Annual General Meeting

Key Dates 

Meeting Date: Tuesday 28th May 2024, 3pm-5pm Zoom  Register for the meeting here

Motion Submission Open: Monday 13th May, 10am Read the Motion Guidance below and Submit your motion here

Motion Submission Deadline: Wednesday 22nd May, Noon (12pm) 

Full Agenda Published: Wednesday 22nd May, 6pm 


Chair: Amira Campbell (Birmingham Guild, President)

  • Minutes of the Previous Meeting - Approve 
  • Reports of the Trustees since the last AGM (June 2023) - Recieve
    • Verbal
  • Union Accounts and Report for 22-23 - Recieve
  • Appointment of the Auditor - Approve
    • The Auditor to be approved are Knox Cropper
  • Affiliations - Approve
    • The affiliations to be approved are NUS Charity, NUS UK and Bristish University College Sport (BUCS)
  • Open Questions to the Trustee - Discuss
  • Motions for discussion - Approve 


The votes have now been validated to confirm the voting eligibility of each individual who voted during the meeting. Please see the results table below. The Chair is satisfied that the results of each voted can now be published. There is no change in result from the indicative vote announced during in the AGM to the validated results published now.

The meeting was deemed quorate at the start and therefore the meeting was declared open inline with the process set out within the Constitution. The Trustees have reviewed the motions to ensure they do not contravene Trustee duties and where this has taken place the comments from the Trustees can be viewed in the minutes.

View the minutes here

Minutes of the Previous Meeting






Motion One: Amendment 1


Motion One: Amendment 2


Motion One: Amendment 3


Motion One: Amendment 4


Motion One: Reform of Budget Allocation Process


Motion Two: Amendment 5


Motion Two: Amendment 6


Motion Two: Amendment 7


Motion Two: Amendment 8


Motion Two: Part-time Officers & Preferenda mechanism change


Motion Three: The SOAS SU to formally and actively oppose...


Motion Four: Amendment 9


Motion Four: Amendment 10


Motion Four: Amendment 11


Motion Four: Opposing the Protest Guidelines at SOAS?


Motion Five: Restoration of Disabled Students’ Voice...


Motion Six: Amendment 12


Motion Six: Amendment 13


Motion Six: Student Union Endorsement of SOAS Liberated Zone


Motion Seven: Ending the Hostile Environment at SOAS:...


Motion Eight: To re-iterate the formal role played by J4W...


Motion Nine: Amendment 14


Motion Nine: Tackling anti-democratic shifts in the SU



Motions Guidelines  

What is a motion? 

If you want to shape the Union’s work on a particular issue you can submit a motion to be debated at the AGM. Your motion could be anything from asking the Union to influence the university on a particular issue, start doing a particular activity, or to set the union’s position on a certain issue. In the past these motions have related to the Union’s stance on securitisation and sustainability. 

Submitting a motion 

All motions must be proposed and seconded by Student Members via this form. Your motion should include the following: 

  1. Title: The title of your motion 

  1. Proposed by: The name and student number of the motion proposer (who will speak at the AGM) 

  1. Seconded by: The name and student number of the motion seconder (who does not have to speak at the AGM) 

  1. This Union Notes: These are facts which provide context to the motion 

  1. This Union Believes: These are opinions which the proposer and seconder believe are good for students to know, to aid their motion in passing 

  1. This Union Resolves: These are the actions that the proposer and seconder want to happen if the motion passes 


There are times where a proposed motion may not be taken to the AGM as it is submitted. Where this is the case, the Chair will flag this with the proposer and aim to provide suitable alternative wording in order to ensure that once passed the motion can be enacted. Examples include: 

  • Where is an existing motion that is materially the same as the new proposal. You can view the existing motions here

  • Where the proposal is outside of the scope of the AGM, for example where it relates to day-to-day business operations and the change can easily be implemented 

  • Where the proposal is outside of the scope of the Union’s Charitable Objects. As the Students’ Union is a charity and our activity is overseen by the Charity Commission. All our activity has to be within our Charitable Objects. Our Charitable Objects are the same as all other SU’s in England. Our Objects are: 

    • “The objects of the Union are the advancement of education of Students for the public benefit by:  

      • promoting the interests and welfare of Students during their course of study and representing, supporting and advising Students;  

      • being the recognised representative channel between Students and SOAS and any other external bodies; and  

      • providing social, cultural, sporting and recreational activities and forums for discussions and debate for the personal development of Students” 

  • Where the proposal is suspected to breach our duties under the Law. For example as a Students Union we are bound by the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act 2023.  

  • Where the proposal refers to the performance of a staff member within the Union as they are outside of the scope of the democratic process. Proposers will instead be refered to the relevant complaints process. 

Where motions need a longer period for review ahead of publishing the Chair may decide to delay and add the item at a later time. If you wish to discuss your proposal before submitting to ensure that it is inline with the guidance please email and  



What are the Union Accounts? 

By law, every charity must prepare a set of accounts and a trustees’ annual report. 

The aim of accounts and reports is to provide a clear picture of the charity’s activities and financial position. The trustees’ annual report is also an opportunity to describe the work of the SU to members.  

Under the Education Act 1994, the student members must receive the Annual Report and that is why it is presented to members at the AGM. 


What is the Auditor? 

The Auditor is the company who undertakes the annual audit of the accounts. SOAS Students’ Unions auditor has been Knox Cropper for a number of years and the Trustees have recommended that they are retained for a further year.  


Why do we need to approve affiliations and what happens if they are not approved at the AGM? 

The Education Act 1994, sets out that there should be a process for Student Members to approve affiliations to an external organisations on an annual basis. We do this at the AGM. If the affiliations are not approved then a referendum on the affiliation will take place later in the year. 


Who can attend? 

All Student Members may attend, speak and vote at the AGM 

Charity Trustees and non-voting members may attend and speak at the discretion of the Chair. 


What is quorum and why is there a rescheduled meeting date? 

Quorum is the number of Student Members who need to be present in order for the meeting to take place. Quorum for the AGM is 50. If 50 Student Members are not present within 30 minutes, the meeting will be adjourned and rescheduled until the following day, Wednesday 29th May at 3pm-5pm. If quorum is not present within 30 minites the meeting will be considered quorate and will go ahead. 


How will voting work? 

At the start of the meeting participants shall vote by majority that they are happy with the meeting set up and technology.  

Voting will take place via Zoom Polls. During the meeting an indicative result shall be announced to all participants. As non-SOAS students (SU Members) will be able to join the meeting a formal verification of all votes will take place after the meeting, ensuring that each vote came from a current SOAS student and will be approved by the Chair. Everyone who signed up to the meeting will receive email confirmation of the ratified votes within 24 hours and it will be published online. 

To ensure that your vote is counted it is important that you register and participate in the meeting using your ‘’ email address and you do not share your meeting link with others as this may invalidate your votes as only one vote per user will be accepted. 

In order to ensure you are able to use Zoom Polls we encourage you to update your Zoom App (PC/Mac/Phone/etc) ahead of the meeting. 

Votes require a simple majority to pass unless it is a resolution to change the constitution or a vote of no confidence in an elected student officer. 


What are Emergency Items? 

Emergency motions may only be discussed at the discretion of the Chair. The motion shall be submitted in writing to the Chair before the start of the meeting. Emergency Items shall only be accepted if it relates to something that could not reasonably have been raised within the regular window for submitting agenda items. Submissions that relate to an issue that could have reasonably been known by the proposer during the regular window shall not be accepted. 

You should email emergency items directly to and 


How will speeches and amendments work? 

All debates on motions shall proceed as follows:  

• the motion proposer makes a speech  

• any amendments to the motion shall be raised  

 • the Chair shall invite a speech against the debate  

• the Chair shall balance the number of speeches for and against the debate  

• the Chair shall invite any questions and statements relating to the debate and consider any new proposed amendments to the motion (according to paragraph 10 below) 

• the proposer of the motion shall have the right to sum up.  

The Chair shall not vote unless in the case of a tie, in which they will cast the deciding vote.  


Amendments to the motion shall proceed as follows:  

• any amendments to the motion shall be raised after the proposer has spoken  

• the Chair shall invite and take a speech against the amendments  

• the Chair shall balance the number of speeches for and against the amendments  

• the Chair shall leave time for questions and statements before the vote  

• Voting on amendments can take place by an online vote within the meeting using a method agreed to by the Chair.  

• when all changes have been voted upon, the main motion shall be discussed.  

• when all changes have been voted upon, the main motion shall be discussed. 


Can an AGM Motion be overturned? 

As a Charity the Trustees have a legal duty to ensure that the activities of the Union complies with the law, are within its charitable objects and act in the best interest of the charity. As set out in the Constitution in some circumstances the Charity Trustees may override any decision and Policy made by Student Members in General Meeting which the Charity Trustees consider (in their absolute discretion):  

  • Has or may have financial implications for the Union 

  • Is or may be in breach of, contrary to or otherwise inconsistent with charity or education law or any other legal requirement, including ultra vires 

  • Is not or may not be in the best interests of the Union or all or any of its charitable objects;  

  • Has reputational implications to the Union 

  • Will or may otherwise affect the discharge of any or all of the responsibilities in relation to the governance, budget or strategy and direction of the Union. 

In order to prevent this from happening unnecessarily we provide advice and guidance to proposers ahead of time.


Where can I find out more about how the AGM operates? 

You can find out more in our governing documents, available here

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