STUDENT COMMUNITY ACTION – VOLUNTEERS IN CAMBRIDGE CONSTITUTION
- The name of the Organisation shall be “Student Community Action – Volunteers in Cambridge” (Cambridge SCA).
- The Organisation is established to promote any charitable purpose for the benefit of the community in the Cambridge area and in particular the advancement of education, the furtherance of health and the relief of poverty, distress and sickness, and to promote amongst students in Cambridge the idea and practice of community service and community action in so far as it be legally charitable.
- The Organisation shall consist of its members (see paragraph 4).
- Members shall be defined as those who have registered with the SCA office, all workers employed by the Organisation, non-student members of the Executive Committee, and any other persons appointed by the Executive Committee. Membership shall be open to all students of the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University (or its successor body), and to University and College employees who wish to join projects run by SCA.
- All members of the Organisation shall be entitled to speak and to cast a single vote on each issue brought before a General Meeting, with the exception that (a) the person chairing the meeting shall not have a vote except in the case of a tied vote, when the person chairing shall have a casting vote, and (b) the paid workers do not have voting privileges at any meetings.
- The Executive Committee shall call a General Meeting annually within three months of the end of the financial year and also, on the written application of at least eight members of the Steering Group (including one student trustee) or 15 members of the organisation who shall all have been members for at least a month, and at other times as necessary. It shall not call a General Meeting for a date outside the Full Term of the University of Cambridge. It shall advertise each meeting at least fourteen days in advance.
- A General Meeting shall be chaired by the President of the Executive Committee, or, in their absence, by the Vice President. In the event of both the President and Vice President being absent, a General Meeting shall commence with the election of a Chair.
- The quorum of a General Meeting shall be twenty members. A decision of the General Meeting shall be binding on the Organisation if passed by a simple majority of those present.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
- The Annual General Meeting shall include:
the presentation of an Annual Report by the Executive Committee.
the presentation of the audited accounts for the preceding Financial Year by the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall ensure copies of these accounts are made available to members of the Organisation on request.
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
- The Executive Committee shall consist of:
a) The Senior Treasurer, who shall be a resident member of the Senate of the University. (They shall be responsible for overseeing the Organisation’s financial situation and investments.)
b) At least 4 and not more than 8 other senior members drawn from the University, Anglia Ruskin University (or its successor body), and local voluntary groups, or individuals who accept and support the aims of the Organisation. These members and the Senior Treasurer shall be co-opted for a term of up to three years and may be re-appointed.
c) Three student members who shall be elected and ratified at a General Meeting. They shall serve a one-year term, and be eligible to stand for re-election. The student members shall include a President, Vice President, and Treasurer, elected as named posts. Other student members shall be welcome to attend but shall not have a vote.
d) SCA staff members, and any other workers employed by the Organisation, as non-voting members of the Committee and from whom items may be reserved.
- It shall be the responsibility of the Junior Treasurer to ensure that monies received are properly accounted for, and that the Society’s financial records are kept in good order. In particular, the Junior Treasurer shall ensure continuity of Cambridge resident signatories for any bank accounts held by the Society.
- The Executive Committee shall meet at least six times per year (twice in each University term, and in vacations if necessary).
- The Executive Committee shall meet at a time, date and place agreed by a majority of the Committee. Meetings during vacations shall be called if required by SCA staff members or agreed by at least three members of the Executive or Steering Committee.
- The President, or the Vice President, shall chair the meetings. In the event of both the President and the Vice President being absent, the meeting shall commence with the election of a Chair.
- The Executive Committee shall undertake the management of the Organisation (including responsibility for major policy decisions, all employment issues, and fiscal policy), and undertake such other functions as may be required of it by this constitution and by subsequent decisions of a General Meeting.
The Executive Committee is hereby given the following powers:
- To obtain, collect, receive money and funds by way of contributions, donations, subscriptions, legacies, grants, and other lawful methods (including appeals to the public) and to accept and receive gifts of property of any description (whether subject to any special trusts or not) for or towards the objects and administrative expenses of the Organisation provided that the Organisation shall not undertake any trading of a permanent nature;
- To undertake and execute any Charitable Trusts which may further the attainment of the Organisation;
- To appoint if they think fit co-opted members who shall hold office until the next AGM;
- To set up sub-committees with designated responsibilities constituted by members of the Executive Committee and the Steering Group. All members of the sub-committee shall have a vote within the group but the group’s decision must be approved by the Executive Committee.
- The quorum of an Executive Committee meeting during the University of Cambridge Full Term shall be three students (at least one of whom must be a trustee) and four senior members, and, for meetings during the vacations, any four members including at least one student member (with the exception in each case of the employees). A decision of the Executive Committee shall be binding on the Organisation if passed by a simple majority of those present, unless such a decision is contrary to the decision of a General Meeting. The Chair of an Executive Committee meeting shall not have a vote except in the case of a tied vote, when the Chair shall have a casting vote.
- The Executive Committee shall call a General Meeting if members of the Steering Group are unable to undertake their function under this constitution, and require that meeting to elect such new student members to the Committee as may be deemed necessary, provided that there are no more than fifteen student members of the Steering Group at any time (three of which are members of the Executive Committee), and that members of the Committee thereby elected shall end their appointment at the next AGM, unless re-elected at that time.
THE STEERING GROUP
- The SCA Steering Group is a group comprised of students from Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Universities. Their role is to represent student interests within SCA by liaising with the staff and Executive Committee in the organisation of projects and events and playing an active role in student engagement.
A) The Steering Group shall consist of the student members of the Executive Committee and the other elected non-trustees.
- The Steering Group is responsible for induction of any incoming Steering Group members to their posts.
- The Steering Group is responsible for ensuring all events held by them, including Steering Group meetings, are as accessible as possible to people with disabilities and that the access information for these events is advertised.
- Formal meetings of the Steering Group shall be held at least twice during Michaelmas and Lent, and once during Easter term, at a time, date and place which may be in person, remote or a combination of the two agreed by a majority of the group. Regular contact should be maintained throughout the year, and in between meetings, but this may be by remote communication.
A) Steering group meetings shall be chaired by the President or Vice President of the Steering Group but other members may elect a chair in their absence or if relevant to the topic of the meeting by simple majority.
B) The quorum of Steering Group meetings shall be five members at least one of whom must be a trustee.
C) SCA staff members are welcome to attend meetings.
D) Any other members of the Organisation may be invited to attend but shall not have a vote.
- Any member who is absent from two consecutive formal meetings of the Steering Group without good cause and without having submitted apologies in advance to the Chair of that meeting may be removed as a member of that group by majority vote of the Steering Group.
ELECTIONS AND ADMINISTRATION
- Candidates for election to office shall be proposed and seconded by two other members. Every motion at a General Meeting shall be proposed and seconded by two members. If there are more than two candidates for a post or more than two options on a motion, voting shall be by Single Transferable Vote.
- The Society shall maintain a banking account with a suitable Bank or Building Society to hold the Society’s funds.
- The Senior Treasurer shall make arrangements for the Society’s Accounts to be properly audited, either by themselves, or by some other person approved under University Ordinances.
- The Senior Treasurer shall not be liable for any financial debt or other obligation of the Society unless the Senior Treasurer has personally authorised such a debt in writing.
- For so long as the Society shall be Registered with the Junior Proctor, it shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to ensure that the Society complies with the requirements for Registration as a University Society.
- The Organisation may at any time be dissolved by a resolution approved by the Executive Committee and of which at least twenty-one days’ notice has been given to the members and which has been passed at a General Meeting by a majority of three quarters of the total votes recorded thereon. Such resolutions may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Organisation, provided that if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, such property shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Organisation, but shall be given or transferred to such other charitable Institution or Institutions having objects similar to some or all of the objects of the Organisation as the Organisation may, with the approval of the Charity Commissions or other authority having charitable jurisdiction, determine.
- The Society’s only disciplinary sanctions are to expel or to suspend a member (with the exception of workers employed by the Organisation and trustees) whose actions are felt to be such as to bring the Society into disrepute, or to adversely affect the smooth running of the Society in a major way. Such expulsion or suspension can only be effected by a majority vote of all Executive Committee members, excluding the Senior Treasurer. In the event of an expulsion, the excluded member is required to return all equipment, documents and finances belonging to the Society within 7 days. The excluded member will not be entitled to any full or partial refund of annual subscriptions.
- If the excluded or suspended member wishes to appeal the decision, that appeal should be made to the Senior Treasurer, who will consider all the facts, and whose decision will be final. An appeal as to the processof exclusion, but not a further investigation into the facts, may be lodged with the Junior Proctor.
DISQUALIFICATION AND REMOVAL OF TRUSTEES
- A trustee shall cease to hold office if they:
Are disqualified from acting as a trustee by virtue of sections 178-180 of the Charities Act 2011, or any statutory re-enactment or modification of that provision.
Resign as a trustee by notice to the Organisation, but only if at least four senior members, other than the Senior Treasurer, will remain in office when the notice of resignation is to take effect.
Are absent from two consecutive meetings without good cause and without having submitted apologies to the Chair of the Executive Committee, and the Executive Committee resolves by a majority vote that the trustee ceases to hold office.
Lose a vote of no confidence passed by two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee.
Have become physically or mentally incapable of acting as a trustee in the written opinion, given to the charity, of a registered medical practitioner treating that person, and may remain so for more than three months.
- The constitution may be altered whether by the repeal or amendment of any of them, the addition of any new object, power or rule, or the substitution of any object, power or rule, for any of the objects, powers or rules by a resolution at any Annual or Special General Meeting of the Organisation by a majority of not less than three quarters of the members present at the meeting and voting on the resolution provided that no alteration shall be made that will cause the Organisation to cease to be a charity by law.
- No amendment to this Constitution intended to remove the position of Senior Treasurer, to alter its prerogatives and duties, or to change the criteria and procedure for the appointment of a Senior Treasurer can be put to a vote without the prior written agreement of the Junior Proctor of the University of Cambridge.
- SCA staff members shall make copies of the Constitution available to members on request.
16th March 2021