GSS General Body Meeting

Learning The Ropes: GSS General Body Meeting Walk Through

Not sure what to expect when you join a Graduate Student Senate (GSS) meeting? We've got you covered. Learn the terminology, rules and procedures for a typical general body meeting (GBM). You can also visit our FAQ page for more commonly asked questions. 

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call

  • During this time, a person calls, "Here" or "Present" when their name is called. They can say, "Proxy" if they're covering for someone not present.
  • Roll call may also be done by passing around a sign-in sheet

III. Approval of Previous Meeting's Minutes 

  • If the previous meeting minutes need corrected in any fashion, raise your hand to call attention to yourself. Do not wait to be called on. Say: “I propose an amendment to the previous meetings minutes.” Then proceed to state your correction after the presiding officer recognizes you. 
  • Your amendment will go through an up or down vote to be approved.  
  • The Vice President of Communication will add whatever amendments are approved to the official minutes.

IV. Approval of The Agenda

  • If there is a resolution, discussion topic or anything else missing from the agenda this time allows you to change the agenda. You can also add your own resolution or ask to have something removed from the agenda. Just simply raise your hand to call attention to yourself. Do not wait to be called on. Say: “I propose an amendment to the agenda.” Then proceed to state your correction after the presiding officer recognizes you. 

V. Speak Out

  • Any member of the Ohio University community is allowed to speak to the members of the GSS body. This is not restricted to items on the agenda. 

VI. Presentations 

  • Presentations are to be seven minutes or less with seven minutes or less for questions.  
  • If more time for the presentation time period or the question time period, then a voting GSS member can make a point of order to add more time. 
  • To make the point of order, raise your hand to call attention to yourself. Do not wait to be called on. Say: “I move to add (X amount) of minutes to the presentation (or presentation) time.” The presiding officer will then lead a quick voice vote to on whether to add more time. If the Senate agrees (Ayes), then the time period in question will be extended. However, if the Senate wishes to move forward in the agenda, then they can deny the request (nay). 

VII. Reports 

  • Officer, commissioner, and committee reports should be given to keep the body up to date on the progress of important initiatives. Questions are permitted upon being recognized by the presiding officer. 

VIII. Old Business

  • The format is exactly the same as “New Business”. 
  • This section is reserved for items that were tabled during a previous meeting. 

IX. New Business

  • Resolutions
    • Discussion of resolutions will begin with the reading of the resolution by the primary sponsor. 
    • At any point during the reading, a voting member can move to suspend the reading. This will end the reading of the resolution and will move on to the next step in the resolution approval process. To suspend the reading, raise your hand and state, “I move to suspend the reading.” The presiding officer will then ask for the body’s consent of the motion. A single vote against results in the continuation of the reading. If it passes unanimously, the reading will end. 
    • After the reading, the President will entertain a motion. Motions must be voted upon before being carried out. Typical motions include but are not limited to:
      • A motion to move to debate. 
      • A motion to table. 
      • A motion to amend the resolution. 
      • A motion of approval. 
  • Discussions
    • During a discussion, the presiding officer will appoint an individual to run the “stack”. The “stack” is a way to maintain order during discussion. Raise your name tag to have your name placed on the stack, and you will be called upon by the presiding officer when it is your turn to speak. Each person will get two minutes per call. A member can speak more than once, but members what have not spoken will be given priority. 

X. Announcements

  • Any voting member of Graduate Student Senate may make an announcement. The announcements shall not last more than one minute. 

XI. Adjournment

  • A motion to adjourn will be entertained by the presiding officer. 
  • The presiding officer reserves the right to request a roll call prior to adjournment. Members who are not present at the adjourning roll call, will be
    counted as absent from the meeting. 

Other Important Robert's Rules of Order

  • A motion to suspend the rules: A member can make a motion to suspend a set of rules at any time. The member must clarify which rule(s) they want suspended and the time frame for which they seek a suspension. 

*All GSS rules and procedures are primary to any Robert's Rules of Order.