Virtual Meetings Guidance

Procedures & Guidelines for Virtual Senate Meetings

If you have any trouble accessing the meeting via Zoom, voting via Point Solutions (formerly TurningPoint), or if you experience other problems during the Senate meeting, please email for support.

Join Zoom to Attend the Senate Meeting:

  1. All Senators and other members of the campus community MUST sign-in at using their UMD directory ID and password first before clicking on the meeting link or you will be put in a waiting room and may not be admitted into the Senate meeting based on guidance from the Division of Information Technology to avoid Zoombombing.
  2. The Senate meeting will be held using the Zoom Webinar format where Senators will be treated as panelists and all other members of the campus community will be treated as attendees. More information and step-by-step instructions for using Zoom can be found on the Senate's Zoom Information page. 
  3. Senators were sent a separate email with an individualized link that they should use to attend the Senate meeting as a panelist so they may participate in the meeting.
  4. Senators will be sent additional reminder emails prior to the Senate meeting.
  5. Members of the campus community should use the link on the Senate website to attend. 
  6. If members of the campus community plan to connect to Zoom with the Zoom desktop app:
    • Go to the Zoom desktop app and click Sign In.
    • On the right-hand side select Sign in with SSO and enter umd  before ( and click Continue.
    • When you see the pop-up window, select Open
    • Click on the Join button and enter the webinar ID and the Passcode.
  7. Once logged into Zoom, Senators can click on the "Participants" option and note the location of the “Raise Hand” feature at the bottom of the Zoom window.
  8. Zoom webinar does not have “Reactions”.
  9. We have enabled the Chat option for Senators/panelists, which is available at the bottom of the Zoom window. The Chat box should be used by Senators who wish to make Points of Order that do not require a Senator to obtain the floor before they are made.
    • Senators may post Points of Order in the Chat for the Senate Chair to respond to immediately without using the Raise Hand feature.
    • The Senate Chair and Senate Staff will NOT respond to questions, comments, or technical difficulties submitted through the Chat. IT support during the meeting is provided by emailing
  10. To help preserve bandwidth, please turn off your personal video unless you are speaking.

At the start of the Senate Meeting, Senators should join Point Solutions to vote during the Senate Meeting:

  1. Go to either your mobile device Point Solutions app or web browser and sign in with your University email address.
  2. You will then have to log in with your Directory ID and password through the University’s CAS login.
  3. Once logged in, you will be asked to enter a Session ID and click Join Session. (*Please note that you will not be able to join until the meeting has started.)
    • The Session ID will change for each Senate meeting to ensure that only Senators present at the meeting can vote.
    • The Session ID will be listed in RED BOLD text at the top of the attendance/quorum slide at the start of the meeting and will also be listed at the top of all presentation slides for any Senators who join the meeting late.
  4. Before we can start the Senate meeting, we must reach a quorum of Senators in attendance.
  5. There will be a slide to take attendance electronically through Point Solutions.
  6. Once they join the meeting, all Senators should press/click the circled 1 on the bottom of their mobile device/web browser to mark themselves as “Present” for quorum purposes. The circled 1 will become a pink filled in 1. Once you indicate that you are present and the circle is filled in, you do not need to press/click it again because your response has already been recorded.
  7. Once we reach the required quorum number, the Senate Chair will call the meeting to order.
  8. Senators who miss the quorum slide, will still be counted towards attendance through Zoom’s attendance feature.
  9. More infomration and step-by-step instructions for using Point Solutions can be found on the Senate's Point Solutions Instructions page. 
General Guidelines During the Senate Meeting:
  1. The Zoom meeting will be recorded, as is our practice for all Senate meetings.
  2. All participants (panelists/attendees) will be muted on entry and can only be unmuted when recognized to speak by the Senate Chair.
  3. Video will be enabled on entry for all Senators & Deans/Panelists and they can choose to use video or disable video.
  4. The chat feature will be Enabled for Senators who wish to make Points of Order during the Senate meeting.
  5. The Senate Chair will lead the meeting and moderate all discussions.
  6. Only Senators, those introduced by Senators, or committee members whose report is being presented at the time, may speak.
  7. Those who wish to speak must use the “Raise Hand” feature at the bottom of the Zoom window.
    • The Senate Chair will recognize speakers and they will be unmuted to speak. [Zoom may require that we ask speakers to unmute, so please unmute when requested on your screen in order to speak.]
    • Speakers MUST state their name, constituency, and unit for the record each time they speak.
    • After speakers complete their comments, they will be muted again and their hand will be lowered.
  8. If a Senator wants to introduce a non-Senator to speak, both the Senator and non-Senator must use the “Raise Hand” feature on Zoom.
  9. Senators who wish to make a motion that is in order when someone else has the floor, such as a Point of Information to get additional context or a Point of Personal Privilege to report potential zoombombing, should raise it in the chat box for the Senate Chair.
  10. If there are any additional motions during the meeting, they will follow the same convention as #7 above.

Voting with Point Solutions During the Senate Meeting:

  1. All Senate votes are anonymous except for the quorum slide.

    • For each action item, Senators will select 1 if they are in favor; 2 if they are opposed; and 3 if they wish to abstain. Once the voting is complete, the results will display on the screen and on the mobile device/web browser.