The Society Constitution

The Constitution Of The Liberal Society is frankly absolute banana-ga-ga in practice, so here's a copy of it AND a copy of the proposed new constitution which will be discussed at the Annual Business Meeting of the Society.

CURRENT CONSTITUTION

1. Name Of The Society

1.1 The name of The Society shall be “The Queen’s University Of Belfast  Liberal Society”, hereinafter referred to as “The Society”.

1.2  The name of The Society may if necessary be shortened to “QUB  Liberal Society”,  “QUBLS” or  “The Liberal Society”, so long as such  name-shortening does not cause confusion with any other Club,  Society or Association within the Queen’s University of Belfast.

2. Aims And Objectives Of The Society

2.1 The aims of The Society shall be to encourage and promote Liberalism  in Queen’s University of Belfast, its Students’ Union and elsewhere.

2.2 Liberalism shall be understood to mean the belief than every individual  has the inherent and irrevocable right to do what they want, say what  they want and believe what they want so long as their actions, words  and beliefs do not serve to deny that same freedom to others.

2.2 The Society seeks only to promote Liberalism as understood and  practised by its individual members regardless of the policies of any  other political organisation or group which claims to promote  Liberalism.

2.3 The Society shall not be used as a front for a clandestine, illegal or  indeed any other group, notwithstanding any provision  described in  Article 2.4.

2.4 The Society may, if its members so wish, affiliate with other groups  inasmuch as this will serve to promote a common cause.

2.5 The Society shall undertake to assist anyone who wishes to stand as a  Liberal candidate in any election in the Queen’s University of Belfast  Students’ Union, so long as the aims and objectives of that individual  are not contrary to the aims and objectives of The Society.

2.6 The actions and private affairs of individual members of The Society  shall not be held against them so long as those affairs do not contradict  the aims and objectives of The Society, covertly or otherwise.

2.7 The Society shall work openly and constructively with other  organisations and individuals within the Queen’s University of Belfast  Students’ Union in order to create a Students’ Union free from  oppression, injustice and sectarian bigotry.

3. Members of The Society

3.1 Membership of The Society shall be open to any ordinary member of  the Queen’s University of Belfast Students’ Union who supports the  aims and objectives of The Society. [A membership fee determined by the Executive Committee of the Students' Union must also be paid before membership is recognised - this sum is currently £3.00]

3.2 All members of The Society are equal.

3.3 To as great an extent as can be achieved without compromising the  aims and objectives of The Society all members exercise the same  rights and privileges  - whether they be Officers or non-Officers.

3.4 All members of The Society shall be entitled to attend, speak and vote  at all official meetings of The Society.

4. The Society Officers

4.1 The Daily affairs of The Society shall be handled by The Society  Officers.

4.2 All authority which The Society Officers possess is derived from the  total membership of The Society, and not from the individual who  holds an office, nor the office itself.

4.3 A member of the Committee may at any time be removed from office  by a simple majority of the entire membership in support of such  action.

4.4 By no means may The Society Officers make decisions on behalf of  the entire membership without their prior consent.

4.5 All decisions made on behalf of The Society must be made by the  entire Society, not withstanding the provision to do otherwise as stated  in Article 4.4.

4.6 There may be no official meetings specifically for The Society Officers  without the rest of The Society members.

4.7 The Society Officers shall be classified into two tiers:
(a) Monthly Officers :-comprising those Society Officers who are elected to serve for one month and who play an active and functional role at each and every meeting.
(b)  Annual Officers- comprising those Society Officers who are elected to serve for one academic year.

4.8 The Society Officers shall include:
(a) Two Co-Presidents
(b) One Chairperson
(c) One Treasurer
(d) One Secretary
(e) One Member Representative per 15 members
(f) One Returning Officer

The Two Co-Presidents

4.9 The Two Co-Presidents shall be elected at the Annual Business  Meeting of The Society of each academic year and shall serve for one  year.

4.10 Both Presidents shall have a full understanding of Liberalism and must  undertake not to seek to subvert the cause or existence of The Society.

4.11 The Two Co-Presidents shall be held responsible for the official  actions of The Society, but not for the actions of individual members.

4.12 The Two Co-Presidents shall be responsible for ensuring that the aims  of The Society are upheld by all members.

4.13 The Two Co-Presidents shall uphold this Constitution and shall ensure  that it is upheld by the other members of The Society.

4.14 The Two Co-Presidents shall supervise the election of the Returning  Officer at least one month prior to the Annual Business Meeting.

4.15 The Two Co-Presidents shall supervise the production of any official  report made by The Society.

4.16 The Two Co-Presidents shall liaise between the Queen’s University Of  Belfast Students’ Union and the members of The Society.

4.17 Neither of the Two Co-Presidents may perform one of their  Presidential functions without the prior knowledge and consent of the  other Co-President.

The Chairperson

4.18 The Chairperson shall be elected at the start of every month, and shall  serve for the remainder of that month.

4.19 The Chairperson shall preside over all official meetings of The Society.

4.20 A Decision made by the Chairperson may be overruled if over half of  the members present disagree with their ruling.

The Treasurer

4.21 The Treasurer shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting, and  shall serve until the end of that subsequent academic year.

4.22 The Treasurer shall be responsible for the financial affairs of The  Society.

4.23 The Treasurer  may neither spend nor transfer funds without the  consent of the entire membership, and in keeping with the regulations  laid down in Schedule 8 of The Constitution of the Queen’s University  Of Belfast Students’ Union.

4.24 Fund-raising shall be a matter of The Society as a whole and not solely  the responsibility of the Treasurer.

4.25 The Treasurer shall relate a summary of all financial transactions to  The Society at the start of every month, or at any time a member asks  them to do so.

4.26 All transaction records should be kept up to date by the Treasurer in  order to avoid ambiguities in The Society’s financial records.

4.27 Any attempt by the Treasurer to hide a financial undertaking, or to  refuse to disclose financial information to any member of The Society  shall be reported to the Disciplinary Committee of the Queen’s  University of Belfast Students’ Union.

4.28 The Treasurer shall be responsible for collecting membership fees.

The Secretary

4.29 The Secretary shall be elected at the start of every month, and shall  serve for the remainder of that month.

4.30 The Secretary shall be responsible for the correspondence and records  of The Society, and therefore shall compile agendae, reports and  articles.

The Member Representative(s)

4.31 One Member Representative shall be elected for every fifteen members  of The Society.

4.32 Each Member Representative shall be elected at the Annual Business  Meeting, and shall serve for one year.

4.33 The Member representatives shall serve to keep all members informed  of news pertaining to, or of interest to, The Society.

4.34 The Member Representative(s)  shall act as a go-between, if the case of  a dispute, between two or more Society members, save in those  circumstances when a Member Representative is personally involved  in the dispute.

4.35 The Member Representative(s) shall represent all non-officers of The  Society if necessary.

The Returning Officer

4.36 The Returning Officer shall supervise all elections and votes taken by  The Society.

4.37 The Returning Officer may vote freely at elections.

5. Procedures

Elections

5.01 All Annual Officers shall be elected using the Single Transferable Vote  election system by means of a secret ballot.

5.02 All Monthly Officers shall be elected using the First Past The Post  election system with an open show of hands, unless a secret ballot is  requested by any member present.

5.03 All members may stand for any position, and may vote at all elections.

5.04 A member may stand for more than one position, and indeed may carry  out more than one role.

5.05 If a member relinquishes their position, an election must be held at the  subsequent meeting, supervised by the Returning Officer.

Constitutional Amendments

5.06 Amendments to this constitution may be suggested by any member of  The Society, whereinafter a vote shall be taken on the amendment by  the entire membership at the subsequent meeting.

5.07 Any attempt to alter either the name or aims of The Society can be  vetoed by either of the two Co-Presidents.

5.08 No amendments to The Society Constitution may be made without the  consent of the Queen’s University of Belfast Students’ Union Council.

Meetings

5.09 All meetings shall be open to all members of The Society.

5.10 All meeting shall be held as informally as possible.

5.11 All meetings shall be introduced by either or both of the Co-Presidents.

5.12 Elections shall be carried out before all other business after the  introduction of the meeting.

5.13 Guest Speakers shall be invited if their invitation is supported by at  least three quarters of the members present and voting.

5.14 The Society Officers may be questioned by any member of The  Society regarding their official actions and must respond orally or in  writing before the subsequent meeting.

5.15 The topic of debate and discussion at the official meetings of The  Society shall pertain solely to Liberalism or to matters of interest  pertaining to The Society as a whole.

5.16 The Treasurer shall give a full financial report to The Society at the  first meeting of each month.

5.17 Suggestions for topics to be discussed or for guest speakers may be  made by any member of The Society.

5.18 The date, time and location of the subsequent meeting must be  determined by the members present shall be made at the end of the  current meeting.

5.19 Meetings shall be held at least once a month.

5.20 Unruly members may be expelled from the meeting by the Chairperson  and a special time set aside to review their actions and decide upon a  course of action pertaining to their future membership.

5.21 An Annual Business Meeting must be held every April to discuss the  previous year’s work and to decide upon a course of action for the  coming year.

5.22 At The Annual Business Meeting, all Annual Officers except for  the Returning Officer shall be elected.

Official Society Policy

5.23 Official Policy shall be made if a motion put forward by any source is  supported by over three quarters of the members present and voting.

5.24 There is no limit to the number of times which a motion can be put  forward for discussion.

5.25 Offical Society Policy shall lapse at the Annual Business Meeting the  year following its introduction unless the members present and voting  at the Annual Business Meeting decide otherwise.


PROPOSED CONSTITUTION

Name And Sovereignty

1.1 The name of the society shall be “The Liberal Society Of The Queen's University of Belfast”, hereinafter referred to as “the Society”.

1.2 The Society shall adhere to all the rules and regulations governing recognised clubs and societies as determined in the Constitution of The Queen's University of Belfast Students’ Union.

1.3 Sovereignty over all matters pertaining to the Society not listed in the Constitution Of The Queen's University of Belfast Students’ Union shall be vested the general membership of the Society.

Aims And Objectives

2.1 The primary aims and objectives of the Society shall be:
(1) to promote Liberalism and liberal values
(2) to provide a provide political and social activities for Liberal students
(3) to represent the general and particular interests of its members
(4) to assist with the formation of Liberal societies in other Universities

2.2 Liberalism shall be defined as a political and philosophical ideology promoting:
(1) The right of all individuals to think, say and do whatever they like so long as their actions do not prevent other individuals from exercising the same right.
(2) The expression of individuality and nonconformity
(3) The equality of all individuals in the eyes of the law
(4) The governance of the people, for the people and by the people at the lowest, most practical level.

Members

3.1 Any ordinary member of The Queen's University of Belfast Students’ Union who supports the aims and objectives of the Society may seek to become a Registered Member of the Society..

3.2 Registered Membership of the Society shall be official upon payment of a fee determined by the Executive Committee of The Queen's University of Belfast Students’ Union and subsequent obtainment of an official membership card signed by an Administrative Officer of the Society.

3.3 All Registered Members shall have an equal opportunity to participate fully in the governance of the society.

3.4 A Registered Member may have their membership revoked by a successful directive motion to that effect passed at a monthly administrative meeting.

3.5 A Registered Member who has had their membership revoked may not have their membership fee reimbursed.

3.6 A Registered Member who has had their membership revoked may have their membership reinstated in that academic year only by a successful directive motion to that effect passed at a monthly admininistrative meeting.

 3.7 A Registered Member who has had their membership revoked and reinstated shall not be required to pay an additional membership fee.

3.8 A Registerd Member may have their membership revoked only on the grounds that they have contravened the aims and objectives of the Society.

3.9 Registered Membership of the Society shall be valid for one calender year and one week after payment of the membership fee and obtainment of an official membership card.

3.10 All Registered Members of the Society whose Registered Membership lapses on account of no longer being an ordinary member of The Queen's University of Belfast Students’ Union may seek to become an Honorary Member of the Society.

3.11 Honorary Membership of the Society shall be official only after a written request from the former Registered Member has been submitted to the Society Organiser and has been successfully passed as a Directive Motion at a Monthly Administrative Meeting.

3.12 An Honorary Member of the Society shall have the right to attend, speak and submit Directive and Policy Motions at all meetings of the Society, but shall not have the right to vote.

3.13 An Honorary Member may have their membership revoked by a successful directive motion to that effect passed at a monthly administrative meeting.

3.14 An Honorary Member may have their membership revoked only on the grounds that they have contravened the aims and objectives of the Society.

3.15 An Honorary Member may not be an Administrative Officer of the Society.

3.16 Honorary Membership of the Society shall be valid for life unless revoked.

3.17 All members of the Society shall have the right to participate and vote freely on all matters at any meeting of the legislature or executive of The Queen's University of Belfast Students’ Union or any other body.

Policies

4.1 The Society may determine policies on any matters of interest to its members at any Monthly General Meeting of the Society.

4.2 The Society Manager shall maintain a list of all policies currently supported by the Society.

4.3 The Society President shall promote all policies currently supported by the Society subject to any specific directives of the Society.

4.4 All policies determined by the Society throughout the academic year shall require ratification at the Annual Business Meeting of that year.

4.5 Any policy not ratified by the Annual Business Meeting shall cease to be society policy.

Administrative Officers

5.1 There shall normally be three Administrative Officers of the Society who shall manage the affairs of the society subject to any directives from the society.

5.2 The Society President shall:
(1) chair all meetings of the society
(2) represent the society
(3) oversee the work of the society
(4) enforce the constitution of the society
(5) promote the aims and policies of the society
(6) attend all meetings of the society
(7) perform any other reasonable tasks determined by the society

5.3 The Society Manager shall:
(1) supervise the finances of the society
(2) supervise the website of the society
(3) maintain all written records of the society
(4) inform all members of matters of interest to the society
(5) collect membership fees
(6) issue membership cards
(7) be the deputy chairperson of the society
(8) supervise all votes and elections conducted by the society
(9) attend all meetings of the society
(10) perform any other reasonable tasks determined by the society

5.4 The Society Organiser shall:
(1) book rooms for all meetings and events of the society
(2) publicise the date, time and location of all meetings and events of the society
(3) compile and distribute agendae of all meetings of the society
(4) write and distribute minutes for all meetings of the society
(5) attend all meetings of the society
(6) perform any other reasonable tasks determined by the society

5.5 The Administrative Officers shall be elected individually at the Annual Business Meeting of the Society and shall normally serve for one year.

5.6 Any member of the Society may stand for election to one or more Administrative Office provided that they do not stand for election to more than one Office which is contested.

5.7 Any Administrative Officer may be removed from Office by a vote of no confidence successfully approved by a Special Administrative Meeting.

5.8 Any Administrative Officer may resign from Office orally at any Administrative of General meeting of the society.

5.9 In the event of an Administrative Officer resigning or being removed from Office, a bye election shall be held at the next Administrative Meeting to fill the vacancy.

5.10 In the event that the administration of the society is undermined by the resignation, removal, absence, or unwillingness of an Administrative Officer, the remaining Administrative Officer(s) may fulfil the former’s constitutional duties until such time as the necessary action can be taken to rectify the situation.

5.11 In the event that no Administrative Officer is present or willing to exercise their constitutional duties, the general membership of the society shall meet with the Vice-President (Clubs And Services) of The Queen's University of Belfast Students’ Union with a view to appointing new interim Officers until normal constitutional procedures can be resumed.

5.12 The Society may, through a Directive Motion, create new Administrative posts which shall:
(1) be filled through election at the subsequent Administrative Meeting
(2) exist only  (a) for the length of time stated in the Directive Motion, or
(b) until the end of the academic year, or
(c) until the Annual Business Meeting of that Academic year,
whichever is the shortest period of time.
(3) not perform any constitutional role already assigned to an Administrative Officer

5.13 For the administrative purposes of The Queen's University of Belfast:
(1) the Chairperson shall be the Society President
(2) the Treasurer shall be the Society Manager
(3) the Secretary shall be the Society Organiser

Monthly Administrative Meeting

6.1 There shall be an Administrative Meeting held in the first available week of every month in term time which shall be open to all members of the Society.

6.2 The quorum at a Monthly Administrative Meeting shall be 5 members.

6.3 The order of business at an Administrative Meeting shall be:
(1) Minutes Of Previous Administrative Meeting
(2) Matters Arising From Minutes
(3) Bye Elections
(4) President’s Monthly Report
(5) Questions To The President
(6) Manager’s Monthly Report
(7) Questions To The Manager
(8) Organiser’s Monthly Report
(9) Questions To The Organiser
(10)  Directive Motions
(11)  Any Other Business

6.4 The monthly report from each Administrative Officer shall be given orally and shall pertain only to their actions carried out in the course of their duties to the Society.

6.5 Any member of the Society may orally ask a competent question of each Administrative Officer to which they must be given an oral answer by the relevant Officer within the time specified for the meeting.

6.6 Any member of the Society may submit a written Directive Motion to the Society Organiser at least one week before the date of the Administrative Meeting which shall mandate one or more Administrative Officer to perform some reasonable task of benefit to the Society before the date of the next administrative Meeting.

6.7 Directive Motions shall only be enacted with the support of two thirds of those members present and shall include proposals for:
(1) the Guest Speaker at next General Meeting
(2) the topic of debate at next General Meeting
(3) constitutional amendments
(4) removal of an Administrative Officer

6.8 Any Other Business shall not include further questions or directive motions.

6.9 The Society Manager shall chair the meeting during the Report from and Questions to the President.

6.10 A Special Administrative Meeting shall be convened if proposed and successfully passed as a Directive Motion at a normal Administrative Meeting.

6.11 A Special Administrative Meeting shall be held within two weeks of the monthly Administrative Meeting.

6.12 The quorum at a Special Administrative Meeting shall be 5 members.

6.13 The order of business at a Special Administrative Meeting shall be:
(1) Special Questions To The President
(2) Special Questions To The Manager
(3) Special Questions To The Organiser
(4) Special Directive Motions

Monthly General Meeting

7.1 There shall be a General Meeting held in the third available week of every month in term time which shall be open to all members of the Society.

7.2 There shall be no quorum at a Monthly General Meeting.

7.3 The order of business at a General Meeting shall be:
(1) Minutes From Previous General Meeting
(2) Matters Arising From Minutes
(3a) Guest Speaker’s Address
or
 (3b) Topic Debate
(4) Policy Motions
(5) Any Other Business

7.4 The Guest Speaker shall be asked to restrict their address to a time limit of 40 minutes, including questions and answers.

7.5 The Debate shall last for not more than 40 minutes.

7.6 Any member of the Society may submit a written Policy Motion to the Society Organiser at least one week before the date of the General Meeting which shall create, amend or revoke official society policy.

7.7 Policy Motions shall only be applied with the support of two thirds of those members present.

7.7 Any Other Business may include (but not be limited to):
(1) emergency Directive Motions
(2) emergency Policy Motions
(3) emergency Questions to the Administrative Officers
(4) emergency Reports from the Administrative Officers

7.8 Emergency Directive or Policy Motions shall require the consent of one half of those members present before they can be discussed.

7.9 The Administrative Officers shall not be obliged to answer an emergency question.

7.10 The Society Manager shall chair the meeting during an emergency report from or emergency question to the President.

Annual Business Meeting

8.1 There shall be an Annual Business Meeting held in the last available week of term time which shall be open to all members of the Society.

8.2 The quorum at an Annual Business Meeting shall be 5 members.

8.3 The order of business at an Annual Business Meeting shall be:
(1) Opening Address And Annual Report By Society President
(2) Annual Report By Society Manager
(3) Annual Report By Society Organiser
(4) Annual Report By Other Administrative Officers
(5) Annual Directive Motions
(6) Ratification Of Policy Motions
(7) Light Refreshments
(8) Elections
(9) Address By Incoming Society Organiser
(10) Address By Incoming Society Manager
(11) Address By Incoming Society President
(12) Any Other Business
8.4 The Annual report from each Administrative Officer shall be given orally and in writing and shall pertain only to their actions carried out in the course of their duties to the Society.

8.5 Any member of the Society may submit a written Annual Directive Motion to the Society Organiser at least one week before the date of the meeting which shall mandate one or more Administrative Officer to perform some reasonable task or benefit to the Society before the next Annual Business Meeting.

8.6 Annual Directive Motions shall only be enacted with the support of at least three quarters of those members present.

8.7 The ratification of policy motions shall not include debate on any policy, and the support of at least one half of those members present shall be required to sustain the policy.

8.8 Light Refreshments shall be served only if sufficient funds or resources are available  and shall be the responsibility of the Society Organiser, subject to any specific Directive Motions.

8.9 Each Administrative Officer shall be elected individually, in the following order:
(1) Society President
(2) Society Manager
(3) Society Organiser

8.10 The Society Organiser shall supervise all elections, unless he/she is a candidate in which case the Society President shall supervise.

8.11 In each election, the following procedure shall be used:
(1) Each member shall be given one ballot paper which shall list the name of all candidates in the elction.
(2) Each member shall then mark a “1” beside the candidate of their first choice, a “2” beside the candidate of their second choice, and so on.
(3) A ballot paper shall be declared spoilt if the order of preference is not clear.
(4) The ballot papers shall be collected and the first candidates votes will be counted as follows:
(a) a “1” is worth 1.00 point
(b) a “2” is worth 0.50 points
(c) a “3” is worth 0.33 points
(d) any other vote is worth 1 divided by that number.
(5) The other candidates votes will then be counted in turn.
(6) The candidate with the greatest value of votes shall be declared the winner.

8.12 The incoming Administrative Officers shall take up Office on the last day of term time.