Student Organization Officers Guide

Running an Effective Meeting


Organization meetings provide opportunities for members to deepen relationships, plan amazing events, and learn information relevant to the organization’s purpose. However, meetings can also create conflict, disrupt project planning, and be perceived as a waste of time. With a bit of planning, you can facilitate club meetings that are productive, that advance the organization’s mission, and that you and your members look forward to.


Preparing for the Meeting

First, meeting facilitators should consult the organization’s constitution to learn of any required items, rules and procedures related to voting and decision-making, etc. Your organization’s constitution should be available in the Files section of your Eagle Engage page. Also, please review the Meeting Procedures section below for parliamentary procedures basics. 

Next, determine the meeting location and setup. What type of location best fits your organization and the meeting’s purpose? Would a classroom-style setup or conference table setup best fit the meeting? Do you need equipment, including presentation technology? 

Finally, ensure that officers, members, guests, and anyone responsible for presenting or facilitating any parts of the meeting are informed and prepared. 


Meeting Agenda and Minutes

Meeting agendas help members prepare for discussion items, promote officer accountability, and keep meetings on task. Agendas should be provided to meeting attendees far enough before the meeting for members to review the agenda items and be prepared to ask questions and engage in constructive conversation.

Agendas should include the following items:

    • Organization Name
    • Meeting Title (e.g. Executive Board Meeting, General Body Meeting, Event Planning)
    • Date of the Meeting
    • Schedule of Items

Agenda Items fall into three categories: Informational Items, Action Items, and Discussions.

    • Informational Items include officer reports, reports from other members or guests, and any other item included in the agenda to make the attendees aware of specific information. Attendees may ask questions of the presenter, but these items are brief and do not include extensive discussion.
    • Action Items include decisions made by the organizations. These may be procedural, including filling vacant positions or voting to update the officers on the organization’s off-campus bank account. Action items may also set policy for the organization, including changes to the organization’s constitution or establishing recurring agenda items. Finally, action items may be used to determine the organization's intent regarding event plans, whether to order organization t-shirts, or how to use organization funds.
    • Discussion Items allow officers to engage in more open-ended discussions regarding the organization’s activities without making a final decision. Discussion items may include goal setting for the semester, reflecting on a recent event, or gaining input about potential changes to the organization’s procedures or constitution.


Minutes should be kept for each meeting to ensure that the decisions made are documented and to allow members not present to stay informed. The Secretary or other officer should be assigned to take minutes and may choose to use an editable version of the agenda for this purpose. Minutes should be sent to the organization following the meeting, or with the agenda for the next meeting.

Meeting minutes should include the following information:

    • Date and time that the meeting was called to order
    • List of attendees
    • Approval of prior meeting’s minutes and agenda (if needed)
    • Summary of any reports and informational items, including the name of the presenters
    • Record of motions and votes, including whether the motion passed or failed
    • Time of adjournment

Meeting Agendas and Minutes should be saved in the organization’s Eagle Engage page using the Files feature.


Facilitating the Meeting

The meeting facilitator sets the tone for the meeting and keeps the meeting on track.

    • Demonstrate your own interest in the meeting and the agenda items.
    • Model active listening and engagement, professional communication, and courtesy.
    • Thank the presenters and facilitators for their contributions.
    • Stick to the agenda or discuss potential changes.
    • Maintain order and process to ensure that everyone has the chance to speak and no one or two members dominate the meeting.
    • Be respectful of everyone’s time and ensure that the meeting is productive.
    • End the meeting by thanking everyone for their participation, reviewing action items, and reminding everyone of the next meeting.