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Minutes of Meeting on 13/03/24 at 5:00pm

Discussion centered around constitution change

Present (9): Fergus (President), Aurora (School Rep), Arin (2nd Year Rep), Tomas (3rd year Rep), Ali (VP), Cat (Tech Sec), Vincent (First Year Rep), Elisa (Treasurer), Chives (Old Person Rep)

Minutes by AI, tweaked by Vincent.

Meeting opened at 5:04pm.

Fergus began by discussing the agenda for the meeting, which included the constitution rewrite, SIG formalization, voting procedures, committee roles, quorum, impeachment processes, and merch sales.

Constitution Rewrite Intro

Fergus outlined proposed changes to the constitution, including formalizing Special Interest Groups (SIGs), updating financial procedures, and clarifying impeachment protocols.

Ali suggested maintaining a list of active SIGs on the CompSoc website to improve transparency and allow for easy updating. This would definitively show which SIGs are currently a part of CompSoc.

The committee discussed quorum requirements. It was proposed that quorum be set at 75% of voting members, which would be approximately 15 people based on the current committee size.

There was debate over whether SIG Presidents should count towards reaching quorum or just as general votes. The initial proposal was to have them count as votes but not for quorum, to avoid a situation where SIG presidents could band together to overrule the core committee.

In terms of creating new SIGs, it was agreed this should require a vote by the committee. The exact process still needs to be formalized further.

SIG dissolution procedures were also discussed. It was agreed there needs to be a clearly documented process for disbanding a SIG, either voluntarily by the SIG itself or by CompSoc if needed.

There was discussion about having different levels or categories for the types of votes and decisions made in meetings:

SIG Formalization

Building on the prior discussion, the committee went into more details on formal policies and procedures for SIGs.

It was reiterated that the official active SIGs will be listed on the CompSoc website. A page will be created listing the SIGs, which can be easily updated.

Vincent suggested creating a SIG handbook that would outline all the policies SIGs need to follow, serving as a code of conduct. This could include things like:

The handbook would be issued to all SIG presidents/officers. It was also suggested to have a training/onboarding process for new incoming SIG presidents each year to make sure they understand the rules and their responsibilities.

In terms of SIG termination and dissolution, a clear process was outlined:

Potential penalties for SIGs who are found to be violating the agreed handbook policies were discussed:

Voting Procedures

The committee unanimously agreed to switch to using ranked choice voting for CompSoc elections. This applies to votes by the general membership, such as electing new committee officers.

Fergus shared that the Ranked Pairs algorithm will be used to calculate the winners. In a ranked choice system, voters will rank all the candidates in order of their preference. The Ranked Pairs algorithm then uses these rankings to determine the overall winner, taking into account the relative preferences between each candidate pair.

A Python script to implement the Ranked Pairs calculation already exists, but may need some cleaning up and additional testing before use. Chives volunteered to get the script ready for the next election cycle.

Committee Structure and Roles

The current committee structure and roles were reviewed. There are 13 core roles that will be maintained going forward:

A new role of Social Media Officer will be added to the core committee. This person will be in charge of managing the society’s social media accounts, working on digital marketing campaigns, analyzing engagement metrics, and assisting with community outreach efforts. They will work closely with the Graphic Designer and Social Secretary on visual designs and branding.

It was clarified that there will be only one Graphic Designer sitting on the core committee. However, the Graphic Designer can build a team of deputies/assistants to help with tasks as needed. Those deputy designers will not have committee voting rights.

There was discussion about the role of the School of Informatics Representative. Traditionally, the School Rep has been a voting member of the CompSoc committee. However, it was agreed that this is no longer required.

Going forward, the School Rep will not automatically be a member of the core committee. However, they are welcome to attend committee meetings if they wish. The committee can also vote to grant the School Rep voting privileges on a year-by-year basis if it is deemed necessary for tighter coordination with the Informatics department (requires 2/3 majority).

Quorum and Voting

The requirements for reaching quorum in official committee votes was discussed. Quorum will be defined as 75% of the core committee roles being present (and 2 of those being executive).

With the current proposed structure of 14 committee roles, quorum would be 10 people (rounding up from 9.33).

It was emphasized that the SIG seats on the committee do NOT count towards reaching quorum, as they are not core committee roles. However, if present, SIG representatives are still allowed to vote as normal.

Certain categories of major decisions will always require quorum to be met in order to proceed to a vote:

For all other general votes and decisions, quorum is not a requirement. However, there will be a process for members to petition and trigger a quorum requirement for a particular vote if they feel it is necessary:

Impeachment Process

There can now be multiple avenues that can trigger an impeachment vote: 1) If a complaint is submitted against a committee member that includes at least 15 verifiable signatures of CompSoc student EUSA members 2) If 2/3 of the current committee members vote to initiate impeachment proceedings 3) If the School of Informatics Head of Student Services submits a formal request for impeachment

Once an impeachment process is triggered, a dedicated hearing will be held by the committee:

If the committee vote passes, an Emergency General Meeting (EGM) will be called with the full CompSoc membership:

Merchandise Profit Margins

Vincent raised concerns about the very slim profit margins CompSoc is currently making from selling branded merchandise. He argued that the prices need to be increased to make the effort worthwhile and to raise more funds for the society.

Currently, CompSoc mugs cost £9.70 each to produce and are sold for £10, only a 30p profit per unit. The committee agreed to raise the price to £12 per mug going forward.

Wooden keyrings are currently sold for £1.50 each. It was agreed to increase these to £2. Acrylic keyrings which are currently £1.50 will be increased to £2.

It was also discussed to have more merchandise available for purchase at in-person events like the STMUs, balls, workshops, etc.

There was a suggestion to look into creating limited-edition or special themed merchandise to generate buzz and increase sales.

Finally, it was proposed to open an online web store for CompSoc merchandise, so people can purchase items and have them shipped out.

Meeting adjourned at 6:47pm.

To do’s

Action Items & Next Steps: