Student Activities Constitution

RUSU Student Activities Constitution 2017/18

1. All sports, societies and volunteer & media groups shall operate in accordance with the Constitution of Reading University Students’ Union.

2. Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of the club/society/volunteer/media group shall be stated on the relevant page of the RUSU website for all members to view.

The above Aims & Objectives shall be in accordance with guidelines/codes of practice/procedures issued by the body stated in point 3 below where applicable.

3. Affiliation

If applicable the club/society/volunteer/media group shall be affiliated to a governing body. This shall be stated on the relevant page on the RUSU website for all members to view.

4. Membership

4.1 Full Membership

Full membership is only available to current University of Reading students.

Rights & Privileges
  • Shall enjoy all rights & privileges relating to membership of all clubs/societies and the use of the RUSU buildings and its facilities.
  • As provided in the RUSU constitution shall be eligible to hold any office within the club/society and to vote in club/society elections.

4.2 Associate Membership

Associate membership is available to all non-university of Reading students, University of Reading alumni, members of University staff, RUSU staff and RUSU Officer Trustees.

Rights & Privileges
  • Shall enjoy all rights & privileges relating to membership of all clubs/societies of RUSU, except that they shall not be permitted to participate in matches or events representing the University of Reading.
  • Shall also enjoy the use of RUSU buildings and its facilities.
  • Associate Members will have no speaking or voting rights at club/society committee meetings or AGM’s.
  • Associate Members may not stand for election as a RUSU Officer Trustee or membership of any RUSU committee or sub-committee.
  • A maximum of 30% of the total membership of the club/society can be made up of Associate Members.

4.3 Conditions of Membership

The club/society may not restrict membership or activities from any RUSU student member except when complying with UK law.

All members shall have read the club/society Constitution and this should be made readily available to them by the club/society committee.

All members agree to adhere to the RUSU Behavioural policy.

Membership may be revoked by majority resolution of the club/society committee in consultation with the relevant RUSU Officer Trustee. An appeal may be lodged within one week of notification of the decision, by writing to the Chair of the Appeals Committee (the President of RUSU).

The club/society may raise money in order to pay for the club/society activities.

Membership shall be in accordance with the RUSU Constitution.

4.4 Membership

All clubs/societies have the right to charge membership fees.

All members including committee members must pay full membership fees if charged.

Where membership fees are charged, individuals will not be considered club/society members until they have paid their full membership fees and are registered on the club/society membership list held by RUSU.

Where membership fees are not charged, persons will not be considered club/society members until they are registered on the club/society membership list held by RUSU.

5. Meetings

The club/society must have regular scheduled committee meetings.

The committee will state the regularity of these meetings on the relevant page on the RUSU website for all members to view.

6. Committee

6.1 Committee Positions

Each Club/Society Committee shall consist of a minimum of:

  • Chair/President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Welfare

6.2 Committee Responsibilities

The Committee shall be responsible for ensuring the compliance of the club/society with its Aims and Objectives as outlined above.

The Committee is responsible for overseeing the management and finance of the club/society.

Members must not gain financially from their positions.

The Committee will be responsible for ensuring that all club/society events and activities adhere to RUSU’s Behavioural Policy and Equal Opportunities Policy.

At least 1 committee member must attend compulsory RUSU meetings.

All contact details for the committee must be made available to RUSU.

6.3 Committee Member Voting

Committee members shall be elected for one year at the club/society AGM.

Committee members shall have one vote each during committee meetings.

In the event of a tie, the Chair/President has the casting vote.

6.4 Loss of a Committee Member during period of Office

In the event of resignation or death of a committee member the vacancy shall be filled by a member appointed by the remaining Committee members.

6.5 Removal of a club/society Committee Member

Members may seek a vote of no confidence in a club/society Committee member.

This must be done through a request to the club/society President (or equivalent) and, if in the case of the President having a vote of no confidence against them, a request must be sent to the Vice-President (or equivalent).

An Extraordinary General Meeting should be called where 25% of club/society members must be present and a two-thirds majority must be reached.

An election will then be called to fill the vacant position.

A Committee member who loses a no confidence vote may not stand again for any Committee positions within the club/society.

The relevant RUSU Officer shall have the authority to remove a Committee Member if they are found to be acting contrary to Section Two of this Constitution or against any document in 4.3.

7. Annual/Extraordinary General Meetings

7.1 Timing of Meetings

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the club/society shall be held at a time designated by the current committee each year.

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called at any time at the request of the committee or 25% of the club/society membership.

The Secretary shall send a note of the date, time and venue of each AGM and any EGM with a list of items to be discussed to all members at least two weeks before the scheduled date of the meeting.

7.2 Voting at AGM/EGM

Quoracy for an AGM or EGM shall be at least 25% of the total membership. If fewer attend, a new date must be set.

The voting system for AGM Committee elections will be decided by the current club/society committee.

The committee should inform RUSU student activities when AGM is occurring and the voting system being used, to ensure that elections are democratic and fairly run.

Only current full club/society members (paid and registered with RUSU) are allowed to vote at AGM/EGM.

Club/Society members can appeal AGM election results to RUSU Officer Trustees if they feel that club/society elections are unfair or undemocratic.

8. Finance

8.1 Funding

The Club/Society can be self-funded through membership fees (where appropriate) and other fundraising. Additional funding from RUSU can be applied for via the RUSU funding structure.

8.2 Sponsorship

Sponsorship by external groups is permitted providing they meet the RUSU Sponsorship Process Criteria and a Sponsorship Form is completed and signed off by RUSU before any monies are accepted.

8.3 Financial Transparency

Accounts should be presented by the Treasurer to the club/society committee at the committee meetings as outlined above.

The Treasurer must keep up to date accounts of all financial transactions made by the club/society.

The club/society may hold no other bank account other than their official RUSU account. (This is to ensure financial transparency to its membership).

All payments for club/society activities shall be made by RUSU unless agreed in advance by RUSU.

The club/society accounts shall be presented to the membership at the club/society AGM.

The funds of the club/society shall only be used for the purpose of the club/society and no payment shall be made to any members except as reimbursement of expenses incurred on behalf of the club/society.

8.4 Club/Society Debts

The club/society shall not incur debts or liabilities. The members of the Committee will be accountable for any such debts or liabilities.

9. Dissolution

The Club/Society/Volunteer/Media group may be dissolved if:

  • The membership agrees by democratic vote.
  • The RUSU Trustee Board deems that dissolution is in the best interest of RUSU student membership.
  • The Club/Society has less than fifteen student members by the end of the autumn term.
  • The Club/Society fails to arrange an AGM.
  • The Club/Society fails to attend compulsory RUSU meetings during the academic year.
  • Any funds or equipment remaining after all debts and liabilities have been met shall remain the property of RUSU.

10. Constitutional Changes

This Constitution may be altered only in circumstances whereby the alteration is approved by the appropriate RUSU Student Officer. Alteration to this Constitution must not remove any of the fundamental principles outlined above.

11. Committee Agreement

The incoming Committee must agree and sign the Constitution at the beginning of their year of office. They must also sign the RUSU behaviour policy alongside this Constitution.

By signing this document you are confirming that all of the above points have been read and understood.

Behavioural policy for all Student Activities groups

RUSU seeks to ensure that student involvement in activities is safe and secure, as well as enjoyable. Students should understand the behaviour expected when representing their club or society at any event, of whatever kind and wherever held.

The Behavioural Policy is applicable to all members of a club, society or JCR. It is the responsibility of the committee to endorse the policy and ensure its content is made known to their members.

The underlying principles are that the behaviour of the club, society or their members should:

  • Not bring the reputation of Reading University Students’ Union or The University of Reading into disrepute.
  • Not be unlawful.
  • Not cause offence, or be disrespectful towards other club and society members.
  • Not cause offence, or be disrespectful to fellow students, University Staff and members of the local community.
  • Not involve any form of bullying or peer pressure on individuals or groups.
  • Not carry out initiations. An initiation is an event or tradition in which members of the club are expected to perform any activity as a means of gaining credibility, status or entry within that club or society. Examples of such activities might include, the consumption of alcohol, eating concoctions of foodstuffs, nudity and behaviour that may be deemed humiliating.
  • Not lead to financial gain for individuals or committee members.

Equal Opportunities Policy

Wherever possible, activities should be accessible to all students who wish to participate. This is in accordance with RUSU’s Equal Opportunities Policy (as outlined below).

RUSU will not tolerate any form of discrimination, whether direct or indirect, or harassment or bullying based on any random or irrelevant distinction.

Examples include distinctions on grounds of age, disability, ethnic origin, caring or parental responsibilities, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, civil partnership status, nationality, religion or belief, race, political belief, employment status, socio-economic background, full or part time student status, HIV status, irrelevant criminal convictions, physical appearance, medical condition, mental health status and trade union membership or non membership. This list is not exhaustive but demonstrates RUSU’s commitment to a respectful environment for all.

Breach of Policy

If any RUSU Officer Trustee has reasonable cause to believe that a student has committed a breach of this policy they may place that student, club or society under an interim ban with immediate effect. Breaches of this policy will be investigated and the matter may then be taken to a formal RUSU Disciplinary.

While a student, club, society or JCR is under an interim ban, they shall not, except with the prior consent of the RUSU Officer Trustee of RUSU or their representatives.

  1. enter onto RUSU premises or use RUSU facilities; or
  2. represent RUSU at any event of whatever kind, wherever held.

An interim ban shall remain in full effect until the later of the following:

  1. the date on which the student is notified of the decision on their case.
  2. the date of which the student is notified of the outcome of any appeal.

If the incident occurs at the end of an academic year, any disciplinary sanctions imposed may be levied for the following year.