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Rules with Spirit

January 8, 2011

Procedural rules must protect democracy, not hierarchy.

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Date: Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011
Subject: Proposed Rules for Senate Meetings

Dear Members of Senate,

I would like to make a comment about the interim rules of procedure that we will consider adopting for the Senate at our next meeting on January 10.

RobertsRules.org states, in its introductory section, that “the fundamental right of deliberative assemblies requires all questions to be thoroughly discussed before taking action.” It is in this spirit of democratic participation that Robert’s Rules and the Code Morin explain the procedural rules for deliberative assemblies.

Unfortunately, the selection of interim rules of procedure that has been proposed leaves out this broader context, and is instead a point-form list of technical process and powers of the Chair.

My concern is that, without a foundation built on the spirit of fair deliberation, the proposed list of interim rules would not support constructive and democratic functioning of the Senate, but would rather result in an increased control over Senate proceedings without fair practice guidelines.  I believe that this concern will continue to exist for future Senate meetings if it is not resolved.

I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this central matter defining our Senate.

Sincerely,

Joseph Hickey
Student representative to Senate, FGPS, Sciences section

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