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.
Remember! Communication is key. If you are having problems getting members to run for the three compulsory roles or any issues with your AGM at all, contact email@example.com in good time before the deadline.
*Sound familiar? We also have a very similar EGM process that you may have heard of. Please see the page for 'The EGM Process' under the 'AGMs, EGMs and Handover' heading
Planning your AGM
All student groups must hold an AGM to vote in their President, Treasurer, and Secretary by the end of March. This process is completed 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. We do however advise you to establish the whole committee in one go.
Our deadlines are set to ensure that we are able to maximize the amount of time we offer you 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. Remember, if you do not meet the deadline for the AGM submission or do not submit an AGM at all, 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 this is integral to the function of your group and the training of the committee.
What is the Process?
There are a few steps to the AGM process that you need to be aware of in order to ensure you have completed the process correctly and efficiently.
These are as followed:
- If a compulsory committee position has two or more people running for the role then you will need to go through the process of either voting or interviewing for the position.
- If a compulsory committee position has only one person running for the role then you will not need to do this. But you must have given all current members of your group the option to run and cannot simply appoint the role without doing so.
- If a non-compulsory committee position only has one person running for the role then you will not need to have a vote as they will win the role by default. They can simply be added to our spreadsheet for reference in the next academic year. You must, however, give all current members of your group the option to run and cannot simply appoint the role without doing so.
- If a non-compulsory committee position has two or more people wishing to run for the role then you will need to hold your own informal interviews or vote for said role.
With regards to this interview process, we would like to see you using two non-bias committee compulsory members (one from the current compulsory committee and one from the new compulsory committee) and a friend on another group's committee where possible to sit on a panel of interviewers. This, in turn, prevents bias. We would like only compulsory roles to be the interviewers as this adds emphasis on the responsibility of the compulsory roles and upskills these committee members. This should be a brief Q&A session and you can design it how you wish amongst the panel.
Once you have your new committee are voted or interviewed in you MUST fill in the AGM Form. If this is not completed by the deadline we will assume your group will go inactive at the end of the academic year.
At the bottom of this article, there are some documents attached to help you construct your Q&A interviews. With the exception of using an electronic form, any results that you have gathered for your AGM need to be put through this online form. This form is an AGM/EGM Results Submission Form and allows you to inform the Groups team of your AGM results without having to email them.
If you wish to instate a brand new committee position, the Groups Team requires an email that states in writing that the current committee agrees that this new role will benefit the group's function. You will also need to provide us with a reason why you believe this to be the case.
If there are any problems please don't hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disagree with the Establishment of a Committee Member?
If you feel that the interview process 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.
How to Kickstart the Process
To get the ball rolling, you will need to make sure you offer all of your members the chance to run for any committee roles that your group has. You can advertise these roles via email, social media and during your regular group meetings and activities to ensure maximum awareness amongst your members. This is your current committee's responsibility. You will all need to agree on a deadline for your members to come forward to run for a role. This you will need to make all of your members aware of. We suggest a minimum of one week but how long you give your members to come forward is entirely up to you providing that it fits within the deadlines set by the Groups Team. This advertisement of roles should ideally begin at the beginning of February so that you have plenty of time to have your AGM completed. While the deadline may be the beginning of March, the quicker the AGMs are completed the better and the less chasing you'll receive from the Groups Team!
Remember when starting the process that only members of your 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 if this is the case.
There is no quorum to reach (number of members who have voted) in order for your electronic AGMs to be made official, however, you need to make sure that you make an effort to engage as many members to vote where appropriate as possible. You'll also need to ensure that all members are given the correct deadline for voting. This will be listed on your electronic form and also emailed to your group's email address when the form is created.
All of the changes to the committee will be done online in early August, in time for the beginning of the next academic year in September. The changes are made at this time to coincide with the new academic year, the take over of the new committee and the digital refresh of our system.
In the months following the Handover Conference, your current committee transition This should lead up to the end of the academic year when the new committee will take over at the beginning of July.
How to Vote
As explained voting is only necessary when there are multiple people running for a committee role or if you wish to conduct a physical meeting within a room.
All officially registered members, including current committee members and those running, are entitled to vote. All you will need to ensure that they are voting using their student email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org) as votes completed from any other email address domains will be disregarded.
Everyone is only able to vote once and you cannot amend your votes once completed so vote carefully! All responses are anonymous and are monitored by the Groups Team to ensure a fair outcome.
In the past, some group's committee members may recall conducting an AGM within the room. This is still permissible but you'll need to consider the following:
- 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.
- If you wish to have an AGM in person, you must book either a Union room via the room booking system or a university room (please see the 'Room Bookings' section under the 'Facilities' heading on how to do this) or find a suitable location for an appropriate membership cohort.
- You must inform all members of the physical AGM as far in advance as possible prior to the meeting to ensure a maximum turnout and do your best to advertise the details of the AGM.
You must fill in the AGM Form after the physical AGM is completed
Once you have your results you must enter them through AGM Form. This is so we can make the necessary changes to the membership platform so the committee can access this as soon as they are appointed. More information on the Membership Platform here.