Unfinished Business

69. Unfinished Business. When an assembly adjourns, the unfinished business comes up at the adjourned meeting, if one is held, as the first business after the reading of the minutes; if there is no adjourned meeting, the unfinished business comes up immediately before new business at the next regular meeting, provided the regular meetings are more frequent than yearly.** [See Rules of Order, 11, for a fuller explanation of the effect of an adjournment upon unfinished business, and the Congressional practice.] If the meetings are only once a year, the adjournment of the session puts an end to all unfinished business.


70. Session. Each regular meeting of a society constitutes a separate session. Any meeting which is not an adjournment of another meeting, commences a new session; the session terminates as soon as the assembly "adjourns without day."* [In ordinary practice, a meeting is closed by moving simply "to adjourn;" the society meet again at the time provided either by their rules or by a resolution of the society. If they do not meet till the time for the next regular meeting, as provided in the By-Laws, then the adjournment closed the session, and was in effect an adjournment without day. If, however, they had previously fixed the time for the next meeting, either by a direct vote, or by adopting a programme of exercises covering several meetings or even days, in either case the adjournment is in effect to a certain day, and does not close the session.]

When an assembly has meetings for several days consecutively, they all constitute one session. Each session of a society is independent of the other sessions, excepting as expressly provided in their Constitution, By-Laws, or Rules of Order, and excepting that resolutions adopted by one session are in force during succeeding sessions until rescinded by a majority vote [see note to 49].

Where a society holds more than one regular session a year, these rules limit the independence of each session as follows: (a) The Order of Business prescribed in 72 requires that the minutes of the previous meeting, the reports of committees previously appointed, and the unfinished business of the last session, shall all take precedence of new business, and that no subject can be considered out of its proper order, except by a two-thirds vote; (b) it is allowable to postpone a question to the next session, when it comes up with unfinished business, but it is not allowable to postpone to a day beyond the next session, and thus interfere with the right of the next session to consider the question; (c) a motion to reconsider a vote can be made at one meeting and called up at the next meeting even though it be another session, provided the society holds its regular sessions as frequently as monthly.* [See Rules of Order, 42, for a full discussion of this subject.]


71. Quorum. [See 43 for full information on this subject.]

Order of Business

72. Order of Business. Every society should adopt an order of business adapted to its special wants. The following is the usual order where no special rule is adopted, and when more than one regular meeting is held each year:

(1) Reading of the minutes of the last meeting.

(2) Reports of Boards of Trustees or Managers, and Standing Committees.

(3) Reports of Select Committees.

(4) Unfinished Business (including questions postponed to this meeting).

(5) New Business.

Business cannot be considered out of its order, except by a two-thirds vote; but a majority can lay on the table the different questions as they come up, and thus reach a subject they wish first to consider. If a subject has been made a Special Order for this meeting, then it is to be considered immediately after the minutes are read.

Amendments of Constitutions

73. Amendments of Constitutions, By-Laws and Rules of Order, should be permitted only when adopted by a two-thirds vote, at a regular meeting of the society, after having been proposed at the previous regular meeting. If the meetings are very frequent, weekly, for instance, amendments should be adopted only at the quarterly meetings, after having been proposed at the previous quarterly meeting.