"Recess" Between Plenary "Sessions". The convention program consists of a series of business meetings on separate days, along with other activities. The entire convention is a single session. If the meetings themselves were sessions, then the assembly would be dissolved at the end of each session, and delegate credentials would have to be established all over again with each new session. The "Recess" listed in the program at the end of each meeting is actually a motion to Fix the Time to Which to Adjourn, which adjourns the meeting to continue the session at the next business meeting on the schedule. The motion to Recess is only meant to be for a short break, not to continue overnight until the meeting on the next day is called to order. However, for the sake of a convention, it is not uncommon to use terms like "recess" or "session" loosely for the average person to grasp the actual intent.
Point of information.Robert's Rules codifies a parliamentary motion called a Request for Information, which in the past, used to be called Point of Information. The reason for the revision was to make it clear that the motion is to request information, rather than to give information. At the 2016 AHCC convention, it was common practice, after obtaining the floor, for a person to begin their statement by saying, "Point of information." Since this is not a special rule of order provided by the governing documents of AHCC, it really is not a motion at all. Rather, it is merely speaking in debate, and therefore counts just the same toward the time alloted for a person to speak on a pending motion. This established practice would be recognized as a custom under parliamentary law, which is the lowest ranking class of rules adopted by a society.
"I so move..." It was common practice at the convention for a person to introduce a motion by saying, "I so move..." This is frowned upon under parliamentary law because it has the effect of saying that the person seeks adoption of the statement made by the person who spoke previously. So, even though this is an AHCC custom, the form is flawed. The correct wording should be, "I move that ..." Or, "I move to ..."
Seconding motions during committee meetings. Although it is not necessary to second motions during committee meetings, doing so at the convention was not prohibited by the governing documents or parliamentary authority. In fact, it was a common practice at the convention. Thus, it is a custom of AHCC, which is an established practice followed like a writtten rule. I think people like the feeling of validation that the seconding of a motion provides. I also think that it simplifies the deliberative process for people to follow procedure the same way in a committee that they are used to in a meeting of the full assembly. In other words, it removes the guesswork of having to consider when a certain practice is in order and when it is not.
Friendly amendments. After a member makes a motion, and before it is stated by the chair, another member can suggest a modification. If the maker of the motion accepts the modification, it is called a "friendly amendment." At this convetion, it was not uncommon for a delegate to propose an amendment to a pending motion (stated by the chair) and state it to be a "friendly amendment." Although technically not a "friendly amendment" in the conventional sense, what the person really meant is that the amendment is not hostile to the pending motion, but rather, intended to improve the wording.
Asking for a motion to adopt a report. It was common practice for persons presenting reports to ask for a motion to adopt the report after the reading of it was concluded. The only time a report should be adopted is if it concludes with a motion for the assembly to consider, so that it would be the motion rather than the report which is adopted. This was not the case during my observations. In addition to being unnecessary, parliamaentary law especially discourages the adopting of a report that does not conclude with a motion. The reason is because adoption of a report means that the assembly approves every word of the report as being true. Inversely, if the motion is lost, it means that the assembly has rejected every word in the report. The outcome then becomes record in the minutes of the proceedings.
To adopt or not adopt. Normally, motions are adopted or lost, and a motion to not do something is frowned upon under parliamentary law, because it has the same effect as not introducing the motion at all. Additionally, the same effect is achieved by less than a majority (or two-thirds, depending on the vote required) voting in the affirmative, in which the motion is lost. However, the governing documents of AHCC require every resolution to be brought before the assembly, even if they were lost in committee. Hence, the committee chair recommends to "adopt" or "not adopt" before the assembly of delegates, which is why this is also done during the committee meetings. This means that every resolution that is lost in committee gets a second chance during a plenary meeting of the delegates assembled. However, it would be awkward for the assembly, desiring the opposite, to vote down a motion to "not adopt," then have to move its adoption. Since this procedure, which includes the motion to "not adopt," is provided by the AHCC bylaws, rather than the parliamentary authority, it is recognized under parliamentary law as a special rule of order.
Asking for a motion to close nominations. The immediate past president, while serving in the chair, asked for a motion to close nominations after he had already asked if there was any further nominations. When there is no response to the question asking for any further nominations, the chair did not need to ask for a motion to close nominations. The appropriate procedure would have been for the chair to declare that nominations were then closed.
Same sign. Whenever calling for the affirmative vote, the chair (president) would correctly say, "All those in favor, hold up your cards." However, when next calling for the negative vote, the chair would incorrectly say, "All those opposed, same sign." This is improper parliamentry form because it literally means that those opposed agree with those in favor.
Chair calls a recess without permission from the assembly. Whenever the chair called a recess during the convention, she did so through an improper use of unanimous consent (or acclamation). The correct form would be for the chair to say, "If there is no objection [pause], we will take a recess..." Or, "Without objection [pause], we will take a recess..." Instead, the chair, without any pause, would say, "We will take a recess..." The reason a pause is critical at a large convention like this, compared to a normal meeting of a local organization, is because it takes a certain amount of time for a person to walk up to the microphone. At this convention, the chair did not allow any pause at all, so that nobody had the chance to even begin approaching the microphone. On the other hand, strict adherence to the schedule at a convention can necessitate some restriction on the normal rights of an assembly, in order to complete all of the business on the agenda.
Chair doesn't allow debate on an appeal, and states the question using incorrect form. Similar to how the chair would call a recess by unanimous consent without any pause to allow for possible objection, the chair would go straight to a vote on an Appeal of her ruling on a Point of Order. The correct form should be, "Does the ruling of the chair stand as the judgment of the assembly?" Instead, in a condescending manner, the chair would point at the person making the appeal, and say, "All those in favor of his appeal..." This violates fundamental principles of parliamentary law, namely, that the chair should be impartial, and that debate should not become personal.
Chair does not declare the result of a vote, declares a recess, then retakes the vote without a motion to reconsider. Apparently, this is what happened. Unfortunately, I was not present during the Board meeting when this happened, so this is my understanding based on secondhand accounts. If this was true, then a Point of Order should have been raised that the chair must declare the result of a vote. Secondly, a Point of Order should have been raised that a question already decided cannot be voted on again during the same meeting without first adopting a motion to Reconsider, which can only be moved by a member of the prevailing side in the original vote.
Chair doesn't ask for new business before the close of the convention. Although new business was listed on the convention agenda, when it was in order near the close of the convention, the chair did not ask if there was any new business. Instead, the chair proceeded to announcements, which was the next category of business on the agenda. A delegate approached the microphone and asked if new business was in order at that time. The chair replied, "Well, it depends on what your question is." By this time, the voting cards had already been collected and everyone was ready to go home. It was clear that the officers and the assembly had no intention of actually following through on new business provided for in the printed program.