Business Meeting Motion FAQs
If you’re new to association business meetings, the idea of
submitting motions at the business meeting may be intimidating. The
following FAQs, based on Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, are designed to help demystify the process.
What is a motion? A motion is a
formal proposal by a member, made in a meeting, that the College take a
certain action. The proposed action may be substantive (i.e., ACNM
should support a single payer health system or conduct a specific
research project), or it may simply express a certain view (i.e., all
women should have access to nitrous oxide in labor). Motions can also be
made in response to written or oral reports by the College leadership.
How do you bring a motion to the ACNM business meeting?
wishing to bring a motion to the business meeting should fill out a
motion form. ACNM is piloting a new, user-friendly online process for
submitting motions for discussion at the Annual Business Meeting. The new form is available here. Motion forms will also be available at the Annual Meeting.
Who decides when motions will be discussed at the Business Meeting?
you submit a motion prior to the Annual Meeting, it will be assigned an
order by the Program Committee Chair and ACNM Secretary. If you submit a
motion during the Annual Meeting, it will be considered in the order
that it has been submitted.
What does the parliamentarian do?
parliamentarian is a consultant brought in by ACNM to advise the
president and other officers, committees, and members on matters of
parliamentary procedure. This year, ACNM’s parliamentarian will be Kevin
R. Connelly, Professional Registered Parliamentarian. Members are
welcome to meet with Kevin before the business meeting for assistance in
writing a motion. He will be available in the Program Committee
Office located in the Convention Center for two hours prior to each
business meeting. Many members find this assistance to be very helpful.
How is my motion brought to the floor of the business meeting?
chair invites the member who has submitted a motion to come to a
microphone to make their motion. When approaching the mike, first
announce your name and state. As soon as you have made a motion, take
your seat. In order for your motion to move forward, another member must
second it. After the motion is seconded, the chair “states the
question” of the motion and it is opened for debate by the membership.
Are there rules for debate?
Yes! First of all, the individual who made the motion is offered the
first opportunity to discuss it. See additional rules in the following
section. Once debate has ended or a motion to end debate (“Calling the
Question” or “Moving the Previous Question”) is adopted, members have
the opportunity to vote on the motion.
Can discussion take place on an issue without a motion?
general rule is that a motion must be made in order for discussion to
take place on an issue, unless it is allowed by the chair. The general
rule against discussion without a motion is designed to help keep the
meeting on track.
Help! I’m still confused!
staff, board members, and our parliamentarian are available to assist
you. Or, go right to the source by buying your own copy of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.