Group Conscience Meeting

 

Introduction:

 

During the Group Conscience Meetings, the Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous decides and votes on various issues and procedures relating to how the Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous functions. 

 

Function:

 

  1. Steering Committee members are expected to actively participate in as many Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous functions as practicable and keep abreast of current issues, discussions and/or problems, and particularly those that may require a decision by vote.

  2. Each member of the Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous is encouraged to attend all Group Conscience Meetings, unless illness or some prior commitment prevails

  3. A Group Conscience Meeting quorum consists of those members present at the meeting.

Time and Place:

 

The Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous monthly Group Conscience Meetings are held in the Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous meeting room in accordance with the following schedule:

 

  1. Group Conscience Meetings are normally held on the first (1) Thursday of each month. 

  2. The Chairperson may call a special Group Conscience Meeting whenever an issue arises in which, in his/her judgment, it should not be deferred until the next scheduled meeting (as required).

 

Chairperson

 

Functions:

 

The Chairperson makes the detailed agenda and conducts the meeting. All Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous members are invited to attend. 

 

Format:

 

The Chairperson conducts the meeting along the lines of the following format:

 

  1. The Chairperson (Or GSR if the Chairperson is not available), opens the meeting with the Serenity Prayer, and asks a member to read the 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.

  2. The Secretary will read the minutes from the previous Group Conscience Meeting, 

  3. Formal approval of the minutes of the last Group Conscience Meeting. Motion for approval, seconding, discussion, if any and voice vote approval.

  4. Trusted Servants give their reports

  5. Old Business Discussed

  6. New Business Discussed

 

 

Old Business: 

 

This agenda item is appropriate only if there are unresolved issues held over from the last meeting. If this is the case, it marks the point on the agenda where the discussion and voting commence. The Chairperson opens this portion of the meeting, or the “New Business” agenda items if there is no “Old Business”, with a few reminders on discussion and voting procedures such as:

 

  • Discussion limitations: due to a combination of time constraints, length of agenda, etc., it may be necessary to limit discussion on individual items. When such time limitations are necessary, the Chair should announce them prior to each discussion item.

  • Repeated interruptions of uncontrolled cross talk can completely disrupt and delay the meeting. The Chairperson should mention this prior to opening the discussion, and then reinforce the accepted tradition that comments be restricted to those recognized by the Chair.

  • A standard procedure for leading into a discussion requires that a member must introduce a motion for consideration; this would be followed by a “second” at which point, the Chairperson would call for a discussion. Upon completion of the discussion, due to either having fully explored the subject or reached the time limitations, the Chairperson should call for the “question (vote) at which time the Members initiate the voting procedure. 

  • During the course of a discussion, variations of the original motion may appear desirable and a “substitute motion” may be introduced. When this occurs, the usual procedure is for the one proposing the original motion to withdraw or amend his/her motion, assuming the concurrence in the substitute motion and then vote on the substitute motion.

 

Although the above procedures are patterned after “Roberts Rules of Parliamentary Procedures” they are intended only as suggested guidelines. We are an informal Fellowship, and as such, deviations from formal procedures may not only be acceptable, but in fact, desirable.

 

New Business:

 

Normally this agenda item will be the most time consuming. Discussion items might arbitrarily be classified into three categories:

 

  1. Items which the Chairperson, by virtue of the office, having been able to identify as of paramount group interest, and have included in the prepared agenda.

  2. Items which members of the Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous have submitted in advance to the Chairperson and which can be included in the advance agenda.

  3. Unplanned items which come to light during the meeting and are determined to be of great importance.

  4. A Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous member having strong convictions on an issue may present it personally. The Steering committee establishes its place on the agenda or defers it until the next meeting if higher priority items prevail.

 

Prior to a vote, all new business shall be posted on the notice board and website of the Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous for a period of three weeks (3) weeks, or as soon as possible after the Group Conscience to satisfy the intent of an informed group conscience.

 

Voting Procedures:

 

The vote may be either/or by secret ballot (written) or public (voice or show of hands) at the discretion of the Chairperson and the members of the Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous . When issues are non-controversial, and do not directly involve personalities, a public vote may be preferable in the interest of conserving time. However, if there is any doubt that a public vote may cause embarrassment or divert voters from their convictions, then a secret ballot would a better choice. 

 

Voting Guidelines:

 

The vote is an attempt to measure the “Group Conscience” with respect to the issue at hand. It is not a perfect yardstick and the following guidelines are suggested:

  1. All Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous members are encouraged to vote on each issue. It is recognized that there may be a time when a member honestly cannot decide on a particular item and elects to abstain from voting. It is hoped that this would be a rare occurrence.

  2. Unanimity of opinion—It is desirable to have unanimity of opinion reflected in each vote taken, particularly on the more significant issues. This does not necessarily mean a unanimous vote, but does imply a rather significant margin separating the pros from the cons. Although a majority vote prevails, the minority opinions should be noted and recognized.

  3. Any Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous member can move to table a motion and if the motion carries, hopefully, a solution acceptable to both sides could be worked out at the next meeting.

 

Adjournment:

 

There being no further new business, a motion to adjourn is in order. A member must make a motion to adjourn the motion must be seconded and carried.

 

Elections

 

General Annual Election Meeting

 

The Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous General Elections take place annually on the first Thursday of September for annual positions and the first Thursday of March for 6-month positions. The Chairperson conducts all elections.

 

Notification:

 

Post notices of the meeting on the group website one month in advance; notify all Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous members by general announcement approximately two weeks (or more) before all meetings.

 

Members Availability for Office:

 

It seems appropriate and highly desirable for the Chairperson to “sound out” and encourage eligible and well-qualified members to make themselves available for one or more of the various offices prior to the Election Meeting. Election to one (1) position automatically eliminates the availability for another position.

 

Group members are encouraged to make known their availability for office prior to the Election Meeting. There are many advantages in knowing the identity of available candidates early, particularly since it permits the voting members to weigh their qualifications in a timely and orderly manner, rather than make snap judgments during the meeting. In no sense is this to be considered an encouragement for available members to conduct any campaign—there is no room for politicking in the Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous .

 

If there is still no available candidate, the incumbent Trusted Servant may declare his/her availability for a second term and is automatically a candidate. If the incumbent fails to be re-elected, then the position is to be filled by the Chairperson.

 

Conduct of the Meeting:

 

  1. The Chairperson opens the meeting, states its primary purpose, and briefly summarizes the group activities over the past year. 

  2. Treasure makes a brief summary type Annual Financial Report and submits a detailed written report.

  3. The Chairperson’s role during the actual election procedure is in one sense perfunctory in that his/her role is to ensure adherence to adopted guidelines with respect to voting rights, procedures, eligibility, etc. 

  4. After the elections have concluded, the outgoing Chairperson should request that the outgoing and incoming trusted servants meet and discuss duties and responsibilities of the positions to ensure a smooth transition. 

  5. The Chairperson does make generic remarks and recommendations concerning the importance of the office being voted on, eligibility requirements and other desirable qualifications, and is also expected to urge qualified people to make themselves available. 

  6. Only members of the Lakeside Group of Alcoholics Anonymous are entitled to vote during elections. There is no requirement as to length of sobriety for eligibility to vote.

  7. The Chairperson proceeds with the election of the new Trusted Servants as follows:              

  • Remarks by the Chairperson concerning the importance of the office, required and desirable qualifications, etc.            

  • After the election of the new Chairperson, the outgoing Chairperson continues to preside as Chairperson of the meeting and proceeds with the election of Trusted Servants in the following order.

  • Chairperson

  • General Service Representative. (GSR)

  • Alternate GSR

  • Treasurer

  • Alternate Treasurer

  • Secretary

  • Intergroup Delegate

  • Alternate Intergroup Delegate

  • Literature person

  • Birthday person

  • Speaker Seeker

  • Supply Person

  • Church Liaison Building Owner Liaison

 

Facility Liason

  1. Service Coordinator

                        xiv.)    P.I./C.P.C.

                        xv.)     Corrections

                        xvi.)    Treatment