Carrying Over Business from Spring to Fall

Recommended by Structure and Functions
Endorsed by the Executive Committee, April 25, 2019

All business items considered by the Senate and by Senate committees and subcommittees must have first and second readings (per the Senate by-laws[1]). These readings must occur within the same academic year.

If a business item on the Senate agenda is not voted on in a second reading by the end of the academic year, it “dies” in the session. Not to do so ties the hands of next year’s session (per Robert’s Rules[2]). If the item in question came to Senate from a committee, it returns to that committee for a new first and second reading, should the committee choose to re-consider it in the following academic year.  Similarly, business items not decided in a second reading at the committee level “die” in committee and must be re-considered in the following academic year, if so desired by that committee.

However, business items recommended by a subcommittee to a committee do not need to return to the subcommittee if the item “dies” at the committee or Senate level, unless the committee so chooses (i.e. subcommittee business decisions may carry over if the parent standing committee chooses to accept them).

[1] Senate By-Laws: 1.9 ACTION ITEMS All action items shall receive two readings. Before any item may be received for a first reading, it must be distributed to the Senators two days before the Senate meetings. These rules may be waived by a two-thirds vote of the Senate. Since a first reading is meant to introduce a topic to the Senate, an action item may not be amended, tabled, referred, or postponed at its first reading. Discussion at the first reading shall be limited to no more than 15 minutes.

[2] Robert’s Rules: “As a general principle, one session cannot tie the hands of the majority at any later session . . .”(pg 85, RR Newly Revised 10th edition). A “session” is understood as a series of meetings within a given academic year.