Queer Collaborations 2013 Standing Orders
These are the standing orders for Queer Collaborations 2013. These standing orders are divided into two sections for ease of reading. While both sections contain the rules governing conference floor at QC 2013, the Core Orders list the basic rules while the Extended Orders include rules that are either rarely used, cover uncommon situations or are particularly complex, as well as a short list of term definitions. While we recommend participants read both the Core and Extended Orders, the Core Orders should be sufficient to be able to follow the majority of happenings on conference floor.
THE CORE ORDERS
1. Conference Floor
1.1: Conference Floor and Agenda
“Conference floor” refers to formal meetings of the Queer Collaborations 2013 participants to which these standing orders apply (that is, if standing orders aren’t being used, it’s not conference floor). This includes both scheduled sessions and emergency sessions.
The typical agenda of any session of Conference Floor will be:
(1) Acknowledgement of Country
(2) Election of Facilitators
(3) Grievance Collective Report
(4) Autonomous Caucus Reports
(5) Motions with Notice
(6) Emergency Motions
Two Facilitators will be elected for each session of conference floor. These will be nominated either by the organizing collective prior to the session or nominated by participants immediately after the Acknowledgement of Country. Facilitators are elected individually by a vote by conference floor. In the case where one or both nominees are voted down by conference floor, the position(s) will be opened up for nominations again until two facilitators are elected.
1.3: The Speaking List
The speaking list is a list of people who have indicated (through a raised hand) that they wish to speak to various motions and amendments. In addition to sessions of conference floor, speaking lists will often be used in plenaries and some other conference contexts such as in autonomous caucuses. During conference floor, a speaking list will be kept separately for each motion and amendment.
Facilitators may, at their discretion, prioritise (bump up) people who haven’t spoken before over those who have spoken frequently, but the list is otherwise taken in the order that people indicate themselves.
The standard time limit for any speaker is two minutes. This can be altered using a procedural motion (see later).
Quorum is the minimum number of participants required to vote and pass motions. Quorum for QC2013 is set at 25% of total registered participants at the start of conference. Sessions of conference floor that don’t meet quorum may be given caucus and Grievance Collective reportbacks, but can’t do anything else until/unless they meet quorum. Any session of conference floor that fails to meet quorum for 30 minutes is closed.
2: Motions, Amendments and Procedurals
Motions are the way conference floor makes decisions. Since conference participants are free to make their own choices, ,otions are typically only used for decisions from the conference as a whole, such as major changes in scheduling and organization, recommendations to next year’s organisers, decisions pertaining to any QC actions and so forth.
2.1.1: Motion Format
Motions should be written in the following format:
Preamble: A brief statement on the context of the motion and explanations of any key terms or acronyms.
Motion: The text of the motion itself. Motions need to either direct some sort of action or make an active statement/endorsement on behalf of the conference.
Mover: The person who is putting the motion. Generally also the person who has written the motion, but sometimes a single person chosen to put forward a group-authored motion, or someone putting a motion on behalf of someone else. The mover must be attending conference floor when the motion is put to the vote, and gets first speaking rights. They may pass the speaking rights to a participant of their choice or waive them entirely.
Shaker: A second person who supports the motion. The shaker must be attending conference floor when the motion is put to the vote.
Preamble: The Queer Collaborations Organisers do a large amount of hard work. They should be recognized for that hard work.
Motion: That the Queer Collaborations Organisers each be bought an icecream.
Mover: Mr. Frosty
Shaker: Delicious Vanilla
2.1.2: Proposing motions
Motions can be delivered in writing to the relevant Organiser contact at any point during conference. At the beginning of a session of conference floor, these will be given to the Facilitators of that session. Motions may also be delivered in writing to the Facilitators within the first ten (10) minutes of a session beginning. With the consent of the Facilitators and time permitting, or with a successful procedural motion (see later), particularly urgent motions may also be accepted after the first ten minutes of a session.
2.1.3: Hearing Motions
Motions are discussed and voted on one at a time by conference floor. They are discussed and voted in the order they are received, with the following exceptions:
a) Motions that have come out of meetings of autonomous caucuses or which are essential to the running of conference (such as adopting safer spaces agreements) take precedence over general motions.
b) Motions that relate to actions, policies or endorsements outside the timeframe of QC 2013, including directions to the organisers of future QCs or Querelles will be held over until Motions Session.
An amendment is an alteration of a motion either being actively discussed or on the agenda. Amendments must be relevant to the motion (no riders), and they cannot directly negate the motion. An amendment that doesn’t meet those two requirements will be ruled out of order by the chair, which means it automatically fails.
Amendments are discussed one at a time, in the order they are received.
2.2.1: Amendment Format
Amendment: The text of the amendment, with as specific as possible a description of how it alters or where it fits into the text of the motion it’s amending.
Mover: Like a motion, an amendment requires a mover. It does not require a shaker.
Amendment: That the text “or other frozen treat of their preference” be inserted at the end of the motion.
Mover: Vegan Icies
2.2.2: Proposing Amendments
Amendments may be proposed in one of two ways.
a) In writing, delivered to the Facilitators;
b) Through the speaking list, when it is your turn to speak.
Note that as amendments do not alter the order of the speaking list, writing is the fastest way to have your amendment heard.
Upon receiving an amendment, the Facilitators will allow the current speaker to finish before immediately moving on to the amendment.
The mover of a motion can choose to simply accept any valid amendment, in which case it automatically succeeds, the motion is altered to reflect the amendment, and the speaking list continues.
If the mover of a motion does not accept an amendment, a new speaking list is begun to discuss that amendment and the amendment must be put to a vote.
You cannot move an amendment to an amendment. You must move a new amendment to the motion in question, which will be considered like any other amendment, in the order it is received.
If an amendment succeeds at a vote, the motion is altered to reflect the amendment and the Facilitator will return to the speaking list for the motion. If it fails, the motion will remain as written and the Facilitator will return to the speaking list for the motion.
Our example amendment is successful. The original motion is amended to read:
“Motion: That the Queer Collaborations Organisers each be bought an icecream or other frozen treat of their preference.”
The mover and shaker for the motion remain Mr. Frosty and Vanilla Delicious, and debate on the motion restarts.
2.3: Procedural Motions
Procedural motions are very unlike standard motions. They essentially alter or manipulate the procedure of conference floor, and may take a number of forms. The most common of these are listed below. Other procedural motions that may be used are listed later in the Extended Orders.
Note that for clarity, procedural motions are shortened to “procedurals” in this document to distinguish them from other motions.
2.3.1: Common Procedurals
Procedural that the motion be put: This procedural is used to immediately move to a vote on a motion without further discussion. If it passes, then after the current speaker finishes the motion will be immediately put to a vote. Note that if the mover of the motion has not spoken to it yet or passed on their speaking rights (typically they should be the first to speak), or no person has spoken against the motion, the facilitator will give the mover and/or the first person on the speaking list intending to speak against the opportunity to speak before moving on to a vote. This ensures that discussion cannot be prematurely ended before at least one for and against speaker have been heard.
Procedural that the speaking list be closed: This procedural is used to close the speaking list. If successful, the speaking list will be closed after the next speaker has finished. If it fails, the speaking list remains open.
Procedural to alter speaking time limits: This procedural is used to alter the speaking time limits, usually to a specific time announced with the procedural. (ie. “Procedural to alter the speaking time limit to one minute).
Procedural that the motion be considered in this session: This procedural may be moved to consider a motion delivered to the Facilitators after the normal window period for that session. If it passes, conference floor will discuss the motion then, if not, the motion will be held over until the next appropriate session.
2.4: Motions moved En Bloc and Starring
Sometimes in order to save time motions will be moved “en bloc”. This means that the motions will be moved all at once, with a single vote. This is usually applied to motions from autonomous collectives and the uncontroversial motions from Motions Session.
Since motions moved en bloc don’t allow for individual motions to be discussed, the Facilitators will go through the list of motions, reading them each out and asking if anyone on conference floor wishes to “star” them (from the practice of adding a star or asterisk in front of the motions people indicate as controversial). If even one participant stars a motion, it won’t be moved as part of the bloc, and will be discussed and moved individually. The facilitators will allow up to a total of two questions of clarification without starring a motion, but if there are more than two questions the motion will be starred.
If you do not want a motion to pass, as motions moved on bloc almost always succeed, you will need to star it.
While you are technically allowed to, please do not star your own motions simply to speak in favour of them. Queer Collaborations allows many opportunities to have discussions, and motions are moved on bloc for efficiency reasons that are required by the general volume of motions that go to Motions Session.
Votes are for a number of purposes at QC, primarily for testing the success of motions and amendments. Each participant has a single vote.
A vote can be either For, Against or Abstain for any motion or amendment. For procedural motions only For and Against options exist. You cannot Abstain on a procedural.
A motion succeeds if there are a greater number of For votes than Against (a simple majority) and the number of Abstentions does not outnumber the For votes (in cases of particularly controversial motions).
All votes will be taken using a show of hands and counted by at least two people. One recount may be called for by any single member from conference floor.
4.1: Elections of host campus for Queer Collaborations 2014; host publishers of Querelle 2014.
During Queer Collaborations 2013, the host campus(es) for the next year’s (2014) Queer Collaborations is selected by the conference through an election. Similarly, the publishing campus(es) for the national student queer magazine Querelle is elected by conference. Both elections are governed the same way, set out below.
Organisers of the conference will provide at least 48 hours notice of the election session. Typically this will be schedule immediately before Motions Session at a point towards the end of the conference.
At least 24 hours before the elections, conference floor will elect a Returning Officer, who will conduct both elections. The Returning Officer must not be from any bidding campuses for either QC 2014 or Querelle 2014.
4.1.1: Submitting Bids
Bids must be given, in writing, to the Returning Officer, prior to the beginning of the election session. They can be from a single campus, or multiple campuses within one state or territory, but they must be made by students currently enrolled at the campuses involved. For multiple-campus bids, that means at least one representative from each of the campuses involved.
4.1.2: Presentations and questions
The Returning Officer and Organising collective will make sure that there’s sufficient time allotted for each bidder to do up to a 15 minute presentation on their bid to conference floor if they wish to. Additionally, if time allows the Returning Officer may facilitate questions from the floor and short (less than 2 minute) answers for each bid. There should be an equal number of questions for each bid.
The election itself is conducted in two rounds of voting. In the first round of voting, the Returning Officer will ask for votes for each bid. Each member of conference floor can vote for only one bid each. The two bids that receive the highest votes will continue on to the second round.
During the second round, the Returning Officer will ask for votes for the two remaining bids. The bid with the highest vote in the second round is elected.
Bear in mind that the returning officer will not ask for abstentions on these votes, but it is perfectly acceptable for individual people on conference floor to choose not to vote for any bid.
4.2: Grievance Collective Election
Grievance collective, which works as a contact point to resolve disagreements and issues during Queer Collaborations, is elected on the first day of conference. The Organising Collective will nominate a Returning Officer for the election of Grievance Collective, subject to a conference vote approving them.
Any conference participant may nominate to be on Grievance Collective, and nominees will typically be elected en bloc (that is, in a single vote).
Any autonomous caucus, after the initial election of Grievance Collective members, may nominate one or more members of that caucus as additional members of the grievance collective. These nominees will be confirmed by conference vote during caucus report backs.
Grievance Collective may also recommend to the Organising Committee that additional members be elected. This may happen if multiple members need to pull out of the Grievance Collective. In this case, the Organising Committee will set up another election and chance for people to nominate.
Note: As grievance collective is governed by more than one document, where there is conflict between the Standing Orders and the Participants Agreement and Dispute Resolutions Policy the latter will take precedence.
E1: Conference Floor
E1.1: Timing of Conference floor
Conference floor can only be open during 9am and 6pm on days of conference. Outside these hours, conference floor automatically closes.
Any remaining motions after conference floor closes are held over until the next session, or, if the final session closes due to time, simply lapse. Participants should therefore aim to be efficient during their time on conference floor rather than expect it to be extended. These standing orders have no provision to delay the closing of conference floor beyond 6pm.
E1.2: Emergency sessions of Conference Floor
An emergency session of conference floor can be called by a petition of ten signatures from conference participants, presented to the Organising Collective. The organizing collective must endeavor to schedule this session as soon as possible within the constraints of the conference. Emergency sessions are constrained by the same quorum and time restrictions as any other session.
E1.3 What happens if you no facilitators can be elected?
If no Facilitators can be elected the normal way (ie. nominated by participants and then confirmed by vote) the Grievance collective will supply one of its own members as a Facilitator.
E1.4 Facilitators of sessions on specific axes of oppression.
If a session is designated as specifically addressing an individual axis of oppression, only participants with lived experience of that oppression may be nominated for Facilitator:
(a) Only participants who identify as being indigenous or a person of colour may be nominated to facilitate any session designated as addressing issues of racism.
(b) Only participants who identify as being trans* or genderqueer may be nominated to facilitate any session designated as addressing issues of transphobia.
(c) Only participants who identify as wom*n may be nominated to facilitate any session designated as addressing issues of sexism.
(d) Only participants who identify as d/Deaf or disabled may be nominated to facilitate any session designated as addressing issues of sexism.
E1.5: Removing Facilitators
Facilitators can be removed using a procedural called a motion of no confidence. The procedural can remove one or both facilitators (the mover needs to specify this). In the case where it is a motion of no confidence in only one of the facilitators, the other should take/count the vote. If both, a third party will need to count the vote. In essence, during a motion of no confidence the facilitator(s) need to temporarily step down. If the motion passes, new Facilitators must be nominated/elected using the normal procedure until there are again two Facilitators.
E2: Motions, Amendments and Procedurals
E2.1: Foreshadowed Motions and Amendments
Sometimes several motions or amendments will pertain to the same issue, rely on another motion or contain mutually exclusive actions. In this case, they may be considered to be “foreshadowed” by whichever of the group of motions is highest on the agenda.
When a motion succeeds, any redundant or mutually exclusive motions that it foreshadows automatically fail.
When a motion fails, any foreshadowed motions that rely on that motion succeeding automatically fail as well.
Three related motions are on the agenda.
Motion: That the QC 2013 action focus on the industrial rights of unicorns.
Motion: That the QC 2013 action focus on the mental health of narwhals.
Motion: That the Action Working Group construct a giant unicorn for use in the QC action on unicorns’ industrial rights.
Since Motion (1) is highest on the agenda, it foreshadows both (2) and (3). (2) because it conflicts with motion (1) and (3) because it relies on motion (1) passing to have relevance.
In our example, Motion (1) is successful. Motion (2) automatically fails and Motion (3) remains on the agenda to be considered separately. If motion (1) had failed, (2) would remain on the agenda and (3) would automatically fail.
E2.2 Additional Procedurals
In addition to the more common procedurals listed in the Core Orders, these further procedural motions may be used. Facilitators will rule any procedural motions not listed in the Standing Orders as out of order. Note that this doesn’t apply to procedural motions that are simply worded differently to the way they are written here, but rather motions essentially different to the ones listed.
Motion of no confidence in the Facilitators: (see Removing Facilitators, above)
Procedural that there be a secret ballot: (see Secret Ballots, below)
Procedural that conference floor be suspended for x minutes: This procedural temporarily closes conference floor. It must be used for a specific time period, in order to give people opportunity to break (ie. that conference floor be suspended for 10 minutes). Conditions, such as “after the next speaker finishes” may be included, but otherwise this motion takes effect immediately upon passing.
Procedural that conference floor be closed: This procedural closes conference floor until the next session. Like a procedural to suspend conference floor, it may have conditions such as “after the current motion is voted on”, but otherwise immediately takes effect. Any remaining motions are held over.
Procedural that the speaker no longer be heard: Otherwise known as a gag motion, this procedural may be moved to silence a speaker that repeatedly goes over speaking limits, doesn’t follow the speaking list or makes vexatious motions or other actions. It is very rare for a gag motion to pass at QC, and they should not be moved lightly, as a gagged participant may not move motions, amendments or procedurals as well as losing their opportunities to speak.
Procedural that the speaker be heard in full: Used rarely in the case where an individual is being unduly restricted by speaking time limits (for instance if they are making a particularly emotional statement or have a speech impairment), this procedural suspends the speaking time limit for the current speaker only, giving them the opportunity to finish their statement.
Procedural to alter the order of the agenda: A procedural to move any agenda items, including individual motions up or down the agenda. The mover can provide a very short (ie one sentence) reason for the change.
Procedural to alter the order of the speaking list: A procedural to move people up or down the speaking list. The mover can provide a very short (ie one sentence) reason for the change.
Procedural to move the location of conference floor: Fairly self explanatory, this procedural moves the physical location of conference floor. Another venue needs to be available for this procedural to be in order.
Procedural that the motion be deferred: This procedural, if successful, defers a motion to a later session.
In cases of particularly close votes members may call for a division from conference floor. Divisions can occur in addition to a standard recount. During a division For and Against voters move to opposite sides of the room, with abstainers in the middle. Bear in mind that since divisions are highly inconvenient (especially to people with mobility impairments) and moderately time consuming, they should only be called for during very close votes and are usually extremely rare.
E3.2: Secret Ballots
Secret ballots may be called for using a special procedural motion. Unlike other procedural motions, a call for a secret ballot only needs to gain at least 10% of conference floor to succeed. During a secret ballot, the Facilitators/Returning Officer will provide each participant with a signed paper ballot on which to write their vote. Other than the method of voting, all other rules governing votes apply. A secret ballot cannot result in a division.
QC 2013: the collective of individuals registered as participants for the 2013 Queer
Conference Floor: formal meetings of QC 2012 to which these standing orders apply (these include both scheduled meetings in the area designated as conference floor and emergency sessions).
Motion: a proposal put to the conference floor for formal determination.
Organising Committee: the group that is responsible for organising QC 2013.
Participant: all individuals who have registered with the Organising Committee to participate in QC 2013 (excluding any who have been removed from the conference by a vote of Conference Floor).
Plenary: Formal session organised as part of QC 2013. These standing orders do not generally apply to plenaries but some sections such as the election of facilitators or use of speaking lists may be used.
Facilitator: a participant who has been nominated to Chair the conference floor, having been elected by the conference floor.
Resolution: a formal determination made by the conference floor; a motion that has been approved by majority vote.