Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF THE MURRAY EDWARDS COLLEGE MCR

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SECTION ONE: CONSTITUTION

1.1 There shall be a body corporate, to be called The Murray Edwards College MCR (and hereinafter referred to as “The MCR”).

SECTION TWO: MEMBERSHIP

2.1 The MCR shall consist of Full MCR Members, Associate MCR Members and Affiliate MCR members.

2.2 The following are granted Full MCR Membership:

(a) any registered graduate student of New Hall;

(b) any graduate student of any university other than Cambridge who holds an affiliated status and is working for a B.A. (Cantab) degree in New Hall;

(c) any mature undergraduate in New Hall.

2.3 The following are eligible for Associate MCR Membership:

(a) the Graduate Trainee Librarian during her term of employment at New Hall;

(b) the Lectrices during their term of employment at New Hall

(c) such other individuals as the MCR Committee decides.

2.4 The following are eligible for Affiliate MCR membership:

(a) any member of New Hall JCR who is eligible to take her BA degree but has not yet done so.

2.5 The Associate and Affiliate Members enjoy the same amenities and privileges as Full Members except for the following points:

(a) they are not eligible for MCR Travel/Sport Grants;

(b) they may not vote at the MCR Elections;

(c) they may not stand at the MCR Elections.

And for Affiliate Members only:

(d) they do not receive free formal hall;

(e) they cannot use the MCR computers.

SECTION THREE: FUNCTIONS

3.1 The functions of the MCR shall be:

(a) to provide social and recreational facilities and activities for its members,

(b) to represent the interests of the members of The MCR,

(c) to nominate the graduate representative(s) for the appropriate College committees.

SECTION FOUR: OFFICERS

4.1 The MCR Committee, herein referred to as the “Committee”, shall be the executive body of the MCR and shall consist of:

(a) President,

(b) Vice President,

(c) Treasurer,

(d) Secretary,

(e) Social Secretary (x4),

(f) College Liaison/Computer Officer,

(g) Welfare/Green Officer (see 4.3),

(h) LGBT+ Officer (see 4.2),

(i) General Member (x2) (see 4.4).

4.2. The position of LGBT+ Officer must be filled by a member who self-identifies as LGBT+.

4.3 The position of Welfare/Green Officer may be filled by one member or by two members, with one designated as Welfare Officer and the second as Green officer.

4.4 Either or both of the members filling the position of General Member may, in consultation with the rest of the MCR Committee, choose to use a title which reflects their specific area of interest and activity. Examples include, but are not restricted to, Arts Officer, Sports Officer, External Officer and International Officer.

4.5 The Committee may co-opt any member of the Society to assist in the execution of its functions.

4.6 Terms of Office and Election Times

Two election shall be held per year to fill the posts described in Section 4.1, once at the division of Michaelmas term (approximately four weeks into Michaelmas), and once in Easter Term. The elected officers’ terms of office shall commence two weeks after her election. Those elected will serve for a full calendar year.

SECTION FIVE: SELECTION OF COMMITTEE

5.1 Entitlement to vote.

All full members of The MCR are entitled to vote.

5.2 Entitlement to stand.

All full members of The MCR, as defined in Section 2.2, are eligible to stand for election to the Committee posts defined in Section 4.1, except for the following conditions:

  1. a) One Member standing for either the post of President or Vice President must declare an intention to remain an eligible member of The MCR throughout her term of office (if this is impossible, due to lack of nominations, at least one member of the Committee should take responsibility to pass on duties to the incoming MCR)

5.3 In the event of two persons standing as Co-Presidents, only 1 person may be President at a time. The other will have the position ‘Committee member’ where she will assist the Committee in the execution of its duties either generally or in a co-opted capacity.

5.4 Any member of the Committee may resign by giving written notice to the President. The MCR is obliged to call for nomination(s) and call an extraordinary open meeting within two weeks of any member resigning from the Committee. Any member, other than an ex-officio member, of the committee, who fails to attend any three meetings of the Committee in one term, of which the long vacation counts as one, without reasonable excuse in the view of the rest of the Committee, shall be deemed to have resigned, and shall be ineligible to restand for a Committee position.

5.5 Any post vacated by resignation or otherwise shall be filled in accordance with the appropriate election procedures.

5.6 In the event of one or more members of the MCR Committee proving unsuitable, an extraordinary open meeting shall be called on receipt by the President of written requests from three of more members of the MCR.  At such a meeting, the individual in question may be deselected by a quorum of the MCR.

SECTION SIX: PROCEDURE FOR ELECTIONS

6.1 Either the retiring or the current president, as appropriate, shall act as Returning Officer in Society elections.

6.2 At least ten days before a poll, the Committee shall advertise the poll by notice to all members via their pigeonhole or by email, and also invite nominations signed by a proposer and seconder, who shall be full members of The MCR, and signed by the nominee.

6.3 Nominations for any post on the Committee becoming vacant should be given to the President and displayed in the Middle Combination Room at least two days before the forthcoming election.

6.4 Canvassing shall be permitted.

6.5 All elections shall be by online voting, with the option to re-open nominations for each position.

6.6 The Returning Officer shall be responsible for supervising the election and shall, with two witnesses who are members of The MCR, advertise the result.

6.7 If, at close of nominations, only one candidate has stood for any given Committee post, an election is still required.

6.8 In the event of any post remaining vacant after the election, nominations for such a post shall remain open until it is subsequently filled. Until such a time, members of the Committee shall be co-opted in to the post.

6.9 No Committee member may concurrently hold two Committee positions, with the exceptions detailed in Section 6.9 above.

6.10 The Executive Graduate Tutor shall be invited to act as President in the absence of any Committee.

6.11 Any complaint concerning malpractices shall be made in writing to the Returning Officer within 7 days of the election; the Returning Officer shall investigate the complaint and may order a new election if they are satisfied that there have been malpractices.

SECTION SEVEN: COMMITTEE PROCEDURE

7.1 The Committee shall determine its own procedure. Meetings of the Committee shall be held as often as the Committee considers necessary, and in any case not fewer than three times during Full Term, with at least one meeting before the division of each term.

7.2 At any meeting of the Committee all members of the Committee should be present.

7.3 The Committee shall give at least three days notice as to the time and place of any proposed meeting so that observers may attend.

7.4 Meetings shall be chaired by the President or, in her absence, a member elected by the Committee from among themselves.

7.5 All decisions of the Committee shall be made by consensus. In the event of a dispute, the matter shall be decided by an open meeting.

7.6 A copy of the minutes of each Committee meeting shall be circulated to all Committee members. Any objections to the minutes should be raised at the next Committee meeting. After any necessary corrections a copy should be given to the Graduate Tutor and circulated to the MCR.

7.7 The committee is required to consider financial arrangements to set against possible theft or destruction of property in the MCR.

SECTION EIGHT: OPEN MEETINGS OF THE SOCIETY

8.1 An Open Meeting of The MCR refers to a meeting to which all members of the Society are invited in accordance with the following rules:

(a) the Committee shall call an Open Meeting of the Society at least once during each full term,

(b) at least ten days notice shall be given by the President informing all members via their pigeon-hole or by email and on the Middle Combination Room notice board,

(c) The meeting shall not be called for any date when there is a JCR Open meeting.

8.2 Motions may be submitted for debate at general meetings. These motions are of four sorts:

(a) Committee motions, proposed and seconded by the Committee at a meeting of the Committee.

(b) Private motions, proposed and seconded by MCR members. Private motions should be submitted to the President and displayed in the Middle Common Room at least three days before the meeting is due to take place.

(c) Constitutional motions, proposed and seconded by MCR members. A constitutional motion is taken as one proposing amendment(s) to this document. These motions should be submitted at least 3 days before the meeting is due to be held.

(d) Emergency motions (see 8.8(d)).

8.3 The Committee should circulate by email a copy of the agenda for the meeting on or before the day preceding the meeting, including exact statements of all motions to be debated, and copies of reports compiled by The Committee.

8.4 If no motions have been submitted, The Committee shall notify members by posting a notice in the Middle Combination Room or by email that the meeting has been cancelled.

8.5 Meetings shall be chaired by the President of The MCR, except when she is contributing to the motion under consideration, in which case another member of the Committee shall take the chair temporarily.

8.6 The meeting is considered quorate if at least one-eighth of the total Society members, are present.

8.7 The order paper will take the following form:

(a) Minutes and matters arising from the last open meeting. These may be taken as read if the meeting so approves. Opportunity should be given to members to question and amend the minutes.

(b) Committee reports. Opportunity shall be given to Committee members to inform The MCR of any new business undertaken on behalf of The MCR or to make any general announcements or suggestions. Opportunity should also be given to Society members to direct any questions to Committee members.

(c) Motions will then be debated in order of receipt.

8.8 Customary debating practice should apply but particular note should be taken of the following:

(a) Any motion can be amended at any time before the motion is voted upon. An amendment is not permissible if the Chairperson considers that the proposed amendment substantially changes the content of the existing motion.

(b) Amendment, if accepted by the Chairperson, should then be debated and voted upon if formal opposition be registered.

(c) The proposer of any motion has the right to invite just one guest speaker to deliver the speech of proposal in her stead.

(d) An emergency motion can be submitted at any time before the Chairperson declares the meeting closed provided that the motion proposes no donation or expenditure of The MCR finances or proposes a change to the Constitution. An emergency motion must be submitted in writing. Emergency motions shall be debated in order of receipt, after the last motion.

(e) The open meeting may pass any motion by a simple majority except constitutional motions which shall be carried if the number of members present and voting is quorate and the resolutions are supported by a two-thirds majority.

8.9 In addition to the termly open meeting, extraordinary open meetings can be called for at any time during full term.

(a) The Committee can call an extraordinary open meeting provided that all members are notified by email with at least three days’ notice of the business to be discussed.

(b) If a petition, signed by at least fifteen members of The MCR, stating the business to be discussed, is submitted to the President and displayed in the Middle Combination Room, then The Committee shall call an extraordinary general meeting to be held within seven days of receipt, giving at least three days notice of such a meeting to all members by pigeon-hole.

8.10 The Committee and Society shall be bound by the decisions of the Open Meeting.

SECTION NINE: FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

9.1 The financial year of The MCR shall end on the 30 September.

9.2 The Treasurer of The MCR will present the annual budget and accounts to a meeting of The MCR committee as close as possible to the start of the financial year, and in any case no later than the end of Michaelmas term.

9.3 The Treasurer will submit a monthly report to the Committee, detailing the transactions, and balance remaining, of the MCR account.

9.4 Accounts for the financial year have to be approved by the college auditors and council along with the budgets, in accordance with the 1994 Education Act.

9.5 The college must have access to the accounts at any time full accordance with the 1994 Education Act. The Treasurer will provide the college with termly statements and provide assistance to the college where required.

9.6 The College will appoint a Senior Treasurer who will inspect MCR accounts on behalf of the college and liaise with the MCR treasurer as required in section 9.5.

SECTION TEN: RECORD OF THE CONSTITUTION

10.1 The original of the Constitution together with any amendment shall be held by the Graduate Tutor and President. All members have a right of inspection of the Constitution. A copy shall be displayed permanently upon the notice board in the Middle Combination Room.

10.2 If any question arises as to the interpretation or effect of any of the constitution, it shall be determined by the Committee.

10.3 The constitution along with any amendment has to be approved by the college and The Committee, in accordance with the 1994 Education Act.

 

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The graduate society of Murray Edwards College Cambridge