Secretary Handbook

Secretary Election

The Vice President shall oversee the Senate Secretary election. Candidates shall speak before Senate if called upon to do so. The Secretary shall be selected from the candidates by a Senate majority vote. In the election, if one candidate does not receive the majority vote, the candidate with the least number of votes will be dropped from the ballot and a vote will be taken for the remaining candidates. The Vice President shall determine the method for resolving ties.

Should the office of Senate Secretary become vacant, the Vice President shall hold a special election in accordance with Senate Secretary election procedures within 15 class days of the vacancy, per Article II, Section C, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution. The entire traditional student body shall be informed of the vacancy. If there is no Senate Secretary during the time before the special election, the PPT will designate a Senator to act as Senate Secretary until a replacement is selected.

The individual elected Secretary is entitled to $750, per semester.

For additional information, see Senate Officers.

Duties of Secretary

Congratulations! You're the secretary. So what exactly do you do? Essentially, your duties consist of:

  • Taking attendance at weekly sessions

  • Updating and keeping a record of attendance weekly on the Wiki

  • Taking detailed but concise minutes at weekly sessions

  • Editing and post minutes within one week of session

  • Proofreading

  • Assisting with updating the Wiki, when necessary

  • Fixing errors in previous minutes, when necessary

See below for greater detail about some of these duties.

Powers of Secretary

  • Bureaucrat/Administrator Wiki editing privileges.

  • Ability to edit legislation for grammatical errors, as long as the meaning of the legislation is not altered.

  • The Secretary shall have authority to reprimand those uncooperative with the execution of the Secretary's duties.

Weekly General Assembly

Before Session

Prepare an outline of minutes using template (see in Tools below), filling in what is possible before session (name, date, known guests that will be coming, etc.)

In Session

Take attendance using roster in excel spreadsheet format. Additionally, throughout the meeting record the minutes, generally in a word processing program, so that they may be published and approved. Lastly, document all significant happenings in general sessions (organized by Robert's Rules of Order) and record conversations to the best of your ability.

After Session

Update attendance sheet in Google drive (automatically updates in the Wiki after editing in Google drive). Edit minutes to remove typos, errors, delete irrelevant text, ensure everything makes sense, and follow correct and consistent formatting.


Attendance is saved in an excel spreadsheet, for each semester, in Senate's Google Drive (shared through the Public Records committee). Contact the Public Records Chair for further information. Additionally, the secretary should receive training from the Public Records Committee regarding how to upload the session minutes to the Wiki.

General Minutes Template: 2016 Secretary Minutes Template

When in question, look back at the minutes from previous semesters. These can be used as examples to guide you. Once you learn the format, taking notes will become natural.

General Advice

Being the secretary is a fantastic way to get more involved in Senate. It's a large responsibility, but a good secretary will take that responsibility and go far with it. As secretary, you will work extremely hard. Senators will look to you for leadership, so lead. Do not tell someone to do something you are not willing to do yourself. Never be afraid to go to the Vice President or President Pro Tempore for advice or assistance - you are now a part of the Senate leadership team.

Lead well, and best of luck in your term as secretary.