The Louise Saks Parliamentary Unit (LSPU) met for its monthly meeting at the First Presbyterian Church, 1669 West Maple, in Birmingham, Michigan on Tuesday morning, January 15.

Starting the year right, Presenters Eldora Stevens and Joan Britton outlined the role that Committees—Standing and Special play in our organizational lives.  The health of an organization is often defined by how well its committees function to accomplish the real work of a society.

Standing committees are named in an organizations bylaws and have specific work outlined there.  Many organizations have bylaws committees or budget committees that are appointed or elected to serve a term congruent with officers.  In some cases all bylaws proposals have to originate in a bylaws committee or be approved by the committee for members to decide whether or not to amend bylaws.  Budget committees may have one function, to create a budget according to the organization’s needs.

Standing committees have the opportunity to report regularly to the membership or they may be asked to report only at a specific meeting.  A unique standing committee is the nominating committee; in many cases the president is specifically prohibited from serving on it by virtue of their office (ex-officio).

Special committees are not identified in the bylaws but are appointed to accomplish specific tasks.  In 2016, LSPU appointed a special committee that made plans for celebrating fifty years of parliamentary education and service in the Oakland County community and beyond.  When the celebration was over the committee was finished with its task and went out of existence.  Notably, an organization can only have special committees if they are allowed in the bylaws!

Guests are always welcome at LSPU meetings that begin at 9:30.  Many guests choose to join us and gain ongoing monthly information about successful meeting management; others come when the topic is of special interest.  The February 19 meeting will be Amending, an important motion to use in most meetings.

If you are unable to participate in monthly meetings the Louise Saks Parliamentary Unit offers a one-morning workshop for the general public that helps all who attend be part of good meetings.  Whether you are a newly-elected officer, a Board member, or a meeting attender you will gain basic information about preparing for, participating in, and following up on the decisions made in any meeting.

The Life Cycle of a Meeting is this year’s offering and our special speaker will be professional registered parliamentarian Edna Arrington who has wide experience leading meetings and has been a practicing parliamentarian for many years.

The Life Cycle of a Meeting parliamentary workshop will be April 27, 2019, 9:30-12:30 at the First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, 1669 West Maple in Birmingham.  Advance registration is $20, $5 for students, with a $25 fee at the door.  By the way, LSPU members attend these great annual workshops for no charge!

Hope to see you there!!