The Council of Fraternity and Trustees meets regularly to discuss the merits of local businesses and issues facing our community. Sometimes the officers are also elected by the members. All are welcome to participate and speak their mind. But what is the point of a council assembly? Is it just another committee or is it an official body?
The first and most important duty of the council is to take stock of the day’s proceedings and report back to the general membership on their findings. They must then make recommendations to the management outlining measures that have been taken to make the business more profitable, or stop it from being in trouble in the first place. If the business is profitable then the officer will make a recommendation for the officers’ meeting to further increase membership development. If it is not doing well, the president will be asked to conduct a members’ meeting to find out why. At this meeting, any problems that are blocking business must be identified and solutions devised.
The second duty of the council is to set up a standing committee of its own to carry out theseuties. The responsibilities of these committees may be different from those of the executive committees, depending on the nature of the corporations or fraternities concerned. A standing committee may be an inquiry committee to look into and report on the business of the corporation or fraternity concerned. They might also be formed to prepare reports on specific issues facing the organization, or an audit committee to look into the workings of the corporation or lodge an audit with the purpose of exposing fraud or questionable transactions. If the purpose of the audit committee is to bring about change, then the constitution of the standing committee will specify the changes that need to be made. If the purpose is to simply get the general membership informed of the state of affairs, then the standing committees are generally the best places to start.
Another purpose of the standing committee is to chair special meetings of the corporation or fraternity concerned. These special meetings may be to quell large scale civil disturbances, or to adopt measures relating to the well being of the company or the fraternity. When it comes to these special meetings, the corporation or fraternity has the right to have their president either answer questions directly or to appear before the committee and answer questions. In such instances, the president’s appearance is required in the special meeting minutes.
The third duty of the council is to act on behalf of the corporation or fraternity concerned when the latter is under any legal action or claim. For instance, if there is a claim made against the members of the corporation for negligence, the standing committee would have the duty to refer the matter to the board of directors for legal proceedings to recover the damages. The same duty would arise if the executive committee members were negligent and the president or a vice president of the organization was under a legal agreement. In any case, the president or a vice president would be asked to attend the meeting and make a statement under oath as to the causes of the negligence and the recovery of the damages.
The fourth duty is to make submissions to the meeting by the concerned executive or members of the fraternity. For instance, if it is a case of a complaint against the members of the organization for misconduct, the president of the corporation or a member of the fraternity would make a submission to the meeting. This would need to be done in writing. The same duty would arise if the members of the fraternity were dissatisfied with the way the society has been run. The vice president of administrative affairs would then have to attend the meeting and make a submission in writing to the executive committee.
The fifth duty is to report to the next meeting of the Council in two weeks. If the current president fails to appear in person, the president of the society or the treasurer will have to report the situation to the next meeting. It is usual for the present president to appear in person at all meetings of the council even those which are not regularly scheduled. However, the members of the fraternity or the member fraternities who have been complaining about the conduct of the society must be represented at such meetings by a reporting officer.
The fifth duty that comes to the mind of a resident assistant when he hears the term “the house of representatives” in the context of council proceedings, is to inform the secretary of the house who will then forward the minutes of the previous meeting to the speaker of the house. The meeting is then conducted as per the minutes of the previous meeting. The same thing could happen if a student politician wants to put up a resolution for a particular matter. He should forward the minutes of the previous meeting to the concerned secretary so that the same can be recorded in the minutes of the meeting which is to be held on the next day. This process is to be followed whenever a member rather wants to make a point of something.