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Parliamentary Guide
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Parliamentary Guide

Columbia College Faculty Senate

10 September 2013

A Few Notes From Your Parliamentarian:

Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised

  • Senate bylaws require doing business in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised (aka parliamentary procedure).  Full and abridged versions are available for purchase online for a few dollars. 
  • Many free, online referents to Robert’s Rules are also available. 
  • Please familiarize yourself with the basics of Robert’s Rules (introducing a motion, etc.) to help optimize your participation on the Senate. 
  • While familiarization of Roberts Rules is preferred, the Senate will not enforce an unduly strict adherence to parliamentary procedure that might limit any senator’s participation in the proceedings of a meeting. 

To Take the Floor:

  • Senators wishing to address the floor—either to introduce a motion or to participate in a debate—should raise her or his hand.  A member of the Executive Committee will maintain a cue, and the President will call on senators in order.
  • In keeping with the logic of Robert’s Rules of Order, every attempt will be made to allow senators to speak to a topic for a first time before allowing senators to speak in a debate for a second time.
  • Cross talk and/or interruption of a speaker while a speaker has the floor will be ruled out of order. 

To Make a Motion:

  • Any senator can make a motion.
  • Only one item of business can be addressed at a time in senate meetings, though amendments to motions—and amendments to amendments—can be introduced in the course of debate on the main motion.  Amendments should be used to refine specific aspects of the main motion, and must be germane to the main motion.  Please consult Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised for details on making amendments. 
  • The President and Secretary request that longer motions be written down to help facilitate an accurate introduction of the motion to the minutes and the floor for debate.  Senators may wish to bring scrap paper with them to senate meetings for this purpose. 

Respectfully submitted,

Suzanne Blum Malley, Parliamentarian

Columbia College Faculty Senate