Parliamentary Procedure Resources: Glossary of Parliamentarian Terms
There are many, many terms and definitions associated with Parmliamentary Procedure. Hopefully this glossary of terms will help you better understand Robert's Rules of Order, agendas, meeting minutes, motions, meeting rules and formats, and the parliamentary process.
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A mallet used by the presiding officer to bring order to the meeting and keep order throughout the meeting. A gavel is a symbol of parliamentary procedure and of the presiding officer.
A method of voting without taking a formal vote. The presiding officer asks if there are any objections, and if none are expressed, the motion is considered passed. If any objection is expressed, the motion must be processed using the six steps.
A category of the agenda that includes any motion which, usually by postponement, has been made an order of the day without being made a special order. Translated, that means that if an item is Postponed until a certain day or after a certain event, it fits into this category.
Related to the subject. An Amendment must be germane to the motion it is amending. A Secondary Amendment must be germane to the Primary Amendment it is amending. For example, the Main Motion is “I move that we purchase a computer.” A germane Amendment might be to add “not to exceed $3,000.00.” An Amendment not germane would be to add “and an exercise bicycle.”
Refers to the number of memberships established in the bylaws. If the bylaws established a board of 9 and there were currently 2 vacancies, a majority of the fixed membership would be 5, a majority of the entire membership would be 4.
The rules of the organization. They include federal law, state law, corporate charter, articles of incorporation, constitution, bylaws, rules of order, standing rules, and policies and procedures.
If the organization is a local or state branch of an organization (referred to as the parent organization) and they are authorized to exist in the governing documents of the parent organization, then the rules contained in the governing documents of the parent organization that apply to the local are higher in authority than the rules of that state or local organization.