Draft Schedule And Rules of Procedure for the  Model Constitutional Convention

Subject to Revision as Events Develop

Below is a draft schedule for the model Constitutional Convention. It is subject to revision as we identify and schedule our guest speaker and other events arise. The general form, however, is unlikely to change: Friday morning shall be for organizing the convention and the remainder of the time shall be largely scheduled by the delegates themselves towards the end of formulating and passing amendments.

For the most part, students will be in charge of electing their own leadership and scheduling the meetings of their own committees. The exception to this is that Professor Astoria will serve as the president of the convention throughout, although he will be mostly "absent" from the proceedings (although he will be around). The majority of the scheduling (such as the agenda for the consideration of amendments) is to be done by the President Pro Tempe of the Convention, an office elected by the delegates to the convention. As a reference, the Senate of the United States is analogously structured. This arrangement should allow the President Pro Tempe to control the agenda and scheduling while also participating in the debate, the President taking the chair of the convention only after the agenda has been made.

The President Pro Tempe may assign herself to a committee, where she would have the duties and privileges of any other delegate to the convention. Chairs and the President Pro Tempe are to maintain impartiality during the debates over which they are presiding and, therefore, should not usually participate in those debates. However, in the case of a vote which results in a tie, they cast the deciding vote. Chairs are also responsible for reporting the committee's work back to the convention, and shall therefore likely play a large role supporting the committee's work before the convention. Chairs are further responsible for setting the initial agenda for their committees and are not likely to schedule items which they believe to have little chance of securing the committee's approval. Chairs may, of course, participate as any other member during informal work sessions. So, while it might appear that the chairs of committee shall not be doing as much as other delegates because they shall not be participating in the debate before their committees, they shall have strong influence over the work of the committee and shall likely take a prominent role before the convention. It is also likely, but not necessary, that the Chairs shall take on the responsibility of writing the reasons for supporting the amendment and which shall be communicated to Wisconsin's members of Congress.

The Brickstone Grill, where delegates shall dine, will be open only during the times scheduled below (subject to change). The open meeting rules (see below) require that delegates not scheduling meetings during those times. The buildings in which the delegates shall be working are closed and locked at 10pm every evening and opened again at 7am every morning. Notice that the schedule for each evening is "as scheduled by the delegates." The delegates will most likely need the evenings to complete their work. If delegates wish or need to work after 10pm, the residence halls have plenty of communal space where delegates can meet informally (i.e., no formal sessions).

Friday

12 - 1pmRegistration
1pm Opening Ceremonies and Preliminary Business
Professor Astoria, President of the Convention
1 - 1:15 Welcome and Logistics
1:15-2:15 Guest Speaker
2:15-2:30  Break
2:30-3:30 Speeches of the Delegates (2 minutes each)
3:30 - 4 Break. Filing of motions for the establishment of ad hoc committees on amendments. [1]
4 - 5 Consideration of motions for the establishment of amendment committees.
5 - 6pm Dinner
6 - 9pm Unfinished business of the convention
Convening of committees
Election of chair, and vice-chair. [2]
Setting of the Committee Agenda

Saturday

7:00-8:00 Breakfast
8:00-12 As scheduled by the delegates
12 - 1pm Lunch
1-5pm As scheduled by the delegates
5-6pm Dinner
6-10pm As scheduled by the delegates

Sunday

7:00-8:00 Breakfast
8:00-11 As Scheduled by the Delegates [3]
11-12 Awards ceremony and debrief.
12 Collect boxed lunch, drive safely home.

Rules of Procedure

First, it is likely that most of the delegates' time and work will take place outside of formal meetings. It is likely, for instance, that a committee will meet for the first time, elect leadership, perhaps form subcommittees, and then adjourn until several hours later. While adjourned, then, the delegates might work in teams to craft an amendment which they think would be reported out of committee. Once done, or near completion, they might then inform the chair that they are prepared for a formal session. Following the open meeting rules (see below), the chair of the committee will announce a meeting at such and such a time and with such and such an agenda. Seeing a quorum of the committee, the chair would initiate the meeting, the committee would consider and approve the agenda (i.e., consideration of amendments), and then debate under the formal rules of procedure. Amendments approved by the committee would be reported back to the convention for its consideration. Since the committee might desire to report back only amendments which are likely to succeed before the convention, members of the committees will likely want to check frequently with the progress and happenings in other committees and with the President Pro Tempe.

Robert's Rules of Order

While in formal session, the committees and the conventional shall follow Robert's Rules of Order. An abbreviated version of Robert's Rules shall be made available on the website. In the case of dispute, the President of the Convention shall act as parliamentarian.

Open Meeting Rules

The meeting of all committees, caucuses, or the convention itself shall be announced by the chair, or his or her designee, no fewer than 45 minutes before the meeting, and preferably two hours before the meeting. The announcement shall include the time and place of meeting, the proposed agenda, and the documents which the committee shall consider (i.e., the text of the proposed amendment). All announcements shall be made in a public place. D2L and social media shall be available for this. All meetings shall be scheduled so as to not interfere with the dinning schedule. All formal meetings shall be open to the public, including members of the community and media. All formal meetings must be held in Molinaro Hall while it is open (which is from 7am to 10pm).



[1] The form of such a motion shall be: I move to establish an ad hoc committee for the drafting of an amendment on [topic] and to be composed of delegates appointed by the President Pro Tempe after the solicitation of interested of delegates.

[2] Chair and vice-chair to share the duties of the Secretary.

[3] Since this is this the last time the convention shall have to meet, this session shall probably be used for the consideration of reports of amendments from the committees.

900 Wood Road · P.O. Box 2000 · Kenosha, WI 53141-2000 P 262-595-2345