Survival Tips on
Robert's Rules of Order
The Right to Not Be Interrupted
Once a member is recognized by the chair and is allowed to debate a motion or address the assembly in any way, then that member has the right to not be interrupted.
However, under the following situations any member has the right to interrupt the speaker. The interruption does not require a second or a vote!
- No motion: If a member starts to discuss a subject without a motion on the floor - interrupt him.
- Long speech: Every society specifies how long a member may speak. If a member violates this rule - interrupt him.
- Agenda calls for a Special Order: If a member is speaking and it is time for a scheduled Special Order - interrupt him.
- Question of Privilege: If a member is speaking when you or the society need something to continue with the meeting (open a window, shut a door, move an obstacle, request more handouts, dim the lights, etc.) - interrupt him.
- Point of Order: If an order is being violated (item on agenda skipped; adopted a motion with majority vote when 2/3 is required; adopted a motion to spend in violation of the budget, etc.) - interrupt him.
- Rowdy Member: If a member is speaking or behaving in a fashion unacceptable to your society's standard Call the Member to Order - interrupt him.
- Too many motions in one: If a member moves a motion that is clearly more than one motion lumped together - interrupt him.
- Parliamentary Inquiry: If you have a question related to parliamentary procedure while a member is speaking - interrupt him.
- Point of Information: If you have a question of the officers or a committee chair, before you can decide how to proceed and a member is speaking - interrupt him.