Common Ground II

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Tuesday, June 29.
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The first business session convened at 9 am. Wayne Arnason, UUA Consultant on Youth Programs, gave a structural/relational history of LRY from the time of its organization until the present. Beth Cox, Chair of the Continental Youth Adult Committee, reviewed the recommendations of the 1981 Common Ground Assembly, and explained the process whereby the YAC had sought to implement those recommendations. This included ongoing communications and negotiations with the UUA Board during the past year. Mara Schoeny, youth member of the YAC, gave an overview of the proposed structure for a new youth organization. Bruce Southworth, acting as Assembly Parliamentarian, explained the Rules of Procedure, which were adopted after amendment. Moderator Jamie Bowers then proposed that the Assembly pass over adoption of ARTICLE 1. NAME for the time being, since a process for naming the new organization was underway and would be decided at the end of the week. Delegates agreed, and at 11:35 am. voted to adopt ARTICLE II. PURPOSES as presented by the YAC, the text being the statement of purpose adopted by Common Ground in 1981.

The second business session was held at 7:30 pm, after delegates had attended small group sessions to consider the recommendations being proposed by the YAC. Beth Cox chaired the openin' , and called attention to the differences in purpose, process, and tasks between the discussion groups which had been arranged to meet between this week's business sessions and the "circle groups" which were an important feature of Common Ground. It was noted that about half the delegates present had attended Common Ground.

Staff member at Common Ground II Since several discussion group leaders had expressed concern that their agenda had not been clearly stated, or was not consistent with what had taken place in other groups, a 15 minute break was provided so that all the discussion groups could caucus.

When the session reconvened, delegates addressed ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP. Section 1, affirming the Common Ground recommendation that members be youth between 12 and 22 years of age, was passed on a voice vote. Section 2 establishes the relationship of the new youth organization, its affiliated groups on the District level and that of individual participants to the UUA. A move to substitute:

"Individuals may become members by stating general agreement with the purpose of (the organization) and need not be members of UU societies or local youth groups."


"Individual participants shall not be required to hold membership in UU societies."

was defeated on a 76-1 11 vote. After a motion to extend debate on this section for ten minutes was granted, a second amendment which adds the phrase

"but shall be encouraged to participate in programs and activities at all levels of UUA organization."

to the sentence in the original above was passed.

An attempt to substitute

"Membership of (the organization) shall be composed of local affiliated (deleted by amendment) groups."

for Section I was defeated by a 77-97 vote at 9:55 PM. But a new Section 3, reading

"An adult as referred to in these Bylaws is defined as someone over the age of 22."

was adopted on a voice vote. A motion to reconsider failed, and ARTICLE III was in place at 10:10 PM.

The first day sessions concluded with a benediction by delegate Rev. Roger Brewin.
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Wednesday, June 30
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The Assembly met in business session at 10:30 am, after another delegate meeting in small groups. The following substitutions for the YAC recommendations on ARTICLE IV. ANNUAL MEETING were adopted, and proposed Section 3 deleted:

Section 1. There shall be an annual conference of (the organization.) This conference shall be held in the summer months at a time when schools are generally not in session. It shall be held at different locations around the continent.

Section 2. A general meeting shall be held at the annual conference, open to all conference participants. The purpose of this meeting is to allow any participant in the conference to hear reports and ask questions of the organization's leadership.

Delegates were then asked to consider ARTICLE V. YOUTH COUNCIL, but recessed at 11:30 am with ten minutes remaining for debate on Section 1 a).

The Assembly reconvened at 1:30 PM. Its first action was approval of an addition (by hand count) to Section 1 a) which states:

"They shall each be directly involved with a local UU society within the District they represent, or with the Church of the Larger Fellowship."

With a ten minute time extension being granted, delegates then moved to substitute the following wording for Section 1 a) as presented by YAC:

"One youth chosen by and representing the youth organizations of each of the 23 Districts of the UUA"

Given an additional five minutes for amendments, a new Section 1 b) was proposed and adopted. It reads as follows:

"In addition, the Youth Council shall include three at-large youth. Each youth shall be from and represent one age group, i.e. one junior High, one Senior High and one PostHigh School."

After moving into a Committee of the Whole [for 45 minutes] to discuss issues involving adult representation on the Youth Council, delegates returned to formal session and approved a new Section 1 c), stating:

"eight adults appointed by the UUA Board of Trustees. They shall each be a member of a local UU society or the Church of the Larger Fellowship. One of these shall be a member of the UUA Board, and seven shall be appointed from the nominees submitted to the Board by the ______ (Note: this blank was later to be replaced by Steering Committee, after delegates had approved Article VI) of (the organization).

Before agreeing to the above, delegates failed to pass a substitute Section which would have stipulated that, except for the UUA Board member, the adults be chosen by and represent the youth groups of the Districts of the UUA.

Meeting for the third time that day, at 8:30 pm, the Assembly defeated a motion to reconsider Article V Section I and passed Section 2 as proposed by the YAC without amendment. An attempt to add the sentence

"Of the seven at-large adult delegates, three shall be elected in odd years and four in even years."

was turned down on a counted vote of 60-73.

Section 3, dealing with the annual meeting of the Youth Council, was passed at 9:30 pm after the YAC's proposed wording had been revised, two amendments added and a new subsection voted. As adopted, the Section reads as follows (amendments are italicized):

"The Youth Council shall meet at least once a year at a time and place designated by the _________ ("Steering Committee" added later). The _________ shall provide at least 60 days notice of the meeting to all Council members.

"Expenses for the meeting shall be paid by the UUA Youth Programs budget with the exception of travel expenses. The ____________ shall attempt to equalize the travel expenses for all members of the Youth Council.

"A quorum shall be 315 of the members of the Youth Council."

Final action of the evening was on Article V Section 4 a), which delegates passed on a voice vote at 10 pm, adding the single word italicized to the wording proposed by YAC:

"It shall be the responsibility of the Youth Council to review policy for the past year and to inake decisions as to the priorities, budget, and direction of the youth programs of the UUA for the coming year."
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Thursday, July 1.
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The Assembly completed action on Article V at its morning session, giving approval to Section 4 b) after changing the word "of" to "to" ( "shall elect .... to the _________ ") and Section 5 as presented by the YAC. A proposed Section 6, stating that

"The Youth Council shall nominate UUA youth staff to the UUA administration" was defeated by a vote of 71-84.

Addressing ARTICLE VI. STEERING COMMITTEE, delegates voted to change the composition of that body from "three youth and one adult," as proposed by YAC, to

"five youth and one adult, with at least one youth representing each age group: junior High, Senior High, and Post-High School"

The above appears in Section 1 a). Subsections b) one adult member of the UUA Board, c) the youth member of the Religious Education Advisory Committee of the UUA, and d) the LJUA Consultant on Youth Programs, and the two youth staff working at the UUA were then passed without opposition.

A motion to create a new subsection e), reading
"The Steering Committee shall use any method or manner of decision-making they wish."

was defeated, but five minutes later the following was adopted:

e)The elected members of the Steering Committee, the UUA Board member, and the REAC youth shall all have voting rights. The three UUA staff shall be non-voting liaisons to the Steering Committee."

With the "three youth to one adult" ratio thus secured at all levels of power within the new organization, the Assembly recessed at noon.

The afternoon session opened with consideration of Article VI Section 2, which deals with terms of office for Steering Committee members. It was argued that a starting date for each term should be specified, but when it appeared that agreement could not be reached on the most appropriate or convenient date, the motion as tabled and later referred to the (interim) Steering Committee for recommendation, and to the Youth Council meeting in 1983 for action. Delegates then proceeded to adopt the remaining sections of Article VI as presented by the YAC.

ARTICLE VII. CONTINENTAL STAFF was also adopted by the Assembly with only minor changes. A motion to substitute "collegial" for "associate" in Section 2, with reference to the relationship between the youth staff and Consultant on Youth Programs, was defeated. A sentence reading

"They shall have the necessary office resources at UUA denominational headquarters."

was added to that section. Two words were added to Section 3 as drafted by YAC:

"All youth program staff shall be recommended by the Steering Committee to the UUA administration for appointment."

Delegates were then asked to proceed to consideration of ARTICLE X. IMPLEMENTING PROCEDURES, in order that members of the Interim Youth Council and Steering Committee would have time to be chosen and to meet together. Four changes were voted in Section I of this Article. Additions, italicized, and deletions (inside parentheses) appear below:

"Seven (six) adult members shall be chosen (by lot) by an election to be held by the delegates to the 1982 Youth Assembly at said Assembly from among the pool of adult delegates and Youth Assembly staff nominated by their District delegations and willing to serve.

"At-large youth members of the Youth Council shall be elected by the at-large delegates at the 1982 Youth Assembly. The UUA Board member on the 1981-83 YAC shall serve as the UUA Board representative on the Interim Council and the Interim Steering Committee. The meeting of the Interim Youth Council shall be convened and moderated by the (present chair of the continental YAC) youth co-convener of Common Ground Coming of Age."

Having thus amended Article X, the Assembly approved all three of its sections.
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Friday, July 2.
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The business session was called to order shortly after 9 am, and in little over a half hour voted approval of ARTICLE VIII. AFFILIATED YOUTH GROUPS without amendment; and ARTICLE IX. AMENDMENTS after adding the following to Section 2 (notice of proposed amendments):

"Notice shall also be included in the (organization's) publication, this publication to be mailed at least 60 days in advance of the general meeting of the Youth Council to all individual participants, and local groups on subscription mailing lists, all District structures involving youth, and all UU societies."

Having addressed all the Articles of the Bylaws except for I. NAME, delegates were then told the top five names for the new youth organization as they had been chosen from an all-inclusive list compiled early in the week. One speaker was invited to make a brief pro statement for each of these, and one con. Fifth on the list was Free Religious Youth. Said the first speaker, "That's what weire all about." Con, "the acronym ______." Continental Community of Youth, fourth from the top, drew the plea to emphasize the first word for Canada's sake. The con-speaker argued that we demonstrate that tie in other ways, and need UU identification. Third was Young Religious Liberals, defended as "incorporating history, and signifying a turnaround." Said the opposing speaker, "You've got it backwards - and we're not all 'liberals.' "

It should be mentioned that LRY was the delegates' sixth choice. Its spokesperson argued that this would give LRY "a chance to clean up its name." Speaking in opposition, a delegate said that "we need to be recognized as something new."

The two names receiving the highest number of votes were Unitarian Universalist Youth and Unitarian Universalist Youth Fellowship. "Make our tie known, " argued a pro-speaker. "But that implies we have a limited membership," said another in rebuttal. "Fellowship is most descriptive of what we are, I think," ventured a third speaker. He was countered by a rising chorus of voices pointing out that the word has sexist implications for a number of people.

A process of ordering each person's preferences was then proposed by a delegate, and accepted. During the count, the Assembly returned to consider unfinished and additional business.

A motion to refer all perfecting amendments to the Steering Committee was passed. A resolution was then introduced, as follows:

RESOLVED: that Common Ground II reaffirm the recommendation of Common Ground I that the UUA trustees act to create a special youth trustee, with full voting privileges on the UUA Board of Trustees.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the proposed youth trustee should have a term of two years and be elected by the general membership of (the new organization).

In the course of discussion that followed, UUA trustee Charles Slap, who was representing the UUA Board as delegate to the Youth Assembly, was asked how he thought the Board would view this resolution, and gave his opinion that it would be unacceptable. "The way to go is to lower the age requirement for membership (in local societies)," he added.

A motion to add "s" to "recommendation" in the first line, and to strike all the text after the words "Common Ground I" was defeated. Moving to a vote on the resolution, the first count obtained was 83-81-8. The Chair then asked for a recount; the second vote was 82-87-12. After a five minute time extension had been granted there was brief further debate and then a move to call the question, which failed by the necessary 2/3 (100-63). Thereafter followed a few minutes of intense conversation between the proposer of the resolution, Moderator, Chair, Parliamentarian and the UUA Youth Consultant, the result being an agreement to withdraw the resolution.

The Assembly then agreed to move into a Committee of the Whole to discuss whether the 1982 Youth Assembly "wants a youth trustee, and if so how to go about it." After five minutes of debate, the business session reconvened and voted to refer the issue of a youth trustee to the Youth Council and Steering Committee. A move to reconsider Article V 1. b) was introduced, but failed. It was then 11:55 am, and the staff tallying choices of name for the new organization returned to announce that Unitarian Universalist Youth Fellowship had received a plurality of votes. The adoption of ARTICLE I, with that name inserted, was promptly moved and seconded, whereupon a staff member speaking at the procedural microphone inquired whether a "friendly amendment" would be acceptable to the delegate body. She then proposed substituting "Community" for "Fellowship." Again the Assembly moved into a Committee of the Whole to discuss implications of both words; "Federation" was suggested as yet another alternative. The Youth Consultant gave his opinion, that "this process is subverting our voting procedure." At that point, the Chair suggested that someone might wish to make a motion overruling his decision to go into a Committee of the Whole. That motion was made and carried. A recess was then declared, with the next and final business session being set for 7 pm.

The last business session was opened by Kevin Clark, Parliamentarian pro tem, who reminded delegates that action on ARTICLE I was before them, and suggested that there might be a motion to reconsider the morning's vote in overruling the Chair. That motion was made, but failed. The Chair then suggested moving again into a Committee of the Whole, and turned the gavel over to Beth Cox who fielded discussion of names for the next hour. At 8:35 pm. delegates returned to formal session and gave their approval to the name Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (and its acronym). Adoption of ARTICLE I promptly followed.

A motion was then made to reconsider ARTICLE V Section 1, and granted. The maker of the motion proceeded to suggest the following amendment to subsections a) and b): "They shall each be directly involved with (a) "They shalleach be a member of (b) a local UU society or the Church of the Larger Fellowship, or shall be required to submit three letters of recommendation, at 'least two of which shall be from members of a local UU society. A motion to adjourn was made and defeated; a motion to suspend debate carried, and the amendment carried as well.

In lighter vein ARTICLE XI. PROTOTYPE FOR Y.R.U.U. was presented and voted unanimously with the addition of Ms. Suzy Creamcheese. In its entirety the Article reads as follows: Section 1. All duties, roles and positions of Mr. Joe Taco and Ms. Suzy Creamcheese shall be transferred to one Ms. Lucy Booth as of January 1, 1983.

A proposed ARTICLE XII. RULES AND PROCEDURES was defeated.

Final action of the Youth Assembly came on a resolution recommended for passage by the Interim Youth Council. It reads: RESOLVED: that the 1982 Common Ground: Coming of Age Youth Assembly recommends that Unitarian Universalist societies affirm an age requirement of 12 years for full membership and voting privileges. This proposal drew some objection, but was passed by a wide margin. And so the 1982 Youth Assembly adjourned, at 9:10 pm on Friday, July 2.

Faithfully submitted,
Lori Pederson, Recorder

Interim Youth Council at work...
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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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