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Robert’s Rules of Order: so that we don’t get the “deer in headlights” look of confusion and clusterfuckdom during chapter again RONR RONR stands for: Robert‟s Rules of Order Newly Revised Some Brief & Unnecessary History… Named after a union General from Civil War Robert civil governor of southern region during reconstruction Most southern meetings erupted in fights Robert came up with a set of rules to instill order Currently revised and updated frequently and “Robert‟s Rules are the basis for our meetings Basis of Robert’s Rules Majority Rules, but minority is heard Derived from Jefferson‟s Rules Written for Congress during early American Politics Set ground rules for how House of Representative debate Student Senate operates based on legislative tradition and RONR Proper Lingo…[IMPORTANT] To initiate something in meeting, you must “move” to take action Person making motion is called movant The big question: Do I say, “I move to” or “I motion to?” Answer: I move to Move = verb vs. Motion = noun Four General Categories of Motions Main Motion Subsidiary Motion Privileged Motion Incidental Motion Explanations of Motions Main Motion Purpose is to introduce items to the Chapter for consideration Cannot be made when any other motion is on the floor Subsidiary Motion Purpose to change/amend how a main motion is handled. Subsidiary motion is voted on before a main motion Explanations of Motions Cont. Privileged Motions Purpose is to bring up items that are urgent about special or important matters unrelated to pending business Incidental Motions Purpose is to provide a means of questioning procedure concerning other motions Must be considered before other motions Ex. Point of Order How do motions pass? Certain motions require majority (50% +1 more person) Or super majority (2/3rds) For example, Suspending rules Some Common Motions Lay on the Table It allows the Chapter to stop debating one issues when something else of more importance has come up. It is out of order if there is no other pressing matter requiring attention It is not debatable, not amendable, and requires a majority vote. (RONR Section 17, p 201) Postpone Indefinitely This is the motion that can be used during a Chapter meeting to kill an issue or an amendment to the by-laws forever. RONR states “… is a motion that the assembly decline to take a position on the main question. Its adoption kills the main motion and avoids a direct vote on the question.” It takes precedence over nothing [i.e. no other motion other than the main question is on the floor], it is debatable, not amendable, and requires a majority vote. (RONR, Chpt. VI, Section 11, p.121) Amending Amendments A primary amendment applies directly to the main question. A secondary amendment is a change in a pending primary amendment, and it must be germane to that primary amendment. You cannot amend a secondary amendment/ [simple terms: you cannot amend an amendment.] (RONR, Chpt. V, Section 12, p. 125) Raise a Question of Privilege It is a motion that allows a request or main motion relating to the rights and privileges of the assembly as a whole or any individual member to be brought up immediately. There are 2 types. Those relating to the assembly (everyone) as a whole Questions of personal privilege (RONR, Chpt. V, Section 19, p. 216) Raise a Question of Privilege Questions dealing with the assembly as a whole [everyone] may related to. Comfort of the individuals Lights, ventilation, heating, noise from spectators, solar flares, stampeding cattle, microphones, etc. Punishment of brothers Conduct of officers and visitors Not having to listen to Walker sing, etc. (RONR, Chpt. V, Section 19, p. 216) Raise a Question of Privilege Questions of personal privilege relate to: These motions should seldom arise in a Chapter meeting May relate to incorrect record of a brother‟s participation in a meeting May relate to charges surrounding the brother‟s character (RONR, Chpt. V, Section 19, p. 216) Raise a Question of Privilege This motion can be made at any time [except when there is a motion to recess, adjourn, or fix time to adjourn] This motion is not debatable, not amendable, and only requires the chair‟s ruling (no voting!!) The chair‟s ruling on this issue cannot be reconsidered. (RONR, Chpt. V, Section 19, p. 216) Point of Information This is a request directed to the President/Chair for information relevant to the business at hand It is not related to parliamentary law Examples [Brother states “Point of Information” and then…] “will we be adjourning before 10.0pm tonight?” “Will Marts, Walker, Peng and a host of random females be waking everyone in the house up this Monday at 2.0am?” (RONR, Chpt. VIII, Section 33, p. 282) Point of Parliamentary Inquiry This motion is a request to the chair for information about Chapter By-Laws or the rules [Robert‟s Rules]. It is the Presidents responsibility to answer such questions [or find out the answer from Victor, Mulch, or Mark L] so that each member can make an appropriate motion [YOUR RIGHTS AS A MEMBER ARE PROTECTED!] You may make this motion without obtaining the floor and do not ask the chair hypothetical questions. Example (Member states “Point of Inquiry” and then….) “Is it in order at this time to move to vote?” “Is it in order to remand this resolution to the LJR committee?” (RONR, Chpt. VIII, Section 33, p. 281) Point of Order When a brother thinks that the rules are being violated, they should make a point of order. The motion calls for the chair to make a ruling on the motion and enforce proper procedure. Motion must be made at the time the breach occurs. It is not debatable [the chair may allow the member to explain his point], not amendable, and ruled on by the chair unless…………. (RONR, Chpt. VIII, Sect. 23, p. 240) Appeal the Ruling of the Chair If a member believes the ruling of the chair/President to be incorrect, then should not hesitate to appeal the ruling. It is debatable, not amendable, and a majority or tie vote is needed to uphold the decision of the chair. You cannot appeal the chair‟s rulings on points of information or points of parliamentary inquiry [those are questions] (RONR, Chpt. VIII, Sect. 24, p. 247) Removing the Chair If you believe that the chair is acting in a manor unbecoming of a leader or you don‟t believe that they are being effective…make this motion. “I move to remove the chair.” This motion MUST be entertained and takes a majority vote. Suspend the Rules If a brother wants to do something which is against the rules, then they must use this motion. You cannot suspend the Constitution, or any local, state, or federal law. [Meeting Rules are the most likely suspect to be attempted to be suspended]. It is not debatable, not amendable, and usually requires a 2/3 vote. Examples [Member states “I move to suspend the rules” and….] “Allow non-brothers to attend chapter” “Allow „Mike the Cat‟ to act as president for the duration of chapter.” (RONR, Chpt. VIII, Sect. 25, p. 252) Objections This is not a John Grisham novel, so try to avoid using the word “objection” in the meeting What can you object to??? Walker singing Wheeler showing the “bulldog” Sands talking [kidding] Objections Object to the consideration of a question This would be used to avoid consideration of a main motion [amendment or issue or other main motion] when it is considered undesirable for the item to come before the Chapter. It must be made prior to any debate on the issue. (RONR, Chpt. VIII, Sect. 26, p. 258) Objections Object to general consent This is a request by a member that a vote be taken on a certain issue vice taking by general consent The member making the motion does not necessarily have to vote in either fashion, but rather is requesting that a vote be cast. (RONR, Chpt. I, Sect. 4, p 51) Objections Rules allow an objection to the closure of debate. This requires a 2/3 vote to close debate One pro and one con can be considered prior to the vote This is only an objection to closing debate. Typical uses would be when someone moves to vote when there is still debate on the floor. (Senate Rule 7.07) How to recognize a motion A motion has been made to “Proceed with the orders of the day.” The chair will then say, “There is a motion on the floor to proceed with the orders of the day…all those in favor [vote]…all those opposed [vote]…any abstentions.” If a person abstains, then they must state their reason for doing so. To conclude If there is a motion on the floor…people should be quite unless they have the floor during a formal meeting. If you are not sure how to act upon a motion [chair] or your not sure how to make a motion [chapter]…ask Victor, Lim, or Ferrante…people who know how to run a meeting…or Mulch [if present]…a former Senator well versed in Roberts Rules and the act of making motions.
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