Individual Club Meetings

The Agenda

Even the simplest Agenda, thoughtfully prepared, will lend to creating an effective meeting. Conversely, a simple way for a club to lose its members is to have ineffective and poorly organized meetings. 

Here are a few simple guidelines you should follow when holding your club meetings: 
  1. Set an agenda and stick to it (best to use a written agenda...even if prepared minutes before)
  2. Have a strong chairperson who can control the meeting AND follow the agenda.
  3. Use Robert’s Rules of Order to conduct the meeting. Most meetings, regardless of formality, follow the same basic outline. The following is the basic order of business described in Robert’s Rules:
    • Call to order: (distribute agenda copies if necessary)
    • Opening ceremonies: introductions, call for additions to the agenda, approve the agenda
    • Approval and sometimes reading of the minutes (from the previous meeting)
    • Reports of officers (e.g. President, Treasurer, etc.)
    • Reports of boards and committees (e.g. bylaws, finance, etc.)
    • Unfinished business and general orders (e.g. postponed pieces of business)
    • New business (e.g. all new motions)
    • Announcements (e.g. other business, items for information, etc.)
    • Adjournment

Robert’s Rules of Order

It may be helpful to familiarize yourself with Robert’s Rules of Order.  Most campus Club meetings can be run on a less formal basis.  All the same, meetings are generally more productive when they follow some sort of basic format.  Clubs Council meetings will follow this format. To facilitate the use of Robert’s Rules and underlying principles, brief explanations of the major terms follow: 

Adjournment:        
Terminates a meeting.  It may also end the session. 

Amendment:      
Modifies the wording of the main motion. It should not negate the original proposal or introduce entirely new considerations. 

Motion:                    
Proposal for action made by a member of the plenary. Generally, needs to be seconded once recognized by the chair. Discussion of the motion commences at this point. 

Motion to refer:   
Refers the motion under discussion to a committee for further investigation.

Motion to restrict or extend debate:          
Sets a time limit on the debate of a subject. Can also refer to the number or length of speeches.

Quorum:  
The minimum number of members who must be present at the meeting for any business to legally transact.

Reconsider:            
Allows for further consideration on a motion that has already been voted on.

Rescind:                   
Motion by which a previous action or order can be cancelled or countermanded. Strikes out an entire main motion, resolution, rule, bylaw, section or paragraph that has been adopted at some previous time.  Also known as Repeal or Annul.

Subsidiary motions:            
Can be made once discussion has begun on the main motion. They may postpone indefinitely, amend, commit or refer, postpone to a certain time, limit or extend limits of debate, and lay on the table.