University of Bristol A Cappella Society AGM Tuesday 14th March at 5pm

In Attendance

  • Dan Mailer (President)
  • Joe Pickin (Vice-President)

1. Apologies

– Justine Laurain

2. Quoracy

– The quorum of the meeting is set at twice the committee size plus one. It was confirmed that there were more than 31 members present (52).


3. Accepting 2016 AGM Minutes

  • For – 43
  • Against – 1
  • Abstain – 8

4. President’s Report

– To be received from Dan Mailer

5. Treasurer’s Report

Out with the old and in with the new!

– The union introduced a new way of running the finance system with the Union Cloud website and expense365. What this means for members is, if you want to make a claim you can do it all on a handy app. It was tricky at the beginning but now it’s a much simpler, more efficient way to run everything!

Overview

– Total Money in- £10,086.35

– Total Money out- £4,789.09

– In real terms however this results in £2,572.26 we can spend and I like to, and recommend we continue to, keep a base amount of £1500 minimum.

Notable Sources of Income

– Membership

– Renting out microphones

– Big Christmas Show

– Virgin Media

But what are we doing with this money?

– A Cappella Ball

  • Society is contributing £691 to the ball
  • Subsidising tickets by £10

– Supporting competition entries (£100 per group)

– Plans to buy 1 more radio mic

– Tascam Recorder and Accessories

– Purchasing/Hiring boundary mics for TUBBS/HotTUBBS Performances

Recommendations

– Definitely continue to support competition entries.

– Continue to buy mics at least at the rate of the money they make.

– Invest in technology to make all our groups look and sound more professional

– ASK MEMBERS WHAT THEY WANT!!

6. Motions

6.1 Update to Name, Membership and Privileges of Membership

The Society notes:

  1. The Constitution is still reflective of the union’s old membership procedures.
  2. These procedures have since been updated by the Union.

The Society believes:

  1. The Constitution should be in line with the Union’s current membership procedures.
  2. The Constitution currently allows for associate membership of the Society, which is no longer permitted by the Union.
  3. All members of the Society therefore have full membership of the Society.
  4. Membership is only bought through the Union’s webpage now, and never by application to the Secretary.
  5. There is a need for clarification of members’ rights, as ‘etc’ is quite ambiguous.

The Society resolves:

  1. Amend the Constitution as follows:
1. replace The Society shall be recognised by the University of Bristol Union, hereinafter referred to as the Union.
with The Society shall be recognised by the University of Bristol Students’ Union, hereinafter referred to as the Union.
3.a. replace Full membership is open to all Members of the of the Union by application in writing to the Secretary of the Society or by such other application procedures as may be set up by the Society of the Union.
with Membership is open to all Members of the Union by such applications as may be set up by the Union.
3.b. delete Associate membership is open to all other persons who are interested in the aims and objectives of the Society.
3.d. replace The Secretary shall keep a list of all members, differentiating between full and associate members of the union.
with The Secretary shall keep a list of all members of the Society.
3.e. replace There shall be a subscription fee levied for membership, which shall be fixed at the discretion of the committee being no less than the minimum rate demanded by the Union’s Societies Executive Committee.
with There shall be a fee levied for membership, fixed by the committee (being no less than any minimum rate demanded by the Union).
4.a. delete Only Full Members may sit on the Committee.
4.b. replace All categories of membership shall have equal rights of voting, attending meetings, etc.
with All members shall have equal rights of voting at general meetings, attending society committee and society sub-committee meetings, running for election, and participating in society-led events.
  • For – 53
  • Against – 0
  • Abstain – 3

The motion passes (required  > 66.67%)

6.2 Update to Committee

The Society notes:

  1. The Constitution is outdated and does not reflect the current Committee responsibilities.
  2. The Constitution is unrealistic by expecting a five-year plan from the President.
  3. The Treasurer cannot currently be in their final year of university.

The Society believes:

  1. Society policies are not reviewed by Committee every three years, as they are subject to change according to the Committee’s goals for any particular year.
  2. The Society evolves over time, so a five-year plan would not be sustainable in the future.
  3. The Union no longer prevents a Treasurer from being in their final year, so the Constitution should reflect this.
  4. Co-opted roles may come and go according to each Committee’s needs, so it is unnecessary to list them in the Constitution.
  5. As an exception, the Union requires that each society has an Equality Officer, which should therefore be stated in the Constitution.

The Society resolves:

  1. Amend the Constitution as follows:
6.c. replace The Committee shall set policies for the Society and record them alongside the Constitution, as long as they do not conflict with the Constitution, Union policies or the Union Constitution. Each policy remains in force for three years before requiring a review by the body that set the policy, leading to a decision on renewal, amendment or expiry, unless it is changed before that date. A policy set by the Committee can always be overridden by a General Meeting, but not vice versa.
with Society policies shall not conflict with the Constitution, Union policies or Union bylaws. A policy set by the Committee can always be overridden by a General Meeting, but not vice versa.
6.f.i. replace Maintaining a five-year plan
with Maintaining a strategic plan
6.f.ii. replace Assisting the President in the fulfilling of his other duties.
with Assisting the President in fulfilling their duties and deputising for the President in their absence.
6.f.iii. replace The Treasurer shall be a Full Member of the Union and not in their final year at the University during any part of their term of office.
with The Treasurer shall be a Full Members of the Union.
6.f.iv. delete The Secretary shall also be responsible for maintaining a list of members as specified by the Union.
6.f.ix. replace Singing Group Representative
with Group Representative
6.g. replace In addition to the Committee members listed above, the Committee may appoint roles to individual members of the Society as necessary by co-opting them, including (but not limited to) Co-ordinators for Gig Refreshments or the Website.
with In addition to the Committee members listed above, the Committee may appoint roles to individual members of the Society as necessary by co-opting them. The committee must co-opt an Equality Co-ordinator.
  • For – 52
  • Against – 0
  • Abstain – 5

The motion passes (required  > 66.67%)

6.3 Financial Affiliations and Constitutional Amendments

The Society notes:

  1. The Constitution is still reflective of the union’s old financial procedures.
  2. These procedures have since been updated by the Union.

The Society believes:

  1. The Constitution should be in line with the Union’s current financial procedures.
  2. The Union audits Society finances automatically, and the Society do not have to submit anything.

The Society resolves:

  1. Amend the Constitution as follows:
7.b. remove The accounts of the Society shall be audited by a member of University Staff and submitted to the Union Treasurer as and when requested and at least once per annum.
7.c. replace All financial arrangements must be made in accordance with current instructions to Society Treasurers, as set down by the Union’s Societies Executive Committee.
with All financial arrangements must be made in accordance with current instructions to Society Treasurers, as set down by the Union.
10.a. replace The Society may affiliate to external bodies where membership of those bodies is pursuant to the fulfillment of the core aims, but only with the prior agreement of the Union’s Societies Executive Committee.
with The Society may affiliate to external bodies where membership of those bodies is pursuant to the fulfilment of the Society’s core aims, but only with the prior agreement of the Union.
11.b. replace All such amendments shall become valid only after approval by the Union’s Societies Executive Committee.
with All such amendment shall become valid only after approval by the Union.
  • For – 53
  • Against – 1
  • Abstain – 3

The motion passes (required  > 66.67%)

6.4 Update to General Meetings and Elections

The Society notes:

  1. The Constitution is currently quite bureaucratic.
  2. It does not allow for issues at general meetings to be resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The Society believes:

  1. Some clauses in this section need to be a little clearer.
  2. Members should be given more say in how a General Meeting should run.
  3. Members should be able to run for a position in the event that it is not contested at a General Meeting.

The Society resolves:

  1. Amend the Constitution as follows:
8.h. replace The quorum of General Meetings shall be set at twice the number of Committee size plus one.
with The quorum of General Meetings shall be set at twice the number of members filling full committee positions plus one.
8.j. replace Voting shall be carried out by open or secret ballot as appropriate, counted by the Returning Officers, motions being passed by a simple majority (except where required by this Constitution), recording votes for and against (and abstentions) in all cases.
with Voting may be carried out by open or secret ballot at the discretion of the members, counted by the Returning Officers, motions being passed by a simple majority (except where required by this Constitution), recording votes for and against (and abstentions) in all cases.
9.b. replace There shall be provision for by-elections to be held at an EGM, usually in October, should there be vacant committee posts.
with Should there be vacant committee positions immediately following an AGM, an EGM shall be called by the committee in order to fill those positions.
9.e replace There being only one candidate for an elected position that falls vacant during the normal term of office, that candidate may be deemed elected by a properly constituted Committee meeting without the need for a General Meeting. At least seven days’ notice of this intention shall be given to members; any member’s objection shall trigger the requirement for an EGM as if the position were contested.
with There being only one candidate for an elected position that falls vacant during the normal term of office, that candidate may be co-opted as a full committee members by the committee. At least seven days’ notice of this intention shall be given to members; any member’s objection shall trigger the requirement for an EGM as if the position were contested.
9.new. insert In the event of a committee position not receiving any nominations by the deadline, or all nominees withdrawing from contest during the General Meeting, nominations may be reopened in the General Meeting.
9.new. insert Members will always be given the opportunity to vote to re-open nominations.
  • For – 54
  • Against – 0
  • Abstain – 2

The motion passes (required  > 66.67%)

6.5.1 Amendment to Update to Groups – should there be an amendment or not?

The Society notes:

  1. The “Update to Groups” motion:
    1. replaces the requirement for a mixed auditioned chorus (currently HotTUBBS) with a general requirement for one or more auditioned groups that between them cover all genders.
    2. Removes the appointment process for HotTUBBS directors, but doesn’t specify how a coming year’s directors should be selected.
  2. HotTUBBS currently has auditions for all its singers every year (and always has done), so there are maximum opportunities for new members to get into an auditioned group, whereas some groups only audition for spaces that have opened up so they maintain continuity of membership.
  3. If groups fold and there isn’t provision for some genders to audition, the Society would have to create a new group to meet that need whether or not there are members who currently want to run it.

The Society believes:

  1. HotTUBBS will be left with current members choosing an MD for the coming year, when it’s possible that few of those members will be in the next iteration of the chorus. This could remove opportunities from members in the wider society by making it less likely that they will be selected to direct HotTUBBS; being selected by the same panel as the open choruses would lead to a wider set of views.
  2. If very few people leave other auditioned groups one year, and there’s no group like HotTUBBS, the opportunities for new members to audition may still be limited. A requirement for such a group would meet the need for all genders and provide guaranteed audition slots every year.
  3. If the Society creates a group to meet the requirement to provide auditioned groups for all genders, that group will probably not have much organisation to start with, yet the Society is relying on it to provide audition opportunities.
  4. The need for the Society to have these auditioned spaces available means that the Society should take an active part in its musical operation to ensure a meaningful experience for members, at least to begin with.

It would be simpler, less bureaucratic and make gender irrelevant for some Society auditions, to make a mixed chorus mandatory (option A in “resolves” below), but an active interest could be achieved by ensuring oversight of the musical operation of new groups when they are the only option for some genders to audition (option B).

The Society resolves:

  1. To amend the “Update to Groups” motion, EITHER (as voted in the meeting):
    1. to maintain an auditioned mixed chorus with Society-selected MD, as follows:
5.b replace The society shall consist of: three unauditioned choruses comprised of upper voices, lower voices and mixed voices, plus sufficient auditioned groups to accommodate all genders.
with The Society shall always maintain three unauditioned choruses, consisting of upper voices, lower voices and mixed voices, plus a mixed auditioned chorus with all positions auditioned every year.
5.c in Each unauditioned chorus shall be rehearsed and conducted by one or two Musical Directors and, where needed, Deputy Musical Directors, appointed by a panel at the request of the Committee at any time, usually following the Society’s annual general meeting.
delete unauditioned

OR:

    1. to maintain Society oversight at the start of new groups when they are the only auditioned option for some genders, as follows:
5.b replace The society shall consist of: three unauditioned choruses comprised of upper voices, lower voices and mixed voices, plus sufficient auditioned groups to accommodate all genders.
with The Society shall always maintain three unauditioned choruses, consisting of upper voices, lower voices and mixed voices, plus sufficient auditioned groups to accommodate all genders.
5.new after 5.c Each unauditioned chorus shall be rehearsed and conducted by one or two Musical Directors and, where needed, Deputy Musical Directors, appointed by a panel at the request of the Committee at any time, usually following the Society’s annual general meeting.
insert The panel shall also appoint one or two Musical Directors and, where needed, Deputy Musical Directors, for the first year of any group created to meet the Society’s obligation to maintain auditioned groups for all genders.
  • Yes – 34
  • No – 12
  • Abstain – 10

There shall be an amendment to the Update to Groups motion.

6.5.2 Amendment to Update to Groups – should it be amendment a) or b)?

  • a) – 4
  • b) – 41
  • Abstain – 12

We have chosen amendment option b).

6.5.3 Update to groups (with amendment b))

The Society notes:

  1. The Constitution is still reflective of the Society’s old group format.
  2. The roles within the groups reflect a format that has moved on as the Society has evolved.

The Society believes:

  1. The use of ‘singing’ before ‘groups’ is redundant as not all the groups sing (i.e. Brizzlebox).
  2. ‘[A] mixed auditioned chorus’ does not provide for any future potential changes to the Society whereby some groups may no longer exist.
  3. Some clauses are too long and need breaking down to make them more readable.
  4. The appointment of Musical Directors happens at different points in the year for different groups, so the suggestion of a time for this to happen is irrelevant.
  5. Performance Directors do not need to be selected by Musical Directors specifically. Groups may have their own procedures to elect a Performance Directors.
  6. Section Leaders’ responsibilities differ from group to group, so it is unnecessary to suggest them.

The Society resolves:

  1. Amend the Constitution as follows:
5. replace Singing Groups
with Groups
5.b. replace There shall be four permanent groups: upper voices, lower voices and mixed unauditioned choruses, plus a mixed auditioned chorus.
with The Society shall always maintain three unauditioned choruses, consisting of upper voices, lower voices and mixed voices, plus sufficient auditioned groups to accommodate all genders.
5.c. replace Each permanent chorus shall be rehearsed and conducted where needed by a Musical Director and Deputy Musical Directors appointed by a panel at the request of the Committee at any time, usually following the Society’s annual general meeting, but the panel must leave enough time (after publication of the appointment to all members) for the notice period for an EGM, plus three days, to be held at the last regular rehearsal of the Summer term.
with Each unauditioned chorus shall be rehearsed and conducted by one or two Musical Directors and, where needed, Deputy Musical Directors, appointed by a panel at the request of the Committee at any time, usually following the Society’s annual general meeting.
5.new. insert The committee shall announce the decision with sufficient time for an EGM to be held before or on the last mixed chorus rehearsal of the term.
5.new insert The panel shall also appoint one or two Musical Directors and, where needed, Deputy Musical Directors, for the first year of any group created to meet the Society’s obligation to maintain auditioned groups for all genders.
5.e. replace Other ensembles may decide to appoint their own Musical Directors at any time, perhaps following the Society’s annual general meeting.
with Other ensembles may decide to appoint their own Musical Directors at any time.
5.f. replace Each group may have a number of Performance Directors, responsible for assisting the Musical Directors with non-musical aspects of the ensemble’s performance, appointed by the agreement of that ensemble’s Musical Directors at any time.
with Each group may have a number of Performance Directors, responsible for assisting the Musical Directors with non-musical aspects of the ensemble’s performance, appointed at each group’s discretion.
5.g. replace Each ensemble may have a number of Section Leaders, with responsibilities as set out by Appendix 2, appointed by the group’s Musical Director (with any Deputies).
with Each ensemble may have a number of Section Leaders, with responsibilities appropriate for their group.
5.h. replace The Musical Directors, Deputy Musical Directors, Performance Directors and Section Leaders are collectively known as the Music Team.
with The Musical Directors and Deputy Musical Directors are collectively known as the Society Music Team.
  • For – 53
  • Against – 1
  • Abstain – 3

The motion passes (required  > 66.67%)

6.6 Responsibility for TUBBS A Cappella

The Society notes:

  1. TUBBS A Cappella (and the elements thereof) has a unique role in the Society as the a cappella experience offered to the student body as a whole. In particular it is the only ensemble open to those who:
    1. Are new to singing and / or a cappella and not yet ready to join an auditioned group;
    2. Are not able to commit to the regular rehearsal schedule of an auditioned group;
    3. Join midway through the academic year.
  2. TUBBS A Cappella is the ensemble through which many members develop their skills to the ability required to join an auditioned group, meaning the society does not have to rely on new members with pre-existing experience / ability to populate the auditioned groups.
  3. TUBBS A Cappella MDs are selected by the whole society by the process set out in the constitution.
  4. 63% of Society members in the 2016-17 academic year are not members of an auditioned group.
  5. Responsibility for TUBBS A Cappella was previously vested in the Society committee.
  6. In the 2016-17 academic year, responsibility for TUBBS A Cappella has been forcibly delegated to the TUBBS (including upper and lower voices) MDs and group reps. These individuals neither chose to undertake such responsibility or were elected on the basis thereof.
  7. In light of the above, there have been significant organisational difficulties in running and developing TUBBS A Cappella this year as against previous years.

The Society believes:

  1. The success of TUBBS A Cappella has a significant impact on the success of the society as a whole, in both the long and short term.
  2. TUBBS A Cappella has insufficient Society support to run properly at present.

The Society resolves:

  1. The Society committee shall be ultimately responsible for the running of TUBBS A Cappella, notwithstanding that this responsibility may be delegated.
  • For – 30
  • Against – 15
  • Abstain – 12

The motion passes (required  > 51%)

7. Appointing of the 2016-17 Committee

7.1 President

– Beth Davies, Lauren Garner-Jackson and Matthew Belsey stood for President. Matthew Belsey was duly elected.

7.2 Secretary

– Beth Davies, Charlotte Regan, Charlotte Smith, and Eleanor Leaper stood for Secretary. Beth Davies was duly elected.

7.3 Vice-President

– Lauren Garner-Jackson stood for Vice-President. Lauren Garner-Jackson was duly elected.

7.4 Treasurer

– Cem Rifat stood for Treasurer. Cem Rifat was duly elected.

7.5 Gigs Coordinator

– Eleanor Leaper stood for Gigs Coordinator. Eleanor Leaper was duly elected.

7.6 Publicity Coordinator

– Charlotte Regan stood for Publicity Coordinator. Charlotte Regan was duly elected.

7.7 Music Admin

– Ella Horne stood for Musical Admin. Ella Horne was duly elected.

7.8 Social Secretary

– Charlotte Smith and Natalie Egan stood for Social Secretary. Natalie Egan was duly elected.

8. Details of the vote

RESERVED