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Constitution of the Southampton University Guild of Change Ringers
1 - Name
The society shall be called ‘The Southampton University Guild of Change Ringers’.
2 - Society type
The society shall be placed in the students union group or category best suited to the Guild as decided by the committee.
3 - Aims
(i) The aims of the Society shall be to introduce and promote the art of change ringing, and to encourage regular participation in the art.
(ii) Members are encouraged to participate in the activities of the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild, to whom this Society is affiliated.
4 - Membership
(i) Full membership: is open to any registered student or registered member of University staff 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.
(ii) Past Membership: is automatically gained after spending any amount of time with SUGCR as a full member, having attended/worked at Southampton University. 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 they may not hold a position, nominate or vote in the election of the committee.
(iii) Life Membership: is open to any past member of the society, having become a life member of the Southampton University Students Union (SUSU). Life Members are entitled to the same rights and privileges as full members except they may not hold office, except for the position of President. Life members can be elected at any time upon presentation of proof of SUSU life membership to a member of the committee, and are formally accepted at the AGM.
(iv) Associate membership: is open to any person who rings regularly with the Guild in Southampton but is not qualified for full membership. Associate members can be elected by a majority vote of the committee at a minuted committee meeting, and members are formally accepted at the AGM. Membership shall then be reviewed annually at the AGM. Associate members shall be entitled to the same rights and privileges as full members except that they may not hold office and are not eligible to contribute to Peals which are to be credited to the Society unless approved by majority vote at an AGM or EGM, and if the band concerned is willing (see 9(i)(a)). Associate members can nominate and vote in elections if they are a student at University and the majority approves this at the AGM.
(v) The Societies Officer must always be provided with an up to date copy of all member names and corresponding student numbers.
(vi) Expulsion of members:
a. The Committee shall have the power to expel any member from the Society, after discussion with the Societies Officer, on the grounds of misconduct, or for conduct of a nature opposed to the objects of the Society and the Students’ Union.
b. 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.
c. Students who are expelled from any Society have the right of appeal to the Societies Department Committee.
5 - Committee
(i) The administration and management of the Society shall be the responsibility of its Committee. The Committee shall be comprised of the officers of the Society; in order of seniority these shall be:
a. 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.
b. 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.
c. 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.
d. 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 Union regulations (as set out in the Constitution and Grant Aid) 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.
e. The Social Secretary: responsible for organising social events for the Society and assisting the Secretary (c) where needed. By Union regulations, at least one of the socials must be alcohol-free for all involved.
(ii) It is recommended that one of the Committee be a first-year student.
(iii) 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
(i) Elections for Committee members shall be held at the AGM. The Secretary shall invite nominations at least 7 days before the meeting.
(ii) The elections will be advertised to Society members on the email list.
(iii) The elections shall be carried out by show of hands or secret ballot, to be decided by the Chair at the start of the meeting. Should there be a tied result, the Master may vote in favour of one of the candidates or may declare the post unfilled.
(iv) 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 by the end of the summer term.
(v) 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.
7 - Meetings
(i) Weekly practice nights: normally, there shall be a meeting of the Society from 7:30-9pm each Thursday during term time for tower bell ringing.
(ii) Annual General Meeting (AGM):
a. The Society AGM shall be held in the Spring Term.
b. Notice of the AGM shall be issued at least 14 clear days in advance and advertised to Society members.
c. Officers of the Society shall be elected at the AGM. The Secretary shall invite nominations at least 7 days before the meeting.
d. Current members at the meeting shall have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates running for Committee and non-Committee posts.
(iii) Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM):
a. An EGM can be called by the Master or Secretary of the Society, or by written application to the Master of at least 6 members of the Society, together with a written statement of the objects for which the meeting is being called.
b. At the EGM no business other than that specified in the written statement shall be discussed.
c. At least 24 hours notice of an EGM shall be given. The meeting must be held within 7 days of the request being given to the Master.
d. In the event of either a vacancy in the Committee arising during the year or the failure of an AGM to fill any Committee post, an EGM shall be called to elect a replacement.
(iv) Conduct of meetings:
a. 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.
b. Quorum: the quorum at all meetings shall be 12 Full members or half the Full membership, whichever is the lesser.
c. 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
(i) No alteration may be made to this constitution except at an AGM or an EGM.
(ii) The Society committee at the General Meeting shall first approve amendments to the constitution.
(iii) The committee shall hold a vote to pass any constitutional changes. This shall be done by ballot or a show of hands, at the discretion of the meeting. Should there be a tie, the Master shall have the casting vote.
(iv) Any amendment shall come into force immediately but not retrospectively.
9 - Ringing
a. 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. Associate members are not eligible to contribute to Peals which are to be credited to the Society. Peals not conforming to these rules may be credited to the Society if there is sufficient reason, if this reason is approved by majority vote at an AGM or EGM, and if the band concerned is willing.
b. Quarter peals may be credited to the Society if rung by bands comprised of over 50% full and/or past members of the society.
(ii) The conductor shall be responsible for providing the Archivist with details of performances to be credited to the Society.
(iii) Central Council ruling shall be adhered to with respect to peals.
(iv) The Society is not obliged to accept quarter peals where they offend general ringing principles in the opinion of the Committee.
10 - Honorary positions
(i) The Society shall have the power to elect an Honorary President from among its Associate and past members. This post will normally be held for three years.
(ii) The Society shall have the power to elect Honorary Vice-Presidents for persons deemed worthy of this distinction.
(iii) 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 - Guild Assets
(i) The Guild has various assets for which it is responsible. These are as follows;
a) A set of 27 handbells
i. The location of where these are to be stored is to be agreed at the AGM
b) The Hartley Twelve Mini Ring
i. The Hartley 12 mini ring is permanently situated in St Mary’s Church, South Stoneham
ii. If the location of the Hartley 12 needs to be changed, the new location must be agreed at either the AGM or an EGM
c) 1 bell; ‘Ting’
i) To be kept with the current Master
d) The Felstead Cup Trophy
i) To be kept with the winner for that year
This constitution was accepted at the AGM on Thursday 6th March 2014