Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is where the important legal bits happen – it’s your opportunity to get an inside look into how the union runs and where we spend money. You get to be part of vital decisions about the union’s inner workings, and have your say at the highest level.
The AGM, along with UCASU’s trustee board, are the highest decision-making bodies for the union. We have several processes and groups that inform how we work as an organisation, from referenda all the way down to our liberation groups. You can get involved at every level.
5pm, Tuesday 28th January
Want to submit a motion to this Meeting? Download the template here and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6pm, Friday 29th December 2019.
Farnham – W02
Epsom – Boardroom
Rochester – XChange
Canterbury – Boardroom
- Ratification of minutes of previous AGM held on 26 September 2018
- Receive the report of the Trustees on the Union’s activities since the previous AGM
- Receive the accounts of the Union for the previous financial year ending 31 July 2018
- Appointment of the auditors
- To note the list of Affiliations of the Union
- Motion to hold a referendum on our affiliation to NUS (National Union of Students)
- Motion to change wording of Constitution point 11.2.4
- Motion to declare a climate emergency
- Open questions to the Trustees by the Members.
WEDNESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 2018 13:00 – 14:00
HELD VIA VIDEO CALL BETWEEN:
CANTERBURY – KIRK LECTURE THEATRE – 12 in attendance
EPSOM – LECTURE THEATRE – 1 in attendance
FARNHAM – ROOM G14 – 55 in attendance
ROCHESTER – SEMINAR ROOM – 3 in attendance (including 1 Student Trustee)
These are the minutes of the University for the Creative Arts Students’ Union, Annual General Meeting.
Marta Szurmiej (MS for the continuity of the minutes), UCASU President, welcomed and thanked all for their attendance. MS requested a head count and final numbers from all campuses to ensure a 1% quorum was met as per the Constitution 10.9. The meeting began at 13:28.
1. Ratification of minutes from previous AGM (held Wednesday 6 September 2017)
Minutes were taken as read. MS asked if there were any questions or queries surrounding the minutes. None were given.
MS proposed a vote to accept the minutes from 2017:
In favour: 71
2. Receive the report of the Trustees on the Union’s activities since the previous AGM
MS presented the trustee report noting the following:
- Change to Union management staff within the following positions – Interim Chief Executive is now Andy Squire; Head of member ship engagement is now Sophie Jackson.
- Structure governance and management – welfare and representation of students within their course of study; provisions of social, cultural, sporting and recreational actives; breakdown of elected officers, student and external trustees.
- Organisational Management – general policy is approved via elected officers and executive committee – this is fed down to campus and academic forums; the Board of Trustees meet quarterly and hold elected officers, the Chief Executive, and sub committees to account as well as reviewing the charity implementations.
- Relationship with the University for the Creative Arts – UCASU receive a block grant annually, use space provided and owned by UCA. Potential risks to be considered; dependence of block grant; income targets; recruitment of staff; equal Union provisions across all campuses.
- Aims and objectives of the Union;
- Vision – students to be empowered and inspired to flourish in their passion and their individuality in becoming new wave creatives.
- Mission – to strengthen a creative community; safeguard equal opportunities; remove educational barriers.
- Values – strong; support vision; diverse; inclusive; students leading.
- MS reported UCASU Key Strategic Objectives.
MS asked for any questions concerning the trustee report. None were given.
MS requested a vote to approve the received report.
In favour: 70
3. Receive the accounts of the Union for the previous financial year
MS presented the accounts and reported notable achievements and performance. This included income, expenditure, and an explanation of deficit as per the presentation.
No questions were asked regarding the documents.
MS requested a vote to approve the accounts.
In favour: 71
4. Appointment of auditors
MS explained the role of an auditor and why the Union has one. MS noted our auditors are Kingston Smith and gave a short background information of them.
MS requested a vote on the continuous use of Kingston Smith.
In favour: 71
5. Approve the list of affiliations of the Union
MS noted the following affiliations and requested a vote for approval.
- Surrey County RFU Ltd
- Surrey County Football Association Ltd
- Table Tennis England
In favour: 71
7. Open questions to the Trustee by the Members
MS opened the floor to any questions. None Were asked.
MS thanked all for coming.
Meeting finished at 13.42.
Since the 18/19 academic year, we have been engaged in a number of different activities and developments as a union. Below is a list of achievements or wins
List of activities completed by the Union in the 18/19 Academic Year:
- Attended other Students’ Unions
- Membership team attended Membership Services
- Hosted a variety of other SUs at UCASU for training sessions last summer
- Produced Course Rep handbook
- Accepted onto the HEVO project which helped fund volleyball
- Freshers Fairs 2018 – 100 stalls – our biggest ever!
- Over 500 responses to research conducted during Freshers into catering, safety, lecture capture
- Got Student Code of Conduct + Disciplinary Procedure to use gender neutral language at Board of Governors
- Completed 41 induction talks over all 4 campuses
- By elections gained 810 votes to which we elected 6 Campus Execs
- First year of a fully active and engaged Campus Exec Committee
- Provided Campus Exec training
- vFirst time appointing school reps – 5 reps out of 8
- Ran a successful Black History Month with 21 events over 4 campuses
- Ran 6 student forums
- Ran 4 International Student assemblies
- Organised 40+ liberation meet-ups and activities and elected 6 liberation leaders
- Hired a Welfare Assistant and an Insight Assistant
- Launched our OPEN programme which included many different free activities. We managed to run over 500 OPEN activities across the year
- 60+ clubs and socs with 650+ members
- 350+ course reps, nearly half attended training
- Ran a successful informative SHAG week
- Developed and delivered Queer to Learn and over 100 staff trained which inspired the beginning of a research project into LGBTQ+ attainment and trans student experience by the University
- Safety alarms given out on all campuses
- Developed a Tell Us form – contribution to Tackling Sexual Violence working group
- Ran an event named Late Night Live @ Turner Contemporary
- Ran ReFreshers fairs over all 4 campuses with over 50 stalls
- £40 fundraised for period poverty
- Lobbied the council for a new path across Jackson’s Field
- Ran a successful LGBTQ+ History Month with 29 events
- Raised £56 for Pride in London
- Launched a Housing Guide
- Held Inclusive Curriculum Forums
- £140 raised by football and rugby clubs for Prostate Cancer UK
- Our Cheerleading club Hellcats won 1st in Winter Wonderland & 2nd at University Nationals
- Held Open Forums with the Vice Chancellor and SU President
- Set up 3 book exchange stations
- Elections! We had the best competition between serious candidates in a long time. Holding a paper ballot, we received 1289 votes from 464 voters over two days
- Ran a Grow with Us campaign for elections
- Won green Impact award
- Launched Unify: Our own Exhibition space for students.
- Launch of Chill and Chats
- Alumni football raised £50 for Prostate Cancer UK
- Hate Crime survey + report which is now becoming an awareness campaign
- Produced a Creative Burnout toolkit
- Coordinated ‘Defend Your Student Experience’ forums and feedback collection launching a petition that gathered over 2,500 signatures from our students
- Getting 35 wristbands to attend Pride in London
- Charity Showcase featuring 8 of our clubs + societies fundraiser for Challengers
- Hosted our annual Union Awards!
- Hosted a successful Summer Ball selling out
- Over 4500 student staff hours used over the year
- 140 late night events throughout the year
- Staff members and sabbs have sat on over 25 committees and contributed to high level University decision making (including BOG, COGs, School Boards, Academic Board, SSC, SAIWAG, Tackling Sexual Violence, Health and Safety, Induction Working Group, Tutoring Working Group, and more)
- HR committee have implemented and updated a number of new policies to better staff experience
- £16k funding for Welcome/Freshers crew and activities for 19/20
- Advice cases up 70+% from last year, more than 150 students supported on cases from academic appeals to housing to mental health and much more
- University policies refer students to SU advice for support!
Proposer: Callum Mitchell (President Surrey) Seconder: Amy Kemp-Jones (Student)
- I would like to put our NUS (National Union of Students) affiliation to a referendum. The referendum question will be: ‘Should we stay affiliated to NUS”
Background and reasoning
- I am submitting this referendum motion as there hasn’t been a vote on our affiliation in at least a decade and therefore our current affiliation choice may not represent the views of our current students enrolled to UCA. The affiliation takes up a good chunk of our budget and therefore we would like the consent of the students before we continue this affiliation.
Proposer: Callum Mitchell Seconder: Nelly Luckett
- I propose the following change to the UCASU’s Constitution point 11.2.4
From: “To ensure quoracy there must be a minimum of two (2) Sabbatical Trustees, one (1) Student Trustee and one (1) External Trustee present.”
To: “To ensure quoracy there must be at least 51% of Sabbatical Trustees, one (1) Student Trustee and one (1) External Trustee present.”
Background and reasoning
- “Quoracy” or to be “quorate” means that a minimum criteria is met for something to happen.
- UCASU’s Constitution states that in order for a Board of Trustees meeting to be quorate we must have two Sabbatical Officers present. This has ordinarily not been a problem as the Sabbatical Officer team structure has comprised three positions until the 2018/19 Executive Committee passed a motion to change the Sabbatical Officer structure to just two members (President Kent and President Surrey).
- With the 2018/19 President Kent stepping down in September 2019, this leaves UCASU with just one Sabbatical Officer (at the time of writing, By-Election nominations had not closed so the position was still vacant).
- UCASU’s Board of Trustees is critical to the Union’s operation and has responsible for the legal, financial, strategic, and reputational standing. The Board of Trustees cannot make any decisions unless the meeting meets quoracy. With the current wording, the Board of Trustees cannot and will not be able to make any decisions unless both Sabbatical Officer positions are filled and attending the meeting.
Proposer: MelindaWinter Seconder: Nicola Laws
- That the Student Union Declares a Climate Emergency so to reduce carbon emissions.
Background and reasoning
- Universities pride themselves on preparing students for a bright future. But with the climate in crisis, where disasters of “unprecedented” scale and impact become the new normal, what future will our students have? As we face environmental degradation and biodiversity losses of unimaginable proportions, universities and other educational institutions’ priorities should be adequately preparing their students and staff for increasingly challenging times. Climate change and ecological destruction affect all parts of life including what we need or value the most, such as water, food, ecosystems, wildlife, safety, shelter, energy, transportation, health, communities and the economy. The basic human needs of many, in particular those who are the most vulnerable, are already in jeopardy. Dealing with climate-induced conflicts, mass migration, health impacts, economic costs and environmental degradation represent challenges of extraordinary proportions. There is simply no greater challenge than addressing the ecological and climate emergency and universities owe it to their students to be at the forefront of these issues. Cited from Climate Emergency. Uk Blog post September the 27th 2019.https://www.climateemergency.uk/blog/why-universities-need-to-declare-anecological-and-climate-emergency/
- Now that sustainability is being a key focus for many students and the University, we should be ambitious within our community and expect our creativity to influence this new era The UCA student union should be supporting staff and students so to redesign the way we capture resources such as solar and wind. We are at a point within the Anthropocene epoch where the creative industries need to be seen at the forefront so to deliver the change needed. The student union should be delivering this message loud and clear and setting targets that become standardised so the University as a whole follows suit and declares a climate emergency.
- Waste free fill up zones for students to fill up on detergents and other products while on campus which will reduce plastic consumption, for example, there are mobile companies that offer waste free fill ups.
- Offer a safe and secure place to charge and store EV bikes, scooters etc.
- That in a response to this emergency the Union sets a target to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and sets targets to meet this commitment ensuing robust, transparent monitoring is in place.
- The union lobbies the University on climate change and seeks to be influential by piloting initiatives. For example, Competitions made available to staff and students to reconfigure or design attractive, efficient and even discrete energy converters.
- That reviewing the plan of the unions future events, so to improve the energy efficiency and carbon neutrality.
- Subscribe to the local councils citizens assembly where the Councillor Working Group and Climate Change Board are including other public bodies and organisations to jointly reduce carbon emissions with a joint action plan.
- A planting program introduced so to established a carbon sequester data analysis.