Short Glossary of Parliamentary Terms

ABSTAIN to refrain from voting one way or the other on a motion

ADJOURN to end the meeting

ADOPT to approve or accept

APPOINT to assign a person to a job or position

CAUCUS a meeting of organization leaders in order to decide policy, candidates and/or plans: or a meeting of any special interest or power group

CHAIR (The) position held by appointed or elected Chairperson or leader of a group

COMMITTEE a small group chosen to study, investigate, report on, support, make recommendations, and/or act on a matter

DEBATE Argument or discussion of something that is open to question

GENERAL CONSENT a silent, unanimous vote; if even one member objects, the motion must be  voted on

MAJORITY OPINION the decision of more than half of the voting members of a group or  committee

MINORITY OPINION the decision of less than half of the voting members

NOMINATE to recommend a person for appointment or election (Nominations do not require a second

PENDING undecided; still before the group

PETITION a formally drawn request, often bearing the names of a number of people, which is addressed to a person or body of persons in power, soliciting or demanding some sort of right or other benefit

POINT OF ORDER a motion that asks the Chairperson whether the meeting , or part of it, is being conducted legally

PRO TEM Latin for temporary

PROXY the formal authority to vote or act for another member (not allowed by some Boards)

QUESTION to subject to analysis

QUORUM the minimum number of persons who must be present for a legal, official meeting (for most boards and committees, the quorum is one half plus one of all members

RESCIND to take back; withdraw

RESOLUTION the act of determining; a policy statement

SECOND a formal sign from at least one other voting member of the Board that he/she thinks a motion should be considered and is willing to be the second member to recommend consideration

SPECIAL OR AD HOC a committee that is appointed or elected to handle only a specific thing  temporary committee

STANDING COMMITTEE a committee that continues from year to year; a permanent committee

SUBCOMMITTEE a smaller committee formed within a committee

TABLE to put off discussion/vote on a motion at a later time or another meeting

UNANIMOUS VOTE when everyone votes the same way

VETO to disapprove