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Posts posted by mjhmjh

  1. On 6/27/2020 at 6:11 PM, Weldon Merritt said:

    I once belonged to a law fraternity that used the term "scribe." But I agree that most organizations, regardless of how creative they are with the titles for other positions, tend to stick with "secretary."

    It is also common for high school latin clubs to have a scribe rather than a secretary.

  2. The President submitted his resignation to the Executive Board. The Executive Board accepted his resignation, so the office of President is now vacant. Note: the Constitution authorizes the Executive Board to accept resignations. Furthermore, when the office of President is vacant, the Constitution says that the Vice President acts as President until the vacancy is filled but does not become the President.

    The Constitution says this about vacancies:


    Whenever a vacancy arises in an office, an election to fill the vacancy, held in the same manner as a regular election, must occur at the following regular meeting, or at the same meeting if the vacancy occurs during a meeting.

    Thus, at our regular meeting Monday evening, there will be an election for the office of President. The Vice President plans to run for President. However, the Constitution says:


    A member must not hold more than one office at a time.

    Thus, if the Vice President is elected President, the office of Vice President will become vacant immediately and the election of a Vice President will come up at that moment. Some members would like to postpone the election of a Vice President to the next regular meeting. I believe this can be done with a motion "to postpone the election of a Vice President to the next regular meeting," which requires only the support of a majority of those present and voting. Others say the appropriate motion is "to suspend the rules and postpone the election of a Vice President to the next regular meeting," which requires the support of two-thirds of those present and voting, because to postpone the election we must suspend this portion of the Constitution (which they argue is a rule of order).


    Whenever a vacancy arises in an office, an election to fill the vacancy, held in the same manner as a regular election, must occur at the following regular meeting, or at the same meeting if the vacancy occurs during a meeting.

    I cite RONR (11th ed.), p. 185, ll. 22–27 in support of my view.

  3. Suppose an assembly would like to adopt a package of special rules for only a single session (e.g. a special debate procedure applying to a number of controversial motions which are to come up). Clearly, the assembly could adopt these special rules by the usual process but include a proviso providing for their termination at the adjournment of the session. However, is there some rule in RONR allowing for the adoption of special rules by a lesser threshold when they are only to apply for a single session?

  4. On 11/10/2019 at 11:02 AM, Daniel H. Honemann said:

    This is not at all a proper way to seek unanimous consent. A member may ask that something be agreed to by unanimous consent, but he should not move that it be agreed to by unanimous consent because such a motion would then need to be seconded and voted on.


    Would it be proper for the member to say "“I ask for unanimous consent to strike from line 32 of the resolution the word ‘blue’ and insert ‘red’”?

  5. 20 minutes ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

    See if RONR (11th ed.), p. 274, ll.20–29 answers your question.

    I'm not really sure how to apply those lines to my situation. The amendment isn't a series of resolutions, it just substitutes one article for another. Are you saying that the substitution is indivisible and that the member will have to move to strike section 1 from the substitution if he wants to consider it separately?

  6. In a special committee, the pending main motion is a draft constitutional revision. We are considering an amendment to the revision that a subcommittee recommended. The amendment substitutes an article in the draft for a re-written article. The new article includes three sections.

    A member was interested in moving to divide the question—that is, make section 1 a separate amendment from sections 2 and 3. Is this allowed? I do not see how a motion to substitute can be divided. 

  7. I have a good one


    A Student Senator who will not attend the summer academic term, or any portion of the term may nominate a Summer Replacement Senator, subject to confirmation by the Student Senate on the first day of every May.

    Page 5, section 4: https://www.sg.ufl.edu/Portals/0/2016 Constitution Finalized.pdf?ver=2017-01-25-140342-633

    The issue is that the Senate must confirm the Summer Replacement Senators on May 1st and only on May 1st. Not April 30 or May 2. To make matters morse, classes typically end before May 1.

  8. An organization has made me chair of a committee to propose a revision to their Constitution (they do not have bylaws). The motion was to "create a special committee for constitutional revisions." Per the constitution, the president appointed the committee members and chair. The committee includes myself (not a member), 7 people (most members), and a member ex officio (the president). Consistent with RONR (the chapter on bylaws in particular), I was planning to follow this procedure:

    I believe that this committee charge is so broad that it empowers the special committee to recommend any and all constitutional amendments it finds appropriate, or even an entire revised constitution, to the organization. 

    In the first meeting, we will discuss changes we would like to see to the constitution. Then, we will create drafting subcommittee(s) to write out the motions we agree upon in the full committee (e.g. "I move that the subcommittee draft an amendment that adds introducing new members to the rules of the organization as a duty of the Secretary."). 

    Suppose we receive several constitutional amendments from the subcommittee, and after amending/debating the constitutional amendments, we adopt the constitutional amendments. What would be the procedure for combining them into one revision? Could we refer the constitutional amendments to a subcommittee, instructing the committee to draft a revision based on those amendments, and then adopt the subcommittee's draft revision?

    Additionally, does adopting something in the committee automatically make it a part of our report? Or do we have to adopt the report we will deliver to the organization (the report will include the revised constitution or amendments) as a final vote at the end?


  9. Just now, Richard Brown said:

    Mjhmjh, Since you have significantly changed the question, and many of our regulars have probably already read the original question, may I suggest that you just delete your original post with a comment that “I have deleted this question and have reworded and reposted my question as a new post”. 

    Usually we clarify a question with subsequent posts, not by rewarding the original post. That leads to confusion because the original answers are no longer applicable

    Thank you for the tip. I will do that now and apologize for the confusion. :)

  10. 33 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

    Instructions to "[revise] the... constitution to correct any typos and expand on any procedural actions that may be of importance" appears to me to fall far short of authorizing drafting of an amendment "clarifying the different classes of membership".

    I have updated my post with the correct motion: "create a special committee for constitutional revisions."

  11. If an organization wished to allow a particular non-member to speak in debate at a meeting, it could suspend the rules for that meeting. What if it wished to allow a particular non-member to speak in debate at all its future meetings, as if that non-member were a member? (Excluding the ability to vote, of course). Would a special rule of order be necessary?

  12. Suppose that according to the procedures on and before page 647, following the offender being named, a member moves "That [name of the offender] be required to leave the meeting hall during the remainder of the meeting." What would the threshold for this motion be?

    Alternatively, suppose that a member moves "That the rights of membership of [name of the offender] be suspended for a period of __ days." What would the threshold for this motion be?

  13. 41 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

    Yes, the elections could be by unanimous consent, especially if the choice is expected not to be controversial.

    In my opinion, a quorum is required to elect a chair pro tem and secretary pro tem.  

    If there is no quorum, and no prospect of obtaining one, the member calling the meeting to order should note the absence of a quorum and declare the meeting adjourned.  Since no secretary was present, the member calling the meeting to order should supply a draft of the (brief) minutes of the meeting to the regular secretary.

    There could be debate over whether to schedule an adjourned meeting. Wouldn't an elected chair pro tem have more legitimacy in such an event?

  14. At our next meeting, the president, Vice President, and secretary will not be present. RONR says:

    "If neither the president nor any vice-president is present, the secretary—or in the secretary's absence some other member—should call the meeting to order, and the assembly should immediately elect a chairman pro tem to preside during that session. Such office is terminated by the entrance of the president or a vice-president, or by the adoption of a motion to "declare the chair vacant and proceed to elect a new chairman" (see pp. 651–52)." (Page 453)


    Our plan is to have some member call the meeting to order and chair the election of a chair pro tem. Then, the newly elected chair pro tem will chair the election of a secretary pro tem. Can these elections be by unanimous consent? Is a quorum necessary to elect a chair pro tem and a secretary pro tem for just that meeting?

  15. 23 hours ago, Guest Nancy B said:

    At our monthly Board of Directors' Meeting, of which I am Chairman, a Board Member noted that an item of business for our next Board Meeting should be to formally approve the minutes from our Annual Membership Meeting, held last month.  My opinion is that this action would be incorrect, because the Board of Directors and the Membership assembly are two different deliberative bodies, and the Membership should approve the minutes of their meeting, not the Board.  The membership meets only once a year, at the annual meeting.  I would appreciate your help in clarifying this, as our Bylaws do not address it.


    I agree with the other replies. My organization meets biannually; what we do at these biannual meetings is create a committee of several trusted members to approve the minutes. The chair simply asks for unanimous consent to create such a committee.

  16. 17 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

    I would add that the rules on accepting or declining an office apply to members who have actually achieved a majority victory on the ballot.  In other words, one can accept or decline an election, but not a nomination

    No second or acceptance is required in the nomination process.  Once an eligible person is named, that person is nominated.  Although nominees may seek recognition in order to withdraw their candidacy, either before voting or between ballots, this does not prevent voters from voting for them anyway nor, should they be elected, prevent them from accepting election.

    Would the motion to withdraw one's candidacy be adopted by majority vote?

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