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WRITTLE COLLEGE STUDENTS UNION CONSTITUTION SECTION

CONTENTS

PAGE

Foreword

2

1

Name

3

2

Aims and Objectives

3

3

Union Membership

3

4

Students Union Council

3

5

Executive Officers

4

6

Supporting Officers

5

7

Sub Committees of Council

6

8

Finance Committee

6

9

Elections

6

10

Removal from Office

7

11

Resignations

7

12

Clubs and Societies

7

13

Indemnity

7

14

Constitutional Amendment

8

15

Constitutional Review

8

16

Interpretation

8

17

Relationship with the College

8

18

Complaints Procedure

8

19

Code of Practice

8

20

Monitoring

8

21

Dissolution

9 APPENDICES

Appendix 1

- Elections

10

Appendix 2

- Conduct of Meetings

12

Appendix 3

- Executive Officer Roles

14

Appendix 4

- Finance

18

Appendix 5

- Clubs and Societies

20

Appendix 6

- Complaints Procedure

21

Appendix 7

- Code of Practice

23

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FOREWORD Part II of the Education Act 1994 imposes obligations on all institutions in the Higher Education Sector concerning Students’ Unions. It gives these institutions responsibility for ensuring that students have the right to opt out of union membership and that provision is made for a code of practice and a complaints procedure. The latter have been incorporated as appendices to this Constitution. Institutions are also charged under the Act with ensuring that student unions manage their financial affairs in a proper manner and that they do not engage in political activity. It is considered that this Constitution fulfils all these obligations and that it will provide Writtle College Students’ Union with an adequate framework within which to conduct its affairs. The original constitution approved by the Board of Governors on 8 June 1995. This has subsequently been updated and approved by the Board of Governors on: 22 January 1998 4 June 1999 22 June 2001 September 2008 January 2011 December 2011

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1.

NAME

1.1 The name of the body will be “Writtle College Student Union” hereinafter referred to as “The Student Union”. 2.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

2.1 To promote, foster and encourage the corporate life of every student through academic, recreational and social support. 2.2 To act as the primary channel of communication between its members, College management, staff, and other bodies allied to the College. 2.3 To conduct the affairs of the Union freely and openly and without affiliation to or bias toward any political party, religious organisation or commercial enterprise. 2.4 To pursue all aims and objectives within the framework and spirit of the College’s own declared “Single Equality and Diversity Policy”. 3. UNION MEMBERSHIP 3.1 Every person registered as a student and enrolled to and actively pursuing a course or courses of study at the College will be a member of the Union, with all the attendant rights and privileges, unless they specifically choose to opt out (see 3.5 below). 3.2 The President and other Union Council Officers must be members of the Union. 3.3 Honorary membership: The Union Council shall have the power to grant Honorary Membership to individuals who have significantly aided the Union or the students of Writtle College during their time at the College and whose dedication deserves special reward and recognition. The Union Council shall decide this membership by a simple majority of those present and voting at a quorate meeting of Union Council. Honorary Members may not enjoy the rights and privileges of the Union Membership part 3.5. 3.4 All members of the Student’s Union, together with all members of the staff of the College and members of the College’s Alumni Association, will be entitled to use the amenities provided by the Union. 3.5 Only members of the Union will be entitled to attend, vote and speak at Union meetings, vote in Union elections or hold office in the Union. 3.6 All students of the College will have the right to opt out of membership of the Union in accordance with Appendix 7 to this Constitution. 4. STUDENT UNION COUNCIL (hereinafter referred to as “the Union Council”) 4.1 The Union Council will be the governing body of the Students’ Union. 4.2 Membership of the Union Council will comprise the following: 4.2.1 The Executive Officers and the support officers. 4.3 The terms of reference of the Union Council are:

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4.3.1 To make the policy of the Union. 4.3.2 To interpret this Constitution in conjunction with the College Secretary. 4.3.3 To recommend amendments to this Constitution to the College’s Board of Governors. 4.3.4 To act as the employer to any paid Union staff. 4.3.5 To instruct and direct the Union Officers in their duties, and to hold them accountable for the proper performance thereof. 4.3.6 To brief and de-brief the Student member of the Board of Governors and the student representatives on the College’s Academic Board and on the Equality and Diversity group. 4.3.7 To approve the Union budget and control its accounts and assets. 4.3.8 To ensure the proper conduct and control of all Union clubs and societies. 4.3.9 To establish Standing Committees as appropriate and to receive their reports. 4.4 Quorum Meetings of the Union Council will be quorate if 50% of the serving members are present including the President or, in his/her absence, the Vice-President. 4.5 Conduct of Meetings All meetings of the Union Council must be conducted in accordance with Appendix 2 of this Constitution. 4.6 Frequency of Meetings 4.6.1

The Union Council will meet not less than four times per semester. The dates of the meetings will be determined for each academic session at the first meeting of the Union Council in that session, the latter to be determined by the SU President.

4.6.2

The Whole Union Council Meetings will take place once a fortnight – this can be reduced to once a month if the feeling of the Union Council is the same.

4.7 Co-option The Union Council may co-opt up to a maximum of five (5) additional members of the Student Union in any one academic session and determine period of attendance and voting rights. 4.8 Emergency or Extra-Ordinary Meetings An emergency or extra-ordinary meeting of the Union Council may be called by either of the following: 4.8.1 The President of the Union. 4 8.2 A request signed by at least 50 members of the Union. 4.8.3 Any call for such a meeting will specify the matter to be raised in the form of a motion upon which a vote will be taken. 4.8.4 No other matters other than that outlined in the motion will be discussed or debated, and amendments to the motion may be tabled up to the start of the meeting provided the Chair deems that they are on the same issue. 4.9 The Union Council shall act as the Finance Committee of the Union. 4.10 The Union Council is to annually review the Union Council Strategy Plan. 4


5. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS 5.1 The following will be the elected Executive Officers: 5.1.1 The President 5.1.2 Academic Sabbatical Officer (Full time paid officer) 5.1.3 Vice President Welfare 5.1.4 Vice President Involvement 5.2 The Executive Committee will be responsible for the day-to-day conduct of Union Council members in accordance with policy determined by the Union Council. 5.3 The Executive Committee will be empowered to take urgent or emergency action upon matters which are normally the prerogative of the Executive or the supporting officer subject to subsequent ratification by these bodies. 5.4 The Executive Committee will be the primary channel of communication between the membership, the College and outside bodies. The Executive Committee will also: 5.5

ensure effective communications within the Union between all supporting officers and executives

5.6

make regular reports to the Student Union Meetings, the Student Union Liaison Group and other bodies as appropriate, such as Governors and Academic Board.

5.8

shall meet at least once per semester

5.9

be convened by either the President or Vice-President in his absence

5.10 Meetings of the Executive Committee will be conducted in accordance with Appendix 2 of this Constitution 5.11 The duties and responsibilities of each Executive Officer will be as specified in Appendix 3 of this Constitution and the supporting job packs. 6. SUPPORTING OFFICERS 6.1

The following will be the supporting officers of the Union Council.

6.1.1 Sports Officers 6.1.2 Rag Officers 6.1.3 Social Officers 6.1.4 Publicity Officer 6.1.5 Further Education (FE) Academic Officer 6.1.6 Further Education (FE) Recreational Officer 6.2

All supporting officers have a responsibility to ensure the smooth and efficient running of their department.

6.3

Each officer will have the sole responsibility of reporting into the general Student Union meetings and the Student Union Liaison Group with updates, events and problems that are occurring within their department.

6.4

All supporting officers will have the full support and backing from the Union Council in order to fulfil their role to the potential. 5


6.5

Any officer not fulfilling their role will be subject to removal from office – see section 8.

7.0 SUB COMMITTEES OF COUNCIL 7.1

The Union shall create and support Sub Committees to develop the social, cultural and recreational opportunities available to members.

7.2

Sub Committees shall be governed by their own Constitutions and their own Committees. Where there is a conflict or confusion between the Constitution of a Sub Committees and the Constitution of the Union, the Sub Committee shall ultimately be subject to the Union’s Constitution.

7.3

Union Council has the right to amend the Constitution of a Sub Committee if there is a conflict with the Union’s Constitution or the Policy of the Union.

7.4

Sub Committees shall have resource to Union funds through application to the Union Council.

7.5

All Sub Committees shall present the minutes arising from Committee meetings to Union Council for approval.

7.6

Sub Committees shall report on their actions to each meeting of Union Council and produce an annual report which will be presented to Council by the subcommittee chair.

8.0 FINANCE COMMITTEE 8.1

Membership of this Committee will comprise of the Union Council.

8.2 The financial affairs of the Union will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Appendix 4 to this Constitution.

9. ELECTIONS 9.1 Elections shall be conducted in accordance with Appendix 1 of this Constitution. 9.2

The following Officers shall be elected in the early stages of the second semester:

9.2.1 The President, who shall also serve as Student Governor 9.2.2 The Academic Sabbatical Officer 9.2.3 The Vice-President Welfare 9.2.4 The Vice President Involvement 9.2.5 The Publicity Officer 9.2.6 The Sports Officers 9.2.7 The Rag Officers 9.2.8 The Social Officers 9.2.9 The Further Education (FE) Officers 9.3

Period of Office

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All Officers listed Clause 8.2. above will take office on 1 July following the election and will hold office for a maximum period of twelve months, with new officers shadowing the previous officers before the hand over. 9.4

An elective office must not be held by more than one person.

10. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE 10.1 The President can be dismissed in either of the following ways: 10.1.1 by a two-thirds majority vote in favour of a motion of no confidence at a quorate meeting of the Union Council, or 10.1.2 by a majority vote in a ballot of all members, provided the turnout is not less than 60% or the entire membership. Such a ballot may be called by means of either: (i) a motion to a quorate meeting of the Union Council which receives the majority support of those members in attendance, or (ii) by petition from not less than 100 ordinary members of the Union. 10.2 Other office holders or members of Standing Committees may be removed from office by the adoption of procedures identical to those described in subclauses 9.1.1. and 9.1.2. above. All motions of no confidence must be tabled in advance as described in Appendix 2 to this Constitution. 10.3 Any member of a Committee who has been absent from two consecutive ordinary meetings, or a total of three in a term, will cease to be a member of the Committee unless reasons for absence which the Committee feels reasonable have been given in advance and in writing to the Chair of the meeting. 11. RESIGNATIONS 11.1 President It is expected that the President will serve his/her full term of office, but in a situation where personal circumstances make resignation unavoidable, it must be submitted in writing to the Union Council. 11.2 Other Officeholders and Committee members Resignations must be submitted in writing to the Union Council via the President. 11.3 Bye-Elections Arrangements for the election of a successor will, in the case of clause 10.1, be instigated by the Vice-President and, in the case of clause 10.2, by the President. 12. CLUBS AND SOCIETIES Clubs and Societies may be founded under the umbrella of the Union and may be recognised by it provided they do not contravene its aims and objectives, and are conducted in accordance with Appendix 5 to this Constitution. 13. INDEMNITY Every Officer, Committee member and appointee of the Union will be indemnified by the Union against all loss or liability sustained in the lawful execution of their duties for the Union, notwithstanding that this will not affect their liability for the 7


consequences of any criminal or negligent act on their part. For this purpose, the Union should purchase appropriate insurance cover.

14. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 14.1 The Union Council is the only student body authorised to recommend to the Board of Governors amendments to this Constitution and to its appendices. 14.2 Recommended amendments must be carried by a two-thirds majority 14.3 The Board of Governors reserves the right to instigate and implement changes to this Constitution. 15. CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW 15.1 The Board of Governors, in consultation with the Union Council, will review this Constitution annually by 1 September. 15.2 The Union Council will review the Constitution annually. 16. INTERPRETATION In the event of disagreement within the Union, and/or with the College, and/or with the Board of Governors over the interpretation of any part of this Constitution, the matter will be referred for independent arbitration to a person nominated by the Board of Governors and acceptable to the Union. 17. RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COLLEGE The Union is a separate legal entity and the College has no obligation to accept any responsibility for the debts and liabilities of the Union. Similarly, the College is under no obligation to take part in any winding up or dissolution of the Union. In such circumstances, the debts and liabilities of the Union will remain the responsibility of the Union Council, the Union Council and the members of the Union. 18. COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE A procedure for dealing with the complaints of those students who, whether singularly or collectively, are dissatisfied with their dealings with the Union, or who claim to be unfairly disadvantaged by reason of having exercised their rights not to be members of the Union, or to signify their wish not to be represented by a representative body, is included as Appendix 6 to this Constitution. Copies of this procedure are also available from the Union Office. 19. CODE OF PRACTICE A Students’ Union Code of Practice is included as Appendix 8 to this Constitution. The Union will comply with its terms and conditions. 20. MONITORING The President, in exercise of his/her dual role as Student Governor will be responsible for monitoring compliance with this Constitution, the Code of Practice and the SU complaints procedure. He/she will also have a duty to report periodically

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to the Board of Governors to enable it to fulfil its obligations under Part II of the Education Act 1994.

21. DISSOLUTION In the event of the dissolution of the Union, its money and property will be held in trust by the College for the benefit of the generality of the students at the College for the time being, and (in the absence of any such students) for its educational charitable purposes.

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APPENDIX 1

ELECTIONS 1. RETURNING OFFICER He/she will: 1.1. be a senior member of the College staff nominated by the Principal usually will be the Student Support Officer of the Student Union.. 1.2. have overall responsibility for ensuring that the elections are conducted fairly, impartially and strictly in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. 1.3. be empowered to order a re-election or disqualify a candidate if he/she is satisfied that a significant breach of the Constitution has occurred. 1.4. be empowered to interpret the provisions of this Appendix in relation to any other clause in this Constitution for the purposes of paragraph 1.2. above. His/her interpretation may subsequently be challenged although this will not invalidate the conduct or outcome of the election. 1.5. appoint two or more persons to count the votes. 1.6. require a member of the Union to be nominated by the outgoing Union Union Council to act as Deputy Returning Officer. 2. NOMINATIONS 2.1. Each candidate for Union Council office, a proposer and two seconders will sign a nomination form. 2.2. No member of the Union will sign more nomination papers than there are vacancies at that election, nor may they sign a nomination paper for any election in which they are not entitled to vote. 2.3. Nominations for all elections will close five clear working days before the election is due to take place. 2.4. Any candidate may withdraw their nomination by so informing the Deputy Returning Officer three clear days before the poll opens. 2.5. Under no circumstances will the Deputy Returning Officer reveal to any person details of any nomination received, prior to the close of nominations. 2.6. Candidates must appear on the ballot paper in alphabetical order of surname. 3. HUSTINGS AND ELECTION CAMPAIGNING The Union will prepare rules for the conduct of electioneering with the framework of this Constitution, although not comprising a formal part of it. The Returning Officer must satisfy himself as to the fairness and impartiality of the rules and of their observance at Union elections. 4. VOTING 4.1. Voting will be by secret ballot, the result being determined by a “first past the post” simple majority. 4.2. Any member who is entitled to vote in an election, but who will be absent from the College on Election Day, will be entitled to a “postal” vote. The completed ballot paper will be placed in a clearly marked sealed envelope to be held securely by the Deputy Returning Officer who will be responsible both for 10


marking off the list of voters and for ensuring the ballot paper’s inclusion in the subsequent count. 4.3. Candidates and/or their representatives must not approach within four metres of the voting area other than for the purpose of casting their vote. 4.4. The list of voters may be scrutinised only by the Returning Officer, the Deputy Returning Officer and the tellers on duty. This list will remain confidential except in the event of a formal complaint. 4.5. In the event of there only being one candidate for any elective office, that candidate will be regarded as having been elected unopposed. 4.6. In the event of a position remaining vacant, the Union Council has the power to co-opt in any person(s) to represent the position until a candidate is nominated. 5. ALLEGATIONS OF IRREGULARITY 5.1. Any complaint on the conduct of the election which alleges breach of this Constitution must be made, in writing, to the Returning Officer within five working days of the date of the election. The Returning Officer will make any recommendations which he/she deems appropriate to the Student Union Council. 5.2. Any candidate who is declared elected and against whom a complaint is lodged, will be deemed to stand elected pending the outcome of the complaint. 5.3. The results of the elections should be reported by the next meeting of the Executive following the election. The Deputy Returning Officer will retain all papers relating to the election until the conclusion of that meeting, or until an outstanding complaint has been resolved, whichever is the longer period. 6. REFERENDUM In the event of any referendum being called, voting will be carried out in accordance with Appendix 1, Sections 1.1 and 4.

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APPENDIX 2 CONDUCT OF MEETINGS 1. INTERPRETATION The rules contained in this Appendix apply to the Executive Committee and the Union Council. They are written with the intent of promoting free and equal debate. 2. CONDUCT 2.1. All comments and remarks by members must be made through the chair at all times. 2.2. Meetings will be chaired by the appropriate Union Council Officer as provided for in this Constitution. In the absence of such Officer, the meeting may elect its own Chair from amongst those in attendance who must be ordinary members of the Union. 3. CHAIR 3.1. The Chair will have sole charge of the meeting, maintaining order, conducting the meeting through the agenda items in a structured and disciplined manner and providing those members of the meeting who wish to speak with the opportunity so to do. 3.2. The Chair may order the expulsion of any member from a meeting for persistently disruptive behaviour, the expulsion being recorded in the Minutes of the meeting. 4. AGENDA 4.1. The order of business will be: 4.1.1. Apologies for absence. 4.1.2. Membership matters (if any) 4.1.3. Confirmation of the Minutes of the last meeting. 4.1.4. Matters arising from the Minutes of the latest meeting. 4.1.5 Such number of substantive items of business which, in the opinion of the Chair and the Secretary, constitutes a meeting of acceptable length. 4.1.6. Any other business. 4.1.7. Date of next meeting. 4.2. Any member of the Union may propose items for inclusion in the agenda at the discretion of the Chair and within the constraints imposed by 4.1 .5. above. Such items must be submitted to the Secretary within the pre-meeting timescale previously notified and widely publicised by him/her. Copies of the agenda should be prominently displayed at least three working days before the meeting. 5. DECISION MAKING AND VOTING Decisions and resolutions will be made primarily based on consensus or majority opinion, as perceived by the Chair. Where a vote becomes necessary in a matter of contention this will be taken by a simple “show of hands� on a motion from the Chair, members being asked to vote for or against the motion or to register an abstention. 12


6. MINUTES 6.1. Written minutes will be made of every meeting recording the resolutions taken at that meeting. These will be brought to the next meeting and confirmed as a true and accurate record or amended as appropriate 6.2. The Minutes should be prominently and widely displayed throughout the College.

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APPENDIX 3 EXECUTIVE OFFICERS’ JOB DESCRIPTIONS 1. PRESIDENT The President will: 1.1. Be the Student Governor. 1.2. Be the Chief representative and spokesperson for the Union and its members. 1.3. Act as the main channel of communication between the Union and its membership and the College management. 1.4. Act as spokesperson for the Union in contacts with the press, the media and all other external bodies. 1.5. Liaise with the NUS and attend NUS conferences and events as appropriate, acting as the Union delegation leader at the annual NUS Conference. 1.6. Chair meetings of the Executive Committee and Student Union meetings. 1.7. Report regularly to the Executive on the work of the Union and the Executive Committee 1.8. Take a leading role in the Union’s complaints procedure in accordance with Appendix 6 to this Constitution. 1.9. Act, or nominate an officer to act, as student representative on the College’s Equality and Diversity group 1.10. Be available to assist the supporting officers in attending their meetings and committees. 2. THE ACADEMIC SABBATICAL OFFICER The Academic Sabbatical Officer will: 2.1. Be an executive member of the union. 2.2. Represent the student body on the Academic Board, Academic Standards Committee, Learning and Teaching Group, Academic Partnerships Board and any other relevant meetings that you are asked to attend. 2.3. Arrange and lead training for course representatives. 2.4. Be the one of the lead participants in setting up and gaining responses to the National Student Survey, Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey and the Internal College Satisfaction Survey. 2.5

Ensure smooth running of the office in coordination with the SUSO, deputising in their absence.

2.6

Keep well informed of national issues and participate in them as necessary.

2.7

Update the job description for the role before the elections take place.

2.8

Be reasonably cognisant of and interested in the academic planning process.

2.9

Be available to assist the supporting officers in attending their meetings and committees.

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3. VICE PRESIDENT WELFARE The Vice President Welfare will: 3.1. Be an executive member of the union. 3.2. Meet regularly with the Head of Student Services and Student Support to discuss any current issues. 3.3. Be aware of students who may be experiencing problems and help monitor the situation. 3.4

Assist the SUSO in the provision of training for all hall representatives at the start of the academic year.

3.5

Liaise between staff and students on a range of welfare and disciplinary matters.

3.6

Act as student representative on the College’s Equality and Diversity group.

3.7

Are available to assist the supporting officers in attending their meetings and committees.

4. VICE PRESIDENT INVOLVEMENT The Vice President Involvement will: 4.1. Be an executive member of the union 4.2. Be involved in the promotion, support and development of societies within the college. 4.3. Be one of the main points of contact with NUS for the Union 4.4. Actively promote NUS matters and encourage participation when necessary. 4.5. Promote students to get involved with their union, especially the under represented areas of the college 4.6. Create a strong working link between the union and the college’s alumni association – working to improve links with the alumni community. 4.7

Are available to assist the supporting officers in attending their meetings and committees.

4.8

To represent the student body in environmental-related issues at the college.

5. THE STUDENT UNION SUPPORT OFFICER (SUSO) The SUSO will: 5.1. Be the Chief Executive of (CEo) of the Union. 5.2

Work in close co-operation with all officers of the Union.

5.3. Convene meetings of the Union Council as instructed by the President or the Executive Committee. 5.4. Establish and maintain an adequate system of information and communication throughout the Union. 5.5. Act as one of the two signatories on Union bank cheques (the other one being the Accountant).

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5.6. Where nominated and appointed by the Union Council, act as the Treasurer. 5.7. Carry out other duties in conjunction with the Union Council and its other representatives on student union business. 5.8

Be available to assist the supporting officers in attending their meetings and committees.

5.9

Be the main point of contact for hall representatives and provide training for all hall representatives at the start of the academic year.

6. SUPPORTING OFFICER ROLES All supporting officers will: 6.1. Seek to co-opt interested students to membership of their respective committees through internal advertisement, fresher’s fair and appeal at meetings of the Union Council. 6.2. Attend all relevant meetings 6.3. Prepare reports as necessary for the Union Council on the activities of their respective committees. 6.4

Work alongside the Student Union assisting with all social events and providing assistance where needed.

7. THE SPORTS OFFICERS The Sports officers will: 7.1

Organise team captains meetings.

7.2

Help organise fixtures, training sessions and sports kit alongside the SUSO and the sports coordinator.

7.3

Work with the whole of the Student Union assisting with all social events and providing assistance where needed.

7.4

Develop new teams and increase participation from existing team-players.

8. THE SOCIAL OFFICERS The Social Officers will: 8.1

Organise social events throughout the year

8.2

All events organised should be agreed by the elected student union as a whole.

8.3

Work alongside the SUSO to order all decorations and entertainments needed for all the event nights.

8.4

Take the lead when setting up for event nights to ensure the smooth and efficient running of them. Ensure all decorations are cleared up at the end of the evening.

9. THE PUBLICITY OFFICERS The Publicity Officers will: 9.1

To produce all posters and advertisements for all events that run through the student union, ensure all productions are of the required standard. 16


9.2

To keep the Student union facebook page updated with upcoming events and news.

9.3

To work alongside the Union Council officers in the union to produce a newsletter once a semester.

9.4

Assist and develop the Union website alongside the Union Council team.

9.5

Be involved and have input into all publications that the Student Union produce.

9.6

Use all available resources to promote the Union events and activities.

10. THE RAG OFFICERS The RAG Officers will: 10.1 To liaise with the college management and marketing department to improve and gain access to the external relations the college has. 10.2 To liaise with the chosen charities as to the collection of funds and be the main point of contact at the college for the charities. 10.3 Design and arrange the sale of the RAG merchandise to generate income for the 2 chosen charities such as RAG magazines and RAG t-shirts. 10.4 Organise a range of events for the students to participate in and raise money for the charities – also ensure that the local community make a contribution. 11. THE FURTHER EDUCATION (FE) OFFICERS The tasks within the FE department are delegated to two officers; FE Academic and FE Recreational: 11.1 Bring issues of those studying FE at Writtle College to the Union. 11.2 Organise and enhance the learner provision for the FE students at the college 11.3 Attend the FE student council organised by student support, ensure all issues raised are dealt with and input with worthwhile comments where necessary. 11.4 Organise events specifically aimed at FE students – often done when HE have left for holidays. 11.5 Attend relevant councils, committees and meetings that the FE officers sit on. 11.6 Work with relevant Student union members to improve the role and student representation for FE students.

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APPENDIX 4 FINANCE FINANCIAL REGULATIONS 1.1. The Union will produce an annual estimate of income and expenditure. This will be prepared jointly by the newly elected officers and the existing Union Council. It will be referred to the Union Council for approval in the summer term, and then to the Principal for final approval. 1.2. The President bears ultimate responsibility for the maintenance of a proper system of accounts and is accountable to the Board of Governors for the disbursement of all Union funds. 1.3. The financial year will be 1 August to 31 July. 1.4. The Union will hold a bank account in the name of “Writtle College Student Union”. Signatories will be the President, the Student Union Support Officer, and the Accountant on the basis on any two signatures from three . 1.5. The Union Council may appoint a temporary replacement signatory in the event of a vacancy in the student signatories. This will cease upon the vacancy being filled. 1.6. All official orders and requisitions will bear the signatures indicated in Clause 1.4 above. 1.7. A budgetary control statement will be presented to the Union Council at least once per semester. 1.8. The Treasurer will have day-to-day responsibility for: 1.8.1. All Union revenue income and expenditure 1.8.2. Capital expenditure 1.8.3. Capital equipment depreciation 1.8.4. The management of Union investments and reserves. 1.8.5. Expenses for Union Council Officers and other Union officials, salaries (if any) and travelling expenses. 1.8.6. General office expenditure (telephones, reprographics, postage, stationery etc). 1.8.7. Applications and membership subscriptions. 1.8.8. Assisting other officers in the discharge of their financial responsibilities. 1.9. No member or other person will be entitled directly or indirectly to derive any pecuniary gain from the Union other than in the transaction of normal commercial business. 1.10. No officer of the Union will seek to gain pecuniary advantage from their office. The committing of such an offence may result in disciplinary action against the offender by both the Union and the College. 1.11. The misappropriation of Union funds or equipment will be regarded as gross misconduct by both the Union and the College and will be treated accordingly. 1.12. All items of expenditure in excess of £250.00 must be approved by the Union Council in advance.

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1.13. The Union may not make any contractual arrangement or obligation for more than two years without the express consent of the Union Council, having first consulted the Senior Treasurer in the matter. 2. THE ROLES OF STUDENT UNION TREASURER AND ACCOUNTANT 2.1. The Accountant will be the advisor, guide and mentor to the Treasurer and in a wider context, will act as a financial consultant to the Union as a whole. 2.2. It is considered both advisable and desirable for the Union Council to meet with the Accountant once per term during College term time outside the formal context of the finance committee to discuss ongoing financial matters. 2.3. The Accountant will annotate all financial reports to the Board of Governors indicating whether in his/her opinion the reports represent the true state of the financial affairs of the union. 3. AUDIT In the event of an unsatisfactory report from the Accountant , the Board of Governors may, after consultation with the Principal and the Union Council, arrange for the College’s financial auditors to check the financial affairs of the Union. The College will bear the cost of any such audit. 4. POLICY ON EXPENDITURE (SPORTS TEAMS AND CLUBS/SOCIETIES) 4.1. Sports Teams Student Union funds should only be spent on: 4.1.1. transport to league fixtures, cup games, and tour and non-tour related tournaments. 4.1.2. fuel for 4.1.1. above. 4.1.3. entry fees to leagues, cup competitions and tournaments. 4.1.4. team kits and equipment as and when it becomes necessary. 4.1.5. meals for visiting sports teams. 4.1.6. referees’ expenses. 4.1.7. coaching fees (fees to be agreed in writing at the start of the season). 4.1.8. Student Union funds must not be spent on dinners and drinks at the end of season. 4.2. Clubs/Societies Student Union funds should only be spent on: 4.2.1. costs directly related to running the club. 4.2.2. equipment as and when it is necessary. 4.2.3. hire of transport. 4.2.4. entry fees. 4.3

A grant may be made to a society or sporting club by the Union Council in accordance with such criteria as may be determined by the Union Council.

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APPENDIX 5 CLUBS AND SOCIETIES 1. RECOGNITION 1.1. A club or society will be recognised by the Union provided that: 1.1.1. a written request for its formation signed by 8 members, is presented to the Union Council; and 1.1.2. the club/society presents a written constitution with the request, which includes: 

the name of the club or society, its aims and objectives

regulations governing membership eligibility

provision for the election of a committee of officers

an income and expenditure budget for the year

provision for the presentation of accounts to the Union Council.

2. DE-RECOGNITION 2.1.

The recognition of the club may be withdrawn by the Union Council in the event of:

2.1.1. evidence of financial mismanagement 2.1.2. evidence of disregard for or breach of the constitution of the club/society 2.2.

In the event of such evidence being placed before the Union Council, the following procedure will be adopted:

2.2.1. The Union Council will notify the officers of the club/society that it has received such evidence, advising the club/society of its nature. 2.2.2. The officials of the club/society will be invited to address a meeting of the Union Council where the matter is to be discussed, and be questioned by members of the Union Council. 2.2.3. If based on the evidence both seen and heard, the Union Council concludes that there has been a misdemeanour under clauses 2.1.1. or 2.1.2. above, it will recommend to the Union Council that the activities of club/society be suspended for a specified period of time, or such other penalty which is deemed appropriate.

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APPENDIX 6 COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE 1. SCOPE AND PURPOSE 1.1. This complaints procedure is available to all students and groups of students at Writtle College who: 1.1.1. are dissatisfied in their dealings with the Union; or 1.1.2. claim to be unfairly disadvantaged by reason of having exercised their rights not to be members of the Union or to signify that they do not wish to be represented by a representative body. 1.2. The purpose of the procedure is to enable such complaints to be dealt with promptly, thoroughly and fairly. Any complaints about Writtle College itself, rather than the Union, will not be dealt with under this procedure. 2. INFORMAL COMPLAINTS It should be possible to resolve most complaints informally. The complainant should first approach an elected officer of the Union other than the President and explain the problem. The officer may be able to deal with the situation there and then. If not, the officer should explain what action (if any) will be taken and give an indication of the timescale for such action. The timescale should not be longer than two weeks and if there is a delay for any reason, the officer should explain the delay and give an indication of the revised timescale. 3. FORMAL COMPLAINTS 3.1. If, in the complainant’s view, the informal approach has not provided a satisfactory response within four weeks, a formal complaint should be made in writing to the President of the Union. 3.2. The complaint should explain the problem and set out any action which the complainant wishes the Union to take. 3.3. The complaint will be acknowledged within one week of its receipt by the President. 3.4. The President will arrange for the matter to be investigated and, if appropriate, may consult with the Vice-President. 3.5. A response to the formal complaint will be sent by the President to the complainant within three weeks of the receipt of the formal complaint by the President. The response should include details of any proposed action arising from the complaint and the likely timetable for any such action. 3.6. If the President concludes that the complaint is not justified, the response should include reasons for the conclusion reached. 4. INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION 4.1. If the complainant remains dissatisfied after four weeks of the receipt by the President of the formal complaint, the complainant may before receiving any response to the formal complaint or within two weeks after having received such a response, apply to the President to have the matter independently investigated.

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4.2.

The President will consult with the Vice-President in relation to any such application and they will arrange for the matter to be investigated by an independent person appointed by the Principal of Writtle College.

4.3.

The independent investigation should take place within four weeks of the application being received by the President. The independent person will be asked to provide a written report on the investigation, which should include recommendations as to whether the complaint should be upheld and, if so, any action which should be taken. Unless the Principal otherwise decides, the recommendations of the independent person will be final and binding on the complainant and the Union.

5. TIME PERIODS The time periods as set out in the procedure are for guidance and may be subject to extension, particularly outside academic terms. Where any such extensions are made, they should be notified to the complainant in writing.

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APPENDIX 7 CODE OF PRACTICE This Code of Practice is prepared and issued in accordance with the requirements of Section 22(3) of the Education Act 1994 (Part 2). 1. WRITTLE COLLEGE STUDENT UNION CONSTITUTION 1.1. The Union will have a written constitution which will be available from the College Secretary. 1.2. This Constitution will be approved by the Governing Body at the time of any change and preferably at a date not more than 5 years from the prior review. 2. MEMBERSHIP OF THE STUDENT UNION 2.1. Any student must have the right to choose not to be a member of the Union. 2.2. On enrolment at the College, students will automatically become members of the Union. Any student may opt out of such membership by completing the appropriate form available from the SUSO. 2.3. A decision by a student to opt out of Union membership may be exercised at any time during any academic year, commencing on the 1st September in any calendar year and ending on the 31st August in the next following calendar year. 2.4. To ensure that students who opt out of Union membership are not disadvantaged in terms of access to the provision of services or otherwise the College will make any necessary arrangements for such students, details of which are available from the Learning Support Unit. 3. UNION ELECTIONS 3.1. Appointment to the Union Council, defined in this constitution, will be by election in a secret ballot in which all members are entitled to vote. 3.2. All elections will be conducted under arrangements by the Returning Officer. 3.3. The Returning Officer will report to the Governing Body on the conduct of elections. 4.

FINANCES

4.1. The financial affairs of the Student Union will be properly conducted in accordance with arrangements agreed with the Principal. 4.2. The Principal will agree the Student Union block grant. 4.3. The Student Union will make reports and other such arrangements as are required for monitoring purposes by the Principal. An annual financial report will be made to the Governing Body. 4.4. In relation to this Code of Practice, financial information will be provided in respect of the Student Union and any other such organisations as are established under its control. 4.5. In making financial reports to the Board of Governors, full details will be provided of external organisations to which the Student Union has made donations within the period to which the report relates and details of those donations.

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4.6. Copies of reports made in accordance with this Code of Practice will be lodged with and available from the Clerk to the Board of Governors. 5.

ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES The allocation of resources to Union members shall be fair; validated through an application process and approved by the Union Council.

6.

AFFILIATION TO EXTERNAL ORGANISATIONS

6.1.

If the Student Union decides to affiliate to an external organisation, it must publish notice of its decision stating the name of the organisation and details of any subscription or similar fee paid or proposed to be paid and of any donation made or proposed to be made to the organisation.

6.2.

The notices in 6.1. will be made available to the Principal and copies of such will be available from the Clerk to the Board of Governors.

6.3.

Annually or at such more frequent intervals as the Principal shall determine, the Student Union will publish a list of the external organisations to which the Student Union is currently affiliated and details of subscriptions or similar fees paid or donations made to such organisation in the past year or since the last report.

6.4. Copies of such reports will be made available to the Principal and the Governing Body and will be available from the Clerk to the Board of Governor. 6.5.

A proposal may be made by 5% of the members of the Student Union that the question of a continued affiliation to any particular organisation be decided upon by a secret ballot in which all members of the Student Union are entitled to vote.

6.6.

Such a proposal may not be exercised in respect of affiliation to any particular organisation more than once in any academic year as defined above.

7.

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

Any student or groups of students who are dissatisfied in their dealings with the Student Union, or claim to be unfairly disadvantaged by reason of their having exercised the right to opt out of Student Union membership, shall still have access to a complaints procedure (which is included as Appendix 6 to this Constitution).

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Writtle College Constitution 2011  

The Writtle College Constitution 2011 lays the foundation for the work carried out by the Student Union.

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