Robert’s Rules of Order

WICA Meetings are governed by the rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order when applicable and not inconsistent with the provisions of our By-Laws.

Basics of Robert’s Rules

Robert’s Rules of Order are designed to allow all sides of an issue to be discussed thoroughly and efficiently and to dispose of business quickly by the decision of the majority.

  • The Chairperson heads the meeting
  • All speakers must be called on to speak by the Chairperson prior to speaking
  • No speaker may interrupt another
  • Each speaker may speak once per subject until all others who wish to speak have spoken, except the original speaker who has the right to speak last on a subject
  • Speakers should not repeat a point made by another speaker
  • Speakers may ask a speaker to clarify a point
  • The Chairperson may limit the amount of time given to a discussion


Debate is moved forward through “motions.” Motions allow us to reach a decision.

  • Common Motions include . . .
    • A motion to vote
    • A motion to continue the discussion at a certain time
    • A motion to table the discussion (usually used to end a discussion and dispose of an issue with no further action unless a member raises the issue again in the future)
    • A motion to give more time to, or limit the time of, a discussion
    • A motion to move the discussion to a committee (or board) to decide
    • A motion for a secret ballot
    • A motion to divide the question (used to clarify a complex motion to enable votes on smaller parts)
    • A motion to amend a motion in discussion
    • A motion to approve (ie, the agenda, the minutes, the Treasurer’s report, etc.)
    • A motion to suspend the rules (used for free flowing discussion, typically for smaller groups)
    • A motion to adjourn
  • About Motions
    • Any member can make a motion
    • Any member may second a motion
    • A seconded motion generally leads to a vote
  • If you’re not comfortable making motions at first, please state what you’d like to do and a member will help put it into the form of a motion, if needed.

Click here for more information on motions

The Agenda

WICA meetings are run according to an agenda. In most cases, the agenda will be distributed prior to the meeting.

Call to Order

The Chairperson begins the meeting and may make a brief announcement

Adoption of the Agenda

Members read the agenda and a motion is made to adopt the agenda. A member may also make a motion to change the agenda. For example, if an issue needs to be added to the “New Business” section.

Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer will report on the financial assets of the Civic and any known upcoming expenditures. The treasurer will also report on the number of active members.

Committee Reports

The Chair, or a spokesperson in the absence of the Chair, of each committee will report to the Membership on the activities of the committee since the last General Membership Meeting.

Old Business

This portion is reserved for ongoing business.

New Business

This portion is reserved for new business. New business will either be on the original agenda or a request to add an issue may be made at the beginning of the meeting when the agenda is adopted.