Main Menu Terms Duties   Motions and Voting Discipline



    Rights of Members during the Meeting
    Obligations of Members during the Meeting
    Usual order of Meeting 




  1. All members are equal and have the same rights:
    • To place motions before the assembly;
    • To enter into the discussion;
    • To oppose and to amend.
  2. To have his vote count equally.
  3. To hold the floor until he is finished speaking, assuming that the assembly has not limited debate.
  4. To demand a hand count, if he doubts the chairman's decision on a voice vote.
  5. To inquire of the chairman the issue being voted on.
  6. To call the chairman's attention to what seems to be an error in procedure.
  7. To appeal the decision of the chairman, if member feels the chairman has made a wrong decision.
  8. To call for order, if necessary. The chairman must never permit the meeting to get out of control. If disorder occurs, a member has the right to remind the chairman of the obligation to keep order.
  9. To call for the orders of the day. If the assembly has strayed from the order on the agenda, a member can insist that the agenda be followed.



  1. To receive recognition of the chairman before speaking, whenever this is required by the motion. No member has the right to speak whenever the whim strikes him. Since the chairman has the obligation to maintain order, the member has the obligation to remain silent until recognized. (As has been noted on the descriptions of the various motions, there are a few exceptions to this rule.)
  2. To speak directly to the subject being considered. No member has the right to talk about anything he wishes, without reference to the motion on the floor.
  3. To address all remarks to the chair man. It is very tempting to fall into the habit of speaking directly to other members or especially to members on the opposite side of an issue. Violent disagreement is the usual result in such cases, plus injured feelings.
  4. To refrain from using any insulting language. To refrain from using any insulting language or indecent behavior.


This is the typical pattern: 

  1. Chairman: "Meeting will please come to order."
  2. Chairman: "Roll call?"
  3. Chairman: "The secretary will please read the minutes of the previous meeting."
  4. Chairman: "Are there additions or corrections?"
    • (Chairman pauses)
    • (if there were no corrections) "They stand approved as read."
    • (if there were corrections) "They stand approved as corrected."
  5. Chairman: "Are there any committee reports?"
  6. Chairman: "Is there any old business on agenda?" .
  7. Chairman: (after all items on agenda covered) "Is there any other new business?"

  8. Communications (in some organizations, this comes immediately after the minutes)
  9. Announcements - Adjournment




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