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Robert's Rules Simplified

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Mariana Torres

on 21 January 2015

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Transcript of Robert's Rules Simplified

Why use it?
You made it!
The Basics of
Robert's Rules of Order

Five Towns College
Office of Student Activities
Now let's
try it out!
Making Motions
When members think that there is not enough information for an immediate decision, they can make a motion to postpone: “I move that we postpone this discussion until ...”
This requires a SECOND and majority vote
Most of the time, using “table” is incorrect: tabling postpones a discussion within a meeting, not until another meeting.
Putting Off Discussion
Two Turn Rule for Speaking on Motions
Members are only allowed to speak twice on each motion
Once unconditionally
Once after everyone who wishes to have spoken has had the opportunity
After a member has spoken twice, the President/Chair can still recognize her/him, but should question the purpose
Members are allowed to make amendments, call for a vote, etc
Members are not allowed to debate again
When/How Members can Speak
By motioning to amend, a member is asking the assembly to change what action to take.
The motioner should have a planned statement/amendment thought out before making this motion.
An amendment must be relative: one can't completely change the focus of the original motion
Speeches should only talk about the difference between the original and the proposed change
Amendments require a SECOND and vote.
An amendment is a new motion.
Amending a Motion
The President/Chair will recognize the maker of the motion to speak first, then go in order.
Speeches should only talk about why the body should or should not take this action
If there is an opposing side, both sides must be heard.
Each debate should have a designated time-frame to stay within.
Taking Action on Motions
Most motions require a SECOND to start debate – this prevents the assembly’s time from being taken up by something that only one person wants to do
When a member makes a SECOND, they are only stating that she/he feels a motion should be discussed. She/he is not stating that she/he agrees that the motion should be carried.
Taking Action on Motions
Motions are required for any discussion states what action should be taken.
To make a motion, say “I move that we motion to...”, followed by a statement of the action you want the assembly to take.
Motions should only state the action you want the assembly to take, not the reasons for it yet.
Conduct business efficiently
Protect the rights of the absent
Protect the rights of the minority
Rule by the majority (not of the outspoken)‏
Allow all to be heard
The Purpose of Robert's Rules
Robert’s Rules help with large group decision making, and with organization of meetings.

Understanding Robert's Rules will help you:
Run Club/SAAO/RHA Meetings more efficiently
Provide everyone with an opportunity to speak.
Give members opportunity to make informed decisions.
Prevent chaos, unnecessary debates, etc.
Why Use Robert's Rules?
Taking Action
Amending Motions
When/How Members can Speak
Putting off discussion
Rules for Voting
Basic Concepts to Cover
President/Chair should state what is being voted on
No voting is official unless a quorum exists (if the majority of members are present at the meeting).
There must be a majority (or 2/3rds) of members in favor: abstentions count as “nay”
If there are 16 members present, and the vote is 7 to 5 in favor, the motion fails: majority requires 9 votes in favor
President/Chair only votes in the case of a tie!
Rules of Voting
The Motion of
the ocean

Get in on
the action

Additional Opportunities for Members to Speak
Point of Order
Asks the President/Chair to enforce the rules, this should bring the assembly back on topic
EXAMPLE: “Point of order: aren't we supposed to be discussing the amendment?”
Full transcript