Student Council Monday 19 September 2011 at 18.30 in the David Sizer Lecture Theatre Agenda
Apologies If you are unable to attend the meeting please send your apologies to firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair’s Welcome and Announcements
Minutes from the inquorate meeting of Student Council held on 11 September 2011 (pages 2-5) Union Council is asked to note the record of the last meeting which was inquorate due to low attendance.
Amendments to Clubs, Societies and Student Group Regulations (pages 6-19) A motion seeking to amend the Union’s Clubs, Societies and Student Groups Regulations. Proposed by Dominic Bell (Vice-President Rights and activities) and seconded by Oscar Williamson (Vice-President Education and Welfare).
Amendments to Election Regulations (pages 20-33) A motion seeking to amend the Union’s Election Regulations. Proposed by Sophie Richardson (President) and seconded by Oscar Williamson (Vice-President Education and Welfare).
Any other business
Time, date and place of next meeting Tuesday 18 October at 17.30, Venue TBC
Student Council Minutes Sunday 11 September 2011 at 13.30 at Bowles Activity Centre The meeting did not reach quorum (the minimum number of members required for a meeting to take place) therefore the meeting and votes were held unofficially to only inform the Union’s activities.
Mile End Officers present (9): Ben Richardson (Student Representative) Caz Parra (Secretary) Dominic Todd (Sports Officer) Donald McKinnon (LGBT Officer) Eleanor Hallam (Chair)
Michael Gilbert (Postgraduate Officer) Ozzy Amir (Campaigns Officer) Shaun Ramanah (Students with Disabilities’ Officer) Wilson Wong (Societies’ Officer)
Mile End Officer apologies (9) Ciara Squires (Student Representative) Ellen Kiely (RAG Officer) Chris Smith (Student Representative) Tom Voice (Ethical and Environmental Officer) Darcie Tyler-Henley (Volunteering Officer)
Edoardo Palmombo (Welfare Officer) Wanda Canton (Women’s Officer) Nabil Najjar (Student Representative) Velyana Borisova (International Officer)
Whitechapel Officers present (5): Adnam Aslam (Dental Representative) Robert Zabihi (Dental Representative) Andrew Smith (Student Representative)
Nicolas Blondel (Campaigns Officer) Micheal Samy (Communications Officer)
Whitechapel Officers apologies (13): Jon Cramphorn (Vice-President Barts) Jeeves Wijesuriya (Vice-President London) Amy Coulden (Entertainments Officer) Salem Al-Sawaf (Entertainments Officer) Timothy Foster (Clubs and Societies’ Officer) Ramey Assaf (External Affairs Officer) Eva Pathmananthan (Dental President)
Mandi Pal (Secretary) Benjamin Hughes (Technical Officer) Richard Donovan (SSLC Rep) Hannah Downer (Treasurer) Aran Ali (RAG Captain) Sam Chequer (Welfare Officer)
Sabbatical Officers in attendance: Sophie Richardson (President) George Ryan (Vice-President Association) Sam Creighton (Vice-President Communications)
Dominic Bell (Vice-President Activities) Oscar Williamson (Vice-President Education and Welfare)
Union Staff in attendance: Philip Gilks (Student Voice and Development Manager) Tom Sutton (Representation and Democracy Co-ordinator)
Apologies Apologies were noted and accepted.
Chair’s Welcome Chair welcomed members to the first meeting of the new academic year.
Articles of Association Sophie Richardson spoke in favour of the adoption of a new Articles of Association to replace the Union’s current constitution that will allow the Union to become an incorporated charity. Student Council voted in favour of the motion: - 11 votes in favour - 0 votes against - 1 abstention
Election Regulations Sophie Richardson spoke in favour of changes to the Union’s Election Regulations. The proposal was the outcome of a review conducted after this year’s main elections. The review clarified definitions of terms, adapted the role of student media and clearly defined the appeals and complaints procedure.
Amendment to the Election Regulations - Caz Parra spoke in favour of the amendment to increase the period between the close of nominations and polling from at least three to at least four working days. She argued three days was not sufficient time to allow candidates to sufficiently prepare their campaigns. - Sophie Richardson spoke against the amendment. She argued that although at least three days was specified in the Articles the period in question was almost guaranteed to be longer when possible. - Ozzy Amir spoke in favour of the amendment. He argued that the amendment was to guarantee the period in question was at least a day longer. - Andy Smith spoke against the amendment. He argued that the elections process was too long, especially for candidates on professional courses and supported a reduction of the period in question. - Wilson Wong asked for clarification on how long this period was in previous elections. - Philip Gilks replied with five to seven days. - Caz Parra spoke in favour of the amendment. She argued changes to regulations had already been proposed at a General Meeting. - Sophie Richardson spoke against the amendment. She argued that the wording of the amendment did not fit with the new regulations – the regulations no longer differentiate between the main elections and a by-election. - Student Council voted against the amendment: - 4 votes in favour - 8 votes against - 1 abstention
Caz Parra spoke against the proposal. She argued certain sections of the regulations required more development such as clauses referring to new and social media. - Dominic Bell agreed that the sabbatical officers and Union staff would rewrite the regulations to encompass all new and social media ahead of the next Student Council Meeting. Student Council voted in favour of the motion: - 7 votes in favour - 0 votes against - 5 abstentions
Sabbatical Officer Roles
Dominic Bell spoke in favour of changes to the Union’s Sabbatical Officer structure. The proposal was developed along the principle that all officers should be representatives, campaigners or advocates and their responsibilities should not include tasks that are better fulfilled by a staff member or volunteer recruited on the basis of skill and ability. He summarised the changes: - Vice-President Education and Welfare is replaced with a ‘Vice-President Education’ and a ‘Vice-President Welfare’. - Vice-President Student Activities will be removed and current responsibilities distributed to Union staff and Part-time Officers. - Vice-President Communications will also be removed and current responsibilities distributed to Union staff and student editors. -
Shaun Ramanah asked for clarification if the membership and balance of between Student Trustees, External Trustees and Sabbatical Trustees on the Union’s Trustee Board will change as a consequence of these changes. Dominic Bell replied that the balance and membership of the Trustee Board (currently five Student Trustees, five External Trustees and five Sabbatical trustees) will be adjusted to four of each.
Student Council voted in favour of the motion: - 10 votes in favour - 0 votes against - 3 abstentions 6.0
Part-time Officer Roles Oscar Williamson spoke in favour of changes to the Union’s Part-time Officer structure and membership of Student Council. The aim of the changes was to ensure all members of Student Council were representatives, to support and guide the education and welfare representation work of the Union and to make the Officer structure in Mile End and Whitechapel more reflective. George Ryan on behalf of the Union’s Dental Representatives spoke against the motion. He argued that in the new structure Dental student representation was reduced from three members of Student Council. Oscar Williamson spoke in favour of the motion. He argued that Dental students were still represented through all representatives including two new faculty representatives representing Barts and The London. Shaun Ramanah spoke against the motion. He argued the motion, that proposed giving Sabbatical Officer the vote on Student Council, could dilute the power of Part-time Officers. Sophie Richardson spoke in favour of the motion. She argued a vote does not increase the influence of Sabbatical Officers on Student Council. Sabbatical Officers are lead representatives of the Union and were often elected by more students than Part-time Officers so should have a vote of the Union’s main governing body. Donald McKinnon spoke against the motion. He argued giving Sabbatical Officers a vote on Council would effectively give them a vote on the body that scrutinises their performance. Sophie Richardson spoke for the motion. She argued that Student Council’s remit was wider than scrutiny and included setting policy and determining the strategy and direction of the Union and that Sabbatical Officers should have a vote when these areas were considered. She added that Student Council was responsible for keeping all Student Councillors to account not just the Sabbatical Officers, so effectively all Student Councillors currently have a vote on a body that scrutinises their performance. - Nicolas Blondel asked for clarification whether student Councillors could take part in votes of no confidence against themselves. - Dominic Bell replied that rules on conflict of interest would mean a Student Councillor subject to a vote of no confidence could not take part in the vote.
Ozzy Amir spoke against the motion. He argued that giving Sabbatical Officers votes contradicted the Sabbatical Officers aims to empower more students. Sophie Richardson gave the summation in favour of the motion summarising the arguments made in favour of the motion. Student Council voted in favour of the motion: - 3 votes in favour - 1 votes against - 9 abstentions 7.0
Clubs, Societies and Student Groups Regulations Dominic Bell spoke in favour of a review of the Union’s Clubs, Societies and Student Groups Regulations. The proposal created new ‘student groups’ for volunteering, campaigning and support activities. Among other changes the review included a change to the definition of an active group. Wilson Wong spoke against the changes. He argued against the removal of the requirement to have at least twenty members to be considered an active society. He argued it was an effective measure and twenty members justified Union funding. Michael Gilbert argued in favour of the changes. He argued that groups such as the Metal and Rock Society though it has less than twenty members. -
Caz Parra asked for clarification if the regulations will be amended, replacing the VicePresident Student Activities, if the sabbatical officers proposals were successful. Dominic Bell replied that he expected the regulations will be changed and adapted annually.
Wilson Wong spoke against the changes. He argued that Union funding for clubs and societies should be focused on groups with the biggest impact on the Union’s members and the absent twenty member requirement ensured this. Donald McKinnon spoke in favour of the changes. He argued some societies such as the LGBT society needed to exist whatever the level of activity to support students so supported the removal of the twenty member requirement. Sean Ramanah spoke against the changes. He argued that the Union couldn’t maintain societies that had so few members as there was nothing to support. Oscar Williamson spoke in favour of the changes. He argued that societies should not lose their progress as a consequence of a year’s lull in activity. Wilson Wong spoke against the changes. He argued that rather than funding small clubs and societies the Union should focus on supporting them to grow. Dominic Bell gave the summation in favour of the changes summarising the arguments made in favour of the changes. Student Council voted in favour of the motion: - 10 votes in favour - 0 votes against - 3 abstentions 8.0
Any other Business Because the meeting had failed to reach the numbers required for a meeting to take place another meeting will need to be called to discuss the urgent items on the agenda.
Queen Mary Students’ Union
Clubs, Societies and Student Groups Regulations
Final draft – 07/09/11 6
Introduction and definitions
Affiliation and Membership
Help and Support for Clubs, Societies and Student Groups
Election and duties of Principal Officers
Postering and Flyering Policy
Room Bookings, Events and Speakers on Campus
Health and safety
Events Off-Campus and Events Management
13.0 Club Sports Advisory Board (CSAB) and Societies and Student Groups Advisory Board (SSGAB)
Introduction and Definitions
Clubs, Societies and Student Groups are an important part of QMSU and student participation is essential. Members can enjoy a wide range of activities with assistance from QMSU. 1.1
There shall be two sets of Clubs, Societies, and Student Groups. Mile End (ME) Clubs, Societies, and Student Groups, and Whitechapel (WC) Clubs, Societies, and Student Groups. Regulations for the two groups are broadly the same, but there are slight administrational differences which will be specified throughout these regulations. WC Clubs, Societies, and Student Groups shall be apolitical and non-religious.
There are two types of Clubs, Societies, and Student Groups, ‘Core’ Clubs, Societies, and Student Groups which receive direct funding from QMSU and ‘Foundation’ Clubs, Societies, and Student Groups which do not. All Clubs, Societies, and Student Groups in their first year are classified as Foundation Clubs, Societies or Student Groups.
Clubs, Societies, and Student Groups of QMSU are bound by its general policies including the QMSU Disciplinary Policy and QMSU Equal Opportunities Policy.
Queen Mary Students’ Union, University of London.
Either the Sports Advisory Board (CSAB) or Society and Student Groups Advisory Board (SSGAB) as relevant to its context.
A Sport Club of Queen Mary Students’ Union, University of London.
An affiliated Cultural, Political, Religious, Academic/Departmental, Performing, Special Interest or Social society
An affiliated Campaigning, Charity fundraising, Support or Volunteering Student Group.
All the Clubs, Societies, and Student Groups, only used in the context of these regulations.
Vice-President Student Activities. S/he will have responsibility for the overall activities of all QMSU Clubs, Societies and Student Groups.
Clubs and Societies Officer
A specific member of the Student Council and Whitechapel Campus Board. He/she will have responsibility for the activities of the Whitechapel Clubs and Societies.
A specific member of the Student Council and Whitechapel Campus board. He/she will have responsibility for the financial transactions of Whitechapel Clubs and Societies.
1.4.10 Sports Officer
A specific member of the Student Council representing Mile End Sport.
1.4.11 Societies Officer
A specific member of the Student Council representing Mile End Societies and Student Groups.
1.4.12 Societies and Student Groups Co-ordinator
This is a member of staff employed by the Students’ Union to support the work of the Societies, Student Groups and fundraising.
1.4.13 Sports Development Manager
This is a member of staff employed by the Students’ Union to lead on sports development.
1.4.14 Sports Clubs Co-ordinator
This is a member of staff employed by the Students’ Union to support the work of the Sports Clubs.
Affiliation and Membership
Affiliation An Activity Group affiliated to QMSU shall be adequately controlled and governed with its own Constitution and in accordance with the QMSU Constitution and the Regulations and Policies made there under.
Activity Groups may apply for affiliation to the VPSA, Sports Development Manager or Societies and Student Groups Co-ordinator, whoever is most appropriate. Any Club will be affiliated and considered 'active' if it fulfils the following criteria: a) It has a constitution and a set of core aims and objectives that do not duplicate or interfere with another affiliated Activity Group's constitution and core aims and objectives, and are agreed with by QMSU. b) It has a President and Treasurer or equivalent as outlined in the 'Appointment and duties of principal officers'. c) It can achieve a minimum membership which has been agreed with by QMSU. d) It meets all necessary health and safety requirements e) It has identified training and match facilities (only applicable for clubs)
Maintaining Affiliation Once affiliated it is the responsibility of the Activity Group to maintain their affiliation, they are required to do the following: a) Be able to demonstrate the work has been done towards its core aims and objectives at the end of every semester. b) Maintain its agreed membership. c) Be responsive to administrational requirements made by QMSU. d) The President and Treasurer, or equivalent, attends an induction session and follow up training. e) Meets all necessary health and safety requirements.
Membership Full Membership of WC Activity Groups is limited to students of the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD) on a course leading to a qualification within Medicine and Dentistry and Sabbatical officers. Full Membership of ME Activity Groups is available to each and every student of the College who has not opted out of QMSU Membership.
In addition to the limitations in 2.2, only the following may be members of QMSU Activity Groups a) A full member of QMSU b) A QMUL alumni who holds a life-membership c) A member of QMUL staff
Clubs and Societies are required to set a standard subscription fee for members. The minimum subscription fee must be at least £5. Societies subscription fees are subject to VAT. Clubs and Societies can create as many different types of membership as they wish.
Student Groups are not required to charge a minimum fee but members of QMSU must still subscribe to officially join the Student Group. Student Groups may create as many different types of memberships as they wish.
QMSU will provide an accessible method for students to join all Activity Groups.
QMSU will maintain up to date details in respect of the membership numbers and monies deposited. QMSU shall make this information available to Activity Groups on demand.
The membership held by QMSU is definitive. Any reference made to membership numbers within these regulations refers to the list held by QMSU.
To participate in an Activity Group activity, the participant must be a member of that Activity Group. “Taster sessions” are permitted, but these must be defined in the Activity Group Constitution.
No participant may represent a Sports Team, without being a member of the requisite club and whilst also fulfilling the eligibility requirements of the specific competition.
Where an Activity Group has a reciprocal membership agreement with a National Governing Body, this should be specifically communicated to QMSU and defined in the Activity Group Constitution.
Disaffiliation The VPSA, with absolute discretion, may suspend any financial support given by QMSU to an Activity Group upon evidence of one or more of the following: a) It being inactive for a period of two semesters or longer. b) There being financial mismanagement. C) There being a violation of QMSU’s Constitution, Bye-Laws or/and Regulations. d) A contravention of their own Constitution. e) Any of the criteria outlined in 2.2 is not being met.
The Association Treasurer and Clubs and Societies Officer will have the same power as the VPSA in 2.3 for any WC Activity Group. In the event of a disagreement between the Association Treasurer, Clubs and Societies and Officer and VPSA, the VPSA will have ultimate decision making power.
Upon Disaffiliation, or suspension of financial support, the Activity Group has ten working days within which to appeal to the President of QMSU. The QMSU President will then have the responsibility for conducting or tasking someone with the responsibility of conducting an investigation into the appeal. This evidence will then go to the next meeting of the Advisory Board, to which the Activity Group concerned will be allowed to also present their case. The Advisory Board will then decide one of three options: a) To lift the suspension. b) Continue the suspension. c) Disaffiliate the Activity Group.
If the Advisory Board decides that the Activity Group, which has had its case heard against suspension or disaffiliation, should be re-affiliated and the suspension of financial support should be lifted then that Activity Group in question must then enter a trial period lasting until the next Advisory Board after the case has been decided upon, or 6 weeks, whichever is the shorter period. By the end of this period they must be able to demonstrate they are 'active' according to the affiliation requirements.
If the Club or Society does fulfil the conditions set in Paragraph 2.3.3 the Student Council will then ensure that the suspension is lifted and the Activity Group shall be re-affiliated and carry on as normal.
At the end of the trial period as laid down in Paragraph 2.3.3, if the Activity Group has not complied they will automatically have all financial support suspended from QMSU. However, the Advisory Board does have the authority to re-affiliate the Activity Group with no financial support.
Help and support for Clubs, Societies and Student Groups
QMSU is committed to supporting and developing strong, sustainable and student led Activity Groups. QMSU therefore offers help and Support for Activity Groups is in a variety of ways, including in person and online. 3.1
For Sports Clubs, the Bancroft Rd office is the first port of call. The Sports Clubs Coordinator and Sports Development Manager are based in Bancroft Rd.
For Societies and Student Groups, the Blomeley Centre and Association Reception are the first ports of call. The Societies and Student Groups Coordinator and VPSA are based in the Blomeley Centre.
Regular committee training sessions will be provided. Clubs and Society Presidents and Treasurers, or equivalent, are mandated to attend training. If the President or Treasurer does not attend training they must arrange to see the VPSA within 10 working days to see the VPSA, failure to do so will result in sanctions.
Each Activity Group President will be provided with a forwarding email account so they are accessible to the student body.
A section of the QMSU website, www.qmsu.org, will be available for each Club, Society and Student Group.
External websites are permitted, including pages on social networking sites. However, due to the provision already available, no funding will be made available for this.
The content of external websites will be periodically monitored and any website that is linked to an Activity Group should be in line with the QMSU Constitution and the regulations and Policies made thereunder.
Election and Duties of Principal Officers
The Activity Group Officials, including the President and Treasurer or equivalent shall be appointed by election at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Activity Group. The period of office runs from 1st August of the year of the election to 31st July the following year. Guidance on running an election can be sought from the VPSA. 4.0.1
The VPSA or Clubs and Societies Officer, with advice from the relevant Advisory Board, may refuse a Presidents’ appointment. This decision may be appealed to the Student Council.
Any Officers have to be full members of QMSU and the relevant Activity Group.
President The president can sometimes be referred to as Club Captain for Clubs.
The responsibilities of the President include: a) Being the figurehead of the Activity Group. b) Ensuring that the Activity Group operates in accordance with its constitution and the Constitution, Bye-Laws and Regulations of QMSU. c) Attending QMSU training sessions as appropriate. d) Calling General Meetings of the Activity Group. e) Organising fair and transparent elections for the following year’s committee in accordance with section 6 of these regulations. f) For being the point of contact between QMSU and the Activity Group members. The President is mandated to keep in regular contact with the VPSA (for ME and WC Clubs and Societies) and Clubs and Societies Officer (for WC Clubs and Societies). g) Authorising the withdrawal of expenditure from the Clubs Societies or Student Groups account.
Treasurer The Treasurer can sometimes be referred to as Vice President for clubs.
The responsibilities of the Treasurer include: a) Keeping current accurate financial information of the Club's, Society’s, or Student Group's activities b) Ensuring financial transactions made through the Finance Office are conducted in accordance with guidance provided. c) Authorising the withdrawal of expenditure from the Clubs Societies or Student Groups account.
d) e) f) g)
Attending QMSU training sessions as appropriate. Ensuring that all relevant financial documents are retrieved from the previous Treasurer and passed on to the next Treasurer. Ensuring that Budget Application forms for the following year are returned by the due date in accordance with all guidance provided. Having a meeting with the VPSA and the incoming treasurer in Semester B to go through the budget application.
Any Treasurer encountering difficulties can obtain guidance from the VPSA, Association Treasurer, Sports Club Coordinator, Societies and Student Groups Coordinator or the Finance Office.
Other Officers In line with its own Constitution, an Activity Group may have other officers, elected at AGM in a similar fashion to the President and Treasurer.
These other committee positions must be communicated to the VPSA for ME Clubs and Societies, or the Clubs and Societies Officer for WC Clubs and Societies.
The procedure for the removal of these officers is the same as for the removal of President or Treasurer.
For competitive sports teams, a captain for each team should be elected at AGM and communicated to the Sports Clubs Co-ordinator .
All Activity Groups are required to have at least one General Meeting a year, to be known as their Annual General Meeting. 5.0.1
The meeting should be chaired by the President of the Activity Group or by any person that the meeting sees fit, provided that he/she is a member of the Activity Group or related to it.
The meeting will have a quorum defined in its individual constitution. If this limit is not reached, no decision taken by the meeting will be official. The Activity Group may act on the basis of a decision made at an in-quorate meeting subject to sanction by the VPSA (for ME Activity Groups) or Clubs and Societies Officer (for WC Activity Groups), until such time as a quorate meeting rules to the contrary. If necessary all students present will need to be verified that they are fully-paid members of the Activity Group.
Minutes of meetings will be taken by the Activity Group. A copy of the minutes, signed by the President or Treasurer must be deposited with the VPSA (for ME Activity Groups) or Clubs and Societies Officer (for WC Activity Groups) for record purposes. The latest period in which the minutes of the meeting can be submitted to the VPSA will be at the end of the semester in which the meeting was held, or upon request by the VPSA or Clubs and Societies Officer.
Meetings will follow the agenda and form as specified in Appendix II
Calling a General Meeting Notice of a General Meeting must be given at least six working days in advance of the meeting. The agenda must be publicised for at least 24 hours prior to the start of the meeting.
Any agenda items must be submitted to the President of the Activity Group at least 48 hours prior to the meeting taking place.
A General Meeting must also be called if a Committee member stands down and there is an election to replace this committee member.
Extraordinary General Meetings An Extraordinary meeting may be called by the President of the Activity Group or by its members, provided that they present the President of the Activity Group a petition of names amounting to 1/3 of the Activity Group membership and that the rules of the timing of the meeting, as above, are observed.
QMSU awards Activity groups and individuals involved in Activity Groups annually for the work they do. Awards are decided through a fair and transparent system. 7.0
Postering and Flyering Policy
Activity Groups may place a maximum of 20 A3 or 40 A4 sized posters or equivalent around campus at any one time. Only designated notice boards are to be used for postering, permission must be sought from the relevant College / Union / Association department. Exterior walls or pillars, windows or doors are not to be used. a) All posters and flyers must clearly carry the name of the relevant Activity Group and carry the Studentsâ€™ Union logo. This logo must not be distorted or abridged in anyway. b) All posters must be stamped and flyers approved by the VPSA, the Vice-President Communications or the Barts and the London President (or his nominee) before they are displayed. c) All posters must be removed following an event that they are advertising. d) Members must clearly display student ID when giving out flyers. e) All posters in a foreign language must be accompanied by an English translation. 7.1
Breaches of the Postering Policy may result in disciplinary action such as disallowing further postering and promotion on campus for the Activity Group, or disallowing the event advertised.
Room Bookings, Invited Speakers and Events on Campus
In consultation with the College, QMSU has responsibility for all Activity Groups on campus. All bookings and events must be authorized by the VPSA (or their nominee).
Sports Hall and Qmotion Activity Groups whose core function demand it, will receive block bookings in the Sportshall or QMotion Studios. These will be determined by the Sports Development Manager, VPSA, and/or as relevant the Clubs and Societies Officer(s) with advice from the CSAB. Bookings must be requested as part of the Budget Pack submitted before the beginning of the financial year. Allocations will be decided based on fixture needs and level of activity.
Where Activity Groups require a one off booking in the Sports Hall or Qmotion Studios for a core activity, they should request this from the Sports Development Manager, at least two weeks before the booking.
Where Activity Groups require bookings in the Sports Hall or Qmotion Studios for activities outside their core activities, they should request these from the Sports Development Manager, though they may be charged at a student rate for the booking, e.g. a Cultural Society requesting a booking for 5-a-side football booking.
Booking the Collegeâ€™s Teaching Rooms The College has regulations in place for Studentsâ€™ bookings. Contact the Teaching Bookings department to find out more http://www.teachingbookings.qmul.ac.uk/booking/index.html
Affiliated Activity Groups are able to book teaching rooms from Monday to Friday for free. Bookings should be made with Teaching Bookings in the Queens Building and are approved by the VPSA or VP Association.
Affiliated Activity Groups are able to book teaching rooms within college during the weekends subject to a fee. Bookings should be made with Conferences in the Queens Building and are approved by the VPSA or VP Association.
Invited Speakers Any invited speakers are subject to approval from the QMSU and the University.
Events on Campus There are a limited number of venues available for booking events including Drapers Bar Club Room, Ground, Blomeley Centre, The Griffinn, and The Shield 2. Activity Groups may be charged a minimal rate for hire of equipment, security, or staff from their Grant or Subs Account.
Activity Groups planning an event in open spaces on campus must have completed a risk assessment.
Health & Safety
All full members of Affiliated Activity Groups are covered for personal injury insurance and public liability insurance under QMSU insurance policies. 9.1
All QMSU Activity Groups are required to observe the individual Activity Groups Code of Practice on Health and Safety. The President and Treasurer of each Club are designated
Safety Officers with specific responsibility for ensuring that the requirements of the code are observed. 9.2
Those Clubs, (both ME and WC) designated by QMSU as high risk should have regular health and safety meetings with the Sports Clubs Coordinator and fill out the relevant documentation for all activities.
Subscriptions, Sponsorship, and Other Income When members join an Activity Group their purchase for subscription will be credited to the Activity Group’s Subs Account. See Membership 2.3.2 and 2.3.3 on minimum subscription fees.
10.1.1 An Activity Group’s proposed subscription fee shall be set before the beginning of the financial year (1st August) and should not change midway through the financial year. Activity Group’s may create multiple subscriptions. 10.1.2 QMSU will not accept payments for Activity Group subscriptions made on behalf of other members. 10.1.3 All sponsorship obtained by Activity Groups must have the authorization of the VPSA and any sponsorship agreement must not conflict with any of QMSU’s policies. 10.1.4 All other income for an Activity Group, from whatever source, must be paid into QMSU as soon after receipt as possible where it will be credited to the Activity Group’s Subs Account. Income deposited by cash or cheque will be receipted at the time of transaction and the receipt must be retained in the Treasurer’s records. 10.1.5 Any Activity Group that operates an external bank account or does not deposit members’ money into their Subs Account will be subject to suspension or disaffiliation at the discretion of QMSU following an investigation. Members may also be subject to QMSU’s Disciplinary Policy. 10.2
Grants QMSU will make a general allocation for Clubs and a general allocation for Societies and Student Groups in the context of QMSU’s overall budget and finances.
10.2.1 Out of the general allocations individual Grants will also be allocated to specific Activity Groups in addition to their Subs Account, as long as the Activity Group has submitted a completed Budget Pack by the deadline set by QMSU. 10.2.2 Activity Groups will receive a Budget Pack in Semester B in order to apply for a Grant for the following financial year. 10.2.3 Late applications may be accepted at the discretion of the VPSA.
10.2.4 The calculation for the allocation of individual Grants is based on the judgement as to what is a ‘reasonable level of activity’. The following criteria have been produced to determine a reasonable level of activity: a) Level of proposed activity. b) Recent previous activity. c) Recent membership numbers and expected membership numbers. d) Level of proposed individual member contribution and recent member contributions. e) Relationship between the Activity Group’s constitution, core aims and objectives, and application for funds. f) Level of demonstration of work towards the Activity Group’s core aims and objectives. 10.2.5 Below are listed the headings under which an individual Grant allocation can also be awarded: a) Promotion, Administration and Stationery b) Travel – normally QMSU will only award 50% c) Invited Speakers Expenses and Hospitality d) Affiliations to other organizations – where deemed of importance e) Coaching and Tuition – Coaches must be qualified and hold any relevant licences/qualifications, a copy of which must be deposited with the Sports Clubs Coordinator f) Referees Expenses g) Facility Hire and Equipment Storage h) New Equipment and Equipment Maintenance and Replacement i) Health and Safety 10.2.6 Where the individual Grant allocation does not meet the entire cost of an Activity Group’s activity the balance must be paid from their Subs Account. 10.2.7 Activity Groups aggrieved by their grant allocation may appeal in the first case to the VPSA. Should the conclusions of the VPSA remain unacceptable, the grievance will be taken to the relevant Advisory Board after which a paper on the grievance from the Advisory Board will be lodged with Student Council. The decision of the Student Council will be final. 10.2.8 Contingencies are reserved from the overall Clubs budget and the overall Societies and Student Groups budget. 10.2.9 No allocations will be made for Ultra Vires spending. Grant allocations can only be spent on that which benefits members. 10.3
10.3.1 Purchase Orders and Credit Card payments Activity Groups may request that QMSU make payments for them from their Grant or Subs Account either by Purchase Order or Credit Card. QMSU has the right to not make payments for Activity Groups if they have not consulted with QMSU before placing an order.
10.3.1.1 Where members have committed QMSU to make payments and have not consulted with QMSU previously they may be subject to QMSU Disciplinary Policy following an investigation by QMSU. Members may also be referred by QMSU to the College Disciplinary Policy. 10.3.2 Claims for reimbursements QMSU can also reimburse members by cheque or online bank transfer when they submit a claim which has been authorized by the Activity Group’s President or Treasurer and has attached proof of payment, for instance, a receipt or bank statement. 10.3.2.1 A reimbursement claim must also be authorized by QMSU. 10.3.2.2 A member cannot authorize their own reimbursement claims. 10.3.2.3 Reimbursements will only be made where the value of expenditure can be met by the appropriate Activity Group’s Grant or Subs Account. 188.8.131.52 No Activity Group will be able to affect any expenditure until all of the following conditions are met: a) The Activity Group is identified as ‘active’. See 2.1.1 and 2.2 in these regulations. b) If the Activity Group has a deficit, a new budget application has been submitted to and accepted by QMSU detailing how they will repay the deficit. 11.0
Events Off-Campus and Events Management
All Activity Group’s events must satisfy certain requirements before written approval is given by the VPSA: a) An event proposal, budget, and risk assessment must be presented to the VPSA for approval at least 6 weeks in advance of the event b) An event proposal must directly correspond with the Activity Group’s core aims and objectives as written in their constitution 11.1
If an Activity Group decides not to sell tickets or items through QMSU’s website or tills then they must be able to record sales and income and provide a receipt to any customers. At the end of sales Activity Groups must also be able to present to QMSU the total number of tickets and items available and the number of sales made, which must be reconciled with the event budget approved.
Complaints concerning the activities of any Club, Society, Student Group or individual Club, Society, Student Group member or official should be directed to the VPSA, the Barts and the London President (for WC Clubs and Societies, or students of the SMD) or in their absence, the President of QMSU. 12.1
That Activity Group or individual will then be subject to the QMSU Disciplinary Policy.
Club Sports Advisory Board (CSAB) and Societies and Student Groups Advisory Board (SSGAB)
Clubs, Societies and Student Groups will be able to feed in to the decision making process in a formal manner through the Sports Advisory Board (SAB) or Societies and Student Groups Advisory Board (SSGAB) respectively.
The Advisory Boards will meet twice each semester
A chair, deputy chair, and secretary will be nominated and chosen for each Advisory Board by its respective members at its first meeting.
The agenda for each Advisory Board will largely be decided by its members but its terms of reference will not override Student Council or the elected Officers decision making power. The Advisory Boards will advise the Student Council and elected Officers to represent student activity more effectively.
An appropriate QMSU staff member will provide advice to each advisory board.
13.6.1 Sports Advisory Board The Sports Advisory Board will serve to give representation to the different types of sports clubs affiliated to QMSU with the following positions made open to students involved in these areas: a) Field sports b) Racket sports c) Water sports d) Womens' sport e) Mens' sport f) Martial Arts g) Dance 13.6.2 The Sports Advisory Board will also include the VPSA, Sports Officer, and Whitechapel Clubs and Societies Officer 13.7.1 Societies and Student Groups Advisory Board The Societies and Student Groups Advisory Board will serve to give representation to the different types of Societies and Student Groups affiliated to QMSU with one position for each of the following made open to students involved in these areas: a) Cultural Societies b) Political Societies c) Religious Societies d) Academic/Departmental Societies e) Performing Societies f) Special Interest Societies g) Social Societies h) Campaigning Student Groups i) Volunteering Student Groups j) Charity Fundraising Student Groups k) Support Student Groups 13.7.2 The Societies and Student Groups Advisory Board will also include the VPSA, Societies Officer and Whitechapel Clubs and Societies Officer
Queen Mary Students’ Union
Bye Law 01 - Draft ELECTIONS
Introduction and definitions Queen Mary Students‟ Union is committed to the running of fair and transparent elections. The following Bye Law provides the rules and regulations for the governance of all elections run by QMSU for the positions of Sabbatical Trustees, Student Trustees and Part Time Student Officers.
Candidate A “candidate” means a Member who is standing for election to a position.
No candidate should seek support from an external body or person who is not a full member of the Union.
Groups of candidates may run together so that each candidate can campaign for themselves and the other members at the same time, this is called being part of a „slate‟. Candidates in a slate share a common group title which will appear on the ballot.
Supporter A “supporter” means any person, whether a Member or not, who supports a candidate in his/her election campaign. The term “supporter” is deemed, for these purposes, to be the same as “campaigner”.
The actions of a “supporter” are directly attributable to the candidate and the candidate will take full responsibility for their actions.
The Returning Officer shall be the sole judge of whether someone should be regarded as a supporter of a candidate.
Voter A “voter” means any person who has cast their own votes in the election and has not “supported” beyond that.
Election Official An “election official” includes the Returning Officer, Deputy Returning Officer, Student Voice and Development Manager and any other person nominated by the Returning Officer to be an election official.
The Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer The Board of Trustees is responsible for the appointment of the Returning Officer and the Deputy Returning Officer, and may also dismiss them, in accordance with procedures set out in section 7.
The Returning Officer for Union elections will normally be a relevant member of staff from the National Union of Students (NUS). If, for any reason, that post holder declines the appointment or is deemed unsuitable, the Student Council will recommend an alternative for appointment by the Board of Trustees, the alternative normally being a staff member of another Students‟ Union experienced in the running of elections.
The Deputy Returning Officer for Union elections will normally be the Membership Services Manager, or the holder of an equivalent or similar post at Queen Mary Students‟ Union. If for any reason, that post holder declines the appointment or is deemed unsuitable; the Student Council will recommend an alternative for appointment by the Board of Trustees.
Neither the Returning Officer nor the Deputy Returning Officer may be full members of QMSU.
If the Returning Officer is temporarily unavailable the Deputy Returning Officer may assume the role for an interim period. If the Returning Officer resigns from the post or becomes unavailable for other reasons the Student Council will recommend an alternative to the Board of Trustees, in line with section 2.1 above.
The Returning Officer is responsible for the good conduct and management of the elections, in accordance with all relevant legislation, the Memorandum and Articles of Association and these Bye Laws. S/he has the final responsibility for the interpretation and implementation of the Election Regulations in this Bye Law. Specifically, s/he shall:
Manage the elections fairly, properly and impartially; Instruct, oversee and support the Deputy Returning Officer and election administration staff; Determine the admissibility or otherwise of election publicity; Investigate and rule on complaints in accordance with the procedures in section 7; and Submit an annual report to the Board of Trustees and the College Council after the conclusion of elections each year.
Notice, Nominations and By-elections
Notice Nominations for any election, other than a by-election, shall be open for at least 10 working days.
There must be a least three working days from the close of nominations to the opening of polling.
Nominations All nominees must be Full Members of the Union
No Member may stand for more than one position in the same election except for the position of NUS Delegate.
All nominations shall be submitted using an accessible process declared by the Returning Officer.
The nomination must include the name and student number of the nominee
All candidates must have their nomination forms endorsed by a Proposer and a Seconder who are Full Members of the Union.
A receipt, to confirm the submission, must be issued by the member of staff who has received the nomination form.
Any full member nominating a candidate may only nominate one candidate for each position.
If no nominations are received for a position by the close of nominations, nominations will be reopened for that position for three working days at the discretion of the Returning Officer. In this event the period between the close of the reopened nominations and start of voting is only required to be one working day,
A Candidates Meeting must be held following the close of nominations at a time specified by the Returning Officer. At this meeting the Returning Officer will provide a campaign rules briefing and other relevant guidelines for those involved.
A list of confirmed candidates shall be posted on the Union website by the Student Voice and Development Manager within 24 hours of the Candidates Meeting.
Nominations Pack and Candidate Handbook The Student Voice and Development Manager shall produce a Candidate Handbook and Nomination Pack outlining all the relevant information relating to the election. These will be made available in print and on the Union website. These shall be made available to Members by the official opening of the nominations.
Manifestos It is recommended that all candidates submit a manifesto. Candidates should also submit a text version of their manifesto for accessibility purposes. All manifestos must be submitted in accordance with the guidelines in the Candidate Handbook by the close of nominations and they will be displayed on the Union website.
All candidates in all elections must submit a written statement in accordance with the guidelines in the Candidate Handbook outlining why they are standing, their election wishes and pledges and any other relevant information. These must be submitted by close of nominations for that election.
Nicknames Candidates may campaign under the guise of a chosen nickname, so long as it is used in addition to their first identity and surname and is in accordance with the guidelines in the Candidate Handbook.
Such nicknames may be published on the ballot paper, so long as the full name of the candidate also appears.
Confirmation of nicknames shall be submitted to the Returning Officer or his/her nominee by the close of nominations. The Returning Officer may, at his/her sole discretion, withhold the right to the use of a specific nickname.
By-Elections By-elections will be held to fill any vacant posts following an election.
Nominations for a by-election shall be open for at least five working days.
There must be a least three working days from the close of nominations to the opening of polling.
Candidate Meeting, Question Time and QMSU Student Media
Candidate Meeting A Candidate Meeting shall be held after the close of nominations at a time and place to be determined by the Returning Officer.
The date and time of the Candidate Meeting shall be advertised in the Candidate Handbook.
The Returning Officer or his/her nominee will outline the rules governing the elections.
Candidates should attend the Candidates Meeting. If the candidate cannot attend the meeting they can send a nominee on their behalf who is a full member of the Union. If a candidate fails to attend the candidates meeting they will still be held responsible for their actions in accordance with the rules that were outlined in the Candidates Meeting and the Candidate Handbook. Question Time Candidates are requested but not required to attend Question Time to give speeches on their manifesto pledges and to take questions from members.
A Chairperson shall be appointed by Returning Officer to Chair Question Time.
The Chairperson shall indicate that Re-Open Nominations is a candidate in the election.
Candidates should inform the Returning Officer (in writing via the Student Voice and Development Manager) if they are unable to attend, stating their reasons for nonattendance before the beginning of the event.
The Candidate may appoint a nominee to speak on their behalf if they are not present. The nominee cannot be a candidate for any other position in the election and must be a Full Member of the Union. The Returning Officer must be notified of this prior to Question Time.
Only Full Members of the Union are allowed to ask questions at a Question Time event.
QMSU Student Media Student Media funded and supported by QMSU may choose to promote the elections. In this case the media will ensure fair coverage of all candidates in an individual position. It is the decision of the individual candidate if they wish to appear in the student media.
Campaigning and Publicity
Campaigning Candidates are strongly encouraged to campaign during the elections.
Candidates may not campaign for election until after the Candidateâ€&#x;s Meeting.
Candidates must take reasonable steps to ensure that the actions of their supporters comply with the Election Bye-Laws at all times and must be able to demonstrate this in the event of a complaint against them.
Candidates must not prevent free and easy access to and within the Union and College buildings when campaigning.
During polling there shall be no campaigning or campaign material within the polling station areas, with the exception of manifestos that the polling officers hold. This â€žPolling Exclusionâ€&#x; Zone shall be outlined by the Returning Officer at the Candidates Meeting and in the Candidate Handbook.
Candidates may not canvass or post publicity material within computer laboratories, libraries or any other areas of the College as designated by the Returning Officer.
Posters and other campaign material may not use the College, QMSU or affiliated logos to endorse their campaign.
Candidates may produce a website, or use their own, but all content must be accessible to the Deputy Returning Officer.
Campaign Budget 25
A maximum budget will be outlined to every candidate. The budget amount for individual elections shall be clearly stated in the Candidate Handbook.
The system for administering the Candidate Budget shall be determined by Student Council in the first semester of the academic year.
Candidates are responsible for supplying receipts for the items they have purchased to support their campaign.
Candidates shall cover the financial costs of their campaign. The Union will not reimburse candidates for their expenses.
All candidates must submit a written list of all campaign costs with corresponding receipts to the Student Voice and Development Manager. The deadline is one hour before the close of voting. If candidates do not spend any money during the course of their campaign this must be made clear on the submission.
Items that a campaigner already owns can be valued using a minimum value list available from the Student Voice and Development Manager.
All materials must be available to other candidates at the same price.
If materials are purchased from outside the U.K it is the responsibility of the candidate to provide a quote from a UK company demonstrating their value as if they were purchasing them in the UK. Only the UK value for all products will be accepted.
The Returning Officer will value items not on this list within one working day of the request for an evaluation.
5.2.10 Candidates shall remove their own publicity within three calendar days of the close of voting for that election. 5.3
Publicity All publicity must be approved by the Deputy Returning Officer or nominee.
Candidates may place the equivalent of 25 A3 posters across the campuses.
Candidates may distribute as many flyers as is in keeping with their budget. Flyers fixed to surfaces will be considered posters.
Candidates may use publicity means as appropriate to their campaign as long as it not contravene these Bye-Laws or any policy of QMSU or the College or is otherwise unlawful
Any candidate who wishes to place campaign publicity in buildings shall be responsible for obtaining permission from the appropriate authorities where required. No permanent adhesive shall be used in any circumstances.
No publicity may be affixed in such a way as to interfere with the publicity of another candidate, and no candidate or supporter may remove or deface the publicity of another candidate.
No fixative, which shall include stickers, may be used on interior surfaces.
Electronic sound and loud-hailing equipment is prohibited.
Social Networking, Websites & Mailing Lists Candidates may use any social networking sites or their own websites for the purposes of campaigning after the candidates meeting. For the avoidance of doubt no campaigning can be conducted through social networking sites including but not exclusive to Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Bebo, Google plus and LinkedIn until after the Candidates Meeting except in the case of 5.4.2.
Candidates using social networking sites or/and their own websites need to notify the Deputy Returning Officer and ensure that they are added as a friend or/and to the campaign group or following the relevant profile. The Deputy Returning Officer or his/her nominee will monitor all online campaigns.
Candidates are allowed to create a secret Facebook group for the purpose of planning their election campaign before the candidates meeting; this group cannot exceed twenty members plus the Candidates nominee and Deputy Returning Officer.
Candidates may only use mailing lists where lawful to do so. In most cases this will require the consent of the members on the list to use their details.
In the case of activity groupâ€&#x;s mailing lists, these are deemed to be owned by the membership of the group. The activity committee needs to provide written permission in order to allow the use of the list.
Societies and Sports Clubs Union societies and sports clubs may support candidates but may not use their grants or subs account to support their activities.
QMSU Staff, Department and Committees No Union Committee, Union Department or staff member shall support a candidate.
Voting and the Count 27
Voting Voting shall be by secret ballot using the single transferable vote system as defined by the Electoral Reform Society and shall include re-open nominations as a candidate.
Re-open nominations is a choice on the ballot designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates.
All Full Members are eligible to vote, in accordance with the Election Regulations in this Bye Law.
The Returning Officer will ensure that cross campus voting is accessible for all Full Members of the Union.
Polling may take place by electronic or paper ballot. The method of voting will be determined by the Returning Officer.
Polling shall be held on at least one day for a set number of hours, as determined by the Returning Officer.
The names of candidates for each position shall be placed in a random order on the ballot paper and candidate publicity. For electronic ballots the names of candidates shall appear in random order.
If re-open nominations is elected in a multi-seat election its surplus of votes shall be transferred to a new re-open nominations candidate.
If re-open nominations is elected in a single-seat election then the post shall remain vacant until nominations can be re-opened and a by election held.
If the result of voting in an election is a tie then the election will be rerun with only the nominees who tied the election as the candidates. This election will occur as soon as practically possible.
6.1.10 Voting may take place by electronic or paper ballot. The method of voting will be determined by the Returning Officer. 6.1.11 Polling be held on at least one day for a set number of hours, as determined by Returning Officer. 6.2
The Count The count shall be supervised by the Returning Officer or the Deputy Returning Officer.
Complaints about the count must be made in writing to the Returning Officer no later than one working day after the announcement of the result.
The results of Union voting will only come into effect once the Returning Officer has certified that the result is the accurate outcome of a free and fair democratic procedure.
A count shall only commence for each position once all complaints and appeals about candidates have been resolved in accordance with 7.1.3 for the relevant position.
A count shall not commence any earlier than 2 hours after closing of voting.
Provision of Secrecy of an Electronic Ballot Votes cast electronically will be processed on a secure site.
No one will be able to see which specific candidate an individual member has voted for in an election. The Returning Officer, Deputy Returning Officer or their appointed nominee from within staff administering the elections will be able to monitor voting patterns for positions to ensure that no irregularity is taking place.
Provision for Secrecy of a Paper Ballot At the time of closing the ballot the voting register shall be sealed. Under no circumstances shall it come together with the ballot papers unless the validity or conduct of the election is questioned. The Returning Officer or the Deputy Returning Officer shall manage this process.
The voting register and ballot papers shall be kept for three months, in a secure environment as specified by the Returning Officer, after the declaration of the result after which time they will be destroyed unless the validity or conduct of the elections is questioned.
Complaints and Appeals
Making a complaint A complaint may be made about the actions of candidates, supporters or election officials.
Complaints must be submitted in writing using the official complaint form, a copy of which is attached to this Bye Law. The form may be submitted electronically to email@example.com or in paper form to the Student Voice and Development Manager. If the complaint is about a candidate, a supporter or any election official other than the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer it will be passed to and investigated by the Returning Officer in accordance with sections 7.2 to 7.2.7. If it is about the Returning Officer or the Deputy Returning Officer the complaint will be investigated in accordance with the procedures in sections 7.2.8 to 7.2.12.
The grounds for complaint are that one or more of the election rules contained in this Bye Law have been broken; or that one or more Union or College policies or regulations have been breached. The complaint must make clear which rule or rules 29
have been broken, by whom and when and must be supported by evidence. Evidence might be, but is not restricted to, the following: documents; photographs or video clips; screen shots of web pages; copies of e mails or written statements from staff or students. 7.1.3
Complaints about campaigning must be submitted not more than one hour after the close of polling. Complaints about the count must be made within 24 hours of the declaration of results. Complaints received after these deadlines will not normally be considered.
How complaints are considered If the complaint is about a candidate, a supporter or an election official other than the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer, the Returning Officer will acknowledge its receipt within one working day of receiving it.
The Returning Officer will investigate the complaint in a manner which s/he feels is appropriate, but will be impartial, thorough and prompt. S/he shall gather evidence and interview any person who can provide relevant information. Written records shall be kept of all such interviews. Anyone who has been accused of a breach of the Bye Laws must be given an opportunity to respond to such an allegation in accordance with the rules of natural justice. In any hearings or interviews such persons must have the opportunity to speak and to be accompanied by a friend, who must be a Member of the Union.
The Returning Officer, after carrying out an investigation, may either: (i) (ii) (iii)
Determine that there is insufficient evidence to establish that there has been a breach of the Bye Laws, in which case the complaint will be dismissed; or Determine that there has not been a breach of the Bye Laws, in which case the complaint will be dismissed; or Determine that one or more Bye Laws have been breached, in which case a sanction will be imposed in accordance with section 7.2.4.
The Returning Officer will provide his/her decision in writing to the complainant and the subject of the complaint as soon as possible.
The Returning Officer may impose one or more sanctions as appropriate: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v)
removal or confiscation of campaign material; a reprimand and a warning that a further breach could result in a more severe sanction; requiring a candidate and his/her supporters to stop campaigning for a set period of time Requiring a candidate to issue an apology to one or more fellow candidates or to the whole student body; Disqualification from the election.
If the Returning Officer has reasonable grounds for believing that College policies or regulations have been breached s/he may refer the matter to the Academic 30
Secretary and Secretary to the Council. If the Returning Officer has reasonable grounds for believing that there has been a breach of the criminal law s/he may consult as appropriate with a view to making a report to the Police. 7.2.6
The Returning Officer may disqualify a candidate from an election for serious breaches of the rules, policies or regulations. Such breaches could include the following (though this is not intended to be an exhaustive list): (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi)
If s/he has evidence that there has been coercion, bullying or other improper pressure put on students to vote for a particular candidate or candidates; If the log in details of another student or students are used to vote on their behalf; If voting stations not run and staffed by election officials are set up; If s/he has evidence of tampering with any election documentation or voting materials or databases; If s/he has evidence of bullying or intimidation of fellow candidates, supporters or election officials; Repeated breaches of the Bye Laws.
Other than in the circumstances set out in sections 7.3 and 7.3.1 the decision of the Returning Officer, having investigated a complaint, is final.
If a complaint is made about the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer it will be passed to the Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees, who is an External Trustee. This will enable an independent review to be undertaken by someone not previously involved in the elections. The Deputy Chair will acknowledge its receipt as soon as possible and within 3 working days of receiving it. In the absence of the Deputy Chair, the Chair of the Board of Trustees will nominate another External Trustee to consider the complaint.
The Deputy Chair (or the other External Trustee) will investigate the complaint in a manner which s/he feels is appropriate, but will be impartial, thorough and prompt. S/he may seek assistance as necessary and shall gather evidence and interview any person who can provide relevant information. Written records shall be kept of all such interviews. Anyone who has been accused of wrongdoing must be given an opportunity to respond to such an allegation in accordance with the rules of natural justice. In any hearings or interviews such persons must have the opportunity to speak and to be accompanied by a friend, who must be a Member of the Union.
7.2.10 If s/he feels that circumstances justify it, the Deputy Chair (or the other External Trustee) may suspend the Returning Officer and or the Deputy Returning Officer while the investigation is carried out. 7.2.11 The Deputy Chair (or the other External Trustee) may, after conducting the investigation: (i)
Determine that there is insufficient evidence to establish that there has been a breach of the Bye Laws or other wrongdoing, in which case the complaint will be dismissed; or
Determine that there has not been a breach if the Bye Laws or other wrongdoing, in which case the complaint will be dismissed; or Determine that there has been wrongdoing and make a recommendation for action to the Board of Trustees.
7.2.12 If the Deputy Chair (or the other External Trustee), after conducting an investigation, has reasonable grounds for believing that College policies or regulations have been breached s/he may refer the matter to the Academic Secretary and Secretary to the Council. If the Deputy Chair (or the other External Trustee) has reasonable grounds for believing that there has been a breach of the criminal law s/he may consult as appropriate with a view to making a report to the Police. 7.3
Appeals against Decisions by the Returning Officer The only circumstances in which a decision of the Returning Officer may be challenged are that a candidate has reasonable grounds, supported by evidence, for believing that the Returning Officer has not followed the Bye Laws or has otherwise acted contrary to Union policy, College regulations or the general law, or that the circumstances in section 7.3.1 apply.
In the event that new information comes to light before the announcement of the results, but after the Returning Officer has made a decision, which if known when the decision was taken, might have resulted in a different decision, the Returning Officer should review the matter as soon as practicable. If the Returning Officer decides not to undertake such a review and a candidate believes that to be unreasonable, that is also grounds for appeal.
A challenge or appeal, made in accordance with the circumstances set out in sections 7.3 or 7.3.1 will be immediately referred to the Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees and considered as set out in section 7.3.3 to 7.3.5. The Board of Trustees has the final responsibility for the outcome of such an appeal.
The Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees will convene a meeting of the Board of Trustees as soon as practicable. The Board of Trustees will determine how the appeal is to be considered. This should normally be through the establishment of a Panel of Trustees, of at least 3 members, none of whom should have been in any way involved with the decision appealed against or should know personally those involved in the dispute.
The Panel shall determine its own procedures, but should follow the rules of natural justice and would be expected to consider all relevant documentation, and may call for such further documents or reports as it considers necessary. The Panel may interview any persons who may have relevant information.
Having reviewed all the evidence the Panel may conclude:
That the decision taken by the Returning Officer was in accordance with the Bye Laws and was reasonable in the circumstances. In that case the outcome of the Returning Officerâ€&#x;s decision will stand; or That the decision was not in accordance with the Bye Laws or was not reasonable in the circumstances. In that case the Returning Officer would be invited to review the original decision in accordance with any guidance from the Panel.
In the event of the Union being asked to review a decision by the Returning Officer by the College or by a court or other external authority the procedures set out in sections 7.3.3 to 7.3.5 shall be used as the basis for that review.