Near the beginning of each club meeting, there is a brief business session following the procedures outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order. The club possesses several copies for members who would like to study them in more detail. The business session consists of the following sequence of procedures:
- Reading of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting
- Officers’ Reports
- Business Arising from the Minutes
- New Business
Each of these procedures are described below as a guide.
The Business Session should generally be kept to 5 minutes in length and run no longer than 10 minutes.
Reading of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The Chairperson always opens the Business Session with the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting. The Chairperson raps the gavel on the table and says “I will open (or begin) the Business Session with the reading of the minutes. Mister/Madam Secretary, will you please read …”. Following the reading of the minutes by the Secretary, the Chairperson asks “Are there any errors or omissions?” If there are errors, these are recorded and the Chairperson says “I adopt the minutes as amended.” Otherwise, the Chairperson says “I adopt the minutes as read.” No motion is required to adopt the minutes.
The mintues are then signed and dated by the Secretary. They may also be signed by the President. Having been signed, the minutes are a legal document admissable in a court of law.
The purpose of adopting the minutes is to show that the membership recognizes them as representing an accurage and precise record of the previous meeting. The minutes of all the meetings represents a history of the club.
This portion of the Business Session allows each member of the executive to report on the activities of his/her office. To begin the procedure, the Chairperson says “Officer’s Reports … Mister/Madam President” and then continues through the officers — VP Education, VP Membership, VP Public Relations, Treasurer, Secretary, and the Sergeant-at-Arms. Alternatively, the Chairperson may simply ask “Are there any Officers’ Reports?”
Committee Reports can also be given at this time.
It is important that no motions be presented at this time. any business that is generated by the Officers’ Reports should be presented under New Business.
Business Arising from the Minutes
The Chairperson says “Is there any Business arising from the minutes?” Business is considered unfinished when it has been included in the previous meeting’s minutes, was tabled, postponed indefinitely, refered to a committee, or for some reason had not been dealt with completely in a previous meeting.
The final step in the Business Session is New Business. The Chairperson asks “Is there any New Business?” Business is considered New Business if it arose from the Officers’ or Committee Reports, is business to be initiated, is a new member initiation, an award presentation, or an election.
Announcements can be give after New Business or held until the end of the meeting at the discretion of the Chairperson.
The Chairperson concludes the Business Session by saying “I will now adjourn the Business Session” or “The Business Session is now adjourned” and by rapping the gavel.