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Suspending a rule


Guest Jacquie
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The Society I live in has just made a new rule stating ‘A member wishing to introduce new items to an agenda must submit these items to the board in writing at least 30 days before the meeting’.  

Is it possible to make a motion to suspend this rule with a 2nd and 2/3 of a vote and request the item to be added to the agenda?

thanks for your help! Jacquie

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Depending on the details (eg: is this for meetings of the board or the Society as a whole? Is the draft agenda distributed to members some time before the meeting?) it could be argued that this rule effectively requires previous notice for any item that will be discussed at the next meeting. In that case, it would be a rule that protects absentees and therefore could not be suspended when any member is absent. 

Edited by Atul Kapur, PRP "Student"
re-reading raised some uncertainty
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10 hours ago, Atul Kapur, PRP "Student" said:

Depending on the details (eg: is this for meetings of the board or the Society as a whole? Is the draft agenda distributed to members some time before the meeting?) it could be argued that this rule effectively requires previous notice for any item that will be discussed at the next meeting. In that case, it would be a rule that protects absentees and therefore could not be suspended when any member is absent. 

Atul's original response, before he amended it, is what prompted me to weigh in.  His original response said, in essence, that this rule is a rule protecting  absentees and cannot be suspended.  The edited version throws in some wiggle room.

I'm not at all certain that this rule is a rule protecting absentees.  I think we need more information before we can come to that conclusion.  In addition to the points Atul  raised in the first sentence of his edited post about the type meeting being held and the manner of distributing the agenda, I think we need to know how, when and by whom the agenda is prepared.  I can think of... and have actually seen... examples  of such rules that were not intended to protect absentees.  I also note that the language in RONR on pages 263-264 about a rule protecting absentees makes reference to previous notice of a proposed bylaw amendment but not to other types of motions.  I also note that the book appears to be giving examples, not an exhaustive list of rules which protect absentees.

All things considered, I think we need more information before we can say that this is a rule protecting absentees and that it cannot be suspended.  And I commend Atul for second guessing and editing his original  response! :)

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14 hours ago, Guest Jacquie said:

The Society I live in has just made a new rule stating ‘A member wishing to introduce new items to an agenda must submit these items to the board in writing at least 30 days before the meeting’.  

Is it possible to make a motion to suspend this rule with a 2nd and 2/3 of a vote and request the item to be added to the agenda?

Maybe. What is the intent of this rule? What does the board do with these items after it receives them? For that matter, what does the board do with the agenda?

3 hours ago, Transpower said:

It appears to me that this rule is a "rule of order" and so it can indeed be suspended by a 2/3 vote.  RONR (11th ed.), p. 17, ll. 19-21.

I concur with Mr. Brown that we need more information to definitively say whether this rule may be suspended. Presumably, the board does something after it receives these items. Depending on what that something is, it may well be that the rule protects absentees.

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While I agree that this is a rule of order, if the board sends out the notice of meetings, it is a rule protecting absentees and cannot be suspended.

The board in this case might be similar to a standing committee that is assigned to receive a certain class of business.  It does follow that if all business of certain type can be referred automatically  to a committee, that something (or everything) can be submitted to a board.  A rule requiring something be sent to a committee, or introduced though a committee could be suspended.

I would ask Jacquie if the rule was adopted by the membership or imposed by the board.

I would also note that it might be possible to amend the rule. 

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner
17 hours ago, Guest Jacquie said:

The Society I live in has just made a new rule stating ‘A member wishing to introduce new items to an agenda must submit these items to the board in writing at least 30 days before the meeting’.

Meeting of whom? The board? The society? Who is in charge of this agenda and by what authority?

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