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Newcastle LINKS

Students of Newcastle upon Tyne

1.

Name a) The name of The Society shall be ‘Newcastle LINKS (St John Ambulance)’, hereafter referred to as “The Society” in terms of both the Newcastle University Union Society; and Northumbria Students’ Union (hereafter collectively referred to as “The Union”, unless otherwise stated). b) The name of the operational St John Ambulance unit will be ‘Newcastle LINKS’, hereafter referred to as “The Unit” in terms of St John Ambulance.

2. Purpose of LINKS a) The aim of Newcastle LINKS shall be to provide students of Newcastle upon Tyne within the St John Ambulance county of Northumbria with the opportunity to become involved or remain involved with St John Ambulance activities.

b) The objectives of LINKS shall be i.

To attract new volunteers from Higher Education to St John Ambulance.

ii.

To enable existing St. John Ambulance volunteers to maintain their contact with St John Ambulance whilst in Higher Education.

iii.

To encourage LINKS volunteer members to remain active volunteers within St John Ambulance when they leave Higher Education.

iv.

To encourage a volunteer ethos amongst students.

v.

To encourage personal development.

vi.

To give students the opportunity to develop their first aid.

vii.

To broaden the opportunities for students to volunteer in the wider community.

viii.

To provide a first aid service at events.

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3. Method The work of The Committee shall be carried out in furtherance of the purpose of The Unit and society, and shall include: a) Liaising with county staff within the county of Northumbria on LINKS issues. b) Organising training for members. c) Organising social events for members. d) Co-ordinating Newcastle LINKS members attending St John Ambulance events. e) Co-ordinating LINKS activities with that of other units in the County.

4. Membership a) LINKS exists as two entities – both as a joint society between Northumbria and Newcastle Student Unions; and as a unit in St John Ambulance Northumbria. i.

Members of The Unit must first join The Society.

ii.

Members of The Society are not automatically members of The Unit.

b) Society Membership i.

Membership shall be open to all members of The Union, unless in exceptional circumstances where an exclusion from joining The Society can be justified.

ii.

Membership fee: i. The minimum membership fee for The Society shall be set by The Union. ii. The actual membership fee is decided by The Society. iii. Changes to the membership fee must be passed by two-thirds majority at the annual general meeting (AGM).

iii.

Membership of The Society must be renewed every year.

c) Unit Membership i.

St John Ambulance Regulations will govern the membership of The Unit, including admittance and expulsion from The Unit.

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ii.

After this, The Unit and Society Policy will govern The Unit.

iii.

Following expulsion of a member from The Unit, appropriate St John Ambulance disciplinary procedures should be instigated within seven days.

iv.

Should a member not renew society membership within an academic year and The Committee has sufficient evidence of lack of participation, it may be assumed that the member has lost interest. This will be reflected in unit annual returns.

d) Weekly Meetings i.

Weekly meetings, usually held on a Thursday, will be run both as a meeting of The Society, and as a unit training night.

ii.

Non unit or society members shall be admitted to meetings at the discretion of The Committee and a charge may be levied.

iii.

The CSO (LINKS) shall have an open invite to all meetings and no fee will be incurred.

iv.

Members of county staff may be invited to attend meetings at the discretion of The Committee, and no fee will be incurred.

e) Events i.

Events run by Newcastle LINKS may be so under either guise – society or unit.

ii.

This will be stated at the time, and will be clarified by the committee should a member have a question as to the type of event.

iii.

Society members who are not members of St John Ambulance cannot attend events run as a unit, unless approval is given by an appropriate person within St John Ambulance Northumbria, at Assistant Commissioner level in rank, or above.

iv.

Unit members who have not joined The Society can only attend society events at the discretion of the committee, and a fee may be levied.

f) Duties i.

The provision of first aid at events is undertaken by Newcastle LINKS as a unit in St John Ambulance Northumbria. Clearance to attend these events as a member of Newcastle LINKS is subject to St John Ambulance regulations.

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g) Membership of The Society or unit may be terminated by: i.

Resignation – the individual submitting in writing, their resignation from the group to the President/Secretary.

ii.

Expulsion – as a result of disciplinary action taken by The Society requiring two thirds majority of the group membership on the grounds of gross misconduct.

5. Committee a) The elected Committee Members of the group shall be the following:

i. Newcastle President (President/Chief) ii. Newcastle Administration Coordinator (Secretary) iii. Newcastle Finance Coordinator (Treasurer) iv. Northumbria President (President/Chief) v. Northumbria Administration Coordinator (Secretary) vi. Northumbria Finance Coordinator (Treasurer) vii. Operations Co-Coordinator viii. Training Co-Coordinator ix. Events Co-ordinator x. Volunteering & Recognition Coordinator

b) These roles can be amended, posts vii-x can be deleted, or roles can be added for election prior to an AGM by the incumbent Committee. These changes will result in the first order of business at the AGM being the ratification of an amended constitution to include the changes in roles. If this is passed, the new roles will be available for election. These changes can be made earlier than the AGM at an EGM. This does not affect Committee roles already in use, and changes will only come into affect at the AGM unless otherwise stated. c) The new merging of roles passes previous role of IT Coordinator to one of the Administration Co-ordinators, with the Other Administration Coordinator taking the lead role with regards to admin.

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d) Elected Committee Members shall be responsible for meeting the requirements of their role as defined in the relevant role descriptions. e) Only members of The Students’ Unions of the respective Universities may be elected for the roles of President, Administration Coordinator (Secretary) and Finance Coordinator (Treasurer). f) Following the AGM vote, a second vote must take place to decide which president shall take overall leadership of The Society. This should primarily be an indicative vote, and a paper ballot if inconclusive. The president who does not gain majority vote shall take the role of Vice President (Chief). g) Following the AGM, the subsequent secondary roles will be decided amongst the committee: i. Equipment Coordinator ii. Radio Communications Coordinator iii. IT Coordinator

6. Annual General Meeting (AGM) a) There shall be an AGM every year within the spring term. The exact date and venue is at the discretion of The Committee. b) The AGM will be governed by the relevant policy of The Union, however the specific Newcastle LINKS policies regarding an AGM are as below. c) The Secretary shall give 14 days’ notice of the AGM in writing (including email) to all members of The Society and unit. d) The agenda of the AGM shall be made available no later than 7 days prior to the meeting. e) The President of The Society shall act as chairman of the AGM. In the absence of the President, the Chief shall act as chairman of the AGM as required by their role description. In the absence of both President and Chief, the persons present shall appoint a chairman of the meeting. f) During the AGM, The Committee Members must present a brief verbal annual report of their activities in the last year. g) The quorum of general meetings should be 15 members, 8 of whom should not be members of The Committee.

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h) At the AGM, the election of the following roles will be governed by the following policies: a. Northumbria President, Northumbria Finance Coordinator (Treasurer) and Northumbria Administration Coordinator (Secretary) will be elected according to The Society policy of Northumbria Students’ Union. b. Newcastle President, Newcastle Finance Coordinator (Treasurer) and Newcastle Administration Coordinator (Secretary) will be elected according to The Society policy of The Newcastle University Union Society. c. Operations Coordinator, Training Coordinator, Events Coordinator and Volunteering and Recognition Coordinator will be elected by the following procedure: i. Candidates will state their intention to run for a position; ii. Candidates for the same position will leave the room while the other members present at the AGM decide on two questions to ask the candidates; iii. Candidates will enter the room one at a time, give a one minute speech on why they should be elected, and then answer the questions agreed upon, each candidate will be asked the same questions; iv. After all positions have gone through this process, the ballot will be conducted in alignment with guidelines in this document and that of The Society and Unit Policy. d. This procedure will also be used for the roles contained within 6.h.a and 6.h.b, should there not be adequate guidance, or should this not contradict the procedure as outlined by the policies of The Union.

7. Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) a) The Committee may call an extraordinary general meeting of The Unit or society at any time. b) If at least 15% of The Unit/society membership or 10 members, whichever is less, request such a meeting in writing to any Committee Member, stating the business to be considered, The Committee Member shall then call such a meeting. c) At least 7 days notice must be given. d) The notice calling the meeting must state the business to be discussed.

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e) Quorum for such a meeting shall be the same as the Annual General Meeting. f) Any references in this document to procedures which can occur at an AGM, can also be enacted upon during an EGM.

8. Election Procedures a) The Committee shall be elected by single-transferable vote by The Society at the AGM. b) A list of Committee Members should be submitted to the societies’ office of The Union by the beginning of the next academic year. c) Committee Members may be co-opted by The Committee during a state of emergency. All co-opted members shall be known as “acting” members until confirmed at the next AGM or EGM. The procedure for co-opting (Caretaking), and the duration for which someone can be co-opted will be further explained by The Society and Unit Policy. d) If a Committee Member resigns, a replacement may be elected during EGM or co-opted as described above. e) All Committee Members may be removed by a vote during AGM/EGM.

9. Accounts a) The Treasurers shall be responsible for all financial matters pertaining to their financial portfolio, with The Lead Treasurer responsible for any moneys held in a St John Ambulance account; except when overruled by two-thirds majority of The Committee or the membership during AGM/EGM. b) An annual report of accounts shall be submitted by the treasurer at the AGM as part of their Committee Member report.

10. Equal Opportunities a) In all activities, The Unit/society shall not breach union or St John Ambulance equal opportunities policy in any way. b) The President (or nominee) shall inform any outside speaker or guest that they must also abide by this policy.

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11. Code of Conduct a) All persons attending any meeting or event in connection with The Unit or society shall not discredit the name of St John Ambulance, Newcastle University Union Society, Northumbria Students’ Union or any other organisation they represent or carrying out duties on behalf of. b) Members should work within the rules set down in section 12 of this constitution and any reasonable instruction given by the event’s organiser, duty manager or committee.

12. Rules a) The organisation and procedure of the group shall be governed by the following documents in the order listed below: i. St John Ambulance Regulations; or Students’ Union Society governing policy – depending on what the activity in question is, and whether it is being carried out as a Student Society or a Unit in St John Ambulance. ii. This constitution; iii. Appendices to this constitution; iv. Newcastle LINKS Society and Unit Policy, including supporting Documents; v. Policy which relates to organisation and procedure. b) For any changes to existing Union policy, or when new policy is created by The Union, there will be a four week transition period before these are applied to Newcastle LINKS. This time will enable Newcastle LINKS to either prepare for, or dispute the policy. This will only apply where the policy change will have an immediate affect on Newcastle LINKS, or will affect future plans within the four week period. a. If a policy is disputed, a reasonable effort must be made by both The Committee and the relevant Students’ Union to rectify this within the transition period, and to not bide time. c) Amendments to these rules may be passed by two-thirds majority at the AGM. d) The Committee may by two-thirds majority and during state of emergency, make temporary amendments to these rules in the best interests of The Unit/Society. These amendments shall be put forward for ratification by The Unit/Society at the next available opportunity.

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e) No amendments shall be made which would have the effect of causing the group to act illegally or in contradiction to the legal regulation of St John Ambulance or The Union. f) Any issue relating to the interpretation and implementation of these rules shall be decided by two-thirds majority of The Committee and shall be formally clarified at the next AGM/EGM as an amendment or appendix to this constitution. g) A state of emergency may be declared by the following persons in order of precedence: i. The Appropriate Chief Volunteer ii. The Appropriate Assistant Commissioner iii. CSO (LINKS) in unanimous agreement with The Committee

13. Society and Unit Policy a) The Society and Unit Policy will expand on this constitution. b) All procedures and policies of Newcastle LINKS are contained within The Society and Unit Policy, which is to be consulted immediately after this constitution in precedence, however still bearing the same weight and authority. Any conflicting messages given by This Constitution and The Society and Unit Policy will be dealt with by Policy 12.e contained within this document.

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14. Agreement a) This constitution was adopted at AGM by The Committee whose signatures appear at the bottom of this document, on behalf of the group.

President

Chief

Operations Coordinator

Training Coordinator

Events Coordinator

Administration Coordinator

Administration Coordinator

Finance Coordinator

Finance Coordinator

Volunteering & Recognition Coordinator

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Our Constitution  

This is the Newcastle LINKS Constitution. This particular version was passed with a few amendments at the AGM on 24/02/11.

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