15 Apr NaSTA AGM 2018
Order of business
- Introduction from Chair and Notices to Meeting
- Ratification of minutes from previous Meeting
- Declaration of Interest
- Association Annual Report
- Executive Officer Annual Reports
- Non-Executive Officer Reports
- Motions of Censure
- Constitutional Motions
- Annual Accounts
- Open questions from the members of NaSTA
- Returning Officer’s Report
- Confirmation of Election Results
- Returning officer elections
- Trustees election
- Any other business
Motion to update NaSTA Awards Rule Break & Appeal procedures
Proposer – Glasgow University Student Television (GUST)
Seconders – Leeds Student Television (LSTV), Newcastle University Television (NUTV)
Motion alters Clause 4 of the National Student Television Association Award Entry Rules & Criteria Version 1.0.
The Association Notes:
- There is little no information on how to appeal within the NaSTA constitution.
- There is no information regarding the rules of late submission and the circumstances in which late entries are accepted.
- There are no standardised guidelines of supplying evidence to the Rule Break Committee before the appeal process.
- There are no written guidelines which require entries to be sent forward for judging if successfully appealed.
- This year, entries which were successfully appealed were not sent forward to the judges.
The Association Believes:
- We believe that the appeal process as it currently stands is inherently flawed.
- The rulings of acceptable late submission this year are too strict. The three standing accepted grounds for late submissions (Power outage/University server crash, being in possession of an earlier export of the entry in question, and NaSTA submission form errors) do not account for any level of in-station technical issues. This resulted in all technical issues, no matter the severity, being blanket rejected which formed the core reason for 8 Best Broadcaster entries being disqualified this year. As Student Television stations, we believe the appeal system should acknowledge that technical severities can be beyond the control of the station’s members, and their entries should not be penalised because of this.
- As there is no constitutionally mandated time limit for submitting appeals, the Executive Committee would be well within their powers to enforce a time limit which is not workable.
- Rule breaks and appeals are judged by the same committee which is unfair to the affected stations as the appeal committee should be unbiased and serve as a fresh pair of eyes.
- The NaSTA Executive has an internal policy regarding what constitutes mitigating circumstances for appeals, e.g. accepting on the basis of a University wide network error. This policy is not made transparent to stations when appealing which places them at an immediate disadvantage.
- Without a clearly outlined appeal system, there is no way a just appeal process can be carried out. This year, entries which were successfully appealed through the system were not even sent to judges due to a lack of constitutional guidance.
- Judging begins before the appeal process has ended. This year, by the time the appeal process had ended, there was only two days left of judging before the deadline which formed one of the core reasons for the accepted entries not being sent forward to judges.
- Constitutionally, NaSTA strives for clarity and transparency between the establishment and its members. This has not been achieved in this year’s Rule Break and Appeal system.
The Association Resolves:
- To define the following timetable for appeals in the Awards Entry & Criteria clause 4:
- The NaSTA Host Station must send details of all potential rule breaks to the NaSTA Returning Officer and NaSTA Executive within two days of the final submissions deadline.
- The NaSTA Executive must notify both the host station and all stations affected of the outcome of each rule break within a further two days (four days after submissions close).
- The NaSTA Executive may ask the submitter of an appeal for additional information, which they have 24 hours to submit from the time of the request.
- Affected stations then have three days to appeal to the NaSTA Trustee Board.
- The NaSTA Trustee Board have a further three days to consider all appeals information before notifying the affected stations and NaSTA Host Station.
- The NaSTA Trustee Board may ask the submitter of an appeal for additional information, which they have 24 hours to submit from the time of the request.
- The Rule Break and Appeals process must be completed within two weeks of the final submissions deadline.
- To define the grounds for what can constitute mitigating circumstances for late submission in the Awards Entry & Criteria clause 4:
- An error with NaSTA’s submission form or NaSTA supplied files (e.g. title cards)
- A problem caused by the upload and submission system (not including files taking too long to upload unless the submissions system has significantly slowed the upload process)
- Loss of power or network connectivity or access to a building which houses a station’s editing, file storage or other related facilities.
- Severe technical issues beyond the control of the station which results in a loss of data and/or access to or impaired operation of editing facilities
- An error in communication between a NaSTA representative and a member station which caused failure in the submission process.
- Any other circumstances which the NaSTA Executive or Trustee Board believe to be completely outside the control of the station.
- Define the spirit in which the rules should be interpreted in Awards Entry & Criteria clause 4 as: “The spirit in which these rules should be interpreted is that any problems which are caused by the creation and uploading of entries e.g. slow rendering, running out of storage space, editing software crashing, illness or unavailability of station members (except in extreme circumstances) should not be grounds for mitigating circumstances as they are problems faced by all stations in their day to day activities. Catastrophic technical failures and problems truly beyond the control of the station, such as those outlined in 2.3 above, that could not be planned for or avoided should be grounds for mitigating circumstances to be considered.
- To add the following to Awards Entry & Criteria clause 4: “Entries for any award category may be sent to the relevant judges at any point once the appeals process for that category has been completed.”
- To add the following to Awards Entry & Criteria clause 4: “A full list of all originally submitted entries, accepted Rule Break entries and successful appeals will be sent to the Host Station. The station will then forward all these entries to their respective judges. If a Host Station is uncertain of an entries admission, they must confirm it with the Executive Committee before forwarding any entry. If a Host Station, for any reason, does not send an admitted entry forward to the judge, the NaSTA Executive has the power to personally send all the entries forward.”
Points of information
- This year 10 Best Broadcaster entries were disqualified from the NaSTA Awards. In 2 cases this was due to technical problems. “Technical problems” were cited in two cases, “slow rendering” was the given reason for two more, and for the remaining six entries no reason was given. Only one station appealed the status of the disqualified entry.
- The current rule break procedure is laid out as follows in the Award Entry Rules & Criteria V1:
The NaSTA Rule Break Procedure must be followed for both the NaSTA Awards and the NaSTA People’s Choice Awards.
- All entries will be assessed for rule-breaks by the Returning Officer.
- Details of any entries found to be in breach of any entry rules will be sent to the NaSTA Executive Committee with a recommendation by the Returning Officer on a suitable course of action.
- The NaSTA Executive Committee will decide whether or not to follow this recommendation or follow another course of action. The options available are:
- Allow the entry to stand
- Withdraw the entry
- Allow the video entry to stand but withdraw supporting documents (where applicable)
- Allow part of the video entry to stand (and state the timecode of the allowed entry). In this case only the allowed part of the entry will be viewed by the adjudicators.
- Allow the entry to stand with the removal and resubmission of any sections or aspects of the content which breaches either the entry rules or NaSTA’s equal opportunities policy or constitution.
- Allow the entry on condition that the entrant re-encodes the entry to meet the NaSTA Technical Standards and resubmits within a set timeframe.
Motion to limit alumni role in judging
Amendment Proposer: Callum Isaac & Leeds Student Television
Amendment Seconder: Glasgow University Student Television
The Association Notes:
4.6.1 – There is no period between a NaSTA affiliated station member leaving their station, and their ability to qualify as a NasTA judge to protect against biases in the judging process.
The Association Believes:
4.6.2 – Several of the judges at the 2018 NaSTA awards have only recently graduated from university and student television. Therefore there is the room for personal bias as the Judges will likely have formed close relationships with current members of the Station. This could mean Judges judging categories with people who they have close personal relationships with. This could create either a positive or negative bias towards the entries whether the Judge is conscious of this or not.
The Association Resolves:
4.6.3. That all Judges at the National Student Television Awards must have not been a member of an affiliated station in the past 24 months. If evidence is not provided, it is assumed that a membership runs from September 1st to September 1st of the following year – with most memberships ending the September following final graduation from university.
Points of information
- This motion does not state where this should be defined in the governing documents.
- This policy may have implications for the Freshers’ Week Coverage award which is judged by the STAN committee, who judge it in their capacity as members of the committee regardless of their current or previous links to any station.