Calling and Running an AGM
Societies must hold an Annual General Meeting once a year. The procedure for calling an AGM or EGM is laid out in your society constitution; please ensure that sufficient notice is communicated to members (as per your constitution) by email and on the society’s poster-board (optional), stating the time, date and location of the meeting along with an agenda of what is to take place. The agenda for the meeting should include an overview of the society’s activities, reports from the officers, amendments to the constitution (if applicable) and elections for a new committee.
Some society constitutions set out specific voting requirements, all other societies should follow proper procedure recommended by the CSC. Officers should ensure that individual, position-specific ballots are used – handwritten votes are not sufficient and can be tampered with. Membership must be verified before individuals can vote.
Constitutional amendments drafted by a society committee must be put to a vote of the membership at a General Meeting in line with the society’s constitutional protocols and, if passed, sent into the CSC for ratification. It is strongly recommended that these changes are drafted in consultation with the CSC Secretary to ensure they are appropriate. If the AGM has not been conducted in a satisfactory manner the CSC will ask that it be run again, so it’s worth taking the time to ensure that the correct protocol have been followed.
If you have any questions about calling or running an AGM, please email the Secretary at email@example.com
Recommended CSC Procedure – Please note that following information is not compulsory, but rather a set of guidelines to help you run a smooth AGM. If your society constitution is considerably outdated, or simply does not contain the information referred to in the first page of this document, then please refer to the information below:
Calling an AGM
When calling an AGM, once a date and venue has been confirmed, society members should be notified, ideally by email, of the details of the meeting. This notification should include an agenda for the meeting, and any details that are relevant for elections that will take place. For example, if there are nomination procedures, these should be outlined. Furthermore, details of the procedures that will be observed for checking membership should be included so members are aware that they will require pursuit of membership to vote.
An up to date membership list should be compiled and printed, or be made available in soft copy at the AGM. Membership should be checked as members enter the room for the meeting. Please cross check membership cards with the membership list. Anyone that fails either of these criteria should not be allowed to vote in any elections, or on any motions at the meeting. Once membership has been checked at the door, please hand members one ballot paper for each election that is to take place. Contact the CSC Secretary for a ballot paper template.
Some society constitutions contain guidelines on what type of electoral system should be used. If that is the case, please follow those guidelines.
One of the following two methods, depending on the type of election or your constitutional requirements, will be relevant:
First Past the Post – This system should be used either: (i) when an election consists of two candidates, running for one position; or (ii) if your constitution requires that it be used for all elections. This simply involves members indicating a single preference. The winner is the candidate with the most preferences. In the case of a tie, you may decide either to offer the outgoing Chair a casting vote, or flip a coin.
Single Transferrable Vote – This system should be used either: (i) when an election consists of more than two candidates running for one position; or (ii) when multiple candidates run for multiple positions (for example, when 5 candidates run for 3 OCM positions); or (iii) when your
constitution requires that it be used for all elections. The system works as follows:
1. Voters should be given ballot papers on which they may write the names of all candidates in the election, and express numbered preferences (1-8 where there are 8 candidates, for example) for as many candidates as they chose.
2. Ballot papers should then be collected. In order to be elected, a candidate must meet the quota of votes. The total valid poll is the number of votes cast (that are legible and have followed the instructions provided in denoting preferences), and the number of seats is the number of positions.
3. Proceed to count the number of first preferences for each candidate. If there is one position, and one candidate receives more first preferences than the quota requires, then they are elected and the election concludes.
4. If no candidate satisfies the quota, then the candidate with the least first preferences is eliminated. Please announce that, after the “first count”, [name of candidate] is to be eliminated and their votes redistributed. Please do this for every count (i.e. every time a count is concluded and a candidate is eliminated).
5. Once the candidate is eliminated, redistribute the first preferences that candidate received to those candidates who are marked as preference 2 on the ballot papers.
6. Repeat this process until the number of candidates required have satisfied the quota, or until there are only as many candidates as positions left.
The STV system is somewhat more complex, and as such, if you would like the CSC Secretary to attend your AGM in order to help run the election, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note two further things:
• Order of Elections – It is important to conduct elections in order of seniority (i.e. Chair first, then work down), and to conclude each election and announce the winning candidate before proceeding to the next. This is to ensure that unsuccessful candidates in previous elections can put themselves forward in subsequent votes.
• Hustings – If possible, you should offer an opportunity for candidates for Officerships particularly to speak to the meeting. These hustings should be kept brief, no longer than 2 minutes per candidate. You may decide to offer varying amounts of time depending on the seniority of the Officership.
If you require further guidance on running an AGM or EGM, please contact the CSC Secretary at: email@example.com.