Parliamentarian Rules and Regulations
(In conjunction and accordance with IUPUI Black Student Union)
Order of business: It is customary for every society having a permanent existence to adopt an order of business for its meetings. This is NOT an agenda, it’s simply an order in which business can be conducted in an efficient manner so that all parties involved can be heard; therefore, the following is the order:
(1) Reading the Minutes of the previous meeting [and their approval].
(2) Reports of Officers, Chairs, Special Committees…etc.)
(3) Special Orders (Presentations, Guests, and Outside Business…etc.)
(4) Unfinished Business.
(5) New Business.
(1A) The minutes are read only once a day at the beginning of the day's business.
(2B) All reports are required to be made by all officers, chairs, special committees, and/or other parties significantly involved in IUPUI Black Student Union affairs. The Executive Council and General Assembly are entitled to be informed about all matters pertaining to the IUPUI Black Student Union.
(3C) This aspect of the Order of business is set aside for those parties who have presentations, guests, and/or outside business that is not reported by the officers that significantly pertain to the IUPUI Black Student Union.
(4D) The business pending and not disposed of at the previous adjournment; and then the general orders that were on the calendar for the previous meeting and were not disposed of; and
(5F) Matters postponed to this meeting that have not been disposed of.
FYI:A Meeting is used to denote an assembling of the members of a deliberative assembly for any length of time, during which there is no separation of the members except for a recess of a few minutes, as the morning meetings, the afternoon meetings, and the evening meetings, of a convention whose session lasts for days. A "meeting," of an assembly is terminated by a temporary adjournment or a recess for a meal, etc. So an adjournment to meet again at some other time, even the same day, unless it was for only a few minutes, terminates the meeting. The next meeting, in this case, would be an "adjourned meeting" of the same session. In ordinary practice, a meeting is closed by moving simply "to adjourn.”
Furthermore, A Call for the Orders of the Day, which is a demand that the assembly conform to its program or order of business can be made at any time when no other privileged motion is pending and the order of business is being varied from. It requires no second, and is in order when another has the floor, even though it interrupts a speech, as a single member has a right to demand that the order of business be conformed. It is out of order to call for the orders of the day when there is no variation from the order of business. Thus, the orders of the day cannot be called for when another question is pending, provided there are no special orders made for that time or an earlier time, as general orders cannot interrupt a question actually under consideration. The call must be simply for the orders of the day, and not for a specified one, as the latter has no privilege. When the time has arrived for which a special order has been made, a call for the orders of the day taken precedence of everything except the other privileged motions, namely, those relating to adjournment and recess, and questions of privilege, to which it yields. If there are no special orders, a call for the orders of the day cannot interrupt a pending question; but, if made when no question is pending, it is in order even when another has the floor an has made a main motion, provided the chair has not stated the question. A call for the orders of the day cannot be debated or amended, or have any other subsidiary motion applied to it.
Quorum: This term is also stated in the IUPUI Black Student Union Constitution; however for further clarification and understanding it is as follows:
-the assembly is such a number as must be present in order that business can be legally transacted.
-the quorum refers to the number present, not to the number voting.
-Unanimous consent cannot be given when a quorum is not present, and a notice given then is not valid.
-In an assembly/meeting/session that has the power to compel the attendance of its members, the only affairs that can be transacted in the absence of a quorum is to take measures to obtain a quorum, fix the time to which to-adjourn, or to take a recess.
-if a quorum is not present at the appointed fixed time, after the recess, or after the measures have been taken to achieve quorum, the following can occur:
> rise and report to the assembly, which then adjourns.
> wait even longer for a quorum before proceeding to business.
> adjourn the meeting/session/assembly.
FYI: Quorum is competent or necessary to transact/conduct any business pertaining to IUPUI Black Student Union besides reporting to the general assembly and/or executive council.
Adoption or Acceptance of Reports: When the report of a committee has been received, that is, has been presented to the assembly and either read or handed to the chair or the secretary, the next business in order is the disposal of the report, the proper disposition depending upon its nature.
-When there is a place in the order of business provided for reports of committees, they are not made until they are called for by the chair.
-Upon the arrival of the time for these reports, the chair calls for the reports of such officers, committees, chairs…etc as are required to make reports, in the order in which they are arranged.
-When called upon, the reporting member (who is the chairman of the committee unless another member is appointed as a proxy) rises and addresses the chair, and, when recognized, reads the report and hands it to the presiding officer, or the secretary, and, when necessary, moves its adoption or acceptance.
-If the committee reports back a paper with amendments, the amendments are read with sufficient of the related parts to make them understood. If it is desired to have a report made earlier than the rules allow, it can be done, by a two-thirds vote, by suspending the rules and receiving the report at once.
-Reports require a majority vote to receive it/accept it.
-If the vote is in the negative, a time for the reception of the report should be appointed either by a vote or by general consent to discuss the matters for the reports rejection.
FYI: After a report has been read, to move that it be received, whereas the fact that it has been read shows that it has been already received by the assembly; to accept or reject a report requires a motion, 2nd, and Two-thirds Vote (A two-thirds vote means two-thirds of the votes cast, ignoring blanks which should never be counted). If it is a financial report, as in case of a board of trustees or a treasurer, it should be referred to an auditing committee, as the vote to accept the report does not endorse the accuracy of the figures, for the assembly can only be sure of that by having the report audited. Whenever such a financial report is made, the chair, without any motion, should say it is referred to the auditing committee or auditors, if there are any. If there are none, then the proper motion is to refer it to an auditing committee to be appointed by the chair if no previous actions have been taken by the Executive Council. When the auditing committee reports, this report should be accepted, or adopted, which carries with it the endorsement of the financial report.
Obtaining the Floor: Before a member can make a motion, or address the assembly in debate, it is necessary that he should obtain the floor -- that is, he must rise after the floor has been yielded, and address the presiding officer by his official title, thus, "Mr. Chairman," or "Mr. President," or "Mr. Moderator;" or, if a woman (married or single), "Madam Chairman," or "Madam President." If the assembly is large so that the member's name may be unknown to the chairman, the member should give his name as soon as he catches the eye of the chairman after addressing him. If the member is entitled to the floor, as shown hereafter, the chairman "recognizes" him, or assigns him the floor, by announcing his name.
-If a member rises before the floor has been yielded, or is standing at the time, he cannot obtain the floor provided any one else rises afterwards and addresses the chair.
-It is out of order to be standing when another has the floor, and the one guilty of this violation of the rules cannot claim he rose first, as he did not rise after the floor had been yielded.
-Where two or more rise about the same time to claim the floor, all other things being equal, the member who rose first after the floor had been yielded, and addressed the chair is entitled to the floor.
-From the decision of the chair in assigning the floor any two members may appeal, one making the appeal and the other seconding it. Where the chair is in doubt as to who is entitled to the floor, he may allow the assembly to decide the question by a vote, the one having the largest vote being entitled to the floor.
-If a member has risen to claim the floor, or has been assigned the floor, and calls for the question to be made, or it is moved to adjourn, or to lay the question on the table, it is the duty of the chair to suppress the disorder and protect the member who is entitled to the floor.
-Except by general consent, a motion cannot be made by one who has not been recognized by the chair as having the floor.
-If it is made it should not be recognized by the chair if any one afterwards rises and claims the floor, thus showing that general consent has not been given.
FYI: After a member has been assigned the floor he cannot be interrupted by a member or the chairman, except by the following:
> a motion to reconsider;
> a point of order; an objection to the consideration of the question;
> a call for the orders of the day when they are not being conformed to;
> a question of privilege;
> a request or demand that the question be divided when it consists of more than one independent resolution on different subjects; or
> a parliamentary inquiry or a request for information that requires immediate answer; and these cannot interrupt him after he has actually commenced speaking unless the urgency is so great as to justify it.
Furthermore, the speaker (that is, the member entitled to the floor) does not lose his right to the floor by these interruptions, and the interrupting member does not obtain the floor thereby, and after they have been attended to, the chair assigns him the floor again. So when a member submitting a report from a committee or offering a resolution, hands it to the secretary to be read, he does not thereby yield his right to the floor. When the reading is finished and the chair states the question, neither the secretary nor any one else can make a motion until the member submitting the report, or offering the resolution, has had a reasonable opportunity to claim the floor to which he is entitled, and has not availed himself of his privilege. If, when he submitted the report, he made no motion to accept or adopt the recommendations or resolutions, he should resume the floor as soon as the report is read, and make the proper motion to carry out the recommendations, after which he is entitled to the floor for debate as soon as the question is stated.
Motions and Resolutions: A motion is a proposal that the assembly take certain action, or that it express itself as holding certain views. It is made by a member's obtaining the floor as already described.
*Follow the Parliamentary Motions Guide for better clarification or go to the following website (www.jimslaughter.com)
FYI: As a general rule no member can make two motions at a time except by general consent. But he may combine the motion to suspend the rules with the motion for whose adoption it was made; and the motion to reconsider a resolution and its amendments; and a member may offer a resolution and at the same time move to make it a special order for a specified time. Another general rule is that every motion should be seconded. This is to prevent time being consumed in considering a question that only one person favors, and consequently little attention is paid to it in routine motions. Yet, any one may make a point of order that the motion has not been seconded, and then the chair is obliged to proceed formally and call for a second. The better way when a motion is not at once seconded, is for the chair to ask, "Is the motion seconded?" In a very large hall the chair should repeat the motion before calling for a second in order that all may hear. After a motion has been made no other motion is in order until the chair has stated the question on this motion, or has declared, after a reasonable opportunity has been given for a second, that the motion has not been seconded, or has ruled it out of order. A motion is seconded by a member's saying "I second the motion," or "I second it," which he does without obtaining the floor and in small assemblies without rising. In large assemblies, and especially where non-members are scattered throughout the assembly, members should rise, and without waiting for recognition, say, "Mr. Chairman, I second the motion."
*Except in very small assemblies the chair cannot assume that members know what the motion is and that it has not been seconded, unless he states the facts.
Stating the Question & Debate: When a motion has been made and seconded, it is the duty of the chair, unless he rules it out of order, immediately to state the question; meaning he/she should state the exact question that is before the assembly for its consideration and action. After a question has been stated by the chair, it is before the assembly for consideration and action. All resolutions, reports of committees, communications to the assembly, and all amendments proposed to them may be debated before final action is taken on them, unless by a two-thirds vote the assembly decides to dispose of them without debate.
-In the debate each member has the right to speak twice on the same question on the same day (except on an appeal), but cannot make a second speech on the same question as long as any member who has not spoken on that question desires the floor.
-No one can speak longer than ten minutes at a time without permission of the assembly.
-Debate must be limited to the merits of the immediately pending question; meaning, the last question stated by the chair that is still pending.
FYI: Speakers must address their remarks to the presiding officer, be courteous in their language and deportment, and avoid all personalities, never alluding to the officers or other members by name, where possible to avoid it, nor to the motives of members. If the debaters’ remarks are not courteous or if their behavior is deemed inappropriate, they will no longer be recognized as having the floor, dismissed from the debate, and escorted from the meeting, session, or assembly.
A Division of the Assembly may be called for, without obtaining the floor, at any time after the question has been put, even after the vote has been announced and another has the floor, provided the vote was taken viva voce, or by show of hands, and it is called for before another motion has been made. This call, or motion, is made by saying, "I call for a division," or "I doubt the vote," or simply by calling out, "Division." It does not require a second, and cannot be debated, or amended, or have any other subsidiary motion applied to it. As soon as a division is called for, the chair proceeds again to take the vote, this time by having the affirmative rise, and then when they are seated having the negative rise. While any member has the right to insist upon a rising vote, or a division, where there is any question as to the vote being a true expression of the will of the assembly, the chair should not permit this privilege to be abused to the annoyance of the assembly, by members constantly demanding a division where there is a full vote and no question as to which side is in the majority. It requires a majority vote to order the vote to be counted, or to be taken by yeas and nays (roll call) or by ballot. These motions are incidental to the question that is pending or has just been pending, and cannot be debated. When different methods are suggested they are usually treated not as amendments, but like filling blanks, the vote being taken first on the one taking the most time. In practice the method of taking a vote is generally agreed upon without the formality of a vote.
Limit or Extend Limits of Debate are motions, or orders to limit or extend the limits of debate, take precedence of all debatable motions, and may be applied to any debatable motion or series of motions; furthermore, if not specified to the contrary, applies only to the immediately pending question. If it is voted to limit the debate, the order applies to all incidental and subsidiary motions and the motion to reconsider, subsequently made, as long as the order is in force. But an order extending the limits of debate does not apply to any motions except the immediately pending one and such others as are specified. They are undebatable, and require a two-thirds vote for their adoption. This motion to limit or extend the limits of debate may be reconsidered even though the order has been partially executed, and if lost it may be renewed after there has been sufficient progress in debate to make it a new question.
After an order is adopted closing debate at a certain hour, or limiting it to a certain time, the motion to postpone and to commit cannot be moved until the vote adopting the order has been reconsidered; but the pending question may be laid on the table, and if it is not taken from the table until after the hour appointed for closing the debate and taking the vote, no debate or motion to amend is allowed.
An order modifying the limits of debate on a question is in force only during the session in which it was adopted. If the question in any way goes over to the next session it is divested of this order and is open to debate according to the regular rules.
When the vote is taken by ballot during a meeting of the assembly, as soon as the chair thinks all have voted who wish to, he inquires if all have voted, and if there is no response he declares the polls closed, and the tellers proceed to count the vote. If a formal motion is made to close the polls it should not be recognized until all have presumably voted, and then it requires a two-thirds vote like motions to close debate or nominations. If members enter afterwards and it is desired to reopen the polls it can be done by a majority vote. None of these motions are debatable.
To Postpone to a Certain Time or Definitely takes precedence of the motions to commit, to amend, and to postpone indefinitely, and yields to all privileged and incidental motions, and to the motions to lay on the table, for the previous question, and to limit or to extend the limits of debate. It allows of a limited debate which must not go into the merits of the main question any more than is necessary to enable the assembly to determine the propriety of the postponement. It may be amended as to the time, and also by making the postponed question a special order. The previous question and the motions limiting or extending the limits of debate may be applied to it. It cannot be laid on the table alone, but when it is pending the main question may be laid on the table which carries with it the motion to postpone. It cannot be committed or postponed indefinitely; but it may be reconsidered with a two-thirds vote.
The time to which a question is postponed must fall within the session or the next session, and, if it is desired to postpone it to a different time, which must not be beyond the next regular session, it is necessary first to fix the time for an adjourned meeting, and then the question may be postponed to that meeting. Neither the motion to postpone definitely nor an amendment to it, is in order when it has the effect of an indefinite postponement; that is, to defeat the measure, as, for instance, to postpone until tomorrow a motion to accept an invitation to a banquet tonight. If the motion to postpone indefinitely is in order at the time, the chair may treat it as such at his discretion, but it cannot be recognized as a motion to postpone definitely. It is not in order to postpone a class of business, as reports of committees; as each report is announced or called for, it may be postponed, or the rules may be suspended by a two-thirds vote and the desired question be taken up. A matter that is required by the by-laws to be attended to at a specified time or meeting as the election of officers cannot, in advance, be postponed to another time or meeting, but when that specified time or meeting arrives the assembly may postpone it to an adjourned meeting. This is sometimes advisable as in case of an annual meeting for the election of officers occurring on a very stormy night so that a bare quorum is present. After an order of the day or a question of privilege is before the assembly for action, its further consideration may be postponed. When a question has been postponed to a certain time, it becomes an order of the day for that time and cannot be taken up before that time except by reconsideration, or by suspending the rules for that purpose, which requires a two-thirds vote.
Closing Debate and Preventing Debate occurs when the debate appears to the chairman to be finished, he should then inquire, "Are you ready for the question?" After a reasonable pause, no one rises to claim the floor, the chair assumes that no member wishes to speak and, standing, proceeds to put the question. Debate is not closed by the chairman's rising and putting the question, as until both the affirmative and the negative are put, a member can rise and claim the floor, and reopen the debate or make a motion, provided he rises with reasonable promptness after the chair asks, "Are you ready for the question?" If the debate is resumed the question must be put again, both the affirmative and the negative. Should this privilege be abused by members not responding to the inquiry, "Are you ready for the question?" and intentionally waiting until the affirmative vote has been taken and then rising and reopening the debate. When a vote is taken a second time, as when a division is called for, debate cannot be resumed except by general consent. If two-thirds of the assembly wish to close the debate without allowing all the time desired by others, they can do so by ordering either the previous question or the closing of the debate at a certain time; or they can limit the length of the speeches and allow each member to speak only once on each question, as fully explained. These motions require a two-thirds vote, as they suspend the fundamental right of every member of a deliberative assembly to have every question fully discussed before it is finally disposed. A majority vote may lay the question on the table and thus temporarily suspend the debate, but it can be resumed by taking the question from the table by a majority vote when no question is before the assembly at a time when business of this class, or unfinished business, or new business, is in order. If it is desired to prevent any discussion of a subject, even by its introducer, the only way to do it is to object to the consideration of the question before it is debated, or if the objection is sustained by a two-thirds vote, the question is thrown out completely.
During debate, and while the chairman is speaking, or the assembly is engaged in voting, no member is permitted to disturb the assembly by whispering, or walking across the floor, or in any other way.
Adjournment: The motion to adjourn is to dissolve the meeting/session/assembly.
-The motion to adjourn can be repeated if there has been any intervening business, though it is simply progress in debate.
-The assembly may decline to adjourn in order to hear one speech or to take one vote, and therefore it must have the privilege of renewing the motion to adjourn when there has been any progress in business or debate.
-The motion to adjourn, like every other motion, cannot be made except by a member who has the floor.
-When made by one who has not risen and addressed the chair and been recognized, it can be entertained only by general consent.
-It cannot be made when the assembly is engaged in voting, or verifying the vote, but is in order after the vote has been taken by ballot before it has been announced. In such case the ballot vote should be announced as soon as business is resumed.
-No appeal, or question of order, or inquiry, should be entertained after the motion to adjourn has been made, unless it is of such a nature that its decision is necessary before an adjournment, or unless the assembly refuses to adjourn, when it would be in order.
-The motion to adjourn takes precedence of all others, except the privileged motion "to fix the time to which to adjourn," to which it yields.
-It is not debatable, nor can it be amended or have any other subsidiary.
-Also, before putting the motion to adjourn, the chair should be sure that no important matters have been overlooked.
-If there are announcements to be made they should be attended to before taking the vote, or at least, before announcing it.
-If there is something requiring action before adjournment, the fact should be stated and the mover requested to withdraw his motion to adjourn.
-The fact that the motion to adjourn is undebatable does not prevent the assembly's being informed of business requiring attention before adjournment.
-Members should not leave their seats until the chair has declared the assembly adjourned.
FYI: A General Order is usually made by simply postponing a question to a certain day or hour, or after a certain event. It does not suspend any rule, and therefore cannot interrupt business. But after the appointed hour has arrived it has the preference, when no question is pending, over all other questions except special orders and reconsideration. It cannot be considered before the appointed time except by reconsideration or by a two-thirds vote. If no provision is made for orders of the day, then such postponed questions come up after the disposal of the business pending at the previous adjournment, and after the questions on the calendar that were not disposed of at the previous meeting. This order cannot be varied from except by general consent or by suspending the rules by a two-thirds vote. If all of this business is not disposed of before adjournment, it becomes "unfinished business," and is treated as unfinished business. As general orders cannot interrupt the consideration of a pending question, it follows that any general order made for an earlier hour, though made afterwards, by not being disposed of in time may interfere with the general order previously made. Therefore, general orders must take precedence among themselves in the order of the times to which they were postponed, regardless of when the general order was made. If several are appointed for the same time, then they take precedence in the order in which they were made and in the order in which they were arranged in the motion making the general order.
A Special Order requires a two-thirds vote, because it suspends all rules that interfere with its consideration at the specific time, except those relating to motions for adjournment or recess, or to questions of privilege or to special orders made before it was made. A pending question is made a special order for a future time by postponing it and making it a special order for that time. If the question is not pending, the motion to make it a special order for a certain time is a main motion, debatable, amendable, etc. The member desirous of making it a special order should obtain the floor when nothing is pending, and business of that class, or new business, is in order. Another way of making special orders is by adopting a program, or order of business, in which is specified the hour for taking up each topic.
An Appeal may be made from any decision of the chair (except when another appeal is pending), but it can be made only at the time the ruling is made. It is in order while another member has the floor. If any debate or business has intervened it is too late to appeal. An answer to a parliamentary inquiry is not a decision, and therefore cannot be appealed from. While an appeal is pending a question of order may be raised, which the chair decides peremptorily, there being no appeal from this decision. But the question as to the correctness of the ruling can be brought up afterwards when no other business is pending. An appeal cannot be amended and if the decision from which an appeal is taken is of such a nature that the reversal of the ruling would not in any way affect the consideration of, or action on, the main question, then the main question does not adhere to the appeal, and its consideration is resumed as soon as the appeal is laid on the table or postponed. If the ruling affects the consideration of or action on the main question, then the main question adheres to the appeal, and when the latter is laid on the table, or postponed, the main question goes with it. Thus, if the appeal is from the decision that a proposed amendment is out of order and the appeal is laid on the table, it would be absurd to come to final action on the main question and then afterwards reverse the decision of the chair and take up the amendment when there was no question to amend. The vote on an appeal may be reconsidered. An appeal cannot be debated when it relates simply to indecorum, or to transgression of the rules of speaking, or to the priority of business, or if made during a division of the assembly, or while the immediately pending question is undebatable. When debatable, as it is in all other cases, no member is allowed to speak more than once except the presiding officer, who may at the close of the debate answer the arguments against the decision. Whether debatable or not, the chairman, when stating the question on the appeal, may without leaving the chair, state the reasons for his decision.