AGM Minutes 19/02/2021

Posted on 19th February 2021
  • Overview by Ryan - Current President
    • "It has certainly been a year"
    • Big thank you to all of the exec in this difficult time.
    • Particularly to Thomas as Tech Officer, whose role has become exponentially more important
    • Events:
      • Lightning talks have been well attended and liked
        • Invitations to Uni Lecturers recommended
        • Karaoke talks are very interesting
      • Ran our first Hackathon with Prizes
        • Went really well
        • Recommend asking the department if interested in future ones
      • Advent of Code was massively popular this year
      • "Bad Film Soc" socials have been fun
    • Gaming:
      • Did a lot of tinkering with what does and doesn't work best
      • Game fatigue as lockdown continued was a big factor
      • Very much looking forward to getting back into the DCS
    • WANs & Casual Tournaments
      • Reasonable attendance and variety in games.
      • Shoutout to Alex Dixon for a great music server
    • Casual game streams in Voice Chats
      • Several games over the time have gotten popular
      • Really good to have the society provide that
    • WASD 2021:
      • Team adapted excellently to the challenges this year
        • Learned a lot, could enable remote runners even during in-person events
      • £1408.15 raised for SpecialEffect
      • Restreamed with French Commentary
  • Budget by Amelie - Current Treasurer
    • Current state:
      • Every year the SU provides money
      • We have several sponsors at several tiers
      • We have plenty saved.
    • Things we could buy
      • PS5/Xbox
      • New computers/upgrades
      • Pizza
        • Rip AGM pizza
    • Data diagrams, Ryan 33% Sea 33% Crest 33%
  • Motions Overview - Run by Thomas
    • Formal Proposal from members to enact changers
    • Requires a proposer and a seconder
    • Six motions have been proposed
    • Format
      • Show text
      • Proposer may advocate for it
      • Those against may speak
      • General discussion
  • Motions
    • Motion to record Society History
      • The current exec history is recorded by an ex-exec.
        • Very appreciated but they are under no obligation to do so
      • Proposer believes it to be valuable.
      • Does not wish for it to be constitutionally binding
      • No primary against
      • Contributor:
      • Sam Coy: Believes the motion should not be up to the Tech Officer specifically
        • Agreed with by Ryan Murray
      • Ryan Murray: Does not believe it will necessarily be that worthwhile.
      • Leo Riviera: Believes it is very interesting, gives a scale of the scope and size of the history.
      • Amelie WD: Not in favour or against, believes unneeded as motion. Can absolutely just ask exec to do things
        • Concerned about the precedent of simple things being done as motions.
      • Benjamin McRae (Proposer): Wanted the motion to act as a way of gathering interest and opinions
    • Motion to Temporarily Rename the Society in recognition of Anime Day
      • Proposer believes Anime to be of importance
        • Suggested name of "UWUS"
        • Believes the unofficial logo should be put to use
        • Proposed by Leo Riviera
        • Opposed by Sam Coy:
          • The Department would not appreciate it due to our close affiliation
          • To actually rename a society is a large amount of work
        • Counter, Leo Riviera:
          • Not intended to be fully official
          • A cursory rebrand.
        • Benjamin McRae:
          • Concerned that the branding is extremely forward facing and changing it as such may cause issues with the Department <Of Computer Science>
        • Scott Wilson:
          • The Anime Society exists
          • Rebranding on a yearly basis is a lot of effort
        • Counter, Leo Riviera:
          • Specifically refers to a single date.
        • Contributor:
          • The Department may be fine with it or not notice
        • Ryan Murray:
          • Admires the use of Citations in the motion
        • Emily Roberts:
          • Encroaches on the Anime Society
          • A partial measure could be changing the logo in a similar manner to changes done during Pride
          • Does however set a possible precedent in regards to many possible events
        • Amelie WD:
          • Proposes we move beyond it, on the basis of the motion being considered a joke
        • Closing Leo Riviera:
          • Withdrawn Motion
    • Motion to index naturally
      • Proposed by Sam
      • Believes that due to the use of counting from 0 frequently within the field of Computer Science, the society should adopt this style across all their uses
      • Opposed by Alex Dixon:
        • A fan of the number zero
        • Believes there are significant practical reasons why counting from zero should not go ahead
        • The first ordinal number is not defined by us and many tools that are in use would be at odds with this system.
        • Likely to confuse people or appear unduly esoteric
        • Perhaps a good idea to start where others start, at one.
        • Mic Drop
      • Counter by Proposer:
        • It is possible in some cases to implement without undue effort.
        • We should not try to pretend to be normal
      • Ryan Murray:
        • You say we should start from zero, yet your citation begins at zero "curious"
      • John Blundell:
        • The motion significantly increases documentation complexity
        • Believes the motion to be a joke
        • Needlessly overcomplicating things
      • Scott Wilson:
        • Believes massively over complicating
        • Notes the line about not using software which falls short would be extremely problematic
      • Amelie WD:
        • Motion to Dismiss
      • Motion to Dismiss
        • Dismissal passes
    • Motion to add Society Motto + Flag + Mascot - Discussion grouped
      • Motto proposed by Amelie WD
        • Tabletop has a mascot
        • Believes a motto would be a fun tradition to include
        • Should decide quickly which of the Motto/Flag/Mascot are worthwhile
      • Flag proposed by Josh Davies
        • Believes it would be worthwhile
        • Believes Flags are cool
        • John Blundell:
          • Believes the existing branding going onto the flag would be a likely usage, by exec of the time
      • Mascot proposed by Benjamin McRae
        • Believes adding a mascot each year would be a fun tradition and make AGM's more interesting
        • Believes that by having it change each year
        • Opposed by Leo Riviera:
          • Believes that forward branding and presence is best when consistent
          • Amelie WD: Concerned a mascot may be derivative from Tabletop Society, though notes the societies have been well linked
        • Benjamin McRae:
          • The mascot is not to represent the society, but rather as a society in-joke
      • Contributor: Is there no further justification behind the motto other than being interesting?
      • Hu Yijun: Flags should ideally not have letters on them and would require a small redesign from existing branding
      • Leo Riviera: No harm to mottos being present and could be decided by exec at the time or members, additionally provides very minimal burden to the exec
  • President Role - Returning Officer Thomas Bruce
    • Ryan's President summary:
      • The President is the representative of the society, acting both within the society and as an ambassador to the outside.
      • Interfacing with the department <of Computer Science>
      • Interfacing with the SU
      • Exists as a tie-breaking vote
      • Ambassador to potential members
      • Should be around for every meeting
    • Current candidates:
      • Amelie WD
      • Michal Gagala
      • Michal's Speech:
        • First Year, has experience with running similar things such as Debate Society
        • Current SSLC rep for First Year
        • Has organised a letter gathering campaign regarding a module
        • Can use the gathering of students to push for important changes
        • Wants to push on in-person events as soon as possible
      • Amelie's Speech:
        • Most of you know me
        • Final year - No confirmed place next year
        • Believes the society needs an exec that can ease the society back into a post-pandemic setting
        • Believes unfair to hand to an exec who has not experienced the way things normally are
        • Experience as Treasurer and running gaming events as an exec.
        • Particularly wants to formalise the calendar for organising the society
        • In conclusion: Any Questions?
    • Questions:
      • Keegan to Both: Academic Side of things, how would you like to change the academic side of things?
        • Amelie: I think the society has always been gaming orientated, push away from how things have always been done and how the current members want it to be done. Push the lightning talks and look to the pool of current members more
        • Michal: Agree with the lightning talks and build on the work of the previous exec. Experience with SSLC informs ability to gather feedback and adjust the society as according to that feedback
      • Scott Wilson to Michal: Due to your inexperience with the society out of pandemic time:
        • Michal: This is the biggest challenge and a big part of my presidency would be to get a lot of help and support from the previous exec in learning how things work. The most important part of being exec is a willingness to interact with the students
        • Amelie: Large reason for running is due to trying to ensure continuity such that teaching the new exec how things work can be done in person. Getting back into the system benefits from being done without a clean cut-off
        • Michal response: Believes it could be quite benefical to have a clean break, in order to get new blood in and drive progress
      • Contributor: Would like to know what can be done to interface with the various other year groups Discord servers
        • Amelie: Believes that there is a focus on a tight-knit community of graduates and older years and that the focus should be shifted to current members in order to encourage
          • Reply by Leo Riviera: Believes the exec are out of touch due to a large presence of older ex-members
        • Michal: Has seen it himself, believes the CompSoc server is difficult to break into and that by bringing in fresh blood, should make it much easier. Pushing to first years next year should be a focus
  • Academic Coordinator
    • Dan's summary:
      • The position is quite new
      • The president used to do the role as well
      • Is what it sounds like
      • Organise academic events
      • Weird and wacky ideas absolutely worthwhile
    • Current candidates:
      • Keegan
      • Leo Riviera
      • Keegan's Speech:
        • Wants to help out more on that side
        • Believes the events come to us rather than us going to the events
        • It would be nice to host more things of our own
        • Having smaller events would be a cool way to engage with everyone
        • Believes the society still has a strong image on gaming
      • Leo's Speech:
        • Believes Academic coordinators need to work closely with the department and the students to advance degrees
        • Helping people along with modules and discover <interest in> modules.
        • Building upon the work of past exec to do more for the members
    • Questions:
      • Contributor to Keegan: Could you elaborate on your idea with a small esoteric language event?
        • Keegan: The idea of using the esoteric language "Mornington Crescent" for an event that would be of interest
        • Leo: Believes it's very important to run more of our own events, possibly with collaboration with other societies. Developing more of an academic identity, including greater relations with the department.
      • Contributor: How would you help expand student's Knowledge?
        • Leo: Felt dumped in at the deep end with languages he was unfamiliar with and that the society exists to bring together knowledge. That the society should have a portion dedicated to supporting with work. The society is not just for Computer Scientists and that nurturing that is important
        • Keegan: Felt that the events where the society expands on and teaches to the younger years would be nice. A dedicated channel would be nice to show that support is available.
      • Joshua Fitzmaurice: What would be your thoughts on steering the society towards being more academic focused?
        • Keegan: Does not particularly want to steer away from gaming, nor to hinder gaming. Rather to add additional academic things to the society
        • Leo: The structure of the channels of the Discord is of importance and can be adjusted. Accessibility is very important for supporting students with modules. Need to make the Discord more tailored
          • Keegan Response: In regards to the exercises, it would be nice to provide where relevant and of particular use to students. There are many resources available. But tailored resources are particularly valuable. Experience with
      • Contributor: How would you help with the non-Computer Science (but related) degrees
        • Leo: Channels specifically for modules and related degrees provides flexibility and personableness. Organisation of the channels can absolutely be done.
        • Keegan: Believes that it would be an excessive number of channels and that there are other servers in existence which should be allowed to exist as their own communities
  • Gaming Coordinator
    • John's Summary
      • In normal times you would be involved in organising LANs and Friday night gaming
      • In current times it involves a focus on WANs and
    • Current Candidates:
      • Mohammed Habib
      • John Blundell
      • Mohammed's Speech
        • Known as Skiros on the discord, has been quite involved with gaming events. Feels that first year interaction at events has been underwhelming and hopes to bridge the gap
      • John's Speech
        • Wants to be able to help the new exec with what they haven't experienced on an organisational side, such as physical events. Would like to do so in person and is currently in the role.
    • Questions:
      • Leo Riviera: Do you not believe a wider role such as secretary or treasurer could help the exec ease in better?
        • John: I intend to run for treasurer as well, but as I am very familiar with this role. Wanted to run for it as well
        • Skiros: Believes that the handover phase should be sufficient for learning the needed aspects of the role
      • Ryan Murray: Clarification; The Gaming and Academic Coordinators have historically existed as Vice-President roles and are officially so on paper
      • Contributor: Believes that Gaming Coordinator is a low-risk role that may particularly benefit from new blood to the role
      • Keegan: How do you plan to expand and maintain Gaming-Get?
        • Skiros: Though I have looked at Gaming-Get, I do not have personal experience with it and can't particularly comment until I have
        • John: Gaming-Get is a pretty horrible hacky system to get games onto computers. I am familiar with the system for adding and updating games. The source code is available on our open source github repo
  • Treasurer
    • Amelie's Summary
      • Treasurer for the most part isn't too much work
      • Need to give the SU justification and proof (receipts
      • Main complication is sponsors
        • Important to organise with them, sign contracts, keep in contact with them. Filling out SU forms
    • Current Candidates
      • Joshua Fitzmaurice
      • Michal Gagala
      • John Blundell
      • Leo Riviera
      • Joshua's Speech:
        • Current First Year, Doing MEng CS. Would like to run due to previous experience with finance due to Accounting AS level. Withdrawn
      • Michal's Speech:
        • Quite a bit of experience in organisation, SSLC experience valuable in interaction with authority. Considers managing the budget to be relatively simple and that reaching out to new sponsors should suit his industry connections.
      • John's Speech:
        • Would like to be on the exec to transfer as much knowledge as possible, has plenty of experience emailing to sort out employment details and chasing them up. Including chasing up sponsors. Treasurer isn't an inherently complicated role and any would be suitable for it.
      • Leo's Speech:
        • Loves doing paperwork, managing his own business constitutes experience with dealing with paperwork and interacting with sponsors, thus believing himself excellent for the role. Working with people as a strength of his
    • Questions:
      • John to Michal: If you had to choose between President and Treasurer, which would you choose? President is very capable of providing networking experience to the treasurer
        • Michal: Preferably President, though I believe that I can provide value with my experience. And particularly want to run for multiple roles in case I do not succeed in my other runnings.
        • Leo: I am running for Academic Coordinator as well and I want to contribute, I intend to run for additional roles as well
      • Contributor to Amelie (current position holder): Is prior experience necessary?
        • Amelie: It does not require prior experience, but it does need to be someone who is committed to doing the job and following through with it.
  • Secretary
    • Toby's Summary
      • Generally a light workload for an exec
      • Primary duties are:
        • Newsletter
        • Room Booking
        • Minuting (such as this)
    • Current Candidates
      • Josh Davies
      • John Blundell
      • Michal Gagala
      • Josh's Speech
        • Running because I would like to get involved, I have a bit of secretary experience in the past, acted as secretary for church group. Saw through the sudden switch to online. Plenty of experience despite being a first year
      • Michal's Speech
        • Experience due to debate club, believes he has the organisation skills to be able to pull off organisational things as needed
      • John's Speech
        • Knows how Room Booking works and brings experience of being a prior exec
    • Questions:
      • Leo Riviera: How bad can room booking be?
        • General acknowledgments of very bad.
        • John: It can be quite bad, particularly due to some unique requirements for UWCS
  • Women's Officer
    • Daisy's Summary
      • Focus is on being nice and approachable
      • Interact with Department on related events
      • Generally a light workload
    • Current Candidates:
      • Daisy Kennedy
      • Ella Horne
      • Ella's Speech:
        • "Hi. I'd like to nominate myself for women's officer however I'm unable to speak on the call. I think I would be good to not only bridge the gender gap in Computer Science which has improved over the years, but also create more opportunities to help anyone get involved in the society. I think it's important to help new people to the society have opportunities to get involved, as I'm aware some people, much like myself, find it difficult to try and integrate into a society due to the sheer numbers and how intimidating it can seem."
      • Daisy's Speech:
        • Would like to help improve access for everyone, not just specifically women. Currently hold the role and thinking about not particularly active members, as such made a guide to the Discord server to help navigate it for people unfamiliar.
    • Questions:
      • Contributor to Daisy: What have you achieved over the past year?
        • Daisy: It has been difficult over the past year, I would have liked to talk to girls and the quieter attendees at events. Though that wasn't possible. I'm not particularly involved with gaming and that is why I haven't been active in the Discord
  • Social Secretary
    • Scott's Summary:
      • There have been very few socials this year
      • Social Sec runs non-gaming and non-academic events
      • Running events such as laser tag
      • Not particularly applicable in COVID times
    • Current Candidates
      • Scott Wilson
      • Scott's Speech:
        • Have experience over the past two years. Would like to fill in the gap and run events once we can
  • Tech Officer
    • Thomas' Summary
      • A complex role due to the three server cluster
      • Forward facing to all technical issues
      • Can do as much or as little above the basic maintenance grade as liked
    • Current Candidates:
      • Leo Riviera
      • Leo's Speech:
        • Believes the role is to enact the needs of the exec and that he is eager to do so, with big shoes to fill.
    • Questions:
      • Thomas to Leo: There is a lot of infrastructure existing, how flexible will you be with working out the undocumentated sections of the infrastructure?
        • Leo: My biggest mission is to get the knowledge out of the heads of people and onto paper. Experience writing documentation for commercial projects, and good at getting that knowledge out of people. Writing documentation is one of my strong-suits.
      • Alex Dixon to Leo: What your overall opinion is of implementing new technologies for the society, versus maintaining the status quo?
        • Leo: Advancing and improving technology is very important, it exists to make it easier for people to interact. Maintenance is important and that balance with pushing forward must be maintained
      • John to Leo: How familiar are you with our toolings?
        • Leo: My business is built upon a very similar toolchain and I should be very comfortable dealing with the work.
  • IRC discussion - Led by Amelie
    • We have had IRC for a long time
    • It is the primary way many graduates communicate with the server
    • Can be quite alienating for new users
    • No immediate action points but would like to have member's think about it and discuss in future