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Calion

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  1. “In some organizations, it is customary to send each member, in advance of a meeting, an order of business or agenda, with some indication of the matters to be considered under each heading. Such an agenda is often provided for information only, with no intention or practice of submitting it for adoption. Unless a precirculated agenda is formally adopted at the session to which it applies, it is not binding as to detail or order of consideration, other than as it lists preexisting orders of the day (pp. 364ff.) or conforms to the standard order of business (pp. 25–26, 353ff.) or an order of business prescribed by the rules of the organization (pp. 16, 25).” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 372) Can I take this to mean that the chair can hand out agendas before or at the start of a meeting which list items that members have communicated to him that they intend to raise, or, in a small board, that he himself intends to begin discussion on, under "New Business"?
  2. On p. 654, fn. **, it says, "a resolution preferring charges may combine notice to show cause both why the accused should not be removed from office and why he should not be expelled from membership." Why would a resolution proferring charges include notice to show cause why he should *not* be removed from office? Is this a typo, or is there something I'm not understanding here?
  3. RONR P. 495 states that "The president cannot assume [the power to appoint committees] unless it is given to him by the bylaws…" Can this be changed by a special rule of order? I.E. can a special rule of order give the president the power to appoint committees as a general rule?
  4. Okay, after some more research and thought, I have reached some tentative conclusions. Feel free to tell me I should start a new thread instead of reawakening this one. Unit committees are established by a charter which obliges them to follow BSA rules, regulations, policies, and guidelines. The unit is “supervised by” and “operated under the guidance of” the unit committee. Unit committees are boards under the definition in RONR §49. Unit committees are not part of a society. Committee members serve at the pleasure of the Chartered Organization Representative, and the committee cannot expel members on its own authority. Unit committees are required to operate within the Chartered Organization's policies and guidelines. RONR p. 486 states that "a board that is not part of a society may make its own rules.” Therefore, per 3. and 4., unit committees can make their own rules, which, per RONR §2, would seem to include bylaws, rules of order, and standing rules. So question 1: Should unit committees have their own bylaws? My current feeling is that no, they should not. Of the sections listed on RONR p. 13, (1), (2), and (3) are dictated by the charter and BSA policy; as for (4), per BSA policy, the chairman is really the only officer, who can appoint or replace members in other positions at will; as for (5), BSA guidelines say that the chairman calls the meetings; as for (7), BSA guidelines establish various Roles which can be held by multiple people at once, making them, in effect, standing subcommittees. Moreover, having bylaws would seem to imply that the committee answers to itself, which is not the case. Having bylaws when a superior organization can dictate that the bylaws be changed at any time seems out of step with the purpose of bylaws. However, having rules of order and standing rules does seem like a good idea. Counterarguments: A ) "Unit committees are part of a society; they are an instrument of the chartered organization." While that's true as far as it goes, they are neither a committee of that society, nor the board of that society, and so it seems to me that the committee is not part of a society in the sense of RONR p. 486, in much the same way that a State university board of trustees is a creature of the State legislature, but is not part of the State legislature. B ) There are things that can and perhaps should be done in the bylaws, such as Establishing meeting days (the official guidelines only say that the chair calls the meetings, which doesn't necessarily contradict this); Determining what actions may be taken outside of meetings, such as deciding to spend small amounts of money; Authorizing another member to preside in the absence of the chairman; Establishing standing committees and other roles/offices (though the various Roles are established by guideline, there's nothing saying that that list cannot be expanded, or more-formal subcommittees be formed); Setting a quorum other than ½ of the membership; Anything else the membership wants definitively established and difficult to change, such as establishing formal policy documents for the operations of the unit; And, of course, prescribing a parliamentary authority for the committee. However, it seems to me that all of these things can be done with Rules of Order and Standing Rules documents. So here's question 2: What rules of order (if any) should unit committees establish? The more I think about it, the more I think that maybe RONR will work fine; the committee is a board, and therefore automatically follows the small board rules (unless it gets too big, I guess). Glancing through RONR, the only thing I can see that would have to be changed is the disciplinary procedures, and that only to the extent that, similarly to how committees behave on p. 501, ll 14-26, the board could not expel a member, but only report misbehavior to the chartered organization. Even the Officers chapter would not have to be changed, I think, as everything relevant in that chapter is dictated by the bylaws. Somehow making clear in the rules of order that the committee should use the small board rules would be good, but I'm not quite sure how to do that, since it wouldn't need to be dictated, just explained. I mean, most of what's in RONR would never be used, and most motions would be by unanimous consent or quick, fairly informal vote (perhaps with assumed motions), but that's true of any small assembly. Sorry if this is way too long; I can shorten and break it up if it's too involved to easily respond to.
  5. Yes, but I'm not sure how to make use of it, or what it changes.
  6. Like what, other than that one footnote (which I admit is controlling, but it seems odd to have controlling information in a footnote)?
  7. Guest Zev has already shown me the error of my ways. Though providing a rule in a footnote that would at least very plausibly not be a rule if it wasn't for the footnote seems like a bad idea to me.
  8. Which is why I'm asking for suggestions or existing examples from the experts here. Hm. That may be a good point. Perhaps better to change the rules of order if business starts to drag down from too much informal discussion. Though in practice, it seems to me that the Chair (in a relatively small body) can be more lax or firm with the rules at his discretion without causing too much trouble.
  9. Hm. Here's an interesting bit I missed, from the Guidebook: "The troop committee is the troop's board of directors and supports the troop program." That clarifies things a little bit, anyway. Maybe.
  10. Yeah, basically. That seems to be how it's set up. Nobody cares until somebody cares, at which point the Chartered Organization Representative can get involved if he wishes, and at that point it's do what he says or get fired. So the trick is to figure out how to do things in such a way that A) is effective, and B) doesn't annoy people overly much, including being able to resolve conflicts effectively. Which is what rules of order are supposed to be for, but I suppose here you're just supposed to be able to use your sterling personality to smooth things over before they get out of hand.
  11. Nobody said anything about teenagers. This is for the *committee*, whose members must be 21 or older (or for other societies; BSA is not the only group I've been involved in).
  12. Wups! Looks like I missed that. I would say that that makes the line that the footnote refers to poorly worded, but clearly Mr. Kapur was correct.
  13. Exactly. Basic principle of law, and presumably parliamentary law as well.
  14. Two questions: P. 16, RONR 11th says, "A society with a small assembly—such as one having a dozen or fewer members—may wish to adopt a rule that its meetings will be governed by some or all of the somewhat less formal procedures applicable to small boards (see pp. 487–88)." How would such a rule be worded? Is there an example somewhere? Is there a way to word this rule such that if the assembly grows to more than a dozen people—or if meetings sometimes attract more than that number, for instance at annual meetings—the assembly could revert to more formal rules, either automatically or at the discretion of the Chair? What would such wording look like?
  15. Er…that's confusing. "If the president is a member of the voting body, he or she has exactly the same rights and privileges as all other members have, including the right to make motions, to speak in debate, and to vote on all questions. So, in meetings of a small board (where there are not more than about a dozen board members present), and in meetings of a committee, the presiding officer may exercise these rights and privileges as fully as any other member." That seems to contradict pp. 487–488, which does not mention the chair making motions.
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