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1.6 Standing Orders of the Assembly

Purpose 
As stated in Article 8 of the University’s Charter there shall be an Assembly of the University. The purpose of the Assembly, as set out in Statute 9, is that it may make recommendations to the Council or to the Senate on any matter relating to the University. This may include any matters referred to it by the Council or the Senate.

Membership 
Vice-Chancellor (Chair)
Provost
Pro-Vice Chancellors
Members of Academic Staff
Such other members as nominated by the Senate. As of June 2017 this incorporated all staff employed in levels 1-9 (Senate minute 94/16-17).

Note that six members of the Assembly, four members of Academic Staff and two members of Professional Services, are elected to serve as representatives of the Assembly on the Senate (Ordinance 5 (5)). Their role is to participate in the meetings of the Senate and represent the views of the Assembly.

The Standing Orders of the Assembly

1. Meetings

a) Meetings can be called by the Chair at any time.

b) Meetings can be called, in writing to the Chair, by 25 members or more of the Assembly. The written request must state the purpose of the meeting.

c) Once a requisition for a meeting of the Assembly is received, in writing by the Chair, signed by 25 or more members of the Assembly, a meeting will be held within 21 days of the receipt of a call for a meeting unless a longer period is agreed by those calling for the meeting.

d) If the Vice-Chancellor and President does not call a meeting of the Assembly within seven days of receiving, in writing, a notice, signed by 25 members or more of the Assembly, calling for a meeting in accordance with the provisions of section 1(b), then the members who signed the call for a meeting can call a meeting of the Assembly.

e) There must be 50 members of the Assembly present for the meeting to be considered quorate

f) If any member is unable to attend a meeting, this shall not affect the validity of the relevant meeting.

2. Notice of Meetings

a) There will be a notification of any meeting of the Assembly which will specify the purpose of the meeting.

b) The Secretary to Council will provide a notification of the meeting, not less than 5 clear calendar days before the time of the meeting.

c) In exceptional circumstances, an extraordinary meeting can be called with less than 5 clear days’ notice at the request of those calling the meeting.

d) Where the members calling for a meeting of the Assembly have indicated under section s2(c) that they want an extraordinary meeting called with less than five days’ notice, then an extraordinary meeting of the Assembly will be held within 10 days of the receipt of a call for a meeting unless a longer period is agreed by those calling for the meeting.

e) Where the members calling for a meeting of the Assembly have indicated under section s2(c) that they want an extraordinary meeting called with less than five days’ notice, if the Vice-Chancellor and President does not call an extraordinary meeting of the Assembly within two days of receiving, in writing, a notice, signed by 25 members or more of the Assembly, calling for an extraordinary meeting in accordance with the provisions of section 1 and section 2(c), then the members who signed the call for an extraordinary meeting can call an extraordinary meeting of the Assembly.

3. Chair

a) The Vice-Chancellor and President, or in extenuating circumstances, the Provost, will Chair the Assembly and will preside at the meeting.

b) The Vice-Chancellor and President can nominate one of the Assembly Representatives elected to the Senate to Chair the Assembly and preside at the meeting with all powers of the Chair including under the Assembly Standing Orders 10c, 12 and 13.

4. Agenda

a) The Assembly, at any constituted meeting, can discuss any matter relating to the University. However, no motion that is not permissible under these Standing Orders, can be introduced.

b) The Assembly can make recommendations to the Council or the Senate on any matter relating to the University, including matters referred to the Assembly by the Council or the Senate.

c) If an extraordinary meeting is called, with less than 5 days’ notice, any motion taken must have previously been on the agenda. There must be at least 100 members of the Assembly present for the meeting to be quorate.

5. Procedure

a) The Assembly will not consider any motion unless it is on the agenda or in the instances where it is:

i. an amendment or an addition to the motion

ii. undertaking the motion as a recommendation contained in a report of a Committee of the Assembly.

iii. clearly relevant to an item on the agenda

iv. resolved by the Assembly to be urgent. A motion that is urgent or relevant will be voted upon without debate.

b) All members of the Assembly will address the Chair. If more than one member wishes to speak the Chair will decide who will take priority.

c) All members’ comments should be relevant to the question or motion that the Assembly is debating. No member will speak more than twice upon any question except that:

i. a member making the motion (the mover) has the right to reply on the original motion and any amendment to that motion.

ii. a member that has made an amendment which subsequently becomes the substantive motion will have the same right of reply.

All replies will be limited to answering previous observations and should not introduce new matters.

d) A member can speak briefly to a point of order or a point of information.

e) A member can clarify any part of a speech they have made previously if they consider the point to have been misunderstood.

f) The Chair may choose to exempt a member from the requirement to not speak more than twice.

6. Motions to Lapse

a) If a motion, notice of which is specified in the agenda, is not moved by or on behalf of the member who gave the notice, it will be dropped, unless the Assembly agree to postpone it.

b) The dropped motion cannot be moved unless notice is given to the Assembly again.

7. Forms of Amendment

a) Every amendment must be relevant to the motion on which it is moved.

b) Amendments received not less than 72 hours before the beginning of a meeting will be posted on the University Intranet (Insite).

c) Amendments received less than 72 hours before a meeting will be dealt with as if they had been received at the meeting.

8. Further Amendments

a) When an amendment to an original motion has been moved and seconded, no second or subsequent amendment will be moved until the first amendment has been disposed of.

b) There is no limit to the number of amendments, directly relevant to the original motion, which can be proposed.

c) If an amendment is rejected other amendments can be moved on the original motion.

d) If an amendment is carried, the motion as amended, will replace the original motion and become the question which any further amendments may be moved.

9. Motions to proceed to next business, adjournments etc.

a) Any member of the Assembly can at any time make a procedural motion, including:

i. ‘That the Assembly proceed to the next business’

ii. ‘That the Assembly should adjourn’

iii. That the debate should adjourn’

iv. That the question is put’

Such a motion can be opposed by one speech lasting not more than one minute. The procedural motion will be voted on by a show of hands or electronic vote and Standing Order 10(d) will not apply.

10. Voting

a) All motions and questions, before or during a meeting of the Assembly, will be discussed, decided and voted upon by a majority of the members present.

b) Electronic postal ballots can be requested but the Assembly cannot then vote on the same balloted question at the meeting.

c) All questions put to the vote will be decided by a show of hands or by electronic vote, except that:

i. the Chair can order a ballot

ii. A ballot can be held if requested by not less than one tenth of the number of Assembly members present.

d) A record of the number of votes, including abstentions, leading to a recommendation to the Council or the Senate will be submitted.

11. Minutes

Minutes of the meeting will be prepared by the Secretary to Council’s office and will conform to the Warwick standard for minutes

12. Decision of the Chair

The decision of the Chair of the meeting on all questions of order, relevance and regularity and interpretation of the Standing Orders will be final.

13. Adjournment by the Chair

The Chair can propose, and with the consent of the meeting, declare an adjournment of the Assembly meeting for a defined period of time as agreed by the majority of members present. Once the period of time has expired the Assembly will resume the business which was under discussion.

14. Suspension of Standing Orders

Any, or more, of the Standing Orders can be suspended for the whole or part of the meeting, in the case of urgency or if a motion with notice is duly given, providing that a majority of the members present vote to decide.

15. Amendment of Standing Orders

a) Any one or more of these Standing Orders can be amended by resolution of the Assembly passed at a meeting by a majority of the members present and voting.

b) Voting will take place via a show of hands or by an online/electronic vote / poll.

c) Formal approval for these amendments will be sought from the Assembly at its next meeting.

Addendum

In the event that it is not possible to hold a physical assembly, the following amendments to the Standing Orders will apply. This addendum will be subject to review annually by the Assembly Representatives to Senate and to approval by the Assembly in the event changes are required.

1. Standing orders 1 to 3 apply except:

a) 10 days ahead of online meeting date, notifications, purpose and agenda sent to Assembly members and posted online; and Assembly members invited to submit comments and or questions online

b) In exceptional circumstances, an extraordinary online meeting can be called with less than 10 clear days’ notice at the request of those calling the meeting.

2. 2 days ahead of the meeting questions, comments and motion amendments will be collated, posted online and members notified

3. 1 day ahead of the meeting there will be a briefing for presenters (Chair, Member(s) bringing the motion(s), Responders and any member with an amendment)

4. The Assembly Meeting will be held via a suitable online platform. (Presenters will be invited by the Chair to speak; questions and comments asked through the Chair and answered by relevant presenter.

5. Voting on motions and amendments may take place via a real-time electronic polling tool (with attendees at the online meeting) or, if necessary by the use of an online voting form (sent to those who have attended the online meeting or viewed a recording) and passed by a majority vote. Where an online vote is used, this will close 72 hours after the end of the online meeting.

6. Amendments can be taken at the meeting only after amendments provided in advance have been dealt with and before the final version of the motion is voted on.

7. In the case of online voting, voting results will be shared with the Assembly within 1 working day of the voting closing

8. All questions and comments submitted will be anonymised and made available to the Assembly.

9. Minutes will made available to the Assembly

10. Outcome of Assembly reported to Senate and Council

Notes:

(a) Updated as at 12 February 2014, following approval by the Assembly at its meeting held on 11 February 2014.

(b) Updated as at 22 May 2017, following approval by the Assembly at its meeting held on 12 May 2017.

(c) Updated as at 9 November 2020, following approval by the Assembly and the outcome of a vote held during the period Monday, 2 November - Friday, 6 November. View vote results.

(d) Updated on 18 December 2020, following approval by the Assembly at its meeting held on 15 December 2020.

These Standing Orders have been amended to reflect changes to the University Statute governing the Assembly approved by the Privy Council in 1999.