Constitution of the MCR
Updated on 22nd January 2013 and passed at the Extraordinary General Meeting on 28th January 2013.
Chapter 1: Title
- The name of the Society shall be "The Robinson College Graduate Society", or "The Robinson College Middle Combination Room (MCR)".
- The objects of the Society shall be to represent the views of the graduate students within Robinson College, and to further the educational and social development of the graduate student community within the general purposes of Robinson College.
- The day to day running of the Society shall be the province of the MCR Committee, elected by the membership of the Society.
- There shall be standing orders for the conduct of general meetings and Committee meetings and any other activities of the Society. Their amendment shall be the province of the Committee.
- Full members of the Society shall be graduate students of the College, and/or mature students of the College. Associate members shall include former graduate students of the College at the discretion of the Committee, and spouses of all members of the Society.
- Amendment of this Constitution of the Society shall require the assent of a majority of the full members ofthe Society present at a general meeting.
- In case of doubt, intepretation of this Constitution shall rest with the Council of Robinson College.
Chapter 2: General Meetings
- There shall be an Annual General Meeting called by the Committee within Michaelmas term. There shall only be one AGM per academic year. Every full member of the Society shall be entitled to attend and shall be given one week's notice of the date of the meeting and the agenda.
- There shall be an extraordinary general meeting at the call of the Committee or on petition to the Secretary signed by not less than one tenth of the all members of the Society. Every full member of the Society shall be entitled to attend and shall have been given one week's written notice of the date and time of the meeting and the reason for calling it.
- General meetings shall be held during Full Term in the Middle Combination Room between the hours of 5pm and 11pm. The time shall be decided by those who have called the general meeting. Any full member wishing to vote in advance shall present their vote to the Secretary bearing their name at least one hour before the meeting. In the case of vacancy or illness or incapacity of the Secretary, his or her responsibilities shall be assumed by the most senior Officer not indisposed. This vote shall be counted as a full vote during the meeting.
- The quorum for general meetings shall be not less than 20 members of the Society.
- Decisions taken at quorate general meetings shall be binding on the Committee.
Chapter 3: The Committee
- The Committee shall consist of the following officers in order of seniority:
- Vice-President (Internal)
- Vice-President (External)
- Academic Affairs Officer
- Entertainments Officer
- Women's Welfare Officer
- Mens' Welfare Officer
- LGBT Officer
- Computer Officer
- Green Officer
- First Year Officer
- The officers in classes (i) and (ii) can be held by up to two people. The officer in class (v) can be held by multiple people.
- A person shall hold more than one office at a time only if an altenative candidate is not available.
- Each officer in classes (i-x) shall serve on the Committee from the hand-over date after the AGM at which she or he has been elected until: (i) the hand-over date of the following academic year. The hand-over date shall be agreed at the AGM, and it shall be not less than one week and not more than three weeks after the AGM; or (ii) she or he ceases to be a full member of the Society; or (iii) she or he publishes a written notice of resignation; or (iv) a vote of no confidence in the officer is passed at a general meeting.
- Elections shall be held only at general meetings. All Officers shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting. However, elections to fill vacancies which arise during the course of the year shall be filled by elections held at General Meetings.
- Where vacancy on the Committee arises in class (i) during the course of the year during Full Term there shall be a by-election for that officer at a general meeting to be held two weeks after the occurence of the vacancy. Where a vacancy on the Committee arises in class (i) during the course of the year outside Full Term there shall be a by-election for that officer at a general meeting to be held two weeks after the beginning of the following Full Term. Every by-election shall be conducted as if it were an actual election except for the date.
- Where a vacancy on the Committee arises in classes (ii) to (xii) during the course of a year the Committee shall be empowered to fill the vacancy until the next Annual General Meeting.
- In the event of the resignation of the whole Committee a meeting to elect a new Committee shall be called by the Senior Treasurer.
Chapter 4: Duties
- A Committee meeting may be called for any time and any place by either the President or a majority of the officers. Each officer shall have been given seven days' notice, unless all officers agree to waive this requirement.
- The quorum for Committee meetings shall be a majority of the officers.
- The President shall present to the Annual General Meeting a written report on the activities of the Society since the previous Annual General Meeting.
- The Vice-President (Internal) shall deputise for the President when necessary on internal matters within College.
- The Vice-President (External) shall deputise for the President when necessary on external matters, and represent the Society in dealings with CUSU and the Graduate Union.
- The Secretary shall maintain a list of full members of the Society which shall be available for inspection by any full member of the Society. The Secretary shall be responsible for advertisements of meetings and shall give notice of each general meeting and each Committee meeting and every other activity of the Society to those entitled to attend. The Secretary shall keep true and accurate minutes of each general meeting and each Committee meeting of the Society which shall be available for inspection by any full member of the Society. The Secretary shall invite nominations for elections.
- The Treasurer shall present to the Annual General Meeting a written report detailing the financial position of the Society and explaining income and expenditure since the previous Annual General Meeting, this report having first been approved by the Senior Treasurer. The Treasurer shall keep true and accurate accounts of all transactions conducted on behalf of the Society which shall be available for inspection by any full member of the Society.
- The Academic Affairs Officer shall represent the Society in dealings with College on issues of an academic nature. This will typically include, amongst other things, organising the Research Days and sitting on the Library Committee.
- The Entertainments Officer(s) shall be responsible for organising social events on behalf of the Society.
- The Women's Welfare Officer shall represent graduate women in College and shall Campaign on their behalf. She/he will also be available for Members to talk about personal and financial matters and to provide information to members on their rights to benefits.
- The Men's Welfare Officer shall represent graduate men in College and shall Campaign on their behalf. She/he will also be available for Members to talk about personal and financial matters and to provide information to members on their rights to benefits.
- The LGBT Officer shall represent lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender graduates in College and shall campaign on their behalf. She/he will also be available for members to talk about personal and financial matters and to provide information to members on their rights to benefits.
- The Computer Officer shall negotiate with the Fellow Computer Officer for the provision, maintenance and replacement of Information Technology equipment, and shall represent the Middle Combination on the College IT Policy Liaison Group. He/she shall be responsible for all IT equipment which is the property of the Middle Combination Room.
- The Green Officer shall represent the Society in dealings with College on matters of a green nature. She/he shall be responsible for raising awareness of green issues amongst members, organising the recycling in the Middle Combination Room and the graduate hostels, and for encouraging College, the Society and members to be more environmentally friendly.
- The First Year Officer shall assist the other officers in general duties, represents first year members of the Society and to provide information to members on their rights to benefits.
Chapter 5: Polls
- A valid nomination for an election shall consist of: (1) full name (2) position for which the nominee shall be a candidate (3) manifesto including of intent to run (4) the statement "I agree to abide by the constitution and standing orders of the Graduate Society" (5) signature of the candidate (6) signature of two other full members of the Society as a proposer and seconder.
- Only members expecting to, and who can provide written assurance from an Academic Supervisor or Senior Member College that they are likely to, remain members until the end of the Annual General Meeting following the election shall be eligible to be nominated for the office of President or Treasurer.
- Only members in the first year of membership of the Society shall be eligible to be nominated for the position of First Year Officer.
- Any full member of the Society shall be allowed to be nominated for more than one office and retiring officers shall be allowed to stand for re-election.
- The close of nominations shall be midnight after noon on the third day before the general meeting at which the election is to be held. At the close of nominations the Secretary shall prepare ballot papers and shall advertise all candidates to each full member of the Society.
- The elections shall be held in the order of seniority of the officers to be elected. A person already elected to an office shall not be eligible for an inferior office at the same general meeting unless an alternative candidate is unavailable.
- Each nominee shall be allowed to withdraw her or his nomination from any election before the poll for that election.
- The election shall be organised by the outgoing Committee, with the exception of any officers standing for re-election. If two outgoing officers are not available, two tellers shall be elected by show of hands at the general meeting during which the election is to be held. They shall count the votes of each election as soon as every full member present at the general meeting shall have been allowed to cast a vote in that election. The polls shall be conducted by secret ballot. A full member not present at the general meeting shall be allowed to cast an advance vote bearing the name of the member thus voting which shall be given to the Secretary at least one hour before the beginning of the general meeting and opened and counted by the two tellers counting the election. The name of the Returning Officer shall be announced by the Committee at least 48 hours before the general meeting. The results of the election shall be announced before proceeding with the next election. In the case of vacancy or illness or incapacity of the Secretary, her or his responsibilities shall be assumed by the most senior Officer not indisposed.
- Elections shall be won by the candidate receiving the most votes.
- On every ballot paper there shall appear the names of the nominees for that election and an additional candidate, Re-Open Nominations. For the purpose of counting the votes, the "re-open nominations" box shall be treated as if a candidate. If the "re-open nominations" candidate gains the highest number of votes cast in a poll for that election, it shall be deemed to have been elected and another election for that officer shall be held between 10 and 14 days later, this time without the "re-open nominations" candidate.
- The Elections shall be supervised by one of the Graduate Tutors who shall serve as the Returning Officer. If no Graduate Tutor is able to undertake this responsibility, the Senior Tutor will be requested to appoint a Senior Member to serve as Returning Officer.
Chapter 6: Finance
- The Committee shall decide how funds at the disposal of the Society shall be disbursed in pursuance of the objects of the Society, however, any single expenditure, or set of expenditures, on items meant to constitute a single entity, which represents 10% or more of the Annual Budget of the MCR, shall be approved at a General Meeting.
- The Senior Treasurer of Robinson College Students Association shall appoint, in consultation with the Committee, a Senior Treasurer of the Society who shall have power to inspect all documents pertaining to financial transactions conducted on behalf of the Society.
Standing Orders of the MCR
Chapter 1: General
- Throughout the Standing Orders:
- "Members" and "Full Members" shall be taken to mean members and full members respectively as defined in the Constitution of the Society;
- "Objects of the Society" shall be taken to mean the objects of the Society as defined in the Constitution of the Society;
- "Office" and "Officer" shall be taken to mean an office and officer respectively of the Committee of the Society as defined in the Constitution of the Society;
- "Day" shall be taken to mean a day of Full Term;
- The "Proposer" and "Seconder" of an extraordinary motion or a motion at an extraordinary general meeting shall be taken to mean the first and second signatories respectively on the petition;
- "Concerned Member" shall be taken to mean the Proposer or Seconder or Opposer of a motion or any of the signatories of a candidate in an election.
Chapter 2: General Meetings
- The Agenda at the Annual General Meeting shall consist of the following business:
- Apologies for absence or lateness
- Announcement of presence and purpose of guests
- Reading by the Secretary on request by any Full Member and amendment if necessary and approval of the Minutes of any previous general meeting not yet accepted by a general meeting
- Matters arising from the minutes
- Report from the President
- Report from the Treasurer
- Questions to the Committee
- Extraordinary motions
- Ordinary motions
- Election of Officers
- Any other MCR business
- Each ordinary motion for the Annual General Meeting shall have been submitted in writing to the Secretary before midnight after noon on the fourth Day before the Annual General Meeting. The motion shall bear the signature of one Full Member as Proposer and the signature of another Full Member as Seconder. Provisions for ordinary motions to be submitted to an Extraordinary General Meeting shall apply as for the Annual General Meeting in Chapter 2, Section 2 of the Standing Orders.
- Each extraordinary motion for the Annual General Meeting shall have been written on a petition bearing the signatures of not less than one tenth of the Full Members of the Society. An extraordinary motion may be submitted at any time before the end of the discussions of extraordinary motions: either to the Secretary before the Annual General Meeting or to the Chairperson during the Annual General Meeting. Provisions for extraordinary motions to be submitted to an Extraordinary General Meeting shall apply as for the Annual General MeetiMg in Chapter 2 Section 3 of the Standing Orders.
- Every Member shall be entitled to attend a general meeting. A person other than a Member shall be required at the beginning of a general meeting or on subsequent arrival to announce to the Chairperson her or his presence with explanation of her or his purpose in attending. Such guests may be required by procedural motion to leave for the whole or part of the general meeting. The Chairperson shall have the power to expel from a general meeting a Member or guest whose behaviour is deemed disruptive by the Chairperson.
- At an extraordinary general meeting, no business other than that specified in the petition shall be discussed.
- All remarks shall be addressed to the Chairperson who shall limit the length of speeches. The Chairperson shall neither be a Concerned Member nor address the general meeting except in her or his official capacity. If she or he either becomes a Concerned Member or wishes to speak in any matter then she or he shall appoint a temporary Chairperson from amongst those Full Members present. The temporary Chairperson shall be neither a Concerned Member nor have yet spoken in the matter unless all those Full Members present are either Concerned Members or have already spoken in the matter. In this case the incumbent Chairperson shall appoint a temporary Chairperson from amongst those Full Members present other than Concerned Members. The Chairperson at the beginning of the discussion shall resume the Chair after the end of the discussion.
- The Proposer (or in the case of absence of the Proposer, the Seconder) shall state the motion and explain it as she or he sees fit. In the event of opposition fiom a Full Member every Member shall be entitled to speak once on the motion until the Division is called, and may speak again at the discretion of the Chairperson. The Proposer (or in the absence of the Proposer), the Seconder shall be entitled to the last speech before the Division, even when the Division shall have been called by procedural motion. A guest may speak only with the permission of the Chairperson.
- An amendment to a motion may be proposed by any Full Member present at a general meeting provided that in the opinion of the Chairperson the amendment is not contrary to the spirit of the original motion. If the amendment is seconded by another Full Member present then the amendment shall become the motion for the time being. The amendment shall be dealt with fully in accordance with all the appropriate sections of the Standing Orders before any further consideration of the substantive motion. No amendment of an amendment hall be allowed.
- Every Member shall be entitled to raise a point of information during a speech provided that the speaker indicates her or his willingness to give way, If this point takes the form of an enquiry which the Chairperson considers relevant to the current matter but the current speaker cannot answer then the Chairperson shall attempt to ascertain the information from any conveniently available source. Every Member shall be entitled to raise a point of order at any time and the Chairperson shall rule immediately on the validity of that point.
- Every Full Member shall be entitled to propose at any time any of the following procedural motions which shall take precedence over all other business:
- Objection to the presence of guests
- To proceed to the next business immediately
- That the question now be put
- That the question not be put
- That the substantive motion be taken in parts
- Challenge to a ruling by the Chairperson
- Change of Chairperson
- Every Full Member present at a general meeting shall be entitled to one and only one vote at each Division. After the last speech by the Proposer (or in the absence of the Proposer, the Seconder) at the call for each Division the Chairperson shall invite those Full Members present firstly to vote for the motion and secondly to vote against the motion. The Chairperson shall count the total number of Full Members present at the time of each Division with the assistance of two tellers appointed by her or him from amongst the Full Members present other than Concerned Members. Those Full Members present but not voting shall be deemed to have abstained from voting. The Chairperson shall announce the number of Full Members in each of the categories of assent, dissent and abstention immediately on completion of the Division.
- The President when present shall be the Chairperson at the beginning of all general meetings. The President shall uphold the Objects of the Society and shall ensure the observance of the Constitution and shall be the Spokesperson of Policy. In the case of vacancy or illness or incapacity of the President her or his responsibilities shall be assumed by the most senior Officer not indisposed.
Chapter 3: Committee Meetings
- Committee Meetings shall endeavour to reach decisions by consensus but in the case of dispute each Officer present shall have one and only one vote and the matter shall be decided by simple majority. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson shall have a casting vote.
- No decision taken by the Committee shall be executed without the knowledge of the President who shall be entitled to require any decision taken by the Committee which he or she shall consider to be outside its jurisdiction to be presented instead as a motion at a general meeting.
- The President when present shall be the Chairperson at the beginning of all Committee Meetings. The President shall uphold the Objects of the Society and shall ensure the observance of the Consitution and shall be the Spokesperson on Policy. In the case of vacancy or illness or incapacity of the President her or his responsibilities shall be assumed by the senior Officer not indisposed.
Chapter 4: Polls
- Valid nominations for an election shall be submitted to the Secretary. In the case of vacancy or illness or incapacity of the Secretary, her or his responsibilities shall be assumed by the most senior Officer not indisposed.
- In the event of only one valid nomination for the election of an Office, the poll for that election shall be cancelled, and the person nominated shall be elected to that Office.