COVID-19 Assembly Update

Our Articles and Standing Orders specify, among other things, how Assembly meetings are to be run under normal circumstances. They don’t have a provision for how an assembly meeting would be conducted online, and so a proposal was approved by the Board of Trustees (who are majority elected students) to run things as close to normal as possible, accepting that there would have to be pragmatic compromises made and it would be impossible and inappropriate to attempt to achieve compliance with all of the regulations. Governance & Grants Committee (all elected students) supported proposals for how best to run a meeting of assembly under non-standard circumstances. While we have been able to reconcile most things that would happen in our normal structure of Assembly, the need for real-time voting on policy/motions on a secure and reliable platform has meant that the meeting will be open to voting-members only. This is to ensure Assembly has the ability to be effective and the power to pass policy in real-time, by ensuring only elected representatives cast votes. We intend that the meeting will be recorded and uploaded online for all students to access after the meeting, and students can also shape the debate and feed in their ideas by submitting questions, however the meeting will not be live streamed. We have a duty of care to protect the individuals participating in the meeting and in live streaming the video, we would be unable to keep risk as low as we need to. Additional measures have been put in place to ensure transparency of the meeting, such as the video recording and the ability of students to submit statements/questions ahead of the meeting itself and, as usual, a media observer from Palatinate has been invited to attend.