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Can members attend board meetings?

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If you would like to know more about how Parliamentarian Procedure from Little Ben, click here for my DVD called How To Run A Meeting.

Hi Little Ben,

Our organization is having an issue where the general membership wants to attend our monthly board meetings. Can you provide me with the page , etc on where the board can show with no doubts that board meetings are closed to the general membership ? Our bylaws only speak of regular membership meetings and do not address BOARD meetings in regards to who can attend. We are trying to keep our monthly board meetings confined only to board members. Can you help us ?

Hello Trey,
My goodness your members are naughty and ignorant at the same time. The basic parliamentary principle is this: Bylaws state what members and officers can do. Your bylaws would have to state specifically that board meetings are open to the membership. It is understood in parliamentary law that boards meeting in executive session (closed) unless the bylaws specifically state that members can attend. If you bylaws do not state that members can attend the meetings, then they cannot attend. In "Robert's Rules of Order Simplified and Applied", third edition, on page 155, it states, "Board meetings are usually held in executive session (closed to the membership) unless the bylaws state that meetings are open to members." Hopefully this helps. If you need a copy of this very important book, you can order it on our web site.

Cheerio!

Little Ben


Question submitted by Trey on October 28, 2014