Since we're having a meeting tonight, I thought I'd keep it fresh in my mind by telling you about how we structure our meetings. We find it really helpful to keep us all on the same page, and to make sure we regularly talk about the things that need talking about.
We can keep it pretty simple because our co-op doesn't have a house yet. Once we've bought somewhere and moved in, we'll probably need to have sections for maintenance, accounts and loanstock, bills, all that jazz. But for now, here's how it goes for a simple start-up co-op.
- Treasurer's report. Every month we all put a bit of money into the pot to cover expenses, such as stationary, travel costs and (hopefully) future Radical Routes payments. In this bit, the treasurer just squares the accounts book and tells us how the finances are looking. The exact figure goes into the minutes.
- Social change. Even though we're not in Radical Routes, we like the social change dedication aspect so we've adopted it already. We're all trying to get in our 16 hours a week, and here we share what we've been up to and any ideas or events that others might like to participate in. It's in the form of a go-around, to give everyone a chance to say everything they want to say.
- ALL THE STUFF. Things from the last meeting that we planned to come back to, and things that occurred to us in between times that we told the secretary about with enough time for them to add it to the agenda. This might include potential houses to view together, travel plans for Radical Routes National Gatherings, bank account stuff, loanstock information or anything else that needs bringing up.
- Any Other Business. The words of dread. Stuff that randomly occurred to us during the meeting, or just before. Fortunately, these often tend to fly by, as they're simple things mostly.
- Homework overview. Some of us will have volunteered to complete tasks for the co-op before the next meeting; this is just to make sure that everyone's clear on who's doing what.
- The next meeting. Choosing the chair and the date/time. If we don't arrange it now, we'll keep faffing and putting it off. When we're all sat around a table together, that's the best time to find out when everyone's free.
- Queue for bathroom, followed by cups of tea.