Summary of Robert's Rule of Order

"Held in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order."

SUMMARY OF ROBERT'S RULES OF ORDER

 

 The Assembly

This consists of a group of people, who assemble together for the purpose of discussing and action on topics of common interest at a meeting. The members attending such a meeting are usually called the assembly.

The Agenda

The agenda is the heart of the meeting. It tells you for what purpose a meeting is called and what topics are to be discussed and acted upon.

Usually an agenda is put on the meeting notices ahead of time.

Once an agenda is put on the floor and seconded, it must be put before the assembly for acceptance or rejection by a voice vote. In this way it assures that the topics to be discussed and acted on will be those topics of common interest to the majority of the assembly.

Once an agenda is accepted by the assembly by vote the only topics to be discussed and acted upon are those that appear on the agenda. Anything else is out of order.

The Chair

The Chair is the member of the assembly designated by appointment or by vote to govern the meeting. They are the "traffic cop" of the meeting. It is their job to see that all parliamentary rules are being followed.

The Chair has no vote at the meeting, except in the case of a tie. They are to be impartial in applying all the rules. They cannot enter into any discussion or make any proposals of motions. They should reframe from soliciting the assembly for proposals that are of personally interest. If the Chair wants to enter the discussion of the meeting, they must give up the chair. A Chair's ruling can be appealed by any member of the assembly. This means the ruling of the chair is put before the assembly for a vote on whether they sustain their ruling or reject it.

Speakers and Discussions

Any member can discuss the topic at hand. They must ask the Chair for the floor. No member can speak unless they are recognized by the Chair. No one can interrupt a recognized speaker who has the floor. Anyone who interrupts without just cause should be ruled out of order by the Chair.

No member can speak twice on one topic while there is a members remaining who wishes to speak and has not spoken once.

All remarks must be direct to the Chair.  Remarks must be courteous in language and deportment, avoid all personalities, and never allude to others by name or to motives.

Motions and Amendments

A motion is simply a proposal with a thought of acting on a topic on the agenda in a specific manner. For instance, at a meeting of soccer players, on the agenda appears the topic "This year's outdoor schedule." After discussing this topic at length, a player rises and is recognized by the chair and says, "I wish to make a motion to the effect that the proposed scheduled times for the summer season be accepted." Another player rises and says, "I second the motion."

Once this motion has been made and seconded it must be put to a vote before the assembly; after a discussion period, provided there is someone who wishes to speak for or against the motion.

However, another player rises and says, "I make a motion that we change the scheduled times to 6:00 pm games only."

This player is out of order!

The motion on the floor waiting to be acted upon is to accept the proposed schedule. This motion must be accepted or rejected before any other motion can be entertained. In other words no motion or proposal can be made at a meeting while there is another motion on the floor duly seconded which has not been acted upon.

An amendment to a motion is an additional idea to the motion which does not destroy the original intent of the motion.

Interrupting Speakers

There are times when any member of the assembly can interrupt the speakers or the chair without waiting for recognition by the Chair. Interruptions can be made on "a point of order" or "a point of procedure," these points must be recognized by the Chair immediately.

Point of Order – with this point anyone can interrupt any speaker when they are not speaking on the subject matter on the floor.

Example: The subject being discussed on the floor is the summer schedule. A member asks for the floor and is recognized by the Chair and when they begin to speak the member starts to discuss registration fees. Immediately a member of the assembly rises and without waiting for the chair to recognize them, the member addresses the chair in this manner: "Ms/Mr. Chair, I rise to a point of order." The Chair must recognize them at once and say: "What is your point of order?" The member replies, "Ms/Mr. Chair, the topic on the floor is the schedule and this members is talking about registration fees, they are out of order." The Chair should reply, "Your point is well taken" and then return to the speaker and tell him, "Please keep the discussion relating to the schedule or relinquish your privilege of speaking."


 

Point of ProcedureThis is the time the Chair can be interrupted by anyone when they are not doing their duties as a Chair.

Example: There is a motion on the floor which has been seconded and the Chair tried to proceed to the next order of business without putting the motion to a vote.

A member rises without waiting to be recognized by the chair and says, "Ms/Mr. Chair, I rise to a point of procedure." The Chair should say, "What is your point of procedure?" The member replies "Ms/Mr. Chair, there is a motion on the floor, duly seconded, to accept the proposed summer schedule and you now are proceeding into the next order of business which is registration fees. I feel before registration fees can be taken up, the motion should be voted on." The Chair should reply, "Your point of procedure is well taken, the motion on the floor will be voted on before we proceed into the next order of business."

Conflict of Interest

A member cannot be compelled to reframe from voting simply because it is perceived that he or she may have some “conflict of interest” with respect to a motion under consideration.  If a member has a direct personal or pecuniary (monetary) interest in a motion under consideration not common to other members, the rule is that they should not vote on such a motion, but even then he or she cannot be compelled to refrain from voting.

Good & Welfare

Is a point on the agenda where a member can bring up any topic he desires which did not appear on any of the other points of the agenda. Good and Welfare usually will come before the adjournment of the meeting.

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