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Developing Meeting Agendas for Student Organizations

cartoon of someone nailing a giant agenda to a wallThe heart of every club or organization is found during its meetings.  Meetings range from a lighthearted, informational gathering of general members to a heated decision making session of executive board members.  Good meetings are always a result of careful preparation and planning.  There are different ways to run a meeting.  Whether you use parliamentary procedure or a more relaxed format, it is important to know what your purpose and goals are, how you hope to accomplish your goals, and how you communicate.

Preparing an agenda not only communicates to your group what the meeting is about, but also makes you think in advance about what information you would like to cover during the meeting.  An agenda is an outline of the issues that a group will discuss during a meeting.

The agenda is prepared by the officers of the organization, with assistance from the organization's advisor.  Once prepared, the agenda is distributed to members at least one day prior to the meeting either by email or in printed form.  This allows members to come to the meeting prepared to discuss the agenda items, exchange information and make decisions.

THE AGENDA

The following agenda items are standard in most groups.  You can adapt them to meet the needs of your organization.  You may want to use "Robert's Rules of Order."

USING THE AGENDA

Simply putting topics on a list will not make your meetings more productive.  Consider these points as you construct and use an agenda:

Using an agenda at your meetings may not solve all of your problems, but an agenda does give a meeting direction and purpose.  You may choose to be less structured than the format presented here, but some structure is necessary to ensure that your organization "takes care of business."  Then, members are able to leave the meeting feeling that they accomplished their work and have contributed to the organization.