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Constitution of the Southampton Universities Guild of Change Ringers
1 - Name
The Society shall be called the ‘Southampton Universities Guild of Change Ringers’.
2 - Society type
The Society shall be affiliated, as a university Society, solely to the Southampton University Students Union (SUSU). The Society shall be placed in the Students Union group or category best suited to the Society, as decided by the Committee.
3 - Aims
- The aims of the Society shall be to introduce and promote the art of change ringing, and to encourage regular participation in the art.
- Members are encouraged to participate in the activities of the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild, to whom this Society is affiliated as a ringing Society.
4 - Membership
- Full Membership: is open to any registered student or member of staff at a higher education institution in Southampton upon payment of the membership fee as set by the Society’s committee. Full membership is valid only whilst a current student or staff member.
- Past Membership: is automatically gained after spending any amount of time as a Full Member of SUGCR. Past Membership is for life or until it is upgraded to Life Membership. Past Members shall be entitled to the same rights and privileges as Full Members except where specified otherwise.
- Life Membership: is open to any Past Member of the society, having become a Life Member of SUSU when Life Membership is or has been offered by SUSU. Life Members are entitled to the same rights and privileges as Full Members except where specified otherwise. Life members can be elected at any time upon presentation of proof of SUSU Life Membership to a member of the Society Committee, and are formally accepted at the AGM.
- Associate Membership: is open to any person who rings regularly with the Society in Southampton but is not qualified for Full, Past or Life Membership. Associate Members can be elected by a majority vote of the Society Committee at a minuted Committee Meeting, and members are formally accepted at the AGM. Membership shall then be reconfirmed annually at the AGM, to check that the membership is still desired. Associate Members shall be entitled to the same rights and privileges as Full Members except where specified otherwise.
- The Societies Officer must always be provided with an up-to-date copy of all member names, and corresponding student numbers where applicable.
- Anyone other than a current student at the University of Southampton holding Full SUSU Membership must pay the Affiliate Membership fee, in the category appropriate to them, to, and as set by, SUSU in order to regularly participate in Society activities.
- Expulsion of members:
- The Committee shall have the power to expel any member from the Society without compensation, after discussion with the Societies Officer, on the grounds of misconduct, or for conduct of a nature opposed to the aims of the Society and the Students’ Union.
- Where any member of the Society is expelled by the Committee, a report of the matter shall be made to the next General Meeting of the Society.
- Anyone who is expelled from any Society has the right of appeal to the Societies Department Committee at SUSU.
5 - Committee
- The administration and management of the Society shall be the responsibility of its Committee. Only a Full Member who is a current student at the University of Southampton may hold a role on the committee, as per SUSU requirements. The Committee shall be comprised of the officers of the Society; in order of seniority these shall be:
- The Master: the Society’s figurehead to all external interests. The Master will chair all meetings, including the running of practices and Sunday service ringing. Any other tasks that do not come under the jurisdiction of other Committee members will additionally be the responsibility of the Master. Note that this position is referred to as a ‘President’ in ordinary Union parlance.
- The Vice-Master: the Master’s deputy, who shall run all ringing and chair meetings in the Master’s absence. Additionally responsible for organising quarter-peals.
- The Secretary: the Secretary shall keep minutes of Society meetings which shall be available to the Societies Department Committee. It is the responsibility of the Secretary to deal with all communications on behalf of the Society and its Committee. The Secretary shall produce and maintain a list of all members, including up-to-date contact details, which shall be available to the officers and Committee of the Society.
- The Treasurer: the Treasurer shall maintain the accounts of the Society, which shall be available for examination at the AGM. Any funds spent by the Society must follow SUSU regulations and be authorised by the Treasurer and the Master. The accounts of the Society shall be available to the Societies Officer and the Societies Department Committee.
- The Social Secretary: responsible for organising social events for the Society and assisting the Secretary (c) where needed. By SUSU guidance, at least one of the socials each term is recommended to be alcohol-free for all involved.
- It is recommended that one of the Committee be a first-year student.
- There are in addition three other society posts, viz. an Archivist, a Steeple-Keeper and a Webmaster. The Archivist shall be one of 5(i)(a-e) above; the others may be non-Committee.
6 - Election of the Committee
- Elections for Committee members shall be held at the AGM. The Secretary shall invite nominations at least 7 days before the meeting.
- The elections will be advertised to Society members on the email list.
- The elections shall be carried out by secret ballot. The winner shall be the candidate in receipt of the most votes. Should there be a tied result, the Society Committee, as of the start of the General Meeting, may vote in favour of one of the candidates. If the Committee declares a tied result then the chair may vote in favour of one of the candidates, or declare the post unfilled.
- If a full Committee is not elected for any reason, a Secretary shall be elected with the responsibility of ensuring that elections for the remaining positions are held at an EGM by the end of the summer term.
- In the event of a vacancy in the Committee arising during the year, an EGM shall be called to elect a replacement.
- Results of the elections, together with names, student numbers and contact details of those elected, shall be submitted to the Societies Officer within 14 days of the election.
- A member of Committee appointed at a General Meeting shall assume office at the conclusion of that General Meeting and shall retire with effect from the conclusion of the next AGM following their appointment, but shall be eligible for re-election at that same AGM.
7 - Meetings
- Normally, there shall be a meeting of the Society each week during term time for bell ringing.
- Annual General Meeting (AGM):
- The Society AGM shall be held in the Spring Term.
- Notice of the AGM shall be issued at least 14 full days in advance and advertised to all Society members.
- Officers of the Society shall be elected at the AGM.
- Full Members at the meeting shall have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates running for Committee and non-Committee posts.
- Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM):
- An EGM can be called by the Master or Secretary of the Society, or by written application to the Master by at least half the Full Membership of the Society, together with a written statement of the objects for which the meeting is being called.
- At the EGM no business other than that specified in the written statement shall be discussed.
- At least 24 hours' notice of an EGM shall be given to all Society members. The meeting must be held within 7 days of the request being given to the Master.
- Elections shall be carried out as per the conduct specified in section 6, Election of the Committee.
- Conduct of Meetings:
- Voting: every Full Member of the Society present at a meeting shall be entitled to one vote upon every voting matter. Only Full Members are entitled to vote and no proxy votes shall be accepted for any purpose.
- Quorum: the quorum at all meetings shall be 12 Full Members or half the Full Membership, whichever is the lesser.
- Minutes: The Secretary of the Society shall keep minutes of all Society meetings, which shall be available to the Societies Officer and the Societies Department Committee.
8 - Constitution Amendments
- No alteration may be made to this constitution except at an AGM or an EGM.
- The Society Committee at the General Meeting shall first approve proposed amendments to the constitution.
- A vote shall then be held to pass any constitutional changes. This shall be done by secret ballot of Full Members only, as required by SUSU. Should there be a tied result, the Committee as of the start of the general meeting, and then the chair shall have the casting vote.
- Any amendment shall come into force immediately but not retrospectively.
9 - Ringing
- Peals may be credited to the Society if rung by a band comprised of any combination of Full, Past, Life or Honorary Members of the Society. Peals not conforming to these rules but wishing to be associated with the Society may instead be credited to the ‘Society of Hartley Youths’.
- Quarter peals may be credited to the Society if rung by a band comprising 50% or more any combination of Full, Past, Life, Associate or Honorary Members of the Society. Quarter peals not conforming to these rules but wishing to be associated with the Society may instead be credited to the ‘Society of Hartley Youths’.
- The conductor shall be responsible for providing the Archivist with details of performances to be credited to the Society.
- Ruling from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers shall be adhered to with respect to peals.
- The Society is not obliged to accept quarter peals where they offend general ringing principles in the opinion of the Committee.
10 - Honorary Positions
- The Society shall have the power to elect an Honorary President from among its Past, Life and Associate Members. This post will normally be held for three years.
- The Society shall have the power to elect Honorary Vice-Presidents for persons deemed worthy of this distinction.
- The Society shall have the power to elect Honorary Members as persons deemed to have contributed greatly to the Society. Honorary Members shall hold the same rights and privileges as Past Members except they may not hold the position of President. Honorary Members shall be elected at an AGM and retain the status of Honorary Member for life.
11 - Society Assets
- The Society has various assets for which it is responsible. These are as follows
- A set of 27 handbells:
- Their storage location is to be agreed at the AGM or an EGM.
- The Hartley Twelve Mini Ring:
- The Hartley Twelve Mini Ring is permanently situated in St Mary’s Church, South Stoneham.
- If the location of the Hartley Twelve needs to be changed, the new location must be agreed at either the AGM or an EGM.
- 1 bell; ‘Ting:’
- To be kept with the current Master.
- The Felstead Cup Trophy:
- To be kept with the current Master.
- The Founders’ Cup:
- To be kept with the winner for that year.
This constitution was approved at an EGM on Wednesday 2nd November 2022.