Student Leadership Empowerment Program introduces parlimentary procedure

Clarion, Pa.- Diana Brush focused on parliamentary procedure in the

Brush explains the rules of parlimentary procedure.
Brush explains the rules of parlimentary procedure.

first of seven workshops Tuesday night in Gemmell 250 for students looking to receive leadership certification and training.

For the six students in attendance, the main purpose of the night was to learn and apply the basics of parliamentary procedure through interactive activities. 

As the associate director of the Center for Career and Professional Development, Brush instructed and informed in the ways of properly running a meeting.

The first of four objectives was to learn how to develop an agenda or the rundown of how any meeting should go. 

The acronym “Mrs. Sun” helped attendees remember that the minutes, reports of committees and officers, special committee reports, special orders, unfinished business and new business can all lie in that specific order in an agenda between the call to order and adjournment.

It was also discussed how the impact of a quorum affects a meeting.  This means that without a certain number of members present, considering items to vote on or doing other official business cannot be done.

Brush taught that, secondly, organization members have clarified roles when performing actions in a meeting.  All members have the rights to make motions and vote on topics, while committees and their heads can bring certain items and amendments to the table.

Thirdly and by practicing in the session, attendees quickly learned how to properly obtain the meeting floor by asking respectfully and responsibly.  “You have to move first to present a motion,” said Brush.

“I move that…”, also known as the right way to present an item, led to the students learning the final objective of basic parliamentary procedure: making and following through with a motion.

Before anything is put to a final vote, time is allowed for debate and the opportunities to insert, strike or substitute sections of a motion.  Any amendments must be voted on first off and separately and with all votes requiring a two thirds majority to pass.

Brush said, “The minority can have their say, but they might not get their way.”

She gets all of her teachings from the coveted “Robert’s Rules of Order,” a useful tool for meeting participants and leaders alike.  Other valuable resources include an organization’s constitution or bylaws, “Parliamentary Procedure at a Glance,” and the National Association of Parliamentarians website.

From the Center for Leadership and Involvement, Student Leadership Coordinator DeBreea Dunston encourages more students to attend the training workshops and even go for the certification.  Six workshops still remain, and one will run every Tuesday in Gemmell 250 until March 31.

Students showed up to gather valuable knowledge on parliamentary procedure to bring it back to their clubs and further prepare for their futures.

Brush confirmed, “Effective meeting management is a leadership skill that the students will use in a variety of settings in their college and professional careers.”

The Student Leader Empowerment Program will continue to augment the current and future careers of our students through more upcoming workshops regarding teamwork, conflict management and diversity awareness among other subjects.

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