AGM 2020: On-Line Ballots Now Open

Dear Grand Adventurers,

Voting in the on-line ballot for our Annual General Meeting for 2020 is now open.

The ballot closes at 5 pm on Sunday, 29 March.

The agenda for the AGM, including the full text of motions being voted on, is available here: http://geas.org.uk/agm

The instructions for how to use the on-line ballot and the election statements of all candidates for committee positions can be found here: http://geas.org.uk/election

Once you have read the motions and statements, the on-line ballot can be accessed here: http://geas.org.uk/ballot

Please note that only student members are eligible to vote. We will be voting using a Microsoft Form on the University of Edinburgh’s Office365 system. You will need to authenticate by logging in to your university Office365 account. If you have any difficulties doing so, please let us know.

We would like to urge as many of you to vote as possible, as this would make sure that we make quorum and that the AGM is fair and representative of our membership.

Praises be upon Geas,

Vivek Santayana
Equality and Wellbeing Officer

Reminder: AGM Nomination Deadline 5 pm tomorrow!

Dear Grand Adventurers,

As per a previous email, we will be electing our office-bearers for next year via on-line ballot. This is a reminder for any of you considering running for a Committee position to nominate yourself by 5 pm tomorrow (Sunday 22 March). You can do so via email by sending us a brief statement on why you wish to run for a Committee position.

This is a fantastic opportunity for you to get involved with the running of the Society and to have a chance to shape the events that we run. If you are running for more than one position, please provide a separate statement for each post. Otherwise, we will use the same statement for both elections. Once we have all the nominations together, we will send out the election statements to our memberships and open the ballot.

We on the Geas Committee recognise that our Society is growing increasingly diverse, and we believe this to be a great strength. We want the leadership of the Society to better reflect the community that it serves. This is why we especially invite women, non-binary and gender non-conforming folx, BAME folx, LGBTQ+ folx, and/or people identifying as D/disabled to consider putting themselves forward for a Committee position, as we believe your experiences and insights would be invaluable in directing which way the Society goes and making it more inclusive for all members.

Note: You must be a matriculated student during the forthcoming academic year in order to be elected for the core Committee positions (i.e. the ones that are not advisory positions). In contrast, you do not need to be a student to hold an advisory position.

Best wishes,

Vivek Santayana
Equality and Wellbeing Officer

GEAS Events Cancellation

Hello fine members of GEAS,

I am writing this today to inform all of you that as of today we are cancelling all of our remaining events this semester. Due to the health risk posed by continuing to run a mass gathering we have decided that the safest course of action is to stop our events. This is not to say that if you are in a game that it must end, though we advise you at least consider switching to an online medium, however our room bookings and official GEAS oversight of sessions will no longer be available.

Furthermore, we have been informed that there has been a potential case of Covid-19, or Coronavirus, among the membership of GEAS who attended the Sunday afternoon sessions in David Donachie’s game. While the individual in question has not been present at the most recent few sessions it is possible that they may have possibly made contact with other members of the society while potentially carrying the virus or they may have passed it on to others who have been to recent events. Given that this is a possibility, we advise all of you to be cautious and to be aware of the symptoms of the disease. The most common of these are a cough, high fever, and shortness of breath.

If you feel you have exhibited any of the above symptoms, the Government’s current advice is to self isolate and avoid any non-essential social contact. More information can be found on the NHS’s guidance on Covid-19 here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

If you need more information on Covid-19 or more information on what to do if you are showing symptoms or have potentially interacted with someone who has been infected then the number for the Covid helpline is: 0800 028 2816

We wish all of you the best moving forward in this term, and the best of luck in dealing with the difficult situations that this epidemic has placed upon us.

For the Glory of GEAS, and its safety.
Society Secretary,
Logan C. Anderson.

Conpulsion

I have bad, but probably not unexpected news. Last night, our Committee voted, without opposition to cancel Conpulsion Flame. This was an incredibly difficult decision to make as many of us have put a great deal of time, effort and, in some cases, money into preparing for this convention and it hurts us all deeply to see something that we have spent so much time and effort working on go up in flames. Personally, Conpulsion has been a steady constant that’s helped me through one of the most difficult years of my life and to see all the time and love that I and our Committee have put into it come to this is very difficult.

All attendees who have already bought their tickets should expect refunds as soon as possible.

Why we’re shutting down the con should probably not be hard to guess. The outbreak of Covid-19 has drastically changed the social landscape of pretty much the entire world and it alone has given us a number of reasons to cancel the con. There is, of course, is the ethical argument, that we simply cannot justify running a convention during this health crisis. With most of the world’s scientists and governments advising social isolation, we simply could not have it on our conscience if our convention were to lead to an increase in the spread of the virus (as well as the potential deaths that this could lead to).

As if ethics weren’t enough, there are also a number of practical reasons for cancelling the convention. The legal situation surrounding the running of Conpulsion is highly unclear and there is no certainty that the convention will even be legal in three weeks time. Further, the University of Edinburgh has closed down all face-to-face classes and cancelled most exams. We feel that its student association, which manages this year’s venue, will not be far behind in closing down, which would leave us stranded without a venue and therefore unable to run the con. Further to that even, we have already had a steady stream of GMs, guests and traders cancelling their attendance of this year’s convention. If the rate that they have been dropping out were to remain stable (which is unlikely, as realistically it would actually increase), we would be left with so little in the way of events that Conpulsion would hardly qualify as a convention at all.

I hope you can all understand why we feel that we had no other choice than to cancel.

With that said, there are now many people who deserve thanks whom I will not now have the chance to recognise in a more conventional way.

My committee: Angus McEwing, Josh Shanks, Angus Barr, Calum Freeman, Vivek Santayana, Ben McCallum, Aiden Hurst, Sophie Hine, Harvey Newman, Yves Hurley, Oktay Sen, Finn Chisholm, Zain Khawar and Stella Segar.

I would also like to thank the GEAS committee, especially the wonderful GEAS president Emily Booth who has done a very good job listening to me rant on top of all the things she’s done in her official capacity.

I would like to thank Kate Evans, Richard Denning and all the wonderful people at the UK Game Expo. They took a young, inexperienced little con director under their wing and taught him a great deal about con directing. They really didn’t have to be so kind and generous, but they were.

I would also like to thank Dave Wright, for being similarly patient and helpful. I’d also like to apologise for his promotional material not making it into our program, so I’ll say here that you should all go to Tabletop Scotland, and the UK Games Expo as well of course! Both events are truly great.

Talking of the program, I would like to thank Jon Hodgson, who on top of just being a lovely human (and deserving winner of last year’s Banquo award) offered to complete our program for us this year.

I would like to thank Fiona Campbell, who had offered to again run Conpulsion’s Bring and Buy.

I would like to thank Cameron Cairney for all the advice (and a wonderful hot chocolate).

I would like to thank Angus Barker, for the iconic flame logo.

I would like to thank Caitlin Fooks, for the front flyer design (as well as for a great deal of personal support).

I would like to thank all of the wonderful guests, GMs, traders, guests, demo-ers and blueshirts for signing up and offering their time and effort to help make Conpulsion what it could have been.

But last of all, I would like to thank all of you, for your support and belief in us through this process. It breaks my heart to let you all down.

It has been an absolute honour to be the Director of Conpulsion 2020: the con that never was.

Milo van Mesdag

Conpulsion 2020 Director

P.S. Watch this space. I can’t make any promises, but while Conpulsion may have been cancelled, there’s a chance that those roleplayers amongst you might still get the chance to get some gaming in, just not in the way you might expect. More to come…

GEAS would like to thank Milo for his strong leadership in this difficult time.

Geas Annual General Meeting 2020 and On-Line Ballot

Dear Adventurers,

Geas will be convening its Annual General Meeting for the forthcoming year. Business for this AGM will include motions pertaining to Society policy, amendments to the Constitution, Conpulsion 2020, as well as the election of Society office-bearers for the forthcoming academic year. This AGM will be conducted electronically through an on-line ballot.

AGM Agenda
The agenda for the AGM is as follows:

http://geas.org.uk/agm

AGM Moving to On-Line Ballot
Due to the closures at the University owing to Covid-19, the AGM for this year will be conducted via an on-line ballot. All of the motions on the Agenda, as well as all of the office-bearers for the forthcoming year, will be voted on on-line. We shall provide more details and instructions of how to vote using our on-line ballot in due course. This ballot will be conducted using the University of Edinburgh’s Office365 system, and in order to vote you must be a matriculated student at the University as well as a paid member of the Society by 28 March latest (24 hours before the official close of the ballot).

Because this ballot is being conducted on-line, you will not need to vote or run for a position by proxy.

Please be aware of the following deadlines:
1) 5 pm on 22 March: Deadline for nominations for elections of office-bearers. This is the last date by which you need to nominate yourselves if you wish to run for a Committee position. More details on this below.
2) 23 March: Ballots open. Voting on the AGM ballots and/or office-bearers begins.
3) 5 pm on 29 March: Voting ends and ballots close.

Running for a Committee Position
All Committee positions for next year will be voted on through the on-line ballot. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to get involved with the running of the Society and to have a chance to shape the events that we run. If you would like more details on what the current Committee positions are and what the roles entail, please feel free to get in touch with us. We would be happy to answer any questions.

We on the Geas Committee recognise that our Society is growing increasingly diverse, and we believe this to be a great strength. We want the leadership of the Society to better reflect the community that it serves. This is why we especially invite women, non-binary and gender non-conforming folx, BAME folx, LGBTQ+ folx, and/or people identifying as D/disabled to consider putting themselves forward for a Committee position, as we believe your experiences and insights would be invaluable in directing which way the Society goes and making it more inclusive for all members.

Because are moving to an on-line ballot, we will be running these elections a little differently this year. If you wish to run for a position, please nominate yourself by emailing the Committee by 5 pm on 22 March. The Committee is willing to formally second all nominations that we receive, so you will not need to find another member to second your nomination. In your nomination, please indicate which positions you are running for and provide a short statement for why you would be a good candidate for that role. If you are running for more than one position, please provide a separate statement for each post. Otherwise, we will use the same statement for both elections. Once we have all the nominations together, we will send out the election statements to our memberships and open the ballot.

Please note that the agenda lists the order in which the Committee positions will be elected. If you are running for more than one position, and you get elected to an earlier role, then your candidacy will be withdrawn from all subsequent roles and the votes cast in your favour will be re-allocated as per their next-preferred candidate. We will provide more information on the details of the voting system once we open the ballots.

Note: You must be a matriculated student during the forthcoming academic year in order to be elected for the core Committee positions (i.e. the ones that are not advisory positions). In contrast, you do not need to be a student to hold an advisory position.

We would like to invite our members to nominate themselves for Committee positions, and we would further ask our student members to vote in the ballot so that they have a say in the way the Society is run. We would also like to convey our humble apologies to our non-student members, and that we regret that they are unable to vote because of EUSA’s regulations.

For Geas and for Glory,

Vivek Santayana
Equality and Wellbeing Officer

IWD One Shots

Hi all,

Unfortunately due to the poor turn out of the panel and the shutting down of the uni I’m going to have to cancel tonight’s event.
I am so sorry that we have to do this but I do t want to have to turn people away because there isn’t enough people to run.
I understand it is a difficult time and people are reluctant to attend events and this is obviously outside of our control.

I hope you all manage to stay safe and I hope to see you all again soon.

I deeply apologise to those looking forward to this event and hope that the committee next year can endeavour to continue to raise the platform of women in our society and will consider running this event again.

You can show support by replying to this email and ordering some of our stickers for the event. Depending on the situation i will either be handing them out at GEAS or mailing them to you , I will keep you updated.

For the last time, and for the glory of GEAS,

Robyn Higgins Events 2019/2020

Coronavirus and weekly games update

Hello Grand adventures!

With the growing concerns over Covid-19, geas has decided to take some precautions to help ensure games can continue in a safe manner. We would like to reiterate at this point that both EUSA and the government have given no advice or restrictions that will affect our usual Wednesday and Sunday games, should this change we will inform you and act on it immediately.

In the mean time, we want to offer to GMs of geas games the chance to purchase hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes for your game tables if you and your players desire. If the GMs wish to do this, please purchase them and bring them along with your receipts to myself at geas on Sunday, or any other committee member on Wednesday, and we can refund you there and then. As for players, please communicate to your GMs if you would like them to do this for your own enjoyment and peace of mind. We will only be refunding one bottle of hand Sanitizer and two packets of antibacterial wipes per game due to how late into the semester it is. Please be considerate when deciding how luxurious the product you buy is.

At current the international women’s day event will be continuing unaffected

For the glory of geas,
Angus Barr
Treasurer 19-20

International Women’s Day One Shot and Workshop

Hi Folks!

This is just a reminder that our international Women’s Day events will be running this Saturday the 14th of March.

Much like GEAS sessions on Sundays, the two events will be running with an hour break between them.
Our workshop on women in gaming will take place from 1pm -5pm in the study then the one shots will commence from 6pm-10pm in the same room.

For the one shots we will be asking female and female presenting folk to GM in order to allow them a space to explore different roles in Gaming but everyone is free to come along and play. To Sign up to GM please reply to this email. We will still be accepting pitches on the day but having a ball park number will be really beneficial in order to set up for the event. There is no game theme for this event so please run the one shot of your dreams, go wild and have fun!

As usual we will be selling limited edition Griffie the Griffin Stickers designed by a member of GEAS. This time our Stickers have been designed by Faye Sutherland and will make an excellent addition to your Griffie the Griffin sticker collection! The proceeds for these will be donated to Maggies a charity working with those that are affected by cancer and their families.

I’d also like to take this time to thank you all for your participation in the events we have been running this year, its been so rewarding to hear your positive feedback and see you all at GEAS with your stickers. This will be the last event of the year and it has been my absolute pleasure to run them all for you.

Hope to see you all there!

For the Glory of GEAS
Robyn Higgins Events 19/20

GEAS Pub Social on Saturday

Hi folks,

This is just a brief reminder that we have a social happening on Saturday 7th of March 1900 (7pm) onwards at Sofi’s Southside!
We have the upstairs room (overlooking Buccleuch St) booked and it can hold roughly 40 people, so please get yourself along and carouse to your heart’s content! Click here for the link to the events page on fb.

As mentioned before, and again at the repitches, Conpulsion Flame is happening at the start of next month, from Friday the 3rd to Sunday the 5th of April in and about The Pleasance. I know a lot of you will have bought your tickets already but just in case you haven’t yet, I am now going to try and convince you to (yes, I am a blue shirt, so I am biased, but still)! Conpulsion is – and has been for the past few decades – an event run entirely by volunteers. Its goal is to allow for lovers of tabletop (or otherwise) gaming to congregate and further expand their passion for their hobby or, for some lucky few, their career. Esteemed guests and traders – seriously, check them out – from not only Scotland but across the globe (at least some of it) will be making their pilgrimage here to show you their cool stuff; tangible or otherwise. And what’s more, all of the proceeds will be given to charity! Obviously as a convention, there will be plenty of events to fill your weekend and of course how could it be a gaming convention without some games! RPGs, LARPS, Wargames, Boardgames, Cardgames, Demos, Tournaments, Talks and Panels, and even a pub quiz at the end written by yours truly – with hopefully fewer parentheses!
If all of that sounds good to you, the incredibly modestly priced tickets and delightful t-shirts can be bought here! Free entry to the con can be found here – cheeky I know, but the more volunteers available the happier everyone* will be!

For the glory of GEAS,
Jason Ebblewhite
Socials Coordinator

*I think the only person who will have a bad time is Sophie, if we end up having too many volunteers it might be a chore remembering all the names.

Members’ Feedback and AGM

Dear Adventurers,

(In this email: Geas Members’ Experience Survey; Consultation on Game Safety Policy; Forthcoming AGM)

Geas Members’ Experience Survey
We on the Committee want to listen to our members’ feedback about the Society. We want to do what we can to improve your experience at our events and to make sure these functions are as welcoming and accessible as possible for all, especially on matters of equality and inclusion. To that end, we would like to survey all of our members about their experience at the society. This survey is anonymous and should take around 5 to 10 minutes to complete, depending on how detailed you want your answers to be. While issues raised in this survey will not be directly actionable as proposals or grievances, the data collected will give us a context within which we can implement policies to better safeguard our members’ wellbeing.

I would urge as many of you to complete this survey as possible so that we can get a sense of what our members’ experiences are and what we can do to improve. The survey will be accepting responses until 29 March 2020. You can find the survey at the following link:

http://geas.org.uk/survey

Consultation on Game Safety Policy
The Geas Committee is further considering a proposal for a game safety policy to further ensure that our gaming tables are inclusive for all. We want to develop this policy with the consultation of our members, and we hope to propose this policy for adoption at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

The following is a draft of a Game Safety Policy that we have put together based on templates and examples of good practice at other gaming conventions and events. We have also provided a brief explanatory note at the start on what our objectives are with this policy. I would like to invite you to give me feedback on this policy, particularly on how well you feel the draft policy would achieve the objectives we set out, and if there are any other objectives you feel this policy should have.

The following is a link to the consultation, which you are welcome to annotate via Google Docs with any feedback you may have: http://geas.org.uk/safety-consultation

We shall take into consideration the feedback we receive on the policy when proposing it at the AGM.

We will need to have received feedback on this policy by Friday 13 March so we can circulate the finalised version of the policy in time for the AGM.

Forthcoming AGM
Geas will convene its Annual General Meeting on 29 March 2020 at 5 pm in the Dining Room in Teviot. The purpose of the AGM will be to elect the office-bearers for the next academic year, as well as to consider any other motions or proposals for the running of the Society. This is your opportunity to give is more feedback and get directly involved with how the Society is run. We will have further reminders and information on the AGM in due course.

We would invite all our members to consider standing for a Committee position. (N.B.: for most core Committee positions, you will need to be a matriculated student during your tenure. However, there are some advisory positions that are open to non-student members.) If you would like to stand for a position, please feel free to contact the Committee and/or the incumbent office-bearers for more information on the respective roles. You just need to be nominated on the day of the AGM to stand for a position.

If you have any proposals or motions you wish to submit for the AGM, feel free to send them to us via email. The deadline for submitting proposals is Friday 13 March. This is to enable us to compile the agenda for the AGM and send it out two weeks in advance.

We look forward to hearing your feedback on the Society and its policies, as well as any proposals or ideas you might have for the AGM. We are especially keen for people to throw their hat in the ring for Committee positions.

You’ll Never Game Alone,

Vivek Santayana
Equality and Wellbeing Officer