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Can a Parliamentarian function as both voting and non-voting member?


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I have been searching RONR for some guidance on this, but maybe I'm using the wrong search terms. Does RONR have any guidance on this situation:

  • Our Parliamentarian is elected for 2-year terms and is a non-voting member of our Senate.
  • Our Standing Committee chairs are elected for 1-year terms and serve as a voting member of the Senate.
  • Our Parliamentarian (me) has been elected to a standing chair position. Should I step down from the Parliamentarian role?

Weeks ago, I hard raised it as a concern to the Senate Chair and Vice-Chair, as well as the Chair of the committee that manages bylaws revisions. At that time, we researched the bylaws and I started researching RONR (I have it on Kindle) and we determined there was no conflict.

A voting member has raised this as a concern, but we don't have anything in our bylaws that precludes the Parliamentarian from serving in 2 roles. Can anyone point me to guidance in RONR on this topic? Personally, I don't have any issue with it, but I want to do what's right for our college.

Thank you for having this site and for your consideration.

Edited by Allison Moreland
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10 minutes ago, Allison Moreland said:

 

I have been searching RONR for some guidance on this, but maybe I'm using the wrong search terms. Does RONR have any guidance on this situation:

  • Our Parliamentarian is elected for 2-year terms and is a non-voting member of our Senate.
  • Our Standing Committee chairs are elected for 1-year terms and serve as a voting member of the Senate.
  • Our Parliamentarian (me) has been elected to a standing chair position. Should I step down from the Parliamentarian role?

Weeks ago, I hard raised it as a concern to the Senate Chair and Vice-Chair, as well as the Chair of the committee that manages bylaws revisions. At that time, we researched the bylaws and I started researching RONR (I have it on Kindle) and we determined there was no conflict.

A voting member has raised this as a concern, but we don't have anything in our bylaws that precludes the Parliamentarian from serving in 2 roles. Can anyone point me to guidance in RONR on this topic? Personally, I don't have any issue with it, but I want to do what's right for our college.

Thank you for having this site and for your consideration.

"A member of an assembly who acts as its parliamentarian has the same duty as the presiding officer to maintain a position of impartiality, and therefore does not make motions, participate in debate, or vote on any question except in the case of a ballot vote. He does not cast a deciding vote, even if his vote would affect the result, since that would interfere with the chair’s prerogative of doing so. If a member feels that he cannot properly forgo these rights in order to serve as parliamentarian, he should not accept that position. Unlike the presiding officer, the parliamentarian cannot temporarily relinquish his position in order to exercise such rights on a particular motion." - RONR (12th ed.) 47:55

 

Edited by Tim Wynn
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26 minutes ago, Allison Moreland said:

Our Parliamentarian (me) has been elected to a standing chair position. Should I step down from the Parliamentarian role?

I think you should choose for one of the two positions,  as the parliamentarian can not really engage in debate.

There are other topics where the advice is not to become a parliamentarian for a board if you can become boardmember, the chair may ask members for advice on parliamentary matters from other members  RONR 23:17, I think that is the better  option

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If your Senate his having trouble filling available positions, perhaps it is a good idea to work with the bylaws committee you mentioned earlier and review the requirements to hold these positions.  The Senate may feel a change is needed and this may help in avoiding issues such as this one in the future.  Good luck with whatever decision you make.

Edited by George Mervosh
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2 hours ago, Allison Moreland said:

Thank you. Yes, I think I will decide. Sadly, we went for a year with no Parliamentarian and the other committee was in a situation where no one else was eligible to be chair.

Just looking at RONR, I would not say it is prohibited, though it might not be advisable or something you'd like to do. 

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