Robert Gordon University Students’ Association Annual General Meeting 18h May 2012 6.30pm RGU:Union, 2nd Floor Bar 1. Welcome from the Chair & Quorum Count 1.1. The number of people needed to make the AGM constitutionally capable of discussing and voting on business, known as Quorum, is 60. Please ensure you have signed in and collected a voting card. 2. Minutes of Previous AGM 2.1. The Minutes of the last AGM need to be ratified and accepted 3. Submission of Accounts 3.1. The Students’ Association Accounts for 2010/11 need to be approved 4. Declaration of donations 5. Declaration of Affiliations 6. Executive Report 6.1. The Union Officers will each present a short report on their progress and achievements over the last year. 6.2. You will have a chance to comment on the progress of the Elected part-time officers over the last year, as reported in the AGM booklet 7. Motions 7.1. Transparency of the Students’ Union
8. Constitutional Matters 8.1. Amendment of Constitution Clause 4.3.2 (Members of Executive Board) & Amendment of Constitution Clause 8.1 (Part-Time Officers) 8.2. Amendment of Constitution Clause 4.5.3 (Chair of Executive Board) 8.3. Amendment of Constitution Clause 6 (General Meetings – provisions applicable to Extraordinary General Meetings) 8.4. Amendment of Constitution Clause 13.1 (Constitutional Amendments) 9. Approval of the Honorary Treasurer 9.1. The Honorary Treasurer is nominated by the Board of Governors of the University and it is a constitutional requirement that they are voted into position by the AGM.
This is the opportunity for students to assess the competency and appropriateness of the Board Nominee on the Union Executive Board 10. Strategic Plan update 11. Constitutional update 12. Elections Debate 13. AOCB
Ryan Maclean President (Communications & Democracy) 2011/12
Appendix 1 -Annual General Meeting FAQ There are few things more confusing than an Annual General Meeting especially one which is held by a student member focused organisation such as the Students’ Association, so we thought it would be useful, beneficial and above all, about time, that we helped de-mystify some of the jargon and the other goings on at this annual and very important event. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) The Students’ Association represents the student voice and the Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a chance for all students to have a say about the Union and its policies. The AGM is a key date in the Association’s calendar where motions submitted by students are debated and voted on by its members. Any student can submit a motion prior to the AGM and all students can vote on the day, motions can only be passed if they receive enough student votes at the AGM. Student input plays a vital role in how RGUSA works for and represents students. The Jargon Constitution The document that holds all the rules, regulations and requirements for running the democratic side of the Students’ association. We literally have to do ‘everything by the book!’ Ordinary Members All matriculated students studying at Robert Gordon University unless they have decided to opt out of being a member of RGUSA Accountability All students elected to any position in the Students’ association structure is accountable for their actions to a higher authority. In the case of the AGM this authority is all Ordinary members; the elected students are, after all, there to work on your behalf so you should ask questions and challenge what they are doing in your name!
Standing Orders The procedures set down in the constitution for how to run and control a meeting in the Students’ Association. This includes the AGM. Motion A written suggestion put forward with at least a proposer and seconder to make a change or to ensure something happens within the students’ Association. Policy If a motion is passed it becomes a policy of the Students’ association and hence must be followed at all times or achieved within a stated timeframe. Amendment When a motion is put forward it can be amended if others feel it isn’t quite right in its current format. If an amendment is put forward then initially a vote is taken to approve the amendment. If this is passed then a further vote is taken to pass the amended motion (The original motion is now considered defunct as the amended motion has taken its place) Proposer An ordinary member who puts forward a motion and has the chance to speak about it first Seconder An ordinary member who supports a proposed motion and has the chance to speak about it second
Executive Board 11 Students elected to make the day-to-day decisions relating to the Studentsâ€™ association. These 11are made up of 3 Full-time officers (aka Sabbatical Officers, sabbaticals, sabbs) and 7 Part-time Officers (aka Non-Sabbatical Officers, Non-sabbs). In addition there is an Honorary Treasurer nominated by the Board of Governors of the University. Quorum/Quoracy The MINIMUM number of ordinary members that must be present before a meeting can go ahead and if during a vote, the MINIMUM number of ordinary members that must be present to pass the vote
The Process Motions & Amendments Motions and Amendments are there for a number of different reasons. These are: To change the RGUSA constitution To pass RGUSA policy How to submit a motion Any student can submit a motion, but you will need 20 Ordinary members signatures added to it when you submit it and it should be submitted at least 2 weeks before the AGM. What are amendments and why do they confuse the issue? An amendment is just that; a suggestion to change the original motion (for whatever reason) to something slightly different, but this should not be so different as it changes the original motion beyond all recognition. If the vote to change the original motion using the submitted amendment is passed then this becomes the motion to vote on. This is why it seems there is sometimes two votes on the same motion but in fact the first vote is to use the amendment to change the motion whilst the second vote is to actually pass the amended motion
The Debate Each Motion shall have a Proposer and a seconder as well as the 20 ordinary member signatures. The chair will allow the Proposer to open up the discussion with a speech, followed by a speech from somebody not in favour of the motion (if anyone), then the seconder will be invited to speak, followed by someone else not in favour of the motion. After these opening speeches the Chair will invite debate from the floor. It is up to the chair how long each opening speech is given but they must all be given equal time. A debate can go on for as long as the chair deems necessary. However, the chair must ensure that enough time has passed so that good, open and informed debate has occurred in readiness for a vote Any ordinary member may speak at any time on any of the subjects being debated, however all speakers must speak ‘through the chair’ i.e. its up to the chair to decide who speaks and in what order and speakers should indicate that they wish to speak in order for the chair to pick them. Voting There are 3 ways you can vote in any debate; For, Against and Abstain. To abstain means you are neither For or Against a particular decision but it does show that you were at the meeting as many decisions require a Quorum to be passed In parts If a motion has more than one part that is being put forward then if required, it can be voted on ‘In Parts’. This option would normally be taken if there were parts of the motion that were liked but also certain parts that were not liked, therefore possibly allowing the ‘good’ bits to be passed whilst the ‘not so good’ bits would not be passed.
Appendix 2 – Motions Motion 2012/01 – Transparency Proposer – George Lawie Union Notes
The Students’ Union is run by students, for students.
The Executive Board is elected by the members of the Union as Students of Robert Gordon University
The Executive Board, its sub-committees, and the members thereof should report regularly to the students who elected them into position on the progress they are making throughout their year.
That all competent business should be transparent to the members of the Union
If, for a valid and competent reason, information must be withheld, the removal of such information should be noted in an appropriate manner.
To commit to full transparency in the future, including regular, pro-active and timely publication of the full minutes of the Executive Board and all other committees of the Students’ Association, as well as regular information pertaining to any constitution/regulatory changes or campaigns planned by the Students’ Association
To help comply with Environmental policies, publication of minutes should be done primarily through electronic means – either by email, publication on the Students’ Association Website, publication within the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, or another suitable manner that ensures accessibility for the entire student body.
Appendix 3 – Constitutional Amendments 301 – Members of Executive Board Proposer – Executive Board AGM Notes
RAG has grown considerably since its inception
Raising and Giving is now a fundamental part of Union Activities
To incorporate the RAG Chair as a full member of the Students’ Association Executive Board
To Amend Constitutional Clause 4.3.2 to read as follows: “4.3.2 the Vice Presidents and RAG Chair”
To Amend & Add To Constitutional Clause 8.1 to read as follows: “8.1 There shall be seven Eight Executive Officers of the Association: Vice-President (Academic) Vice-President (Entertainment & Events) Vice-President (Environment & Ethics) Vice-President (Equality & Diversity) Vice-President (International) Vice-President (Societies) Vice-President (Sports) RAG Chair”
302 – Chair of Executive Board Proposer – Executive Board AGM Notes
At the AGM 2011 it was agreed that the 3 sabbatical officers would each be a President of the Association, with remit for specific areas
All Presidents are elected equally and should have equal status
To ensure that the Executive Board reflects this equal status and elects a competent Chair of the Board from the 3 Presidents
To Delete & Replace Constitutional Clause 4.5.3 to read as follows: “The Chair of the Executive Board shall be one of the three sabbatical Presidents, as elected by the members of the Executive Board at the first meeting of the Academic Year. In the Elected Chair’s absence the Executive Board shall elect one of their number to act as Chair.
303 – General Meetings – Provisions Applicable to Extraordinary General Meetings Proposer – Executive Board AGM Notes
The members may wish to call an Emergency General Meeting throughout the course of the year on an issue that may concern them
An Extraordinary General Meeting should be considered equal to any other General Meeting
To ensure the constitution reflects the equal status of all General meetings
To Delete & Amend Constitutional clause 6.2 & 6.3 to read as follows: “6.2 No business shall be transacted at any Annual General Meeting unless…” “6.3 The Annual General Meeting shall be chaired by…”
304 – Amendment of the Constitution Proposer – Executive Board AGM Notes
The Constitution is the governing document for the Students’ Association
The Constitution is the document that ensures the Union is governed in a way that serves the best interests of its members.
Constitutional amendments may, from time to time, need to be carried out during the course of the year if any major concerns arise.
Extraordinary General Meetings should be considered equal to all other General meetings, including the Annual General Meeting
To ensure that Constitutional Amendments can be implemented outwith the Annual General Meeting
To Delete & Amend Constitutional Clause 13.1 to read as follows: “The Constitution may be amended at any duly constituted Annual General Meeting of the Association…”
Appendix 4 – Honorary Treasurer Nominees Below you will find a list of the nominees from the Board of Governors for the post of Honorary Treasurer of the Students’ Association, for vote by the AGM. 1. Fiona Duncan – Senior Lecturer – Department of Accounting & Finance