Name and Objects

  1. The name of the society shall be "The Oxford Tolkien Society (Taruithorn)"
  2. The objects of the society shall be: to promote interest in and celebrate the life and works of the late Professor J.R.R. Tolkien C.B.E. and other works of classic fantasy. The income and property of the society shall be applied solely to the furthering of these objects.
  3. At the discretion of the committee, the society may also be known as "Taruithorn: The Oxford Tolkien and Classic Fantasy Society".


    1. The Society shall be administered in accordance with the regulations for University Clubs which are published from time to time in the Proctors' and Assessor's Memorandum ("the Proctors' Memorandum").
    2. Provided that at least one Taruithorn member is a member of the Tolkien Society, the Society shall be affiliated to it. If no member is a member of the Tolkien Society then the President and Secretary will be mandated to join and other committee members will be encouraged to join in order to maintain links and affiliation with the Society. Its name may be shortened to "The Smial of Taruithorn" in any contact with this Society.
    3. The Society shall observe the suggested Code of Conduct on Safety Matters which is set out by the Proctors, ensure compliance with the Code by the members of the Society, and follow an appropriate procedure for risk assessment.
    4. No member of the Society shall participate in any activity overseas organised by the Society, whether during term time or vacation, unless the plans for such activity have been notified at least one calendar month in advance of the date of departure from the United Kingdom to the University Marshal. Each member participating in such activities overseas shall observe any conditions imposed by the Proctors on the recommendation of the University Marshal, e.g. relating to the deposit of contact addresses, fulfilment of health, safety and insurance requirements, and stipulation of Senior Members to accompany the trip.
    5. The activities of the Society will at all times be conducted in accordance with the following university policies and codes of practice in force from time to time: Integrated Equality Policy, Code of Practice on Harassment and Bullying, and Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech.


  1. The Society shall be composed of those eligible to be members who have applied and have been admitted into the Society, and who have paid the relevant subscription fee.
  2. All student members of the University, and all persons whose names are on the University's Register of Visiting Students, shall be eligible to become members of the Society. A member shall continue to be eligible until he or she is given permission to supplicate for his or her degree, diploma or certificate, regardless of whether or not he or she continues to be liable to pay fees to the University.
  3. The Committee may also, at its discretion, admit to membership:-
    1. members of Ruskin College; Plater College; Ripon College, Cuddesdon and the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice;
    2. members of the Westminster Institute of Oxford Brookes University who are registered to read for degrees or other qualifications validated by the University of Oxford; and
    3. Other persons not falling within paragraphs 5, 6(a) or 6(b) above provided that non university members shall not constitute more than one-fifth of the total membership.
  4. The Committee may remove a person from membership for good cause. The person concerned may appeal against such removal to the Senior Member.
  5. Members shall pay subscriptions at a rate to be decided by the Committee. A charge for non-members attending the meetings may be set by the Committee.

Meetings of the Members

  1. There shall be an Annual General Meeting for all the members of the Society in Hilary Full Term, convened by the Secretary on not less than fourteen days' notice.
  2. The Annual General Meeting will:
    1. receive the annual report of the Committee for the previous year and the annual accounts of the Society for the previous year, the report and accounts having been approved by the Committee;
    2. receive a report from the Committee on the Society's compliance with paragraph 3 above;
    3. elect Members of the Committee in accordance with paragraph 22 below: the Committee's nominations, if extant, for the Officers and the Senior Member shall be contained in the notice of the Meeting; any alternative nominations must be seconded and have the consent of the nominee; nominations for the other Committee Members may be taken from the floor of the meeting;
    4. Consider any motions of which due notice has been given, and any other relevant business.
  3. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called in any Full Term; by the President, the Secretary or the Treasurer on not less than seven days' notice; or on a written requisition by at least 10 members or 15% of the current membership, whichever is fewer, stating the reason for which the meeting is to be called, and delivered to the Secretary not less than fourteen days before the date of the Meeting.
  4. Prior to all General Meetings notice of the agenda shall be sent out with the notice of the Meeting.
  5. The quorum for a General Meeting shall be 15 members or 20% of the current membership, whichever is fewer, present in person or by proxy, of whom three must be members of the Committee. When any financial business is to be transacted there must be present the Treasurer, or a member of the Committee deputed by the Treasurer to represent his or her views to the Meeting (provided that where it is a case of a deputy, the only financial business transacted shall be that which was set out in the agenda accompanying the notice of the meeting).

The Committee

  1. The affairs of the Society shall be administered by a Committee, which shall have ultimate responsibility for the activities of the Society. Members of the University shall at all times make up the majority of the members of the Committee. The Committee shall have control of the funds and property of the Society, and of its administration.
  2. The quorum for a Committee meeting shall be three members present in person, at least one of whom is an officer of the society. When any financial business is to be transacted, there must be present either the Treasurer or a member of the Committee deputed by the Treasurer to represent his or her views to the meeting.
  3. The Committee shall be made up of the President, the Secretary, the Treasurer (together, the "Office Holders"; and their offices are referred to as "the Offices"), the Senior Member and other persons elected at a General Meeting or co-opted by the Committee. The President, the Secretary and the Treasurer shall each be either a member of the Society whose eligibility stems from paragraphs 5, 6 (a) or 6 (b)above, or (with the approval of the Proctors) a member of Congregation. If his or her eligibility stems from paragraphs 6(a) or (b) above, on election to office he or she must sign an undertaking to abide by the Proctors' Memorandum, and to accept the authority of the Proctors on Society matters.
  4. The President shall:
    1. Have the right to preside at all meetings of the members of the Society and at all meetings of the Committee. Should the President be absent, or decline to take the chair, it shall pass to the Secretary and then the Treasurer, in that order.
    2. Be responsible for contacting guest speakers and acting as hosts for their visits.
    3. Be responsible for designating administrative duties to the other Committee members and outlining the general nature of the letters distributed by the Society.
    4. Be responsible for co-ordinating communications with the Tolkien Society and any other bodies, societies and people outside Oxford.
  5. The Secretary shall:
    1. Give notice of meetings of the members and the Committee;
    2. Draw up the minutes of those meetings;
    3. Notify the Proctors promptly following the appointment and resignation or removal of Office Holders and other members of the Committee;
    4. Advise the Proctors promptly of any changes in this Constitution;
    5. Inform the Proctors if the Society ceases to operate, or is to be dissolved, and in doing so present a final statement of accounts.
  6. The Treasurer shall:
    1. Maintain a register of the members of the Society, which shall be available for inspection by the Proctors on request;
    2. Keep proper records of the Society's financial transactions in accordance with current accepted accounting rules and practices;
    3. Ensure that bills are paid and cash is banked in accordance with the procedures developed under (b);
    4. Prepare a rough annual budget for the Society;
    5. Ensure that all statutory returns are made including VAT, income tax and corporation tax if appropriate;
    6. Seek advice as necessary on tax matters from the University's Finance Division;
    7. Develop and maintain a manual of written procedures for all aspects of the Treasurer’s responsibilities;
    8. Make all records, procedures and accounts available on request to the Senior Member, the Proctors and Internal Audit;
    9. Forward to the Proctors by the end of the second week of each Full Term a copy of the accounts for the preceding term signed by the Senior Member, for retention on the Proctors’ files; and
    10. If the Society has a turnover in excess of £15,000 in the preceding year, or if owing to a change in the nature or scale of its activities, it may confidently be expected to have such a turnover in the current year, must subject its accounts for audit by auditors approved in advance by the Proctors. Accounts are to be ready for audit within four months of the end of the Society's financial year and the costs of the audit shall be borne by the Society. If requested by the auditors, the Society shall submit accounts and related material as a basis for a review of accounting procedures, the cost likewise to be borne by the Society.
  7. The IT Officer shall:
    1. Not more than two weeks into the beginning of each Full Term prepare and upload to the society's website [] an itinerary detailing the activities planned for that Term.
    2. Be responsible for the maintenance and updating of the Taruithorn website.
    3. Be responsible for maintaining the taruith, taruith-announce, taruith-committee and fresher's email lists, making adjustments with the wishes of members of the Society, except that members shall only be added to the taruith-committee list with the prior approval of the Committee.
  8. The Senior Member shall:-
    1. Hear appeals from removal from membership under paragraph 7 above;
    2. Following paragraph 19(i) above, consider the accounts of the Society and sign them if he or she considers them to be in order;
    3. Ensure that adequate advice and assistance is available to the Secretary and the Treasurer in the performance of their responsibilities under paragraphs 18 and 19 above; and
    4. Be available to represent and speak for the Society in the public forum, and before the Courts of the University and the University authorities.
  9. The members of the Committee shall be elected by the members of the Society annually, and shall be eligible for re election. The members of the Society shall not appoint several individuals jointly to hold any of the Offices, nor allow any individual to hold more than one Office at a time. When electing other members of the Committee each year, the members of the Society shall also appoint a member of Congregation as the Senior Member, and he or she will then be a member of the Committee ex officio.
  10. If during the period between the annual elections to offices any vacancies occur amongst the members of Committee, the Committee shall have the power of filling the vacancy or vacancies up to the next Annual General Meeting by co option.
  11. Each Office Holder must, on relinquishing his or her appointment, hand to his or her successor in Office (or to another member of the Society nominated by the Committee) all official documents and records belonging to the Society, together with (on request from the Committee) any other property of the Society which may be in his or her possession; and must complete any requirements to transfer authority relating to control of the Society's bank accounts, building society accounts, or other financial affairs.
  12. Without derogating from its primary responsibility, the Committee may delegate its functions to finance and general purposes and other subcommittees which are made up exclusively of members of the Committee.
  13. The Committee shall have power to make regulations and by laws in order to implement the paragraphs of this Constitution, and to settle any disputed points not otherwise provided for in this Constitution. Any alteration to this Constitution shall require the approving vote of two-thirds of those present in person or by proxy at a General Meeting.
  14. No member of the Committee shall be removed from office except by the approving votes of two-thirds of those present in person or by proxy at a General Meeting.
  15. The Society shall publish a magazine entitled 'Miruvor'.

The Society Magazine

  1. It shall exist to:
    1. Cover all aspects of those subjects relevant to the Society's aims, at all levels of scholarship.
    2. Cover the activities of the Society.
    3. Act as a forum for the views of the members of the Society.
    4. Contain items relevant to the term's events, providing background material as appropriate.
    5. It shall be published on a termly basis, subject to the availability of suitable material.
    6. The magazine shall be distributed free to all members.
    7. It shall be written predominantly in English.
    8. It shall be presented to the President before it is printed for their approval. The Committee have the right to veto all or part of any article or other item appearing in the magazine.
    9. It shall not publish any article that might in any way be contrary to English law.
    10. Copyright shall, in all cases, rest with the contributors.
  2. Views published in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Committee.
  3. It shall have an editor, who shall be a member of the Society and a member of the Committee. If the member chosen as editor is not already a member of the Committee before being chosen as editor, they shall then become a member of the Committee by virtue of holding the position of editor of the magazine.


  1. So far as may be permitted by law, every member of the Committee and every officer of the Society shall be entitled to be indemnified by the Society against all costs, charges, losses, expenses and liabilities incurred by him or her in the execution or discharge of his or her duties or the exercise of his or her powers, or otherwise properly in relation to or in connection with his or her duties. This indemnity extends to any liability incurred by him or her in defending any proceedings, civil or criminal, which relate to anything done or omitted or alleged to have been done or omitted by him or her as a member of the Committee or officer of the Society and in which judgement is given in his or her favour (or the proceedings are otherwise disposed of without any finding or admission of any material breach of duty on his or her part), or in which he or she is acquitted, or in connection with any application under any statute for relief from liability in respect of any such act or omission in which relief is granted to him or her by the Court.
  2. So far as may be permitted by law, the Society may purchase and maintain for any member of the Committee or officer of the Society insurance cover against any liability which by virtue of any rule of law may attach to him or her in respect of any negligence, default, breach of duty or breach of trust of which he or she may be guilty in relation to the Society and against all costs, charges, losses and expenses and liabilities incurred by him or her and for which he or she is entitled to be indemnified by the Society by virtue of paragraph 33.


  1. The Society may be dissolved at any time by the approving votes of two thirds of those present in person or by proxy at a General Meeting. The Society may also be dissolved (without the need for any resolution of the members) by means of not less than thirty days notice from the Proctors to the Secretary of the Society if at any time the Society ceases to be registered with the Proctors.
  2. In the event of the Society being dissolved, its assets shall not be distributed amongst the members, but shall be paid to or at the direction of the University.


  1. Any question about the interpretation of this Constitution shall be settled by the Proctors.

Society Codes and By-Laws

  1. There shall exist a document detailing the codes and by-laws of the society, acting as a binding document on members of the society; this shall be in all cases subordinate to this constitution. A copy of this document shall be found on the society website.