Non-member Participation at Senate and Senate Committee Meetings

Approved April 27, 1995

The following policies are designed to regularize and standardize which non-members may attend Senate and Senate Committee meetings and what privileges such non-members have.

  1. The categories of non-members are: Visitor, Guest, Observer.

  2. These categories of non-members are defined as follows:

    1. Visitor - a person requesting and receiving permission through the Secretariat to attend a specific meeting. The Secretariat may establish whatever policies it deems necessary to accommodate any possible logistic difficulties created by visitor requests. Visitors may neither vote nor speak.

    2. Guest - a person who successfully seeks permission or is invited by the Chair of Senate, or the Chair of a Senate Committee, to attend single or multiple meetings, or on a regular basis. Guests may speak but not vote.

    3. Observer - a person to be appointed by another body to attend meetings regularly for information and to report back to that body. Observers may not vote but may speak upon invitation from the Chair.

  3. The following additional policies pertain to observers:

    1. Bodies wishing to obtain observer status on the Senate or on a Senate committee are to apply through the Secretariat to the Chair of the Senate or Senate committee. The Chair of the Senate/or Senate committee has the authority to grant observer status. If observer status is granted it is for a one year session of the Senate/or committee.

    2. Normally it is expected that any body approved to have observer status would name a particular person to serve as an observer for the full Senate or Senate committee session.

    3. The Senate Secretariat is to be informed of the name of the person who will be serving as observer for any body for which observer status has been approved.

    4. The named observer is to receive notice of all meetings and all documentation (i.e., agendas, minutes and reports), save that which is confidential.

  4. Agendas for all meetings are to indicate who will be attending as Guests and/or Observers. The Chair is expected to introduce such individuals to committee members, make clear the status of such individuals and any expectations regarding their speaking privileges, and should control the meeting such that the meeting's agenda does not become driven by non-committee members.

  5. The minutes of all meetings are to indicate the presence of all non-members and their status at the meeting.

  6. Neither visitors, guests, nor observers may attend in-camera meetings or in-camera portions of meetings.

  7. The same non-member categories and attendant privileges apply for Senate and Senate Committees.