How to GMA
Yesterday, we sent out an email with the announcement for the Extra Extra Extra GMA, which will take place next Tuesday 28 June at 18:00 in the Graanrepubliek. We will discuss two proposals the board has written: (1) the number of copies we want to print of each edition of the Literatief and (2) how we want to organise and archive proposals discussed during GMAs. Next to that, we will critically review the Internal Regulations (IR). The IR is a document that is written as an addition to the Statutes: it contains rules and regulations we want to uphold in Flanor. The difference between these two documents is that we need a notary and a whole lot of money to make changes in the Statutes, but only need a GMA where enough people agree with the proposed changes to (partly) rewrite the IR.
During the last GMA in February, the majority of attendees voted in favour of a proposal that states that at least one member of every committee should be present during the entire GMA. Because of this proposal, we expect more people to come to the GMA than usual. We also expect more people to be present that have never been to a GMA and don’t exactly know how everything works and what is going on. This is why we decided to write a blog post about GMAs, which will help you prepare for the GMA and, once there, know what you can expect.
Usually, there are two GMAs during the academic year: one in September and one in February. During the GMA in September, the ‘old’ board reviews the past year, after which the new board is installed and discusses its policy plan. During the GMA in February, the board discusses the finances so far and gives an update on their work regarding their policy plan. If the board wants to do more than give an update and plans to change some regulations of Flanor, they write a proposal in which they state what they think is a problem, how they want to solve it and what that means for Flanor. Sometimes, if the board wants or needs to make changes that involve a lot of discussion, like critically reviewing the IR, they plan an extra GMA.
To be prepared, it is smart to read all the documents that will be discussed at the GMA beforehand. They will be mentioned in the announcement email and can usually be found on the website: when logged in, you click on ‘My profile’ and then on ‘Documents’. You can just read the documents so that you know what is going on during the discussion, but you can also prepare questions or comments that you will ask or tell the board. If you are unsure of anything or are in doubt about whether you should ask a certain question, you can always contact the board before the GMA. It is always mentioned who should be contacted for questions and comments in the GMA announcement. When the board has written a proposal and the discussion about it is finished, there will be a vote. All attendees except for the board will anonymously cast a vote regarding the proposal. When voting, you have three options: pro (you agree with the proposal), con (you do not agree with the proposal), or blank (you do not have a strong opinion or do not understand what is going on well enough to cast a vote). Blank votes are considered as not been having cast. If a majority of votes is in favour, the proposal is adopted. If a majority of votes is not in favour or there is a tie, the proposal will be rejected. If you cannot be present at the GMA but still want to vote, you can authorise someone with your vote. This is called a proxy vote. If you want to authorize someone with your vote, make sure that you inform the board as well. Everyone present at the GMA can be authorised by only one person with their vote.
GMAs might sound difficult or boring. However, it is always nice to know what is going on behind the scenes in the association and to have a say about it. In any case, it is always fun to have a drink and catch up with friends or fellow reading group members!
We hope this blog post has given you a better understanding of a GMA. If you have any more questions, you can always ask us! You can contact the board in general by sending an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can send a text message to Merel (chair of Flanor, 0634549577).
Merel, Jessay, Kato & Iris