Common Ground II

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The process for "Common Ground: Coming of Age" was significantly different from that of the 1981 "Common Ground." In 1981 we had a number of very broad questions posed as themes for discussion by "circle groups." The circle groups were asked to reach consensus on their answers to these broad questions, and to bring their consensus to a "fair witness," who compiled them all into votable motions. When circle groups shared at least a 2/3 consensus all together, that issue was considered settled except for wording changes. This worked remarkably well in 1981, but seemed inappropriate for this year.

This year the YAC had been asked to make very concrete structural recommendations in the form of Bylaws to present to the Youth Assembly. It was clear from the start that a formal parliamentary business meeting would be necessary. Delegates were sent a rough draft of the YAC recommendations a month before the Assembly, and this final draft was printed in a delegate workbook with plenty of blank space for notes and changes.

After a large-group discussion of the issues involved, delegates broke into small staff-facilitated groups for discussion. There was some confusion as to whether these groups should simply be discussing and clarifying issues or striving to reach a consensus like the year before. This was clarified at the Tuesday evening business session, and the formal procedures began. The minutes that follow are a record of the flow as well as the votes of the Youth Assembly business sessions. All of the delegates were aware that we got collectively better at the business process as we went along. The regular use of "Committee of the Whole" discussions, and the adoption of the General Assembly's "Lucy Booth" were vehicles for clearing up confusion among the delegates.

Jamie Bowers, our moderator, did a marvelous job under extreme pressure from delegates, fellow staff, and the clock all at the same time.


Translated from the original text document to HTML by Lorne Tyndale, YRUU Programmes Specialist September 1993 - August 1994. The document was on I have placed the document on this site as I've been notified that appears to be down.

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