An AGM or Annual General Meeting is held once a year during February to provide a report on the year and vote in the group's new committee. This is not limited to a physical meeting and there are different processes to adopt depending on the number of members you have running for each position. This process has been adapted recently to help make conducting AGMs quicker and easier for all parties involved.
What is an AGM?
All student groups must hold an AGM to vote in their President, Treasurer and Secretary by the beginning of March every academic year. These are the three compulsory roles for student group committees as all have a core function within the group and thus are a minimum requirement. Committees for each group organise these themselves though should comply with the union's deadlines.
We do advise all groups to establish the whole committee in one go. If there are separate elections for the rest of the committee, they must be completed before the annual Handover Conference that usually takes place at the end of March. This is a compulsory training session for all new committees. Our deadlines are set to ensure that we are able to maximise the amount of time we offer groups and allows us to support all student groups to the best of our ability. Deadlines also enable the smooth running of your group and so it is in your best interest to abide by them. If the deadline for the AGM submission is not met or submitted, your group may become inactive from July onwards.
If we do not have any correspondence with your group regarding the AGM during this period your group runs the risk of being made inactive for the following academic year. It is important that you submit an AGM as well as attending the Handover Conference as both are integral to the function of your group and training of the committee.
Who can Run in an AGM?
All members should be given the option to run in the AGM. If you have not heard anything about the AGM by the beginning of March it may be worth enquiring with your committee. AGMs are compulsory and should be completed in a democratic manner. If you believe that someone has been elected into a role without the rest of the members being offered a chance to run please inform the Groups Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you fail to notice the deadline for coming forward to run despite its advertisement there is, unfortunately, little we can do for you. Please try to keep on top of this if you are interested in becoming a committee member. Correspondence should be emailed out from your group's committee via email and social media as well as discussed in person.
Remember that only members of the group from that current academic year can run for a role. Staff and alumni are not allowed to run for a committee position as all of our groups are student-led only. The only exception to this rule is those students on placement that have previously been members. This, however, does need to be communicated to the Groups Team but your current committee if this is the case.
What if Someone isn't Good for the Role or if I think their establishment has Been Unfair?
If you feel that the interview process for non-compulsory roles has been unfair or that there was bias when the decision was made, please note that you are able to raise this with the Groups Team. If you are not awarded a non-compulsory role and you feel that the decision was made unfairly, you will need to email email@example.com, raising a complaint against the panel with evidence for the bias. For example, this would apply if you feel that another candidate has won the role based on their friendship with members of the panel rather than their qualifications.
If during the academic year you or a member feel it appropriate to establish a Vote of No Confidence for any member of your group's committee you can do this. You or your members will need to submit evidence for the lack of confidence in this committee member and explain why it is you feel that they are not fulfilling their role. Remember, this is always a last resort and VNC's are taken very seriously within our department. For more information about VNCs please see the section of the same title under the heading 'Grievances'.
If any member is concerned that someone running unopposed is not qualified to be granted the role by default, then it is their decision to stand against them or address this with the committee in advance of the deadline to come forward and run.
In the past, some group's committee members may recall conducting an AGM within the room. This is still permissible and if those that are running will potentially need to prepared to hold a short speech and answer questions. AGMs are organised entirely by the current committee and it is their responsibility to organise one if a meeting in the room is being held. It is also their responsibility to find a suitable sized space and advertise the location and time in as much advance as possible.
The voting will need to be conducted electronically if a physical AGM is held. Your current committee should email you the link which should allow you to vote. You need to make sure you are a registered member and that you are signed into your student email address.
All results are then sent to the group's email address either the day the AGM form closes (if that is between 10am and 3pm) or the following day. The current committee should contact firstname.lastname@example.org if there is a delay longer than 48 hours after the form's closure.