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Students’ Association Constitution

Draft revised version for consideration by Course Provision & Student Services Committee Version date 30/05/06

1. Name

1.1 There shall be a Students’ Association, recognized by the Governing Body of North East Scotland College, the name of which shall be "The North East Scotland College Students’ Association", (referred to as NESCol SA).

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2. Aims and Objectives

2.1 (a) to advance the education of its members.

(b) to promote the general welfare of the students, and improve their conditions of life by promoting participation in intellectual, social and other activities.

(c) To encourage student societies and sports clubs.

(d) to act as a channel of communication between its members and the College and other bodies.

(e) to provide opportunity for the expression of student opinion with the college and the wider community on all matters of interest to students.

2.2 These aims and objectives shall be pursued without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion or creed, independent of any political party or religious body.

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3. Membership

3.1 Enrolled students of North East Scotland College over the age of sixteen are entitled to become members of North East Scotland College’s Students’ Association on payment of the annual membership fee.

3.2 Only members shall:

(a) be entitled to attend, vote and speak at NESCol SA meetings.

(b) hold any office within NESCol SA.

3.3 The Association shall have the power to elect Honorary Officers and Honorary Members upon such terms as NESCol SA may from time to time decide.

3.4 Members of North East Scotland College staff during the term of their employment with North East Scotland College and former students who have completed at least one academic year, may apply annually to become an Associate Member of the NESCol SA upon payment of a fee which shall be set each year by NESCol SA. Such members may enjoy the facilities of NESCol SA, take part in its social, sporting and cultural activities but not in the government and policy making of NESCol SA.

3.5 The NESCol SA may make an award of Honorary Life Membership to anyone whom the NESCol SA considers has contributed outstanding service to the NESCol SA. Nominations for such awards shall be presented to the Executive Committee for approval by a two-thirds majority.

3.6 Members of other associations with which NESCol SA has reciprocal membership arrangements, and members of other associations which are affiliated to the National Union of Students, shall be entitled to use the facilities of NESCol SA in accordance with those arrangements on production of their Association card, or an NUS (UK) or NUS Area card.

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4. Executive Committee

4.1 Composition and Terms

(a) The officers of the Association, to be known as the Executive Committee shall be:

President
Vice President
Teaching Centre Representatives (TCRs)
Charities Representative
Clubs and Societies Representative
Communications Representative
Different Ethnic Origins Representative
Disability Representative
Entertainments Representative
LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Representative
Mature Students Representative
Women's Representative
Youth Action Representative

Notes:

  1. To establish number of TCRs please refer to Section A3 of Elections Schedule.
  2. To establish method of identifying Student Association Members Representing Specialist Areas please refer to Section A4 of Election Schedule.

(b) The officers of NESCol SA shall be elected in accordance with the election schedule to this constitution.

(c) The post of President shall be salaried and may be on a full time or part time basis. The level of salary will be set by NESCol SA prior to the notice calling the election. There shall be a 12 month term of office running from 1 August in the year elected to 31 July the following year. No member shall be eligible to stand for office of President if he/she has already served, and either fully or partially completed two terms of office as President.

(d) A wage shall be paid monthly to the President of the Association. The level of this salary shall be recommended by the Executive Committee to the Course Provision and Student Services Committee and to the Finance and General Purposes Committee of the Board of Management and announced in the notice calling for nominations for the post.

(e) The term of office of the posts of President and Vice President shall be for one academic year. They shall be elected by a secret cross college ballot to be held during the Summer (April-June) term of each academic session. The remaining officers shall be elected in the first term of the academic year for that academic year.

(f) The President and the Vice President shall have completed at least one academic year at the College, and should normally be 21 years of age or over.

(g) No-one shall serve as a sabbatical or paid elected union officer at the institution for more than 2 years.

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4.2 Functions and Scope

(a) The functions of the Executive Committee (EC) shall be to attend to all matters appertaining to NESCol SA facilities along with the social and cultural life of the membership and the welfare of the students and to carry out the wishes of the general body as expressed by resolution of a Council Meeting.

(b) The EC shall be responsible for the day to day administration and finance of NESCol SA.

(c) Meetings of the EC shall be called once per calendar month between September and May of each College academic year. Further meetings may be called either by the President of the NESCol SA or on receipt of a written request from over 50% of the elected members of the EC.

(d) The President and Vice President shall be ex officio members of all NESCol SA Committees and Sub committees.

(e) Meetings shall not proceed before the advertised time and only shall proceed if there is a quorum, which shall be half of all elected members plus 1.

(f) Any member of the NESCol SA may attend meetings of the EC. Such members may not contribute to the business of the EC unless invited to do so, and can be asked to leave the meeting for whatever reason if required by the members of the Committee.

(g) All decisions of the EC shall be by majority vote. The chairperson shall not be entitled to vote. The Chairperson shall have a casting vote should any vote be equal.

(h) All proceedings of the Association must be in accordance with the Code of Practice for governance of North East Scotland College Students´┐Ż Association (as located in appendix 1).

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4.3 Cessation of Office

(a) In the event of a member of the Executive Committee failing to attend three consecutive meetings without presenting apologies to the meeting she/he shall be deemed to have resigned.

(b) Except where an officer has been deemed to have resigned due to lack of acceptable attendance, as noted in 4.3 (a) above, removal from office may occur only as the result of a two-thirds majority decision of a Student Association Council meeting.

(c) Sabbatical officer positions which become vacant will be subject to a by-election in accordance with the elections schedule to this Constitution.

(d) Pending a by-election the EC may by majority vote appoint an Acting President in either a sabbatical or non sabbatical position.

(e) The vacancy of Teaching Centre Representatives, as a result of a resignation or dismissal, will be filled at the next meeting of class representatives at the Teaching Centre which the member attended.

(f) Nominations for officers representing specialist areas which become vacant will be sought and an election held if there is more than one nominee.

(g) The member who is deemed to have resigned through non attendance or is dismissed from any NESCol SA office shall not be eligible for re-election to any office during the remainder of the academic year.

(h) In the interest of the Students’ Association and the incoming officer(s) outgoing sabbatical officers may not be eligible for election for any role on the Students’ Association Executive Committee for a period of 2 academic years. The exception to this rule is where a sabbatical officer having completed a one-year term of office, chooses to stand for re-election for a second year.

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5. Standing Bodies

5.1 Student Association Council (SAC) and Annual General Meeting

(a) The SAC shall be the supreme governing body of the Association. Its membership shall comprise:

(i) The Executive Committee of NESCol SA
(ii) All elected class representatives.
(iii) All other student members of NESCol SA.

(b) The first meeting of the SAC for the academic year will be held in November and will be designated the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The date, time and venue of the AGM shall be advertised at all teaching centres at least 28 calendar days before the meeting. Standing agenda items will be:

(i) noting the accounts of the previous financial year.
(ii) considering a report from the EC which will be presented by the President and which will detail arrangements for the forthcoming year.
(iii) consider and approve existing and proposed affiliations to external organisations.

Council meetings will also be called at least once in Spring and Summer terms with details publicised at all teaching centres at least 28 calendar days before the meeting.

The quorum for each SAC meeting shall be 30 members. If the meeting fails to attract a quorum, the business on the agenda shall be discussed on another day not later than 7 calendar days after the original date for the meeting. The date, time and venue of this meeting will be advertised at all Teaching Centres.

(c) An Emergency Association Council (EAC) meeting must be held within one college week by the President upon receipt of the written request of any one of the following:

(i) Vice President
(ii) The Executive Committee
(iii) Any 50 members of the Council

Such a meeting shall discuss only that business for which it was called, which must be specified in the written request.

(d) At least 7 College working days notice shall be given for all SAC meetings, and at least 24 hours notice of all Emergency Association Councils (except those called to consider amendments to the constitution when 7 College working days notice should be given). The notice for each meeting shall be placed on NESCol SA notice boards.

(e) Notice of motions, bearing the names of proposer and seconder shall be submitted to the President of NESCol SA in writing not less than two college days before the SAC meeting at which they are to be discussed. The final agenda shall be posted 24 hours before the SAC meeting.

(f) All proposed amendments to the Constitution must be submitted to the President in writing at least five college working days before the meeting. The President will ensure that details are provided to the meeting.

(g) The quorum for all SAC meetings shall be 30 members of the Association.

(h) Meetings shall be quorate. In the event of a successful challenge proving the meeting is inquorate, all remaining business shall be deemed lost.

(i) All SAC meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the standing orders of NESCol SA. Such standing orders may be suspended by a two-thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote.

5.2 Class Representatives Meetings

(a) Every class or tutor group shall be entitled to send an elected representative to meetings of Class Representatives.

(b) Meetings of Class Representatives will be called at least once each calendar month from September to May inclusive.

(c) Class Representatives Meetings shall be held to discuss items of importance to their constituents.

(d) Items for the agenda shall be submitted so that Class Representatives may be given 7 days notice of meetings and agendas.

(e) The meeting shall have the power to put motions to an Association Council.

(f) The class representatives will elect the appropriate number of Teaching Centre Representatives (TCRs) – see 4.1 above and Section A3 of Elections Schedule.

(g) Teaching Centre Representatives:

(a) TCRs will represent the students from the relevant Teaching Centre on the Executive Committee.

(b) TCRs will report to the regular monthly meetings of Class Representatives and take advice as appropriate.

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6. Clubs and Societies

(a) The Executive of the Association must develop a written procedure for the allocation on resources to groups or clubs and must publicise it to students. The written procedure will be subject to the approval of the College Board of Management.

(b) All recognised NESCol SA clubs and societies shall be formed and administered in accordance with this Constitution.

(c) Every organisation and club within the College which receives funds from NESCol SA shall keep full and accurate records of their finances throughout the year. They will submit these to the Association at the end of the financial year.

(d) Clubs and Societies of NESCol SA are not permitted to hold individual bank accounts. Provision shall be made by NESCol SA to bank all monies of clubs and societies.

(e) All Clubs and societies shall be required to raise a proportion of their income.

(f) Clubs and Societies are allowed to use the North East Scotland College Students' Association name and logo.

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7. Affiliations to External Organisations

(a) General notice shall be published to students and the corporation of all new external affiliations and shall include the name of the organisation(s) and the cost of the affiliation.

(b) Affiliations to external organisations or bodies shall be set by the SAC. Details of the affiliations including the name of the organisations or bodies and the cost of the subscription shall be included in the annual report which shall be available to all students and approved by the SAC.

(c) In the event of a challenge to the affiliation(s) student(s) may petition the SAC for a referendum. The referendum may only be activated if the petitioners have the support of 5% of the membership in writing.

(d) No referendum shall be re-opened on the same affiliation within the same financial year.

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8. Complaints Procedure

(a) Complaints about any elected officer(s), except Sabbatical post holders, will be investigated and ruled upon by the President in accordance with the Students' Association Complaints Handling Procedure.

(b) Complaints about Sabbatical post holders will be referred to the Executive Committee's 3 person elected Complaints sub-committee in accordance with the Students' Association Complaints Handling Procedure.

(c) Any complaint about a member of the Association staff shall be dealt with according to the College staff disciplinary procedure where that member of staff is employed directly through the College.

(d) Any complaint from a student that he/she is disadvantaged by not being a member of the Association will be dealt with under the College’s own complaints procedure.

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9. Minutes

(a) Minutes at all NESCol SA meetings shall be taken which shall be circulated for approval at the next meeting.

(b) Approved minutes of all NESCol SA meetings shall be displayed on NESCol SA notice boards and held at the NESCol SA administration office.

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10. Amendments To The Constitution

(a) The Executive Committee shall be the sole body competent to recommend amendments to the Constitution and Schedules (and standing orders).

(b) All proposed amendments to the Constitution or Schedules shall require the support of two-thirds of those present and entitled to vote.

(c) All proposed changes to the Constitution must be communicated immediately to the Course Provision and Student Services Committee of the Board of Management of the College for approval.

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11. Finance and Legal

(a) The NESCol SA shall receive annually an allocation of funds from the Board of Management of North East Scotland College subject to compliance with the Board's Conditions of Grant.

(b) NESCol SA acting through the Executive Committee shall be empowered, in pursuit of its aims and objectives, to operate bank account(s) in the name of the Association, invest monies, borrow monies, lend monies, offer its material assets as security, and do all other such things necessary for the prudent conduct of its financial affairs as though it were a legal person and subject to no other restrictions save any which may be imposed by the SAC.

(c) NESCol SA, acting through the Executive Committee, shall prepare the annual budget (and any amendments), audited accounts (including details of donations to external organisations), and all necessary interim financial reports and proposals and post these on NESCol SA noticeboards.

(d) The annual budget will be subject to approval of the Board of Management.

(e) A copy of the audited accounts shall be given to the Board of Management in compliance with timescale of Conditions of Grant.

(f) The financial year shall run from 1 April until 31 March.

(g) The NESCol SA shall engage the auditors appointed by the Board of Management in order to prepare audited accounts and a financial statement for approval by the Executive Committee.

(h) Authorised cheque signatories shall be:

  1. The President of NESCol SA
  2. Associate Principal (Student Support Services)

All cheques shall require two signatures, one of whom must be the President of NESCol SA or Head of Student Support Services.

(i) The NESCol SA may engage the services of a Solicitor in practice, to advise and act on their behalf in any legal matter indicated by the Executive Committee.

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12. Indemnity

(a) Every officer, appointee or member of staff of NESCol SA shall be entitled to be indemnified out of the assets of the Association against all losses or liability which she/he may sustain or incur in or about the execution of her/his office or otherwise in relation thereto. No officer, appointee or member of staff of NESCol SA shall be liable for any loss, damage or misfortune which may happen to or be incurred by the NESCol SA in the execution of the duties of her/his office or in relation thereto.

(b) Provided that nothing in this clause shall affect their liability for the consequences of any negligent or illegal act on their part. The officers shall not be expected to fulfil instructions from any NESCol SA meetings or committees where this would constitute ultra vires and be illegal.

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13. Interpretation

(a) In the event of a dispute as to the interpretation of any part of the NESCol SA constitution, the ruling of the President of NESCol SA shall be sought.

(b) A challenge to the President's ruling can be made up to one week of the ruling. Such challenge shall be submitted in writing, detailing the objections to the ruling, and must be supported by the signature and course details of 10 members of NESCol SA. The President may then reconsider the ruling and change the decision within 24 hours of receiving the challenge.

(c) Any unresolved challenge to the ruling of the President of NESCol SA shall be referred to the SAC whose decision will be final.

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SCHEDULE 1 – ELECTIONS

A1 The President, Vice President.

A1.1 The EC shall elect three members who are not candidates for election to form the Election Committee along with a representative of the College’s management team.

A1.2 The Election Committee will notify the electorate, i.e. all registered students of North East Scotland College at least two college weeks before each election of the vacancies and will invite nominations to fill these vacancies by whatever means are at their disposal including details being posted on NESCol SA notice boards in each Teaching Centre of North East Scotland College along with e-mails to students and staff.

A1.3 Nominations will be made in writing on the appropriate form to the Administrative Assistant of the NESCol SA and each nomination will contain the name and signature of the candidate as well as the names and signatures of ten proposers, all of whom must be registered students at North East Scotland College and members of NESCol SA.

A1.4 (a) No candidate may nominate him/herself.

(b) No student may nominate more than one candidate for any one vacancy in any one election.

(c) Each candidate must sign a statement on the nomination form giving consent to the nomination.

A1.5 The Election Committee shall determine the validity of each nomination.

A1.6 The President and Vice President shall be elected by a secret cross college ballot to be held during the Summer(April-June) term of each academic session.

A1.7 The Election Committee shall make regulations as to the good conduct of elections and these will be adopted as standing orders for elections by the Committee. The Election Committee shall undertake to inform all candidates as to the regulations governing elections.

A1.8 Candidates must present a manifesto to the electorate. Manifestos will be displayed on notice boards and in libraries in each of the teaching centres of North East Scotland College.

A1.9 The President and Vice President(s) shall be elected by a simple majority but the electorate shall have the opportunity to vote to re-open nominations (RON).

A1.10 In the event that RON wins the election, the election will be re-run: nominations will re-open in the manner described above, except that RON shall not appear on the ballot paper.

A1.11 The Election Committee shall secure the services of a senior N.U.S. affiliated person to undertake the role of Returning Officer to ensure that elections are conducted in accordance with this Constitution. The Returning Officer will be entitled to attend meetings of the Election Committee but with no voting powers.

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A2 Class Representatives

A2.1 Each class at all Teaching Centres shall elect a class representative (by show of hands) in September of each year or within one month of a new class beginning.

A2.2 Class Representatives shall represent their class at the Teaching Centre that they have been elected at.

A2.3 A meeting of North East Scotland College Teaching Centres Class Representatives will be called within each calendar month between the months of September and the following May inclusive.

A2.4 All North East Scotland College Teaching Centres Class Representative meetings will be held at the relevant teaching centre. The arrangements for the meeting shall be made by the NESCol SA President who shall chair the meeting.

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A3 Teaching Centre Representatives (TCRs)

A3.1 The President of the NESCol SA shall arrange and chair the meetings of all Class Representatives at all Teaching Centres.

A3.2 TCRs shall be elected at each Teaching Centre in September and will represent the teaching centre as a member of the North East Scotland College Student Association Executive Committee.

A3.3 TCRs shall be elected at a meeting of Teaching Centre Class Representatives.

A3.4 Each teaching centre shall be entitled to elect TCRs proportionally to the number of students attending that centre. The proportion shall be 1 (one) member for every 1000 (one thousand) fulltime equivalent students attending each Teaching Centre with a maximum of 4 (four) from any one centre. Any Teaching Centre with less than 1000 (one thousand) students shall be entitled to elect 1 (one) TCR.

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A4 Student Association Members Representing Specialist Areas

A4.1 In order to achieve the aims and objectives of the Student Association, NESCol SA, whilst an affiliated member of the National Union of Students of the United Kingdom (NUS), shall seek volunteers from its membership to represent NESCol SA in line with the areas of interest to students recognised by the NUS.

A4.2 Any student who is a full member of NESCol SA may volunteer to represent NESCol SA in any of the recognised areas by writing to NESCol SA, but may only represent the NESCol SA in one area.

A4.3 The President of NESCol SA shall post a notice at all ACTC seeking volunteers for these positions. This notice shall be posted in September each year.

A4.4 In the event of more than one volunteer for any area of representation, each volunteer shall be given the opportunity to volunteer for another area of representation.

A4.5 Should there be more than one volunteer for any area of representation, then an election shall be held by cross college campus ballot, the decision being made by majority vote.

A4.6 Members representing specialist areas will be members of the Executive Committee and will present reports from time to time to the EC and present a report to the SAC.

A4.7 A list of the areas of interest for representation shall be compiled by the President/Vice President(s) for the following academic year, and shall be ratified at the spring term meeting of the SAC.

A4.8 In the event of a dispute as to the authentication of the areas of interest which are in line with those recognised by NUS, verification shall be obtained from NUS Scotland.

A4.9 In the event of a specialist representative resigning, the President shall post a notice under the terms of A4.3 (above).

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