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Committee Tips & Best Practices

For Committee Members

Prior to the meeting:

  • Review materials ahead of time, come prepared with questions or discussion points.

During the meeting:

  • Introduce yourself, and make an effort to remember others’ names.
  • Be warm and welcoming to guests or faculty/staff in committees. These are excellent connections to have!
  • Ask questions! Even if it’s just to confirm that you understood what was just said, asking questions is a great way to show you care and are engaged.
  • Add new and relevant information to the discussion. You’re there as a student representative, so feel free to express your opinion (professionally) as a student.
  • Focus your discussion around finding solutions, not complaining about problems.

After the meeting:

  • Follow-up on any action steps and ask any unanswered questions.
  • Think: What can SA do to help? (Resolution, promotion, attend an event, etc.)
  • Report to the Senate with a brief overview of the committee’s discussion.

For Committee Chairs

No agenda = No meeting. Every meeting should have a plan for what will be talked about. Having a plan will help you feel more confident in yourself and with the flow of the meeting.

Make every effort to distribute the meeting agenda at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. This is especially important when there are action items (things to vote on) or things that you want to have discussion on.

Record minutes. Always have some kind of written record of what happened at the meeting, who was there, and what was voted on (with vote counts). You can record audio on your phone or the office recording device and transcribe later or designate a member to take minutes during the meeting.

Pause frequently during the meeting and between discussion topics to ask for questions or discussion. Asking, “What questions do you have?” is a great, open-ended way to allow attendees to ask for more information.

Utilize Outlook calendar invitations, especially when meetings involve faculty/staff.

Make a contact list for the committee so you’re easily able to email all committee members.