How to... | Sewanee: The University of the South

Quick Navigation


Search


Sewanee: The University of the South

Main Content

How to...

How to...

RSS feed Print email to a friend
9/8/2009
7:37 pm
This page is designed to answer many of the basic questions about writing OG resolutions or about how meetings work.
 

Writing Resolutions

Any gownmen may submit a resolution, provided that it is "in order" (meaning, it is in a correct form) and that it is submitted at least 48-hours before a meeting.  All resolutions are reviewed by the Executive Committee  (EC) before being presented to the whole Order.  The easiest way to work out the details of a resolution is to attend an EC meeting, which are usually held a week before a regular meeting.  The officers, especially the parliamentarian, will be more than happy to help you get everything together.

Resolutions must be written in the "Whereas" format.  This is a sort of formal format that begins by listing all of the reasons for the resolution (why you want it passed), followed by "be it resolved" sections that specifically say what you want done.  Examples of previous resolutions can be found on the OG Business page and the Digital Archives page.

Parliamentary Procedure

All meetings of the Order are run according to parliamentary prodecure.  These are a set of rules and practices that are designed to help regulate meetings and make sure that they run smoothly.  While these rules can often seem complicated and confusing, they are essential to the fair and efficient running of a meeting.  The rules for meetings are decided by three things: the Student Constitution, the OG Constitution, the Standing Rules, and Robert's Rules of Order.  The first three of these can be found on the Constitutional Documents page.  The last item, Robert's Rules, is the definative source for information on parliamentary procedure.  It sort covers anything not mentioned in the first three.

Even with these documents, in some cases it is hard to exactly know what is to be done.  This is why there is the presiding officers, which in the case of the OG is the President.  He decides all points of order (questions about parliamentary procedure).  The Parliamentarian, the true expert on these matters, advises the President.  The President also decides who is to speak and all questions are directed to him.

If you have a question about procedure outside of a meeting, please contact the Parliamentarian.  He or she will be happy to help answer any questions you might have.

However, if you are in a meeting, you must take different steps to answer questions.

If at any point in a meeting a member is confused about what is going on (concerning procedure), he or she should immediately say, "Point of order!"  A member can interrupt any speaker (even the President) to ask a question about parliamentary procedure and the question must be answered before any other business can continue.  The President does not have to call on you for you to raise a point of order.  For example, if the President announces that the Order is about to vote, a member may not know on what he or she is voting.  This would be an appropriate time to call a "point of order."  These points can also be raised if a member feels that a particular decision or action is a violation of parliamentary procedure.

If a member has any other question (such as, a question about what a resolution will), the member should raise his hand.  When he or she is called upon (and he or she must be) by the President, they should preface their question with the phrase "Point of Inquiry."  The question, even if it is about a resolution that was just presented by another gownsmen or is to a speaker, must be directed to the President.  If the President choses to do so, he or she may direct another person (such as the presenter) to answer the question.  Points of Inquiry may not interrupt a speaker and require recognition from the President.

With both of these "points" in mind, most confusion over procedure can be solved.  Do not be afraid to ask questions, for only a few people know parliamentary procedure well (so, you are not alone).

Below you will find a "cheat sheet" of basic motions.  Motions are requests for actions, such as a motion to vote, a motion to close discussion, or a motion to adjuren.  They ask for something to be done by the Order.  The chart found below is a copyright of Jim Slaughter.

Ask the Parliamentarian

In general, our Parliamentarian, Ms. Catherine Couey, would be overjoyed to help you with any other questions or concerns that you might have with parliamentary procedure.  Please refer to our contact page in order to learn how to reach her. Below is last year's overjoyed Parliamentarian,  Mr. Andrew Hawkins.
©The Order of Gownsmen

Utility Navigation


Contact Information

Sewanee: The University of the South735 University Ave, Sewanee, TN 37383931.598.100035.204826-85.921674