ByLaws & Parliamentary Procedure

Index to Bylaw Brandywine Intergroup Overeaters Anonymous

(Amended February 21, 2013) ARTICLE I: NAME











Adopted June 21, 2012, Amended February 21, 2013

Section 1: The name of this organization shall be the Brandywine Intergroup, also known as BIG.

Section 2: Brandywine Intergroup shall be duly registered with the World Service Office of Overeaters Anonymous by submitting:
a. BIG shall have completed intergroup registration form
b. BIG bylaws, summary of its purpose and operating procedures shall not be in conflict with OA, Inc. Bylaws. Brandywine Intergroup Bylaws shall include a statement indicating that its primary purpose is to aid those with the problems of compulsive eating through the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, guided by the Twelve Concepts of OA Service, an to serve and represent the OA groups form which it is formed; and
c. Brandywine Intergroup shall complete and maintain information on each of its affiliated groups.

The primary purpose of Brandywine Intergroup (BIG) of Overeaters Anonymous is to carry the message of recovery to those with the problems of compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors, by fostering the practice of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, guided by the Twelve Concepts of OA Service; and to serve and represent member groups.

A) Twelve Steps
The Twelve Steps suggested for recovery in the Fellowship of Overeaters Anonymous are as follows:
1) We admitted we were powerless over food—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2) Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4) Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5) Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6) Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7) Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8) Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9) Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10) Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11) Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12) Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of the Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all affairs.

B) Twelve Traditions
The Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous are:
1) Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon OA unity.
2) For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
3) The only requirement for OA membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively.
4) Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or OA as a whole.
5) Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers.
6) An OA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the OA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
7) Every OA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
8) Overeaters Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
9) OA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
10) Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence, the OA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
11) Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television and other public media of communication.
12) Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all these Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

C) Twelve Concepts
The Twelve Concepts of OA Service are:
1) The ultimate responsibility and authority for OA world services reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.
2) The OA groups have delegated to World Service Business Conference the active maintenance of our world services; thus, World Service Business Conference is the voice, authority and effective conscience of OA as a whole.
3) The right of decision, based on trust, makes effective leadership possible.
4) The right of participation ensures equality of opportunity for all in the decision-making process.
5) Individuals have the right of appeal and petition in order to ensure that their opinions and personal grievances will be carefully considered.
6) The World Service Business Conference has entrusted the Board of Trustees with the primary responsibility for the administration of Overeaters Anonymous.
7) The Board of Trustees has legal rights and responsibilities accorded to them by OA Bylaws, Subpart A; the rights and responsibilities of the World Service Business Conference are accorded to it by Tradition and by OA Bylaws, Subpart B.
8) The Board of Trustees has delegated to its Executive Committee the responsibility to administer the OA World Service Office.
9) Able, trusted servants, together with sound and appropriate methods of choosing them, are indispensable for effective functioning at all service levels.
10) Service responsibility is balanced by carefully defined service authority; therefore, duplication of efforts is avoided.
11) Trustee administration of the World Service Office should always be assisted by the best standing committees, executives, staffs and consultants.
12) The spiritual foundation for OA service ensures that:
a) no OA committee or service body shall ever become the seat of perilous wealth or power;
b) sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve, shall be OA’s prudent financial principle;
c) no OA member shall ever be placed in a position of unqualified authority;
d) all important decisions shall be reached by discussion, vote and whenever possible, by substantial unanimity;
e) no service action shall ever be personally punitive or an incitement of public controversy; and
f) no OA service committee or service board shall ever perform any acts of government, and each shall always remain democratic in thought and action.

Section 1 – Membership
A) The intergroup officers
B) Intergroup representatives (IRs), which consist of one member from each group
C) World Service Business Conference delegates (if any)
D) Region 7 representatives (if any)
E) Committee chairs.

Section 2 – Qualifications for Groups
Qualifications for membership in the intergroup:
A) Groups registered with the World Service Office (WSO) that are within its region or geographic proximity may affiliate with an intergroup, except that virtual groups registered with the WSO may affiliate without regard to geographic proximity.

B) Brandywine Intergroup endorses the definition of an OA group in Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. Bylaws, Subpart B, Article V, Section 1, as written and as it may be amended by a future World Service Business Conference.

C) These points shall define an Overeaters Anonymous group:
1) As a group, they meet to practice the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, guided by the Twelve Concepts of OA Service.
2) All who have the desire to stop eating compulsively are welcome in the group.
3) No member is required to practice any actions in order to remain a member or to have a voice (share at a meeting).
4) As a group they have no affiliation other than Overeaters Anonymous.
5) It has affiliated as an Overeaters Anonymous group by registering with the World Service Office.

D) Virtual groups (groups which replicate face-to-face meetings through electronic media) may be an Overeaters Anonymous group if they:
1) Otherwise meet the definition of Overeaters Anonymous groups;
2) Are fully interactive; and
3) Meet in real time.

Section 3 – Intergroup Representatives of Member Groups
A) An intergroup representative (IR) will be selected from the group conscience of the group they represent.
B) The duty of the IR is to represent the group at IG meetings and to serve as a contact to carry communications between the IG and the home meeting.

Section 4 – Voting rights:
Each member of Intergroup will have one vote even if serving in several positions.

Section 1 – The Intergroup Executive Committee Members
A) The Executive Committee consists of the following elected officers: a chair, vice chair, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, treasurer, and immediate past chair.

B) The Executive Committee may include appointees of other positions, such as World Service Business Conference delegates, committee chairs, or Region Representatives.

Section 2 – Nominations for Intergroup Officers, Delegates and Region Representatives Nominations to the Executive Committee must be made to the corresponding secretary no later than the intergroup meeting immediately prior to the month in which intergroup elections are held. Nominations to the board may not be made from the floor at the time of election. A nominating committee may be formed at the discretion of the intergroup.

Section 3 – Qualifications for Officers, Delegates and Region Representatives To qualify for election, individuals must:
A) Be working the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of OA Service to the best of their ability.
B) Have six (6) months of current abstinence except as follows: candidates for the position of chair shall have one (1) year of current abstinence and one (1) year of service to BIG. Each candidate shall be the sole judge of his or her abstinence. C) Be a regular member of an affiliated group
D) World Service Business Conference delegates must comply with the abstinence and length of service requirements in the OA, Inc. Bylaws, Subpart B, Article X, Section 3c 1). Current requirements are one (1) year current abstinence and at least two (2) years of service beyond the group level.
E) Region representatives must comply with the abstinence and length of service specified in the Region 7 Bylaws. The current requirement is a minimum of six (6) months of abstinence.
Section 4 – Election of Officers, Delegates and Region Representatives
A) Nominees must be present at the election meeting.
B) Elections by the membership of the intergroup shall take place at the meeting scheduled for election, with nominations closing at the previous meeting. Each nominee shall address the representatives for two to five minutes and answer questions. A contested election shall be written ballot, and a simple majority shall prevail. A written ballot shall not be required in the event of an uncontested election, and a vote of acclamation will be taken.
Section 5 – Terms of Office of Officers, Delegates and Region Representatives
A) The term of office for officers, delegates and region representatives is one (1) year immediately following the meeting at which they were elected.
B) Members may serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms in the same position. A member may serve again after a leave of one (1) year in the position.
C) Once elected, an Executive Committee member may not serve as a group representative.

Section 6 – Responsibilities of the Intergroup Executive Committee
A) Serve as guardians of the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts with respect to the functions of the intergroup in its service area.
B) Perform the duties of their offices in accordance with intergroup policies and procedures
C) Serve as guardian of intergroup funds.
D) Provide a forum for the interchange of ideas and information between member groups.

Section 7 – Vacancies and Resignations of Officers, Delegates and Region Representatives
A) If an officer, delegate or region representative is absent from an IG meeting more than three (3) times in one (1) year, he/she may be removed from the position by a majority vote of the members.
B) Any officer, delegate or region representative may resign at any time for any reason by giving the chair of the intergroup written notice.
C) Any officer, delegate or region representative of this intergroup may be removed from office for due cause by a majority vote of the IRs present at the intergroup meeting.

Section 8 – Filling of Vacancies of Officers, Delegates and Region Representatives
A) Vacancies shall be filled by a majority vote at the next meeting or special meeting of the intergroup after the vacancy occurs. Such persons chosen to fill said vacancies shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
A) A person chosen to fill any vacancy on the board shall meet the qualifications defined in Article IV, Section 3.

Section 1 – Regular Meetings
The intergroup will meet monthly at a time and place designated by a majority of the voting members.

Section 2 – Meeting Chair
Meetings shall be chaired by the chair of the intergroup. In the event the chair is unable to chair any meeting, the vice chair will lead the meeting. In the event the vice chair is not available, the secretary will open the meeting and hold an election for a temporary chair.

Section 3 – Annual Meetings
An annual meeting shall be held in the month of June for the election of officers.

Section 4– Special Meetings
A special meeting may be called at any time by a majority vote of the intergroup (IG) or by a quorum of IG members, provided sufficient notice is provided to the membership.

Section 5– Method of Notification
The intergroup will provide notice of at least seven days to each member group by a method previously agreed upon by the intergroup.

Section 6– Quorum
The quorum for voting purposes shall be two intergroup officers and at least thirty percent of other voting members.

Section 7– Meeting Procedure
The Twelve Steps, the Tradition of the month and the Concept of the month shall be read at each meeting.

The intergroup may establish committees as are needed for the welfare and operation of the intergroup. Each committee is responsible to meet and to report monthly to the intergroup.

The IG treasurer will maintain a prudent reserve of six month’s expenses to cover expected operational needs. Excess funds will be donated to OA service bodies as determined by the IG.

Intergroup meetings shall be conducted using a simplified version of Robert’s Rules of Order.

These bylaws may be amended at any time by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting members present and voting at any regular or special meeting of the intergroup. The proposed amendment must be communicated in writing to each member group at least thirty (30) days prior to the voting meeting. Amendments to the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA may only be made as per OA, Inc. Bylaws, Subpart B, Article XIV, Section 1e.

When this intergroup ceases operation and all debts have been paid, all remaining funds shall be distributed to other Overeaters Anonymous service bodies or the WSO in accordance with Tradition


PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE is a set of rules that permits people to work together in groups efficiently. Done well, it speeds up meetings, maintains order and ensures equality for all members.ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER is the most commonly recognized collection of parliamentary law. The newly revised 11th edition of 700+ pages contains far more information than is necessary for the OA Intergroup Meeting.

ROZANNE’S RULES OF ORDER, which follow are our Brandywine adaptation to Robert’s Rules.

1. Our goal is to have a fair and orderly meeting.

2. Having agreed upon rules and procedures for deliberation and debate, we find this:
a) Places the whole membership on the same footing. All members have equal rights, privileges, and obligations; rules must be administered impartially.
b) Provides for constructive and democratic meetings, to help, not hinder the business of the assembly. Under no circumstances should “undue strictness” be allowed to intimidate or limit full participation.

3. Rights of members
a) Attend meetings
b) Make motions, seconds, amendments, discuss, debate and vote.
c) Nominate or be nominated for office, hold office
d) Serve on Committees

4. Duties of members
a) Attend meetings
b) Follow the suggestions of the organization. Fulfill any assignments.
c) Work to achieve the goals of the organization

5. All questions will be thoroughly and freely discussed in the meeting before taking action.
This is the procedure we follow:
a) At the time of reporting, officers or committee chairs may make a recommendation.
b) Members may raise their hands to be recognized by the Chair to state their ideas.
c) During this discussion, modifications may be made to the proposal, or the recommendation may be withdrawn. If an action seems appropriate, a motion is made, and seconded.
d) The chair states the motion and then calls for pros and cons.
e) The motion is put before the Intergroup and a vote is taken. Results are announced.

6. Some motions may be made during the pro-con debate period:
a) Commit to committee – if the motion is complicated and requires more time and study, a member may make a motion to COMMIT TO COMMITTEE. He/she must state the committee that the issue is being sent to, or call for the creation of a committee to handle it.
b) Close the debate – if a member feels the debate is going on too long, he/she may make a motion to CLOSE THE DEBATE. If this passes, he/she make a motion to TABLE THE MOTION. Tabled motions should be discussed at the next regular meeting
c) Call the question – if a member feels the debate is going on too long, nd he/she wishes to take the vote, he/she may CALL THE QUESTION.

7. Some motions may be made ANYTIME they are needed:
a) POINT OF ORDER – may be made by any member and calls attention to something being done incorrectly and must be raised immediately after the error is made.
b) APPEAL FOR THE SERENITY PRAYER- may be made by any member at any time he/she feels it is necessary to maintain the serenity of the meeting

8. Voting
a) Unless special rules apply, a majority decides.
b) Unless otherwise provided, voting is by voice vote.
c) Any member may request a division of the assembly, counting hands or using paper ballot, if there is uncertainty as to the true result of the vote.
d) Each member of Intergroup gets one vote, even if they serve multiple functions. Brandywine Intergroup voting members are: elected officers (except the chair), Intergroup Representatives, World Service Delegates, Region 7 Representatives, and Committee Chairs. The Intergroup Chair only votes to break a tie.