Parliamentary Procedures 101
Listed below are basic rules for following parliamentary procedure as they relate to formal meetings. If you have specific questions not addressed here, please see Robert’s Rules of Order (go to the FAQ section).
Agenda/Order of Business
1. Call to Order
"Will the meeting please come to order?"
2. Reading and Approval of Minutes
Option 1: "Are there any corrections
to the minutes? There being no corrections, the minutes will
stand approved as read."
Option 2: "Are there any further corrections
to the minutes? There being no further corrections, the minutes
will stand approved as corrected."
3. Reports of Officers and Standing Committees
Reports are given in the same order as positions are mentioned in the organization’s bylaws.
4. Reports of Special Committees
5. Unfinished Business
"We come now to unfinished business. Is there
any unfinished business to come before the meeting?"
6. New Business
"Is there any new business to come before the
Unqualified Form: Motion for adjournment made and seconded; chairman calls for vote; action depends on majority vote. This motion cannot be discussed.
Qualified Form: Motion for adjournment within a definite time or adjournment to meet again at a specified time made and seconded; chairman calls for discussion, a vote is taken, and action depends upon a majority vote.
How Motions are Classified
- Brings questions or propositions before the assembly for consideration.
- Can be the only motion considered by the assembly until it is disposed of.
- Modifies or disposes of the main motion being considered.
- Existence depends on principle motion.
- Can be proposed while main motion is still before the assembly.
- No connection of this motion to the main motions before the assembly.
- Due to importance, it is entitled to immediate consideration.
- Main business is set aside temporarily to consider the privileged motion.
- Arise only incidentally before the business of the assembly.
- No specific characteristics define them.
How to Make a Motion
The proper way to make a motion is to raise your right hand
and say, "Mr. (or Madam) Chairman." Wait for the
chair to call on you. When the chair addresses you (calls
you by name), please stand and say, "I move that association
dues for Class A members be increased to $75." Be seated.
The chair will then say, "Is there a second to this motion?"
Another voting member should then raise his or her right hand
and say, "I second the motion."
If no voting member seconds the motion, it automatically
fails. Once the motion is seconded, the chair should say,
"Is there any discussion?" The chair should allot
a reasonable amount of time for members to debate the issue
before taking a vote.
The chair will then say, "All those in favor of increasing
association dues to $75 say 'aye'." The chair should
then say, "All those opposed to increasing association
dues to $75 say 'nay'." If there are enough votes in
favor, then the chair should say, "motion carried"
and pound the gavel once. If it cannot be determined whether
the motion passed or failed, the chair should ask members
to raise their right hand or stand in favor or opposition
to the motion. The chapter secretary should assist the chair
in tallying the votes at this time.
How a Motion May be Amended
Amend means to modify an existing motion that has been presented before the assembly.
Methods of Amending
- Addition or insertion
- Elimination or by striking out
Types of Amendments
- Amendment of the First Rank
Amendment to a motion
- Amendment to the Second Rank
Amendment to the amendment
No amendment beyond that of second rank is possible.
Order of Voting on Amendments
Amendments are voted in inverse order — second rank amendments are disposed of first.
- Discussion held and vote taken on the amendment to the amendment (second rank).
- Discussion called for and vote taken on the amendment to the motion (first rank).
- When vote has been taken, discussion on the original motion or amended motion is open; when discussion is completed, vote is taken.