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Attendance at meetings


Guest Joseph Solomito
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Guest Joseph Solomito

When is someone considered to have attended a meeting?  Our bylaws state that someone becomes an active member upon attending 3 consecutive meetings.  Active members may vote in elections.  The question has come up as to whether the third meeting can be the one at which the vote is taken.  Stated differently, would someone be considered to have attended a meeting upon arrival at the meeting, and thereby be considered an active member at the time of arrival or would they be considered to have attended a meeting upon the completion of the meeting?

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As a matter of common sense, a person attends a meeting when he is present in the meeting hall or area where the meeting is being held. However, please note the changing definition of "present" with respect to electronic meetings.

So, to answer your question more precisely, someone attends a meeting from the latter of the time of his arrival at the meeting place or the beginning of the meeting until the earlier of his departure from the meeting place or the end of the meeting.

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I would ask this question at your meeting and let the assembly decide what it means.

To the rest of you a word to the wise. In the past I have waxed at length and great enthusiasm in answer to guest questions. Then on one beautiful occasion I received a very sharp rebuke by our moderator Mr. H. that reminded me that the supplied answer had no basis in what was said in RONR. I was deeply hurt by my own stupidity and lack of insight, however the reminder was well-deserved. I hope this does not happen to anyone else.

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3 hours ago, Guest Joseph Solomito said:

When is someone considered to have attended a meeting? 

RONR does not address that issue. They are your rules (bylaws), so your organization must interpret them and decide what that provision means. The exact language of the rule is likely critical. 

 

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14 hours ago, Guest Joseph Solomito said:

When is someone considered to have attended a meeting?  Our bylaws state that someone becomes an active member upon attending 3 consecutive meetings.  Active members may vote in elections.  The question has come up as to whether the third meeting can be the one at which the vote is taken.  Stated differently, would someone be considered to have attended a meeting upon arrival at the meeting, and thereby be considered an active member at the time of arrival or would they be considered to have attended a meeting upon the completion of the meeting?

RONR has no answer to this question because RONR has no rule requiring a person to attend a certain number of meetings in order to vote.

In my view, both interpretations are reasonable. It would be advisable to amend the bylaws to clarify this matter. In the interim, the organization will have to interpret the bylaws as best as it can.

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