The Constitution of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association in Cambridge
Last updated: 2016
The name of the Society shall be the Chinese Students and Scholars Association in Cambridge (CSSA-CAM), which will be referred to as the Association hereinafter.
2.1 The general objects of the Association are for the benefit of CSSA-CAM members and of the Chinese students, scholars and residents in Cambridge more generally. The Association’s primary objects include:
(1) Promoting understanding of the history, culture, economic and political development of China.
(2) Widening access to Cambridge University, Chinese Embassy and other China-related resources in UK;
(3) Hosting events including, but not limited to, talk series on China-related topics, career workshops, academic symposiums and sports to increase members’ confidence, skills and aspirations;
(4) Providing opportunities to encourage the communication and exchange of ideas with other academic institutions in China;
(5) Promoting co-operation with local Chinese communities.
3.1 Membership Application
Any student or scholar from the Cambridge area including in particular members of the University of Cambridge, who agrees with the Constitution of the Association, can become a member of the Association by application. Cambridge residents are also eligible to apply and become members. The application process is as below:
(1) Complete and submit an application form.
(2) Approval by the Executive Committee (see 4.2).
3.2 Membership Termination
Any member of the Association may terminate his or her membership at any time by notifying the Executive Committee in writing. The Executive Committee may expel any member whose conduct is likely to disgrace the good name of the Association. Such expulsion shall be subject to confirmation at the General Meeting (see 5) of the Association.
3.3 Rights and Obligations of Members
(1) All members have the right to be present at any of the Association’s meetings and activities.
(2) All members have priority to attend the activities of the Association over non-members.
(3) All members have the right to express their opinion on the Association’s affairs by voting in the General Meetings or by proposing petitions (with signatures of more than fifty members) to the Executive Committee.
(4) All members who meet the criteria (see 6.1) have the right to be elected as the President or any other officers of the Association.
(5) All members shall support and comply with the Constitution of the Association.
The Committee consists of the Executive Committee and other Committee members who are appointed by the elected President, Vice Presidents, Secretary and Junior Treasurer (see 4.2.(2)).
4.2 Executive Committee
(1) The Executive Committee (hereinafter referred to as EXCO) consists of the President, the two Vice Presidents (the Internal Vice President and the External Vice President), the Secretary and the Junior Treasurer and other officers (excluding the Senior Treasurer).
(2) Five officers (the President, the two Vice Presidents, the Secretary and the Junior Treasurer) shall be elected each year at the Annual General Meeting (see 5.1). The other officers shall be appointed by the five elected officers (see 4.2.(7)).
(3) The President shall be the primary leader of the Committee who has the right to represent the Association, co-ordinate the Committee, and oversee all activities that are related to the Association. The President shall have the responsibility of ensuring the effective performance of the duties of Executive members, individually and collectively. The president shall have the authority to call on Executive Committee meetings. The President shall ensure that the registration of the Association at the University is completed (e.g. submission to the Junior Proctor of the annual accounts, elected officers, amendments to the Constitution).
(4) The two Vice Presidents shall assist the President in the running of the Committee; and shall be prepared to assume the powers and duties of the President in the case of a vacancy. The Internal Vice President shall coordinate the officers in organising the Association’s regular activities. The External Vice President shall deal with the liaison with other organisations and external sponsors.
(5) The Secretary shall deal with correspondence, keep archives of all official records and documentations, register new members and notify members of the Association’s meetings and agendas.
(6) The Junior Treasurer shall manage the Association’s financial accounts.
(7) The other officers are referred to as the Heads of Divisions (e.g. Sports Division, Sponsorship Division and Culture Division) in the Association. The total number of the officers and their duties shall be decided by the five elected officers.
(8) The Senior Treasurer shall be appointed by the five elected officers. The Senior Treasurer shall oversee the running of the committee and to audit or arrange for the audit of the financial accounts of the Association each year. The Senior Treasurer shall be a resident member of the Senate and approved by the Junior Proctor.
4.3 Advisory Board
The Advisory Board shall operate as an external consultant for the Association. The Advisory Board consists of members of the previous EXCO, senior members of the Association and other external advisors appointed by the current EXCO. The Advisory Board shall serve as a voice of their constituents to raise issues in the Association.
5 General Meeting
5.1 Annual General Meeting
An Annual General Meeting (hereinafter referred to as AGM) shall be held in Cambridge during Michaelmas full Term each year. All members shall be informed of the AGM by written notice of no less than fourteen days. The agenda of the AGM shall include:
(1) Approved minutes of previous AGM and any EGM (see 5.2) held since last AGM.
(2) An annual report from the President.
(3) An annual review of the Association’s account from the Junior Treasurer.
(4) A General Election (see 6).
(5) A Vote of Amendment to the Constitution can be put on the agenda.
(6) Any further business.
5.2 Extraordinary General Meeting
An Extraordinary General Meeting (hereinafter referred to as EGM) shall be held in Cambridge at any time during full Terms when an issue requires the input of entire membership of the Association and is too serious or urgent to wait until the next AGM. All members shall be informed of the EGM by written notice of no less than fourteen days.
(1) An EGM may be called when:
a) Requested in writing by more than two-thirds of the EXCO or more than fifty members. Or,
b) Requested in writing by more than ten members with clear evidence that the Constitution is violated.
(2) A Motion of No Confidence against the President can be put on the agenda at an EGM. If the no-confidence motion is approved, the incumbent President shall step down with an immediate effect. The Internal Vice President shall become the Acting President until the next AGM is held.
(3) The Vote of Amendment to the Constitution shall not be put on the agenda of the EGM.
5.3 The quorum for the General Election, the Motion of No Confidence against the President or the Vote of Amendment to the Constitution shall be one hundred and fifty. The number of votes (including the spoiled votes) shall reach the quorum.
5.4 All Motions shall be passed by more than two-thirds of the members voting at the General Meetings.
5.5 The Secretary shall inform members of the agenda five days prior to the General Meetings.
6 General Election
6.1 Candidates for the offices of the President, the two Vice Presidents, the Secretary and the Junior Treasurer shall meet all of the following conditions:
(1) Be a student or scholar from the University of Cambridge.
(2) Be a member of the Association. For the candidates of the President, a membership for at least one academic year (by the date of the General Election) is additionally required.
(3) Be at least eighteen years old (by the date of the General Election).
(4) Be nominated by at least two other members.
(5) Shall continue study or work at the University of Cambridge for at least one year after the General Election.
(6) No person shall be elected as the President for more than one year.
6.2 Procedures of the General Election
The General Election shall be democratic and fair in principle, with its process public and transparent, in accordance with the following procedures:
(1) Nominations for office shall be invited by the Secretary no later than fourteen days before the date of the AGM.
(2) Nominations for office shall be closed fourteen days before the date of the AGM.
(3) If no nomination for an office is received by the close of nominations, there shall be an extension of seven days.
(4) The list of candidates shall be published to members preferably fourteen days but at least seven days before the date of the AGM.
(5) Voters shall be registered members of the Association. Voting shall be in person by secret ballot with one vote per person. Any form of proxy or delegated votes is invalid.
(6) Candidates shall be elected by simple majority vote of members attending and voting. In the case of equal votes, a further election shall be held: each candidate may make a short speech, and votes shall be re-cast on the same date.
(7) Unfilled offices that received no nominations before the General Election shall be filled after the General Election, by persons appointed to office by the outgoing EXCO, voting by simple majority among themselves.
6.3 The General Election shall only be held at the AGM.
7 Financial Matters
7.1 The Junior Treasurer shall maintain a banking account to hold the Association’s funds.
7.2 The Junior Treasurer shall provide documents of budgets, interim accounts and annual audited accounts of the Association’s Fund upon member’s request.
7.3 The records of accounts shall be kept whole and complete for examination and inspection by the Senior Treasurer and the next EXCO.
8 Mailing List and Website
8.1 The mailing list of the Association is firstname.lastname@example.org. Five elected officers shall have full and equal access to the mailing list.
8.2 The official website of the Association is www.cssacam.org.
9.1 A Proposal of Dissolution can be raised by more than two-thirds of the EXCO or by a written petition with signatures of more than fifty members. The Association may be dissolved if the Proposal of Dissolution is approved by more than two-thirds of the voting members at a General Meeting.
9.2 The quorum for the Proposal of Dissolution shall be three hundred. The number of votes (including the spoiled votes) must reach the quorum.
9.3 Any motion for the Dissolution of the Association shall provide that assets remaining after all liabilities have been met shall be transferred either to another Registered University Society, or to the Society’s Syndicate.
The current EXCO shall have the final say in the interpretation of the current Constitution.