Society for Students with a Disability (SSD) Rules of Order

Policy Limitations 

  1. Nothing in this policy should be understood to contradict the Constitution and Bylaws of the SSD or the Constitution, Bylaws, or policies of the UVSS.


Voting and Speaking Rights 

  1. Individuals who are given the right to participate in, or address, a meeting by the Constitution or Policies of the SSD shall have speaking rights in that meeting. The SSD Council may choose to give speaking rights to additional individuals. All individuals who are given the right to vote at a meeting by the Constitution or Policies of the SSD shall have one vote.
  2. Individuals with the right to vote may inform the Chair of their intent to vote in a particular manner on a motion, or stand for a position in an election, via a verifiable method of communication (eg. email). This written proxy will allow their vote to be counted without them present at the meeting.


Agendas and Meeting Minutes 

  1. Agendas shall be prepared by the Chairperson and shall include all appropriately submitted items. For general meetings, the agenda shall be approved by the Council in advance. For Council meetings, the agenda shall be approved at the start of the meeting.
  2. Minutes for a meeting shall be submitted for approval at the next meeting of the same group. Should meeting minutes require significant revisions before being approved, they can be tabled until those revisions are made.
  3. The Chair shall adjourn the meeting without a motion to adjourn when no items remain on the agenda or when the agenda states the meeting shall adjourn at a specific time.


Decisions at a Meeting 

  1. A decision at a meeting shall be made by voting. Unless a larger majority is required, a decision shall be considered made if a motion has more votes in favour than in opposition.
  2. The Chair shall not vote unless: (a) the Chair has the right to vote and (b) the vote is tied or would pass by only one vote.
  3. A motion shall be voted on when: (a) no one wishes to speak more on a debatable motion; (b) a motion to limit debate requires a vote to be held at the current moment; or (c) a motion that is not debatable has been seconded.
  4. When conducting a vote on a motion, the Chair will include any submitted proxies and shall request one of the following options:
  5. A vote by show of hands. The Chair will ask for all those in favour of the motion, then for all those opposed, and then for any abstentions. For each request, the Chair will give a few seconds for those with the right to a vote to raise their hands. Should the result of the vote be unclear, the Chair will repeat this process and count each hand raised for each step.
  6. A vote by secret ballot. The Chair will distribute one ballot per vote which will not contain any identifying questions. A recess shall be held while the Chair and one other Council or staff member count the ballots and determine the outcome of the vote.
  7. A vote without objection. The Chair will ask for any objections to unanimously passing the motion. Should anyone indicate their objection, the Chair will hold a vote by show of hands.


Motions and Amendments 

  1. Any decision at a meeting shall be made through a motion. Each motion shall contain a “Be It Resolved That” statement which clearly outlines the decision being proposed. For a motion to be considered at a meeting, it requires an individual with speaking rights to move the motion and a different individual with the right to a vote to second the motion.
  2. Main motions are motions that bring a decision about the business of the SSD to a meeting. If passed, they come into effect at the close of the meeting unless a time is specified.
  3. Secondary motions are motions that bring a decision about how the meeting is being conducted. These motions may be moved by anyone with speaking rights when they have the floor. Secondary motions are as follows:
  4. A motion to recess is used to take a short break. It must indicate either a period of time or a set of conditions which, when complete, will cause the meeting to resume.
  5. A motion to adjourn is used to end the meeting either immediately or at a specific time. When the group next meets they will start a new meeting with a new agenda.
  6. A motion to table a main motion is used to stop discussion of the main motion that is currently being considered either indefinitely or until a later time (eg. after a subsequent motion or at a different meeting).
  7. A motion to divide the question is used to split a motion into two or more parts, as decided by the mover of the motion.
  8. A motion to limit debate is used to limit the amount of debate on the current motion. This may include limiting the time per speaker, the total time, or an end to the debate. This type of motion is not debatable.
  9. A motion to move in camera is used to keep sensitive discussions confidential. If passed, anyone who does not have the right to vote and is not specifically requested to stay in the meeting shall exit the meeting room and an in camera session shall begin. No decisions may be made in camera, except the decision to return to the regular meeting. All information discussed is considered confidential.
  10. A motion to modify the rules is used to allow the meeting to ignore, or change, particular rules to conduct business in a specific way. A motion to do this should clearly outline which rules are ignored, made, or changed, and when these changes end.
  11. A motion to remove the Chair is used to remove the Chair for the duration of the meeting. Once seconded, the Chair must pass the authority of Chair to a Council or staff member until the motion has been voted upon. If the motion passes, the Chair is considered to have delegated the authority to Chair the meeting to the individual who served as Chair during the motion.
  12. Unless otherwise specified, a motion is debatable. This means that individuals with speaking rights shall be allowed to debate the motion, before it is voted on, following the process in paragraphs 19 and 20.
  13. An amendment is a motion that changes the wording of the motion that is currently being considered in the meeting. The amendment may not change the motion such that its adoption would be equivalent to the rejection of the original motion, or change the purpose of the original motion so much that it does not address the same issue. An amendment may be moved by any individual when it is their turn to speak except if an amendment is already being discussed.


Discussion items 

  1. Discussion items are used to discuss a particular issue or event with a wide focus. A mover and a second is required for each discussion item. Once the discussion ends, the Chair shall ask for main motions, and seconds, relating to the discussion.
  2. Once all motions have been presented, the Chair shall determine an appropriate order to debate and vote on each motion. If a motion is passed, the Chair may table the remaining motions from the discussion item without requiring a vote.


Points of Procedure 

  1. Any individual with speaking rights may interrupt at any point and claim a Point of Procedure. The Chair shall immediately acknowledge the individual and allow them to make one of the following points. Afterwards, the speaker who was interrupted may continue.
  2. A Point of Order. Should an individual believe that the meeting has stopped following these Rules of Order, the Constitution of the SSD, or any other guiding rules, a Point of Order should be made to bring it to the Chair’s attention. The Chair shall rule on the matter.
  3. A Point of Privilege. Should an individual be unable to fully participate in a meeting for any reason a Point of Privilege should be made. The Chair shall attempt to correct the issue.
  4. A challenge to the Chair. The challenger is allowed to present their reasons for their challenge, at which point a second is required to continue the challenge. The Chair is then allowed to respond to the challenge and then a vote is held. If the vote passes with a majority voting in favour of the challenge, the Chair is overruled.


Taking and Holding the Floor 

  1. During a period of debate or discussion, an individual with speaking rights may indicate to the Chair their wish to speak. The Chair shall keep track of all who wish to speak. If an amendment or secondary motion is moved, the Chair shall keep track of who wishes to speak separately, and shall return to those who wish to speak on the original motion when appropriate.
  2. The Chair shall allow individuals to speak in the order of who first notified the Chair of their desire to speak. The Chair shall not speak on any motion or discussion item without making it clear to the meeting when they add themselves to the list of those who wish to speak and waiting their turn.
  3. At the start of a debate on a motion or discussion item, the Chair shall allow the mover to speak first on the item.
  4. 2 When an individual has the floor, they shall follow these rules:
  5. Their points must be directly relevant to the motion or item being considered in the meeting.
  6. They must refrain from personally attacking another individual or group. c. They must keep their remarks to an appropriate length.
  7. 2 The Chair shall stop someone from speaking if the Chair believes the speaker is abusing their time to speak. In this case, the Chair shall reprimand the former speaker and then either give the floor back to the former speaker or to the next individual who wishes to speak.



  1. The Chair should ensure that the required quorum exists either in person or via video or voice calls. Without quorum discussions and presentations may happen; however, no decisions may be made. Minutes should be taken of any discussion or presentations and brought for approval at the next quorate meeting.
  2. Should the attendance of a meeting fall below quorum, a recess shall be taken while the Chair tries to re-establish quorum. Should a quorum not exist after the recess, the meeting shall immediately adjourn.