Constitution

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION

Correct as of the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 16th November 2016

Structure

  • XVII (17) Paragraphs
  • 66 Articles
  • 55 Clauses
  • 4 Sub-clauses

I.  Name

  1. The name shall be “University of York Conservative and Unionist Association”, hereafter referred to as the “Association”.
  2. The “Conservative and Unionist Party” shall be referred to as the “National Party”. The University of York shall hereafter be referred to as “UoY”. The “University of York Students’ Union” shall be referred to as the “SU” or “YUSU”.

II. Function

  1. To maintain a Conservative Party presence at UoY.
  2. To carry out activities to promote the Conservative Party at UoY.
  3. To aid and assist the local Conservative Associations in their work.
  4. To be affiliated to the National Party.
  5. To discuss Conservative ideals and thinking.
  6. To promote freedom of speech at all times.

III. Membership

  1. Any person who is a member of UoY or YUSU shall, if they so desire, be a member of the Association. Former Chairmen of the Association are honorary members for life.
  2. Honorary Membership may be granted to former members of the Association at either an AGM or EGM, subject to the following rules:

(a) The granting of Honorary Membership shall take place directly after the election of Honorary Vice-Presidents, with each proposed name requiring the support of 50% of voting members to be appointed.

(b) Within each academic year, only four former members of the Association may be granted Honorary Membership, which is to be held irrevocably for life.

(c) Any member of the Association may propose or second any former member for Honorary Membership.

(d) Once a list of candidates has been finalised, the same voting procedure as used for Ordinary Officers will apply; namely a series of votes, using the Exhaustive Ballot system, until all positions are filled or all candidates exhausted.

  1. All members of the Association are bound by these rules.
  1. The Committee shall maintain and furnish to the membership, the SU and the National Party, a full and up to date list of the names and addresses of members of the Association.

IV. Constitution

  1. The Association, whilst first and foremost a YUSU-affiliated group, is formed with the authority of the National Party and is subject to the Conservative Party constitution.
  2. All certified Association accounts shall be submitted to the Association AGM every year.
  3. The Association shall appoint no less than three signatories for Association accounts of whom any two shall be required to sign any necessary documents.
  4. Upon request from the National Party, the Association shall produce any information relating to the affairs of the Association, including information relating to finance and membership, except where such action would contravene the Data Protection Act.
  5. Any monies subject to the SU shall be governed by the SU, and shall be subject to the SU Finance manual and the SU Constitution.

V. Officers of the Association

  1. The Association shall consist of the following officers:
    • Chairman
    • External Vice-Chairman
    • Internal Vice-Chairman
    • Treasurer
    • Secretary
    • Publicity and Social Media Officer
    • Campaigns Officer
    • Events Officer
    • Computing Officer
    • 3 × Ordinary Officers
  1. The positions of Honorary President and Vice-President are considered ex-officio members of the Association.
  1. The officers shall be elected annually at the AGM in accordance with Paragraph VIII below.
  2. Officers shall cease to hold office upon death, or resignation, or a vote of no confidence being passed.
  3. If any officer ceases to hold office, the Association shall elect a successor at the first available opportunity.

VI. Association Committee

  1. The Committee shall consist of the officers as defined in Paragraph V, Article 1 above.
  2. The Chairman of the Association shall be Chairman of the Committee.
  3. Meetings, Notices and Business:

(a) The Chairman shall have the power to instruct the Secretary to convene a Committee meeting at any time, of which not less than 2 days’ notice shall be given via e-mail, specifying the business to be dealt with at which Officers shall give reports.
(b) The Committee shall have power to appoint sub-committees and the Officers shall be ex-officio members of sub-committees.
(c) The activities of sub-committees, including their structure, shall be determined by the committee.
(d) Any officer who is absent for three (3) consecutive committee meetings without reason deemed acceptable by those present at a committee meeting shall be considered to have forfeited their position on the committee and shall cease to hold office.

(e) The quorum of a Committee meeting shall be eight, of whom five must be Committee members.

VII. Duties of Officers

  1. The Chairman

(a) Shall chair all meetings, or may designate an alternative chair for a particular meeting; unless a motion is carried to the effect that the Chairman should not chair a particular meeting.
(b) Shall be held responsible for all Association activities and shall delegate responsibilities to the other officers under the broad descriptions of the duties listed for each officer here.
(c) Shall be the main spokesman for the Association and shall be treated as such in press releases and other external liaisons.
(d) Shall be chiefly responsible for increasing the profile of the Association on campus.
(e) Shall be required to stand for re-election should he/she become chairman of another society subsequent to his/her election as Association chairman.
(f) Shall be a signatory.

  1. The External Vice-Chairman

(a) Shall work closely with the Chairman concerning all aspects of the running of the Association.
(b) Shall be responsible for arranging guest speakers.
(c) Shall be responsible for promoting and maintaining links with local Conservative Associations and the National Party.
(d) Shall keep the Association updated on matters of National Party policy and activities.

  1. The Internal Vice-Chairman

(a) Shall work closely with the Chairman concerning all aspects of the running of the Association.
(b) Shall be chiefly responsible for membership recruitment, including Freshers’ Fair.
(c) Shall be responsible for matters internal to the University administration, the SU and the Association.
(d) Shall encourage members to participate in the democratic processes of the SU.

(e) Shall be responsible for relations with the society alumni and for encouraging their participation in the life of the society

  1. The Treasurer

(a) Shall be responsible for the maintenance of sound financial practice and for the keeping of the accounts to the standard required for annual auditing and for such financial information as shall be required by Association meetings. The financial year shall end at the end of the Autumn term.
(b) Shall advise on the financial aspects of policies and actions.
(c) Shall be responsible for the raising of funds.
(d) Shall be responsible for money-related matters at Association events.
(e) Shall be a signatory.

(f) Shall be required to submit a report to the Committee twice per term detailing the balance of the Association’s grant, own funds and any items of expenditure.

  1. The Secretary

(a) Shall produce minutes and agendas of meetings required by the Chairman to be recorded.
(b) Shall produce other such documentation as shall be required by, or result from, decisions of Association meeting.
(c) Shall be a signatory.
(d) Shall be responsible for publicising meetings and events of the Association to members via e-mail.
(e) Shall be responsible for keeping a permanent hard copy of society minutes.

(f) Shall be responsible for maintenance of the Membership database.

(g) Shall ensure the smooth running of the YUSU website account.

  1. The Publicity and Social Media Officer

(a) Shall be responsible for publicising the activities of the Association such as meetings, speakers, events etc.

(b) Shall co-ordinate relations with external and campus media.
(c) Shall encourage members’ participation in the student, local and national media, accordance with Paragraph II, Articles 2, 5 and 6.
(d) Shall assist, in conjunction with the Internal Vice-Chairman, the presentation of candidates endorsed by the society to the campus media during local, national and European elections.   

(e) Shall be responsible for, in conjunction with other members of the committee, the operation of the social media profile of the association.

(f) Shall be responsible for maintaining the Association website, in consultation with the rest of the committee.

(g) Shall be responsible for the maintenance of the Association’s digital photo archive.

     

  1. The Campaigns Officer

(a) Shall be responsible for the organisation and co-ordination of Association campaign activity.
(b) Shall liaise with constituency and National Party organisations in execution of the above duty.
(c) Shall encourage all Association members to participate in campaign activity.

  1. The Events Officer

(a) Shall arrange, organise and co-ordinate Association social events, including the Summer and Christmas balls.

  1. Ordinary Officers

(a) Shall generally aid and assist the other Officers in their work.
(b) May carry out a specific responsibility that may be assigned by the AGM or the committee with consent of the Officer.

  1. All officers shall carry out other responsibilities stated by or agreed to in accordance with this constitution.

VIII. Annual General Meeting (AGM)

  1. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association may be called by the Chairman or a majority of the committee at any time in the Autumn term, giving at least two weeks’ notice, for the following purposes:

(a) To receive and adopt the certified accounts of the previous year.
(b) To receive and adopt the reports of the committee of the previous year.
(c) To elect the officers of the Association for the coming year who take office with effect from the swearing in of the new Committee at the Christmas Ball along the following guidelines:

(i) In 2 way contests, the candidate with the most votes will be declared the winner.
(ii) In 3 or more way contests, the Exhaustive Ballot system of voting will be used. This is where after the first round of voting the bottom candidate is disqualified and a second round of voting is held. Should this process not produce a 50%+1 vote for any candidate, the process will continue. In the event of a tie in the final round, the Chairman shall have the casting vote.
(iii) Candidates must be able to hold office for a year (i.e. must be a student at UoY for a year) from the date of the AGM; if this is discovered not to be the case after an election, the committee may vote to deem the election invalid. This holds unless in the case of nobody willing to stand for the position of Chairman. In this case a finalist may run for a severely restricted term of 5 term weeks or until a suitable replacement can be found.
(iv) Re-open Nominations (RON) shall be counted as a candidate in all elections and treated as such. However, in a 3 or more way contest RON will be eliminated along with the bottom candidate after the first round of voting to avoid superfluous rounds.

(d) To elect the Honorary President and Vice-Presidents for the coming year.
(e) To re-ratify and amend this constitution.
(f) To outline the programme for the forthcoming year.
(g) To transact such other business as may be brought before it.

IX. Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM)

  1. An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the Association may be summoned at any time by the Chairman, or at least by one third of the membership signing a petition asking for such a meeting. Upon such a request the EGM must be held within two weeks of receipt of the written and signed request.
  2. In the event of the Chairman ceasing to hold office, an EGM may be called by one member submitting a written request for such a meeting to the Secretary.
  3. The business of the EGM shall be stated in the notice convening it.

X.  General Meetings (GM)

  1. Notice of all General Meetings shall be given to all members not less than 48 hours prior to the meeting.
  2. All members have the right to attend such meetings and participate when invited to do so by the Chairman of the meeting.
  3. For all General Meetings the quorum shall be not less than ten (10), five (5) of whom must be committee members.

XI. Voting at General Meetings

  1. The vote at a General Meeting is never superior to that of an EGM or AGM, including elections of Association officers.
  2. The Chairman decides whether the vote should be by show of hands or secret ballot, however, should ¼ (one quarter) of the members present request a secret ballot, a secret ballot will be held.

XII. Accountability

  1. Options of censure and no confidence are available to members should it be felt that an Officer should be held to account (and no alternatives are deemed acceptable by the members).
  2. Any members wishing to no confidence or censure an Officer shall submit their request, in writing, to the Chairman of the Association. Should the motion of no confidence or censure be in the Chairman, it should be submitted to the Secretary instead. A GM to discuss the motion should be held within two term weeks.
  3. An Officer may be censured or no confidenced by any quorate GM providing the vote is in secret and the accused and the accuser are given the opportunity to state their cases. The appropriate vote must be publicised via e-mail to all members at least 2 days in advance of the meeting following the Secretary or Chairman’s receipt of a written request for a vote. The motion is carried should more people vote for than against, and the motion takes effect at the close of the meeting.

XIII. Suspension of the Association

  1. The Association shall only consider itself to be suspended should an EGM or AGM pass a resolution to that effect.

XIV. Elections

  1. The Association shall encourage its members to take an active part in local, national and European election campaigns and encourage members to stand for public office.
  2. The Association shall encourage its members to stand for election to the SU and its committees.

XV. Interpretation

  1. The Constitution of the Conservative Party shall have effect in this document.
  2. While the Association is affiliated to the SU, the SU Constitution shall have effect in this document.
  3. The Committee shall have the power to deal with any matter not provided for in this document.
  4. In the event of a societal dispute over this constitution, the Committee shall turn the matter over to the Honorary Vice-Presidents, who will then make their decision.
  5. The decision of the Honorary Vice-Presidents, provided it conforms to SU regulations, in matters of dispute shall be final.

XVI. Alteration of this Constitution

  1. Only an EGM or an AGM may amend this document. A proposed amendment must be carried by at least two-thirds (⅔) of members present to take effect.

XVII. Amendments

  1. Paragraph XIV, Article 3 – regarding association backing of SU candidates – is stricken from the Constitution.
  2. Paragraph XVI, Article 2 – regarding abstention votes – is stricken from the Constitution.
  3. Paragraph IV, Article 2 – regarding the raising of societal funds – is stricken from the Constitution.
  4. Paragraph VI, Article 6, Clause (e) – regarding the quorum of the Committee – is stricken from the Constitution.
  5. In Paragraph VIII, Article 1, Clause (c) – regarding the AGM – omit ‘close of the meeting’ and insert ‘swearing in of the new Committee at the Christmas Ball’.
  6. Paragraph VII, Article 7 – regarding the position of Press Officer – is stricken from the Constitution.
  7. In Paragraph V, Article 1, and in Paragraph VII, Article 6 – after ‘Publicity’, insert ‘and Social Media’.
  8. In Paragraph VII, Article 6 – regarding the Publicity and Social Media Officer – insert the following clauses:

“(b) Shall co-ordinate relations with external and campus media.
(c) Shall produce and send suitable press releases as necessary.
(d) Shall encourage members’ participation in the student, local and national media, in accordance with Paragraph II, Articles 2, 5 and 6.
(e) Shall assist, in conjunction with the Internal Vice-Chairman, the presentation of candidates endorsed by the society to the campus media during local, national and European elections.   

(f) Shall be responsible for, in conjunction with other members of the Committee, the operation of the social media profile of the Association.”

  1. In Paragraph VII, Article 9, Clause (a) – regarding the Computing Officer – omit ‘Facebook page and Twitter account’.
  1. Paragraph VII, Article 9, Clause (c) – regarding the Computing Officer’s oversight of the membership database – is transposed to become Paragraph VII, Article 5, Clause (f).
  2. In Paragraph VII, Article 3 – regarding the Computing Officer – insert the following clause:

“(c) Shall be responsible for the maintenance of the Association’s digital photo archive.”

  1. In Paragraph VII, Article 1, Clause (e) – regarding the Chairman’s chairmanship of other societies – omit ‘Should’ and insert ‘Shall’.
  1. Paragraph VII, Article 6, Clause (c) – regarding press releases – is stricken from the Constitution.
  2. In Paragraph V, Article 2 – regarding the Honorary President and Vice-Presidents – at end insert ‘members of the Association’.
  3. In Paragraph VII, Article 1, Clause (f), Paragraph VII, Article 4, Clause (e), and Paragraph VII, Article 5, Clause (c) – regarding certain responsibilities of the Chairman, the Treasurer and the Secretary – omit ‘cheque’.
  4. In Paragraph VII, Article 4 – regarding the Treasurer – insert the following clause:

(f) Shall be required to submit a report to the Committee twice per term detailing the balance of the Association’s grant, own funds and any items of expenditure.

  1. After Paragraph III, Article 1, insert the following article and clauses:

“2. Honorary Membership may be granted to former members of the Association at either an AGM or EGM, subject to the following rules:

(a) The granting of Honorary Membership shall take place directly after the election of Honorary Vice-Presidents, with each proposed name requiring the support of 50% of voting members to be appointed.

(b) Within each academic year, only four former members of the Association may be granted Honorary Membership, which is to be held irrevocably for life.

(c) Any member of the Association may propose or second any former member for Honorary Membership.

(d) Once a list of candidates has been finalised, the same voting procedure as used for Ordinary Officers will apply; namely a series of votes, using the Exhaustive Ballot system, until all positions are filled or all candidates exhausted.”

  1. In Paragraph VI, Article 3 – regarding meetings, notices and business – insert the following clause:

(e) The quorum of a Committee meeting shall be eight, of whom six must be Committee members.

  1. In Paragraph VII, Article 9 – regarding the Computing Officer – clauses (a) and (c) are transposed to become Paragraph VII, Article 6 – regarding the Publicity and Social Media Officer- clauses (f) and (g)
  1. In Paragraph VII, Article 9 – regarding the Computing Officer – clause (b) is transposed to become Paragraph VII, Article 5 – regarding the Secretary – clause (g)
  2. In Paragraph VII, Article 3 – regarding the Internal Vice Chairman – insert the following clause:

(e) Shall be responsible for relations with the society alumni and for encouraging their participation in the life of the society

  1. In Paragraph VI, Article 3 – regarding meetings, notices and business – insert the following clause:

(e) The quorum of a Committee meeting shall be eight, of whom five must be Committee members.

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