Cambridge University Computer Preservation Society Constitution
Some Notes on the Constitution:
The Society's constitution was written to be as small as possible. The
underlying assumption is that the Committee can be considered to be acting
in the best interests of the Society. Hence the Constitution says very
little about how the Committee should operate, for example. The Committee
can draft standing orders, or work on an informal basis. The aim was
to avoid bloating the Constitution with requirements which only impede
the smooth running of the Society (see also the
I like to think that this is the minimal constitution. It would be
very easy to adapt this for any Society. You could consider this to be
the UNIX of constitutions :-)
Section 0: Aims
The Society exists to promote interest in the history of
computing. This goal includes the preservation, understanding
and discussion of old hardware, software and related
documentation. The Society shall spread its collective
knowledge by holding occasional lectures, and meetings. The
Society shall also endeavour to preserve items of historic interest.
Section 1: General
- The Society shall be called the "Cambridge University Computer
- All references to "the University" shall refer to the University
of Cambridge, and the Precincts of such are as defined in the Statutes and
Ordinances of the University.
- The Society shall be governed by the Statutes and Ordinances of the
University. Should anything herein contravene the Statutes and Ordinances
then the condition in the constitution shall be declared void.
- No proceedings of the Society shall be affected by any
racial/religious/sexual or other unwarranted bias.
Section 2: Membership
- Membership is open to any interested member of the University, on
payment of a membership fee, which shall be determined by the Committee.
- The Committee has absolute discretion to cancel membership of an
individual, for disrupting a meeting or doing anything likely to bring the
Society into disrepute. This must be agreed by majority vote of the Committee,
under which circumstances the member's membership fee shall be returned.
- All members are entitled to attend meetings and lectures, and to make
use of any additional facilities of the Society for life.
- The Committee may, by majority vote, offer honorary membership to any
individual deemed worthy.
- Associate membership is open to any person approved by the Committee
who is not a member of the University, on payment of a membership fee,
which shall be determined by the Committee. Associate members are not
entitled to vote at General Meetings, or to stand for election to
Committee posts, but are entitled to all the other benefits of
membership for life.
Section 3: Committee
- The Committee shall comprise a President, Junior Treasurer, Secretary
and Publicity Officer who are elected at the Annual General Meeting.
- The Society shall have a Senior Treasurer, who shall be a member
of the teaching staff of the University, or a fellow of a college, and
whose function shall be to audit the accounts.
- The Senior Treasurer shall be elected by the Committee.
- The Committee may, at its discretion, co-opt additional committee
members to itself where it perceives the need, or to fill vacancies which
- The Junior Treasurer is responsible for maintaining the Society's
financial accounts in good order.
- The Secretary organises lectures, and invites lecturers.
- The President is generally responsible for the day to day running
of the Society.
- The Publicity Officer ensures that events organised by the Society are
advertised by suitable means.
- A Committee member may resign by giving written notice to the President
of his intentions. The President may resign by giving such notice to
Section 4: Procedures
- The Society shall hold an Annual General Meeting, which may be
attended by all members. It shall take place in the Lent term.
- An Annual General Meeting (AGM) must be advertised at least a fortnight
in advance by the Secretary.
- Nominations must be given to the Secretary at least three days in
advance of the AGM, and they must be supported by two other members of the
- The Committee are elected by majority vote of all members present at
the AGM. For an AGM to conduct business a quorum of members must be
present. A quorum shall be defined by the largest integer less than or
equal to the positive square root of the number of members residing within
the precincts of the University on the day of the AGM. Voting shall be
carried out under a "first past the post" scheme.
- The Society shall be deemed to cease existence if it hold no lectures
or meetings in any academic year. In this case the Society's funds must
be divided into equal parts and distributed to all members.
- Constitutional amendments may only be carried out at an AGM, by
majority vote of the members.
- On the request of at least three members submitted to the Secretary,
the Society shall organise an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), within
a fortnight of the submission. At an EGM exactly the same business may
be transacted as at an AGM.
Section 5: Finances
- The Society may only spend money on major items by majority vote of the
Committee. However money may be spent by Committee members for the
following purposes without the requirement for Committee approval:
- Routine payment of reasonable expenses to lecturers.
- Printing/duplication costs incurred in publicity.
- Any spending of the Society must be able to be of general benefit
to all members, and equipment purchased must be considered by the Committee
as being potentially of general use to all members.
- The Society may own a collection of equipment, looked after by an
Equipment Officer, who shall be appointed by the Committee. This equipment
shall be available to all members at reasonable notice.
- The original version of the constitution was written by Alan Bain
in October 1996, then edited and agreed by the founding committee
before being sent to the Junior Proctor on registration of the
- At the 1997 AGM, the aims of the
Society were adjusted to reduce hardware bias.
- At the 1998 AGM, the category of
associate members was added.
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Last updated: $Date: 2000/07/05 23:42:26 $