EGM stands for Emergency General Meeting*. They are used when a previously elected committee member drops out of their role and a new one needs to be voted in. These are very similar to the way we conduct AGMs so you should be familiar with the process.
*Sound familiar? We also have a very similar AGM process that you may have heard of. Please see the page for 'The AGM Process' under the 'AGMs, EGMs and Handover' heading
Planning an EGM
All student groups' new committees are uploaded online to the Union pages at the beginning of July when they are expected to take over the group. However, there are sometimes circumstances that mean committee members need to resign from their roles. This could happen at any point in the academic year. If someone chooses to resign between the 1st July and 1st January then an EGM process will be required to replace this committee member. If someone drops out of a committee after 1st January you will not be required to have one, though the current committee members will be expected to share the responsibilities of the missing member how they see fit. This is because annual AGMs are expected to be completed by the beginning of March and so the duties of the missing committee member will only need to be filled for an absolute maximum of two months. If your group feels that they are unable to take on additional responsibilities then you are welcome to complete your AGM as early as possible in January and advertise the missing position as an extension of the role ready for the following year. For example, if your President decides to leave university for good in January, you could hold your AGM asap and have your new committee for the following year elected within a week. The newly elected President could then take on the role in the interim providing that you have advertised this previously during the running.
Remember that our deadlines are set to ensure that we are able to maximise 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.
What is the Process?
There are a few steps to the EGM process that you need to be aware of in order to ensure you have completed the process correctly and efficiently. These are identical to the process you would need to adopt to complete your AGM. 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 using an Electronic EGM form.
- If a compulsory committee position has only one person running for the role then you will not need to do this and we can add them to our spreadsheet for reference in the next academic year. 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 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.
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 EGM need to be put through this EGM online form.
If there are any problems please don't hesitate to contact us at 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 have become unexpectedly available. 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 the missing role/s. 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. The quicker your EGM is 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 are those students on placement that have previously been members and are willing to either register for the group or pay their membership fee for the year that they will be covering. 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 EGMs 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.
Please note that EGMs are only conducted via the electronic form method and you will not be permitted to hold a vote within a room. This is to speed up the process. If there are speeches that you wish to incorporate in the form, we can accommodate on this.
How to Vote
As explained voting is only necessary when there are multiple people running for a committee role. All officially registered members, including current committee members and those running, are entitled to vote. All 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.
Once you have your results you must enter them through EGM 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.