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 Subject:  Meeting Guidelines for Chapter Chairs Discussion
    Date:  Tue, 13 Mar 2001 11:34:16 -0500
    From:  Paul Lussier 

Hi all,

I'd like to start a formal discussion of pertaining to some guidelines I think we as chapter leaders should follow. After the brief discussion yesterday on the main list, and after discussing it at length with others yesterday, I'd like to propose the following:

  1. Never cancel a meeting except for:
    • Incredibly inclement weather (In the case of inclement weather, I'm referring to extreme New England weather where there's possibly a State Emergency declared, or, in the judgment of the Chapter Chairperson, they feel that it's just too dangerous for themselves and others to be driving.)
    • Loss of meeting place Should a speaker cancel, hold a meeting anyway. Get the group who showed up together and go to the normally designated meeting place and hold a meeting. This can be either a formally planned "Backup" talk, or can be something as simple a Q&A session. Another good idea, for those who have been to USENIX conferences is the BoF (Birds of a Featherr) session where 1 or 2 people lead the discussion on a specific topic with "audience" participation. For example, I could start the BoF off on the topic of Mail Clients.

As I expound upon my favorite client, people could jump in with questions or comments about what I'm saying, others in the group could then jump in and answer or comment on those questions/comments.

It is important for the meeting to take place in it's normally held place, since that's where late-comers are going to come looking for the meeting, not in the restaurant downstairs or across the street, etc.

If the main Chapter Chairperson is unable to make it, either a secondary should be designated, or, someone should take the initiative to lead the meeting.

  1. Food and Drink should probably not be brought into the meeting.
    • It's distracting to the speaker and to the attendees.
    • If it is brought into the meeting, it should be distributed before the speaker begins. People getting up to get food/drink during the meeting is also distracting to everyone, and IMO rude to the speaker.
    • Alcohol should probably not be brought into the meeting. A lot of our membership may be underage. Having alcohol around during the meeting may:
      • be illegal
      • make them uncomfortable
      • discourage some of them from attending
      • discourage their parents from allowing them to attend
      • If alcohol is brought into the meeting, accomodations for non-drinkers should also be made out of courtesy for them. Also, drinks should be acquired before the speaker begins for the previously mentioned reasons.

That's basically it. I'm not trying to get too formal, I'm just looking out for the best interests of the group as a whole. We want to be able to continue:

  • having good meetings
  • attracting quality speakers
  • attracting new members of all ages
  • retaining old members of all ages

I think following the above guidelines, especially 1,2, and 3, will help us as a group to achieve these goals.

This is just my opinion, and every Chapter Chairperson is obviously free to do what they wish. I'm by no means trying to shackle the group with a lot of beauracratic rules.

Any input on this? Opinions, discussion, disagreement, resentment? Anything?

If anything about the meeting has changed (speaker, topic, parking, ...), then a courtesy message to the group would be good too. -- BruceDawson - 13 Mar 2001

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Topic revision: r3 - 2004-02-08 - BenScott

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