Amended October 22, 1986
Amended August 19, 1987
Amended July 21, 1998
Amended September 16, 2008
Amended January 15, 2013
Amended April 2, 2017
Overeaters Anonymous is a Fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength, and hope, are recovering from compulsive overeating. We welcome everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively.
There are no dues or fees for members; we are self-supporting through our own contributions, neither soliciting nor accepting outside donations. OA is not affiliated with any public or private organization, political movement, ideology, or religious doctrine; we take no position on outside issues.
Our primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors and to carry the message of recovery through the Twelve Steps of OA to those who still suffer.
Article I: Name
Section 1 The name of this organization shall be Metro West Intergroup (hereinafter referred to as “MWI”) of Overeaters Anonymous (hereinafter referred to as “OA”)
Article II: Purpose
Section 1 The purpose of MWI of OA shall be:
- to further the OA program in accordance with the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of OA.
- to maintain a communication center for the MWI area
- to provide unity of OA member groups within the Intergroup
- to provide format for selection of Delegates and Alternates to Region 6 assemblies and World Service Business Conference
- to work for OA as a whole within the Intergroup through committees created as needed
- to educate the public about the OA program which teaches the dangers of compulsive overeating and methods of dealing with the problem.
Section 2 The Twelve Steps1 are:
- We admitted we were powerless over food – that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- 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.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Section 3 The Twelve Traditions2 are:
- Our common welfare should come first, personal recovery depends upon OA unity.
- 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.
- The only requirement for OA membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively.
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or OA as a whole.
- Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers.
- 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.
- Every OA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
- Overeaters Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- OA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
- Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the OA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
- 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.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all these traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. We admitted we were powerless over food – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Section 4 The Twelve Concepts are:
- The ultimate responsibility and authority for OA world services reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.
- 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.
- The Right of Decision, based on trust, makes effective leadership possible.
- The Right of Participation ensures equality of opportunity for all in the decision-making process.
- Individuals have the right of appeal and petition in order to ensure that their opinions and personal grievances will be carefully considered.
- The World Service Business Conference has entrusted the Board of Trustees with the primary responsibility for the administration of Overeaters Anonymous.
- 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.
- The Board of Trustees has delegated to its Executive Committee the responsibility to administer the World Service Office.
- Able trusted servants, together with sound and appropriate methods of choosing them, are indispensable for effective functioning at all service levels.
- Service responsibility is balanced by carefully defined service authority; therefore duplication of efforts is avoided.
- Trustee administration of World Service Office should always be assisted by the best standing committees, executives, staffs, and consultants.
- The spiritual foundation for OA service ensures that:
- no OA committee or service body shall ever become the seat of perilous wealth or power;
- sufficient operating funds, shall be OA’s prudent financial principle;
- no OA member shall ever be placed in a position of unqualified authority;
- important decisions shall be reached by discussion, vote and whenever possible by
- substantial unanimity;
- no service action shall ever be personally punitive or an incitement to public controversy;
- 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 5 The text of the previous three Sections, Article II, Sections 2, 3, and 4, shall not be amended unless necessary to bring text into conformity with OA, Inc.
Article III Membership
Section 1 The following points define an MWI OA member group:
- As a group, they meet to practice the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, guided by the Twelve Concepts of OA Service.
- All who have the desire to stop eating compulsively are welcome in the group
- No member is required to practice any actions in order to remain a member or to have a voice (share at a meeting)
- Those groups which adhere to these points according to their group conscience and have registered with MWI shall be deemed members of MWI
- As a group they have no other affiliation other than OA.
- It has affiliated as an Overeaters Anonymous group by registering with the World Service Office.
Section 2 Each member group of MWI shall be represented by an Intergroup Representative (hereinafter referred to as an “IR”) and an Alternate Representative (hereinafter referred to as an “AR”):
- Each IR and AR shall be selected by the member group they represent for a period designated by the member group.
- If an IR or AR is elected to the MWI Board, that person shall no longer be an IR or an AR. And the person’s group shall choose a new IR or AR.
- The primary responsibilities of the IR and AR are to represent their group at all meetings of MWI, to act as liaison between MWI and their group, to see that all communications pertaining to MWI are made available to their respective groups and to vote on matters presented at meetings of MWI.
- A person may only be an IR or and AR from one group at a time.
Article IV Meetings
Section 1 Meetings of MWI
- Notification of regular meetings of MWI shall consist of written notices prepared by the MWI Corresponding Secretary to be mailed to each group secretary or contact person at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting.
- A special meeting may be called at any time other than regular meetings by a majority vote of the MWI Officers
Article V Quorum
Section 1 The quorum of MWI: at an MWI meeting held upon proper notification, those Officers, IRs and ARs present shall constitute a quorum and a simple majority shall govern for voting purposes.
- Exception: A two-thirds (2/3) majority is required for by-law amendments or change. (See Article IX, section 1-d)
Article VI Officers or Board, and Delegates
Section 1 Intergroup Board and Delegates
- The MWI Board will comprise a Chairperson, Vice-chairperson, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer. The Officers will be called the MWI Board.
- “Delegates” will consist of Region 6 Delegates and Alternates and World Service Delegates and Alternates.
Section 2 Duties and responsibilities of the MWI Officers and Delegates:
- The Chairperson of MWI shall:
- set the agenda for and preside at regular and special meetings of MWI
- act as liaison between MWI, Region 6 and the World Service Office
- be authorized to sign checks of MWI
- in the event of a tie vote, cast the deciding vote
- The Vice-chairperson of MWI shall:
- in the absence of the Chairperson, perform all the duties of the Chairperson of MWI
- serve to greet and orient new IRs and ARs
- The Recording Secretary of MWI shall:
- Maintain accurate minutes and records of MWI meetings
- The Corresponding Secretary of MWI shall:
- receive and direct all incoming and outgoing mail
- answer correspondence
- maintain a mailing list of MWI member groups’ contact persons
- prepare and send proceedings of MWI meetings to member groups at least 10 days prior to the next meeting
- The Treasurer of MWI shall:
- maintain a checking account established in the name of Metro West Intergroup of Overeaters Anonymous.
- keep accurate records of all financial transactions
- submit a written report at all MWI regular meetings regarding all contributions and expenditures
- submit a complete accounting of MWI funds at the annual meeting in December.
- be authorized to sign checks of MWI
- The Region 6 Delegate(s) and Alternate(s) shall:
- be informed as to the desires of MWI.
- report the actions of the Regional Assembly either orally or in writing, as designated by MWI, to MWI at the following regular MWI meeting
- any Delegate or Alternate not present at two (2) consecutive meetings of MWI may be removed from office and a new Delegate or Alternate appointed or elected.
- World Service Delegates and Alternates from MWI shall:
- be informed as to the desires of MWI
- report the actions of the World Service Business Conference, either orally or in writing as designated by MWI, to MWI at the following regular MWI meeting.
- any Delegate or Alternate not present at two (2) consecutive meeting of MWI may be removed from office and a new Delegate or Alternate appointed or elected.
Section 3 Nomination and Election of Officers and Delegates of MWI
- Nominations of MWI Officers and Delegates shall be made from the floor by a member of the voting body at the October meeting
- Election of Officers and Delegates shall be at the November meeting of MWI and newly-elected Officers and Delegates shall assume their responsibilities following adjournment of the December meeting.
- To be eligible for election as an MWI Officer, a person should be at the time of election:
- be an IR or AR to MWI for at least six (6) months
- be selected for judgment, experience, stability, willingness and for faithful adherence to the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. In addition, they should have six (6) months of abstinence whenever possible, each person being the sole judge of her/his abstinence.
- have one (1) year recent service to OA, six (6) months of which have been at the Intergroup level
- To be eligible for election as an MWI Region 6 Delegate or Alternate, a person shall:
- be selected for judgment, experience, stability, willingness, and for faithful adherence to the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. In addition, they should have six (6) months of abstinence whenever possible, each person being the sole judge of his/her abstinence.
- have one (1) year of recent service to OA, six (6) months of which have been at the Intergroup level.
- To be eligible for election as a World Service Delegate or Alternate, a person shall:
- be selected for judgment, experience, stability, willingness, and for faithful adherence to the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. In addition, they shall have at least one (1) year of current abstinence, each person being the sole judge of his/her abstinence and at least two (2) years of service above the group level. (Permission for any exception in qualifications for valid reasons, if deemed credible by the trustees, may be received by application to WSP.)
- be a Region 6 Delegate or Alternate at the time of election to the first term
- have one (1) year of service to OA beyond the group level
- To be elected, a nominee shall be present at the time of the election and must receive a simple majority vote. Any voting member can call for a paper ballot.
- Upon election to the MWI board, an IR or AR is required to resign his/her IR or AR position.
- The following defines the Terms of Office:
- Officers shall serve for a period of one (1) year, with the exception of Treasurer, who shall serve for two (2) years. Region 6 Delegates and Alternates shall serve for two (2) years, and World Service Delegates or Alternates shall serve for two (2) years.
- No person shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms in the same office.
- No person shall serve more than six (6) consecutive years on the Board of MWI, regardless of offices held. Such persons must then not serve as an Officer of MWI for two (2) years before becoming eligible for election to office, and must meet the requirements of Article VI, Section 3 (c).
- To be eligible for re-election to the same office or as Delegate for a second consecutive term, a person does not have to be an IR or AR.
- Any Officer or Delegate who desires to resign his/her position shall do so by written resignation, to be effective upon receipt, to the Chairperson or Vice-chairperson.
- Any Officer or Delegate of MWI may be removed from office for the non-performance of duties of that office by a majority vote of the MWI Board.
- If the position of MWI Officer, Delegate or Alternate becomes vacant, that vacancy will be filled in the following manner:
- Within ten (10) days of learning of the vacancy, the Chairperson shall, with the advice of the Board, appoint an interim replacement. The eligibility requirements for the interim replacement shall be the same as for those nominated and elected under this Section 3.
- At the first regular meeting following the occurrence of the vacancy, such vacancy shall be announced to the members present. The Chair shall also announce the name of the interim replacement if the replacement has been named by the time of the meeting.
- At the second regular meeting following the occurrence of the vacancy, nominations for a permanent replacement shall be made from the floor by any member of the voting body. The interim replacement appointed by the Chair automatically be considered to be nominated unless s/he declines. The eligibility requirements for the permanent replacement shall be the same as for those nominated and elected under this Section 3
- At the third regular meeting following the occurrence of the vacancy, the election of the permanent replacement shall be held. The term of office of the permanent replacement will then be the remainder of the term of the original holder.
- If the vacancy should occur any time within the last six (6) months of the term of office of the person vacating the office, then the interim appointment shall last the balance of that term. The regular nomination and election procedures spelled out in this Article VI, Section 3 shall then be used to fill the office. The interim replacement appointed by the Chair shall automatically be considered to be nominated unless s/he declines. If the vacancy does occur within the last six (6) months, the time in office served on an interim basis shall not be counted at all in determining whether a person has served two consecutive terms in that office, or for six (6) years on the Board.
- If the position of MWI Officer, Delegate or Alternate becomes vacant, that vacancy will be filled in the following manner:
- A person may not hold two (2) positions on the MWI Board at the same time with the exception of Corresponding and Recording Secretary, which may be held as a combined office. However, a person may be a Board member and a Delegate at the same time.
Article VII Committees
Section 1 The Chairperson shall create such committees as required to carry out the purposes of MWI. Each committee shall submit a monthly report.
- A committee head shall be appointed by the Chairperson from the MWI members eligible to vote (IRs, ARs, Officers, and Delegates).
- The committee members shall be appointed by the committee head.
- Committee members may be any member of any member group of MWI.
- Any committee head not present at two (2) consecutive MWI meetings may be removed from office by the Chairperson, and a new committee head shall be appointed.
- e. Any committee head resigning or otherwise leaving office shall turn over all pertinent committee information to the MWI Chairperson or acting Chairperson.
Article VIII Voting
Section 1 Each member group shall be entitled to one (1) vote at meetings of MWI
Section 2 Each member of the MWI Board shall be entitled to one (1) vote at meetings of MWI, however, the Chairperson shall vote only in the case of a tie vote, even if the Chairperson is also a Delegate.
- Only MWI Officers, Delegates, IRs and ARs duly elected by their groups registered with MWI may vote at meetings of MWI. Visitors are encouraged to participate in discussions
- If the IR and AR from a member group are present, the Intergroup Representative (IR) shall cast the vote for that member group.
Article IX Amendments to By-laws
Section 1 Except as provided in Article II, Sections 2, 3 and 4 (12 Steps, 12 Traditions and 12 Concepts) these by-laws, representing our Table of Organization may be amended at any time as follows:
- A proposed amendment to these by-laws may be submitted by a member of any MWI member group. The proposed amendment must be submitted in writing to any member of the by-laws committee at least seven (7) days prior to a regular meeting of MWI.
- The by-laws committee shall announce the proposed amendment at the first regular meeting of MWI following the submission of the amendment to the committee. The Corresponding Secretary shall provide a written copy of the proposed amendment to each member group of MWI within ten (10) days after this meeting.
- The proposed amendment shall be placed on the agenda for discussion at the first regular meeting of MWI following the meeting specified in paragraph (b) of this section..
- A vote of the proposed amendment shall be taken at the second regular meeting of MWI following the meeting specified in paragraph (b) of this section. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of eligible voters present shall be required to adopt the amendment.
Section 2 The Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts attached hereto in Appendix I, II, and III, respectively, may not be amended.
Article X Financial Structure
Section 1 The activities of MWI shall be financed primarily by the contributions of its member groups.
- A secondary source of financial income to MWI may be from such occasional projects or activities as may be authorized by the MWI Board.
- MWI may accept donations from OA members conforming with the general practice of OA
The acceptance of bequests or donations from any outside source is prohibited.
- MWI shall not accept the responsibility, trusteeship, or enter into the distribution or allocation of funds set up outside of MWI
- Upon the winding up and dissolution of this Intergroup, after paying or adequately providing for the debts and obligations of this association, the remaining assets shall be distributed to the
- World Service Office of OA; however, if the named recipient is not then in existence or no longer a qualified distributee, or unwilling or unable to accept the distribution, then the assets of this association shall be distributed to a fund, foundation, or corporation organized and operated exclusively for the purposes specified in section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- No part of the net earnings of this association shall ever inure to or for the benefit of or distributable to its members, trustees, Officers, or other private persons, except that the association shall be empowered to pay compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in the furtherance of the exempt purpose for which it was formed.
- Notwithstanding any other provision of these activities, the association shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by an association exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. No substantial part of the activities of the association shall be carrying on propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided by Internal Revenue Code Section 501(h), or participating in, or intervening in (including the publication or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
Article XI: Rules of Order
Section 1 The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern this Intergroup in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these by-laws, the OA, Inc. By-laws, Subpart B, or any special rules of order this Intergroup may adopt.
Section 2 All matters pertaining to MWI which are not specifically stated in these By-laws will conform to the World Service Charter and By-laws of Overeaters Anonymous.
Section 3 There shall be no suspension of these by-laws.
Article XII: Major Policy
Section 1 Major Policy Matters: Matters which related to major policy affecting MWI member groups shall be referred by the groups to the MWI Board. Matters which relate to OA as a whole shall be referred to the OA World Service Board of Trustees.
Article XIII: Dissolution
Section 1 In order to deregister, an intergroup must submit a written request to the World Service, region chair and region trustee.
1 Permission to use and adapt the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous granted by AA World Service, Inc
2 Permission to use and adapt the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous granted by AA World Service, Inc