Parliamentary Procedure?

What is parliamentary procedure?

It is a set of rules for conduct at meetings that allows everyone to be heard and to make decisions without confusion.

Why is parliamentary procedure Important?

Because it's a time tested method of conducting business at meetings and public gatherings. It can be adapted to fit the needs of any organization. 

Parliamentary Authority for EGA

The parliamentary authority for all of EGA is the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR). EGA national, region, and chapter bylaws are written in such a way that as a new edition of RONR is published, it automatically replaces the previous edition as EGA's parliamentary authority. This book is now in its 11th edition.

While there are many books available with "Robert's Rules" in the title, be aware that only the 2011 editions of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, published by Da Capo Press, are the current, official versions.

Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief may be useful as a supplementary reference. The official RONR website may also be helpful.

Conducting Meetings

Is the business portion of a regularly scheduled meeting necessary?

Yes, if a quorum is present. According to RONR, regular meetings mean the "periodic business meetings" of an organization so it would follow that the business portion is necessary. However, members could decide to shorten a particular meeting by general consent or by a specific motion on the day of the meeting. Under general consent the presiding officer would call the meeting to order and then say something like "If there is no objection, we will dispense with the business meeting today and adjourn."

If the meeting section of your bylaws includes a clause which reads something like "...unless otherwise ordered by the membership or the board of directors," the membership/board of directors could vote to dispense with a business meeting that is scheduled for a particular date. For example, if a regular meeting is scheduled for March 2016, you could vote not to have the business meeting that day, but you could not vote to dispense with all March meetings except by changing the bylaws.

What is a quorum?

A quorum is the minimum number of voting members who must be present at a properly called meeting in order to conduct business in the name of the chapter or region, board of directors, etc.

 What is the significance of not having a quorum?

No business can be transacted, including voting on motions and approving minutes. Reports can be heard and members can engage in general discussion. The presiding officer could call the meeting to order and then adjourn after the secretary announces that a quorum isn't present.

What is "general consent?"

This is a time saving step which can be used by the presiding officer when there seems to be no opposition in routine business or on uncontroversial matters. Also known as "unanimous consent," "general consent" can be used as long as you have a quorum and do not violate a ByLaw. The presiding officer states, "If there is no objection [     ] is adopted [or approved, etc.]."

How is a meeting managed in the absence of the president, vice president, and secretary?

Any member may call the meeting to order, and then a temporary chair would be agreed upon by the members, either by vote or by general consent.