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Constitution

The constitution sets out how the society is run, our relationship to SUSU and who can be a member.

  1. The official name of the Society herein is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Plus Society, which is abbreviated as Southampton LGBT+ Society for national distinction and within the University of Southampton (herein the University) community.
  2. The objectives of the Society are to support and further the interests of members of the University who are part of the LGBT community, by the following means:
    1. Support and represent LGBT+ members of the University in coordination with the SUSU Equality & Diversity Committee.
    2. Ensuring a safe environment for LGBT+ students to work and socialise at and around the University campuses, as well as within our online groups.
    3. Actively pursuing charitable and political campaigns to further the wellbeing of LGBT+ people.
    4. Representing the views of the Society’s members, by working with local and national bodies and participating in relevant events, where it is practical to do so.
    5. Improving awareness of the health and political issues that affect the Society’s members, and the services available to support them.
    6. Raising awareness of LGBT+ people in the wider community, and the issues that affect them.
  3. Membership to the Society is subject to the following rules:
    1. The Society does not charge a fee for membership or affiliation.
    2. Full membership is open to any Full Member of the Students’ Union.
    3. Associate membership is open to Associate and Temporary Members of the Students’ Union, and to those students of the University who have exercised their right not to be members of the Students’ Union.
    4. Only Full Members are entitled to be elected to the Committee, or to propose, discuss and vote at a General Meeting. These are the sole privileges afforded to the Full Members over any other category of Membership.
    5. A single opt-in membership list is maintained, in accordance with the Society’s equality and confidentiality clause (see item 4), for the sole purpose of determining those eligible to vote and what constitutes quoracy at General Meetings. The list will be used for this purpose only, and will not be shared with or accessible to any person outside of the Committee.
  4. Equality and Confidentiality Clause
    Anyone is welcome to join the Society, and/or attend the Society’s events, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and without fear of prejudice.
    1. The attendance of a person, to any Society meeting or event, implies nothing about their sexual orientation nor gender identity. Whenever there is doubt that all attendees are aware of this policy, they should be reminded.
    2. The Society’s mailing list contains email addresses only for the purposes of communication. It is administered by the Committee and will not be used for any other purpose or shared with any person outside of the Committee.
    3. The single membership list used for determining who can vote and quoracy at General Meetings is maintained by the Committee, and will not be shared with any person outside of the Committee. The list will be purged annually and clear instructions given to Society Members on how to relist.
    4. People of all ages are welcome to join, but the Secretary must record the number of Members under the age of 18, and this number should be considered when organising events and meetings involving age restrictions.
  5. The administration and management of the Society is the responsibility of its Committee. The Committee consists of the Officers of the Society and no less than two ordinary members, who support the Officers and take on responsibilities as needed.
  6. The Officers of the Society conduct their business as follows:
    1. The President is the figurehead of the Society to all external interests, and is responsible for the Society’s policies and actions throughout their term. It is essential that the President delegates tasks to the other committee members wherever possible. They should also ensure the officers’ accountability to Members, the Committee and the Students’ Union.6.1.1. It is desirable that the President have at least one year experience on a Students’ Union society or club committee, but this is not essential.
    2. The Treasurer oversees the financing of the Society, submits funding applications to SUSU and maintains the accounts for the Society. They must be involved whenever money is handled by the Society. They should also be involved when organising any sponsorship arrangements with external parties.
    3. The Secretary oversees the administration of the Society, minutes all General Meetings and Meetings of the Committee, and ensures that Society and SUSU policy is followed in all proceedings. They are also responsible for the Society’s communications with external parties.
    4. The Vice President supports the President in the organisation and management of the Committee and Society. They should take an active role in ensuring the Society meets its objectives and responsibilities to its Members, liaising with Members to gather feedback and find areas for improvement.
    5. The two Welfare Officers are essential in leading the Society’s support service. They are responsible for the welfare material delivered by the Society, including information leaflets and awareness talks. They should make Members aware of the support services offered by the University, the Students’ Union and local LGBT support services. 6.5.1. It is desirable to have one male and one female welfare officer, to better cope with concerns raised by Members, but this is not essential.
    6. The Activities Officer is responsible for coordinating the organisation of events, and developing ideas to ensure a balance of activities that interest all Society Members. They are expected to lead the organisation of events with the support of other committee and Society Members. Special consideration should be given to ensuring events are inclusive of all Society Members when organising events.
    7. The Publicity Officer coordinates promotion of the Society’s activities and services to Society Members and the wider community. This includes online publicity through social media and the website, working closely with the Activities Officer.
    8. The Technical Officer maintains the essential computing services of the Society, including the website and committee email services. 6.8.1. t is desirable that the technical officer have experience building, running and maintaining a website, but this is not essential.
    9. The Winchester Officer (who must be studying at Winchester School of Art) coordinates the Society’s activities at the Winchester School of Arts (WSA), with the full support of the rest of the Committee. They are responsible for the election of a small number of executives to help with the organisation and publicity of events and activities at WSA, the number and roles of which are to be decided by the Committee before the AGM. Only students studying at the Winchester School of Arts may vote in the election of the Winchester Officer.
  7. It is essential that the Society has a President, a Treasurer and a Secretary in order to exist and function. Without these, the terms of SUSU’s affiliation are null and void.
    1. The remaining Officer positions are non-essential but extremely useful. If any position is vacant, the Committee must delegate these responsibilities among themselves.
  8. The Society conducts regular General Meetings, wherein all members of SUSU are invited to reflect on the Society’s achievements, and Society Members can discuss its future organisation.
    1. An Annual General Meeting (AGM) should be held in the spring term, and advertised to all SUSU Members with at least 14 days’ notice.
      1. The current committee members are expected to make a short speech concerning their activities during the previous year. This is compulsory for the Treasurer, who must present the year's accounts.
      2. All committee positions must be vacated at the AGM, and elections held accordingly.
      3. Preparations for the following year should be shared between the new and old committees during the handover period (see item 9).
    2. An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) can be called in exceptional circumstances by: the President; the Secretary; or a petition to the President naming at least six Society members, and giving the reason for the meeting.
      1. Only the business calling for the EGM may be discussed at the EGM.
      2. The EGM must be held within 7 days of its calling, and all Members must receive at least 24 hours’ notice of its time, place and reason.
    3. Every Full Member of the Society is entitled to one vote on every voting matter.
      1. Voting conduct (i.e. show of hands or closed ballot) is at the discretion of the Chairperson, except elections where a closed ballot must be used. All votes in the same meeting must be conducted identically.
      2. Only Full Members at the General Meeting are entitled to vote, with the exception of the Chair.
      3. In the case of an equality of votes, the Chair shall have a casting vote. Alternatively in the case of elections the position may remain vacant to receive new nominations for a by-election.
      4. Proxy votes are not admissible.
      5. All votes are subject to a quorum of 20% of the full membership (i.e. the total Full Members included on the confidential Membership List defined in item 3.4).
    4. General Meetings shall usually be chaired by the person who has been elected as President, or another member of the Committee should the President step down as chair of the meeting.
    5. Associate Members of the Society may speak at a General Meeting only with the permission of the meeting.
    6. Any Full Member may propose a resolution to be discussed and voted upon at a General Meeting.
    7. Vacant committee positions should be announced at least seven days prior to any General Meeting, so that the Secretary can receive nominations.
      1. Only full members are eligible for nomination (see item 3).
      2. Elections are subject to the same rules as any other voting matter (see item 8.4).
  9. Upon election of a new Committee, the outgoing Committee is responsible for overseeing the handover of responsibilities for a minimum of two weeks.
    1. Each Committee member is responsible for the handover of their own responsibilities, except where a previously vacant position has been filled.
    2. The result of any Committee election must be updated on the Student Groups Hub on the SUSU website within 14 days.
    3. Essential details and documents for the running of the Society, must be transferred in the handover time.
  10. The Officers of the Society are jointly liable for the proper management of the Society's finances and ensuring that SUSU’s financial regulations are followed.
    1. The financial concerns of the Society are entirely its own and do not affect, nor are they affected by, SUSU’s financial concerns, except for the Society’s allocated budget. In particular, if the Society finds itself in debt, regardless of the members responsible, it is the Society’s own concern to repay the debt.
    2. Equally, SUSU should only demand money from the Society as payment for a specific service that the Society has requested. In particular, no affiliation fee exists at the time of this Constitution’s passing; this document is void should this situation change.
  11. The Committee has the power to take disciplinary action or expel any member from the Society on the grounds of misconduct, or for conduct of a nature opposed to the objectives of the Society or SUSU.
    1. Any disciplinary action or expulsion must first be discussed with the SUSU Student Groups Officer.
    2. Any disciplinary action or expulsion must be reported at the next General Meeting of the Society.
    3. Members who are subject to disciplinary action or are expelled have the right of appeal to the SUSU Student Groups Committee.
  12. The Society may affiliate with other organisations if they provide a direct benefit to its members.
    1. All affiliations must be reported to the SUSU Students’ Groups Committee.
  13. If this Constitution is found to be lacking or incorrect in any way, it can amended subject to the following rules:
    1. The Committee has first approval of amendments.
    2. Following Committee approval, the amendments must be presented to the Society members at a General Meeting and passed by a vote (see item 8.4).
    3. The amendments must be submitted and approved by the SUSU Student Groups Committee
    4. The SUSU Student Groups Committee and the Society’s Secretary must keep copies of the approved Constitution.
  14. Declaration

    The Members of the Society in General Meeting Adopted this Constitution

    Date 29 10 16

    President Jonathon St Clair-Smith

    Secretary Caitlin Doyle