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Benjamin Geiger

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About Benjamin Geiger

  • Birthday 03/12/1982

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  1. Which really cuts back to the question I raised several posts ago: What power does a member parliamentarian have that J. Random Member doesn't? EDIT: I guess a better question would be, what does an appointed parliamentarian do during a meeting other than answer questions and give advice? If that role is being filled by some putz in the audience, would that not make that putz a de facto parliamentarian?
  2. So yeah, ours explicitly do require a member parliamentarian.
  3. Yes, that's precisely it. I've become known as "that Robert's Rules guy" (in addition to being the chair of the Bylaws committee). Sadly, our parent organization and our bylaws require that the chair of the organization preside over meetings. Our bylaws require that the chair appoint a member parliamentarian. Which special rule would that be?
  4. Benjamin Geiger

    Rescind and conflicting Rules

    This is precisely why I'm not at all surprised that among the authors of the 11th edition we find a mathematician and a computer scientist, professions that deal extensively with large, complex systems of rules. And there's no way to perform automated unit testing on rules of order.
  5. A serious question, once I've been struggling with since the prohibition on the parliamentarian participating in debate was pointed out to me: What power, precisely, would I have as the parliamentarian of an organization that I wouldn't have as "that guy in the back who knows Robert's Rules"? What sort of abuse would be possible as the de jure parliamentarian that isn't already possible as the de facto parliamentarian? The consensus here seems to be that while a de jure parliamentarian cannot speak in debate, a de facto one can. Why? Literally the only advantages I've found to being a parliamentarian for an organization would be a more comfortable seat and perhaps access to a power outlet. I'm not willing to trade my right to debate for that, so I've explicitly declined the role.
  6. On the other hand, it's entirely possible that the membership is apathetic because they don't know that there are remedies available. I'd recommend making contact with some other members and seeing if they'd be interested in drumming up support.
  7. Benjamin Geiger

    Special Meeting vs Executive Session

    RONR 11e p. 655, ll. 3-11: Yes, it should have been held in executive session. At a bare minimum I'd recommend holding all further proceedings in executive session. (Sorry I'm not more help. I'm still newish.) PS: your organization charges fees to prefer charges against other members? Is this in addition to, or in lieu of, the formation of an investigation committee?
  8. Yes, RONR is our parliamentary authority. I think it's more a matter of rules drift. People don't bother reading RONR; they learn how to run meetings from someone who learned to run meetings from someone who learned to run meetings from someone who half-remembered skimming RONR once. It turns into a giant game of telephone, combined with a "let's play it by ear" attitude. Also, our debates tend to be more 'conversational', more like committee meetings; instead of members standing and delivering speeches, we tend to say a couple of sentences when we get the floor, and often directly to another member (another debate rule we routinely break). I prefer the more formal approach, myself, but that's because I'm used to it. I can accept the status quo, though, particularly since it seems to be more natural for our organization. I don't think they're ready for proper debate yet. Baby steps.
  9. That's... a really good point. Pretty much, yeah. I realized I'm falling into the trap of "because General Robert said so", and I need to work harder to avoid it.
  10. When several members wish to speak to a motion, our Chair has a habit of acknowledging multiple members in sequence: "Okay, Alice, then Bob, then Carol." Any victory I'd have in convincing them to follow proper floor assignment procedure would be Pyrrhic at best. Since the status quo seems to be acceptable to most--if not all--of the membership (in truth, the only objection I have is "it's not RONR"), and in the spirit of "pick your battles" (or perhaps "if the mountain won't come to Muhammad"), I'm considering proposing a special rule of order such that the Chair's current practice becomes the "proper" practice. Is this something that can be done without rewriting swaths of RONR? Or should I just continue letting them follow custom, despite...?
  11. In other words, if the member is present for the vote, it doesn't matter whether they were there for the debate. Whether it's polite or reasonable to vote on a motion one did not hear the debate for is another question entirely, but that's a question of etiquette, not parliamentary procedure.
  12. I've become something of a de facto parliamentarian for my organization, as I seem to be the only person in the room who has read RONR and is also willing to speak up when questions arise. We have an appointed parliamentarian, but he rarely attends meetings. By answering parliamentary questions and presenting myself as reasonably knowledgeable about parliamentary matters---relative to the rest of the organization, of course---do I put myself under the same restrictions placed upon appointed member parliamentarians (i.e. the requirement to appear impartial and refrain from voting)? (I've been pushing for a bylaws amendment or special rule of order that would remove those restrictions on a member parliamentarian, under the premise that there is nothing I can do on the dais as the official parliamentarian that I can't do from the membership as "that guy who knows Robert's Rules", so I wanted to confirm that that premise is reasonable.)
  13. Benjamin Geiger

    Voting on Bylaws Amendments via Email

    Huh??? A reference to this meme.
  14. Benjamin Geiger

    'Show of Hands' Question

    If memory serves, the, ahem, other parliamentary authority renamed Previous Question to Close Debate and Vote Immediately. A bit unwieldy, perhaps, but it seems to do the job.
  15. Benjamin Geiger

    Meeting minutes

    I like the saying (that I probably heard here): "they're minutes, not seconds."