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Help with who is allowed to speak

Guest Gervais

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Hello everyone,

I have an inquiry. I'm curious about whether somebody can speak at a meeting here at my school. Our meetings are open to the public to come and see the meetings for transparency purposes. However my question pertains to whether a person who is not a member of the student Senate here at my school is allowed under Robert's rules to speak during any of or portion of the meeting. If any of you are willing to clarify for me whether they are allowed and if there are special circumstances in which they could be allowed if not normally allowed that would be amazing. Thank you in advance for all your help and consideration.



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If RONR is your parliamentary authority, only members of the organization which is meeting have the right to speak at meetings. Non-members are considered guests and have no rights at all from a parliamentary standpoint. However, they may be permitted to speak by a majority vote or unanimous consent or based on your own rules. This issue is frequently handled by the presiding officer as long as there is no objection from a member.

It is important to note that your own bylaws and rules and school policies and stae law will probably supersede any of the rules in RONR.

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I will assume that the meeting you are referring to is a meeting of your student senate. The rule in RONR is that only members of the body that is meeting have the right to speak. Non-members, however, may be granted the right to speak to the assembly by a majority vote of the body (or by unanimous consent) if their speaking is not in debate of a motion, or by a 2/3 vote to suspend the rules in order to speak in debate on a motion.

As an aside, although you didn't ask - non-members may never be granted the right to vote.

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