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Unfolding chairs disrupts board member


Phillip Miller
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A recent meeting was at overflow capacity and while staff were trying to unfold chairs to seat 20 more people that were not initially expected to attend, the co-chair of the board admonished those helping set up chairs for making too much noise.

Not sure if this is a rule or it is just common sense, but pausing the meeting to get everyone seated seemed like a better alternative. Thoughts?

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The way to do that would be for the presiding officer to say "the assembly will stand at ease while we unfold chairs." That would probably have been a good idea, but you're right, there's no rule I can think of, except that the co-chair (however that works) may have violated the rules of decorum by admonishing members who were not breaking any rules - or maybe not, he may just have been keeping order. I agree the better move would be to stand at ease.

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There is no such thing in RONR as "co-chairs".

Aside from that, the presiding officer does have the authority (and the duty) to raise a Point of Order about disturbing conduct in the assembly's meeting room that might prevent members from hearing what is being said. If necessary, he may even interrupt a member who has been assigned the floor. Any other member may also raise a Point of Order if he cannot hear the proceedings on account of such a disturbance.

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