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Rob Elsman

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    Tulsa, Oklahoma

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  1. The motion to change graduation requirements was not in order, because it did not present an independent, free-standing question.
  2. My sense of it is that the election was unauthorized, null and void. This is the stuff of which disciplinary proceedings are made for. The general membership cannot tolerate such brazen usurpation of authority. It is time to bring the perpetrators to account.
  3. Do you mean "meeting" rather than "session"? My understanding was that the rules cannot be suspended byyond the current meeting.
  4. The term "two-thirds majority" is highly improper, in the parliamentary sense. "Two-thirds vote" is the technical term you are looking for. It is formally defined in RONR.
  5. From the facts presented, it sounds like your group acted quite properly. It appears to have felt that the Facebook post by the presiding officer, however limited the circulation, reflected badly on the organization and might reasonably bring the organization into bad odor for those who read or saw it. The organization has every right to protect its good name, and the motion to censure was one way to do that. A motion to censure does not require a full disciplinary proceeding. It is merely an attempt to express the sense of the assembly. It does not require previous notice. It sounds like the facts were presented and an opportunity for debate was available. I doubt anyone has the real right to object for having been "blindsided", and it is well worth remembering that the motion could have been postponed had the assembly felt it needed more time to gather itself and think things through more thoroughly. It is true that a motion to Rescind is in order. With previous notice, the motion requires only a majority vote. However, as you note, what has happened as a consequence of the censure has happened. The offender has ressigned and been replaced. In this sense, I suppose, it makes little difference whether the censure is rescinded or not. However, it would act to restore the good name of the offender and remove the blight on his reputation that might hinder him from holding office in the future. So, yes, by all means, the assembly can rescind the censure. Hopefully, it will do so in a way that is thoughtful and fair to all involved..
  6. The general rule is that the original appointing authority also has the power to fill vacancies. Therefore, unless there is a rule in the bylaws to the contrary, the body or person who elected or appointed the members who resigned is also the body or person who has the power to elect or appoint the successors.
  7. If, for one reason or another, the minutes of the annual meeting cannot be read and approved at the next regular meeting, they should be approved as soon thereafter as possible, either at a regular meeting or a special meeting called for that purpose. If there are multiple sets of minutes to be read and approved, they should be dealt with in the order that the meetings occurred.
  8. I agree with Mr. Mervosh. It remains to be seen how much time the sorority will save by establishing a consent calendar (the preferred term in lieu of "consent agenda"), given that any one of the sisters can demand that an item of business be taken off the calendar to be considered in the regular way. All in all, if the sorority is set on establishing a consent calendar, I would recommend the sorority not put a special rule of order in the bylaws; rather, that the special rule of order be adopted by resolution outside the context of the bylaws. Inevitably, placing special rules of order in the bylaws causes more problems than it solves.
  9. I agree with Mr. Kapur that RONR does not require some kind of certification of a bylaw amendment as a matter of the common parliamentary law. In come states, an incorporated organization may be required to file either the amendment alone or the bylaws as a whole, as amended, with a state officer--often the Secretary of State. If this applies to your case, you will want to know whether the applicable laws or regulations require some kind of certification before submission.
  10. I agree agree with Mr. Mervosh. Moreover, for the very greatest number of ordinary societies, the standard order of business found in RONR will do quite nicely.
  11. Organizations that meet at least as often as quarterly should not approve an agenda at the beginning of each meeting. Instead, the standard order of business or another order of business established by the organization by rule should be followed.
  12. The interpretation of the bylaw will have to take into account the intention or reasoning behind withtholding the right to vote. Once it has been determined exactly why the right to vote has been withheld, the answer to the question will be easier to answer. For example, was it intended that the chairman of the CPP be nothing more than a listener to report important information back to the CPP to assist the CPP in its work? If so, it might be reasonable to conclude that the bylaw means that the chairman of the CPP has the right to attend meetings, but nothing more. On the other hand, was the intent to provide the chairman of the CPP some limited participation in the proceedings of the Board of Trustees to assist the trustees in determining the advisability of proposed actions? In this case, the bylaw could reasonably be interpreted to mean that the chairman enjoys the right to attend meetings and participate actively in the debate.
  13. See FAQ 20 on the Official Robert's Rules Website.
  14. The chairman of the committee should make a main motion to postpone the presentation of the report to an appropriate hour. This motion requires a second, is debatable, is amendable, and requires a majority vote for adoption.
  15. RONR does not prescribe "default" term limits at all.
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