Attend every Senate meeting
- held on the second Tuesday of each month (exception when this date is on a holiday). Our scheduled meeting dates can be found on the Academic Calendar and on the Senate Academic Calendar.
- Make sure your department Chair does not schedule a class during the Senate's time (3 – 5pm).
- If you are late, there is no need to inform the secretary. Start participating and/or vote when presented. Voting indicates your presence at the Senate meeting.
- If you are absent more than twice in a semester, please notify the Steering Committee. Your repeated absence may raise concern (i.e., when we need to reach quorum) and the Steering Committee may request a formal resignation so that we can find a replacement who can be attend and be able to vote on important items raised.
- As a Senator you are able to vote.
- Make sure to turn on your clicker and provide your vote as either: A= yes, B=no, C=to abstain OR During Zoom meetings, make sure to access the meeting using the Zoom desktop or mobile app and when prompted, vote using the polling window which will appear on your screen.
According to Robert's Rules here are some pointers on how to participate in a Senate meeting:
You may address the Senate when the presiding chair of the Senate calls upon you
To announce something to the Senators wait for the appropriate time under either: Old Business or New Business
To present a formal item to the Senate (e.g., for Senate to accept, vote, further discussion), it would be best practice to send the item (as a proposal) to the Steering Committee two weeks prior to the Senate meeting so that they can include it in the agenda. This will give Senators sufficient time to review the proposal.
When an item from a proposal is raised for Senators to possibly amend, resolve or adopt, a motion must be made to approve the proposal by stating:
“I move that….”
The item moved needs to be seconded by another senator stating: “I second it.”
- a period of debate and discussion is followed. If you wish to speak, raise your hand to be called up either physically or use the "raise hand" feature electronically
- then Senators will vote
- Any Senator can make a motion.
- The most common motions are standard agenda items: motion for approval of minutes, motions to introduce and approve proposals that have been pre-submitted to the agenda, and motions to adjourn.
- Most motions need "a second" and a simple majority vote to pass.
- To Make a Motion:
- ask to be recognized by raising your hand (physcially or a virtual "raise hand" feature).
- A Senator may then "second it" (the Chair of the Senate may ask if there is a second if no one says “second”).
- In Debate:
Each member has the right to speak twice on the same question on the same day, but cannot speak again on the same question as long as any member who has not spoken on that question desires the floor (Art. I, 7).
No one can speak longer than 10 minutes at a time without permission of the assembly - requires 2/3 vote (Art. I, 7).
To move debate to an informal committee, requires majority vote.
Avoid using names of others, rather refer to other as “the member who spoke last” (Art. VII., 42).
“It is not the man, but the measure, that is the subject of debate” (Art. VII., 42).
Speakers must address their remarks to the presiding officer, be courteous in their language and deportment, and avoid all personalities, never alluding to the officers or other members by name (Art. I, 7).