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University of Bristol A Cappella Society Constitution

Organisational structure:
TUBBS Organisational Structure

Version 2015-05-14

  1. Name
    1. The name of the society shall be University of Bristol A Cappella Society, hereinafter referred to as the Society.
    2. The Society shall be recognised by the University of Bristol Union, hereinafter referred to as the Union.
  2. Aims
    1. The Society shall aim:
      1. to provide opportunities for rehearsal and performance composed primarily of American-style a cappella singing to its members, where American-style a cappella encompasses modern/contemporary a cappella and barbershop, and
      2. to promote American-style a cappella singing in the wider community by means of concerts and, where appropriate, workshops, and
      3. to encourage and provide opportunities for members to form their own ensembles within the Society, and
      4. to present high standards of American-style a cappella singing at public engagements, and
      5. always to abide by the Union’s Equal Opportunities and Harassment Policies.
  3. Membership
    1. Full membership is open to all Full, Associate, Temporary Associate, Staff and Honorary Members of the Union by application in writing to the Secretary of the Society or by such other application procedures as may be set up by the Society or the Union.
    2. Associate membership is open to all other persons who are interested in the aims and objectives of the Society.
    3. Not less than two-thirds of the Society members shall be Full Members of the Union.
    4. The Secretary shall keep a list of all members, differentiating between full and associate members.
    5. There shall be a subscription fee levied for membership, which shall be fixed at the discretion of the committee being no less than the minimum rate demanded by the Union’s Societies Executive Committee.
  4. Privileges of Membership
    1. Only Full Members may sit on the Committee.
    2. All categories of membership shall have equal rights of voting, attending meetings, etc..
  5. Ensembles
    1. Ensembles and smaller groups such as quartets shall be formed as the members see fit, recognised by the committee.
    2. There shall be four permanent ensembles: ladies’, gentlemen’s and mixed unauditioned choruses, plus a mixed auditioned chorus.
    3. Each permanent ensemble shall be rehearsed and conducted where needed by a Musical Director and Deputy Musical Directors appointed by the Committee at any time, usually following the Society’s annual general meeting, but the Committee must leave enough time (after publication of the appointment to all members) for the notice period for an EGM, plus three days, to be held at the last regular rehearsal of the Summer term.
    4. Other ensembles may decide to appoint their own Musical Directors at any time, perhaps following the Society’s annual general meeting.
    5. Each ensemble may have a number of Performance Directors, responsible for assisting the Musical Directors with non-musical aspects of the ensemble's performance, appointed by the agreement of that ensemble's Musical Directors at any time.
    6. Each ensemble may have a number of Section Leaders, with responsibilities as set out by Appendix 2, appointed by the Society Musical Director and Deputy at any time.
    7. The Musical Directors, Deputy Musical Directors, Performance Directors and Section Leaders are collectively known as the Music Team.
  6. Committee
    1. There shall be a committee of the Society which shall be the executive decision-making body of the Society.
    2. The Committee shall be responsible for the general and financial policy of the Society, subject to such rules as laid out by the Union.
    3. The Committee shall set policies for the Society and record them alongside the Constitution, as long as they do not conflict with the Constitution, Union policies or the Union Constitution. Each policy remains in force for three years before requiring a review by the body that set the policy, leading to a decision on renewal, amendment or expiry, unless it is changed before that date. A policy set by the Committee can always be overridden by a General Meeting, but not vice versa.
    4. The quorum for Committee meetings shall be set at 50% of the members filling positions plus one.
    5. The Committee shall maintain an appendix to this Constitution setting out in more detail the responsibilities of Committee members. This appendix may be altered by a properly constituted Committee meeting without reference to a General Meeting, but shall not contradict this Constitution.
    6. The positions on the Committee shall be:
      1. President

        The President shall be responsible for the overall running of the Society, maintaining a five-year plan, representing the Society and chairing Committee and general meetings, and other or more detailed responsibilities as set out by Appendix 2.

        The President shall be a Full Member of the Union.
      2. Vice-President (Operations)

        The Vice-President (Operations) shall be responsible for assisting the President in fulfilling his or her duties, the day-to-day actions of the Society, and other or more detailed responsibilities as set out by Appendix 2.
      3. Treasurer

        The Treasurer shall be responsible for all Society accounts and finance, in accordance with Union regulations for financial activities and as set out below, and other or more detailed responsibilities as set out by Appendix 2.

        The Treasurer shall be a Full Member of the Union and not in their final year at the University during any part of their term of office.
      4. Secretary

        The Secretary shall be responsible for preparing an agenda and reminding attendees of Committee and general meetings, and the taking of minutes. Also, ensuring that a Society web site is kept up-to-date and that members can be contacted by email, and other or more detailed responsibilities as set out by Appendix 2.

        The Secretary shall also be responsible for maintaining a list of members as specified by the Union.
      5. Gigs Co-ordinator

        The Gigs Co-ordinator shall be responsible for arranging gigs and engagements, both for the Society as a whole, and any smaller ensembles in collaboration with their Musical Directors, and other or more detailed responsibilities as set out by Appendix 2.
      6. Publicity Co-ordinator

        The Publicity Co-ordinator shall be responsible for publicising Society events and the Society itself to students, the University and general public, and other or more detailed responsibilities as set out by Appendix 2.
      7. Ladies’ and Gents’ Social Secretaries (one for each)

        The Ladies’ and Gents’ Social Secretaries shall be responsible for organising social activities for their ensembles, and for jointly managing the social and welfare aspects of the Society, and other or more detailed responsibilities as set out by Appendix 2.
      8. Musical Director

        Whoever is appointed as Musical Director of the mixed unauditioned chorus shall be, ex officio, a full member of the committee.

        This Society Musical Director shall oversee the musical aspects of the Society and represent the Music Team, and other or more detailed responsibilities as set out by Appendix 2.
      9. Ensembles Co-ordinator

        The Ensembles Co-ordinator shall be responsible for membership records of smaller ensembles within the Society (apart from quartets), liaising with Musical Directors as necessary and organising socials for smaller ensembles, and other or more detailed responsibilities as set out by Appendix 2.
      10. Quartets Co-ordinator

        The Quartets Co-ordinator shall be responsible for membership of quartets within the Society, and other or more detailed responsibilities as set out by Appendix 2.
      11. Librarian

        The Librarian shall be responsible for printing and organisation of the Society's music collection, and other or more detailed responsibilities as set out by Appendix 2.
    7. In addition to the Committee members listed above, the Committee may appoint roles to individual members of the Society as necessary to the functioning of the Society, including (but not limited to) Co-ordinators for a Tour, Gig Refreshments or the Web Site.

      Such roles may be designated either as full or observing members of the Committee. Observing members are not required to always attend or send apologies for absence to meetings, do not count towards quoracy, and are not accorded the rights and privileges of a full Committee member, such as voting in Committee meetings.
    8. Motions of no confidence in any member of the Committee must be passed by a properly constituted General Meeting to take effect.
  7. Financial
    1. The Society’s financial year shall run from 1st August until 31st July the following calendar year, so as to coincide with the academic year.
    2. The accounts of the Society shall be audited by a member of University Staff and submitted to the Union Treasurer as and when requested and at least once per annum.
    3. All financial arrangements must be made in accordance with current instructions to Society Treasurers, as set down by the Union’s Societies Executive Committee.
    4. The Union Treasurer and Finance Manager shall jointly be empowered to issue financial instructions on behalf of the society if:
      1. the society folds with outstanding financial affairs, or
      2. change of mandate forms are not completed, and the previous committee are out of reasonable contact, or
      3. financial irregularities are found.
  8. General Meetings
    1. There shall be an Annual General Meeting once per annum, and this shall be held before the end of the undergraduate teaching block of the Summer term.
    2. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called by 5% of the membership of the Society by application to the Secretary or by a majority decision of the Committee. An EGM shall be held as soon as practical, as long as the required notice to members is given.
    3. The Committee shall appoint two Returning Officers, ideally from the Committee, for each General Meeting, to receive motions and nominations, and to count secret ballots and elections. Returning Officers are automatically disqualified from being candidates or the sole proposer of a motion in votes they are due to count.
    4. Notice of a General Meeting must be published to the Society’s members, together with an example motion and a deadline for motions to be received by the Returning Officers, at least seven days before that deadline, which is a date and time set by the Committee leaving enough time for the agenda and full texts of motions to be published.

      The agenda and motions must be published to the Society’s members at least seven days before the meeting itself, together with a deadline for amendments, set as for motions, which must be at least three days before the Meeting.

      TUBBS general meeting timings
    5. The notice period for a general meeting may run through vacations.
    6. Motions must have a name, proposer, and sections outlining what the Society notes, believes, and resolves.
    7. Proposers may request to withdraw their motions at any time, in which case the chair shall propose a members' vote at that point in the General Meeting on whether to keep the original motion in the agenda.
    8. The quorum of General Meetings shall be set at twice the Committee size plus one.
    9. Items raised under Any Other Business at a General Meeting can make no binding decisions, but the Committee or required number of members may call an EGM to take the item further.
    10. Voting shall be carried out by open or secret ballot as appropriate, counted by the Returning Officers, motions being passed by a simple majority (except where required by this constitution), recording votes for and against (and abstentions) in all cases.
  9. Elections
    1. Elections shall be held at the Annual General Meeting to elect officers of the committee for the following session.
    2. There shall be provision for by-elections to be held at an EGM, usually in October, should there be vacant committee posts.
    3. Nominations (proposed by the candidates themselves without need for seconders) must be received and published as a single batch by the Returning Officers at least seven days before a General Meeting.

      TUBBS general meeting timings
    4. Voting shall be carried out by secret ballot, counted by the Returning Officers, candidates being elected by a simple majority, recording votes for and against (and abstentions) as reserved items.
    5. There being only one candidate for an elected position that falls vacant during the normal term of office, that candidate may be deemed elected by a properly constituted Committee meeting without the need for a General Meeting. At least seven days’ notice of this intention shall be given to members; any member’s objection shall trigger the requirement for an EGM as if the position were contested.
    6. In the event of a tied vote a second round of voting will take place. If the vote is still tied after the second vote, the decision will be determined by the toss of a coin.
  10. Affiliations
    1. The society may affiliate to external bodies where membership of those bodies is pursuant to the fulfilment of the core aims, but only with the prior agreement of the Union’s Societies Executive Committee.
  11. Constitutional Amendments
    1. Any amendment to this Constitution shall require a two-thirds majority of the members present at a properly constituted General Meeting, except where such changes are required by changes in Union by-laws or policy, when minimal amendments to ensure compliance may be passed by the Committee.
    2. All such amendments shall become valid only after approval by the Union’s Societies Executive Committee.
    3. A history of all such amendments shall be maintained as an appendix to this Constitution in all versions of the document.

Appendix 1: History of the Constitution

  • 2007-05-29: (Initial draft.)
  • 2007-06-20: (Draft.) 7.a deleted; 1.b, 6.d.i, 6.d.iii, 9.d amended.
  • 2008-02-18: (Accepted by the Union.) 6.d.vi added (previous 6.d.vi–vii renumbered as 6.d.vii–viii); 1.b, 6.b, 6.d.iv, 7.a, 7.c, 9.c, 9.d, 10.a amended.
  • 2009-03-10: (Draft.) 6.d (previous 6.d renumbered as 6.e), 6.e.ix, 6.f, 6.g, 7.a added (previous 7.a–c renumbered as 7.b–d); 6.c, 6.e.i, 6.e.ii, 6.e.iii, 6.e.iv, 6.e.v, 6.e.vi, 6.e.vii, 6.e.viii, 11.a, 11.b amended.
  • 2009-11-24: (Draft.) 9.e. added; 6.e.viii, 6.f amended.
  • 2010-03-09: (Draft.) 5.d, 6.e.x added; 2.a.i, 2.a.ii, 2.a.iii, 5.a, 6.e.vii amended.
  • 2011-03-24: (Draft.) 5.e, 6.e.xi, 6.g, 6.h, 8.e. added; 5.b, 5.c, 5.d, 5.f, 6.f, 6.i, 9.d. amended
  • 2012-04-21: (Draft.) 5.g, 9.f added
  • 2013-03-19: (Draft.) 5.e, 5.g, 6.g–h deleted; 5.f, 5.g, 6.c (previous 6.c–f and 6.i renumbered as 6.d–h), 8.c (previous 8.c renumbered as 8.g), 8.e–f, 8.h added; 5.d, 5.e (previous 5.f renumbered as 5.e), 8.b (previously 8.d), 8.d (previously 8.b), 8.i (previously 8.e), 9.d amended.
  • 2013-06-11: (Draft.) 9.c amended.
  • 2014-07-04: (Draft.) 1.a, 1.b amended; 5.a-c deleted (previous 5.d renumbered as 5.c); 5.a-b, 5.d added; 6.f.viii amended.

Appendix 2: Committee Roles and Responsibilities

  1. President
    1. Form and maintain good relations with the Union, Societies Executive Committee other societies, individuals, etc.
    2. Communicate with other societies/individuals to organise co-operation/collaboration and representing the Society (e.g. at meetings, awards, etc.).
    3. Decide on the direction of the society and set out a five-year plan accordingly.
    4. Delegate jobs within the committee.
    5. Chair meetings for the Society.
    6. (Jointly with the Secretary) collate nominations for elections and count votes at General Meetings.
    7. Take decisions (i.e. with a veto or casting vote) if the Committee cannot agree.
    8. Provide leadership (especially in an emergency or in the absence of the person responsible). The buck always stops here.
    9. Make sure everyone else is doing his or her job and step in if they aren't. This might include asking other committee members if they are in the right role or are struggling, etc.
  2. Vice-President (Operations)
    1. Carry out the day-to-day running of the society, for example, room bookings, responding to all non-membership enquiries, etc.
    2. Monitor actions decided at meetings and make sure these are all done in a timely fashion.
    3. Negotiate membership card discounts with retailers, service providers, etc.
    4. Deputise for the President in all activities in his or her absence.
    5. Receive concerns and complaints from the Ladies' and Gents' Representatives or directly from members of the Society and bring these to appropriate channels.
  3. Treasurer
    1. Deal with the finances of the Society including paying invoices and expense claims, paying in cheques and any cash etc., in a timely fashion and in compliance with Union and University regulations.
    2. Ensure that the Committee works within the financial constraints of the Society.
    3. Hold the Society cheque book.
    4. Monitor signatory status on the TUBBS bank account and ensure that appropriate signatures are obtained on forms etc. (E.g., the President may not sign for his or her own expenses etc.)
    5. Monitor bank statements.
    6. Rule on any proposed fees or expenses, subject to the approval of the Committee.

      (I.e., decide whether any fee should be paid, what can be claimed on expenses, etc.)
    7. Organise collection of any cash (e.g., buckets for busking gigs); arrange pick-up of cheques or similar.
    8. Collect membership fees.
    9. Report to the Committee on any financial issues or concerns that might arise and suggest solutions. (E.g., if the membership fees need to go up or similar.)
    10. Produce accurate and comprehensive budgets for gigs and other events, in consultation with the Committee.
    11. Set prices for tickets of various kinds, TUBBS clothes, etc., in consultation with the Committee.
    12. Produce financial returns and auditable accounts for the Societies Executive Committee at the end of each financial year.
    13. Be a member of any Sub-committee that deals with financial matters.
    14. Liaise with the Librarian to minimise the costs of music printing.
  4. Secretary
    1. Manage and update the list of all members and Society mailing lists.
    2. Monitor who has and hasn't paid their fees and inform the Treasurer.
    3. Monitor which members sing with which ensembles.
    4. Respond to membership enquiries.
    5. Receive requests for Extraordinary General Meetings.
    6. Compose and circulate the agenda before Society meetings (and remind everyone when and where the Committee meetings, General Meetings, etc. will be held).
    7. Minute all Society meetings.
    8. Keep members informed about Society meetings and their minutes, and other useful information, for example, before the first rehearsal of term.
    9. (Jointly with the President) collate nominations for elections and count votes at General Meetings.
    10. Produce forms or any non-publicity documents that the society might require, and provide assistance with completing these forms and keep a stock for use.
    11. Keep copies of all Society documents such as minutes, letters, etc.
    12. Be the keeper of the Constitution and update it as necessary.
    13. Be the keeper of this Appendix (Committee Roles and Responsibilities) and update it as necessary.
  5. Gigs Co-ordinator
    1. Propose, and actively seek out opportunities for, possible singing events.
    2. Organise singing events for the Society and joint participants.
    3. Ensure the smooth running of Society gigs.
    4. Act as a front-of-house manager for Society gigs.
    5. Be the keeper of the gigs checklist and update it as necessary.
    6. Designate a stage manager and front of house manager for large gigs, as well as any ushers that may be required, who are not performing in the gig.
  6. Publicity Co-ordinator
    1. Publicise the Society and its events.
    2. Propose ways of publicising the Society to the Committee.
    3. Produce publicity material for the Society and its events.
    4. Organise the production of branded merchandise for the Society.
    5. Negotiate sponsorship for the Society and its events.
  7. Ladies' and Gents' Social Secretaries
    1. Be available for members to raise concerns, and pass on any concerns to the committee as the Representative deems appropriate.
    2. Check whether any members who are often missing rehearsals are OK.
    3. Take a register of attendance at rehearsals and other events as needed.
    4. Organise socials for their respective sections, and jointly organise socials for ensembles.
  8. Ensembles Co-ordinator
    1. Organise members and membership of smaller ensembles (i.e., excluding Ladies, Gents and the Society as a whole).
    2. Organise participation in and transport to festivals or gigs for smaller ensembles.
    3. Liaise with Musical Directors regarding festivals, including entry requirements, costs and syllabi. (Some classes require the choir to perform a test piece etc.)
    4. Organise socials for smaller ensembles.
    5. Receive any concerns from members of smaller ensembles and deal with them appropriately.
  9. Musical Directors
    1. Decide on appropriate repertoire to learn and perform.
    2. Conduct rehearsals.
    3. Liaise with the Librarian to ensure that sufficient copies of music are available.
    4. (Jointly with the Deputy Musical Director) audition members (if Musical Director of an auditioned ensemble).
    5. Ensure that Deputy Musical Directors are familiar with the repertoire and able to take control of an ensemble.
    6. Assist in the appointment of Deputy Musical Directors and Performance Directors.
    7. Ensure that one of the chosen pieces for the Christmas term is suitable for singing at socials, so as not to exclude new members from the social side of the Society.
    8. Responsible for liaising with arrangers and notifying them on the use of commissioned pieces.
  10. Deputy Musical Directors
    1. Take rehearsals in the absence of Musical Directors. Deputy Musical Directors should be sufficiently familiar with their ensemble's music to be able to take control at a moment's notice.
    2. (Jointly with the Musical Director) audition members (if Deputy Musical Director of an auditioned ensemble).
  11. Section Leaders
    1. Know the TUBBS repertoire for your section.
    2. Check teach tracks as they are released to make sure they match your music.
    3. Be the point of contact for any music questions from your section.
    4. In conjunction with the Musical Directors, point out any persistent errors in your section and how to fix them.
    5. Lead any sectional part of rehearsals.
    6. Know who in your section will be at any concert.
    7. Let Musical Directors know if you can’t attend rehearsals and deputize another member of your section to take sectionals.
  12. Librarian
    1. Be the keeper of the locker.
    2. Liaise with Musical Directors to ensure that sufficient copies of music are available.
    3. Agree with the Musical Directors exactly what will be rehearsed each week.
    4. Ensure sufficient copies of sheet music are available to members.
    5. Keep a library of repertoire for the Society in digital form, or hard copy where computer files are not available.
    6. Purchase books or sheet music as agreed on behalf of Musical Directors for ensembles.
    7. Keep an archive library of past publicity materials, photos, etc. for posterity.
    8. Keep a record of which members have folders.
    9. Liaise with the Treasurer to minimise the costs of music printing.
  13. Quartets Co-ordinator
    1. Seek out opportunities for quartets under the aegis of the Society to perform.
    2. Keep a library of repertoire (in conjunction with the Librarian) for quartets.
    3. Assist with setting up quartets as part of the Society at the start of the year and as required at other times.
    4. Assist with negotiation of terms of bookings, in consultation with the Committee on financial details. (E.g., times, dress, fees.)
  14. Web Site Co-ordinator
    1. Maintain a web site to meet the needs of the Society in consultation with the Committee.
    2. Provide ways of hosting the archive library to preserve access for posterity.
    3. Provide access to members of the Committee to edit the web site.
    4. Manage a Facebook group to meet the needs of the Society in consultation with the Committee.
  15. Tour Co-ordinator
    1. In the event that the Society is planning a Tour, liaise between the Committee and a Tour Sub-committee of at least two people including the Treasurer.
    2. Present a plan to the Committee outlining location of Tour, costs and expected number of places for agreement before booking.
    3. Be the point of contact with regards to all Tour bookings and arrangements.
  16. Refreshments Co-ordinator
    1. Liaise with the Gigs Co-ordinator and Treasurer to provide refreshments at any concert or event where they are requested.
    2. Recruit a team of people to serve refreshments at these events. The Committee should be willing to help out as needed.
  17. Friends and Alumni Co-ordinator
    1. Maintain a mailing list of past Society members (‘Alumni’) and non-Society members (‘Friends’) who wish to keep in contact and receive Society updates.
    2. Promote the Society and all Society events to the Friends and Alumni.
    3. In the event of a tour, or similar event, liaise between the relevant subcommittee and interested Alumni.
    4. Be the main point of contact between TUBBS, Friends and Alumni.