Joey's Rules of Order

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Adopted March 2018
Last Modified March 2018

1. Scope

1.1. This policy outlines the rules of order to be respected during meetings of the council​ of the Engineering Undergraduate Society​ (EUS​). Nothing in this document shall be taken to be legally binding. In the event of any contradiction between this document and any legally binding document of the EUS, the legally binding document shall supercede.
1.2. In the case of any situation which arises during a meeting of council​ which is not covered by this document the speaker​ may exercise their discretion.
1.3. This document is to serve as a guideline for the speaker​ and members ​of council. It is intended to preserve institutional memory and outline a consistent set of rules by which meetings of council​ are governed.

2. Decorum

2.1. All individual present at meetings of council​ are asked to:
2.1.1. Act in a professional and respectful manner at all times.
2.1.2. Speak only when they have been recognized to speak.
2.1.3. Not engage in cross-talk during debate.
2.1.4. Not engage in attacks on the character of other individuals present.
2.1.5. Listen when others are speaking.
2.1.6. Use electronic devices only for the purpose of participating in the meeting.
2.2. Individuals not respecting the rules of decorum may be removed from a meeting at the discretion of the speaker.​ Any removal can be appealed or reversed by a simple majority ​vote of council.
2.3. All members ​of council are expected to:
2.3.1. Prepare for meetings ​in advance.
2.3.2. Attend all meetings ​of council. In case of absence, members who are not executives are responsible for arranging a proxy from among their constituency, and notifying the speaker ​and VP Student Life of their replacement in writing before the meeting.
2.3.3. Arrive on time for meetings​.
2.3.4. Help set up and clean up the council room for meetings, as requested by the VP Student Life.
2.3.5. Follow the rules of decorum as specified above.
2.4. Any member ​who does not meet the above expectations may be censored​, suspended​, or removed ​from council meetings by a motion​ of council.
2.4.1. A member ​cannot vote on a motion for their censorship, suspension, or removal, and may be barred from speaking on the motion at the discretion of the speaker.
2.4.2. A motion to censor​ a member removes their right to speak. Censored members may remain in the meeting and may vote. A member may be censored for part or all of the remainder of the meeting. A motion to censor can be brought up at any point during the meeting, by a member who has been recognised to speak. It must include the duration of censorship and should include a justification. A motion to censor requires a simple majority​ to pass and is (not?) debatable.
2.4.3. A motion to suspend​ a member removes their right to be present or vote at a council meeting. A member may be suspended for the remainder of the meeting, and up to two (2) of the following meetings. A motion to suspend can be brought up at any point during the meeting, by a member who has been recognised to speak. It must include the duration and justification for suspension. A motion to suspend requires a simple majority​ to pass and is debatable.
2.4.4. A motion to remove​ a member removes their right to be present or vote at council meetings for the remainder of their term. A motion to remove must be brought up as a main motion​ and must include justification for removal. A motion to remove requires a two-thirds majority​ to pass and is debatable.
2.5. The constituents of an elected representative should be informed of the censorship, suspension, or removal of their representative and may arrange for a proxy. A motion to censor, suspend, or remove a member affects the member as an individual, and does not affect their seat on council; their proxy is not bound by the motion.

3. Agenda

3.1. The agenda​ (Appendix C) typically takes the order:
3.1.1. Opening of meeting
3.1.2. Approval of the agenda
3.1.3. Announcements
3.1.4. Approval of the minutes of the last meeting
3.1.5. Presentation (5 min) and approval of the minutes of the Board
3.1.6. Presentations
3.1.7. New business
3.1.8. General reports (5 min)
3.1.9. Departmental reports (1 min)
3.1.10. Executive reports (3 min)
3.1.11. Set the time and date of the next meeting
3.1.12. Adjournment
3.2. The agenda​ should be prepared by the speaker​ of council ​and sent to all members​ at least 48 hours before each meeting of council.
3.3. Motions to adopt the agenda ​and approve minutes are implicit and do not require a mover or seconder.
3.4. Members​ wishing to have a presentation, motion, or discussion presented at a meeting of council​ should submit these to the speaker​ at least 72 hours before the meeting​.
3.4.1. Any motion or discussion submitted less than 72 hours before the meeting shall automatically be considered a notice of motion or discussion.
3.5. During the approval of the agenda, members ​may make amendments to the agenda and then vote to approve the agenda for the current meeting. Once approved, the agenda is considered final and may not be amended without suspending the rules​.
3.6. During the approval of the minutes of the last meeting, members ​verify the accuracy of the minutes of the last meeting and may amend the minutes for accuracy, clarity, or spelling mistakes before approval.
3.7. The approval of the minutes of the Board of Governors​ involves a five minute presentation by a member of the Board​, followed by questions and then discussion. As an expression of their opinion, Council ​can vote to approve the minutes, approve with comments (to send back to the Board​), or reject the minutes outright.
3.8. Members​ who wish to make an announcement are given one (1) minute and may take questions after their announcement.
3.9. Presentations are given ten (10) minutes, followed by questions. A copy of presentation slides should be submitted to the speaker in advance of the meeting.
3.10. A written version of all reports (Appendix D) should be submitted before the beginning of the meeting.

4. Debate & Discussion

4.1. When a main motion​ is brought before council​, it must be accompanied by a written document outlining the context and justification for one or more actionable items to be carried out if the motion passes (Appendix A).
4.1.1. The mover and seconder are given two (2) minutes to present their motion.
4.1.2. A question period​ shall follow the presentation of the motion. The question period ​shall be used solely for individuals to ask clarifying questions about the main motion​. The question​ period ends when no further individuals wish to ask a question (the speaker must confirm this).
4.1.2.1. If a question is clearly directed at a specific individual, the Speaker shall allow the individual to respond. Otherwise, the Speaker shall allow the mover or seconder to answer questions.
4.1.3. A debate ​period follows the question period. Members may make motions, state opinions or concerns, suggest amendments, ask questions, etc. during debate​. The debate ​period ends when no further individuals wish to speak (the speaker must confirm this)
4.1.4. Voting procedure​ on the motion ​directly follows the end of debate​.
4.2. When a discussion topic​ is brought before council​, it must be accompanied by a written document introducing the topic and outlining a series of discussion points​ on the topic (Appendix B).
4.2.1. The mover and seconder are given two (2) minutes to present the context or background for the discussion​.
4.2.2. Discussion​ will occur in order, on each of the discussion points. When there are no further individuals who wish to speak (the speaker must confirm this), discussion​ will move to the next discussion point.
4.2.3. A discussion​ ends when there are no longer any individuals wishing to speak on the final discussion point or a motion is made to table​ the discussion.
4.3. During discussion ​or debate ​on any motion​:
4.3.1. Individuals raise their hands (or placards) to be added to a speaking list or be recognized to speak immediately at the discretion of the speaker.
4.3.2. When an individual is recognized to speak they have 90 seconds to speak.
4.3.3. An individual may cede their speaking time to another individual if they want them to answer a question. An individual who has ceded their time may reclaim it at any moment.

5. Voting

5.1. Individuals with the right to vote​ at Council ​are identified in the Constitution.
5.2. Voting on most motions ​is conducted by a show of hands (or placards) of those in favour, opposed, or abstaining.
5.3. Unless otherwise specified, a vote requires a simple majority​ to pass.
5.4. Voting on motions ​involving the nomination of members to a committee or body can be conducted in various ways at the discretion of the speaker​, including but not limited to:
5.4.1. If there are the same number of nominees as vacancies on the committee, the vote on all nominees can be held as a single vote. If the vote on all nominees fails to achieve a simple majority​, a vote to approve each nominee can be held separately. If a nominee fails to achieve a simple majority​ the speaker​ searches for more nominees.
5.4.2. If there are more nominees than vacancies on the committee, members ​vote for their preferred nominees, and the nominees who receive the highest vote counts are selected.
5.4.2.1. If voting​ results in a tie between nominees for the final position(s) on a committee, an additional round of voting will be conducted including only the nominees who were tied, to allocate the final position(s).
5.4.3. Nominees to a committee or body may make a speech explaining their candidacy.
5.5. If an individual believes that votes ​were not counted correctly they may call a point of order ​to request voting procedure ​be reconducted.

6. Definitions I: General Terms

6.1. Standing orders​ refers to this document.
6.2. Agenda ​refers to the official document which outlines the order of business at meetings​ of council.
6.3. Council ​refers to the council of the EUS.
6.4. EUS ​refers to the Engineering Undergraduate Society of McGill University.
6.5. Debate​ is when a main motion​ is before the committee and members​ may speak.
6.6. Voting procedure ​is the period when voting is conducted on a motion.
6.7. A vote​ is a member's​ official expression of approval or disapproval regarding a motion​.
6.8. Member ​refers to a member of council​. Members​ are identified in the Constitution​.
6.9. Constitution ​refers to the Constitution of the Engineering Undergraduate Society of McGill University.
6.10. A meeting​ is any meeting of Council ​not otherwise stipulated.
6.11. Simple majority ​is defined as fifty percent (50%) plus one of votes cast regarding a motion​. An abstention does not count as a vote cast.
6.12. Two-thirds majority​ is defined as two-thirds (⅔) of votes cast regarding a motion​. An abstention does not count as a vote cast.
6.13. Board of Governors ​or Board​ refers to the Board of Governors of the EUS​.
6.14. A mover​ is the individual who proposed a motion​, and must be a member of council​.
6.15. A seconder​ is the individual who supports the proposal of a motion​, and must be a member of council​.

7. Defintions II: Motions

7.1. A meeting ​is conducted as a series of motions​, where a motion ​is a way to introduce a piece of new business or propose an action during a meeting​. All motions ​require a member​ to introduce them, the mover,​ and a second member ​who supports their introduction, the seconder​.
7.2. A main motion​ is a motion to introduce a piece of new business.
7.3. A motion to amend​ is a motion to change the motion currently under debate. A motion to amend ​must refer to specific clauses and contain the exact language to be amended. This motion requires a simple majority​ to carry and is debatable.
7.3.1. If the Speaker​ rules that an amendment is not in the spirit of the motion, they may rule it out of order.
7.3.2. The mover​ may consider an amendment​ to be friendly​, in which case the change is accepted without debate.
7.3.3. The mover​ may consider an amendment ​to be unfriendly​, in which case the amendment ​is considered as a separate motion​ to amend​.
7.3.4. The mover​ of an amendment​ may make changes to or withdraw their amendment ​so long as it has not yet been amended by an unfriendly amendment​.
7.3.5. A motion to amend ​an amendment ​to an amendment ​will not be considered; to avoid confusion, amendments cannot go more than two layers deep.
7.4. A procedural motion​ is a motion which pertains to the current meeting. A member may not abstain on a procedural motion​.
7.4.1. A motion to the previous question​ is a procedural motion ​to enter voting procedure​; it is intended to end a debate which has become circular. A motion to the previous question ​within the first ten (10) minutes of debate ​shall be considered out of order. This motion requires a two-thirds majority to pass and is not debatable.
7.4.2. A motion to send to committee ​is a procedural motion ​to request the motion under consideration be brought before another body. This can be an existing committee of the EUS​ or an ad-hoc committee created after the motion is carried. This motion requires a simple majority ​to pass and is debatable.
7.4.3. A motion to suspend the rules ​is a procedural motion ​to suspend the unprotected clauses of the standing orders​ (e.g to allow for free conversation between members, to add an item to the agenda after it has been approved, etc.). This motion requires a two-thirds majority to pass and is not debatable.
7.4.4. A motion to enter casual session ​or roundtable ​is a specific variation of the motion to suspend the rules​ in which debate continues on a motion without the normal rules of order. A time limit must be set on this motion.
7.4.5. A motion to table ​is a procedural motion ​to end debate on a motion before a vote. A motion may be tabled indefinitely, or to a later meeting. This must be specified in the motion to table​. This motion requires a simple majority to pass and is debatable.
7.4.6. A motion to recess​ is a procedural motion ​calling for a short break without adjourning the meeting. The duration of the recess must be specified in the motion. This motion requires a simple majority​ to pass and is not debatable.
7.4.7. A motion to reconsider​ is a procedural motion ​to bring a motion before council​ that has previously failed. This motion requires a two-thirds majority to pass and is not debatable.
7.4.8. A motion to enter closed session ​is a procedural motion ​to ask all individuals who are not members of council, ​the speaker​, or minute-taker​ to leave the meeting. Minutes taken during a closed session are not released to the public. This motion requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass and is debatable.
7.4.9. A motion to enter open session ​is a procedural motion ​to allow members of the public to be present at the meeting. Minutes taken during an open session are released to the public. This motion requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass and is debatable.
7.4.10. A motion to withhold the minutes​ is a procedural motion ​to prevent the minutes from being released to the public. A motion to withhold the minutes ​can be made proactively about a motion which is about to be discussed or retroactively (within the same meeting) about a motion previously discussed. This motion requires a ⅔ majority vote to pass and is debatable.
7.4.11. A motion to divide the question ​is a procedural motion ​to propose the current motion be divided into several motions. This typically allows debate on the motion as a whole to be continued but results in multiple votes during voting procedure. This motion requires a simple majority​ vote to pass and is not debatable.
7.4.12. A motion to vote by secret ballot​ is a procedural motion ​to propose voting on a motion be held by secret ballot (or with the eyes of members closed). This motion requires a simple majority​ to carry and is debatable.
7.4.13. A motion to adjourn ​is a procedural motion ​to end the current meeting. This motion requires a ⅔ majority vote to pass and is not debatable.

8. Definition III: Points

8.1. A point ​is a motion which typically takes precedence over occuring business. Members do not have to be recognised to speak to make a point.
8.2. A point of order​ is a point ​made when the standing orders​ are not being respected (e.g: voting was conducted inaccurately). This point can be made at any time, including during voting procedure​ or when a member is speaking. A point of order​ is not debatable and the speaker​ must rule on it immediately. The ruling of the speaker on a point of order​ can be overturned by a two-thirds majority vote.
8.3. A point of inquiry​ is a point ​made when a member has a question relating to the procedure of a meeting (e.g: how to make a motion or obtain permission to speak). A point of inquiry​ is not to be used to ask a question to another member or about the motion being debated. This point ​can be made anytime a member is not speaking.
8.4. A point of personal privilege ​is a point which relates to the ability of a member to participate in a meeting or their general comfort (e.g: individuals are being disruptive and they cannot hear the speaker, see the projector, or the room is too warm). This point can be made at any time.

Appendices

Appendices can currently be found in the official PDF version.