The Annual General Assembly (AGA) is a big meeting where all the members of the Dawson Student Union (you) can make a direct change as you participate in direct democracy by writing and voting on Motions that mandate the Dawson Student Union (DSU) to take specific action. GA's happen once a year, so make your voice heard!
About General Assemblies
The Annual General Assembly (AGA) shall receive and take notice of the annual report of the Student Council, annual report of the Executive Officers and the financial statements of the Union, including the balance sheet, statements of revenue and expenditures and auditor’s report, the nomination of the auditor, and take notice of, and decide on, any other matter which the General Assembly may legally consider. The General Assembly can also consider positions presented by the membership and Student Groups.
The Student Council shall call an Annual General Assembly to be held once in a given Financial Year in the Winter Semester. General Assemblies shall be held at the main campus of the College or by virtual means in the case of extenuating circumstances where in-person presence is not possible.
There are currently three types of General Assemblies:
Regular GAs: They happen once a year, are publicized by the DSU. The notice and the agenda along with all relevant documentation shall be made available to the membership no less than seventy-two (72) hours before a General Assembly. The agenda is set by the Student Council and cannot be amended at the General Assembly without unanimous consent. Quorum is 30 members of the Union.
Special GAs: They are requested by the President, or 2/3 majority vote of the Student Council or by a petition in writing by no fewer than 150 members of the Union from at least 4 different academic sectors with no mora then 50% being from any one academic sector. The agenda only contains the item(s) for which the assembly was called for. Quorum is 300 members of the Union.
Strike GAs: Must be called to consider business related to a Union strike. Quorum for a resolution to put the Union on strike shall be the same as the quorum of a Special General Assembly.
All this information can be reviewed in detail in the DSU Constitution. Press the link below to access our Governance Documents.
General Assembly Packages
Access General Assembly packages distributed to the members of the Union.
May 9th, 2022: W2022AGA-18
For the entire package, click below.
The DSU follows Robert's Rules Of Order which is a set of rules developed for deliberative assemblies like ours. Here are the basic elements of Robert's Rules, used by most organizations:
To introduce a new piece of business or propose a decision or action, a motion must be made by a group member ("I move that......") A second motion must then also be made (raise your hand and say, "I second it.") After limited discussion the group then votes on the motion. A majority vote is required for the motion to pass (or quorum (50+1) as specified in your bylaws.)
This tactic is used to kill a motion. When passed, the motion cannot be reintroduced at that meeting. It may be brought up again at a later date. This is made as a motion ("I move to postpone indefinitely..."). A second is required. A majority vote is required to postpone the motion under consideration.
This is the process used to change a motion under consideration. Perhaps you like the idea proposed but not exactly as offered. Raise your hand and make the following motion: "I move to amend the motion on the floor." This also requires a second. After the motion to amend is seconded, a majority vote is needed to decide whether the amendment is accepted. Then a vote is taken on the amended motion. In some organizations, a "friendly amendment" is made. If the person who made the original motion agrees with the suggested changes, the amended motion may be voted on without a separate vote to approve the amendment.
This is used to place a motion in committee. It requires a second. A majority vote must rule to carry it. At the next meeting, the committee is required to prepare a report on the motion committed. If an appropriate committee exists, the motion goes to that committee. If not, a new committee is established.
To end a debate immediately, the question is called (say "I call the question") and needs a second. A vote is held immediately (no further discussion is allowed). A two-thirds vote is required for passage. If it is passed, the motion on the floor is voted on immediately.
To table a discussion is to lay aside the business at hand in such a manner that it will be considered later in the meeting or at another time ("I make a motion to table this discussion until the next meeting. In the meantime, we will get more information so we can better discuss the issue.") A second is needed and a majority vote required to table the item being discussed.
A motion is made to end the meeting. A second motion is required. A majority vote is then required for the meeting to be adjourned (ended).
Note: If more than one motion is proposed, the most recent takes precedence over the ones preceding it. For example if #6, a motion to table the discussion, is proposed, it must be voted on before #3, a motion to amend, can be decided.
In a smaller meeting, like a committee or board meeting, often only four motions are used:
To introduce (motion)
To change a motion (amend)
To adopt (accept a piece of business)
To adjourn (end the meeting)
Remember, these processes are designed to ensure that everyone has a chance to participate and to share ideas in an orderly manner & should not be used to prevent discussion of important issues.
If you would like more elaboration on Robert's Rules, here is the full PDF document.