Students’ Union Constitution
1.0 Name and Status
1.1 There shall be a students’ union at the Courtauld, named the Courtauld Students’ Union (for the rest of the document the organisation will be referred to as ‘the Union’).
2.0 Aims and Objectives
2.1 To advance the education of its members and students of the Courtauld Institute of Art (for the rest of this document the organisation will be referred to as ‘the Institute’) as a whole.
2.2 To represent the interests of its members and act as a channel of communication in dealing with the Institute and other bodies.
2.3 To promote and protect the welfare of all its members.
2.4 To promote, encourage and co-ordinate student clubs, societies, sports and social activities.
2.5 The Union will operate independent of any political party or religious organisation and without discrimination on the grounds of age, sex, race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition, except that action may be taken to promote equality of opportunity.
3.0 Membership of the Union
3.1 All students who are registered at the Courtauld Institute of Art, over the age of 16, shall be members of the union unless they have decided to give up their membership according to the ‘Opting Out’ regulations.
3.2 All members shall be entitled to use the facilities of the Union and take part in its educational, social, sporting and cultural activities.
3.3 Students who are eligible for membership, but choose to opt out of the Union shall be entitled to access the services and activities listed in section 3.2, but will be charged a fee for doing so.
3.4 All members will have the right to elect their representatives through free and democratic elections that make use of a secret ballot in accordance with election regulations.
4.0 Union Parliament
4.1 The Union Parliament shall be the supreme decision making body of the Union, except for a decision that is made in a referendum.
4.2 The Union Parliament course representatives shall be elected in October of each year according to regulations.
4.3 The functions of Union Parliament shall be to:
- i) Set the policy of the Union.
- ii) Amend the constitution and regulations of the Union.
iii) Instruct and hold accountable the Executive Committee on their work.
- iv) Monitor and discuss the events and decisions of the formal institute decision making bodies and to raise concerns of members to staff and management.
- v) Elect delegates to appropriate NUS conferences and councils.
- vi) Via the President, ensure that all issues of concern are raised with the relevant members of the Institute’s staff and/or the members of the Governing Board.
5.0 Executive Committee
5.1 The Executive Committee of the Union shall run the Union on a day to day basis
5.2 The Executive Committee shall be made up of the following major Union officers:
- i) The President (chair)
- ii) The Vice President
iii) The Vice President for Activities and Development
- iv) The Vice President for Education
- v) The Vice President for Student Environment
- vi) The Vice President for Welfare
vii) The Vice President for Widening Participation
5.3 The President of the Student Union and the Executive Committee officers shall be elected in April of each year, excepting the position of Vice President, who shall be elected in October. If the President is/has most recently been an undergraduate student at the Courtauld, then the Vice President shall be a postgraduate student at the Courtauld. If the President is/has most recently been a postgraduate student at the Courtauld, then the Vice President shall be an undergraduate student at the Courtauld.
5.4 The role of the Executive Committee shall be to:
- i) Carry out the decisions made by Union Parliament and by referendum
- ii) Maintain the presence and decision making power of the Union in the absence of Parliament, or in situations deemed by the President to be not important enough to require the attention of Parliament.
iii) Act as a channel of communication between members of the Union, the Institute management, the Governing Board and other external organisations such as the National Union of Students.
5.5 The President may be a sabbatical post. No member shall be eligible to stand for or serve more than two sabbatical terms of office.
6.0 Clubs and Societies
6.1 Clubs and societies may be recognised by the Union Parliament provided that their activities do not conflict with the aims, objective and Code of Conduct of the Union.
7.0 Union Finance
The financial affairs of the Union will be properly conducted, and expenditure properly monitored, in accordance with financial regulations.
7.1 The Union shall receive appropriate funds from the Institute to enable it to effectively pursue its aims and objectives. This annual allocation of funding shall be the same as the previous year plus the rate of inflation. If a larger block grant is deemed necessary, the President shall give a proposal to Governing Board
7.2 The President and the Executive Committee will ensure that proper books of account are maintained and that these books shall be audited annually by a person qualified to undertake audited accounting.
7.3 The President shall be responsible for ensuring that the annual budget, amendments to the budget, audited accounts and all other short-term financial reports and financial proposals are discussed and approved by Union Parliament.
9.4 A copy of the Union’s budget and the audited accounts shall be given promptly to Governing Board each financial year for approval and be made available to all students.
8.1 The Union Parliament shall be the only body permitted to amend the constitution and regulations of the Union. All amendments to the Union’s constitution will be subject to the approval of Governing Board before implementation.
8.2 All amendments to the constitution shall require the support of a minimum of two-thirds of the members that are present and entitled to vote at a quorate meeting of the Union Parliament.
8.3 The constitution shall be reviewed by the Union and approved by the Governing Board no less frequently than every 5 years.
9.1 A referendum, in which all members will be allowed to vote, shall be held on any issue, if Union Parliament decides by a two thirds majority to call a referendum. The President shall call a referendum if they are handed a petition detailing the issue and containing the name, course, and signature of at least 30 students who are members.
9.2 A referendum shall only be considered if it has a 50% student response rate and a simple majority win.
10.0 ‘The Courtauldian’
10.1 There shall be an official Student Union newspaper published at the Courtauld, funded by the Union
11.0 Students’ Union Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct will be discussed, amended, and approved by the Executive Committee every 2 years by the Union Parliament. Following this, the Students’ Union Code of Conduct will be approved by the Governing Board in accordance with the requirements of clause 22(3) of the Education Act 1994.
- i) The financial affairs of the Union shall be properly conducted in accordance with this constitution and include appropriate arrangements for the approval of the Union’s budget and the monitoring of expenditure by Governing Board.
- ii) The annual accounts of the Union shall be made available to Governing Board and to all students.
11.2 Affiliation to external organisations:
- i) Any proposal to affiliate to an external organisation shall be approved by Union Parliament
- ii) The Union shall, on an annual basis, publish a list of the external organisations to which the Union is currently affiliated and details of subscriptions or similar fees paid or donations made to such organisations in the past year
11.3 Freedom of speech:
- i) The Union and its members are bound to observe the Institute’s code of practice in relation to freedom of speech as required by section 43 of the Education (No. 2) Act of 1986.
- i) Any complaint about the Union shall be addressed to the President. In any circumstances where the complaint relates to the President, it shall be addressed to the Vice President.
- ii) If the complainant is not satisfied with the response they may appeal to the Secretary of the Governing Body.
iii) If the complainant remains unsatisfied with the response provided by Secretary of the Governing Body, the Institute shall appoint an independent person to consider and resolve the complaint.
11.5 All members of the Union shall be required to adhere to this code