User Tools

Site Tools


meetings:2017-03-22:discuss

This page will be used to propose amendments to the constitution for ratification.

Membership

This section currently says

All members shall pay the minimum subscription fee that shall be determined by the Vice President and approved by the Vice President of the SA at the beginning of each academic year.

But it's not clear which VP is being referred to there in the first instance. Who sets the price of membership?

Proposer: Gordon

This section doesn't specify a point in time where new members cannot join due to, for example, proximity to AGM or what have you. Is there a time point commonly agreed on by Society that isn't present in the constitution or is there just nothing?

Proposition: The addition of a statement specifying a time frame in which a potential member can pay the fee to become an ordinary member of the society.

Proposer: Callan

Discussion

In all instances, “Vice President” refers to the society and “Vice President of the SA” refers to the SA. This can be clarified. htw 2017/03/08

Ordinary members of the society

The Membership ​of the Society ​shall be open to all, providing they are full members of the Association, provided they have expressed their agreement with the aims and objectives of the society. Unless they have exercised their rights to opt out of membership to the Students’ Association. The minimum number of members to affiliate is 8 Abertay Students.

Unclear language.

Essentially: Membership is open to all full members (of the SA) unless they have opted out (of the SA)

Does that mean you can't be a member because you've opted out of the SA? In that case it's redundant because you're not a full member. Taken the other way it could mean that you can still be a member of hacksoc even though you're not a full member of the SA as long as it's because you opted out.

Proposer: Gordon

Discussion

Raised with the SA on 8/3/2017. htw 2017/03/08

SA reply: “That’s just a wording issue, If a student has opted out of the SA they cannot be a student member of any society as this is a perk of being a member of the SA (which all students are by default).” htw 2017/03/11

Does this mean that unless you are a member of the SA you cannot be a full member of the society? Can you or the SA clarify what a student member is? I don't see it referenced in the constitution. mikey Wed 22 Mar 2017 13:50:49 GMT

Associate membership of the society

Clarification on what the term associate member refers to. If referring to non student members this needs clarification as unclear. On the other hand if this doesn't refer to non student members we need to add relevant clauses in reference to this issues

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Honorary membership of the society

Section currently reads: Shall be elected by the society committees.

I think this should be amended to require honorary members to be voted in by the society members. The number of people require for the vote to pass should be the same as it is for a majority committee vote (which will also be sorted when the new constitution is set out). The time members are appointed should also be decided. I feel at the EGM the potential honorary members should be set out and voted on in the EGM.

Proposer: Kyle

Discussion

Comment. This should read AGM as opposed to EGM. EGMs are only held in extraordinary cases. htw 2017/03/08
Disagree. This has the risk to make honorary members a popularity contest. The committee is in the best position to vouch for honorary member's contributions to the society. htw 2017/03/08
Reply to point above: Fair enough, actually makes sense. A mechanism for ordinary members to suggest people for honourary membership would be good though. kyle 20/03/2017

Termination of membership of the society

The society committee members or Abertay SA may discontinue any membership of any society.

The SA should discuss with the committee prior to termination of an individuals membership

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Governance

Officers and Committee

Point 6 reads: The Committee of the Society shall be elected at the Society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), held in the second semester.

This makes no mention of extraordinary circumstances. Should amend to mention the procedure when committee members quit early.

Proposer: Gordon

Point 2 reads: The Society may create other Committee positions as required.

There is currently no statement in the constitution as to how this is implemented. Are new committee members just created by the Committee? Do members get to vote to see if this is a necessary implememntation? Where would this vote be; the AGM or an EGM?

Proposition: The addition of something along the lines of: The creation of a new committee member position must be determined reasonable by the membership of the society by way of a majority vote at an EGM, allowing for the position to be filled by vote at a subsequent EGM or AGM.

Proposer: Callan

Roles and Responsibilities of Society Officers

Point 2 reads: 2. To be responsible for ensuring that the Society shall only hold accounts with the Association, and that the Society and its members comply with financial procedures and rules made by the Association from time to time.

Clarity on from time to time How often?

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Point 4 reads: 4. To ensure that the Society notice-boards and the internet are kept up-to-date. Wording is poor “and the internet are kept up-to-date”.

Can this be changed to say social media or online media. Something that makes more sense.

Proposer: Kyle

Discussion

Agree. It sounds like the officer is supposed to update the actual internet. Maybe some specific mention of hacksoc.co.uk and securi-tay.co.uk.

Point 5 reads: 5. To inform the Association of contact details of all Society Committee members. Budgets will not be released until the Vice President has received this information.

Any ordinary member should be allowed to request the budget from the committee without passing through the Vice President of the SA

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Role of the President

uphold the aims and values stated in the constitution

This point should be applicable to all committee members

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Discussion

Agree. There should be a general statement that says something along the lines of All members and Officers should endeavour to uphold the aims and values stated in the constitution. This solves two issues, we don't need to keep stating uphold the aims and values stated in the constitution and the constitution doesn't state that members have any obligations to uphold the constitutions aims and values. mikey Wed 22 Mar 2017 14:24:47 GMT

Role of the Secretary

Point 4 reads: Prepare and present any relevant documentation

The Secretary should also prepare and present relevant documentation to the society

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Role of the Treasurer

Account for and manage the Society’s budget, held by UADSA

UADSA is out of date according to prior statements

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Additional third point to Treasurer role: Treasurer is responsible for preparing and presenting the budget to society ordinary members

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Annual General Meeting

Quorum should be a percentage of total society members, rather than a fixed number

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Extraordinary General Meeting

Point 2 reads: 2. The Secretary shall publish notice of the meeting with the agenda within two working days of the receipt of a request for such a meeting. The meetings shall be held four working days from the day of publication.

The time frame seems off since it works out as like 6 days and gives limited time to make people aware. I think the time frame should be similar as the AGM, which is (in its current format), advertised to all students at least fourteen days before the meeting.

Proposer: Kyle

Discussion

Disagree. This might be dangerous to codify as EGMs are typically used for pressing matters, where delaying the meeting by 2 weeks might be unacceptable. (e.g. a committee member being evicted) htw 2017/03/08

Society Meetings

There shall be Society meetings scheduled to be at minimum Monthly for the Society where relevant business shall be discussed.

Clarity on what relevant business is. If talks must align with objectives the scope of the talks consequently will be affected

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Financial

Pint 5 reads: 5. In the event of the Society ceasing to exist, all remaining funds shall be donated to the society’s chosen charity.

What charity is this? Can we choose a charity and vote on one please. Otherwise if we don't have one, the SA might end up with the money?

Proposer: Kyle

Discussion

We should pick a UK/Scotland based charity for this. Perhaps the Open Rights Group? htw 2017/03/08

+1 for ORG Scotland — Gordon 2017/03/17 17:40

According to the constitution, the charity must align with our aims and objectives as we cannot associate with an organisation out with these aims. Proposal to allow a society vote in the instance an organisation we may associate with does not align with these views. Permission will be granted in the instance of a two-thirds majority vote by society members. — Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Financial

Point 4 reads: 4. The President, Secretary or Treasurer’s signatures shall be required to authorise financial transactions.

Addition of Vice President

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Pint 5 reads: 5. In the event of the Society ceasing to exist, all remaining funds shall be donated to the society’s chosen charity.

I think it should be written that a vote takes place when the decision to dissolve is taken. For instance if for any reason hacksoc/securi-tay was to be run as an independent not for profit it would give the opportunity to transfer remaining funds to that organisation?

Proposer: Dom Cashley

Discussion

Disagree. Clarifying this ahead of time gives people an assurance that the funds will stay within the SA's oversight. Providing a “get out of jail free” card for committee members to run away with the money has the potential to raise serious trust and ethics issues. htw 2017/03/08

Good point htw. I also DisagreeGordon 2017/03/17 17:39

Add a clause that states that a transaction over a certain amount needs all committee members to sign off on it

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Voting

Currently in the constitution, I do not see a statement on how votes are made.

Proposition

The addition of a statement declaring that any vote made by the society is done by way of anonymous ballot thus protecting the anonymity of members' votes and security of results. Also sets a standard for votes within the society. Callan Wed 22 Mar

General

Point 1 reads: 1. We are a recognised Abertay SA Society, and the Society shall at all times abide by the Constitution and Schedules of Abertay SA.

Clarity on the term schedules. Is this the university time table or something defined by the SA?

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Point 3 reads: 3. All publications made by the Society must include Abertay SA’s logo, and Scottish Charity Number. For a copy of these please email societies@abertay.ac.uk

Is there a reason for us containing the Abertay SA logo on everything, I'm thinking for Securi-Tay, stuff on the wiki etc.

Propser: Kyle

Discussion

Agree. I get why we need the charity number but the logo can do one. We should not need to have their logo on our publications. mikey Wed 22 Mar 2017 16:25:06 GMT

Discussion

Raised with the SA on 8/3/2017. htw 2017/03/08

SA Reply: “It’s required because societies are affiliated with the SA rather than the university. Securitay is a different matter and we take that on an individual basis, we ask for it on most things for the event. We are a registered charity that has a responsibility (enforced by OSCR our charity regulator) to display our logo and charity strapline, this carries onto societies doing the same as societies only exist as part of us as a charity.” htw 2017/03/11

Affiliations with outside Organisations

Issue #1

The Society may affiliate to an outside organisation(s), providing the affiliation is approved by two-thirds of the voting members at a Society meeting and be approved by the Vice President of the Student’s Association

can we get rid of SA involvement in this sense — Mikey (on slack) 2017/03/01 17:02

Discussion

Raised with the SA on 8/3/2017. htw 2017/03/08

SA Reply: “Yes as you could try to affiliate with a group that the SA have a bad relationship with or are a group that the SA feel like could be dangerous or exploitative of the society plus more.” htw 2017/03/11

So does that mean having that text in the constitution is redundant? We can remove it? mikey Wed 22 Mar 2017 16:41:54 GMT

Issue #2

Point 3 reads: 3. The Society may not affiliate to any organisation that conflicts with any standing policy

Can we get confirmation of what a “standing policy” is and review them before signing this over.

Proposer: Kyle

Discussion

Yeah, there's already a requirement for the org's “Beliefs and Activities” to match our “Aims and objectives”. This is just red tape. — Gordon 2017/03/01 17:43

Raised with the SA on 8/3/2017. htw 2017/03/08

SA Reply: “http://www.abertaysa.com/representation/src/active-policies these are the standing policies, these are passed at SRC, I believe it needs to be updated So I’ll ask the staff member responsible to do that.” htw 2017/03/11

The page doesn't seem to have been updated. This is a weird clause to have because the standing policies aren't really polices. Some of them are complaints about Water fountains and outdated Adobe software while one is a general motions in support of democracy. Also what happens when they vote through a policy that then means one of our affiliations is in conflict with any standing policy what is our recourse? Can we appeal the policy approval? We should remove point 3 or get the SA to make the policy actual policy and clarify my above question. mikey Wed 22 Mar 2017 16:32:15 GMT

Amendment to the Constitution

Point 1 reads: Amendments to the Constitution must have the approval of two-thirds of the ordinary members of the Society present at the AGM or at a special general meeting of the Society convened for this purpose

special general meeting should be EGM

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Dissolution or Abolition

Point 1 reads: 1. Abertay SA may suspend, dissolve or abolish the Society if it breaches any of the Laws or Bye-laws or is found to be in breach of their own constitution, or this constitution, or in circumstances where the activities of the Society cannot continue safely

Inconsistency of Bye-laws as previously was used as bye laws

of their own constitution, or this constitution clarification of different constitutions. Worded badly

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Point 2 reads: 2. In the event of the Society failing to submit the minutes of their AGM and a list of those present to the Vice-President by the end of the academic year, the Society shall be deemed to have been dissolved and shall cease to be recognised

cease to be recognised By whom? Needs clarification

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Desired Additions

Freedom of Information

The society has often been criticised for being opaque with its decisions and budget. Although recent committee members have moved to make more information available, there should be a standard mechanism for any ordinary member to request information from the committee to be published. Additionally, there should be requirements for the committee to release certain information (budget, remaining funds) at the end of each term.

Proposer: Henri Watson (htw)
Sections Impacted: New section under Governance

Discussion

Yeah, budget should be part of the treasurer's report at the AGM — Gordon 2017/03/01 17:29

Agree Could we also mandate that the information that's released at the end of the term be presented at a meeting so that this doesn't become an exercise in simply dumping the info online and nobody ever looking at it. A second point would be, can we have a half term update? Updates at the end of the term are good but if we don't like what we see it's too late to do anything. — mikey Fri 17 Mar 2017 13:26:09 GMT
Agree: +1 to what Mikey said. Publishing data rather than people requesting it would be better imo. kyle 20/03/2017

Percentages for votes

I think there should be a minimum number of attendees for a vote to count. So 67% of ordinary members must be in attendance to vote for the vote to be legitimate. From there, at least 67% of the votes must vote in favour of a change for it to be a majority. Some rules along these lines would be good, that are set out clearly and in an easy to understand format.

Proposer: Kyle Sections Impacted: New section under Governance

Discussion

Disagree. Although the SA only requires 8 members (a dangerously low number) to be present at the AGM, a fixed percentage might be desirable. Since this has the possibility to introduce scheduling issues, I'd favour members requiring the AGM be rescheduled with a sufficient number of votes (as happened this year due to BSides Ljubljana. htw 2017/03/08

Partially Agree. I think the minimum number of present ordinary members should be greater than, as Henri mentioned above, 8 however 67% seems too high. The second point stands, we should state that the society only considers a vote to be valid if the majority vote is at least two thirds (or the 67% as stated above) of the votes cast. mikey Fri 17 Mar 2017 14:07:05 GMT

Minutes of Meetings

Specify who is to take minutes at an AGM and EGM

Proposers: Paul, Euan, Jack Clark, Jess, Zack, Declan

Discussion

Point 2 of “Role of the Secretary” reads: 2. Call meetings with defined timeframes, post agendas, take minutes

However, could be more opaque to state “take minutes at all meetings including but not limited to any EGM or the AGM” or something similar - Callan

Archiving Society Content

Add archiving of society content as a responsibility.

Proposer(s): mikey Wed 22 Mar 2017 15:02:44 GMT

Discussion

For example henri has put the old securi-tay sites up on the 2015, 2016, etc subdomains but he was not required to do so. There's also the issue of members talks, a filmed talk at society is great for peoples CVs and preservation of knowledge. I'm not sure on specific wording or which officer, or if all officers, should be responsible for this. mikey Wed 22 Mar 2017 15:02:44 GMT

Agree. I think that this is beneficial to the society and the members as it shows how involved and passionate the society are. Callan Wed 22 Mar

Voting for Committee Members

I think there should be a rule that anyone running for a committee position is not allowed to ask a member who they voted for. A member has the right to reveal their vote, but should not be asked by any member running for a position

Proposer: Declan

Discussion

Disagree. I believe it's bad form to do this but people are not obliged to answer any question asked. Good etiquette should be encouraged within the society and the member running for committee should have the decorum not to badger other members for their vote. The reason we do an anonymous ballot is so people do not have their vote publicly known. Callan Wed 22 March

Politically neutral - probably new section under governance

The committee and society should remain politically neutral. For example (taken from Gavin Holt): “HackSoc are pleased that the conservative government are putting an extra £x million into cyber security education” < Objective “HackSoc are pleased that the conservative government are putting an extra £x million into cyber security education, this is a welcome change to their programme of austerity.” < Political

Proposer: kyle

meetings/2017-03-22/discuss.txt · Last modified: 2018/09/03 17:25 (external edit)