Approved by the Council of Representatives on October 25, 2018.
Section 1 – Scope of application
The regulations of these rules of procedure also apply, mutatis mutandis, to other bodies of the Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä.
Section 2 – Council member
Representatives must be present at the Council meetings and perform duties with dignity. A representative must notify the Chair of the Council or Executive Director of the loss of one’s eligibility. For the purposes of these rules of procedure, “representative” means a member or a deputy member of the Council of Representatives who has voting rights at the meetings. Otherwise, the term “member” and “deputy member” are used.
Section 3 – Disqualification
The disqualification regulations of the Administrative Procedure Act shall apply to the Council of Representatives.
Section 4 – Invitation
An invitation to the Council meeting is drafted by the Chair of the Council in cooperation with the Executive Director and the Chief Executive Officer or with a deputy appointed by them. In the event that the Chair is unable to perform his or her duties, the Vice Chair may assume the Chair’s position.
The invitation to the Council meeting shall be submitted to the Council and the Board of Executives at least five (5) days before the meeting, including the date of the meeting. The agenda shall be submitted in connection with the invitation. Attachments for the agenda must be sent at least four (4) days before the meeting, including the date of the meeting. The agenda shall include, for each issue, the explanations necessary for the deliberations of the Council and any proposal for decision. If the rules require that a matter must be discussed in two meetings, the invitation to the second meeting shall not be sent before the first meeting has been held.
The person who has the right to submit the invitation and who has submitted the invitation shall also have the right to cancel the meeting invitation.
Section 5 – Loss of eligibility, resignation and temporary resignation
The Council shall determine by decision whether a member or a deputy member has lost one’s eligibility for election. The Council shall, upon request, determine by decision whether the member or the deputy member is eligible for election again.
The Council shall accept the resignation of a member or deputy member or the Council may, for justified reasons, accept the temporary resignation of a member or deputy member who inform that they cannot participate in Council meetings for a long time. The resignation or temporary resignation cannot be reversed. Deputy members shall be invited in accordance with the election regulations.
Section 6 – Quorum
The Council meeting shall have a quorum when at least twenty-one (21) members are present.
The quorum shall be ascertained by a roll call. During the roll call, a deputy member shall be invited to replace a member who is unable to attend the meeting. If a member leaves in the middle of the meeting or is disqualified, a deputy member shall be invited immediately to replace the member. If a member arrives in the middle of the meeting, the member shall be invited to replace his or her deputy member.
Anyone arriving late must notify the secretary of the meeting of the arrival, and the secretary shall record in the minutes the time of the arrival. The same shall apply when a person wishes to leave the meeting.
According to the minutes, all those who were noted as present, disqualified, unable to attend and who left the meeting without notification, shall be deemed to have been present. The meeting shall not lose quorum due to the removal of disqualified persons.
The Chair may conduct a new roll call during the meeting or after the recess if necessary.
Section 7 – Invitation of a deputy member
When a Council member is not capable to attend the Council meeting, the member shall submit a notice of incapacity to the Student Union Central Office well before the meeting. The Chair shall invite a deputy member to replace the incapacitated member. Council members and deputy members must notify the Student Union Central Office of their address and any change of address. The notice of incapacity of a member may also be submitted by the representative of the Council group at the beginning of the meeting.
The deputy members shall be invited in accordance with the election regulations. The invitation of deputy members shall be governed by Section 50 of the election rules.
Section 8 – Right for attendance
Council meetings shall be open to all. Each member of the Student Union and those in office shall have the right to participate in the discussion, unless their right to speak have been limited by the meeting or by the Chair of the meeting.
The Council may, for justified reasons, decide to discuss a matter or part of the matter behind closed doors in order to preserve the protection of privacy, business secret or the like. The reason must be recorded in the minutes. In such cases, representatives, the secretary of the meeting, the Board and the persons determined by the Council shall be present. However, even in such cases, the decision must be declared without restriction on attendance.
Others than the representatives eligible for election and the Chair of the meeting and the secretary may be removed from the meeting room for the duration of secret ballot voting or election. The result of each vote or election must be declared without restriction on attendance.
Section 9 – Chairperson and secretary
The Council meeting shall be chaired by the Chair of the Student Union Board or, in the absence of the Chair of the Board, by the Vice Chair of the Student Union Board. If both the Chair and the Vice Chair of the Board are disqualified to participate in decision making of a certain matter, the meeting shall elect from among its member an ad hoc chairperson for the time being.
The Executive Director or a person designated by the Executive Director and approved by the Council shall act as the secretary of the Council meetings. The secretary may use the help of a Student Union employee to draft the minutes.
Section 10 – Meeting minutes revision
At least two present representatives from different Council groups shall be elected as the scrutinisers of the meeting minutes.
The Chair of the meeting shall agree on the time and place of revision with the scrutinisers at the meeting and shall inform the Council thereof. Minutes shall be reviewed within ten (10) days from the meeting, including the day of the meeting. Each representative with voting rights at the meeting shall have the right to be present at the revision.
If the scrutiniser of the minutes does not approve the minutes, the minutes shall be reviewed at the next meeting.
Section 11 – Rules of procedure
The rules of procedure of the meeting shall be those adopted by the Council, which shall be drawn up on the basis of the agenda.
Section 12 – Agenda
Discussion shall be based on the agenda submitted by the Board or on the agenda submitted by the Executive Director or CEO. If the Board has changed its agenda before the Council has made a decision, discussion shall be based on the changed agenda.
Section 13 – Order of processing
A matter shall be presented by the Executive Director or the CEO. Any other person appointed by the Chair may also present the matter. An initiative shall be presented by the member who has signed it or a Council group member of the member who has signed the initiative.
Section 14 – Giving the floor
The Chair of the meeting gives the first floor to the rapporteur. Representatives shall be given the floor in the order of requests. If floors are requested simultaneously, the Chair shall determine the order of speaking. The Chair of the meeting shall have the right to speak at any time.
Section 15 – Replies and comments
If a person requests to reply during or immediately after another person, the Chair may, in discretion, give the person the opportunity to reply before previously requested contributions. The reply should be brief and should only include explanations, corrections, an answer to a question or an answer to a claim.
Section 16 – Point of order
A point of order shall be raised by saying the words “point of order” to the Chair of the meeting.
The point of order shall be immediately decided by the Chair, but not during a speech, a vote or an election, unless the point of order relates to the voting or election procedure.
The point of order may be used
- to draw attention to the discussion procedures;
- to suspend the meeting or to close the debate on the item under discussion or to limit the item under discussion;
- to draw attention to the Chair’s procedures;
- to draw attention to the order of the meeting;
- to amend the meeting agenda;
- to make announcements, requests and wishes;
- to present a dissenting opinion or leave a statement to be recorded in the minutes;
- to propose a motion of censure.
A dissenting opinion and statement must be submitted in writing no later than two (2) days after the end of the meeting or on the next working day following a holiday to the Student Union Central Office.
Section 17 – Heckler
Proposals or endorsements made without having the floor shall not be taken into consideration.
Section 18 – Speeches
Speeches shall be given at a place designated by the Chair of the meeting to ensure that the speech is heard and that the meeting goes smoothly.
The Chair must call a speaker to order if one’s remarks are not relevant to the subject under discussion. If the speaker uses offensive, mocking, inappropriate words, or exceeds the time limit, the Chair must call the speaker to order. If the speaker does not obey the Chair, the Chair must prohibit the speaker from continuing the speech. The Chair may interrupt a speech in which, despite a remark, the arguments put forward by the speaker themselves or others are repeated.
Only the Chair shall have the right to interrupt a speaker. Speeches and other proceedings of the meeting may be recorded.
Section 19 – Limits
The Chair may limit the speaking time to a reasonable length. Unless the Council decides otherwise, the Chair may limit the number of speeches to be made after a period of discussion, specifying by what time the remaining speech requests must be made. Once all the speeches have been given, the Chair shall then give the opportunity to state support and to take over, and then close the debate.
Section 20 – Proposed decision
Only those entitled to vote on the matter may submit proposals for decision. Proposed decision may be taken over by persons entitled to vote.
A person entitled to vote may support only one proposal. If the person entitled to vote has supported more than one proposal, the Chair shall ask the person entitled to vote what proposal one supports.
Section 21 – Shelving
A matter presented for the first time shall be shelved until the next Council meeting if at least ten (10) members so request or the Chair deems it necessary, unless the Council, acting by a majority of at least two-thirds (2/3), considers the matter to be urgent. The Board or the Executive Director or the CEO may refer a matter back for preparation.
The second shelving of the matter shall require a simple majority of the votes cast. The matter may be referred back to preparation with the simple majority of the Council.
When a matter has been shelved or referred back to preparation, comments may concern only the shelving or referring process or the declaration of urgency.
Section 22 – Written proposal
If the Chair so requests, a proposal made during the debate shall be made in writing.
Section 23 – Recess
Unless the Council wishes to deal with the recess of the meeting separately, the Chair shall decide on the recess of the meeting.
Section 24 – Power of speech
Where the rules of procedure of the Council require the Board to take a stand on a matter during the Council meeting, the Chair of the Board or a Board member in accordance with the internal division of the Board shall speak on behalf of the Board.
Section 25 – Decision-making without voting and unanimous decision
Decisions of the Council shall be taken by a majority vote, except where otherwise specified in the Student Union constitution or in these rules of procedure.
If there is only one proposal for the voting, the Chair shall state it as the decision of the meeting.
Section 26 – Lapsed proposals
A proposal shall not be taken up for a vote if
- it is not seconded, except for the main proposal, which need not be seconded;
- it offers multiple options;
- it is against the law, the rules, unrelated to, or cannot be decided by the meeting.
The Chair shall decide on the lapse of proposals.
Section 27 – Joined proposals and withdrawal
The Chair may ask if similar proposals could be joined together. Once the debate is over, the proposal or decision may be withdrawn only by the unanimous decision of the meeting.
Section 28 – Reconsideration of proposal
A proposal may be reconsidered at the same meeting or at a subsequent meeting only if the earlier decision is declared unanimously to be against the law or the rules of the Student Union or if all the participants in the earlier decision are present and the reconsideration is approved unanimously.
Section 29 – Proposal for decision
In the event of multiple supported proposals for decision, the Chair shall state all supported postponement proposals, rejection proposals, counterproposals and resolutions, and the proposer and at least one supporter.
Section 30 – Order of voting on proposals
The Chair shall make a proposal regarding the order of voting. In drawing up the proposal, the following shall be taken into account:
- proposals that do not relate to the same question must not be put against each other;
- the reconsideration shall always be put to the vote first;
- the shelving shall be put to the vote next;
- if the adoption or rejection of the proposal does not depend on other proposals, the rejection shall be put to the vote.
- two proposals furthest removed in substance from the original proposal shall be put to the vote first;
- the proposal that won the previous vote shall be put to the vote against the next proposal furthest removed in substance from the original proposal;
- this will continue until one last proposal shall be put to the vote against the original proposal;
- the winning proposal in the previous vote shall be put to the vote against a possibly rejecting proposal.
If a proposal must be adopted by a qualified majority, it shall be put to the vote first, as indicated in points 5 to 8, followed by a separate vote to determine whether the winning proposal has the required qualified majority.
Section 31 – Test vote
The Chair may hold an open test vote on a matter if none of the representatives object it.
If all representatives agree with the Chair’s assessment of the result of the test vote, the winning proposal of the test vote shall be the decision of the meeting. Otherwise, an actual election shall be held, and the votes shall be counted.
Section 32 – Number of votes
Everybody who has the right to vote has one vote. The right to vote must be used personally.
Section 33 – Roll-call vote
The Chair may order a voting conducted with a roll call. If both a secret ballot and a roll-call vote are proposed, a secret ballot shall be held.
Section 34 – Secret ballot
Voting shall be conducted with a secret ballot vote if requested by the Chair or at least five (5) members.
Section 35 – Counting the votes
When counting the votes cast for election, no account shall be taken of blank votes, void votes or incapacitated or absent voters entitled to vote.
Section 36 – Election results and equally divided votes
The Chair shall announce the result of the vote after each vote. If the Chair abstains, has not voted or the voting has been conducted with a secret ballot, the Chair shall, when the votes are equally divided, always express one’s opinion and declare it successful.
The qualified majority shall win if the votes are equally divided in a decision requiring a qualified majority (e.g. 3/4–1/4).
Section 37 – Election records
An election record shall be taken of all elections except the test vote and attached to the minutes of the meeting. The election record shall be confirmed by the oldest teller’s signature. The election record shall list the votes cast, the results, void votes and blank votes.
Section 38 – Number of candidates
If the meeting must decide on the number of candidates to be elected, the decision must be made before the election.
Section 39 – Consensus election
If the number of candidates is equal to the number of candidates to be chosen, a consensus election may be held.
Section 40 – Two-round voting system
Two-round voting system shall be conducted when there is one candidate to be elected (Section 6 of the Constitution). If there are more than two candidates in the first round and if no candidate has an absolute majority of votes, then the two candidates with the most votes shall proceed to a second round.
Section 41 – Proportional election
When there is more than one candidate to be elected, a proportional election without using lists of candidates shall be held. In the proportional election, each voter casts no more votes than the number of candidates nominated in the debate. When counting the votes, as a comparative index, the total number of the votes shall be recorded for the candidate who received the highest number of votes, half of that for the candidate who came second, one third for the candidate who came third, and so on. This shall be continued until the comparative index for all candidates has been calculated. The comparative indices shall be added together, and the number of candidates to be elected in each time shall be elected in the order of magnitude of the comparative indices. A random draw shall decide the order of those who received the same comparative index.
In an election which also includes the election of personal deputies for the members, candidates shall be nominated as pairs of member-deputy member. A person may only be candidate once, either as an actual member or a deputy member. If a person is presented in more than one pair, they should be asked which pair they belong to. If the person is not present or does not comment, the drawing of lots determines the pair.
In an election where the deputy members are not personal, the deputy members shall be those who were not elected as actual members.
Section 42 – Reporting on the conduct of elections
When holding an election, the Chair shall state:
- whether it is an election by majority or proportional elections; and
- in proportional elections the Chair shall state the maximum number of candidates the voter may write on the ballot paper.
Section 43 – Void ballot papers
A ballot paper is void if:
- it has not been received from the counters of vote;
- A ballot paper shall be accepted if the number of names is less than the maximum number;
- the candidate or proposal is not clearly marked;
- the voter’s name, initials or a distinctive mark has been made on the ballot paper;
- it has more names than allowed;
- the names written on it are not eligible; or
- If the tellers are not unanimous in rejecting the ballot paper, the Chair shall decide.
A representative shall have the right to inspect the ballot papers for the purpose of verifying the election result.
The ballot papers must be kept for the duration of the appeal period and the duration of handling an appeal.
Section 44 – Determining the outcome of the election
The Chair must determine the outcome of an election after each election. In the event of a tie, the decision shall be made by drawing lots.
Section 45 – Resolutions
The Council may approve a resolution addressed to the Board or other body for a matter within the body’s competence.
The Council may approve a resolution that is involved in the decision made, and which includes instructions, wishes or other statements on the preparation or implementation of the matter.
The resolution shall be non-binding and may not alter, extend or limit the decision.
Section 46 – Question of confidence
The Board and its individual members must enjoy the confidence of the majority of the Council.
When the meeting has a quorum and is duly convened, a representative may, in a point of order, propose a motion of no confidence on the Board or on individual Board member. The Chair shall immediately inquire whether the proposal is supported. The question of confidence may be related to or be independent of the item under discussion. Confidence in the Board cannot be called into question if the Board’s term of office has not begun.
A proposal of a motion of no confidence may be discussed twice at the same meeting. The first time, the debate and vote on confidence shall take place immediately after the proposal and the support. The second time the item shall be discussed lastly at the end of meeting.
If the Board or an individual Board member interprets a matter being dealt with by the Council as a matter of confidence, the Board or the individual Board member shall resign unless they receive a motion of confidence from the Council.
Section 47 – Interpellation
At least ten (10) actual members may address an interpellation concerning the Student Union to the Board or to a particular Board member. The interpellation must be submitted in writing to the Chair of the Board. The Board or the Board member must reply to the interpellation in the next possible Council meeting. After receiving the reply, the Council proceeds to vote on whether the Board or the Board member enjoys the confidence of the Council.
Section 48 – Motion of no confidence
If the Board or the Chair of the Board receives a motion of no confidence, their term of office ends when the Council meeting ends. Elections for a new Board shall be held immediately unless the Council, by a majority of at least five-six (5/6), decides to defer the election to be held at a later date.
Section 49 – Resignation of a Board member
The Council may, upon request, grant a Board member a resignation from the Board. If, after the resignation, the Board has less than seven (7) members, the Board shall be deemed to have resigned. If the Board resigns, the Council shall elect a new Board at the same meeting.
Section 50 – Addressing motions
At the meeting, a representative or a Council group may make a motion to arrange or clarify a Student Union issue. The motion shall be presented by the person who has signed it or by a member of the Council group which has signed it. The Board shall respond to the motion and the necessary discussion shall take place. The Council may send motions to the Board for actions.
Associations operating within the Student Union’s domain or a member of the Student Union and employees of the Student Union shall have the right to make motions to the Student Union Council of Representatives.
If a motion is deemed contrary to Finnish law or proper behaviour, the Chair of the Council, the Executive Director and the Chair of the Board may, by unanimous decision, reject the motion. The Council meeting shall state if this power has been exercised and the reasons must be communicated to the Council. The same matter need not be dealt with in the form of a motion more than once during the term of office of the Council.
Section 51 – Minutes
Minutes shall be taken at the Council meetings, which shall be signed by the Chair and the secretary. Verbatim minutes shall also be made if the Council so decides.
The minutes must include at least the following:
- opening and closing the meeting, the venue;
- the names of representatives in attendance, who acted as a deputy representative and to whom, who informed that they will not be present;
- who was absent, who left in the middle of the meeting, who arrived in the middle of the meeting;
- Council members and officials;
- the person recording the minutes and the Chair;
- declaring the meeting duly convened and quorate;
- for each issue:
- any previous presentations,
- the disqualified,
- the motions made and the support they received,
- the number of votes each motion received, the number of votes rejected, the number of empty votes, and an entry of unanimous decision,
- the number of votes cast for each candidate and the comparative index of proportional election, and an entry of unanimous decision,
- in the event of a tie, the Chair’s opinion or the result of the draw,
- the qualified majority and the blocking minority,
- the decisions made and the names of the successful candidates,
- the dissenting opinions,
- the statements dictated by the minutes, and
- the reason a section was discussed behind closed doors;
- the warnings from the Chair and the persons removed from the meeting;
- the signature of the Chair and the person who recorded the minutes and the signature of the secretary; and
- the meeting minutes revision.
The inspected minutes shall be published within ten (10) days of the Council meeting in the Student Union Central Office.
Section 52 – Languages
The language of the Council meetings and minutes shall be Finnish. If a member uses or needs some other language, the member shall be responsible for arranging and paying for any interpretation themselves.
The minutes of the meeting shall be in Finnish.
Section 53 – Council groups
The electoral alliances of the Council elections shall be declared as the Council groups. Groups in the same electoral coalition may, if they so wish, form one Council group. The Council group shall appoint the person responsible and, if necessary, deputy persons responsible. The persons responsible shall be appointed at the first meeting of the Council. If the group does not appoint its person responsible, the Chair of the Council shall invite the representative with the highest number of personal votes in the electoral alliance in question. The deputy person responsible of the group shall act as the person responsible in the absence of the actual person responsible.
Amendments to the groups’ information shall be submitted to the Council.
Section 54 – Order at the meeting
The Chair must ensure that the meeting is conducted in an orderly and clear manner. If a person who does not belong to the Council is behaving in a disruptive manner at the meeting, and does not stop even at the request of the Chair, the Chair has the right to remove the person from the meeting. If the order of the meeting is seriously disturbed, the Chair shall have the right to suspend the meeting for such a time as deemed necessary.
Amendments to the rules of procedure
Section 55 – Amendments to the rules of procedure
The decision to amend these rules of procedure may be decided in the Council meeting with at least a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes.