QUT Student Guild Postpones AGM After Failing to Give Students Sufficient Notice
Up until today, the QUT Student Guild was intending to hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) tomorrow night. Following a request for comment from Glass regarding the required notification period, the 2022 AGM has been postponed until next week, 28 November 2022. This announcement was made on the QUT Student Guild ‘Noticeboard’ page today at 12:10pm. No explanation was given in the post as to why the AGM had been postponed.
Speaking to Glass, QUT Student Guild President Oscar Davison stated that postponing the AGM for a week will ‘ensure that sufficient notice may be provided to students, including through the Registrar’s office.’
However, even if an email is sent out through the Registrar’s office tomorrow, students will still not have received the 14 days’ notice via email they are entitled to under the Guild Constitution by the date of the postponed AGM.
Davison acknowledged this, but also stated this is ‘as much notice as we can (give) at this stage’ to ensure the Guild also meets their obligation to hold a November AGM.
Wait, what is the QUT Student Guild?
For those who are not aware, the QUT Student Guild is your student union. It exists to advocate for all QUT students, and provide services to make life better while studying.
The Guild (which is run by both elected student representatives, professional staff, and a Board of Directors) is set to receive 25% of the SSAF fees QUT students pay from next year – Glass estimates that this will be over $2 million dollars of student money in 2023.
Glass believes that, as is set out in the QUT Student Guild Constitution, students deserve proper and sufficient notice about the Guild’s meetings where the activities of their Executives (elected student representatives) are discussed.
What is an AGM?
The Guild is overseen by a number of governing documents, which state there must be an ‘Annual General Meeting’ (AGM) held in November of each year (C31.1, QUT Student Guild Constitution).
The AGM is a yearly gathering of relevant stakeholders to discuss activities and achievements of the Guild during the previous financial year, and to present financial statements, audit reports and annual reports.
The Guild is required to provide at least 14 days’ notice of any general meeting to students. This notice must be provided by way of an email sent to all students through the office of the Registrar of the University (C31.1, QUT Student Guild Constitution). This has not been done at the time of publication.
Davison acknowledged the Guild neglected to provide notice as stipulated by the Constitution, stating the Guild Secretary ‘planned the AGM in accordance with the Guild Regulations’ rather than consulting the Constitution, which is the overarching governing document of the Guild. The Regulations state the Secretary must provide 7 days’ notice for meetings of the SRC.
Glass maintains that our elected student representatives should understand better than any QUT student the intricacies of the Guild’s governing documents, and hope this serves as a reminder to the incoming members of the SRC of the importance of understanding the documents their conduct is governed by.
How were students originally notified?
On Monday 14 November 2022 (seven days out from the scheduled AGM), the Guild posted about the AGM on its ‘Noticeboard’ Facebook page (with 832 followers), but not its main Facebook page, which has a significantly larger following of 35,000 people.
This information, including the agenda for the upcoming AGM, were circulated by email on the same day—but only to the Executives and Councillors of the Guild, not to the broader student body.
Information about the AGM was also not circulated to students via the Guild’s monthly ‘What’s On’ newsletter sent out to a mailing list of over 12,000 subscribers, presumably mostly QUT students. Davison acknowledged to Glass that ‘putting the information in the newsletter is a great idea that has not been explored or suggested. We shall do so to ensure that the word is out to as many students as possible’.
Furthermore, the original date for the AGM was 17 November 2022, communicated to Executives in an email sent by the Secretary on 25 October 2022. The AGM was then postponed due to the failure of all student representatives to deliver their reports in time.
Davison said, ‘The SRC were asked to finalise their AGM reports for the AGM on 17 November. This was communicated multiple times to the SRC via the Secretary. However, some Executives interpreted this as ‘your reports are due on 17 November’ not that they were needed for the original AGM date.’
According to Davison, all Executives have now submitted their AGM reports, with the exception of the Disabilities Officer.
For now, keep an eye on your student emails for official notice about the QUT Student Guild AGM from the office of the Registrar. You can also follow the Guild Facebook page and Noticeboard for further updates from the Guild.
And of course, Glass, your student magazine, will continue to provide coverage on this issue and the AGM when it occurs at the Grove Bar at 6:00pm 28 November 2022. We encourage all students to attend and participate in their student union.