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Adjournment vs Termination

  • 22 Sep 2020 5:40 PM
    Message # 9257920
    Deleted user

    During the GPC Designation courses it was taught that it makes more sense to "terminate" the meeting rather than "adjourn" the meeting. "Adjournment" implies that the meeting will start up again, so you would adjourn for lunch. Makes sense to me. I started to use "terminate the meeting" at the end of my agendas. Controversy! Haha. We do follow Robert's Rules of Order and i am sure it says to "adjourn" but is it a must? I really prefer "terminate" and i would so LOVE some input and opinion from all of you. 

  • 23 Sep 2020 10:10 AM
    Reply # 9259482 on 9257920
    Deleted user

    We've had many lively debates on this topic at my board!   

    From what I recall when I looked into it, as you say, Robert's Rules of Order suggests that adjournment is the orthodox and accepted term for ending a meeting (i.e., the business of the meeting is complete, or if the members move to adjourn despite business not being complete).  Something less, like a break, would be a recess.  A longer (i.e., overnight) mid-meeting break would be adjourning to a particular date and time (so no new notice would have to be given for the continuation), but "adjournment" also seems like commonly accepted terminology for ending a meeting at many bodies that I looked into.

    Then you've got those who want to use the term "terminate" to signify the meeting is over as opposed to being resumed in the future.  They use adjournment in the legal sense of the word -- a pause in proceedings -- whereas termination signifies the end of the meeting.  I get it, but personally I think the distinction is unnecessary.  In a sense, every meeting is adjourned until the next one -- the word recognizes the body will continue on and meet again.  I find "terminate" awkward and confusing for those who are used to hearing the time-honoured "meeting adjourned". 

    At the end of the day, I view the distinction as merely a difference in preference for one convention over the other, without any real governance impacts, except to those of us who take these terms very seriously :-)

    Interested to hear if others have arrived at different conclusions... 

  • 30 Sep 2020 10:07 AM
    Reply # 9274213 on 9257920
    Deleted user

    Raj, thank you so much for the response! 

  • 01 Oct 2020 8:13 AM
    Reply # 9276463 on 9257920
    Deleted user

    I am of the same mindset as the previous response.

    I adjust the "term" depending on the lawyer that reviews my minutes. I have used both terms over the course of eight years and I'm sure it will continue to change over the next eight years. lol

  • 12 Feb 2021 3:26 PM
    Reply # 10089606 on 9257920

    I was taught that adjournment is only used when that meeting will continue (i.e. adjourned to the next day).  And a meeting "Concludes" (defined as bring something to an end) when it is over.

    Last modified: 12 Feb 2021 3:27 PM | Anonymous

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