Universalist General Convention Rules of Order

Rules of Order.


1. Immediately after the organization of the Convention the President shall assign suitable limits for seating the Members, after which he shall see that visitors are excluded therefrom throughout the Session; and he may appoint Monitors for the purpose of enforcing this rule.
2. No Member shall be allowed to participate in the business of the Convention except within the limits thus assigned.


No member shall be allowed to leave the room during business hours without the consent of the presiding officer.


1. When any member desires to speak, or to present any motion, resolution, or other matter, he shall rise and address the President, confining himself to the question pending, or to the subject before the Convention, and avoiding personal reflections.
2. When two or more Members rise at the same time, the President shall name the one entitled to the floor.
3. If any member transgresses the rules of debate, the President shall, or any Member may, through the President, call him to order; and the Member called to order shall immediately sit down, unless permitted to explain. The Convention shall, if appealed to, decide on the case, but without debate. If there be no appeal the decision of the President shall stand; and if the case require it, the Member so called to order shall be liable to the censure of the Convention. If the decision be in favor of the Member so called to order he shall be at liberty to proceed.
4. No Member shall speak more than twice to the same question without leave of the Convention, unless he is the mover or introducer of the matter pending, in which case he may speak in reply, but not until every Member wishing to speak on the subject shall have spoken.
5. No Member shall be interrupted when speaking except by a call to order, or by a Member to explain.


1. All motions and resolutions, made and seconded, shall be stated to the President, who, before putting the question, shall inquire, “Is the Convention ready for the question?” and if, after a sufficient pause, no Member shall desire to speak thereon, he shall put the question distinctly in the following form, viz., “As many as are of opinion (as the question may be, stating the affirmative), say aye,” and after the affirmative is expressed, “As many as are of a contrary opinion, say no.”
The President or any Member may call for a division of the Convention, when the President shall again put the question distinctly, in the following manner, viz., “As many as are in the affirmative, will rise;” and after counting them he shall put the opposite side of the question, “As many as are in the affirmative, will rise.” He shall then announce the decision to the Convention.
2. The yeas and nays shall be taken on any question, when demanded by five Members, by causing the Secretary to call the roll in a distinct voice, and noting the vote of each Member, all the Members present being required to vote, unless excused by the Convention.
3. Every motion and resolution shall be reduced to writing, if the President or any Member desire it.
4. When a motion has been once made and carried in the affirmative or negative, any member who voted in the majority, or where the Convention has been equally divided, any member who voted in the negative, may move for a reconsideration thereof, on the same or succeeding day of the Session, and such motion shall take precedence of all other questions, except a motion to adjourn, and shall be decided without debate.
5. When a blank is to be filled, the question shall be first taken on the largest number, greatest sum, and remotest day.


1. Any Member may call for the division of a question, which shall be divided if it comprehend propositions in substance so distinct, that, one being taken away, a substantive proposition shall remain for the decision of the Convention.
2. A motion to strike out and insert shall be deemed indivisible; but a motion to strike out being lost shall preclude neither amendment, nor a motion to strike out and insert.
3. No motion or proposition on a subject different from, or not germane to that under consideration, shall be admitted under color of amendment.


1. All petitions, memorials and other communications addressed to the Convention shall be presented by the President or by a member, with a brief statement of their contents, which shall be entered on the Minutes.
2. The name of every Member presenting a petition or other paper, or making an important motion, shall be entered on the Minutes.


1. When a subject is under discussion, no motion shall be received but
i. To adjourn,
ii. To lie on the table,
iii. For the previous question,
iv. To postpone to a time certain,
v. To commit,
vi. To amend, or,
vii. To postpone indefinitely.
These several motions shall have precedence in the order stated, and with the exception of the 4th, 5th, and 6th, shall be decided without debate.
2. No motion to postpone to a time certain, to commit, or to postpone indefinitely, being decided in the negative, shall be allowed again on the same day and at the same stage of the proposition.
3. When a question is postponed indefinitely, the same shall not be acted upon again during the Session.
4. A motion to adjourn shall not be received when the Convention is voting on another question, nor while a Member is addressing the Convention.
5. The previous question shall be in this form — “Shall the main question be now put?” It shall not be moved by less than three Members rising for that purpose. When called and sustained, its effect shall be to put an end to all debate, and to bring the Convention to a direct vote on a motion to commit, if such motion shall have been made; and if this motion does not prevail, then upon amendments reported by a Committee, if any; then on pending amendments, and then upon the main question.
6. All incidental questions of order arising after a motion for the previous questions and pending such motion, shall be decided, whether on appeal or otherwise, without debate.
7. A motion for postponement shall preclude commitment.
8. A motion for commitment shall preclude amendment or decision on the original subject.


1. The President may speak on questions of order, in preference to other Members, rising from his seat for that purpose, and (unless he prefers to submit the matter to the Convention) shall decide theron, subject to an appeal to an appeal by any two Members.
2. In case of such reference or an appeal, no Member shall speak more than once, unless by the consent of the Convention.
The question thereon shall be put by the Secretary in this form — “Shall the decision of the President stand as the judgment of the Convention?”