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Notes on Running Committees
It is essential for business, publicity, and archive purposes that the Staff Senate committees keep suitable records of their discussion and actions.
Minutes must be kept of all committee meetings and then approved at the following meeting by that committee. A copy of the minutes must then be forwarded to the Staff Senate Office Coordinator for the overall records, which will then be posted on the Staff Senate website and placed in the archives. It is very important that these records are available to our constituents. Please send an electronic version to the Staff Senate Office Coordinator and keep the paper signed copy with the committee records.
For absence purposes it is also important to keep accurate records of attendance. We cannot deal with consistent absentees if records are sketchy.
The Chair and Secretary of each committee are responsible for putting together an agenda for each meeting. The agenda should include the following:
- Name of Committee
- Meeting Date
- Roll Call
- Reading of minutes from last meeting
- Old Business - List in order of priority
- New Business - List if known, and again in order of priority
- Items from the Floor
Running the Meeting
The committee meeting is run as per the requirements listed on the agenda. If the Chair is unable to attend, it is his/her responsibility to appoint a temporary Chair to run the meeting, and the same rule applies to the Secretary.
The Chair calls the meeting to order, notes the time for the minutes, and asks the Secretary to do the roll call. The Secretary needs to record who is present for quorum and minute purposes. Excused absences should also be noted.
The Chair then asks the Secretary to either read the minutes from the last meeting, to hand them out, or to ask if there are any changes if the minutes have been sent electronically to all members in advance. The Chair must then ask if the minutes are approved, with changes as noted if necessary, and approval must be noted in the minutes. The approved version of the minutes is the one to keep on record and must be sent to the Staff Senate Office Coordinator.
The committee then works through the items of Old Business listed and then New Business.
If an item needs to go to the full Senate, then a motion must be made to consider the matter, with a second, and a vote taken. If an item is contentious, a roll call vote may be requested, but this should be rare in committee as this is the forum for detailed discussions. All motions, who proposes, who seconds, and voting results must be noted by the Secretary. The item may then go forward to the Executive Committee via the standing committee Chair for the next Executive Committee meeting.
Format for Minutes
- Name of Committee
- Meeting Date
- Roll call list of who is present, with attendance chart attached for use by Staff Senate Secretary
- Notation on the reading of the minutes from last meeting and whether approved
- Under heading of Old Business - List the discussions in order, noting any changes from the agenda and items whose discussion is put forward for another meeting, and what the decision was. Note who makes motions, and who seconds them, plus voting results and any action required.
- Under heading of New Business - List the discussions in order, note any changes from the agenda, and what the decision was. Note who makes motions, and who seconds them, plus voting results and any action required.
- Under heading of Items from the Floor - List the discussions in order and what the decision was. Note who makes motions, and who seconds them, plus voting results and any action required.
- Note time meeting ended
- Special Notation - The date the minutes were approved must appear on the document at the end.
Note: The Executive Committee does not vote on sending matters to the main Senate, but decides who needs to be informed and may refer matters back to the committee if it feels the matter needs more detailed consideration. If a committee insists on the matter being brought before the full Senate, it may do so as the Executive may not refuse to forward a matter that has been approved for taking forward to the full Senate, but it may advise reconsideration.