Constitution

Download the current version: May ’11.

1. TITLE: The Society shall be called the University of London Society of Change Ringers.


2. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the Society shall be:

2.1) ringing for Divine Service.

2.2) the promotion of the art and science of change ringing in the University of London and other institutions and colleges in London offering courses of higher education.


3. AFFILIATION:

3.1) The Society shall be affiliated to the Senate of the University of London.

3.2) The Society shall be affiliated to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.


4. MEMBERSHIP:

4.1) ELIGIBILITY:

4.1.1) FULL MEMBERSHIP: Full membership of the Society shall be open to all:

4.1.1.1) past and present members of the University of London, as defined by the Statutes of the University.

4.1.1.2) persons undertaking, or who have undertaken, a course of higher education at any other institution or college in London.

4.1.1.3) past and present employees of the University of London or any other institution or college in London that offers courses of higher education.

4.1.2) HONORARY MEMBERSHIP: Honorary membership may be conferred on any individual who has been of signal service to the Society.

4.2) ELECTION OF MEMBERS:

4.2.1) Persons eligible for membership under rule 4.1.1 shall become members upon payment of a subscription, as laid down in rule 4.4.1, subject to ratification as described in rule 4.3.

4.2.2) Persons eligible for membership under rule 4.1.2 shall be invited to become a member upon election at a General Meeting, provided that they have previously been approved by the Committee.

4.3) RATIFICATION OF MEMBERSHIP:

4.3.1) Persons eligible for membership under rule 4.1.1 shall have their names and affiliations read out at the General Meeting following the payment of their subscription, for the purpose of ratifying their membership.

4.3.2) Should the eligibility of any person be called into question at the meeting, it shall be the duty of the Committee to investigate the facts of the case. If the Committee’s findings support the case for membership the person’s membership shall be considered to be ratified. If, however, the Committee’s findings do not support the case for membership the person shall be considered never to have been a member, and their subscriptions shall be returned.

4.4) SUBSCRIPTIONS:

4.4.1) FULL MEMBERS: Full members shall pay a single payment for life membership.

4.4.2) HONORARY MEMBERS: Honorary members shall pay no subscription.

4.4.3) RATES: Subscription rates shall be decided each year at the Annual General Meeting, to take effect from the beginning of the next academic year.

4.5) DURATION OF MEMBERSHIP:

4.5.1) Full members – until death.

4.5.2) Honorary members – until death, or such time as they become a full member of the Society.

4.5.3) Notwithstanding rules 4.5.1 and 4.5.2, a member may resign at any time by written application to the Membership Secretary. Resignation shall not preclude rejoining as set out in rules 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3.

4.6) CONDUCT: All members of the Society shall agree to abide by the rules of the Society, as laid down in the Constitution.

4.7) COMPOSITION: The Society shall, at all times, be predominantly composed of members of University of London.


5. OFFICERS:

5.1) POSTS: The Officers of the Society shall be (in descending order of seniority):

5.1.1) The President

5.1.2) Two Vice-Presidents

5.1.3) The Master

5.1.4) The Secretary

5.1.5) The Treasurer (this post may be combined with that of Secretary).

5.1.6) The Membership Secretary

5.1.7) Two Trustees

5.1.8) The Auditor

5.2) ELIGIBILITY: With the exception of the Auditor, all Officers must be full members of the Society.

5.3) DURATION OF OFFICE:

5.3.1) Any officer may stand down at any time, having first given at least six weeks notice to the Committee (where practical).

5.3.2) With the exception of the Membership Secretary, the Trustees and the Auditor, all Officers must stand down at the end of the first Annual General Meeting following their election.

5.3.3) The Membership Secretary and each Trustee must stand down at the end of the third Autumnal General Meeting following their election.

5.3.4) The Auditor must stand down at the end of the first Autumnal General Meeting following his or her election.

5.3.5) The term of office of all the Officers shall commence at the end of the General Meeting at which they are elected.

5.4) ELECTION: The Officers shall be elected at General Meetings, as is necessary to minimise the amount of time for which a post lies vacant.


6. CENTRAL COUNCIL REPRESENTIVE:

6.1) POST: The post of Central Council Representative may be combined with that of any of the Officers.

6.2) ELIGIBILITY: The Central Council Representative must be a full member of the Society.

6.3) DURATION OF OFFICE: The Central Council Representative shall serve for three years, in accordance with Central Council rules.

6.4) ELECTION:

6.4.1) The Central Council Representative shall be elected at the Autumnal General Meeting immediately preceding the first meeting of a new session of the Central Council.

6.4.2) If the Central Council Representative can no longer represent the Society, a new Representative shall be elected at a General Meeting to serve until the end of the aforementioned three years.


7. GOVERNMENT: The Society shall be governed by a Committee consisting of:

7.1) The Officers (with the exception of the Trustees and the Auditor).

7.2) the Central Council Representative (if not otherwise on the Committee).

7.3) up to three other full members (to be elected at the Annual General Meeting).

7.4) anyone else that the Committee sees fit to co-opt.


8. DUTIES OF THE COMMITTEE: In addition to those duties described elsewhere, the Committee shall:

8.1) cause to be published an Annual Report of the activities of the Society in time for the Autumn General Meeting following the year to which it pertains. This report shall:

8.1.1) include an audited statement of the Society’s accounts.

8.1.2) include a breakdown of the Society’s membership, by institution.

8.1.3) be as comprehensive as circumstances permit.

8.2) advertise, as they see fit, all events organised in the name of the Society.

8.3) elect a steeple-keeper, librarian, PCC representative and webmaster from among their number.


9. COMMITTEE MEETINGS: The Committee shall meet, in open session, at least once a term, in accordance with the following rules:

9.1) QUORUM: Five full members, including one Officer, shall constitute a quorum at any Committee Meeting.

9.2) CHAIRMANSHIP: The Chair shall be taken by the Master, or, if he or she is absent, the most senior Officer present.

9.3) ORDINARY MEETINGS: An Ordinary Committee Meeting shall be any meeting convened in accordance with rules 9.1 and 9.5.

9.4) EXTRAORDINARY MEETINGS:

9.4.1) An extraordinary Committee Meeting may be called at any time, provided that it is quorate in accordance with rule 9.1.

9.4.2) The decisions taken by an Extraordinary Committee Meeting shall be presented at the next Ordinary Committee Meeting, where they may be overruled.

9.5) NOTICE OF MEETINGS: All members of the Committee shall receive at least one weeks notice of a Committee Meeting, where practical.


10. GENERAL MEETINGS:

10.1) QUORUM: The quorum for a General Meeting shall be either:

10.1.1) the same as for a Committee Meeting. Or:

10.1.2) in the case of a meeting at which changes to the Constitution are proposed, fifteen full members, including two Officers.

10.2) CHAIRMANSHIP: The Chair shall be taken by the most senior Officer present, where this does not involve a conflict of interests. If no suitable Officer can be found, the Meeting may offer the Chair to the full member of their choice.

10.3) ORDINARY MEETINGS:

10.3.1) The Annual General Meeting shall be held, where practical, on the second Saturday in May. Otherwise another date, at the beginning of the summer term, shall be selected by the Committee.

10.3.2) The Autumnal General Meeting shall be held, where practical, on the last Saturday in November. Otherwise another date, at the beginning of the academic year, shall be selected by the Committee.

10.4) EXTRAORDINARY MEETINGS: An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be called to take place in the following circumstances:

10.4.1) within six weeks of written notice being received by the Secretary from at least ten full members.

10.4.2) as the Committee sees fit.

10.5) NOTICE OF MEETINGS: The Committee shall cause notice of a General Meeting to be posted on the Society’s website and sent to the relevant email groups at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting. The Committee shall also endeavour to cause notice of a General Meeting to be published in The Ringing World; it may additionally cause notice to be given by other means as it sees fit.

10.6) PROPOSALS:

10.6.1) NOMINATION FOR OFFICERS (& OTHER COMMITTEE MEMBERS)

10.6.1.1) Nominations shall be submitted, in writing, to the Secretary, proposed, seconded, and with the consent of the nominee, not less than one week before the published date of the meeting.

10.6.1.2) The names of the proposed shall be available to members before the meeting, along with the names of the proposers and seconders.

10.6.1.3) If no nominations are received for a particular post, the Meeting may decide to accept nominations from the floor.

10.6.2) AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION: Proposals for amendments to the Constitution shall be submitted, in writing, to the Secretary, proposed and seconded, not less than four weeks before the published date of the meeting.

10.6.3) AMENDMENTS TO PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION: Proposals for amendments to proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be submitted, in writing, to the Secretary, proposed and seconded, not less than one week before the published date of the meeting.

10.6.4) OTHER:

10.6.4.1) Any other proposals may be taken from the floor.

10.6.4.2) Once seconded they shall be voted on before passing on to other business.

10.6.4.3) If no seconder can be found for a proposal, it shall be considered never to have been made.

10.7) OTHER BUSINESS: The Secretary shall be given written details of any item to appear on the Agenda of a General Meeting at least one week before the published date of the meeting.

10.8) ELECTIONS:

10.8.1) OFFICERS (& OTHER COMMITTEE MEMBERS): All Officers and other Committee members shall be elected by secret ballot or a show of hands as the Meeting sees fit.

10.8.2) HONORARY MEMBERS: Honorary members shall be elected by secret ballot, or a show of hands, as the Meeting sees fit.

10.9) ORDINARY VOTES: All other votes shall be conducted by a show of hands, the count of which shall be declared to the Meeting and entered in the Minutes.

10.10) ELIGIBILITY TO VOTE:

10.10.1) With the exception of the Chairperson, any full member may take part in any vote.

10.10.2) The Chairperson may only vote so as to resolve a tied vote.

10.10.3) No honorary member may take part in any vote.


11. PEALS:

11.1) No person who is not a member of the Society shall be permitted to ring in a peal claimed by the Society.

11.2) Should any member who is in arrears ring in a peal claimed by the Society, the conductor of that peal shall be responsible for paying their subscription, otherwise the peal shall not be recognised by the Society.

11.3) Every member who rings in a peal claimed by the Society shall pay a booking fee, the amount of which is to be decided each year at the Annual General Meeting.

11.4) The conductor of the peal shall be responsible for paying the booking fee to the treasurer by 31st March following.

11.5) A peal for which the booking fee has not been paid shall not be recognised by the Society.

11.6) The Society, in the person of the Committee, reserves the right to disassociate itself from any Peal (or Quarter Peal) rung in its name.


12. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION:

12.1) The constitution may only be altered by a two-thirds majority of those present, and eligible to vote, at a General Meeting which is quorate in accordance with rule 10.1.2.

12.2) A copy of the proposed amendments, together with the names of the proposers and seconders, shall be placed on the Society’s noticeboard not less than two weeks before the published date of the meeting.

12.3) The Committee shall ensure that adequate publicity is given to any such proposals.

12.4) If an amendment to the Constitution is accepted:

12.4.1) the new Constitution shall be effective from the end of the meeting.

12.4.2) copy of the new Constitution shall be included in that year’s Annual Report.


13. DISSOLUTION OF THE SOCIETY:

13.1) The Society may only be dissolved by a two-thirds majority of those present, and eligible to vote, at a General Meeting which is quorate in accordance with rule 10.1.2.

13.2) Upon dissolution, the assets of the Society shall be transferred to another society devoted to change ringing in London.


APPENDIX A: JOB DESCRIPTIONS FOR OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE POSTS

THE PRESIDENT SHALL:
i) ensure that the constitutional objective of the Society are actively protected.
ii) act as tower contact during the vacations.
iii) vet any communication to be forwarded to the public press which purports to express the views of the Society.

THE VICE-PRESIDENT(S) SHALL:
i) be responsible for the organisation of the Social activities of the Society, including the Annual Dinner, the Freshers’ Tour, and the Summer Tour.
ii) ensure that the duties of the President are carried out in a proper manner.
iii) advise subordinate Officers on the effective performance of their duties.

THE MASTER SHALL:
i) be responsible for the Society’s ringing activities.
ii) organise weekly practices in term time.
iii) organise Sunday service ringing in term time.
iv) be responsible for the organisation of ringing for any special occasions (including weddings).
v) be responsible to the Committee for the production of the Annual Report pertaining to their year in office and ensure that its production is in time for the Autumn General Meeting following the end of that year in office. The Master shall also be responsible for the other activities of the Committee.

THE SECRETARY SHALL:
i) act as the Society’s point of contact with the general public, the Church authorities, the University, and other ringing organisations.
ii) pass the names of the Officers, and an address for the Society, to ‘The Ringing World’ and the Vice- Chancellor, or other appropriate Officer of the University, as soon after the Annual General Meeting as is possible.
iii) be responsible for ensuring that copies of the Annual Report are sent to those members of the Society who request them, and the Vice-Chancellor, or other appropriate Officer of the University.
iv) keep the Society’s peal book up to date.
v) produce written Minutes for all General Meetings and Ordinary Committee Meetings.

THE TREASURER SHALL:
i) keep the Society’s books.
ii) produce annual accounts, which shall be passed to the Auditor in time to be audited for the Annual General Meeting.
iii) ensure that steeplage is collected after each practice.
iv) be responsible for the management of the Society’s finances.

THE MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY SHALL:
i) maintain a database of all members of the Society. This should include up-to-date contact details for those members who have consented to such details being recorded.
ii) foster and maintain links with those members who are no longer regularly active in the Society.
iii) ensure that the names and affiliations of all new members are read out at the Committee Meeting and General Meeting following the payment of their subscription, for the purposes of ratifying their membership.

THE TRUSTEES SHALL:
i) hold the Society’s property in trust.
ii) prepare and maintain an inventory or the Society’s property.
iii) ensure that the Society’s property is safely kept and (by arrangement with the Secretary and/or Treasurer) insured where appropriate.
iv) present a report of the state of the Society’s property to the Annual General Meeting each year.

THE AUDITOR SHALL:
i) audit the Society’s accounts, and be responsible for their presentation at the Annual General Meeting.

THE LIBRARIAN SHALL:
i) be responsible for the Society’s library and archives.
ii) maintain and update the library catalogue, and make this catalogue available to Society members.
iii) be responsible for monitoring the borrowing of items from the library and archives.
iv) be responsible for the addition of appropriate materials to the library and archives.
v) promote the collection to, and encourage its use by, members of the Society.
vi) preserve the collection safely and securely for the use of future members of the Society.