❓ "What on Earth *is* an AGM?" and other such questions - AGM FAQs 2023

Avatar for AceEmpress Hannah ( AceEmpress )

Posted 1 year, 1 month ago

❓ AGM FAQs ❓

If you have any questions concerning AGMs or similar that have not been answered here, please post a comment in the thread below and one of our exec will endeavour to answer it.
(Also, if anyone's curious why I'm reposting the FAQs Ares wrote last year rather than just leaving that thread up, it's to make sure people are 100% clear on where to ask questions and so I have the ability to update the FAQ if anything comes up, as well as the fact that who you should poke in certain circumstances has changed because we have a new Tech Officer and also the position's called Tech Officer now.)


🔗 Quick Links:


📑 Questions answered in this FAQ:

🕐 Section 1: AGM Basics
1. What is an AGM?
2. Where can I see the official SU documentation on AGMs?
3. What exactly happens at an AGM?
4. What is quorum, and why does it matter?
5. What if I can’t make it to an AGM?
6. What if I have any questions/complaints?

🕑 Section 2: Voting
7. What can be voted on at an AGM?
8. Who can vote at an AGM?
8.5 How do I become a standard member in order to participate in the AGM?
9. What if I'm not(/can't be) a standard member?!?
10. How does voting work practically?
11. What on Earth is STV (and how does it work in our Exec Elections)?

🕒 Section 3: Exec Elections
12. What are exec elections?
13. Who can run for an exec role?
14. What exec roles can be run for?
15. How do I find out more about the roles?
16. How do I nominate myself for a role?
17. What do I do at an AGM if I’m a nominee?
18. When will the official statement on new exec be made?

🕓 Section 4: Motions
19. What is a motion?
20. Who can propose motions?
21. How do I propose a motion?


🕐 Section 1: AGM Basics


❓ 1. What is an AGM?

AGM stands for Annual General Meeting (or AHHHHHHH! General Meeting!!! 😱 if you’re one of the exec who has to organise/run it) - it's a yearly event where our members and exec can have their official say in how the society is run. This includes submitting motions, hearing from potential new exec, and voting on both. There will also be a Society Update, where current exec give a rundown of what they’ve been doing in the past year.

The AGM is run by the Returning Officer - an impartial body who explains proceedings, conducts the Orders of Business, and keeps order. This is usually an outgoing member of exec who is not standing for re-election.

Every year, a forum thread will be made on our website in advance of the AGM. This will give specific details for that AGM, like any deadlines and Orders of Business. We recommend you go read this if you’re planning on attending the AGM in question.

📜 2. Where can I see the official SU documentation on AGMs?

The official SU documentation on AGMs - specifically exec elections and the constitution/how to change it - can be found on their “Governance” page, specifically in “Regulation 9 (R9) Clubs & Societies”.

You can also find just the information on Society Elections in a slightly nicer format on the “Society Elections” SU page.

🗃 3. What exactly happens at an AGM?

A general breakdown of what orders of business we conduct is as follows (please note, this is only a guideline and may vary slightly year on year, and thus will be detailed on the forum thread for each year's AGM):

  1. Introduction
  2. Society update
  3. Rundown of voting rules and procedures
  4. Motions
  5. Comfort break
  6. Exec nominations
  7. Any other business
  8. Wrap-up
    [Online voting is then opened on motions and exec when the meeting is concluded, see Qu. 10. How does voting work practically?]

👥 4. What is quorum, and why does it matter?

Defined on the Society Elections page, quorum is “a minimum number of votes needed in order for an election [or motion] to be valid.”

You can find the specific requirements for quorum in Regulation 9:

a. The first 100 Society or Club members shall be subject to a quorum of 10%.
b. Membership between 101 and 200 inclusive shall be subject to a quorum of 9%.
c. Membership between 201 and 400 inclusive shall be subject to a quorum of 8%.
[...]
g. The quorum calculations in a) – f) are cumulative and the total shall be rounded up to the nearest integer.
h. The minimum quorum for any Society election is 5.

Quorum is slightly different if there are motions specifically to change the Society Constitution (see Qu. 19. What is a motion?). Again, from Regulation 9:

1. The quorum for all Society and Sports Clubs constitution changes shall be the cumulative total of Quorum 1. a) – f) in ‘Club and Society Election Appendix’ multiplied by 1.5 and then rounded up to the nearest whole number.
2. The minimum quorum for any Society or Sports Club constitution change is 8.

If we don’t reach the minimum number of votes, the subject of the vote is not valid, and we will likely have to run an EGM (Emergency General Meeting) to perform the vote again, which is not very desirable as it is a further drain on everyone’s time. So, if you can vote, please vote!

🙅‍♂️ 5. What if I can’t make it to an AGM?

If you can’t make it, you can still participate!

Learning about what happened during the AGM: we recommend that you ask someone who was there for their rundown of the proceedings, and ask the Returning Officer for a copy of their meeting slides.

Voting: our voting is done entirely online, so you do not need to be present at the AGM to cast your vote. Make sure you know when the voting period is.

Nominating yourself for an exec position: you can do this in advance (see Qu. 16. How do I nominate myself for a role?), and we recommend you ask someone to give your spiel in your place (we recommend contacting an existing exec to do this for you). We also recommend you give members a way to ask you questions (e.g. your Discord username), as answering questions about your suitability is a big part of convincing people you’re the right person for the job.

Proposing a motion: you can do this in advance (see Qu. 21. How do I propose a motion?), and we recommend you ask someone to give your spiel in your place (your motion seconder is a good shout). You will also need to allow your seconder to consider any amendments to the motions.

🗨 6. What if I have any questions/complaints?

I will repeat as I did at the beginning of this article: if you have any general questions concerning AGMs or similar that have not been answered here, please post a comment in the thread below and one of our exec will endeavour to answer it. That way other people can see your question and the answer to it, and I can edit the FAQ accordingly.

In general, you can contact us via a number of methods (listed most preferable to least):

  • On our Discord server - use the code xdDZnYQ in the Discord app or on the Discord site, and @exec or @[specific exec member's handle] if you want to make sure we hear you.
  • On this thread, or on another (related, e.g. the specific thread for the AGM you’re attending) thread.
  • In person at our many events (exec will often wear purple hoodies with their names and roles on them).
  • Through our Facebook page or through our various Facebook groups.

If you have any official complaints about the way a specific AGM/vote is conducted, the Returning Officer will provide their contact details on the night.


🕑 Section 2: Voting


✋ 7. What is voted on?

2 things are voted on after the in-person meeting concludes:

  1. Exec positions (who you think is most suitable for the role)
  2. Motions (whether or not they are passed)

🏅 8. Who can vote?

According to Regulation 9:

Each standard member of a Society or Club has one vote [on each thing to be voted on], all votes are counted equally.

A standard member is a Warwick student who has paid the Society membership fee through our SU page.

The date by which someone must be a member of the Society or Club in order to vote is 14 days before the voting begins.

Voting will begin after the AGM concludes, and thus you will need to be a member of the Society 14 days prior to that.

Associate or Honorary members of a Society or Club may not vote or stand in any election.

Again, you must be a standard member to vote.

📛 8.5 How do I become a standard member in order to participate in the AGM?

There are 2 main steps to this:

🕐 Buy membership on our SU page

🕑 Verify your membership on this here website

  • Make sure you have an account on this website.
  • Log in to your account and go to Edit Profile, select the "Verify Membership" option, and follow the process
  • Note: if you've voted in any of our online elections before, you're gucci, you do not need to verify anything again!
  • Please make sure to verify your membership by the same deadline of Sat 11 Feb, 12pm. If you have membership but don't verify it before then, please let our Tech Officer (Scarlett, @ORCH1D#3686 on discord) know and she will be able to fix it manually - this is an irritating process for her though, so please be nice and do it on time.
  • If you have any queries about online voting, please let Scarlett know either by emailing the soc (su303@warwicksu.com) or messaging her on Discord @ORCH1D#3686 (there will be an #agm-2023 channel for this too).

🚫 9. What if I'm not(/can't be) a standard member?!?

Unfortunately, the SU makes the rules on voting, and we cannot change these.

We do encourage you to buy membership if you are a student as the money helps fund our society: the small membership fee that we charge you for membership funds us directly, and the SU Societies Federation fee gets back to us eventually through the budget the SU gives us every year. It also means you can vote/run for an exec position, funnily enough…

Even if you are not a standard member, we'd still love you to come along to the AGM! Your opinion is still valuable to us - you can join in on any discussion/debate, and if there's a motion you want passed, you can (politely) ask a standard member to propose it for you (see Qu. 20. Who can propose motions?).

🗳 10. How does voting work practically?

Our voting takes place on our website, thanks to the work of our past Web Admins Anna and Finnbar.

The vote will open once the AGM meeting concludes, usually that night or the morning after. The vote being opened will be announced on our various platforms.

Online votes are required to be open “for a period of at least 48 hours” according to the Society Elections SU page. The exact length of the vote and when it is due to close can vary year-on-year and will be announced at the AGM.

According to our Constitution, our Exec Election votes are counted using a Single Transferable Vote (STV) electoral system. For more on that, see the below Qu. 11. What on Earth is STV?

Because motions are a bit more simple than having a bunch of potential candidates, votes for those are a simple For/Against/Abstain First Past The Post (FPTP). The option that receives the most votes wins. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

☑ 11. What on Earth is STV (and how does it work in our Exec Elections)?

STV is, according to Wikipedia, “a type of ranked preferential electoral system… where each voter casts a single ballot where they rank candidates and votes are transferred if possible when they would otherwise be used ineffectively (wasted).”

When you cast your vote for an exec role (e.g. President), you will be able to rank your candidate preferences. For example, if the candidates are Abigail, Benjamin, and Cathy, you could vote as follows:

First choice: Cathy
Second choice: Abigail
Third choice: Benjamin

To complicate things, you can also vote for RON, “Re-Open Nominations.” If you didn’t like Benjamin as a candidate, and didn’t want him to be elected, you could vote:

First choice: Cathy
Second choice: Abigail
Third choice: RON

As you can see above, you are not obligated to vote for all the choices. You can choose not to vote for someone at all. You could just put a first choice down and nothing else, and your first choice in this case could be RON if you didn’t think anyone standing was suitable. If RON wins, we run the election for that position again, giving other candidates a chance to stand.

The way the winner is then calculated is a little complicated. Our exec roles all have only 1 seat, and you can find a good breakdown of how votes are transferred in this situation on the Moray Council page.


🕒 Section 3: Exec Elections


🤷‍♂️ 12. What are exec elections?

Exec elections are how we nominate the exec for the next year (until the next AGM rocks around). Candidates will put themselves forwards, give a short speech on why they’re a good candidate, take any questions that the attendees have, and then members can vote on who they think is best for the role.

🏃‍♂️ 13. Who can run for an exec role?

The same principle for those eligible to vote (see Qu. 8. Who can vote?) applies here: anyone who is a standard member of the Society 14 days prior to the vote opening. Associate or Honorary members of a society may not stand in any election.

👪 14. What exec roles can be run for?

Our current elected exec roles are:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Communications and Operations Officer
  • Tech Officer
  • Wargames Rep
  • Magic: the Gathering Draft Rep
  • Board Games Rep
  • Collectable Card Games (CCGs) Rep
  • Role-Playing Games (RPGs) Rep
  • Live-Action Role-Playing (LARP) Rep
  • Quartermaster

Please note that this list may change during an AGM due to motions passed - for example, this year (2023) there is a motion to add Welfare Officer to the list of exec positions following changes in SU regulations meaning the role needs to be elected.

In addition to our elected roles, exec members can nominate "assistant reps" to help them perform their roles. To emphasise, these are not elected roles, and will not be voted on by membership after an AGM.

📃 15. How do I find out more about the roles?

There are several different ways you can find out more about an exec role:

  1. Talk to the current exec that performs the role! We'd love to talk about what we do! Contact them through Discord, or by finding them at an event;
  2. Check out our Exec page, where you can click the “Responsibilities” underneath each bio to see what the role is responsible for doing;
  3. Read the relevant section(s) in our Handover Document, which is a guide written by current exec for future exec to read to learn more about what they’ve got to do, how to do it, and general advice going forward;
  4. Read the newsletter in the lead-up to the AGM! Each week during Term 2, accounts will be given by the current exec on their roles and why you should nominate yourself for that exec role;
  5. Read our Constitution for the very official stance on what each exec is responsible for (warning: may cause brain melt).

🙋‍♂️ 16. How do I nominate myself for a role?

Every year, a forum thread will be made on our website in advance of the AGM. The sole way to nominate yourself in advance is to reply to the specific forum thread for that year's AGM.

We recommend you write a short paaph on why you would be a good fit for the role, which will be read if you cannot make the event. You can see plenty of examples of past nomination spiels in previous AGM forum threads!

You can run on the day without nominating yourself in advance, but we heavily encourage you to nominate yourself in advance so that interested society members/the current exec can read up on those standing in advance! It also really helps us organise the AGM, especially since it allows us to raise any roles that may not have any nominees as a cause for concern, and hopefully rectify this before the AGM occurs.

🎤 17. What do I do at an AGM if I’m a nominee?

We really do encourage you to try to make it to the AGM itself. There, you will be asked if you would like to give a short speech as to why you should get the role, after which there will be a short period for those present to ask you questions.

📰 18. When will the official statement on the new exec be made?

According to Regulation 9:

Society or Club members should receive the provisional Exec election results no later than 3 working days after voting has closed.

So you will receive provisional results no later than 3 days after the voting has closed - they will be announced over our various platforms.
It is important, however, to note that:

All results are provisional for 7 working days after members have been notified. In this period members may submit complaints regarding the elections to the current Exec, SU Returning Officer, Sabbatical Officers or a relevant member of SU Staff.

So if you do have any complaints, please make sure to submit them in that 7-day provisional period.


🕓 Section 4: Motions


📄 19. What is a motion?

Motions are your chance to officially change things that the Society does in some way or another. They come in 2 flavours: motions that change our Constitution, and motions that do not.

Most motions you propose will require a change/modification to our society constitution, as this lays out how the society conducts its business. You can find the Society Constitution on our website; please make sure you read this before you propose a motion.

Examples of previous motions can be found in our forum threads for past AGMs/EGMs, which include motions such as:

  • On the renaming of Casual Card Games to Collectible Card Games
  • On Discord Moderation
  • On the appointed Equal Opportunities and Welfare exec positions
  • On Rule 5 of The Code of Conduct

🙇‍♂️ 20. Who can propose motions?

The same principle for those eligible to vote (see Qu. 8. Who can vote?) applies here: anyone who is a standard member of the Society 14 days prior to the vote opening. Associate or Honorary members of a society may not propose motions. However, they can suggest motions to a standard member if they feel that member would like to propose them in their stead.

All motions must have a proposer and a seconder, who must both fulfil the conditions above.

📝 21. How do I propose a motion?

Every year, a forum thread will be made on our website in advance of the AGM. You should reply to this thread with the motion(s) you wish to propose. Please consider the below information before proposing a motion.

  • Most motions you propose will require a change/modification to our society constitution, as this lays out how the society conducts its business. You can find the Society Constitution on our website; please make sure you read this before you propose a motion.
  • All motions made must have a proposer and a seconder. Both must fulfil the terms in Qu. 20. Who can propose motions?
  • If a motion is proposed to make a change to the Society Constitution, we are required to give our members at least 7 days’ notice of this motion. So we ask that you propose any changes to the Society Constitution at least 8 days before the AGM. Specific deadlines will be given in the specific AGM forum thread. This is according to Regulation 9:

    All members should have at least 7 days’ notice of a General Meeting. This notice should include the proposed changes to the Constitution.

  • We also need a specific type of quorum for motions to change the Constitution to be made. Please read Qu. 4. What is quorum, and why does it matter?
  • Finally, motions should be given in a specific format, as below:

On Hats
The Society Notes:
1. That very few members routinely wear hats to games meetings

The Society Believes:
1. That hats are easily and cheaply obtained from many retailers
2. That hats add a jaunty air to proceedings, and encourage good cheer.

The Society Resolves:
1. To require each of our members to wear at least one hat during board games.


Thank you for enduring this FAQ, and we look forward to seeing you at our next AGM!

  • Hannah, Vice Pres 2022/23

Here, queer, filled with existential fear.

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