The General Meeting is an “all-hands” meeting for all members of the JCR which happens several times a term, usually Sunday evenings in the JCR. Motions, which can be submitted by anybody, are discussed and voted on. It is the principal representative and policy-making body of the JCR. With some exceptions, the GM has primacy over all other bodies of the JCR. The committee and the officers are bound by the mandates of the GM.
As laid out in the Constitution, it is chaired by the Vice President and needs a quorum of at least thirty-five members. The order of business is defined in the Standing Orders in great detail but I will try to summarise it here:
The chair goes through each motion in turn. On each motion, the proposer or seconder have the right to speak first. After the speech there is a round of short & factual questions. This is not about opinions, just for clarification. Then the Chair asks for a speech against, if there are no speeches and nobody wants to debate the motion, it passes. Otherwise, anyone can give speeches and statements, for or against the motion or just to add to the debate. Please, if you have something to say or add, this is the right place to do so but make sure the Chair can see your hand.
Members may suggest amendments and changes to the motion currently debated. The proposer of the motion may accept the amendments as “friendly” which means the amendment passes and the motion gets changed. Otherwise, the amendment is seen as “hostile” and it will be discussed and voted on, just like ordinary motions. If the amendment passes the vote, the debate continues with the new version of the motion, if it fails, the debate continuous with the original motion.
Except during summation speeches, present members may interrupt the current speaker to raise points of information. They may not be made until the person speaking accepts them and they may refuse them. These points should be short questions or short statements.
Members can interrupt the proceedings at any time and relate to the conduct of the meeting. You may not however, raise Points of Order during a speech or a vote, unless your point refers to the vote. They are addressed to the chair and take precedence. You can ask to overturn a decision by the chair, have no confidence in the chair, require a secret ballot, move to a vote, recount a vote, to leave the motion until later or the next GM, to split a motion, adjourn or close the meeting, or to grant attendance to non-members of the JCR. Different points require different types of votes and majorities, please refer to the Standing Orders for more details.
At the end of debate, the proposer and an opposer nominated by the chair may give one summation speech each during which no new points may be raised. Then the motion is put to a vote, usually by a show of hands. Some types of motions, like changes to the constitution, need a 2/3 majority, others pass with a simple majority.
Su, beginning of 1st, 11/09 1st GM
Su, beginning of 4th, 01/11 2nd GM
Su, beginning of 8th, 29/11 3rd GM
They will all be in the termcard, obviously.
Disclaimer: All of the above are just descriptions and summaries of and do not replace the Constitution or Standing Orders. Please always refer to the original documents for further information.
Last edited by Mark Uckermann
28th Oct 2015