General Assemblies: What's the Deal?
The deliberation process follows Robert's Rules Of Order, a set of rules developed for deliberative assemblies like ours. Basically, the Rules' standard order of business is comprised of six stages, during which motions concerning the subjects at hand can be raised and resolved through voting.
The first stage is the reading and approval of minutes, when the transcript of the previous meeting is distributed, and approved (or disapproved) for its accuracy. The reports of officers, boards, and standing commitees comes next, and then the reports of special commitees after that. The bulk of motions are raised during this time, the reports being the most specific accounts of affairs that some may want changed or challenged. The fourth stage is special offers, a time for special considerations of certain issues. Unfinished business from any previous meeting is then settled in the fifth stage, the final stage is for any new business that members may want addressed.