Definitions

The following definitions apply in this document:

  1. College shall mean Selwyn College, Cambridge
  2. University shall mean the University of Cambridge
  3. College Council and Governing bodies shall mean those bodies within College
  4. Standing Orders shall mean the body of rules passed by an Open Meeting in accordance with section K.2. of the constitution.
  5. Concerned Member shall mean any member of the JCRS holding a personal or financial interest in the particular motion, item of discussion, Poll or any other business of the JCRS to which that provision of the Constitution relates
  6. Poll shall mean any vote, other than that within an Open Meeting, covering Elections, Referenda and Online Ratification
  7. The Online Voting System shall be as defined in Standing Orders
  8. Policy shall mean any action or decision of the JCRS, as approved by an Open Meeting and subsequent Online Ratification or Referendum, being of benefit to the members of the JCRS, subject to the provisions of Article E.1.i
  9. Committee shall mean the whole of the elected officers of the JCRS
  10. Whenever a fraction of a number of people is mentioned in a provision of the Constitution it shall be taken to mean the largest whole number, which shall not exceed the exact fraction.
  11. Whenever a period of time is mentioned in a provision of the Constitution, it shall be taken to mean only time elapsing during Full Term. Thus a provision stating a deadline of fourteen days which begins ten days before the end of Full Term shall expire on the fourth day of the following Full Term.

Article A. Name

A.1. There shall be a body, the name of which shall be the Selwyn College Junior Combination Room Society, hereinafter referred to as the JCRS.

Article B. Aims and objectives

B.1. The aims and objectives of the JCRS shall be:

a. To be the official representative body for the undergraduates of College;

b. To advance and protect the general education and welfare of its members;

c. To provide recreational facilities for its members;

d. To promote fair and equal access to College for all applicants regardless of socio-economic background, gender, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation and to encourage greater access to groups under-represented within the membership of the JCRS;

e. To act as a channel of communication between its members and other members of College , the University of Cambridge , the Cambridge University Students’ Union , the National Union of Students and other bodies;

f. In furtherance of these aims and objectives to operate in a fair and democratic manner in accordance with the provision of the Education Act 1994.

Article C. Membership

C.1. Membership

C.1.i Subject to sub-section C.2.i, all undergraduate members of the College, in statu pupillari, shall automatically be members of the JCRS, as well as any Cambridge University Students’ Union sabbatical officer who previously met this criteria. No other person shall be a member of the JCRS.

C.2. Opting Out

C.2.i. All members have the right to opt out of the JCRS.

C.2. ii. A member must inform both the College (through the Senior Tutor) and the Committee (through the President), in writing, of their intention to opt out of the JCRS, before the division of the Michaelmas Term in each academic year in which they wish to opt out.

C.2.iii. A member who has opted out is deemed to have opted out for the entire year.

C.3. Membership rights

C.3.i Every member of the JCRS is entitled to:

a. Attend and speak at Open Meetings and, if applicable, Election Hustings;

b. Sponsor motions for Open Meetings and raise matters for discussion at Committee meetings;

c. Petition against Committee decisions, for emergency Open Meetings and for referenda;

d. Vote at Open Meetings and in Polls;

e. Submit or sponsor a nomination in any election except where excluded under Article F.2.ii;

f. Receive a list of officers and representatives, after giving the President reasonable notice;

g. Inspect the records of Open Meeting and Committee Meetings minutes, after giving the Communications Officer reasonable notice;

h. Inspect the accounts and receive a statement of the balance of the accounts, after giving the Treasurer reasonable notice;

i. Inspect the list of active JCRS Policy, after giving the President reasonable notice.

j. Inspect the source code of the online voting system, after giving the Computing officer reasonable notice

C.3.ii A member who has opted out cannot:

a. Sponsor motions, vote, or speak at Open Meetings;

b. Sponsor a candidate for elections;

c. Be a candidate for election;

d. Vote in Polls.

C.3.iii. All other JCRS services shall remain equally available and accessible to members and those undergraduates who have opted-out, except where prohibited by a motion passed by an Open Meeting.

C.4 Ombudsman

C.4.i An Ombudsman shall be appointed by College Council on the nomination of the Committee.

C.4.ii The Ombudsman shall be a Fellow of the College.

C.4.iii The Ombudsman shall have no role in the running or decision making of the JCRS, except for where mentioned in this Constitution.

Article D. The Committee

D.1. The Committee and its Officers

D.1.i The general administration of the JCRS shall be in the hands of a Committee (the “JCRC”), which shall comprise:

a. The President;

b. The Vice-President;

c. The Treasurer;

d. The Communications Officer;

e. The Computer Officer;

and up to 15 additional posts as specified in the Standing Orders.

D.1.ii The Executive Officers of the Committee shall be the President, the Vice-President, the Treasurer and the Communications Officer, who shall be responsible for the day to day administration of the JCRS.

D.1.iii An JCRS Open Meeting may create a new post on the Committee at any point during the year, providing the limit of 15 in D.1.i is not breached

D.1.iv The Offices of the Committee may not be held by more than one individual, unless stipulated in the Standing Orders and if elected as such by the JCRS.

D.1.v The Offices of the Committee shall be elected once a year in accordance with Article F of the Constitution.

D.1.vi The term of Office of all Committee members shall run from the first Term Day of Lent Term to the day preceding the start of that same Term one year later.

D.1.vii There shall be no sabbatical or paid elected Office contrary to the provisions of s22(2)(f) of the Education Act 1994.

D.1.viii No elected Officer of the JCRS or member of the JCRS mandated to act in the interests of the JCRS, whether as a member of a JCRS sub-committee, or in any other capacity, shall receive remuneration for any actions undertaken.

D.2 Committee Meetings

D.2.i The purposes of the Committee Meetings shall be:

a. To organise the implementation and execution of policy;

b. To ensure good communication between members of the Committee;

c. For each member of the Committee to relay the view of the members surveyed within their remit, in order to collate a representative consensus of opinion;

d. To co-ordinate the activities of the Committee members on various College Committees, to ensure a common and effective approach when acting in joint consultation with Fellows.

D.2.ii The Committee shall meet at least six times during Full Term, except in Easter term, when the Committee shall meet at least three times.

D.2.iii A Committee meeting may be called by the President, or by one half of the Officers of the Committee, by giving at least 24 hours notice to all members of the Committee by using the Committee email list created for the purpose.

D.2.iv The quorum of a Committee Meeting shall be one half of the membership of the Committee.

D.2.v Each member of the Committee shall have one vote.

D.2.vi Decisions taken by the Committee shall require a majority vote. In the case of an equal division of votes the Chair shall have the final deciding vote. No decision taken by the Committee shall be executed without the knowledge of the President, who shall be entitled to require any decision to be presented instead as a motion to an Open Meeting, if they consider the decision to be outside the jurisdiction of the Committee.

D.2.vii Any motion presented to an Open Meeting as being proposed by the Committee shall require the unanimous support of the Committee. The Committee may second such a motion however, with only a majority vote.

D.3. Duties

D.3.i It shall be the duty of members of the Committee when transacting the business of the JCRS, and when acting in their capacity as members of the Committee, to act in accordance with, and in a manner consistent with, the objects of the JCRS as outlined in Article B.1 of the Constitution, Standing Orders and JCRS Policy.

D.3.ii Members of the Committee shall fulfil their duties and obligations as outlined in the standing orders.

D.3.iii The President shall carry overall responsibility for the affairs of the JCRS. In the event of vacancy or absence or illness or incapacity of the President, the most senior officer able to act, in the order listed in Article D.1.i, shall adopt their responsibilities.

D.3.iv In the case of vacancy or absence or illness or incapacity of any Officer, other than the President, the responsibilities of the Officer shall be concerned shall be distributed amongst the remaining Officers of the Committee.

D.3.v The President and Treasurer shall represent the JCRS, as ex-officio members, at meetings of the Governing Body and College Council of the College.

D.3.vi Members of the Committee shall be obliged to produce handover documents which outline for their successors the responsibilities of the office they have held. These documents must be passed over to the incoming Committee before the commencement of Lent term.

D.4 Resignation and Removal from Office

D.4.i Members of the Committee, with the exception of the President, may give notice of resignation in writing to the President who shall be obliged to accept the resignation. The resignation shall take effect 48 hours from the time of receipt unless withdrawn by this time.

D.4.ii The President shall give notice of their resignation to every other member of the Committee using the Committee email list. The resignation shall be deemed to take effect 48 hours from the time of the email unless withdrawn by this time.

D.4.iii A member of the Committee shall cease to hold Office if theyare absent from three consecutive Committee and/or Open Meetings, without providing a reason for this absence that is acceptable to the majority of the Committee.

D.4.iv A member of the Committee shall be removed from Office by a motion of No Confidence passed at Open Meeting which receives a two-thirds majority of votes in the subsequent Online Ratification.

D.4.v A member of the Committee shall be removed from Office if in the opinion of two thirds of the Committee their continued presence on the Committee will damage the overall aims of the JCRS. The member may request a Referendum be held on their continuing membership of the Committee, the results of which shall be final.

D.4.vi A member of the Committee who ceases to be a member of the JCRS shall be deemed to have resigned their position, unless they remain a member of College and are not an Executive Officer on the Committee, in which case they may continue with their posts, but may not vote in Committee meetings.

Article E. Open Meetings

E.1 The Open Meeting

E.1.i The purposes of the Open Meeting shall be

a. To publicise Policy proposed by the Committee to the JCRS, before the Policy is subject to Online Ratification.

b. To provide a platform for the ordinary membership of the JCRS to propose and publicise the proposal of Policy to the JCRS before the Policy is subject to Online Ratification.

c. To provide a forum for the discussion, debate, and editing of any proposed Policy by the JCRS before the Policy is subject to Online Ratification.

d. To provide an opportunity for Committee members to act as a member of the JCRS outside the capacity of their elected post.

e. To be the principal involvement of the JCRS in day to day decision making that does not require Online Ratification.

E.1.ii Policy motions shall not be voted on at Open Meetings, and will only enter JCRS Policy if passed by a simple majority in an Online Ratification. This ratification must have a minimum participation of 10% to be binding. If this level is not reached, the motion falls.

E.1.iii There shall be at least three Ordinary Open Meetings during the Michaelmas and Lent Full Terms and at least two Ordinary Open Meetings during the Easter Full Term.

E.1.iv The time and place of the Open Meetings shall be decided by the President and advertised by the Communications Officer on the JCRS notice board or JCRS email list no later than midnight on the seventh day before the intended Open Meeting. The notice shall include an invitation for the submission of motions to the President.

E.1.v An emergency Open Meeting may be called by the President at any time or upon receiving a petition for one signed by 5% of the JCRS membership. At least 24 hours notice must be given. Only items which cannot be held over until the next Open Meeting may be discussed, and no motion to change this Constitution may be proposed.

E.1.vi The Open Meeting and Online Ratification shall be conducted in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Constitution.

E.2 Policy

E.2.i Policy shall be valid for three years. The President shall be responsible for ensuring the implementation of Policy and shall keep a record of all current Policy.

E.2.i Referenda of the ordinary membership of the JCRS shall be the supreme policy-making forum of the JCRS. Subject to the provisions of Articles E.2.i and E.2.v Policy derived from a resolution of a referendum shall only be amended or revoked by a subsequent referendum.

E.2.iii Subject to the provisions of Articles E.2.i and E.2.v Policy passed by an Open Meeting and Online Ratification may only be revoked by a subsequent Online Ratification, after discussion at an Open Meeting.

E.2.iv If any provision of Policy is in conflict with this Constitution, or the Education Act 1994, or the Charities Act 1993 (as amended), then the provision shall be deemed void in so far as it shall so conflict.

Article F. Elections and Referenda

F.1 Elections

F.1.i All elections shall be conducted by secret ballot.

F.1.ii The conduct of all elections shall meet the requirements of the Constitution of the JCRS, the Statutes and Regulations of the College, and the requirements of the Education Act 1994.

F.1.iii The Returning Officer shall be as specified in Standing Orders, but may not be a Concerned Member.

F.1.iv Elections for posts of President shall be held annually in Michaelmas term, after the Division of term.

F.1.v Elections for the remaining posts on the Committee shall be held annually in Michaelmas term, at least seven days after the election of the President.

F.1.vi If a position on the Committee becomes vacant a bye-election shall be held within 21 days, following the procedure for normal elections. If the position remains vacant a further bye-election may be held at a time deemed suitable by the President.

F.2 Nominations

F.2.i In an Election where more than one post is to be filled, a candidate may be nominated for only one post.

F.2.ii Nominations must be proposed by any member of the JCRS who is not a member of the Committee.

F.2.iii Nominations shall be open for at least seven days.F.2.iv A manifesto of not more than one side of A4 paper may be submitted by each candidate to the Returning Officer at the same time as the nomination form.

F.2.v A list of all candidates standing, along with all manifestos received, shall be displayed on the JCRS notice board or on the JCRS website by the Returning Officer within one day of the close of nominations.

F.2.vi Members of the Committee who are not candidates for election may not campaign for any candidates standing for election.

F.3 Referenda

F.3.i A referendum shall be held if it is requisitioned by:

a) A motion passed at Open Meeting;

b) A resolution of the Committee;

c) A petition to that effect signed by no fewer than 5% of the membership of the JCRS.

F.3.ii Any matter, other than the removal of a person from Office, may be referred to a Referendum, in which all members of the JCRS shall be entitled to vote.

F.3.iii Referenda shall be held during Full Term within fourteen days of being called.

F.3.iv The Returning Officer shall be the same as in elections.

F.4 The Poll

F.4.i The Poll shall run for at least twentyfour hours. An email shall be sent to the JCRS mailing list when the poll begins stating the time the poll shall close and providing a link to the online voting system.

F.4.ii Every member shall have only one vote.

F.4.iii The vote must be cast using the Online Voting System, as defined in the Standing Orders.

F.5 The Count and Results.

F.5.i The Count shall be performed within twenty four hours upon the close of the Poll by the Returning Officer.

F.5.ii Elections shall be counted using Single Transferable Vote under the regulations currently recognised by the Electoral Reform Society.

F.5.iii A simple majority shall pass the motion of a referendum provided that the number in favour of the referendum is not less than one tenth of the membership of the JCRS.

F.5.iv The results shall be posted to the JCRS email list as soon as they are available.

F.6. Malpractice

F.6.i Any allegations of malpractice during an Election or Referendum shall be made in writing to the Returning Officer within twenty-four hours after the announcement of the results, who shall be obliged to investigate the allegations.

F.6.ii If the Returning Officer agrees that there has been a breach of the rules laid out in this Constitution or Standing Orders, they shall have the power to disqualify a candidate, or impose other punishments, as specified in Standing Orders.

F.6.iii. Any decision to punish a candidate made by the Returning Officer may be appealed to the Ombudsman, whose decision shall be final.

F.6.iii In the event of the disqualification of a candidate for malpractice, the Returning Officer must take one of the following actions:

a. Recount the votes with the disqualified candidate being treated as having withdrawn;

b. Unanimously declare to re-run the Election or Referendum with the same candidates or the same motion with seven days;

Article G. Affiliation

G.1. Affiliation to external organisations

G.1.i If the JCRS decides to become affiliated to any external organisation, the Committee shall publish to the membership of the JCRS, and to the College Council, a notice of this decision stating the name of the organisation and the details of any subscription or similar fee paid, or proposed to be paid, and of any donation made, or proposed to be made, to the organisation.

G.1.ii The Committee shall publish every November, to the membership of the JCRS, and to the College Council, a report stating the name of all external organisations to which it is affiliated, and the details of any subscriptions or similar fee paid, and of any donation made, or proposed to be made, to the organisations within the year covered by the report.

G.1.iii Continued affiliation to any organisation may be challenged by a Referendum called for the purpose in accordance with the procedures prescribed in Article F.

Article H. Finances

H.1. Terms

H.1.i The Financial Year shall run from the first day of July in a Year to the thirtieth day of June in the following Year.

H.1.ii At the second Open Meeting of Easter term, the JCRS shall agree a budget for the coming Financial Year and present it to the College Council for approval.

H.1.iii At the second Open Meeting of Michaelmas term, the Committee shall present a financial report, circulated to all members of the JCRS in advance, which shall also be presented to the College Council. The report shall also include details of any donations made by the Charities Committee to external organisations in the period to which it relates, as well as the audited accounts for the previous year. The accounts shall be audited by someone external to the JCRS.

H.1.iv The JCRS shall set down in writing, and make freely available to all members of the JCRS, and to the College Council, a statement of the procedure for allocating resources to groups and clubs, ensuring that the procedure is fair.

H.1.v Subject to the constraints of the Budget, the competencies of the various organs of the JCRS to allocate funds shall be as follows:

a. A resolution of the Committee shall be sufficient to allocate up to £100, or any expenditure necessary for the day-to-day running of the JCRS, and recurrent regular expenditure. The Committee shall inform the next Open Meeting of all expenditure that was not necessary for the day-to-day running of the JCRS and not regular recurrent expenditures.

b. A single resolution of an Open Meeting shall be sufficient and necessary to allocate any amount up to £500 that is not necessary for the day-to-day running of the JCRS and not a recurrent regular expenditure.

c. A single resolution of an Open Meeting followed by Online Ratification shall be sufficient and necessary to allocate any amount in excess of £500 that is not necessary for the day-to-day running of the JCRS and not a recurrent regular expenditure.

H.1.vi The amounts expressed in H.1.vi are in 2010 prices, and shall be updated annually in July by the prevailing rate of RPI inflation the previous April.

H.2. The Treasurer and payments

H.2.i The Treasurer shall not make any payments, except those allowed under Article H.1.v, and shall adhere to any financial controls stipulated in the Standing Orders.

H.3 The Charities’ Fund

H.3.i The Charities’ Fund shall be administered by a JCRS Charities’ Committee.

H.3.ii The Charities’ Committee shall be made up of an ex-officio chair, who shall be appointed by the Committee and five other members of the JCRS who shall be elected before the Division of Lent Term.

H.3.ii The Charities’ Committee shall meet no later than the end of Lent Term to decide on the allocation of the Charities’ Fund for the Year.

H.3.iii The Charities’ Committee shall seek nominations for charities to donate to from the JCRS.

H.3.iv The Charities’ Committee shall be obliged to follow any guidelines for charites laid down in the Standing Orders.H.3.v A quorum for the Committee Meetings shall be constituted by four voting members.H.3.vi The JCRS shall only give money to charity from the Charities’ Fund.

H.3.vii Money shall be raised by donation to the Fund by members of the JCRS.

H.4 Indemnity

H.4.i Every person approved to make decisions of behalf of the JCRS shall be entitled to be indemnified out of the assets of the JCRS against all losses or liability which they may incur in or about the execution of their office or otherwise in relation thereto; and no Committee Members or others approved to make decisions shall be liable for any loss, damage or misfortune which may happen to or be incurred by the JCRS in the execution of the duties of their office or in relation thereto; provided that nothing in this clause shall affect their liability for the consequences of any deliberate, negligent or otherwise unlawful act on their part.

Article I. Contracts

I.1. Contractual agreements

I.1.i The President and the Treasurer shall be the only Officers of the Committee empowered to enter into any contract on behalf of the JCRS.

I.1.ii The JCRS shall not enter into any contract that has not been presented to a Committee Meeting, at which it has been accepted by a majority vote of the voting members of the Committee present. If the contract is subsequently amended the Committee shall be informed, and if deemed necessary, the contract shall be subjected to a further vote of approval.

I.1.iii The Committee has the right to delegate the responsibility for a contract to the President and/or Treasurer, should it be satisfied that such a contract will not impose significant financial or legal constraints upon the JCRS.

I.1.iv The Committee may not delegate responsibility for a contract to the President and/or Treasurer if in doing so it would approve a contract which would bind a subsequent Committee by its acceptance.

I.1.v No contract may be signed on behalf of the JCRS without professional legal advice concerning the legal implications of such a contract having been obtained, where it is appropriate to do so.

I.1.vi Any proposals to enter into contracts that could involve liability on the part of the JCRS to pay sums in excess of £100 (in accordance with H.1.vi), must be presented to an Open Meeting.

Article J. Grievances

J.1. Grievance procedure

J.1.i All undergraduate members of the College, or groups of such members who are dissatisfied in their dealings with the JCRS, or who claim to be unfairly disadvantaged by reason of having exercised the right not to be a member of the JCRS, may refer complain in the first instance to the President of the JCRS.

J.1.ii If the member is unsatisfied with the response from the President they may appeal the decision to the Ombudsman, whose decision shall be final and binding on all parties involved.

Article K. The Constitution, Standing Orders and Policy Lists

K.1. The Constitution

K.1.i The Constitution shall be the primary document governing the conduct of the JCRS and shall take precedence in the event of contradiction with any Appendices, Standing Orders or Policies.

K.1.ii The Constitution shall be submitted to the Governing Body for review in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1994, on the 1st October 2016, and at intervals of five years thereafter.

K.1.iii The Open Meeting shall be the sole body competent to amend the Constitution. An amendment to the Constitution requires a simple majority of those present and voting at one Open Meeting and a two-thirds majority of votes in the subsequent Online Ratification. An amendment shall only take place after the approval of the Governing Body.

K.2. Standing Orders and Policy Lists

K.2.i Standing Orders may be adopted by Open Meeting, subject to Online Ratification.

K.2.ii The Open Meeting shall be the sole body competent to amend the Standing Orders. An amendment shall require the support of a majority of those present and voting and ratification by simple majority of votes in the subsequent Online Ratification. Any amendment to Standing Orders shall be effective immediately on announcement of the results of the Online Ratification.

K.2.iii Current Policy, as defined by Article E2, shall be collated into a Policy List held by the President.

K.2.iv The Standing Orders shall take precedence over the Policy List in the event of contradiction, and the contradicting policy shall be void.

K.3. Interpretation

K.3.i All words and phrases relating to the College in the Constitution and its Schedules shall be interpreted according to the Statutes and Regulations of College. All words and phrases relating to the University in this Constitution and its Schedules shall be interpreted according to the Statutes and Ordinances and Regulations and Proctorial Edicts of the University.

K.3.ii In case of doubt interpretation of the Constitution shall rest with College Council except that during all JCRS meetings the Chair shall be the sole interpreter in respect of questions not yet decided by College Council. The subsequent ruling of College Council about such questions shall not invalidate the business of the meeting at which the Chair shall have used a different interpretation.