House Meeting Procedures

All members are expected to attend house meetings. Each meeting missed by a member will be assessed as a single nag by the current meeting chair -Watch out, 3 nags in 30 days means a no-show, and as both our house rules and contract state, one can be evicted for consistently skipping house meetings. The first NS of this type for any member shall be followed by a discussion between that member and the Steward about meeting attendance.

Here is an info page to post on the board:

It has the Meeting Chair labor description and handy charts to help you determine whether we have a quorum and whether a motion passed.

Here's an info page with the complete Meeting Procedures and the handy charts:

Putting Items on the Agenda

The agenda will be posted on the bulletin board. Any current member may put items on the agenda. An agenda item must be written on the current week's physical agenda 36 hours before the meeting to be voted on.

Emergency Meetings

Emergency meetings require 24 hours notice on the BulletinBoard and HouseBusinessDiscussionList, detailing the item(s) up for discussion and when/where the meeting will take place. (Passed on 8/9/2015 by 11-0-1)

Heart Meetings

Heart meetings are social meetings to happen in place of business meetings once per month. Heart meetings could be a game night, a movie night, sharing circle, or any activity with the hope of bringing the house into a better relationship with each other. The Meeting Chair is to send out an email to the business list asking if any member is interested in leading the heart meeting. If nobody is interested, the Meeting Chair is to lead the heart meeting. Heart meetings are intended to take place the last Sunday of the month but may be postponed at the discretion of the meeting chair due to pressing agenda items or urgent conflicts. [passed 2021-3-28]

Canceling a Meeting

In order to cancel a meeting, a motion to cancel must be voted at the previous meeting (House Vote 4/11/10)

House Votes

All members are allowed to vote and express opinions at meetings, even the Chair. (House Vote, 12/4/05.)

More than 75% of the members voting is needed to pass a motion. (House Vote, 4/23/06.)

It would take a simple majority to pass house beautification decisions, instead of 75%. (House Vote 5/9/10.)

According to the House Rules, passing an eviction motion or appealing an eviction only requires more than 50% of the votes.

'Motions to Extend' a current discussion on an agenda item that has overrun it's time limit pass with a simple majority of those present. (House Vote 12/11/16 by 9-0-1)

House Meeting Procedures

MEET & GREET. At the beginning of the meeting, during the Meet & Greet, prospective members are given a chance to ask questions, and the Member Acceptance Policy is followed.

OCIFFER REPORTS. During "Ociffer Reports", members with elected labor positions are given an opportunity to make a report to the house, and members can ask them related questions. Every officer who is given lumps for their labor is required to give a report at every business meeting either in-person OR emailed to the business email list and the minutes taker will read it out loud during the meeting. Reports will have a 2-minute time limit, and saying "nothing to report" is totally acceptable. [Modified on 2020-12-6]

PUTTING ITEMS ON THE AGENDA. The agenda will be posted on the bulletin board. Any current member may put items on the agenda. An agenda item must be written on the current week's physical agenda 36 hours before the meeting to be voted on. An agenda item must be seconded and thirded to have the floor, only after this happens will meeting chair carry out discussion, stack and, if applicable, a vote for an agenda item.

THE STACK. Members raise their hand for the Meeting Chair to put them on the Stack, and the Chair will call on people in the order that they raised their hand. (The Chair can use the Stack at their discretion or can use other facilitation methods.)

THE FLOOR. When someone is speaking, they have the Floor, and no one is allowed to interrupt. (The Chair may interrupt to stop filibustering or to enforce Meeting Procedures.) Someone may share the Floor by asking someone else a question. People may give up the Floor when they are ready.

QUORUM. Quorum must be present in order to vote on motions. Quorum consists of one-third of the current members of the house (including Associates) plus one. Quorum is required for acceptance of new members.

MAKING MOTIONS. In order for a motion to be voted on, it must be reasonably related to the agenda item at hand, and it must be seconded.

FRIENDLY AMENDMENT. A Friendly Amendment is a suggested change to a motion. It must be accepted by the person who made the motion in order to be included in the motion.

PASSING A MOTION. For a motion to pass, it must receive more than 75% of the votes (not counting abstentions). (According to the House Rules, passing an eviction motion or appealing an eviction only requires more than 50% of the votes.) All current members under a current contract with the house (including Associates) are allowed to vote.

MEETING LENGTH. Regular Sunday meetings shall adjourn no more than 90 minutes after they are called to order, unless: 1) There are agenda items still unresolved at that time and 2) a simple majority of the members present vote to extend the meeting (this vote being taken pursuant to the meeting chair calling for such a vote). So that the length of the extension does not itself become a subject for debate each time, such extensions are automatically set at 20 minutes, after which time another such vote will be taken. This rule shall not apply to meetings at which a membership review is on the agenda.

NEW BUSINESS. New Business comes at the end of the meeting. Since it was not on the agenda 36 hours before the meeting, New Business cannot be voted on.

ZOMBIES. "Zombies" is called when you get off topic. (This originated when all meeting discussions inevitably ended up with everyone talking about how we would defend Sasona from the Zombie Apocalypse until someone eventually called out "Zombies!" to remind everyone they were off-topic.) "Zombies" should be used by the Chair only, and should not be used to interrupt someone who is on topic.

(Voted on 2-21-10; "Putting items on the agenda" amended 6-27-10; Meeting Length voted on 1-15-12.)

At the discretion of the meeting chair, the task may be assigned to immediately signal (by ringing a bell, sounding a clicker, banging a gavel, etc.) whenever “off stack” communication has just been made. (passed 8-0-3 on 9/7/14)

If any member perceives that disrespectful and/or abusive speech has occurred in a group setting, it is entirely appropriate to use the “T” [time out] signal to bring things to a stop, immediately followed by an informal “straw poll” of all present to determine how many of them perceived that disrespectful and/abusive behavior has just occurred. In formal meetings of the community, these steps would take precedence over other agenda (like the “point of order” in parliamentary proceedings), with other agenda immediately being returned to, rather than allowing any discussion about the poll or the behavior to further disrupt things until a later time as a designated agenda item. (passed 6-0-6 on 9/7/14)

Labor Descriptions


1. Start the meeting at some point between 7:30pm and 8pm on Sunday. Wait until most people have finished eating dinner, and give prospective members time to show up. Walk around the house announcing that the meeting is about to start.

2. In the absence of the Minutes Taker, make sure that someone takes minutes and emails them to the house.

3. Give prospective members a chance to ask questions while everyone’s eating dinner. Call up prospective members who want to attend meetings by speakerphone. Ask prospective members if they have any pets. Ask prospective members at their 2nd meeting: "The cooperative nature of our house requires that we do our share of the labor without being told. Will you agree to be responsible for five lumps of labor every week?"

4. Ensure that policies regarding agenda items, quorum, and passing motions are followed. Be familiar with all meeting policies, and inform members about the policies.

5. If a lot of people want to speak, they should raise their hand to get on the stack. Write their names down in the order that they raised their hands and call on them to speak. Let each person hold the floor until they are done speaking. (Tip: You can also do a Round, by going around the meeting in a circle and calling on each person. That is a good way to quickly get everyone’s point of view.)

6. Don’t allow anyone to interrupt someone else. Encourage an environment of constructive discussion.

7. Be familiar with the Member Acceptance Policies, and ensure that they are followed.

8. Post agenda sheet on the bulletin board.

(House Vote, 12/9/07.)


1. Ensure that the minutes are sent to the house and posted on the wiki.

Beautification votes

It would take a simple majority to pass house beautification decisions, instead of 75%. (House Vote 5/9/10.)

For expenses over $75, motions to spend beautification budget money require a standard majority (75%+) vote to pass. For expenses $75 and less, motions to spend beautification budget money require a simple majority (50%+) vote to pass. (House vote, 8/28/11.)

Motions to spend reserve fund money (or any funding source other than the beautification budget) on beautification require a standard majority (75%+) vote to pass. (House vote, 8/28/11.)

SasonaWiki: MeetingProcedures (last edited 2023-05-20 20:55:09 by GracieHopkins)