Glass Exclusive: After the Guild’s AGM for 2022 was rescheduled twice, did the AGM on 28 November 2022 even have enough students present to meet quorum?
On Monday 28 November 2022, the QUT Student Guild held their Annual General Meeting, after being postponed twice: first due to Executives not submitting their reports, and then due to the Guild’s Secretary failing to notify students about the meeting as required by the Guild’s Constitution.
Now, Glass can also reveal Editors discovered there may not have been enough students present at the AGM to meet quorum. There were 17 students present at the meeting, mostly past and present Guild Executives and Councillors. From our understanding of the QUT Student Guild Constitution, Glass estimates that in order to have met quorum, there needed to be at least 19 students present at the meeting.
What exactly is quorum? The number of members of a group or organization required to be present to transact business legally, usually a majority. In simple terms, a minimum number of people are required to attend the AGM. If attendance is less than this number, the meeting usually must be rescheduled.
If you’re not familiar, an ‘Annual General Meeting (AGM)’ is a yearly gathering of relevant stakeholders of an organisation to discuss activities and achievements during the previous financial year, and to present financial statements, audit reports and annual reports. Under its Constitution, the Guild must hold an AGM in November of each year (C31.1, QUT Student Guild Constitution).
Under C34.1 of the Guild Constitution, quorum for an AGM is a certain number of students, equal to ‘double the number of members of the Board at the time of the general meeting, plus one.’ There is some confusion about whether the reference in 34.1 to ‘members of the Board’ refers to student members of the Board (of which there were six at the time of the AGM) or all members of the Board (of which there were nine).
Speaking to Glass after discussing this matter with the QUT Student Guild Board of Directors on Tuesday night, QUT Student Guild President Zoe Davidson stated, “As quorum for the annual general meeting is in reference to members, members being students enrolled at QUT, with 17 members present when quorum needed was 12 (double members of the Board), quorum was met. With quorum being reached, there will be no rescheduling of the AGM.”
Upon further review of the Guild’s Constitution, however, Glass Editors have found further evidence to suggest that the meaning of 34.1 refers to all nine members of the Board (students and non-students). Today Davidson told Glass that she has sought further clarification from the Board on this matter.
The AGM consisted of confirmation of the 2021 AGM minutes, the Annual Report of the Guild (2021), the Audited Balance Sheet and Auditor’s Report, the Annual Budget of the Guild, and the Reports of the Elected Officers.
The reports of the elected officers tend to be the most interesting part of any Guild AGM. This is the part of the meeting where the students who are elected by you (and paid wages with your SSAF fees) must report on what they have done in their roles over the previous year.
Just three students attended the AGM, other than current and past Executives and Councillors, and Board members. This comes after just 351 students voted in the most recent QUT Student Guild elections, out of more than 50,000 students across the university.
Other than those three students who attended the meeting, attendees (listed with their roles at the time of the meeting) were: Oscar Davison (President), Aamna Asif (Secretary), Usama Shafiq (Treasurer), Zoe Davidson (Clubs and Societies Officer), Jane Hoang (International Students Officer), Alexandra Marks (Welfare Officer), Sam Burbidge (Councillor), John Longwill (Councillor), Olivia Brumm (Former President & current Board Member), Jarrod Ward (Former Treasurer and current Board Member), Tom Loudon (Glass Editor in Chief), Ciaran Greig, Konstanz Muller Hering, and Celeste Muller (Glass Editors).
If you would like to read the full minutes of the AGM, you can access them here.
Glass will keep you updated as more information comes to light on this issue.