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Appendix 1 Table of Commonly Used Motions

Approved by Academic Council on November 16, 2000

The following table includes the most commonly used motions. The details can be found in Merriam Webster’s Rules of Order by Laurie Rozakis. Each motion is followed by the rules regarding its use. A motion which is further down in the list has precedence over motions above it. (Copyright permission granted.)

Primary MotionsSecondDebatableAmendableApproval
Main motionYesYesYesMajority
Adopt a committee report. Recommendations from the report should be treated as main motions.YesYes*NoMajority
Subsidiary Motions    
Amend the main motion.YesYesYesMajority
Refer the motion to committeeYesYesYesMajority
Postpone action to a certain timeYesYesYesMajority
Limit or extend debateYesNoYesTwo-thirds
Call for the previous question (close debate)YesNoNoTwo-thirds
Table the main motionYesNoNoMajority
Take a motion from the tableYesNoNoMajority
Incidental Motions    
Point of orderNoNoNoNone
Move to divide a motionYesYesNoMajority
Suspend the rulesYesNoNoTwo-thirds
Privileged Motions    
Call for the orders of the day (return to the agenda)NoNoNoNone
Move to recess for a period of timeYesYesNoMajority
Move to adjournYesNoNoMajority
Move to go into executive sessionYesNoNoMajority
Appeal the ruling of the chairYesYesNoMajority