Onboarding for all new Board members


  • Subscribe to couch-coop-board@googlegroups.com (talk to COUCH Secretary)
  • Get familiar with the Google Drive folder, “All COUCH Documents”. I’d recommend bookmarking it in your browser!
    • Just poke around, look at old meeting notes and minutes, and the different folders! Also peek at the Board Manual (our cooperative’s bylaws and processes)!
  • Communicate with the COUCH Secretary about your availability for meetings.
    • If the current meeting schedule doesn’t work with your schedule, say something!
  • Read about voting process and board description (see below)
  • Get any position-specific onboarding documents/passwords/orientation from person who used to have your position (president, vp/rep, secretary, treasurer)

Voting process and board description

This is the onboarding process for all new COUCH members. These are the basics of what you will need to know to serve as a COUCH board member. The first thing to remember when serving at COUCH board meetings is that like with all other co-op systems, everyone has an equitable opportunity to contribute. This means we must be respectful to other COUCH board members, and let each person speak in turn in meetings.

Board meetings are held at least monthly and sometimes bi-weekly. Every board member is expected to attend each of these meetings. During COUCH meetings elected representatives and officers discuss and sometimes vote to enact or amend current and future policies that impact the collective of COUCH. This includes all major maintenance decisions and purchases. Meetings are also a time to discuss and resolve any member policy violations or legal issues. The COUCH secretary will send the meeting agenda to the board prior to the meeting. Board members are encouraged to add meeting topics to the agenda when it is presented. These are the items that will be discussed at the meeting.

The voting system at COUCH meetings is as follows. House representatives have one vote each. Officers are voting members only if they are also house representatives. The president is never a voting member of the board. At the beginning of each meeting, the voting members will be recorded. Attendance by Board members equal to two thirds of the number of Board members eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum required for the transaction of business. Any question of substance arising at a meeting of the Board may be decided by a majority vote. Tied votes mean that the motion does not pass.

For the agenda and meeting facilitation, we use these guidelines:

Martha’s Rules
Martha’s Rules