How Online Senate Meetings Work

We try to make online Senate meetings “look like” physical Senate meetings as much as possible. However, some things are  difficult to orchestrate online so it is necessary to make some adaptations.

Senators are required to have a basic familiarity with Zoom. This includes joining/leaving,  mute/unmute, “raising hand”, and posting to chat.

The “Meeting Moderator” is the Zoom Host who runs the slides, keeps track of raised hands, and keeps an eye on Chat. For the time being this person  is the DoF Executive Assistant, Jill Short.

Before the Meeting

Shortly before the meeting Senators and presenters receive the Zoom meeting link. Although all faculty are welcome to attend and speak at a Senate meeting, we do not  post the Zoom meeting url  online to guard against Zoombombing. However, meetings are publicly announced and faculty should contact their Senator if they wish to attend. Senators are advised to share the url upon receipt of such a request.

Zoom Settings

  1. Participants cannot  join before the host.
  2. Passwords are not used as meetings are not closed.
  3. Waiting rooms are not used.
  4. Participants will not be allowed to share screens. The DoF office must be in possession of all presenter slides six hours  before the start of the meeting.
  5. Participants who join the meeting without Cornell netIDs will be removed from the meeting.
  6. Senators who join by phone do not count towards quorum and will not have their votes counted.

General Zoom Etiquette

  1. Indicate that you would like to speak by raising your hand.
  2. Stay muted until called upon to  speak.
  3. State your name and your department/unit .
  4. After speaking return to mute and take down  your hand.
  5. When speaking be aware that the audio of the meeting is posted soon after the meeting. A transcript of the audio is produced, posted, and subsequently approved as the official minutes of the meeting.
  6. The chat log will be anonymized and posted soon after the meeting.

Discussions

  1. Presenters run their slide shows via verbal commands to the Zoom moderator, e.g., “next slide”, “go back 2 slides”, etc.
  2. Two minutes is the general allocation when speaking or posing a question.
  3. The Zoom moderator will make an effort to call on raised hands. Comments on Chat are read ou loud  as time permits.

Voting

  1. Because only Senators can vote it is necessary to link netIDs with votes so that they can be certified afterwards. The chosen mechanism is to vote by posting yes/no/abstain to Chat.
  2. Quorum will be determined by taking a vote on consent items (e.g., approval of minutes).  It requires  at least  65 (= one-half of current Senate membership) votes. This vote will be taken some minutes into the meeting to accommodate late joiners.
  3. Sense-of-the-Senate votes do not require quorum
  4. Voting may be by email as specified in section  X.D.4  of the Organization and Procedures of the University Faculty.

Roberts Rules and Resolutions

Some semblance of Roberts Rules will be followed when processing resolutions.

In each of the following situations, a reasonable effort must be made to avoid #1 through pre-meeting consultation with the Dean of Faculty, the University Faculty Committee, and/or the  resolution sponsor. E.g., you think it is premature to discuss or vote  on a resolution, you think the time allocated for discussion in the agenda is insufficient, etc. Amendments  to resolutions should be detailed before the meeting so that slides can be produced and voting sequences established beforehand (if possible).

Initiate the Discussion of Resolution

  1. The Speaker/DoF will ask if anyone objects to discussing  the resolution. If a Senator wishes to postpone debate they must raise their hand and offer such a motion and have it seconded. Vote to postpone is taken.
  2. The Speaker/DoF asks for a motion to open discussion on the resolution. “So moved” and  “Seconded” need to be posted to chat before proceeding

Terminate  the Discussion of a Resolution

  1. If the allocated time for the discussion runs out, then the Speaker/DoF will ask if anyone wishes to extend discussion for a specified period of time. . If a Senator wishes to continue discussion they must raise their hand and offer such a motion and have it seconded. A vote to continue discussion taken.
  2. The Speaker/DoF asks for a motion to close discussion on the resolution. “So moved” and “Seconded”  need to be posted to Chat before closing discussion.

Call for  a Vote on a Resolution

  1. The Speaker/DoF will ask if anyone wants to postpone the vote. If a Senator wishes to postpone the vote they must raise their hand, offer such a motion, and have it seconded. Vote to postpone is taken.
  2. The Speaker/DoF will ask for a motion to vote on the resolution. “So moved” and “Seconded” need to be posted to Chat  before a vote on the resolution is taken.

 

 

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