OUHRS Constitution

Aims of the society

The aims of the society are:

  • to encourage the study and re-enactment of aspects of British and Anglo-Saxon life and culture in the early mediaeval period;
  • to provide basic equipment for the making of props and clothes necessary for the re-enactment of battles and village life of the times;
  • to demonstrate skills-at-arms to those people wishing to re-enact battles of the period to standards of national re-enactment societies;
  • to liaise with other Dark-Age societies, especially for the purposes of appearing at re-enactment shows.

Compliance

The Club 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”).

If there is a national governing body for the Club’s activities with which the Club is eligible to register, the Club shall effect and maintain such registration: purchase any insurance cover which the national body makes available unless the Insurance Section of the University’s Central Administration (“the Insurance Section”) agrees to or prescribes other arrangements); and make every effort to comply with all safety procedures which the national body prescribes, or recommends as good practice.

The Club shall observe the Code of Conduct on Safety Matters which is set out in the Schedule to this Constitution, ensure compliance with the Code by the members of the Club, and follow an appropriate procedure for risk assessment. Both the Code of Conduct and the procedure for risk assessment must be acceptable to the University’s Safety Officer.

No member of the Club shall participate in any activity overseas organised by the Club, 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.

Membership

The members of the Club shall be those who are eligible and apply for membership of the Club, who are admitted to and maintained in membership by the Committee, and who have paid the relevant Club subscription.

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 Club. 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.

The Committee may also, at its discretion, admit to membership:-

  • members of Ruskin College; Plater College; Ripon College, Cuddesdon and the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice;
  • 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
  • other persons not falling within those specified above provided that non-university members shall not constitute more than one-fifth of the total membership.

The Committee may remove a person from membership for good cause. The person concerned may appeal against such removal to the Senior Member.

The Committee

The affairs of the Club shall be administered by a Committee, which shall determine the subscriptions payable by the members of the Club, and have ultimate responsibility for the activities of the Club. 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 Club, and of its administration.

Officers of the Committee

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, the Master/Mistress of Revels and the Quartermaster. The President, the Secretary and the Treasurer shall each be either a member of the Club who is eligible as a student member of the University, or as specified above, or (with the approval of the Proctors) a member of Congregation. If his or her eligibility is as specified above, on appointment to office he or she must sign an undertaking to abide by the Proctors’ memorandum, and to accept the authority of the Proctors on Club matters. The Committee may also include additional First-Aiders, although any committee member may be a First-Aider in addition to their duties.

The President shall have the right to preside at all meetings of the members of the Club and at all meetings of the Committee. Should the President be absent, or decline to take the chair, the Committee shall elect another member of the Committee to chair the meeting.

The Secretary shall:

  • maintain a register of the members of the Club, which shall be available for inspection by the Proctors on request;
  • give notice of meetings of the members and the Committee;
  • draw up the minutes of those meetings;
  • notify the Proctors promptly following the appointment and resignation or removal of Office Holders and other members of the Committee;
  • advise the Proctors promptly of any changes in this Constitution;
  • draw up term cards every term detailing the society's activities for that term
  • notify the Proctors not later than the end of the second week of every Full Term of the programme of meetings which has been arranged for that term (e.g. by providing them a copy of the term card);
  • provide the Insurance Section with full details of any insurance cover purchased from or through a national governing body;
  • inform the Proctors if the Club ceases to operate, or is to be dissolved, and in doing so present a final statement of accounts.

The Treasurer shall:

  • keep proper records of the Club’s financial transactions in accordance with current accepted accounting rules and practices;
  • develop and implement control procedures to minimise the risk of financial exposure, such procedures to be reviewed regularly with the University’s Internal Audit Section (“Internal Audit”);
  • ensure that bills are paid and cash is banked in accordance with the procedures developed above;
  • prepare an annual budget for the Club, and regularly inform the Committee of Progress against that budget;
  • ensure that all statutory returns are made including VAT, income tax and corporation tax if appropriate;
  • seek advice as necessary on tax matters from the University’s Finance Division;
  • develop and maintain a manual of written procedures for all aspects of the Treasurer’s responsibilities;
  • make all records, procedures and accounts available on request to the Senior Member, the Proctors and Internal Audit;
  • 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.

The Master/Mistress of Revels shall:

  • take overall responsibility for the organisation and execution of social events run by the society;
  • oversee financial matters in relation to the running of such events;
  • be responsible for the safe-keeping of society-owned equipment which is used for the events for which they are responsible;
  • maintain a written record of activities for the assistance of future holders of the position;
  • take responsibility for the training of future holders of the position, both by example and formally.

The Quartermaster shall:

  • maintain an inventory of weapons, armour and other combat equipment owned by the society;
  • as far as reasonably practicable, be responsible for checking the suitability of both the society's and members' personal equipment before use in re-enactment;
  • ensure proper maintenance of the above equipment;

The Senior Member shall:

  • hear appeals from removal from membership under as described above;
  • as described above, consider the accounts of the Club and sign them if he or she considers them to be in order;
  • ensure that adequate advice and assistance is available to the Secretary and the Treasurer in the performance of their responsibilities; and
  • be available to represent and speak for the Club in the public forum, and before the Courts of the University and the University authorities.

First Aiders shall:

  • be trained in basic first aid;
  • take responsibility for the society's first aid kit;
  • have at all times a mobile phone in case of medical attention being required;
  • complete accident reports as required by the University.

Appointments to the Committee

The new President shall be appointed by the outgoing President at the end of Trinity Term to take up officership at the beginning of Michaelmas Term. Remaining committee officers (excluding the Senior Member) shall be elected by the new President in co-operation with the outgoing committee. The Senior Member shall be appointed for no fixed term, and it is the responsibility of the committee to ensure that he/she is still able to remain in that position, and to find a replacement if needed.

The exception to this shall be the Mistress/Master of Revels, who shall appoint a Mistress/Master in Training at the beginning of Hilary Term, and shall share responsibilities until the end of that term, after which they shall hand the office to their successor.

No individual shall be appointed to more than one Office at any time, nor shall any Office be occupied by several individuals jointly. However, an Office may be temporarily relinquished to another member of the society, provided they fulfil the requirements as outlined above, if the Officer is prevented from being able to undertake their commitments due to external or University constraints.

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 until the next election by co-optation.

Each Office Holder must, on relinquishing his or her appointment, promptly hand to his or her successor in Office (or to another member of the Club nominated by the Committee) all official documents and records belonging to the Club, together with (on request from the Committee) any other property of the Club which may be in his or her possession; and must complete any requirements to transfer authority relating to control of the Club’s bank accounts, building society accounts, or other financial affairs.

Responsibilities of the Committee

The committee is responsible for the assistance of the relevant Officers with the day-to-day running of the society, and for the making of any decisions which have relevance to the society. Individual Officers may assume control of those events which fall under their Offices, but major changes relating to the society must be made by majority vote from all Officers.

The committee must meet at least once at the start of each full term in order to plan the events for the coming term, but additional meetings may be called by any member of the committee, provided suitable notice is given. The quorum for any committee meeting shall be three committee members present in person. 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.

Annual General Meetings will not normally be held, but it is the right of any member to call an Extraordinary General Meeting. The date for this shall be set by the President with consideration to the nature of the meeting and to all members who wish to attend. An agenda for the meeting must be provided to all members at least 24 hours preceding the meeting.

Indemnity

So far as may be permitted by law, every member of the Committee and every officer of the Club shall be entitled to be indemnified by the Club 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 Club 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.

So far as may be permitted by law, the Club may purchase and maintain for any member of the Committee or officer of the Club 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 Club 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 Club by virtue of the previous paragraph.

Dissolution

The Club 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 Club 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 Club if at any time the Club ceases to be registered with the Proctors.
In the event of the Club being dissolved, its monetary assets shall not be distributed amongst the members, but shall be paid to or at the direction of the University. All combat-related assets shall be retained by the Quartermaster, all others shall be retained by the Mistress/Master of Revels.

Safety

This society shall operate in such a way as to fully comply with the code of conduct, and will take into account all recommendations made according to the risk assessment.

Interpretation

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