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THE COLLEGE SENATE, BY-LAWS, ROBERT’S RULES AND YOU Slade Gellin Buffalo State College September, 2010 PowerPoint Presentation
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THE COLLEGE SENATE, BY-LAWS, ROBERT’S RULES AND YOU Slade Gellin Buffalo State College September, 2010. What is the primary purpose of Robert’s Rules? To give an organization the structure for running an efficient, meaningful meeting What is the secondary purpose of Robert’s Rules?

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THE COLLEGE SENATE, BY-LAWS, ROBERT’S RULES AND YOU

Slade Gellin

Buffalo State College

September, 2010

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What is the primary purpose of Robert’s Rules?

To give an organization the structure for running an efficient, meaningful meeting

What is the secondary purpose of Robert’s Rules?

To give an organization guidance on those issues of the organization not directly addressed by the by-laws

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Do College Senate meetings run in accordance with Robert’s Rules? By what authority?

Yes; Article XI, 8a of the Faculty By-Laws

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How do Robert’s Rules help run a meeting?

  • Provides a format for all that the organization wants to do at a meeting
  • Provides rules for all opinions to be heard
  • Provides a format for discussion of a particular issue through completion
  • Everything is voted on….very democratic
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What is the primary feature of Robert’s Rules?

Motions

What are some of the motions?

See the handout

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An Example:

Chair: Any new business? (Sees Sen. A with hand up) Sen. A?

Sen A: I move that roast beef sandwiches be served to the senators before every meeting.

Chair: Do I have a second?

Sen B: Second.

Chair: Discussion? Sen C.

Sen C: I love roast beef; good idea.

Chair: Sen. D?

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Sen. D: I hate roast beef; bad idea.

Chair: Sen. E?

Sen. E: I move we amend the motion by adding the phrase “and a non-meat sandwich choice” after the word “sandwiches” in the original motion.

Chair: A second? Sen. F?

Sen. F: Second.

Chair: The amendment is open to discussion. Sen. G?

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Sen G: I move to amend the amendment by adding the words “containing protein” after the word choice.

Chair: Second?

Sen. H: Second.

Chair: Discussion?

(Some discussion ensues)

Chair: Hearing no further discussion, we will now vote on the amendment of adding the words “containing protein” to the original amendment. All in favor?

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(26 Senators vote in favor)

Chair: Opposed?

(12 Senators oppose)

Chair: Motion carries. The amendment to the original motion now adds the phrase “and a non-meat sandwich choice containing protein”. Discussion?

(Discussion ensues.)

Chair: Hearing no further discussion, we will now vote on the amendment as amended to the original motion. All in favor?

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(27 in favor)

Chair: All opposed?

(22 opposed)

Chair: Motion carries. The main motion on the floor now is: “Roast beef sandwiches and a non-meat sandwich choice containing protein will be served to the senators before every meeting.” Discussion.

(Discussion ensues)

Chair: Hearing no further discussion, we will now vote on the motion. All in favor?

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(21 in favor)

Chair: Opposed?

(25 opposed)

Chair: The motion is defeated. Any other new business?

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What were the important points?

  • All conversation goes through the Chair.
  • When a motion is amended, the amendment becomes the topic of discussion; when the amendment is amended, that new change is the topic of discussion
  • Each topic of discussion is ended in a vote; either the organization supports the motion or it doesn’t
  • The discussion works backward through the chain until the original motion (as amended) is dispensed with
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Sens. A, D and G (the motion makers) began their sentences with “I move that..” . They are using the language of Robert’s Rules

  • Regular motions carry by majority, because Robert’s Rules suggest it and the By-Laws say nothing different. This is the real authority of Robert’s Rules
  • The Chair keeps everyone informed what is currently being discussed by repeating what motion is active (on the floor)
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So what does all this mean for me?

  • Your participation is important and welcomed; to do it effectively, you must think in terms of Robert’s Rules:
  • If you want to be heard, get the attention of the Chair!
  • If you have something new to bring up, wait for New Business and make a motion!
  • If you want to modify what is being discussed, make a motion to amend!
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If you agree or disagree with a current motion, but have no amendment suggestions, speak your mind during the discussion. This requires no knowledge of Robert’s Rules; but, if it sounds like you want to make a change, the Chair will prompt you for a motion to amend.

  • Study the other motions. Some of my personal favorites: To refer the motion to committee, to divide the question, to lay on or take from the table