FAQ: Machiavelli's General Assembly

What is the General Assembly?

The General Assembly (GA) is the highest body within Machiavelli. A GA is a meeting to which all Machiavelli members are invited. The GA has multiple important tasks, such as: checking up on the policy plans and budget plans of the board, choosing the Application Committee that forms the new Machiavelli board and asking critical questions on the current state of Machiavelli. 

Why are GA’s organized?

GA’s are organized in order to check up on the current state of Machiavelli and the functioning of the board. What is going well and what needs to be adjusted? Who should take place on the next board of Machiavelli? The GA decides!

How many GA’s are organized?

Each academic year, three GA’s are organized. 

  • During the Annual GA in October, the board presents its policy plans and budget plan for the upcoming year. 
  • During the Midyears GA, the board evaluates the first half of the year and presents its plans for the second half. In addition to that, the Application Committee that forms the new board is voted on. 
  • During the Nomination GA in June, the board presents its year report which looks back on the year that has passed. After this, the newly nominated board is presented to the GA. The new board members introduce themselves and answer the questions the GA has. After this, the GA votes on the composition of the new board. 

What is my role as a member?

Members are the most important attendees at GA’s, as they have voting rights and can make final decisions which the board has to answer to. Members can also hand in motions that suggest a permanent change in the way Machiavelli is organized.


How can I contribute to the GA?

Each GA, the board presents its policy plan(s) for the (rest of) the year. Each board member reflects on their functioning and presents their plan for the future. Members have the opportunity to ask questions and express their opinions about the plans of board members. After the presentations, members vote on whether they agree with what has been presented to them. The same happens with the budget plan. In this way, members can influence their association directly. 

The motions are discussed and voted on during the GA. An example of a previously discussed motion was about the rise of the members’ contribution to Machiavelli. These motions are important to members, as they concern changes within their association. 

What does the board do in general?

Each academic year, Machiavelli is run by a new board. This board fully commits themselves to Machiavelli in order to keep the association up and running. The board of Machiavelli consists of seven members. Amongst the board members, the following positions are divided:

Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Education Coordinator, Political Activities Coordinator, Social Activities Coordinator, International Coordinator.

The board is responsible for organizing events and promotion, keeping the association financially healthy, improving the quality of education, writing the members magazine, keeping up with administration and maintaining fruitful relations with external partners.

Want to know more about what the tasks of the board are? Click here!


What is a….?

Motion

A motion is a proposal to change something structurally within Machiavelli. During GAs, motions are presented by the person who submitted the motions and afterward a discussion will take place. Lastly, the motion is voted on. A motion is a written proposal that has to be handed in with the Presidium (presidium@svmachiavelli.nl) 24 hours before the start of the General Assembly. Examples of motions that have been discussed before are: changing the contribution fee of members and making events under 11 euro free for board members.

Policy plan

All board members write a policy plan at the beginning of the year containing their plans and goals for the upcoming year. This policy plan will be presented and voted on during the Annual GA in October. During the Semi-Annual GA board members reflect on their policy plan. During the last Nomination GA, the board presents its year report containing their evaluation of the entire year.

Budget plan

The budget plan is an overview of the expected incomes and expenses for the whole year. The treasurer sets up this budget plan and keeps an eye on it during the entire year.

Presidium
The GA is led by a presidium. This independent body introduces agenda points, keeps an eye on the time, makes sure people can ask questions and makes minutes of the topics discussed during the GA.

The presidium gets installed by the General Assembly. Currently, the presidium consists of these three members, namely Anouk Verhaegh (chair), Rüya Erdogan (vice-chair) and Sne Alam (secretary).

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee consists of former treasurers who keep an eye on the financial stability of our association. Furthermore, they support the current treasurer in his work.

Advisory Council

In the Advisory Council, former Machiavelli board members take place. Every board member is linked to a member of the Advisory Council. They support the current board on topics like cooperation, group dynamics and practical issues.

Action points

During the GA, it can be decided that board members must do things before the next GA. This is called an action point. The action points from the previous GA are always discussed at the beginning of the next GA. 

Minutes

Minutes are notes that are made of the things said and decided on during the GA’s. These minutes are later published, so everyone can stay up to date on the outcomes of the GA’s. 

Voting can be done via multiple ways during the GA. On final decisions on motions and policy plans, voting is done via voting ballots. For other decisions, such as the installation of the Presidium, voting is done by acclamation (applauding). 

Authorization

Before each General Members Assembly, a member can authorize someone present at the General Member Assembly to vote for him or her. This makes it possible for members who can not be present at the GA to still have their voices be heard. You can authorize someone by sending an email to presidium@svmachiavelli.nl 

Application Committee

The Application Committee (ApCo) consists of an internal Machiavelli member, an external member and a member from the current board. Together they are responsible for forming the next board. They do this by reading motivation letters, interviewing candidates and by organizing the Assessment Day. The internal and external members of the ApCo are chosen by the GA.