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How to run your Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Every year, you'll need to hold an Annual General Meeting, or AGM, where you report back on what you've done in the past year and elect next year's Committee.

The advice on this page is designed for groups who use the SUSU Model Constitution - if you're not sure, you probably use this Constitution. If you don't have a copy of your Constitution, email democracy@susu.org and we'll see if we have it on record for you. If we don't, you will need to adopt the model one at your next meeting.

When do we have to do this?

You must hold an AGM every year. SUSU sets the deadline for AGMs each year - this is usually after the Easter holiday. This year's deadline is 1 May 2018.

You can have your AGM at any time before this - many groups choose to hold them before Easter, so the new Committee have the Easter holiday to start planning for the year ahead.

You’ll need to give ten days’ notice of the AGM to all your members - you can do this by posting on Facebook and sending an email to them all. This notice needs to say that elections are happening and tell people what the positions are and how to nominate themselves.

It also needs to say the time, date and place of the AGM.

What happens at the AGM?

The President will lead the AGM (or if they aren’t there, you can elect someone else to do it).

The Committee members can report on what they’ve been up to over the past year, and the Treasurer must report on the state of the group’s finances.

Someone, usually the Secretary, will need to keep a record of that is decided at the meeting. This should be sent to everyone after the meeting so they can see what happened.

How do we elect the Committee?

The Committee are chosen by an election, and any student who is a Full Member of your Club or Society can stand in the election.

For each position, you also have to have a candidate called “Re-Open Nominations”, which is a way for students to say they don’t want any of the actual candidates to be elected. If Re-Open Nominations gets elected, you run the election again.

Voting

The election should be run by a secret ballot, where members have a piece of paper (a ballot paper) for each position and choose one candidate from a list. The ballot paper mustn’t include anything that could identify the person who votes using it.

You can print off ballot papers in advance of the meeting if you like, or you can just pass round pieces of paper at the meeting and members can write down the name of the candidate they want to be elected.

Every student who’s a full member of your group can vote (but if you have any non-student members, they can’t vote). You can only vote if you’re present at the meeting – you can’t ask someone else to vote on your behalf. The Chair only votes if there’s a tie.

Every student member can vote in every election, even if they’re running for a position.

Counting

The ballot papers should be counted in front of the candidates by the Chair of the meeting (or other Committee members who aren’t running) – there is no reason for this to happen in secret. If someone is running in the election, they can’t be involved in running it or counting the results.

The system used is called First Past the Post, so whichever candidate gets the largest number of votes is the winner.

What's next?

Once you’ve elected your new committee, they take office immediately. The Committee must update their committee information on the Student Groups Hub provided by the Students’ Union at www.susu.org (or failing that inform the Students’ Union’s Student Groups Officer, via activities@susu.org) within one week. 

The outgoing Committee must transfer all relevant information and documentation to the new Committee, or to the President, within two weeks. You can find out more about how to run a succesful handover here.

Then, keep your eyes open for information about the Student Groups’ Conference. This is an annual meeting for all incoming committees where we go through what’s expected of you in your role, and what Union Southampton can do for you.

if you have any questions about running your AGM or elections, please email democracy@susu.org.