Following a set procedure for your chapter meetings—even a simple one—can go a long way toward improving your chapter’s accomplishments throughout the year. Here is some basic information about running meetings to get you started. Please keep in mind that all chapters have their own unique structures and needs. For further information about conducting meetings, members are encouraged to purchase a copy of the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
Who Runs Chapter Meetings?
Chapter presidents are generally responsible for running (i.e., chairing) chapter meetings. In the event that the president cannot attend a meeting, the chapter’s vice-presidents will usually fill in.
Request a Written Agenda in Advance
Your chapter secretary is generally responsible for keeping meeting minutes and writing an order of business for upcoming meetings. Presidents, if you don’t already have an agenda, be sure to ask for one in advance.
During the Meeting—Instructions for the President/Chair
1. To start the meeting, say something like this:
“The meeting will now come to order.”
2. Request for the secretary to perform a roll call.
The secretary will then call the roll, with pauses for response.
3. Ask the secretary to read the minutes from the previous meeting.
Then, ask everyone if there are any corrections. If there aren’t, you should make a motion (see below for specific instructions) to approve the minutes so that they will be part of the official record of the current meeting’s minutes.
4. Request for members to report on any specific roles, activities, or accomplishments.
For example, perhaps an officer was previously asked to provide updates about the planning of an upcoming event. Or maybe an officer would like to share the results of a recent service activity.
5. Discuss any unfinished business from previous meetings.
Occasionally, business will be tabled to the next meeting, and this is Ok—it allows people more time to think about an issue or gather additional information. Double check the minutes of previous meetings to make sure that you haven’t missed anything.
6. Ask if there is any new business.
This is your members’ opportunity to raise issues. These issues do not necessarily have to be on the agenda that was written before the meeting. For the group to decide on any new business, a motion is required (see below).
7. If possible, go ahead and share the agenda for the next meeting.
Remember to include the date, time, and location, as well as any other relevant information.
8. To end the meeting, say something like this:
“Since there is no further business, the meeting is adjourned.”
How to Make a Motion—Instructions for All Members
1. President/chair acknowledges a person who has raised a hand or stood up in order to gain your attention.
2. The person will then make a motion by saying, “I move that . . . ”
3. A different member then seconds the motion.
4. President/chair restates the motion by saying, “It is moved and seconded that . . .”
5. Members debate the motion, allowing both sides to discuss.
6. President/chair puts the motion to a vote, asking all those in favor to say “aye” and then all those who oppose to say “no.”
7. President/chair announces the results. For example, say “The aye’s have it” or “The no’s have it.”
1. Identify the goals or purpose of your meeting. If your chapter has specific goals for the overall school year, it is good to write these down and keep them handy at all meetings too.
2. Pay attention to the clock.
3. Take notes.
4. Follow up.