Robert's Rules of Order

  • Main Motion: Brings new business (the next item on the agenda) before the assembly. Stated as, “I move.”

 

  • Amend: Inserting or striking out words or paragraphs. Stated as, “I move to amend the motion by…”

 

  • Divide the Question: Divides a motion into two or more separate motions (must be able to stand on their own).

 

  • Withdraw/Modify Motion: Applies only after question is stated; mover can accept an amendment without obtaining the floor, or substituting whole paragraphs or resolutions.

 

  • Limit Debate: Closing debate at a certain time, or limiting to a certain period of time.

 

  • Extend Debate: Applies only to the immediately pending question; extends until a certain time or for a certain period of time.

 

  • Postpone to a Certain Time: State the time the motion or agenda item will be resumed.

 

  • Postpone Indefinitely: Kills the question/resolution for this session - exception: the motion to reconsider can be made this session.

 

  • Lay on the Table: Temporarily suspends further consideration/action on pending question; may be made after motion to close debate has carried or is pending.

 

  • Take from the Table: Resumes consideration of item previously "laid on the table" - state the motion to take from the table.

 

  • Commit /Refer/Recommit to Committee: State the committee to receive the question or resolution; if no committee exists include size of committee desired and method of selecting the members (election or appointment).

 

  • Division of Assembly: “I call for a division.” Requires that a vote be taken by standing. (no second and no vote).

 

  • Reconsider: Can be made only by one on the prevailing side who has changed position or view.

 

  • Previous Question: Closes debate if successful - may be moved to "Close Debate" if preferred (2/3 vote).

 

  • Point of Privilege: Pertains to noise, personal comfort, etc. - may interrupt only if necessary. (no second).

 

  • Parliamentary Inquiry: Inquire as to the correct motion - to accomplish a desired result, or raise a point of order (no second).

 

  • Point of Information: Generally applies to information desired from the speaker: "I should like to ask the (speaker) a question." (no second).

 

  • Orders of the Day (Agenda): A call to adhere to the agenda (a deviation from the agenda requires Suspending the Rules) (no second).

 

  • Point of Order: Infraction of the rules, or improper decorum in speaking. Must be raised immediately after the error is made (no second).

 

  • Consider by Paragraph: Adoption of paper is held until all paragraphs are debated and amended and entire paper is satisfactory; after all paragraphs are considered, the entire paper is then open to amendment, and paragraphs may be further amended. Any Preamble cannot be considered until debate on the body of the paper has ceased.

 

  • Object to Consideration: Objection must be stated before discussion or another motion is stated.

 

  • Informal Consideration: Move that the assembly go into "Committee of the Whole" - informal debate as if in committee; this committee may limit number or length of speeches or close debate by other means by a 2/3 vote. All votes, however, are formal.

 

  • Appeal Decision of the Chair: Appeal for the assembly to decide - must be made before other business is resumed; NOT debatable if relates to decorum, violation of rules or order of business.

 

  • Suspend the Rules: Allows a violation of the assembly's own rules (except Constitution); the object of the suspension must be specified (2/3 vote).

 

  • Number of Speeches on the Same Question per Member per Day: Unless the assembly has a special rule providing otherwise, no member can speak more than twice to the same question on the same day. Merely asking a question or making a brief suggestion is not counted as speaking in debate; nor is the making of a secondary motion counted as speaking in debate, so long as in making the motion the member makes no comment on the then-pending question.

 

  • Absences: Whenever a Senator is absent from any regularly scheduled Faculty Senate meeting, that Senator, either before the meeting or within two weeks following the meeting, submits in writing (which includes e-mail) to the Chair of the Senate the reason for the absence. The Chair determines and so informs the Senator whether the absence is excused or unexcused. Criteria for excused absences shall be illness, temporary but necessary professional commitments, and being away from the community at times not covered by a contract with the university. Failure to submit properly the reason for an absence will automatically cause that absence to be considered unexcused. Whenever a Senator accumulates two unexcused absences, or a total of five unexcused and excused in the course of a regular Senate year, he or she is deemed to have vacated the office and is notified to this effect by the Chair. An exception to this policy is granted only by vote of the Senate and then only if the absences are due to unusually difficult situations. Vacancies arising in this fashion are filled as set forth in Article IV, Section 6, Paragraph C, of the Faculty Constitution ("The Chairperson of the Senate shall nominate persons to fill vacancies created by unexpired terms. The Senate shall either elect or reject nominations made by the Chairperson. Persons so elected shall serve until the next regular election, at which time the faculty will elect a person to complete the unexpired term"). In order that constituents may be aware of the attendance records of their Senators, the Secretary shall indicate absences on the voting sheet in the minutes.


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