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Robert's Rules and Special Orders of the Day

An order of the day is any item of business that your group is scheduled to consider at a particular session, meeting, day, or hour. After routine items, what’s left to handle is an assortment of items of business that can cover a wide range of topics. But according to Robert's Rules, each item has a priority for consideration, based on what was done in earlier meetings.

The class of business for items of this type with the highest priority is called special orders. This class refers to special items of business that have been given top priority by being made an order of the day through the express wishes of your members.

Special orders (of the day) are considered in the following order:

  1. Unfinished special orders.

    These orders haven’t yet been completed; they’ve been held over from an earlier meeting. Consideration starts with any special order that was pending when an earlier meeting adjourned; other orders are then taken up in the order they were made a special order.

  2. Items made special orders for the current meeting.

    Because order is important, the group finishes old items before getting started with new items, even if the new items are on tonight’s agenda.

  3. Items provided for in bylaws to be done at a particular meeting.

    Examples include items such as election of a nominating committee, selection of delegates to a convention, and election of officers.

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