Constitution of the Catholic Students Union

1.  The Society

A.   The name of the society shall be the University of Edinburgh Catholic Students’ Union.

B.   The patron of the society shall be His Grace the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

C.   The aims of the society shall be

              i.        To provide an environment where members can meet, work and celebrate in the tradition of the Catholic Church.

            ii.        To provide opportunities for deepening the understanding of the Catholic faith amongst its members, and for their development as responsible Christians in the wider world. 

           iii.        To organise and promote social events for its members and others.

D.   The society shall be formally affiliated with the Catholic Chaplaincy to the University of Edinburgh, that is, the parish of St. Albert the Great served by the Order of Preachers (Dominicans).

2. Membership

A.   Membership shall be open to all matriculated students of the University of Edinburgh and at least Seventy-Five percent of the membership shall consist of matriculated students of the University of Edinburgh. The annual subscription paid by members who are not matriculated students shall be double that paid by students.

B.   Honorary Membership may be conferred at the discretion of the committee on those who have significantly helped and supported the Society. Honorary members shall then be exempt from subscriptions.

C.   The society has taken and will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure that meetings, events and socials are accessible to all, irrespective of any disability.

D.   The society believes that discrimination or harassment, direct or indirect, based on a person’s gender, age (except where it relates to licensing laws), race, skin colour, nationality, religious belief, socioeconomic background, disability, HIV status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, family situation, domestic responsibilities or any other irrelevant distinction, is detrimental to the society, the University and wider society, and will not be tolerated.



3. Committee

A.   All voting committee members must be matriculated students.

B.   The Committee run the society on behalf of the members and shall consist of:

              i.        The President

            ii.        The Vice President

           iii.        The Secretary

           iv.        The Treasurer

            v.        The Publicity Officer

           vi.        Five ordinary members

          vii.        The Catholic Chaplains to the University shall be non-voting committee members

C.   Student committee members will be elected annually at the AGM and shall assume office after week 11 of the second semester. 

D.   The Committee may, by a two thirds majority at a quorate meeting, co-opt additional members. Only two additional members can be co-opted in any Academic Year.

E.   The President, Secretary and Treasurer of the society shall be matriculated students of the University of Edinburgh. It is not required for the Publicity Officer, Ordinary Members or Vice President to be matriculated students of the University of Edinburgh.

F.    Each member of Committee will carry out the functions of their office.

              i.        The President shall be ultimately responsible for the conduct, organisation and running of the society.

            ii.        The Vice-President shall be responsible to the President for the constitutional affairs of the society, particularly in regards to EUSA Laws, by-laws and guidelines.

           iii.        The Secretary shall be responsible to the President for the administration of the society.

           iv.        The Treasurer shall be responsible to the President for the finances of the society.

            v.        The Publicity Officer shall be responsible to the President for the maintenance of the society’s online presence and publicity matters.

           vi.        The Ordinary Members shall be responsible to the President for the routine running of the society and organisation of its events.

G.   The society confers upon its immediate past president the title of “President Emeritus”. If he/she is willing and able they have the right to sit on the Committee as an Ordinary Member, automatically assuming one of the five Ordinary Member positions at the AGM, with the said title of “President Emeritus”.*

H.   *If the President Emeritus wishes to stand for another Committee position then they may do so. If the President Emeritus fails to be elected to another position then they retain their right to be automatically one of the five Ordinary Members, however they must declare their intention to take up this position before the election of the Ordinary Members, otherwise they forfeit their place upon Committee. An immediate past-president elected to a title-bearing office retains the use of the distinction “President Emeritus” alongside their office title.

I.      The quorum of a committee shall be two thirds of its voting members in addition to the presence of the President or a deputised officer.

J.    Minutes of all meetings shall be kept and lodged in the secretary’s files. The minutes will be made available to any fully paid member of the society upon request once they have been lodged.

K.   A committee member must vacate his or her office upon resignation or upon dismissal by a resolution of the committee reached through the Discipline process.

L.    In the event of a committee position becoming vacant, the committee may co-opt a replacement unless the position is that of President, Secretary or Treasurer in which case an Extraordinary General Meeting must be called to elect a replacement.

M.   Current Office Bearers must be assigned to the Society Profile immediately upon election


4. Discipline

A.   Committee Discipline: Should the committee agree, by simple majority, that one of its members is neglecting their duties or has behaved in a reprehensible manner then the following disciplinary process must be followed:

                      i.        First, the President or Secretary will issue a verbal warning to the offending member.

                    ii.        If the dispute is not resolved after a period of 7 days then the President or Secretary will issue a written/email warning, signed by the Committee, giving notice of the disciplinary action being taken.

                   iii.        If the dispute is not resolved after a further 14 days then the committee may, by majority vote, expel the offending member from office.

B.   Membership Discipline: Should a member of the society be found to have acted in a reprehensible manner then the process for Committee Discipline must be followed but with the end of expelling the offending member from the society.

C.   The Vice-President, or in his/her absence a nominated member of the committee, will act impartially to ensure due process is followed and disputes are handled fairly in all disciplinary processes.

5. Meetings of the Society

A.   Meetings of the Society called for the annual election of committee members are to be called General Meetings.

B.   The AGM of the society must take place between week 7 and week 11 of semester 2.

C.   All members must receive at least 14 days email notification of the annual general meeting and of elections not held at the AGM.  The society shall also inform the Societies’ Centre of the date, time and place of the society’s AGM.

D.   All other meetings of the Society shall be Extraordinary General Meetings and shall be convened by the Committee either on its own initiative or on receipt of a motion requiring such a meeting signed by not less than 15 voting members or 20 percent of the membership, whichever is higher.

E.   The quorum for all meetings of the Society shall be 20 members or 50 percent of the membership, whichever is fewer and voting is by simple majority, the Chairperson having a casting vote. 

F.    Accidental failure to notify any member of a General Meeting shall not invalidate the proceedings of such a meeting, given the presence of a quorum.

G.   The chairperson at all meetings shall be the President or in his/her absence, the Vice-President, or in his/her absence, the Secretary. If none of the above are present or willing to act, a Chairperson may be elected for the duration of the meeting.

H.   Elections shall be held by secret ballot, with the Chaplains acting as returning officers.

I.      All members shall be entitled to stand and to vote in elections.

J.    Only paid members shall have voting rights.

K.   The nomination list for elections to the Committee shall be opened at least two weeks before General Meetings and closed at the start of the meeting. 

L.    Thereafter no new nominations shall be made but candidates defeated in election for any position may be proposed for any other post.

M.   Each voting member shall be permitted to nominate only one candidate for each position.

N.   Constitutional amendments shall require a two-thirds majority at a general meeting open to all members; fourteen days notice of which shall be given.

O.   Minutes shall be kept of all meetings of the Society and approved at the next such meeting.

6. Administration

A.   The Society’s cheques shall require two signatories, one shall be the Treasurer and the other shall be either the President or Secretary.

B.   The Treasurer shall have the Society’s books balanced before each General Meeting.

C.   Re-registration of the society must be submitted prior to the EUSA stipulated closing date.

D.   The society has ensured and will continue to ensure that it complies with any relevant data protection legislation.  

E.   The society shall abide by any applicable laws, by-laws and guidelines of the Edinburgh University Students’ Association in relation to recognised societies. 

F.    EUSA considers the ruling society constitution to be that which is displayed on the Society Profile