Robert’s Rules of Order Revised > Subject Index > Page 267

Henry M. Robert (1837–1923).  Robert’s Rules of Order Revised.  1915.

Page 267

changed without previous notice. The by-laws should always provide for their amendment as shown in 68, and also for a quorum, 64. If it is desired to permit the suspension of any by-law it should be specifically provided for. By-laws, except those relating to business procedure, cannot be suspended, unless they expressly provide for their suspension. By-laws in the nature of rules of order may be suspended by a two-thirds vote, as stated in 22.
The duties of the presiding and recording officers of a deliberative assembly are defined in 58 and 59. But in many societies other duties are required of the president and the secretary, and these, together with the duties of the other officers, if any, should be defined in the by-laws. If a society wishes to provide for honorary officers or members, it is well to do so in the by-laws. Unless the by-laws state the contrary, these positions are simply complimentary, carrying with them the right to attend the meetings and to speak, but not to make motions or to vote. Honorary presidents and vice presidents should sit on the platform, but they do not, by virtue of their honorary office, preside. An honorary office is not strictly an office, and in no way conflicts with a member’s holding a real office, or being assigned any duty whatever, the same as if he did not hold the honorary office. Like a college honorary degree, it is perpetual, unless rescinded. So it is proper, where desired, to include in the published list of honorary officers the names of all upon whom the honor has been conferred, even though deceased.
  Rules of Order should contain only the rules relating to the orderly transaction of business in the meetings and to the duties of the officers. There is no reason why most of these rules should not be the same for all ordinary societies, and there is a great advantage in

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