, by a two thirds majority vote while in a Quorum session, shall choose to dissolve the Association, merge with another organization, or join in a consolidation of other organizations, the Board shall distribute the assets of the Association (remaining after the payment, satisfaction and discharge of all outstanding liabilities and obligations) to one or more non-profit organizations qualified for tax exemption under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code and engaged in activities to promote osteopathic medical education. The Executive Committee shall choose such organization(s) by a two-thirds vote whole in a Quorum session.