Bylaws and Policies

Policy Committee Standing Orders

1 Mandate

  1. In accordance with Bylaw 100 of the University of Alberta Students’ Union, the Policy Committee:
    1. Shall make recommendations to Students’ Council on Students’ Union political policy respecting both business of entities not based and based at the University of Alberta;
    2. Shall receive reports from the Students’ Union Executive Committee on its advocacy activities and evaluate their effectiveness; and
    3. Can make editorial changes to all political policy under its purview.

2 Meetings

  1. Quorum of the Policy Committee shall be five voting members.
  2. The Policy Committee shall hold a meeting, coordinated through the Speaker of Students’ Council, before the first meeting of its Students’ Council in order to:
    1. elect a chair from within its voting membership,
    2. set initial standing orders, and
    3. set a meeting schedule for its first trimester.
  3. The Policy Committee shall establish a meeting schedule on a trimester basis, in advance, with the trimesters being:
    1. May to August,
    2. September to December, and
    3. January to April.
  4. Additional meetings of the Policy Committee may be called by either the Chair or five voting members of the Committee, provided that:
    1. every member of the Committee has received at least seventy-two hours’ notice of the meeting, or
    2. every member of the Committee consents to the meeting taking place.
  5. Meetings of the Policy Committee may be cancelled by:
    1. a simple majority vote of the Committee to amend the meeting schedule, or
    2. the unanimous consent of all voting members to the cancellation.
  6. Meetings of the Policy Committee are open to the public, unless the Committee moves in camera.

3 Membership

  1. Membership of this committee is nine.
  2. Should a vacancy on the Policy Committee occur, then the Committee shall recommend the nomination of additional member(s) to Students’ Council at its next meeting
  3. Any voting members of the Executive Committee who are not selected to be voting members of the Policy Committee shall be considered non-voting members of the Committee.

4 Chair's Responsibilities and Duties

  1. The Chair of the Policy Committee shall not be a member of the Executive Committee.
  2. The Chair of the Policy Committee shall:
    1. arrange for the booking of a meeting room, when necessary, for meetings of the Committee;
    2. arrange for the preparation and distribution of the Committee agenda;
    3. moderate debate at meetings of the Committee;
    4. respond to the questions of members of the Committee in a timely fashion;
    5. assign duties to members of the Committee, such duties pertaining to the fulfillment of the mandate of the Committee;
    6. maintain the Standing Orders of the Committee; and
    7. submit reports to Students’ Council, as required.
  3. Should the Chair of the Policy Committee be absent from a meeting of the Committee, the Committee shall then elect an interim chair from within its voting membership, excluding the Executives, as per SO (3(4)), for the duration of the meeting.
  4. The Chair of the Policy Committee may be removed from the post of chair by a simple majority vote of the Committee, whereupon a new chair shall be elected from within the voting membership of the Committee.
  5. The Chair shall work with the Speaker and Administrative Assistant to ensure the logistical needs of Policy Committee are met.

5 Member Responsibilities and Duties

  1. Prior to the end of each trimester, the Policy Committee shall review its attendance records for all voting members of the Committee.
  2. The Policy Committee may recommend to Students’ Council, by a simple majority vote, the removal of any voting member who is not carrying out their duties in contributing to the fulfillment of the mandate of the Committee.
  3. Any member of the Executive Committee who is named as a member of the Policy Committee may be reported to Students’ Council, by a simple majority vote, if they do not fulfill the reporting requirements as outlined in SO (14(1)) of the standing orders of the Committee.
  4. Members are required to attend all meetings of the Policy Committee.
  5. Shall be considered present should a proxy be appointed and attends as per Bylaw 100, Section 15-5.

6 Proxies/Guests

  1. To appoint a proxy to the Policy Committee, the member thereof must provide a notice to that effect to the Chair of the Committee:
    1. Stating the name and e-mail address of the eligible member of Students’ Council who will serve as proxy,
    2. Indicating the duration of the appointment, and
    3. That is signed by the appointing member of the Committee or e-mailed to the Chair of the Committee no later than two hours prior to the Committee meeting.

7 Legislative Process for Political Policies

  1. When Students’ Council refers a political policy to the Policy Committee:
    1. The Chair shall, by the time of the next Committee meeting, assign a member of the Committee to draft a political policy based on the principles passed in first reading by Students’ Council;
    2. The assigned member shall submit the draft political policy to the Committee in a timely fashion; and
    3. The Committee will not recommend to Students’ Council any political policy that is outside the scope of the principles approved in first reading by Students’ Council.

8 Administration

  1. The Administrative Assistant of the Students’ Council will:
    1. Book meeting rooms for meetings of the Committee.
    2. Book Minute Takers for each meeting of the Committee.
    3. Structure Agenda’s for each meeting based on the Orders of the Day submitted by members of the Committee and any referrals from Students’ Council.
    4. Notify the Committee of Meetings through the Agenda.
    5. Distribute the Agenda and Minutes to members of the Committee.
    6. Ensure paper copies of the Agenda are printed for the Chair to bring to each meeting upon request.

9 Records

  1. The Chair of the Policy Committee will record attendance at each meeting of the Committee.
  2. The Chair of the Policy Committee shall assign the task of recording the minutes at each meeting to one of the members of the Committee or to the recording secretary.
  3. Members of the Policy Committee may amend their comments in the minutes when the minutes are being approved by the Committee.
  4. The Chair of the Policy Committee shall, after each meeting of the Committee, submit to Students’ Council a report including:
    1. any decisions made by the Committee acting under authority delegated to it by Students’ Council;
    2. any recommendations made by the Committee to Students’ Council;
    3. any standing orders adopted by the Committee; and
    4. a summary of all motions passed by the Committee at the meeting in question.

10 Rules of Order

  1. The Chair of the Policy Committee will use their discretion in administering an informal style of Robert’s Rules of Order to conduct the business of the meeting.

11 Orders of the Day

  1. Order of Business for the Policy Committee:
    1. Introduction
      1. Call to Order
      2. Approval of Agenda
      3. Approval of Minutes
      4. Chair’s Business
    2. Question/Discussion Period
    3. Committee Business
    4. Information Items
    5. Adjournment
    6. Confirmation of Next Meeting
  2. Right of Submission by Committee Members
    1. Any voting member of the Policy Committee may submit Orders of the Day to be considered by the Committee.
  3. Deadline for Submission
    1. Orders of the Day must be submitted to the Chair of the Policy Committee and the Administrative Assistant to Students’ Council 2 business days prior to the Committee meeting.
  4. Publishing
    1. The agenda package for the Policy Committee will be published in the following manner:
      1. an electronic copy will be e-mailed to the Committee members 2 business days before the meeting; and
      2. paper copies will be provided at the Committee meeting upon request.
  5. Special Orders
    1. The Order of Business notwithstanding, the Chair of the Policy Committee may designate any Order of the Day a Special Order.

12 Presentations

  1. Each member of the Executive Committee who is named a member of the Policy Committee shall provide:
    1. a basic introduction of their goals for the year by June 1, and
    2. a comprehensive presentation of all goals relevant to the mandate of the Committee by June 30.

13 Executive Committee Reports

  1. Each member of the Executive Committee who is named a member of the Policy Committee shall provide a written report at each meeting of the Committee on their advocacy activities and those of the entire Executive Committee, and may provide an oral supplement to accompany this report.

14 Standing Orders

  1. The Standing Orders of the Policy Committee may be amended by a simple majority vote of the Committee, with such changes being reported to Students’ Council.
    1. The Standing Orders of the Policy Committee do not expire, but shall be reintroduced at the Committee’s first meeting.

15 Confidentiality

  1. All members shall ensure the security and confidentiality of sensitive information that comes into their possession by virtue of their membership on the Policy Committee.

16 Appendix 1: Procedure for Electing a Chair

  1. Start up meeting of Policy Committee
    1. The Chair of Students’ Council will serve as interim chair for the duration of the start up meeting of Policy Committee, and preside over the election of a Chair of Policy Committee as per this Appendix
  2. Nominations
    1. Any voting member of Policy Committee may nominate themselves for the role of Chair
  3. Speeches
    1. Each candidate may give a brief speech not to exceed two minutes.
  4. Questions
    1. The presiding officer will allow questions to be put to the candidates from the members of Policy Committee.
  5. Secret Ballot
    1. The vote will be by secret ballot
  6. Recess
    1. Policy Committee will recess while the presiding officer counts the vote.
  7. Announcement
    1. The presiding officer will announce the results of the election to Policy Committee.
  8. Vacancy of the Chair
    1. Should the position of chair become vacant, election of a new chair will take place at the next meeting of Policy Committee as a special order of business to be dispensed with immediately.
    2. Election of a new Chair shall be held in accordance with this appendix with the exception that a voting member of Policy Committee who is not running for election or re-election to the position of chair will preside over elections procedure until the election of a new chair.
    3. This member will be the outgoing Chair unless the outgoing Chair is running for re-election or is no longer a voting member of Policy Committee, in which case the presiding member will be determined by vote cast by all members of Policy Committee not running for election or re-election to the position of chair.
    4. In the case that all voting members of Policy Committee are running for election or re-election to the position of Chair, the speaker of Students’ Council will serve as presiding officer.