C. A STANDARD ORDER OF BUSINESS
A meeting begins when it is called to order by the presiding officer. The chairman or president takes his or her place and says in a clear voice, “The meeting will come to order.” There may then be opening ceremonies, such as saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Most meetings follow a traditional order of business. Simplifled,** this includes:
*RONR (10th ed), p. 334—40. See, however, RONR(lOth ed), p. 119—20 for the ratification of action taken without a quorum.
**In fact, the “standard” order of business is a 11ff le more complicated. For full details, see RONR (10th ed), p. 25, 342—5 I Organizations may prefer to adopt their own order of business, adapted to the specific needs of the group. RONR (todied.), p. 15, 1.33, top. 16, 1.3.
Simplified Standard Order of Business Reading and Approval of Minutes
1. Reading and Approval of Minutes
The chair says, “The Secretary will read the minutes.” When the secretary has read them, the chair says, “Are there any corrections to the minutes?” Normally, corrections are made without objection, but if there is a dispute there can be debate and a vote or the proposed correction. Thereafter, the chair says, “If there are no [further] corrections, the minutes are approved.”
Only after the minutes of a meeting are approved in this way do they become the official record of what happened. Often, the secretary sends out draft minutes of the previous meeting before the meeting at which they are to be approved. If this happens, they don’t have to be actually read at the meeting unless a member insists. When draft minutes have been sent to the members, the chair might begin by saying, “The minutes of the previous meeting have been distributed. Are there any conections to the minutes?”
[RONR (10th ed.), p. 343—44.]
The assembly then hears reports from officers, boards, and committees of the organization. (More about boards and committees in Chapters 6, 18 and 19.) The chair might say, for exainpk: “May we have the Treasurer’s report?” “The chair recognizes the chairman of the Membership Committee for a report.” “Does the Program Committee have a report?”
Often, these reports just give information. Sometimes, however, they include recommendations for action by the assembly. These recommendations are then considered by the group—debated and voted on—at the end of the report containing them. [RONR (10th ed.),
3. Unfinished Business
Following reports, the group moves on to consider items of business, if any, carried over from the previous meeting. The chair should bring these matters up automatically, normally beginning with any unfinished item that was in the middle of being considered when the previous meeting adjourned. “Under unfinished business, the first item of