Constitution
 
 
 

 

   
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 2003/2004/2005

1.    Name:

The Society shall be named the “University of Birmingham Astronomical Society”.

2.    Aims:

a.  To increase and activate interest in Astronomy both in the University and outside.

b.  To aid, as far as the Society's means will allow, the rapid progress in Astronomy.

3.    Membership:

a.  Membership is open to all members of the University by right and to external candidates subject to the approval of the Committee and the school of Physics and Astronomy.

b.  Personal details including name, e-mail address and contact address will be required from anyone who wishes to join the society at the time of joining.

c.  Honorary life membership may be granted to any member, ex-member or public astronomical figure that the Society believes has done much for the Society’s benefit. This is to be voted upon by all members that attend a meeting of the Society for this purpose.

d.  The duration of an annual membership shall be from the date of joining until a standard date in the autumn term of the following academic year as set by the Committee.

4.    Subscription:

a.  Membership fees shall be set at a standard cost of five pounds for an annual membership and ten pounds for membership to last the duration of the member’s course. If a person, after having paid five pounds for an annual membership wishes to obtain a course long membership, then he/she will only have to pay an additional five pounds, as long as their annual membership is still valid.

b.  Members who have not paid their arrears shall not be full members and as such retain no voting rights or position of office.

5.    The Committee:

a.  The society shall elect a Committee of eight members for a period of one year, consisting of:

         A Patron, who shall be figurehead for the Society and as such will not have voting privileges but should be invited to the Society's annual dinner, and should be given the opportunity to give a guest speech at least once during the term to the Committee.

         A Chairperson, who shall co-ordinate and chair the committee, arrange regular Society meetings and book rooms as appropriate, represent the Society at General Meetings, chair the Annual General Meeting and any Extraordinary General Meetings, and liaise with, and provide information to,  the Vice President of Student Activities (VPSA) where appropriate.

         A Secretary, who shall take minutes at Committee and General Meetings, shall maintain a current record of members, including contact lists, which shall be distributed to committee members only, shall aid in the e-mailing of members when appropriate, aid in the distribution of posters and leaflets, assist the Chairperson when required, deputise in the absence of the Chair, and to provide the VPSA with any information required when appropriate.

         A Treasurer, who shall be responsible for the management of the Society's finances, shall provide a report of the finances when appropriate, shall liaise with the Guild Finance Office in maintaining and updating the accounts, shall advise the Committee on the financial implications of any decisions, and shall have the final word on any decision which requires any financial transaction.

         An Awareness and Events Officer, who shall be responsible for organizing events outside of the University, who shall try to organize sponsorship from, and liaise with, external parties, and shall raise the awareness of the Society's existence in departments other than the School of Physics and Astronomy. They shall also arrange social events and events with other societies.

         An Equipment and Observations Officer, who shall be responsible for the maintenance, and safety checks of equipment used by the Society, shall keep a log of all equipment and observations, shall train members in the use of equipment and astronomical techniques, shall inform members of current and future astronomical events. It is also their responsibility to train the Vice Equipment and Observations Officer in the use and maintenance of all equipment.

         A Communications Officer, who shall be primarily responsible for the e-mailing of members, shall, with help from other Committee members, maintain the Society's website, shall aid in the distribution of leaflets and posters, and shall prepare a news magazine at least twice a year, and prepare other news briefs when appropriate.

         A Vice Equipment and Observations Officer, who shall assist, and be trained in the preparation and management of equipment, by the Equipment and Observations Officer. No member in their final year may hold this position.

b.  The Committee shall meet at least once a month.

c.  The Chairperson and Secretary are empowered to take decisions when it is not practical to call a meeting of the Committee, but such decisions must be approved by the body before the next Annual General Meeting.

d.  The Committee shall be empowered to co-opt members up to a third of its elected strength.

e.  The Committee may, from time to time, invite and member of the Society to take part in its discussions, if necessary, but they shall not have the right to vote.

f.    If a member of the Committee absents from three or more consecutive meetings without valid reasons or previous permission, their seat shall automatically be declared vacant.

6.    Finance:

a.  Proper accounts shall be kept by the Treasurer showing the amount spent and received by the Society each year, and shall be presented at the Annual General Meeting.

b.  The accounts are to be audited by the Guild of Students under their societies banking system.

c.  All proposals requiring expenditure should be approved by the treasurer before any transactions occur. In respect of this, the treasurer should have plans with approximate costs of any proposal made available to them in order that their decision can be made fairly.

7.    Meetings:

a.  The Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be called during January of each year, commencing from January 2005 for the purpose of electing the office-bearers of the Society and the members of the Committee for the next year.

b.  Not less than seven days notice shall be given for an Annual General Meeting.

c.  The Chairperson and Treasurer shall present a report of the past years activities and finances at the Annual General Meeting.

d.  Any office-bearer or the Committee as a whole can be removed from office by a vote in which two-thirds of those attending at a Special General Meeting agree with the removal. The Special General Meeting shall be called by one third of the Members of the Society. At least one weeks warning of such a meeting must first be given to the offending person or persons. In that case elections to fill the vacant position shall be held at the same meeting.

8.    Equipment:

a.  A full audit of Society equipment shall be carried out at the start of each academic term and at the end of the summer term.

b.  The key to the Society cupboard is to be kept by Security.

c.  The telescopes on Poynting Building roof shall be used by the Society at the discretion of the School of Physics and Astronomy.

d.  Any maintenance or damage repair to these telescopes should not be carried out without first referring to a member of the School of Physics and Astronomy (Dr S. Raychaudhury) or Mr B. Weston.

e.  A full list of committee members to be given security clearance to use these telescopes should be submitted to the School of Physics and Astronomy and the security desk in Aston Webb each year. The keys can then be collected from the Security desk, Aston Webb Building on presentation of a valid Guild of Students card by a full committee member approved by the standing committee or a permanent staff member of the School of Physics and Astronomy.

f.    Any Astrosoc member wishing to use the society’s equipment must obtain written permission from a current committee member or a permanent staff member of the School of Physics and Astronomy and present this at the Security desk, Aston Webb Building to obtain the keys.

g.  Rules for the use of the telescopes are available to all members and should be adhered to at all times. The Committee should review these rules at the start of each academic year.

9.    Constitution:

a.  Neither the Guild of Students or the School of Physics and Astronomy have any responsibility to finance the activities of the Society but any grant applications made will be considered.

b.  Membership to the society does not necessarily guarantee membership to the Guild of Students.

c.  Wherever this Constitution fails, or is not explicit enough, the Society shall be guided by the Guild of Students.

d.  Any amendments to this Constitution shall be made when agreed to by two-thirds of members present at a General Meeting of the Society.

e.  Quoracy for any General meeting is ten members or 50% of the club membership, whichever is fewer.

Last amended 27/10/03 by S.C.Porter.

     

This site is maintained by Alexandra Yannacopoulou, Communications Officer. Site originally designed by Emma Robinson.

Last updated: 21/08/2004

© The University of Birmingham Astronomical Society, unless otherwise stated. Email: astrosoc@bugs.bham.ac.uk