Parliamentary Strategy – January 2013

All chapter regent’s should have the tools necessary to facilitate a meeting using correct parliamentary procedures. The NSDAR publication “Chapter Regent’s Manual and Parliamentary Procedure Guide (OSG0400), Revision Date: Feb 2012,”  gives regent’s the guidance needed to ensure a successful meeting. The excerpt below it taken from the guide.

The Chapter Regent as Presiding Officer

There are several ways to work to ensure the chapter’s success. Every chapter has goals they wish to accomplish. The chapter regent, in her leadership position, can help facilitate accomplishing the goals by involving members in the planning process and encouraging them to participate. Involved members will have a vested interest in the positive outcome of the project.

As the presiding officer at meetings, the chapter regent promotes member ownership of actions and decisions by maintaining the appearance of impartiality and providing the proper atmosphere for debate and discussion.

Following the basic principles of parliamentary procedure will all but guarantee a smooth and productive chapter meeting. As chapter regent:

  • Determine if a quorum is present (quorum is normally set in bylaws as either a number or a percentage) and call the meeting to order
  • Bring business before the meeting, according to your order of business (see section on agendas)
  • Recognize members who seek and are entitled to the floor
  • Put all legitimate motions before the group. (legitimate motions are any motions within the objects of the society)
  • Enforce the rules of debate and grant all members who wish to speak in debate the opportunity to do so
  • Conduct the votes on all questions, and determine and announce the results of the vote
  • Rule improper motions out of order (see RONR for improper motions)
  • Respond to parliamentary inquiries or points of information
  • Conclude the meeting by declaring it adjourned when voted by the members, when the appointed hour for adjournment arrives, or when there is an emergency and safety demands it

It is helpful if the Regent has some basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of Parliamentary Law, which are included in this manual, in order to properly preside at the chapter meeting. She needs be familiar with the bylaws of the National Society, the state organization and those of her chapter. Preparation and knowledge are essential to a successful meeting. It is essential for a presiding officer to know:

1. How to state and put questions;

2. The order of precedence of the various motions;

3. Which motions are not debatable;

4. Motions that cannot be amended;

5. Those motions that require a two-thirds vote.

The DAR Store has a Parliamentary Law Chart which is a valuable tool to help determine if a motion is in order, debatable, amendable, or requires more than a majority vote.

As a general rule, the Regent should avoid expressing her opinions on pending questions in order to preserve the appearance of impartiality; however, it is her duty to point out the results of any action proposed which may be detrimental to the chapter or in violation of any rules. It is not recommended that the Regent relinquish the chair to debate a question on the floor. However, when she does so to debate, she then does not resume the chair until the pending question has
been disposed of either permanently or temporarily.

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