While most GEAPS chapter meetings are informal, certain rules are needed to conduct an effective meeting. Parliamentary procedure should be used to structure the meeting. Parliamentary procedure is an agreed-upon, orderly process of conducting a meeting. It is very important that the officer conducting a meeting be well versed in parliamentary procedure. The strength of any organization is the ideas and opinions of its members. Parliamentary procedure assures that all members will have a chance to speak.
Listed below are 10 important principles of parliamentary procedure outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order:
1. Parliamentary rules exist to help the orderly transaction of business and to promote cooperation and harmony.
2. The vote of the majority of group members, or quorum if set at less than majority, decides the course of action to be taken.
3. All voting members have equal rights and privileges.
4. The minority of the group also has rights.
5. Every member of the group is entitled to full discussion on every proposition presented for discussion.
6. Procedures should be the simplest and most direct for all purposes.
7. A definite and logical order of precedence governs the introduction and disposing of all motions.
8. Only one question can be considered at one time.
9. Every member has the right to know what the question actually means before the assembly begins voting.
10. The members may delegate duties and authority, but they do retain the right of final decision.