Conference Standing Orders

1. Definitions

For the purposes of these standing orders the following definitions apply:

1.1 “NOWSA 2017″ the collective of individuals registered as participants for the Network of Women Students Australia conference 2017.

1.2 “Participant” any individual registered as participating in the NOWSA 2017 conference.

1.3 “Conference Floor” refers to any meeting convened in accordance with standing order

1.4. “The Chair” this collectively refers to the facilitators elected to chair the session of Conference Floor.

1.5. “Secretary” the person or persons elected under standing order 7.5.

1.6. “Motion” means a proposed decision of conference floor.

1.7 “Resolution” means a motion that has been carried by the requisite majority voting in its favour.

1.8 “Simple majority” means a majority of the votes of the delegates at the time both present at the Conference Floor and voting. For the purposes of this definition, abstaining is not considered voting.

2. Applicability

2.1. All sessions of Conference Floor shall be conducted in accordance with these standing orders.

3. Agenda

3.1The agenda shall be the responsibility of the Secretary.

3.2 Any item submitted to the Secretary with reasonable notice shall be included in the agenda unless the Secretary rules it out of order.

3.3 Unless Conference Floor otherwise resolves, the ordering of the agenda will be as follows:

a. Acknowledgment of Country

b.. Election of Facilitators

c. Confirmation of Agenda Order

d. Reports

e. Grievance Collective

f. Caucuses and Workshops

g. Agenda Items with Notice

h.  NOWSA Bids Election

i. General Business

4. Quorum

4.1 Quorum is defined as 25% of the participants for NOWSA 2017 registered as of the first day of the conference. For the purposes of calculating quorum fractions must be rounded up.

4.2 If quorum is not met within 30 minutes of the appointed time for Conference Floor or if at any point quorum is lost Conference Floor may continue however no decisions made by Conference Floor shall stand unless subsequently ratified by quorum either at that Conference Floor or at a later Conference Floor.

4.3 If a session of Conference Floor is declared inquorate but proceeds in line with standing order 5.2 and is later ratified by quorum the session is considered to be like any other session of Conference Floor.

5 Facilitators

5.1. Two facilitators shall be elected from the participants present at Conference Floor in order to chair the meeting.

5.2 The role of the facilitators is to ensure that that the meeting is run correctly and smoothly.

5.3 The facilitators are responsible for the orderly progression of the meeting through agenda items.

5.4 Elections of facilitator shall be conducted as follows:

a.  Any delegate may nominate themselves for election as facilitator

b. If a session of conference floor has been specifically designated as addressing an individual axis of oppression then only individuals who identify as a member of the affected population may be nominated

c. If there are less than two persons nominated for such a session then any nominees shall be automatically elected and there shall be a new call for nominations in which any delegate may be nominated.

d. Once all nominations have been received all present delegates may vote upon the nominees.

e. Each delegate may cast two votes for two different nominees.

f. Delegates may abstain from casting one of their votes or from the vote entirely.

g. The two delegates with the highest number of votes shall be elected

h. At least one facilitator must belong to at least one caucus group. This may be indicated to the secretary directly after nominations.

i. The participants acting as facilitators shall vacate the Chair if any of the following should happen.

i. the participant leaves the room; or

ii. the participant declares to Conference Floor that they intend to vacate The Chair.

iii.. If the Chair wishes to take part in substantive debate then they should vacate The Chair.

j. If a participant vacates the Chair then a new facilitator must immediately be elected from the members present.

k. If Conference Floor cannot elect two facilitators to hold the Chair then the meeting shall lapse from that moment and cannot be re-opened.

6. Secretary

6.1.The Secretary shall be elected from amongst the delegates during the first session of Conference Floor of the conference.

6.2.The position of Secretary may be held by up two persons

6.3 In the event that the persons holding the position of Secretary cannot reach an agreement they may resolve the conflict with a procedural motion calling for dissent in the Secretary.

6.4 The Secretary’s power and responsibilities are as follows

6.5 at the request of the Chair, when a Point of Order has been called, or during any other dispute regarding the interpretation or application of the standing orders the Secretary may advise the correct interpretation or application;

6.6 the Chair may request that the Secretary take the speaking list, or otherwise assist with the tasks contributing to smooth running of Conference Floor;

a. receive motions for Conference Floor;

b. assist delegates who wish to draft motions to be submitted to Conference Floor; and

c. advise Conference Floor on best practice of meeting procedure in situations not included within these standing orders or where these standing orders are ambiguous.

d. Take minutes of conference floor.

e. The Secretary shall be present at all sessions of Conference Floor.

f. The Secretary may not move or second motions.

6.7. Elections for Secretary be conducted as follows:

a. Any delegate may nominate themselves for election as facilitator.

b. Once all nominations have been received all present delegates may vote upon the nominees.

c. Each delegate may cast two votes for two different nominees.

d. Delegates may abstain from casting one of their votes or from the vote entirely.

e. The two delegates with the highest number of votes shall be elected.

f. At least one secretary must belong to at least one caucus group.

7. Manner and Right of Speech

7.1. Any delegate desiring to speak shall make known such an intention to The Chair, or the individual the Chair has designated to manage the speaking list.

7.2 The Chair may adopt a progressive speaking list or any other method of order to ensure the smooth running of Conference Floor.

7.3 Once called upon by the Chair, the delegate may speak.

7.4 Speakers may only be interrupted by the Chair, a procedural motion or a point of order or clarification.

7.5 The movers and seconders of a motion have the right to speak first in a discussion about that motion. These first speaking rights may be waived to another delegate present at the Conference Floor.

8. Voting

8.1 All delegates shall have a vote.

8.2 Voting shall be by a show of hands, except where otherwise provided for within these standing orders.

8.3 The Chair shall determine the result of a vote by asking:

a. For those in favour of the motion.

b. For those against the motion.

c. For those abstaining on the motion.

8.4 After a motion is voted upon, the Chair must declare whether the motion has been carried.

8.5 On the immediate request of a delegate, that delegate’s vote shall be noted in the minutes.

8.6 A delegate’s vote cannot be noted in the minutes if they do not consent for the vote to be noted.

8.7 A recount of a vote will be held if:

a. it is brought to the attention of the chair that not every delegate present took part in the vote;

b. at least three members request a recount be held before the Chair has moved to the next agenda item; or

c. the Chair resolves that the first vote was not conducted in accordance with these standing orders and a recount is required.

8.8. During the recount of a vote only those participating in the original vote may participate in the recount.

8.9 If during a vote the Chair is having difficulty counting votes by show of hands, the Chair may call for a division in which those who vote in favour move to one side of the room and those who voted against move to the other side of the room. Those abstaining from the motion will remain in the middle of the room.

a. Any motion requires only a simple majority for it to be carried.

b. Any motion where the number of abstentions exceeds the number of votes in favour will be deemed to have failed

9.0 Motions


9.1 All motions must be put in writing and submitted to the Secretary before the first item of Conference Floor.

9.2 All motions must have a mover and a seconder. If a motion does not receive both a mover and a seconder, the motion will lapse.

9.3The Secretary may rule out any motion that is:

a. inconsistent with the Safer Spaces Policy or these standing orders;

b. disrespectfully worded or ambiguous;

c. too similar to a motion already being discussed or a resolution passed at a previous meeting;

d. either directly or in effect, constituting either a negative of a resolution already passed at the same Conference Floor, or attempts to reverse the result of a motion lost when voted on at the same Conference Floor;

e. contradictory to a resolution passed at a previous Conference Floor and that has not been rescinded;

9.4. A mover or seconder of a motion may withdraw their moving or seconding at any stage before the motion is voted upon.

9.5 A motion may be withdrawn by the mover without the consent of the seconder but in such event, the seconder shall have a primary option to move the motion as originally proposed.

9.6 The mover or seconder of a motion may decide to amend the wording of the motion at any time before it is voted upon, as long as both the mover and the seconder are in agreement about the amendment.

9.7Before putting any motion to a vote, the Chair shall read it or cause it to be read to the meeting.

9.8  All proposed decisions of Conference Floor must be in the form of motions.Motions must be affirmative in nature.

10. Amendments

10. 1 An amendment is a proposed change to a motion by inserting and/or removing word/s from the original motion.

10.2 An amendment can only be moved in between speakers.

10. 3The Secretary may rule out any amendment that:

a. is a direct negative of the motion; or

b. would lead to the motion being ruled out for one of the reasons in standing order

10.4. When an amendment is moved, the mover and seconder of the original motion being amended may decide to accept the amendment in which case the amendment is incorporated into the motion. However, both the mover and the seconder must agree for the amendment to be accepted.

10.5. If an amendment to a motion is not accepted by the mover and the seconder, the amendment will be discussed and voted upon. The amendment will be considered before the original motion is scheduled to be voted upon and if the amendment is carried, the original motion is in effect amended and will then be voted upon in the amended form.

10.6. Amendments shall be considered in the reverse-order in which they were moved, unless the Chair resolves otherwise.

11. Procedural Motions

11.1 A procedural motion is a motion that relates to the conduct of meetings.

11.2 A procedural motion can be moved at any time during a meeting

11.3. A procedural motion requires only a mover and not a seconder,

11.4 A member can only move one procedural motion to move straight to a vote per agenda item in a meeting.

11.5 If a procedural motion is moved in a session of Conference Floor and is not carried, the same procedural motion can still be moved at a later agenda item in the meeting.

11.6 Once a procedural motion had been moved it must immediately go to a vote.

11.7. Delegates cannot abstain from voting on a procedural motion.

11.8 The forms of procedural motion that can be moved during a session of Conference floor are as follows:

a. that the motion/s now be put.

i. This procedural may not be moved unless the mover of the motion in question has been allowed to speak to the motion;

b. that the speaking list be closed now / at the end of the next speaker;

c. that the speaking list be re-opened;

d. that the speaker no longer be heard;

e. that a time limit be placed on speaker/s / not be placed on speaker/s;

f. that a time limit be placed on agenda item/s / not to be placed on agenda item/s;

g. that Conference Floor be adjourned;

h. that Conference Floor move onto the next item on the agenda;

i. that Conference shall move into formal debate;

j. that a number of designated motions be moved en bloc;

k. that Conference Floor shall consider a motion that was not submitted to the secretary prior to the session of Conference Floor in General Business;

l. dissent in the Chair;

i. dissent in the chair can only be moved according to standing orders 12.0 – 12.8

m. dissent in the Secretary; and

i. dissent i the secretary can only be moved according to standing orders 13.0-13.6

n. vote of no confidence.

i. a vote of no confidence can only be moved according to standing orders 14.0-14.6

11. Any delegate may move any of the procedural motions outlined in standing order 11.8

12. Dissent in the Chair

12.1 Any ruling by the Chair may be challenged by a procedural motion calling for dissent in the chair.

12.2. Upon dissent in the Chair being moved the Chair must be vacated and the Secretary shall assume the Chair, but only for the procedural motion.

12.3 The mover must, in speaking to the motion, propose an alternative ruling.

12.4 The Chair, whose ruling has been challenged, may reply, with a speaking limit of two minutes.

12.5 The procedural motion must then be put to a vote with no further discussion.

12.6 If the procedural motion is carried, the alternative ruling proposed takes effect.

12.7 If the procedural motion is lost, the Chair’s ruling stands.

12.8 The Chair whose ruling has been challenged resumes the Chair as soon as the procedural motion has been voted upon.

13. Dissent in the Secretary

13.1 Any ruling by the Secretary may be challenged by a procedural motion calling for dissent in the chair.

13.2 The mover must, in speaking to the motion, propose an alternative ruling.

13.3 The Secretary may reply, with a speaking limit of two minutes.

13.4 The procedural motion must then be put to a vote with no further discussion.

13.5 If the procedural motion is carried, the alternative ruling proposed takes effect.

13.6 If the procedural motion is lost, the Secretary’s ruling stands.

14. Vote of No Confidence

14.1 Any persons elected under these standing orders, excluding those elected under section 22, may be removed by a procedural motion calling for a vote of no confidence.

14.2 If a vote of no confidence is called against the Chair of a Conference Floor, the Chair must be vacated and the Secretary shall assume the Chair, but only for the procedural motion. If the procedural motion is lost the Chair who was challenged resumes the Chair.

14.3. The person/s being challenged may reply, with a speaking limit of 2 minutes.

14.4 The procedural must then be put to a vote with no further discussion.

14.5 If the procedural motion is carried the person/s shall be removed from their elected position and elections shall immediately be held under the relevant standing orders the person/s were elected under.

14.6. If the procedural motion is lost, the person/s position is maintained.

15.Points of Order

15.1. A participant may at any time draw the Chair’s attention to a breach of these standing orders or an irregularity in the procedure by raising their hand and forming an “O” with their fingers.

15.2 The participant must state the breach or irregularity alleged and any ruling desired.

15.3 The Chair must then rule on the point of order.

16. Points of Clarification

16.1. Any participant at Conference Floor may at any time request a clarification of an issues raised in immediate debate by raising their hand and forming a “C”.

16.2 A point of clarification is a factual question related to the substance of the matter under discussion. It must be a question.

16.3. The Chair must then rule on the point of clarification and, if necessary, request another participant of Conference Floor to respond.

17. Entrenched Elections 

17.1. During the final session of Conference Floor of NOWSA 2015 elections for NOWSA 2016 shall be held.

17.2. A Returning Officer for these elections shall be elected at the first Conference Floor of NOWSA 2015.

17.3. Bids for these elections shall be submitted to the Returning Officer.

17.4. Nominees shall have 15 minutes speaking time.

17.5. The process of election shall be determined by the number of nominees participating within it.

17.6. If there are more than two nominees there shall be two rounds of voting.

a. A first round of voting shall be conducted and the two nominees receiving the highest number of votes shall participate in the second round of voting.

b. The nominee to receive the highest number of votes in the second round of voting shall be declared elected.

c. Else there shall be a second round of voting with the nominee receiving the highest number of votes being declared elected.

17.7. A recount of a vote will be held if:

a. it is brought to the attention of the chair that not every delegate present took part in the vote;

b. at least three members request a recount be held before the Chair has moved to the next agenda item; or

c. the Chair resolves that the first vote was not conducted in accordance with these standing orders and a recount is required.

17.8 During the recount of a vote only those participating in the original vote may participate in the recount.

17.9. If during a vote the Chair is having difficulty counting votes by show of hands, the Chair may call for a division in which those who vote in favour move to one side of the room and those who voted against move to the other side of the room. Those abstaining from the motion will remain in the middle of the room.

The Standing Orders have been adapted from Queer Collaborations 2014

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