Legislative Process and Parliamentary Procedure
Legislative actions of the assemblies are most typically drafted as Resolutions. The process for developing a resolution has several steps, allowing for engaging key stakeholders and soliciting community input, and should take some time prior to coming to the assembly for a vote.
Resolutions 101: From Concept to the Floor
- Develop the initiative/topic that you want to address
- Search for any legislative history surrounding the issue
- Review website actions archives
- Solicit feedback from your assembly and your constituents
- Draft your initial resolution
- Solicit an Assembly member to sponsor your resolution if you are not a voting member
- Solicit feedback on written resolution
- Assembly members
- Assembly Committees
- Draft your final resolution
- Submit to EVP for inclusion on an agenda
- Attach any supporting documents or information
- Begin securing support from assembly members
(see also "Student Assembly Legislative Checklist")
Parliamentary Procedure refers to the procedures for debate and general conduct of business of the Assemblies during meetings and other operations. In all matters not specifically described in their governing documents, the assemblies follow Roberts Rules of Order, latest edition.
At its heart, Parliamentary Procedure is the rule of the majority with respect for the minority. Its object is to allow organizations to debate and reach group decisions—usually by vote—with the least possible friction.
Robert's Rules of Order
Originally published in 1876 by US Army Brigadier General Henry Martyn Robert after a bad experience leading a church meeting, these procedures are loosely modeled after those used in the United States House of Representatives. The intention is not to waste time with excessive formality, rather to ensure everyone gets a fair opportunity to speak, since some issues may be contentious.
This is the fallback policy for situations not addressed or ambiguously addressed in other governing documents of the assemblies.