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  • RONR Message Board – Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised
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  1. In our organization, the bylaws don't mention committees at all. We simply meet yearly to elect the Executive Board. Can the Executive Board establish standing committees and boards—with standing authority to act on certain matters without specific instructions—that report to it? It is my understanding that such standing committees and boards would need to be in the Executive Board's special rules of order, per page 578.
  2. In my review of RONR, it is my understanding that it is never in order to suspend the rules in bylaws unless provisions for suspension are included for a particular rule or are clearly in the nature of a rule of order. I take this to mean that even a Board who has the authority for governing the maintenance and operations of the club in regard to functions and activities, cannot suspend the rules and make changes to our bylaws without due process of membership ratification. During a bylaws committee meeting, one of the members made a statement to an officer of the club that the Board had a right to suspend the rules and make summary changes to the bylaws and/or special rules if they felt the need to do so in order to fulfill their obligations in operations of the club. I disagreed with this statement however no real consensus was gained on the subject. My question then is, would the Board have this right even though our bylaws clearly state revisions to bylaws must be ratified by 2/3 vote of the membership at a general meeting? Thank you
  3. Our club is nationwide and meets twice a year, one of which meetings often lacks a quorum. As such, our Board is empowered to act for the society (there is some debate as to whether they're accountable to the membership, but that's a different matter!). The Bylaws allow the President to appoint committee chairs and the Board to dissolve committees. While the Bylaws mention standing committees, they do not actually list any. We don't have our Standing Rules collected in any one place, but we've had the same committees for at least the past 15 years so I'm going to assume that at some point they were designated standing committees. One of these committees is membership. Recently the President developed descriptions of each committee's function/responsibilities, and this is what it says for membership: "To supervise the membership application process, communicate with sponsors and applicants during the nomination process, and notify new members when approved." This is a one-person committee, as far as the Board is concerned. In December 2013, someone noticed that a new question was added to the membership application, about a controversial topic among club members. It was added without the knowledge or consent of the Board. The question was reworded somewhat in February 2014 -- not quite as invasive, but still irrelevant and controversial. Nowhere in the minutes from any Board meeting, nor in the committee reports, are these changes to the membership application mentioned. The February 2014 Board minutes record a vote to place the application on the website, but that's it. My feeling is that, since the committee description does not include managing the application itself, the committee chair has overstepped her bounds. While she is certainly free to suggest changes to the application, the proposed revisions should be included in her report and should be voted on by the Board. Am I right about that? If so, is it considered a continuing breach? We've already had new members apply using that application, and I suspect the Board would vote to approve the application as it is now regardless. I'm not crazy about it but there may be changes to other documents that would render those questions invalid, so I don't necessarily want to get into this too deeply, but I am curious about it. I'm also sending a letter to the Board with some suggestions for other changes, and want to mention this and at least point out that the committee chair does not have the right to change the application any way she sees fit, and the membership should have been informed of the changes (via the minutes/report) even if they were approved by the Board -- but I want to make sure I'm correct on those points before I do so.
  4. Guest

    Powers of a "Council"

    I am part of a Student Government Organization that frames what is termed a "Federation Council" comprised solely of the President and Vice-President from each of the 4 equal-ranked Campus Student Governments. I have included a screen shot of the section that authorizes and assigns powers and duties to the "council". Recently, the council chair appointed another member to act as a representative for the student body as a whole without any consultation or approval of the members of the Federation nor the 4 campus Senates. I am of the position that this act was a violation of Section 4 as well as the rights of the members to make and approve nominations and appointments. In support of this view I am trying to determine whether the Federation is a Board, Committee, or some other parliamentary entity and by extension which powers and duties it can assume (and by extention which powers and duties its chair can assume) that are not explicitly granted to nor withheld from it in our Constitution.
  5. A follow-on question, picking up on one of the points raised in the reply to http://robertsrules....-be-called-for/ I gather that when a society adopts RONR as its parliamentary authority, within bylaws that contain no other language to govern any deviations therefrom, the RONR provision which allows the adoption of special rules of order extends only to the society, but that this privilege does not extend to the society's Board – despite that meetings of the Board are themselves deliberative assemblies, albeit smaller ones. Is this limitation, in which a Board cannot deviate even from the parliamentary authority, anywhere specifically provided within RONR, or is it more the case that – as a small deliberative assembly imbued with the powers of the society between meetings of the society – any special rules of order adopted or presuming to have been adopted by the Board between meetings of the society are (1) lacking in authority, and therefore having to be ratified by the society at its next meeting in order for decisions already taken to be permitted to stand (and advisedly better that these not be practiced until after the opportunity to have had them properly approved by the society , or (2) considered to be in authority, but only until such time as the first opportunity for the society to consider these special rules, at which meeting the rules must either be approved or rejected, or (3) considered to be in authority, but only until such time as the first opportunity for the society to consider these special rules, at which meeting the rules must either be approved or rejected, or (4) considered to be in authority, until such time as the society may choose to overturn / rescind them? Thanks!
  6. If an assembly adopts RONR as its parliamentary authority (in the bylaws), are the boards and standing committees that are listed in the bylaws also compelled to use RONR as their parliamentary authority, or are they free to conduct business in the manner they choose?
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