By-Laws of OUSFG
Last amended Michelmas 2014.
Title of Society: the Oxford University Speculative
Purpose of Society: To bring together readers of science
fiction, fantasy and associated fields for their mutual
benefit and enjoyment and to provide facilities for this
1 In General
- In these by-laws the terms ``person''
or ``persons'' shall denote any or all members in accordance
with item A.
- Hereinafter, the terms ``society'' or
``group'' shall denote only the Oxford University Speculative
- The membership shall be in accordance
with Proctoral regulations and shall be bound by the terms of
the constitution of the society and by these by-laws.
- All members of this society are but shadows
- This society is not subject to the static
- Peter shall be able to act at interrupt
2.1 Official Positions of the Society
- There shall be three offices of the
The holders of these offices shall be known as
- President (item 2),
- Secretary (item 3),
- Treasurer (item 4).
- In addition to the offices, there shall be
- Ghost in the Machine
- Video Representative
- There shall exist titles that the society
may confer upon members. Some titles shall be enshrined within these by-laws, but others existing only until the next general meeting
of Hilary term can be created at the passing of a motion at any
general meeting without putting them in the by-laws and thus
enforcing future generations to continually fill the positions.
- Offices and posts are official positions
of the society, as are those titles enshrined in the
by-laws. The Senior Member (item 19) also
holds an official position.
- All official positions will be elected
for the duration of three terms (except where such an election
is to fill an office, post or title left vacant by a resignation
or dismissal), at the Annual General Meeting, with the
exception of alternate procedures mentioned elsewhere in these by-laws.
- Any member of the group duly seconded
may stand as a candidate for an official position that is
elected at a general meeting.
- Nominations for the official positions
must be made at least one week before the general meeting. A
nomination will be considered to have been received if it is the
possession of one of the officers.
- Any duly seconded member may stand for
any previously uncontested official position at the general
- There shall be a title ``Genital Piercing
Officer''. The holder of this title will be required to revive
the conversation should it flag. The Genital Piercing Officer
is not an office holder in the constitutional sense.
- There shall be a title ``Beard of OUSFG''.
The holder of this title will be required to attempt to grow a
- There shall be a title ``Invisible'' of
OUSFG. The holder of this title will be told what to do at the
appropriate time. This member shall also be gifted with a name
as an invisible, which is the only name by which they are to be
referred to in any official OUSFG business.
- There shall be a title ``Dead Hand of
the Past'', or simply ``Dead Hand''. The Dead Hand shall be a
tool of the Council of the Wizened (see
- There shall be a title ``Living Foot
of the Future'', which shall be conferred at the AGM following the
year in which the post shall be held.
- There shall be a title ``Chief of Special
- There shall be a title ``Evil Doctor Tim''.
Evil Doctor Tim's rôle shall be to persuade people to do things
for the society (such as stand for committee posts, or run meetings).
- There shall be a title ``Bugbear Prodder''.
The holder of this title shall make incorrect use of language where possible.
- There shall be a title ``Bugbear Tender''.
The holder of this title shall pontificate about incorrect use of
language and put a stop to it where possible.
- There shall be a title ``CAG''.
The holder of this title shall maintain a hanger of Vipers and
ensure the repelling of all Raiders.
- There shall also be a Senior Member, who
shall be a resident member of the congregation. The Senior
Member is not elected and shall remain Senior Member while
still eligible or until the committee decide to
replace the Senior Member. The Senior Member has the right to
stop being Senior Member at any point. The Senior Member shall
not be financially responsible for the society. The Senior
Member does not have to fulfill any other requirements for
membership to be a member of the society, and shall always be a
member of the society whilst Senior Member.
- In the beginning there was the OUSFG word,
and the word was X. Where X is chosen by vote at each AGM
for the subsequent year.
- In addition to the duties outlined below, all office holders of the society will fulfil the duties outlined for the offices within the constitution.
- The President will preside at meetings
of the committee, and will organise ordinary meetings of the
society. The President will also be responsible for organising
the banquet of Hilary term, as under item 8. The
President should provide sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll for the
members. [Note: these can take any form.]
- The Secretary will deal with any forms
or letters that may be sent by the Proctors or by any other
correspondent with the group. The Secretary will also be in
possession of a current copy of the constitution and the by-laws and will inform
Daily Information of the events for each term (sending a
schedule through pigeon post). The Secretary will also be
responsible for organising the punt party in Trinity term, as
under item 9.
- The Treasurer will be responsible for
the maintenance of the society accounts, the collecting of
membership fees, and giving notice of lapse of membership to
those whose membership expires. The Treasurer will be [MESSAGE REDACTED] responsible for the organisation of the Christmas party (see item 7.
With the agreement of the committee, the Treasurer can delegate
responsibility for joint ventures to another member. The
Treasurer, Secretary and President shall be signatories to the
society chequebook, which shall be in the possession of the
- The Ghost in the Machine will be responsible
for the maintenance of the society web site.
- The duties of the other posts of the
society are detailed in item 3.
2.3 The Committee
- There shall be a committee
comprising eight positions (excluding those eligible
under item 2).
- There shall be a President, as
under items 1a and 2.
- There shall be a Secretary, as
under items 1b and 3.
- There shall be a Treasurer, as
under items 1c and 4.
- There shall be a Ghost
in the Machine, as under items 2a and
- There shall be a Librarian, as
under items 2b and 1.
- There shall be a Video
Representative, as under items 2c and
- There shall be a
Speaker-to-Animals, as under items 2d and
- There shall be a Senior Member,
as under item 19.
- The committee shall also have the power to
co-opt up to two members onto the committee.
- The Genital Piercing Officer may on occasion be
upgraded from a title to a post (see items 12 and
4). On such occasions, the Genital Piercing
Officer becomes a member of the committee.
- The committee shall run all the day-to-day
affairs of the group, and will take decision accordingly,
advised by any subcommittees they may create. Such
subcommittees shall comprise at least three people of whom at
least one must be a committee member and shall speak for the
said subcommittee at the meetings of the committee.
- There will be at least two
meetings of the committee each term, one of which will take
place in the two weeks before any general meeting.
- Written notice of any committee
member's absence should be sent to all committee members at least
one day in advance.
- All proceedings at committee
meetings are confidential except for any report of the
committee. An abstract of the matters discussed and decisions
made at committee meetings shall be available to the membership
- The committee shall have the power to
suspend a person's membership for up to a total of EIGHT weeks
in any one academic year, and they may in more serious cases
expel from the group any member deserving such action.
- Any member wishing to appeal any verdict
reached under items 8 or 4 shall have
the right to appeal to the Senior Member. The Senior Member may
then call a general meeting, at which the
appeal shall be put to the vote. Members who have been expelled
have direct right of appeal to a general meeting.
2.4 Meetings and Voting
- The chairperson of the general meeting shall
be the President or any person duly delegated by the President,
or by the committee if the President is not available, and will
not be eligible to vote except as under 10.
- The chairperson of any OUSFG meeting
shall have the absolute authority to decide whether to be called
chairman, chairwoman, chairthing or merely chair.
- All those whose memberships are in order
and who are not otherwise proscribed from voting shall be
eligible to vote at meetings and hold official positions (see
item 2.5). Each member shall have one vote, regardless of any official position held.
- Any motion to expel a member as
under 8 shall require two-thirds of the committee in
- Any member putting forward a motion
must have two-thirds of those members who are present at a
general meeting in favour of the motion.
- to be reinstated to whatever (s)he
has been expelled or dismissed from, or
- to quash a verdict under 8
- All motions to change the
constitution or by-laws must be passed by a two-thirds majority of those
members present at a general meeting. These amendments come
into effect at the end of the term in which the general meeting
is held (or earlier if the committee so wishes).
- All other motions in committee or
at a general meeting require only simple majorities to be passed.
- Voting in all matters at general meetings will
be secret ballot and STV if any member present so wishes. This may
be done for an entire meeting or on a vote-by-vote basis.
- In the event of a tied vote at a
committee meeting, the President shall have the casting vote.
- In the event of a tied vote at a general
meeting, the chairperson shall have the casting vote, and shall
exercise this vote to break the tie.
- The chairperson and one
committee member or ordinary member duly appointed shall act as
returning officers at the general meetings.
- A member of the society will be considered inactive if they have attended fewer than three meetings in the three previous terms. Inactive members are no longer eligible to vote and will not appear on the list of current members, although they may still be required to make a speech if attending the banquet and remain entitled to have a society wake held in their honour (item 10). Inactive members will be automatically reinstated to full membership at the beginning of the third meeting they attend in any consecutive three term period, provided their membership is still applicable at this time.
- There shall be four basic lengths of
memberships within the group: termly (item 3),
yearly (item 4), life (item 5) and
eternal(item 6). There shall be two additional
categories distinct from and compatible with each of these;
quantum (item 7) and retrospective (section
8 membership. There shall also be inanimate
(item 10), ineffable (item 11)
and hereditary (item 12) memberships, which are
of different types and act as modifiers of membership as set
out below. Modifiers of membership may not be purchased unless a
length of membership is already held, whereas additional
- Termly membership shall last until the end
of 9th week at the end of the term in which termly membership
- Yearly membership shall last until the end
of 9th week at the end of the Trinity term at the end of the
academic year in which yearly membership was bought.
- Life membership expires upon clinical death,
so individuals revived from cryogenic suspension will no longer
be considered members unless they have paid for a new membership
or are in possession of eternal membership.
- Eternal membership does not expire;
resurrected/reincarnated members will be considered still to be
members conditional on the evidence indicating their identity
satisfying at least one half of the committee.
- Quantum membership shall entail that,
should a counterpart/alternate self of that member cross into
this universe from another, that any such counterpart/alternate
self shall be a member here. The counterpart theory which is to
be used is that expounded in the philosophical papers of David
Lewis, if at all. This membership also permits a member to
remain a member if the member were to go back in time and alter
events so that the member never existed, although the
non-existent quantum member will not be eligible to vote nor to
occupy a committee position.
- Retrospective membership shall
entail that the member shall be a member from the beginning of
the member's life or the dawn of time, whichever is the later.
This does not entitle the member to retrospective actions at
meetings the member failed to attend. Retrospective membership
may also be bought without the member possessing any of the
other forms of membership, in which case the membership shall
be considered to have terminated upon the payment of the subscription.
- Any individual member possessing quantum,
retrospective and eternal membership shall be recognised as one
of the Ancient Order of Fools, and shall be treated with a
certain amount of caution, if not respect.
- Inanimate membership shall entail that
the member cannot vote or otherwise participate at official
meetings: such membership shall be compatible with any of the
lengths. Life membership shall however expire instantly since
an inanimate member shall be ipso facto considered
clinically dead. This membership is also compatible with
both quantum and retrospective membership. Inanimate membership
shall cost half the current cost of the length of membership it
- Ineffable membership shall be a
requirement for continued membership upon any member who becomes
an entity of ``above-local'' existence (e.g. omnipresent; a god
or deity of any sort; a chemical element; a subatomic particle
type; etc.). Non-local entities cannot be created by vote.
Ineffable membership shall cost a reasonable small amount, in
line with quantum or retrospective membership, as a prophylactic
measure, but any member who has become above-local shall be
required to pay an amount twenty times this figure for ineffable
membership if the member does not yet possess it.
- Hereditary membership shall cost half
the current cost of the length of membership it modifies. If an
hereditary member has no length of membership, that member
shall be able to purchase a length of membership at half the
current cost. An hereditary member with no length of membership
shall not be allowed to vote nor hold any official position of the
Consider the unary relations , and :
is true of if is an hereditary member of the society
is true of if is a member of the society
is true of if obtained hereditary membership in a
Consider the binary relation such that is true of
if is the parent of .
We assert that:
- There shall also be Fred and Freya memberships,
conferred by general acclaim in accord with the committee.
These memberships entitle the member to attend meetings, etc. as
any ordinary member. Any such member attending the banquet must
make a speech.
Fred memberships shall be reserved for non-living entities.
Freya memberships shall be reserved for living entities.
3 Society Business
- The ordinary meetings of the society may
consist of, but are not limited to, library meetings, video
meetings, author meetings and discussion meetings. Any other
meetings deemed appropriate by the committee may also occur.
- At least once a week during full
term there shall be a library meeting
(item 2), unless exceptional
circumstances prevent this. The Librarian is responsible for
organising these meetings.
- The society may show videos to its members,
and only its members. The Video Representative is responsible
for organising the location and obtaining the videos.
- Members of the society may prepare a
discussion for the rest of the society.
- The society may invite authors to speak to
the society. The Speaker-to-Animals is responsible for
organising these meetings.
- The extraordinary meetings
of the society occur once a term, not including general
meetings. These are the Christmas party in Michaelmas term, the
banquet in Hilary term and the punt party in Trinity term. Each
of the three officers is responsible for one of these events
each, as detailed in item 2.2.
- The Christmas Party traditionally occurs on
Saturday, 7th week of Michaelmas term. It is primarily
organised by the Treasurer.
- The banquet occurs in Hilary term. It is
primarily organised by the President. [MESSAGE REDACTED]
- The punt party occurs in Trinity term.
It is primarily organised by the Secretary. [MESSAGE REDACTED]
- Should any member hear of the death,
heretofore unheard of, of any member, the news should be
immediately reported to the society. Upon receipt of this news,
preparations should be made for a society wake. Finance for
appropriate beverages and bakery goods can be derived from ticket
sales. If the news is received late, the wake should occur
3.2 The Library
- The committee shall appoint a
Librarian who will be in charge of the library and who will be a
committee member (as under item 1e). The term
of office of the Librarian shall be as long as the committee
and/or the Librarian see fit.
- Members have the right to use the
library according to the rules and regulations of the library.
The committee shall have the power to redraft the rules and
regulations at a committee meeting without a general meeting.
In the absence of an official record of these rules and
regulations, it can be assumed that any member may borrow an
unlimited number of items from the library for an unlimited
amount of time, provided that the member shall return any item
on request from a committee member. Regular meetings shall be
held whereby members shall have access to the library.
- The committee shall have the power to buy or
sell books and magazines or do whatsoever it regards as
beneficial to the library.
- The committee shall have the power to fine
any member who has transgressed the rules and regulations of the
library. The amount of such fines will be decided by the
committee and will be made known to members. In the absence of
such notification, it can be assumed that no fines will be
charged. The committee shall also have the power to charge
members for the replacement of books or other items borrowed if
they are not returned within the stipulated time.
3.3 Council of the Wizened
- There shall exist a shadowy
organisation behind the scenes of the society. This shall be
known as the Council of the Wizened, or merely the Council.
Only those detailed under item 2 shall be in the
Council. The Council shall exist merely to determine when the
society becomes boring. They shall have no other purpose, and
shall have no power other than that detailed in
- Only active members of the society who have been
members for at least five years are entitled to belong to the
Council of the Wizened. Of these, only those who have turned up
to at least one society meeting a term for the previous three
terms, or three society meetings in the current term shall
belong to the Council. If, during any given term, a member
belonging to the Council of the Wizened does not turn up to a
society meeting, that member shall no longer belong to the
Council of the Wizened until such time as that member has again
fulfilled the previously stated requirements. The Senior Member
shall not belong to the Council of the Wizened unless the
Senior Member fulfills requirements for membership other then
being merely Senior Member. Any member eligible who does not
wish to belong to the Council may leave it at any time.
- The oldest member belonging to the
Council of the Wizened shall be termed the Haggard One. The
Haggard One shall chair any official meetings of the Council of
the Wizened. If the Haggard One does not wish to be the Haggard
One, then the next oldest member belonging to the Council of the
Wizened shall be the Haggard One instead.
- The Council of the Wizened have the
power to activate the Dead Hand of the Past. They may use this
power when they deem the society to have become boring. The
Council of the Wizened must hold an official meeting and a
majority vote in favour of activation must be passed before the
Dead Hand can be activated. The Haggard One shall inform the
Dead Hand that activation has occurred. Upon activation, the
Dead Hand shall upgrade the Genital Piercing Officer from a
title to a post, and the Genital Piercing Officer shall thus
join the committee, to try and prevent the society from
remaining boring. The Genital Piercing Officer shall remain a
post and on the committee only until the next general meeting in
As above, so below.
By-Laws of OUSFG
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