OUSAS logo
Oxford University Space and Astronomy Society
HomeEventsNewslettersRocketryCommitteeLinksConstitutionContact us

Constitution

Table of Contents

1. The name of the Society
2. The aims of the Society
3. The activities of the Society
4. Administration of the Society
5. The committee
6. The use of the Society's instruments other than at observational meetings
7. Membership
8. Committee Meetings
9. Election of the Committee
10. Powers of the Committee
11. Duties of the Officers
12. The finance of the Society
13. Limits on expenditure
14. Status of Cambridge University Astronomical Society members
15. Cases of dispute
16. General Meetings
17. Amendments to the constitution

1. The name of the Society

The name of the Society shall be "The Oxford University Space and Astronomy Society."


2. The aims of the Society

The aims of the Society are to promote and encourage an interest in astronomy, astrophysics and space science throughout the University and the Oxford area.


3. The activities of the Society

The activities of the Society shall consist of meetings during the University term at which talks, discussions etc. of astronomical and space science interest shall be given, and of regular observational meetings, when the Society's instruments shall be available for use by all members. The Society shall provide for the use of the observatory and other equipment at other times, subject to the provisions of section 6 (The use of the society's instruments other than at observational meetings). The Society shall also endeavour to provide opportunities for day and night visits to astronomical establishments and to provide for other such facilities as shall seem to further its objectives.


4. Administration of the Society

The Society shall at all times be administered in accordance with the rules and regulations for clubs, societies and publications as laid down in the current edition of the Proctors Memorandum.


5. The committee

The affairs of the society shall be managed by a committee elected from the members of the society and of the following composition: A quorum of the committee shall include four committee members, including the president, the secretary and the treasurer, or deputies appointed by them, or all the junior committee members should their number fall below four. Should the number of junior committee members fall below six, the committee shall be restored to full strength by elections held at the next committee meeting.
Any committee member who misses all the committee meetings in a term, or is deemed to have repeatedly neglected their duties to the society, shall be removed from the committee, subject to a vote by the committee at the last committee meeting of the term. The committee shall have the power to set action points which shall be recognised as a duty to the society.


6. The use of the Society's instruments other than at observational meetings

The committee shall arrange for the observations officer and several members of the Society, (who have received appropriate training from the observations officer) to have keys to access the telescope. Notification shall be given to the members of the Society at the beginning of each term of the names and addresses of members with keys. The committee shall have the power to bar any member from the observational facilities who seems unfit to enjoy them. Any member who wishes to have a key for the observatory must apply to the committee and pay a deposit, as decided by the committee. Any member found to have duplicated a key or to have loaned a key to any other person not already in possession of a key, without the approval of the committee, given at a committee meeting, shall be liable to instant dismissal from the Society without refund of membership fee.


7. Membership

The facilities of the Society shall be extended to all members of the University who: Non-members of the University may also join the Society and enjoy its facilities if approved by the committee. The committee may offer to anyone who has rendered service to the society, honorary life membership, which shall entitle those persons to all the rights of ordinary members.
The membership fees of the society shall be fixed by the committee, at an amount which seems to them in keeping with the facilities provided by the Society.
Non-university members must renew their membership annually and a fee must be paid upon renewal. Non-university members may be asked for their full name and address. This information must be accurate and up to date. The treasurer is responsible for managing this information and it is to be treated as confidential.


8. Committee Meetings

Committee meetings shall be held at least once per University term. All members of the committee shall have at least three days notice of the committee meetings. Minutes of the meetings shall be kept by the secretary and may be inspected by any member of the Society. Apologies for absence will be required, and should be sent to the secretary.


9. Election of the Committee

The senior members
A senior member shall be elected by a simple majority of the committee.

Junior members
Junior members, not holding office, may be elected to the committee by a simple majority of the committee.

Officers
Officers shall be elected at an annual general meeting of the Society in Hilary Term, of which all currently resident members shall be made aware at least seven days in advance. Candidates shall be nominated and seconded by other members of the Society in writing to the secretary.

Voting procedure: Voting shall be conducted by secret ballot. In addition to the candidates nominated, members shall also be given the option to vote for the reopening of nominations.


10. Powers of the Committee

The committee has the power to refuse membership of the Society to any person, or require any person to resign from the Society, or the committee, who shall be unsuited to be a member, decided by a two to one vote* of the committee. This issue shall be declared at the time of calling the committee meeting and the person concerned shall be informed and allowed to speak at the meeting.
The committee has the power to make any meetings which it considers suitable, open to attendance by non-members of the Society. It has the power to invite speakers, arrange meetings, advertise the Society's activities as it sees fit, appoint College or other representatives and generally execute the routine matters involved in the running of the Society. The senior member may require the secretary to send them the minutes of each committee meeting.


11. Duties of the Officers

The president
The president shall preside at all committee meetings, and guide and coordinate the activities and officers of the Society. It shall also be the duty of the president to maintain contact with, and organise meetings with, other societies. If at any time the president is unable to be present at a meeting, their place shall be taken by one of the other officers. The president shall not vote at a meeting, except in the case of a tied vote, in which case the president shall have casting vote. The president and secretary jointly, by a two thirds* majority of the committee, may assume the powers of the committee for a stated period but any decisions that are made must be fully reported to the committee within two weeks of the end of that period. The president shall also be required to produce the society’s annual newsletter.

The secretary
It shall be the duty of the secretary to arrange the speaker meeting programme, and they shall also find accommodation for the speakers if required. The secretary shall be responsible for the contents of the termcard and also for communications between any member of the Society and the committee. If at any time the secretary is unable to be present at a meeting, their place shall be taken by one of the other committee members.

The treasurer
The treasurer shall keep proper accounts of the income and expenditure of the Society and shall have these ready for inspection by the committee members. The treasurer shall make a statement of the financial state of the Society to the committee at least once per term. The treasurer shall also keep records of the members of the Society, and keep the membership list up to date. They shall send reminders to members whose membership has recently lapsed. It shall also be the duty of the treasurer to pay all of the Society's bills from the Society's accounts. The treasurer shall ensure that all debts to the Society are recovered promptly. All debts of the members of the Society to the Society must be paid within four days of the request of the treasurer. The treasurer shall collect membership fees from members.

The observations officer
The observations officer shall be responsible for the upkeep of the Society's astronomical equipment and they shall maintain the observations book. The observations officer shall also either be acquainted with the use of the society's astronomical equipment or be able to direct a Society member to a source of information and help with respect to this. It shall be the duty of the observations officer to keep an up to date record of the holders of the keys to the observatory. The observations officer shall be responsible for the purchase of new equipment at the instruction of the committee, and ensure that astronomy and astrophysics are fairly represented within the Society.

The rocketry officer
The rocketry officer shall be responsible for organising rocket launches every University term and for organising the rocket workshop before each launch. The rocketry officer shall also be responsible for the purchase of new equipment at the instruction of the committee, and shall ensure that rocketry is fairly represented within the Society. The society's rocketry equipment shall be maintained by the space technologies officer.

The publicity officer
The publicity officer shall be responsible for booking and setting up the Society's stall at Freshers Fair, and for ensuring that all the society's activities are properly publicised. The publicity officer shall facilitate communications between the committee and the Society. The publicity officer shall also be responsible for producing and distributing the termcard.

The website officer
The website officer shall be responsible for updating and maintaining all facets of the society’s website, including the latest termcard, newsletters and constitution.

The outreach officer
The outreach officer shall be responsible for promoting an interest in space and astronomy throughout the general public. They shall liaise with local schools to arrange space related talks and activities, along with collaborating and representing the society within the Physics department’s outreach schemes.

The committee
Each committee member shall make themselves available, when possible, for the purpose of aiding any other committee member in the execution of their duties. Each committee member shall be answerable to the committee at a committee meeting for any failure to execute their duties.


12. The finance of the Society

The Society shall have a bank account into which all income shall be paid. Only the senior officers have the power to sign cheques on behalf of the Society, and one signature shall be required for the cheque to be valid.


13. Limits on expenditure

The income and property of the Society shall be applied only to the expressed objectives of the Society, and no portion thereof shall be paid or made over, directly or indirectly, to any member of the Society, except in the reimbursement of expenses incurred or to be incurred on behalf of the Society. The treasurer shall not authorise the expenditure of more than the Society's current funds without the committee's consent.


14. Status of Cambridge University Astronomical Society members

Members of the Cambridge University Astronomical Society, possessing a valid membership of that society, shall be eligible to enjoy all the facilities of The Oxford University Space and Astronomical Society, with the exception of voting rights, standing as candidates in Society elections and possession of keys to the Society's telescope, without payment of a further fee. Each society shall have the power to refuse these facilities to any member of the other society on consultation with the other society.


15. Cases of dispute

Any member of the Society shall be able to request further investigation into the action of any other member or officer, or the decisions of the committee, or the whole society, relating to any matter of Society business. If any serious dispute arises, the matter may be referred to the senior member for arbitration; if the senior member sees fit, the matter shall be decided at a general meeting of the Society.


16. General Meetings

Notice of this meeting must be circulated to all members of the Society currently resident of the University at least one week in advance, in writing. The senior member, the committee, the senior officers or one fifth of the Society shall be able to call such a meeting. The meeting will supersede the powers of the committee. The agenda shall be defined by motions submitted to the secretary. All motions are to be decided by a two to one vote*. Any decision giving rise to call for such a general meeting shall not be implemented until the matter has been discussed at such a meeting.


17. Amendments to the constitution

Amendments to the constitution may only be made at the annual general meeting or a general meeting called expressly for this purpose. All members shall be given at least seven days' notice of this meeting and the proposed amendments where practical. Amendments shall be passed by a two thirds* majority.

*A two thirds, or two to one, majority means at least two votes for a motion for every vote against the motion are required.

Site design by Sophie Dillon, 2013. Background image credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)