Parliamentary Procedure Cheat Sheet

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This page serves as a quick reference Parliamentary Procedure Cheat Sheet.


A motion is a proposal made by a member that the organization does something. Only one motion is to be considered at a time, although other motions may take precedence if urgent or relevant to the pending motion.

  • Example: "I, Zack Morris, move that the Zeta Zeta Chapter post the bylaws on the chapter website."

Passing a debatable motion

  • A member wanting to speak must first be recognized by the chair (typically the president).
  • The recognized member will “…move that (PSP does something).”
  • The chair will ask if the motion is seconded, which any member can then do (without recognition) by saying: “I second it,” or “seconded.”
  • Once seconded, the chair repeats the motion by stating “It has been moved and seconded that (the motion is restated).”
  • The chair asks if the maker of the motion would like to speak on behalf of their motion as the first positive debate, or defer to another member.
  • After the maker of the motion or another has given positive debate, the chair will call for a speaker that has negative debate.
  • Once the president calls for positive debate again, a member can call for question (without being recognized), which would lead to the motion being voted on.
  • However, to prevent voting & continue debate, any member can then say “I object,” or “objection,” to question (also without being recognized).
  • If “question” is called without any objection, (or “move to previous question” has been passed after “question” has been objected to), then the chair puts the motion to vote. “We will now vote on the motion to…”
  • Voting can take place on secret ballot, raised hands, through “consent,” roll call, or voiced “ayes” or “nays,” depending on the preference of the members.
  • The chair lastly announces the vote result. Ex: “The ‘ayes’ have it, the motion is adopted, and we will (what the motion said to do)”

Rules for debate

  • Debate alternates between positive and negative.
  • Each person can give at most 2 speeches per motion.
  • Debate must be pertinent and not repetitive (circular).
  • Debate must address the merit of the proposal rather than address comments by individuals.

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