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Who can sit in on Meetings?


Guest CrossTrained

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Is there a section in Roberts Rules that pertains to this topic? Thankyou

RONR (11th ed.) p. 3 ll. 1-5 defines what it means to be 'a member of an assembly' -- a member is entitled 'to attend meeting, to make motions, to speak in debate, and to vote.'

edited to add:

The other part of this, which may not seem immediately obvious, is that the general membership assembly, and the board, are two entirely separate assemblies in an organization. A person who is a general member, but not a board member, has no membership rights at a board meeting... because he is simply not a member of that assembly.

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So what would a general memberships route be if a majority of them believed that the minutes of board meetings were not being appropriately recorded and reported to the general membership? I really appreciate your replies.

Does your organization have a custom (or rule) requiring board meeting minutes to be shared with the membership (e.g. in a newsletter or something of the sort)? Because, otherwise, there is no rule under RONR that board meeting minutes be routinely shared at all.

On the other hand, the general membership as a group, at a general membership meeting, does have full authority to order any and all board meeting minutes to be read to the membership (I'll post a citation in a moment, if someone doesn't beat me to it).

Just to clarify, is your concern that the board is not keeping good/accurate minutes of its acitivities in the first place? Or that those minutes are just not being accurately reported?

See RONR (11th ed.) p. 487 ll. 13-20 regarding accessibility of board meeting minutes, including the membership vote required to order those minutes to be produced and read to the general membership assembly.

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We have a bylaw that states the minutes of the previous months board meeting are to be read at the general membership meeting.

Our problem is that we are nearly positive that certain topics are either being omitted completely or altered to show a different view

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We have a bylaw that states the minutes of the previous months board meeting are to be read at the general membership meeting.

Our problem is that we are nearly positive that certain topics are either being omitted completely or altered to show a different view

The minutes should be a record of what was done at the meeting. So, if you have reason to believe that the board has made decisions (e.g. voted on motions), and failed to record decisions in the board minutes, then the membership should consider disciplinary action against the board (see, for example, FAQ #20) and/or elect more honest and conscientious people next time.

On the other hand, the minutes should not contain a record of discussion, who said what, or other information about 'views' -- if that kind of stuff is in there, it shouldn't be there in the first place. The membership has no right (under RONR) to have a 'fly on the wall' view of the proceedings of the board.

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