Purposes and Principles
This body shall be called the Wolfson College Students' Association, hereinafter referred to as WCSA.
The Objects of WCSA shall be:
2.1 To foster and make provision for the cultural, recreational, social and sporting activities of the membership.
2.2 To promote the well-being of the membership.
2.3 To make provision for the representation of the opinions of the membership to the appropriate bodies both within and outside the College.
2.4 To receive the funds allocated by the College for the purpose of fulfilling the Objects of WCSA, and administer them in accordance with clauses 14.2.1 and 14.2.2.
WCSA shall comprise Members and Associate Members. The former shall provide, and may vote for, elected Officers who shall serve on the Committee.
4. Membership Fees
Fees are drawn from those charges payable by Members to WCSA and determined by WCSA in consultation with the College Council. WCSA is represented on the College Council.
WCSA shall operate in a fair and democratic manner in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1994.
Any Member dissatisfied with the conduct or dealings of the Committee or any of its individual Officers may make a complaint under the terms of the Complaints Procedure as defined by College Statute A, Chapter VII(4).
7. Governing Body
In this constitution the expression "Governing Body" shall mean the Governing Body of Wolfson College.
A Member is a current Student of Wolfson College as determined by the College authorities.
8.2 Associate Members
Associate Members of WCSA are the Fellows, Senior Members and Visiting Scholars of the College, the spouses of Students, and such other members at any time admitted by the Fellowship and Membership Committee or the College Council. Associate Members may attend any activity sponsored by WCSA but enjoy no voting rights in the business of WCSA.
8.3 Opting Out
Notwithstanding any provisions in this Constitution or the College Statutes as to automatic membership of WCSA, any person who would by virtue of those provisions be a Member of WCSA may in any academic year by written notice declare that he or she does not wish to be a Member, and in that case such a person shall not be a Member of WCSA for that academic year. Such written notice shall be served on the President of WCSA within one week of the commencement of the Michaelmas Term.
Any current Student of the College who exercises the right not to be a Member of WCSA shall not be unfairly disadvantaged with regard to the provision of services or otherwise.
In this Constitution, any reference to "days" means clear days in full-term (as determined from time to time by the University of Cambridge), but including weekends and bank-holidays.
Affiliation to an external organisation shall include any form of membership of, or formal association with, an organisation whose purposes are not confined to purposes connected with the College.
11. Governing Body
This Constitution shall be submitted to the Governing Body for review, in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1994, at intervals of five years.
12. Changes to the Constitution
12.1 No alteration shall be made to any part of this Constitution without the approval of the Governing Body.
12.2 No alteration shall be made to any part of this Constitution except in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1994.
12.3 In the event of any conflict between any provision of this Constitution and any provision of the Education Act 1994 the provision of the Education Act 1994 shall prevail.
13. Terms of Reference
13.1 Shall, collectively and through its individual Officers, further The Objects of WCSA. Accordingly, it shall have the power to appoint sub-committees, recording the fact in the Minutes.
13.2 Shall have the authority to administer the funds of WCSA in accordance with The Objects and Conduct of WCSA and may make grants to any affiliated club or society. No money belonging to WCSA may be allocated without the prior authorisation of a majority of the Committee. If deemed necessary, the Committee may refer a decision on any financial matter to a General Meeting and/or College Council.
13.3 Shall have the authority to affiliate WCSA to external organisations in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1994.
13.4 Shall, by a majority vote, have the power to co-opt up to two Members to fill vacant positions on the Committee. Co-opted Members do not have voting rights on the Committee. Any such co-option is to be recorded in the Minutes and ratified at the next General Meeting.
13.5 Shall elect the President and any two other Members to serve on the College Council in class (c) and Governing Body for one year.
13.6 Shall ensure that the procedures for election are followed, in accordance with sections 16 and 17.
13.7 Each Committee Officer shall at the end of their term set up a master document of what their position entails and which specific goals need to be achieved.
The Committee shall comprise the following Officers:
14.1 To be elected during the Michaelmas Term and to hold office for one year:
14.1.1 A President who is responsible for compliance with this Constitution and is normally to chair all Committee and General Meetings.
The President shall have a casting vote only and shall, accordingly, be entitled to vote on any motion if and only if the other members of the Committee who vote on that motion are unable to reach a majority decision. The President will also act as moderator of the College ’wolfson-notices’ electronic mailing list, or else appoint a deputy.
14.1.2 A Vice-President.
14.1.3 An External Officer
14.1.4 A Sports Officer.
14.1.5 Two Welfare Officers, one of each gender.
14.1.6 An International Officer, who need not be from overseas.
14.1.7 A Secretary, who is responsible for taking the Minutes of Committee meetings and disseminating them in accordance with section 18. The Secretary shall also be responsible for maintaining the records of the Association in good order, creating the weekly bulletin, posting notices on the WCSA web pages and will be the deputy moderator of the ‘wolfson-notices’ electronic mailing list.
14.1.8 One or more Entertainments Officers and an optional Wolfson Howler Officer.
14.1.9 A Junior Treasurer, who in addition to the normal duties of Treasurer, shall be responsible for the preparation of the annual budget of the income and expenditure of WCSA, for presentation at a General Meeting in the Michaelmas Term. S/he shall be responsible for presentation of the annual accounts at a General Meeting in the Lent Term.
14.1.10 A Green Officer.
14.1.11 A Resources Officer.
14.1.12 A Web master.
14.1.13 An Undergraduate Rep[resentative]
14.2 An ex-officio non-voting Senior Treasurer, who shall be a member of Governing Body, re-appointed annually by and responsible to the College Council in consultation with the members of the Committee then sitting on the College Council. His or her responsibilities are:
14.2.1 To oversee the disbursement of the funds of WCSA in accordance with the decisions of the Committee.
14.2.2 To refer, if s/he deems it necessary, any decision on financial matters to the College Council.
14.2.3 To oversee the preparation of the WCSA accounts for audit as required by the College Council.
14.3 An ex-officio non-voting WCSA Liaison Officer, responsible to the College Council in consultation with the members of the Committee then sitting on the College Council. His or her responsibilities are:
14.3.1 To act as one of the Returning Officers for Committee elections.
14.3.2 To provide support and advice to the WCSA Committee and to refer, if s/he deems it necessary, any decision to the College Council for consideration.
14.4 The term of office shall be:
14.4.1 For the Junior Treasurer from January 1st following the election until December 31st that same year.
14.4.2 For all other elected Officers for one full year commencing seven days after the announcement of election results
14.5 For the avoidance of doubt there shall be no sabbatical or paid elected office in WCSA contrary to the provisions of the Education Act 1994, clause 22(2) (f).
Individual Officers may voluntarily resign during their term of office, having given their reasons to the Committee. Individual Officers are obliged to resign following a vote of no confidence at either a General or Extraordinary General Meeting, with prior notice of a motion to this effect, in accordance with sections 20, 21 and 22. Should the President's resignation be on the Agenda, the Vice-President shall chair that meeting and, if resignations accepted, shall succeed the President until a bye-election can be held.
15.2 Whole Committee
The whole Committee may voluntarily resign at either a General or Extraordinary General Meeting. The whole Committee is obliged to resign following a vote of no confidence at such a meeting, with prior notice of a motion to this effect, in accordance with sections 20, 21 and 22. In the event of the resignation of the whole Committee, one member of each affiliated club or society shall form a temporary Committee under the chairpersonship of the Senior Treasurer.
Following any voluntary or compulsory resignation a bye-election shall be held in accordance with sections 16 and 17 within a period determined at the Senior Treasurer's discretion in consultation with the Committee.
16.1 Each nomination shall be for a specific post on the Committee.
16.2 No candidate may stand for more than one post at a time.
16.3 On the evening preceding the day the elections commence, the candidates shall present themselves and their views at a properly convened General Meeting of WCSA.
16.4 The voting shall be by secret ballot in which all Members are entitled to vote.
16.5 Candidates for the posts of President, Treasurer and Entertainments Officer must be able to serve the entirety of the period for which they were elected, namely one full year.
17.1 Votes shall be cast by a 'single-transferable' vote system, as detailed in clause 17.7.3.
17.2 The Liaison Officer, the outgoing President (unless standing for re-election to the Committee) and deputies appointed by them shall act as Returning Officers for the election. Within two days of the closure of the ballot, the Liaison Officer shall announce the results.
17.3 All notices pertaining to the elections shall be promulgated in accordance with section 18.
17.4 At least fourteen days in advance, the Returning Officers shall promulgate the date and time of the election and General Meeting in accordance with section 18. For bye-elections the period of notice shall not be less than seven days. The closing time and date for nominations shall also be so promulgated.
17.5 Nominations must be received by the Liaison Officer before 1.00pm seven days before the election (three days for bye-elections). Nominations for each post must be in writing, stating the names of the proposer and seconder, who must be Members and who must sign the nomination. Nominations must be accompanied by a declaration from the nominees that they are willing to stand as well as a photograph of the nominee.
17.5.1 If there is only one candidate for any post, an option of `re-open nominations' (RON) will be added to the ballot. If RON receives a majority, a further seven days will be allowed for other members to be nominated. After this, an election will be held for those positions for which nominations have been re-opened. If no further nominations are received, that candidate shall be deemed elected.
17.6 The names and photographs of the candidates and the post(s) for which they are standing shall be promulgated at least five days before the election (two days for bye-elections).
17.7 An online ballot shall be held, with the name of each post and an alphabetical list of the candidates for that post
17.7.1 The ballot shall be open for 48 hours, from midnight on the first day of the election.
17.7.2 Members shall place the candidates for each post in order of preference.
17.7.3 A candidate who receives more than 50 per cent of first choices shall be deemed elected. If no candidate achieves this then the candidate receiving the lowest number of votes shall be eliminated. The recorded second-choice votes for that candidate shall then be redistributed among the remaining candidates. This process shall be continued until one candidate has more than 50 per cent of the total vote. In the event of a tie, a paper ballot shall be held at the next General Meeting.
Notices, Agenda and Minutes of all Committee Meetings shall be posted prominently on the notice boards designated for Association business in the Porters' Lodge. Notices of all General and Extraordinary General Meetings, and elections, shall be posted prominently on all notice-boards in College and transmitted to all Members by electronic mail.
19. Committee Meetings
19.1 The Committee shall meet at least twice each term and the Agenda shall be displayed not later than 24 hours beforehand. Minutes shall be displayed not more than fourteen days after the meeting.
19.2 Five members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum. Decisions shall be made by simple majority of those present at the meeting.
19.3 Committee Meetings are open to Full and Associate Members of WCSA. They may express an opinion but may not vote.
19.4 In cases where there is an equality of votes, the President shall have the casting vote.
20. General Meetings
20.1 WCSA will meet at a General Meeting at least once during each Full Term. Notice of the Meeting shall be displayed at least ten days beforehand and the Agenda at least three days beforehand.
20.2 Motions, resolutions and referendums shall be discussed but no decisions shall be binding. A referendum shall be held if the committee feels the need to include the student population in a major decision. Minutes shall be displayed not more than five working days after the meeting. Fourteen days after the meeting, motions, resolutions and referendums shall be decided by online majority vote. The online vote shall be binding unless fewer than 25 per cent of Full-time students cast their vote.
20.3 General Meetings are open to Full and Associate Members of WCSA, but motions may only be proposed and seconded by voting Members.
20.4 Visitors may be invited at the discretion of the Committee.
21. Extraordinary General Meetings
21.1 Upon a majority decision of the Committee, or in the event of an impending bye-election, or if requested in writing by twelve Members of WCSA, the President shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting, at any time in Full Term, provided that at least five days notice in Full Term has been given. The notice announcing the Meeting shall state the business proposed for discussion.
21.2 The quorum requirement, voting procedure and Minutes distribution shall be as for General Meetings.
22.1 Motions for General Meetings (and Amendments thereto) may either be submitted in writing to the Secretary at least five days in advance, stating the names of the Proposer and Seconder, and shall be placed on the Agenda; or may be taken from the floor by the chairperson at his or her absolute discretion under Any Other Business. Only Members may propose a Motion (or Amendment), whether in writing or ad hoc.
22.2 Motions to change the Constitution of the WCSA may only be considered at General and Extraordinary General Meetings of which at least ten days notice in Full Term is required. The notice announcing the Meeting shall include a detailed statement of the proposed alteration(s). Any changes resulting from the Meeting are subject to sections 11 and 12 above.
22.3 No binding motion can be taken under Any Other Business at the General Meeting, although motions of an emergency nature may be introduced through the Committee. This is without prejudice to the right of Members to introduce appropriate topics at that point.
22.4 All speeches shall be addressed through the Chair, who will ensure that there is adequate discussion before any vote.
23. College Societies and Clubs
Any College club or society shall be eligible for affiliation to WCSA provided the Committee is satisfied that:
23.1 The club or society has stated its aims and objectives to the Committee and has provided for the democratic election of its officers.
23.2 Membership of the club or society is open without charge to all Members and Associate Members of WCSA.
23.3 The club or society will have the support of a reasonable number of Members of WCSA.
23.4 The aims of the club or society declared to the Committee are neither contrary to the Statutes or Ordinances of the College nor likely to be detrimental to the interests of the College as an institution for the furtherance of education, learning and research.
24. The affiliation of any club or society shall be revoked if, at any time, the Committee decides that any of the foregoing conditions are no longer satisfied.