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 Archimedeans' Constitution).

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 :-)

The Constitution:

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

  1. The Society shall be called the "Cambridge University Computer Preservation Society".
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. No proceedings of the Society shall be affected by any racial/religious/sexual or other unwarranted bias.

Section 2: Membership

  1. Membership is open to any interested member of the University, on payment of a membership fee, which shall be determined by the Committee.
  2. 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.
  3. All members are entitled to attend meetings and lectures, and to make use of any additional facilities of the Society for life.
  4. The Committee may, by majority vote, offer honorary membership to any individual deemed worthy.
  5. 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

  1. The Committee shall comprise a President, Junior Treasurer, Secretary and Publicity Officer who are elected at the Annual General Meeting.
  2. 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.
  3. The Senior Treasurer shall be elected by the Committee.
  4. The Committee may, at its discretion, co-opt additional committee members to itself where it perceives the need, or to fill vacancies which may arise.
  5. The Junior Treasurer is responsible for maintaining the Society's financial accounts in good order.
  6. The Secretary organises lectures, and invites lecturers.
  7. The President is generally responsible for the day to day running of the Society.
  8. The Publicity Officer ensures that events organised by the Society are advertised by suitable means.
  9. A Committee member may resign by giving written notice to the President of his intentions. The President may resign by giving such notice to the Secretary.

Section 4: Procedures

  1. The Society shall hold an Annual General Meeting, which may be attended by all members. It shall take place in the Lent term.
  2. An Annual General Meeting (AGM) must be advertised at least a fortnight in advance by the Secretary.
  3. 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 Society.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Constitutional amendments may only be carried out at an AGM, by majority vote of the members.
  7. 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

  1. 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:
    1. Routine payment of reasonable expenses to lecturers.
    2. Printing/duplication costs incurred in publicity.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Amendment history:

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Last updated: $Date: 2000/07/05 23:42:26 $