NATIONAL BLACK LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION MIDWEST REGION Illinois – Indiana – Iowa – Kansas – Kentucky – Michigan – Minnesota – Missouri – Nebraska – North Dakota – Ohio – South Dakota – Wisconsin
MWBLSA CONVENTION GENERAL RULES FOR PLENARY 1. Maintenance of Quorum Quorum must be maintained at all times in order to carry on the business of the session. Accordingly, once plenary begins, each delegate will be required to sign in and out of the session, so that a proper accounting of quorum may be maintained. 2. Recognition of Speakers A member may not speak unless recognized by the presiding officer. If a member speaks out of turn, they will lose their turn at the microphone. Once recognized the member must introduce themselves for the record. Example: Charles Hamilton Houston, Howard University. In order to remedy the “rush to the microphone” MWBLSA will employ both precedent (number of times a speaker has spoken) and order in which a speaker is recognized. This system facilitates both fairness and a free exchange of different ideas and opinions in the legislative process. 3. Decorum During plenary certain issues may be controversial. However, in order to conduct the business of MWBLSA, we must always remember to maintain decorum. Each member shall speak with respect and civility when addressing the body. A member will be asked to leave plenary for the remainder of the day if they are disruptive to the plenary session. 4. Debate Rules Debate will be conducted by alternating Pro/Con statements at the respective microphone. In the interest of time and fairness, no debate will last longer than 10 minutes. Requests to extend debate time shall be made through unanimous consent motions. It is important that the process of dealing with the issues the body wants to entertain happens, but it is just as important that this process not become too timely with respect to the overall conduct of the sessions. As such members should consider what is to be said, reflect if the comment is necessary (i.e. has someone already said it, will this further the goals of plenary), and then make a decision whether or not to speak. 5. Vote Votes will be cast by show of hands of the delegates present. All votes will be approved according to the Constitution and Bylaws. Constitutional amendments require a 2/3 vote and Bylaws require a simple majority vote.
6. Roll Call Vote In the event that a motion is too close to recognize, a formal roll call vote may be required. The Secretary will use the current sign-in sheets to solicit the vote of each chapter. An immediate tally will be calculated and the decision announced thereafter. 7. Accountability Signing in and out of Plenary
As members enter and exit Plenary sessions, at least one person from each chapter will be required to notify the sergeant at arms (who will have a list of all registered chapters at the door)
At least one representative from each chapter is required to be seated during plenary. If a chapter’s seat is empty through the duration of the session, that chapter will be marked absent. o Special consideration will be given to chapters with only one representative, however, if the seat is empty for the majority or duration of the session, that chapter will be marked as absent.
Upon arrival at convention Delegates will be required to provide their cell phone numbers and hotel and room information at the registration table. o Chapters whose delegates are not represented at the beginning of plenary session will be contacted using this information. o If a delegate knows their chapter will miss a plenary session beforehand that information must be provided when the delegate checks in at the registration table. o Delegate must provide the contact information of their proxy if one has already been established Absences
Chapters must attend 75% of all plenary sessions combined (meaning they will be allowed to miss 1 plenary session without penalty). Chapters who are not present for 75% of all plenary sessions (and do not provide a proxy) forfeit their voting privileges for the election of elected officers.
If a chapter is not sending its official voting representative to plenary, then the voting rights of that chapter may be assigned to another authorized representative attending plenary in person. That person must be a financially active member of MWBLSA and certified by the Midwest Regional Secretary The Proxy Certification and the Certification for Recognized Proxy Holder forms,
which are available online, should be emailed to the MWBLSA Regional Secretary at email@example.com no later than 5:00 pm on February 5, 2013. After this date, forms must be submitted in person. Anyone bringing these forms to the Convention must submit them to the MWBLSA Regional Secretary at the Convention Registration table at least thirty (30) minutes before the plenary session for which the proxy is required.
Chapter check in sheet will be checked 10 minutes after the designated start time for plenary. Any missing Chapter delegates will be contacted. Chapters 15 or more minutes late will be considered absent from the plenary session.