Robert's Rules of Order
(As modified for the Riverside Robotics Society.)
These rules, also known as “Parliamentary Procedure” are a set of rules for conduct at meetings that allow everyone to be heard, and to make decisions without confusion.
Below, to a greater or lesser degree, is the way we run our robotics meetings.
The meeting chairperson is usually the club president, or another officer if the president is not at the meeting.
Making Club Decisions by "Motions" (A “motion” is a proposal.)
- Meeting is called to order by the meeting chairperson.
- Roll call by passing a list around.
- Class or presentation.
- Business meeting
- Reading of the minutes (or a summary) of the last meeting.
- Officers reports.
- Committee reports.
- Special business (previously designated for discussion at this meeting.)
- Old (unfinished) business.
- New business.
- Show and tell
The purpose of “making a motion” is to introduce an issue or item to the members for their consideration, discussion, and a possible vote. Only one motion is discussed at a time. A club members can:
How Motions are PresentedFirst you get a turn to speak by:
- Make a motion. “I make a motion that…”
- “Second a motion” (to have the motion discussed or voted on.) “I second that motion.”
- Debate a motion.
- Vote on a motion.
- "Table" (remove from the table) a motion (see below)
Then you make your motion
- Waiting until the last speaker has finished speaking.
- Raising your hand and address the meeting chairperson by calling him/her by name.
- Waiting until the meeting chairperson recognizes you.
Explaining on your motion
- State your motion: "I motion that we ..." or “I propose that…”
- Wait for someone to “SECOND” your motion. (When someone “seconds” your motion, he/she is saying that he/she thinks your idea is valid and should be talked about.) They will say, “I second that motion/proposal”), or the meeting chairperson will ask if there is a “second” on the motion.
- If there is no “second” to your motion, it "tabled", that is, not talked about any further.
- If there is a second, the meeting chairperson states your motion/proposal, "It has been moved and seconded that we ..." thus placing your motion before the membership for consideration and action.
- The meeting chairperson then will say “I open this motion for discussion.”
- The club members then either debate your motion, (the person that made the motion speaks first) or the club members may directly vote on it.
- If the vote passes the motion gets recorded in the minutes by the secretary.
Voting on a Motion:
- The time for you to speak in favor of your motion is at this point.
- The person that made the motion is always allowed to speak first.
- All other comments and debate must be directed to the meeting chairperson.
- Only one person is to speak at a time.
- Keep to a time limit for speaking that has been established.
- The person that introduced the motion may speak again only after other speakers are finished, unless called upon by the meeting chairperson.
- Putting the Question to the club members for a vote
- After discussion, the meeting chairperson asks, "Are you ready to vote on the question?"
- If there is no more discussion, a vote is taken.
- If the vote is in favor of the proposal. The meeting chairperson announces that the motions is “carried” and states the effect of the motion. (Example: The meeting chairperson says, “Motion carried. We will now require all members to wear red hats to all meetings.”)
“Motion to Table” or “Take a motion from the Table”
- By Voice: The meeting chairperson asks those in favor to say, "aye", those opposed to say "no".
- By General Consent: When a motion is not likely to be opposed, the meeting chairperson says, "if there is no objection ..." The membership shows agreement by their silence, however if one member says, "I object," the item must be put to a vote.
Lastly, a “motion to table” (the proposal) can be made. This motion is used to kill a motion, thusly stopping any further discussion. One can also "take a motion FROM the table", for reconsideration by the membership at a later date.
Please stick to this format for all meeting so that all may be heard.