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Who was Robert?

U.S. Army Major Henry Martyn Robert (18371923 )

Rules are based loosely on the rules of the U.S. House of Representatives

Roberts Rules
Roberts Rules provide for fair and orderly meetings and promote the rights of:
The majority to decide The minority to be heard

Absent members to be protected


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How formal should you be?


The group should decide based on: The size of the group The purpose of the meeting Make the rules work for your organization
Parliamentary law should be the servant, not the master, of the assembly. - Henry M. Robert Parliamentary Law, p. 151
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Hierarchy of Governing

Organizations are governed by


Applicable state and federal laws Organizations Constitution Bylaws Parliamentary authority
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Bylaws and Roberts Rules


Bylaws are rules set by an organization to
define the structure of an organization.

describe the rights and responsibilities of members.


describe the group's decision-making process.
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Bylaws and Roberts Rules


Bylaws
Contains rules that cannot be suspended and cannot be changed at a single meeting

Can be amended with previous notice and a two thirds vote.


The facultys bylaws name Roberts rules as our parliamentary authority.
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Basic Rules
All members are equal and have equal rights To attend meetings To make motions To debate

Meetings
People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything. Thomas Sowell

Roles of the officers


Presiding Officer
Calls the meeting to order Announces the business before the assembly Determines the presence of a quorum

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Roles of Officers
Presiding Officer
Recognizes members entitled to the floor

Processes motions
Rules on points of order Conducts meetings in a fair and impartial manner
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Roles of Officers
Secretary
Works with the president to prepare the agenda

Distributes the agenda


Keeps notes of what occurred at the meeting

Prepares and distributes minutes


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Role of Officers
Parliamentarian
Provides advice to the presiding officer on matters of procedure Has a duty to maintain a position of impartiality

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Basic Rules
A quorum must be present to do business If a quorum is not present the only business that can be conducted is To set the next meeting. To adjourn the meeting To recess the meeting

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Agenda
Roberts order of business:
Reading and approval of minutes. Reports of officers and standing committees. Reports of ad hoc committees Unfinished business New business
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Order of business
If minutes have been sent to members, no need to read them. They can be approved by general consent

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Order of business
Reports from Committees If reports are distributed ahead of time, the presiding officer can simply ask if there are any additions. If not, the meeting can move on.
The ideal committee is one with me as the chairman, and two other members in bed with the flu Lord Milverton
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Order of business
But Any motions from a committee report should be taken up immediately.

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Order of business
Unfinished business
Items on the agenda of the previous meeting that were postponed An item that was laid on the table at the current or previous meeting.
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Motions
A formal proposal by a member that the assembly take a certain action Business is brought before an assembly by the motion of a member
Basic form is a main motion
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Motions

Member makes the motion


Uses the word "move"

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Motions
Another member seconds the motion
Not required for motions from committees which are considered seconded

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Motions
Prior to the chair stating the question, the motion can be amended
By same maker, seconder must agree
By another member, second is not necessary if maker accepts

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Motions
The chair "states the question"
Ensures clarity by re-stating the motion

Only the chair can place business before the assembly

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Motions
Once the question is stated, the motion is pending and open to debate At this point, the motion belongs to the assembly
And only the assembly can modify it
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Motions
Maker of motion has the right to speak first
Chair assigns floor

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Debating Motions
One question at a time and one speaker at a time. The first person to seek recognition of the presiding officer should speak first

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Debating Motions
Comments should be directed to the chair.
Avoid directing comments to other members. Avoid personal comments.

Be courteous
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Debating Motions
Anyone who has not spoken gets recognized before anyone who has. It is good practice to alternate sides. No member may speak more than 2 times on a motion. Speeches limited to 10 minutes!
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Debating Motions
Main motions must receive full debate To close debate Move the previous question Move to end debate at a certain time or Move to limit the length of speeches
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Limiting Debate

Motions to limit debate


Require two thirds vote because they suspend the fundamental right of every member
It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it. Joseph Joubert (1854-1824)
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Voting
Voting
General consent If there is no objection..

By voice, show of hands, rising vote, ballot , roll call

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Voting
If there is even one objection to a vote by unanimous consent, there must be a formal vote.

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Voting

Roberts says
a majority vote is a majority of voting members.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. Mark Twain
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Voting

A majority is more than half. If the vote is a tie, the vote fails.

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Voting

Chair announces result


"Carried," or "adopted"

"Lost," or "rejected"

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Motions
Once a decision made, an identical motion must not be brought forward at the same meeting

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Types of Motions
Main Motion
Subsidiary Motions Incidental Motions

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Motions
Main motions
Can be made only when no other motion is pending

Only one main motion at a time

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Subsidiary Motions
Subsidiary motions help deal with the main motion
Amend it

Limit or extend debate on it


Refer it Postpone it Kill it
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Incidental Motions
Point of Order
Are the rules being followed?

Suspend the rules


Does what youre doing violate your own rules?

Division of the question


Can parts be voted on separately?
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Mistakes to avoid
Lay on the table vs. postpone to a certain time
Call the question Friendly Amendment

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Lay on the table


The motion to lay on the table is used when you have sudden unexpected business to deal with.
Needs a motion to bring back

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Postpone to a certain time

Used if more time is needed to make a decision


Automatically comes up as an item of unfinished business at the next meeting

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Call the question


Speaker must be recognized by the chair
Needs a second Requires a 2/3 vote

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Friendly Amendment
Who owns the motion?
Once the chair states the motion and debate begins, the assembly owns the motion. Only the assembly can amend the motion through majority vote
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Point of Order
Any member may call a point of order when he believes someone is acting improperly
Must happen when the violation occurs
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Robert says --a violation never challenged is never a violation.

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Cant Remember the Rules?

Ask yourself --What is the fairest thing to do to protect the rights of all members? Roberts Rules promote fairness

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Cant Remember the Rules?


What is the most logical thing to do to solve the problem?
Roberts Rules are very logical

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Cant Remember the Rules?


What is the most efficient thing to do to accomplish the groups goals?

Roberts rules promote efficiency

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Sources
Kline, Charles. ROBERT, HENRY MARTYN (18371923). The handbook of Texas online. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/onli ne/articles/RR/fro96.html Robert, H.M. (1981). Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman and Company. Sylvester, N. (2004) . The Complete Idiots Guide to Roberts Rules. New York, NY: Alpha.
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