Parli Pro 101: Part One

I know that parliamentary procedure can be pretty overwhelming at first, believe me when I first started competing I was scared of remembering opening ceremony. I later learned that wasn’t really parliamentary procedure. After accomplishing that feat I was given the 600-page book of Robert's Rules of Order. Most of the book made no sense until my advisor explained it to me. My goal with this is to go over the basics and introduce you to a little parli pro.


First off, the standard order of business. For example, unfinished business ALWAYS comes before new business. No matter what. Listed below is the official order of business as listed in Robert’s Rules of Order:

1. Reading the Minutes of the Previous Meeting
2. Reports of Boards and Standing Committee
3. Reports of Special/Select Committees
4. Special Orders
5. Unfinished Business and General Orders
6. New Business

Lastly: Adjourn


The next most important thing to learn is how to properly bring a main motion to the table. Only one motion can be on the table open for discussion at a time, so it is key that you follow this process:

1. A member seeks recognition for the floor
2. Chairman recognizes the member (member obtains the floor)
3. Member makes a motion
4. Another member seconds the motion
5. Chairman states the question
6. Debate (amendment and secondary motions)
7. Chairman puts the question to a vote
8. Chairman announces the result of the vote

This is part one of many because parliamentary procedure is a very complicated and confusing topic, so we will take it piece by piece. Be ready for the next part that focuses on the order of privilege of different abilities and their purposes.