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Advice for Neonates

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Advice for Neonates

Form and Protocol in Directorate Mettings

As in many things the Tyne and Wear Directorate have taken the traditional format for meetings of the Clan and altered it slightly to reflect the form of itself in the Fief.  Unlike most Directorates which will not allow a neonate even a voice in meetings unless directly spoken to, ALL members are considered to have a valid and useful input into the running of the Clan.  Although all members are not considered equal, the voting system is considered to be the most Democratic way of allowing everyone a say in the way the Clan is run.
The Ballot System
Peculiar to the Tyne and Wear Directorate the Ballot system is intrinsically tied to the concept of Dignitas. A member gains votes as his or her standing in the Clan increases.  There is a formal way of establishing the number of votes a person has in meetings which is listed below.  (nb. All votes are cumulative.)
1 - Member of the Camarilla.
1 - Member of the Directorate.
1 - Recognised by Clan (Multiples allowed.)
2 - Member of the Gerousia.
1 - Praetor.
2 - Elder/Chair.
2 - Member of the Primogen Council.
2 - Member of the Court.

As with all Ventrue Dealings a Formal Etiquette must be adhered to in meetings of the Directorate.  The following guidelines are hoped to be able to help you in most situations, however if you are in doubt - speak to a member of the Gerousia and ask their opinion.
Format of Meetings
Traditionally the Clan meeting should be called by the Praetor or Chair with a minimum of two (2) weeks notice.  (S)He must then prepare the Agenda and forward it at least two days before the meeting.  It is in this period that any points of business should be raised with the organiser for inclusion in the Agenda.  Once the Agenda has been written and then forwarded (This should be no earlier than one (1) week before the meeting.) any points to be raised then become Any Other Business.  Any member of the Gerousia however may call a meeting of the full Directorate with the permission of the Chair or Praetor.  Any apologies must be forwarded to the organiser in writing at this point.
In The Meeting
Although the Elder traditionally Chairs the Meeting (s)he may pass this to the Praetor or another member of the Gerousia.  Minutes should be taken and the organiser should ensure that this will be performed by a member of the Directorate.
Once the meeting has commenced the Chair will introduce all topics in the order they appear on the Agenda.  It is then his/her duty to ensure that the debate flows and, once an end to the discussion is reached, coordinate the ballot (if one is necessary.)  It is considered good form for the discussion to be made in the order of Dignitas, from highest to lowest.  The ballot however should be performed from lowest to highest.
Anything to be entered into Any Other Business must be mentioned to either the organiser of the meeting, or the Chair, Prior to the commencement of the meeting.  If it is believed that the matter is important a member may request a recess to discuss the matter with the Chair who will then deem the priority of the matter.
Points of Good Form
The following list is a guide to what is acceptable conduct in a meeting:
- Always allow the Chair to speak.  The only members permitted to interrupt the Chair are the Elder and Praetor.
- Always allow a more recognised Cainite to finish before raising a point.  If this is not possible, indicate so to the Chair who will direct you to speak as soon as is viably possible.
- Always refer to an Elder member as Sir/Madam, and a Younger member as Mr/Mrs.
- Ensure that comments are on the topic being discussed, or are pertinent to the matter in hand.
- Always look into anothers eyes - this demonstrates trust.
- Never raise your voice
- Always wait to be recognised by the Chair before speaking.

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