IVSA Online Attendance Manual

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Introduction

The ExCo has experienced difficulties over the last few years when online attendance was allowed during a General Assembly (GA). Previously during the 63rd IVSA Congress in Indonesia 2014, the internet connection was not stable causing attendees to lose connection multiple times. This was an issue because the GA could not recess every time that an attendee lost their connection.

Issues arose during the Special General Assembly (SGA) in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA 2017 because not all Member Organizations (MOs) were notified of the possibility to attend online. The procedure, regarding the voting process and platform, was unclear and did not function properly.

As a result, the Manual on Online Attendance was created to alleviate these issues in the future.

The manual on Online Attendance was created by the Taskforce on the Manual on Online Attendance, consisting of: Denise van Eekelen (the Netherlands; Chair), Branden Nettles (United States of America), Emma van Rooijen (the Netherlands), Leonie Fingerhut (Germany), Malcolm Chong (Malaysia) and Maryem ben Salem (Tunisia).


When is online attendance allowed?

According to the bylaws, online attendance is allowed when a special session of the General Assembly is summoned. This can either be in addition to the GAs during congress or symposium (see point 2.4 of the Bylaws) or to replace a lost GA of congress or symposium (see Appendix I).


Purpose

Online attendance is allowed during Special/Extraordinary General Assemblies for various reasons:

  • The special session of the GA is not accessible to all members because the time between acceptance and start of the special session of the GA is too short for finalization of travel arrangements, visas, etc.
  • The special session of the GA is not held at a physical location, rather only online.
  • The special session of the GA will not reach quorum without online attendance for multiple reasons (e.g. Not enough time to finalize a visa, insufficient funds to fund last-minute travel, unable to leave university/clinics on short notice, etc.).


Online Attendance Committee

Organizing online attendance and maintaining contact with attending countries has shown to be too much work for the ExCo. As a result, the Online Attendance Committee (OAC) was created.

Structure

The OAC consists of four (4) people including: one member from the ExCo, one member from the Secretariat, one member from the Trust, and one member of the Organizing Committee (OC).

Appointment and term

The members of the OAC will be appointed by the ExCo at least 60 days prior to the start of the special session of the GA during which Online Attendance is allowed. Once a member accepts the appointment to the OAC, he may not resign. A member of the OAC may be dismissed by the President, if the ExCo deems that the member is not fulfilling his duties. The OAC will automatically dissolve after the special session of the GA for which they were appointed has adjourned.

Duties

The OAC is responsible for:

  • Communication between possible attendees and the ExCo in regards to online attendance before the start of the special session of the GA. This includes notification and receiving questions from possible attendees.
  • Ensuring the platform for online attendance is working at least 30 minutes prior to the start of each meeting of the special session of the GA.
  • Communication to the Chair during the meeting of the GA when an online attendee would like to have the floor.
  • Setting up, and executing, a method of voting for the online attendees.
  • Providing all online attendees with the agenda, booklet and all relevant documents for the special session of the GA.