UNIVERSITY FOR THE CREATIVE ARTS STUDENTS’ UNION BY-LAWS
|Regulation 1 – General Regulations
|Regulation 2 – Membership
|Regulation 3 – Clubs and Societies
|Regulation 4 – Officers of the Union
|Regulation 5 – The Executive Committee
|Regulation 6 – Referendum
|Regulation 7 – Election Regulations
|Regulation 8 – Transitional Arrangements
|Regulation 9 – Accountability
|A – Complaints and Disciplinary
|B – External Speakers
|C – Equality and Diversity
|D – Code of Conduct
|E – Financial Regulations
The following regulations govern the conduct of general affairs within the University for the Creative Arts Students’ Union including, but is not limited to, General Meetings, Board of Trustees and its standing committees, the governance of Union clubs and societies, and other groups undertaking Union business.
These by-laws shall be read alongside, but not interpreted or applied in any way which is inconsistent with, the Constitution of the Union.
Regulation 1: General Regulations.
These by-laws and policies of the Union are not subject to ratification from the Governing Body and/or the Charities Commission.
The Board of Trustees and Executive Committee shall have the power, when necessary, to repeal and/or amend by-laws as to the management of the Union and its working practices, provided that such by-laws shall not be inconsistent with the Constitution.
The final interpretation of these by-laws sits with the Board of Trustees.
- Principal Office Positions of the Union
1.1 There are to be two (2) principal elected Officer Trustees as per regulation 4, 1.1 – 1.3 of these by-laws, who shall serve in office from the 15th June to the 14th of the following June, for no longer than two (2) consecutive terms in accordance with the Education Act (1994).
1.2 Officer Trustees shall be elected in accordance with regulation 7 of these by-laws and shall be known as Sabbatical Officers.
1.3 Each Sabbatical Officer will be allocated an annual allowance included within the Union budget discussed and approved by the Board of Trustees.
1.4 Sabbatical Officers are subject to a contract of employment and therefore, should an Officer resign, another will be consulted by the Board of Trustees to take on any additional responsibilities.
- Removal from Office
2.1 Sabbatical Officers may be removed from position by:
2.1.1 A petition of no confidence completed by 2% of active Union members including a proposer and a seconder.
2.1.2 An elected member of the Executive Committee proposing a motion of no confidence including a proposer and a seconder.
184.108.40.206 Executive Committee motions of no confidence are to be voted upon within the committee and must receive a majority to pass.
2.2 The Union Chief Executive and Chair to the Board of Trustees shall ensure that an officer to whom the motion refers is given the opportunity to speak in opposition.
2.3 Motions of no confidence must state the reason(s) why the Officer should be removed from office, this is to include:
2.3.1 Neglect of duties to the post as detailed in the job descriptions.
2.3.2 Failure to adhere to the signed student charter.
2.3.3 Persistent failure to adhere to the Union Code of Conduct (Appendix D).
2.3.4 Gross misconduct.
2.4 Successful motions of no confidence shall be referred to the Board of Trustees as a matter of urgency. The Sabbatical Officer shall be cease their duties and be suspended on full pay until a decision has been made to either:
220.127.116.11 Uphold the motion of no confidence.
18.104.22.168 The Sabbatical Officer shall cease to be an employee of the Union and their contract of employment will be terminated.
2.4.2 Sustain the motion and call for a referendum.
22.214.171.124 The Board of Trustees shall ensure a free and fair referendum is to be executed as quickly as is feasible possible but must be no longer than twenty (20) University days from the Board of Trustees’ decision.
126.96.36.199 A motion of no confidence referendum must be debated and voted on in accordance regulation 6 of these by-laws and shall require a two-thirds majority to pass.
2.4.3 Write to the proposer detailing their reasons for not upholding the submission.
188.8.131.52 The Sabbatical Officer in question shall continue be an employee of the Union.
- University Days
3.1 The term “University days” as used in these regulations shall refer to clear days within the University’s academic calendar and shall not be applied to University closed days, holidays or public holidays.
Regulation 2 – Membership
- Types of Membership
1.1 There will exist two types of Union membership:
1.1.1 Full members.
1.1.2 Honorary Members.
1.2 Full Membership gives:
1.2.1 Complete access to Union facilities and resources.
1.2.2 Full voting rights.
1.2.3 The right to stand for election.
1.3 Honorary Membership, including Life and Associate Membership, shall be determined by the Board of Trustees and shall be entitled to:
1.3.1 Join and take part in any Union club or society so long as they are not included in any decision making towards that club or society or, in the case of a BUCS affiliated sports teams, may not play competitive matches.
1.3.2 Attend and speak at any meeting of the Union with the permission of active members at that meeting.
1.3.3 Enjoy Union facilities and services in accordance with any rules and regulations as set out and agreed on by the Union.
1.3.4 Other privileges as may be, from time to time, decided upon by the Union Board of Trustees.
1.4 Any student who wishes to opt-out or re-join the membership of the Union must write to the President of the Students’ Union to notify them of their decision. The President is then required to inform all Union staff members with the names of those individuals in confidence.
Regulation 3 – Clubs & Societies
- There shall be Clubs and Societies of the Union in which membership shall be open to all active members of the Students’ Union.
- Setting up a Club or Society
2.1 No club or society may receive funds from the Union or use Union facilities without being formally affiliated by the Clubs and Societies Coordinator and Head of Membership Engagement.
2.2 To be considered for recognition, the club or society shall submit a proposal or rationale including the aims and objectives.
2.3 No club or society will be recognised if its objectives conflict with those of the Union however, this restriction shall not be interpreted so as to prevent the establishment of political, religious, or ethnically based clubs and societies, except where the Board of Trustees deem them unlawful or in contravention of the Union’s External Speakers Policy (Appendix B).
2.4 It shall be the responsibility of the Clubs and Societies Coordinator, Head of Membership Engagement, and individual clubs and societies that:
2.4.1 The aims and objectives are carried out through the academic year.
2.4.2 Social events and activities are run smoothly in line with Union policy.
2.4.3 The club or society shall be responsible for publicising meetings, and then be responsible for taking minutes if deemed necessary.
2.4.4 The club or society shall be responsible for identifying and reporting any financial needs i.e. the maintenance of kit and equipment.
2.4.5 An accurate list of all equipment purchased is kept and all equipment is returned to the Union at the end of the academic year.
2.4.6 All income received by the club or society is paid directly into the Union accounts and that no funds received by the club or society are withheld.
2.4.7 Union policy on equal opportunities is followed.
- Finance for Clubs and Societies
3.1 The Board of Trustees shall assign a sum within the Union budget which shall be allocated towards the running of recognised Clubs and Societies.
3.2 Allocations will be made based on the needs of the club or society.
3.2.1 Non-essential items will be fully covered by the club or society.
3.2.2 The Union will pay seventy (70) per cent of essential requirements as listed below with the club or society agreeing to contribute thirty (30) per cent.
184.108.40.206 Entry and competition fees
220.127.116.11 Match officials
18.104.22.168 Materials and equipment
22.214.171.124 Transport to competitions
3.3 No one from a club or society may commit their club or society as well as the Union to any expenditure without prior authorisation through the Union’s budgetary control system.
3.4 The club or society shall not hold its own bank account and finances are to be administered through the Union.
3.5 The club or society shall hold no funds whatsoever outside the Union accounts.
Regulation 4: Officers of the Union
- Full-time Sabbatical Officers
1.1 One (1) President Kent
1.2 One (1) President Surrey
- The role of full-time Sabbatical Officers
2.1 Oversee and direct the day to day running of the Union as well as ensure students are represented at every level to the University as well as locally and nationally.
- Duties as a Board of Trustees member
3.1 To ensure that the Union complies with its governing documents, charity law, company law, and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
3.2 To ensure that the Union pursues its charitable objectives as defined in the Constitution.
3.3 To ensure the Union uses its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives.
3.3.1 The charity must not spend money on activities which are not included in its own objectives, no matter how worthwhile or charitable those activities are.
3.4 To contribute actively to the Board of Trustees’ role in giving firm strategic direction to the Union, setting overall policy, defining goals, setting targets, and evaluating performance against agreed objectives.
3.5 To uphold and safeguard the good name and values of the Union.
3.6 To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the Union.
3.7 To ensure the financial stability of the Union.
3.8 To protect and manage the property of the charity and to ensure the proper investment of funds.
3.9 To appoint the Chief Executive and monitor their performance.
3.10 To be responsible for any transfer to a Company Limited by Guarantee or to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
- Duties as a Sabbatical Officer
4.1 To be a full member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee.
4.2 There will be one (1) Sabbatical Officer representing each county (Kent and Surrey) who shall be nominated from relevant campuses within that county, and study at the University for the Creative Arts Campus.
- The Sabbatical Officers
5.1 Be the figurehead of the campuses they represent.
5.2 Actively Chair at least one allocated committee as outlined in regulation 4, point 6.1 of these by-laws.
5.3 Carry out other duties as laid down by the Executive Committee or any other policy passed.
5.4 Liaise with the University on the development of the student experience strategy, complaints, equal opportunities, and disciplinary procedures.
5.5 Be a member of relevant committees established by the University.
5.6 Work within the boundaries set by the Constitution, the Union Code of Conduct and the Board of Trustees.
5.7 Be responsible for dealing with student concerns, aspirations and problems in relation to their courses.
5.8 Provide briefings to students on academic issues and report concerns to the Executive Committee.
5.9 Liaise with the University over the criteria and distribution of Access and Hardship funds.
5.10 Establish and maintain contact with, and provide information, from groups and organisations which work on welfare issues.
5.11 Accommodate, but not counsel, students who have welfare problems, respecting confidentiality at all times.
5.12 When necessary, refer students to the Union’s Advice and Representation Manager/Coordinator, University’s counsellors, or other relevant organisations.
5.13 Campaign on, and raise awareness of, welfare issues as agreed by the Executive Committee.
5.14 Meet with the University’s management to assure the quality of services provided by the University to students and the Students’ Union.
- Chair of Committees
6.1 Each Sabbatical Officer shall be allocated, and is responsible for, the Chair of at least one standing committee i.e. Board of Trustees, Audit Finance and Risk, HR and Remuneration, in which they are to take a lead in this area across all campuses.
6.2 Each chair shall:
6.2.1 Prepare the agenda and items for discussion.
126.96.36.199 The agenda is to be distributed at least five (5) University days before the planned and agreed meeting.
6.2.2 Report back to the Board of Trustees and student body.
6.2.3 Ensure minutes of meetings are published on the Union website within ten (10) University days of the meeting.
6.2.4 Make sure attendance receives quorum.
6.2.5 Coordinate all work of the committee.
Regulation 5: The Executive Committees
- Executive Committee membership
1.1 The committee shall be made up of three (3) elected student representatives from each campus known as campus executive officers, seven (7) school representatives in correlation with the institutions academic departments, and all Sabbatical Officers.
1.1.1 Positions for campus executive officers shall be:
188.8.131.52 One (1) Further Education position.
184.108.40.206 One (1) Higher Education position.
220.127.116.11 One (1) Open place position. This position is open to any student member of the Union.
1.2 Roles and job descriptions shall be compiled by the Sabbatical Officers and agreed by both the Campaigns and Democracy Coordinator and Head of Membership Engagement.
- The Executive Committee
2.1 Shall act in relation to student life including student and academic experiences.
2.2 Ensure quorum is met (50% plus one of elected members).
2.3 Ensure policy is passed with a required agreement of 75% from members present at the time of vote.
2.3.1 All policy shall hold a renewal date of three (3) years which shall commence:
18.104.22.168 When the policy is first agreed.
22.214.171.124 If the policy is reinstated.
2.3.2 All policies can be amended within their first year with at least 75% agreement.
2.3.3 After the first year, policies may be challenged or revoked with a required agreement of 75%.
2.4 Ensure the required value of at least 75% agreement is met to trigger a referendum.
- The Executive responsibilities
3.1 To execute policies where policy has been passed and be responsible for ensuring it is carried out.
3.2 Promote and defend the rights of active members.
3.3 Campaign on issues affecting the student body and to enhance the personal development of members.
- The Executive Committee authority
4.1 To represent the voice of the Students.
4.2 Set the policy of the Union and refer policy to Referendum in accordance with these by-laws and the Constitution.
4.3 Make, repeal, and amend the by-laws.
4.3.1 Should an agreement not be made, this will trigger a referendum debate in accordance with the Constitution.
4.4 Receive an annual report from the Board of Trustees.
4.5 Receive and accept or reject reports from the Sabbatical Officers.
4.5.1 The reports shall inform on work conducted on campus and as part of Union Committee Chair roles to include but is not limited to:
126.96.36.199 Committee’s attended since last report, if not attended, reason(s) given.
188.8.131.52 General update on activities / projects / work undertaken.
184.108.40.206 Annual leave taken since last report.
4.5.2 If the report is rejected by an Executive Committee, a warning shall be issued via the Chair to the Sabbatical Officer and the Committee will make recommendations for improvement.
220.127.116.11 The Board of Trustees shall investigate if a waring is given against a Sabbatical Officer three times in an Officer’s term in office.
4.6 Create working groups and sub-committees as deemed necessary and relating to regulation 5, point 6.
4.7 Appoint associate members as deemed necessary.
- Composition and proceedings of the Executive Committee
5.1 To meet at least five (5) times in an academic year.
5.2 The Sabbatical Officers shall be responsible for the agenda and publicity of the meetings.
5.3 The Chair of the Executive Committee will be elected by those present at the first meeting after the by-elections.
5.3.1 If all Elected Executive Officers waiver the Chair role, the Chair will default to one of the President.
5.4 In the event of any situation arising not being covered by meeting regulations then the Chair shall rule on the procedure to be adopted with such ruling being subject to the approval of the Committee.
5.5 In the event of the Chair being in conflict or alleged to be in conflict with an item under discussion, the Chair should be resigned for the duration of the discussion to a Deputy Chair elected at that time by a majority of the Executive Officers present.
5.6 Any member may request that any item be discussed in full, provided that adequate notice is given in advance of the meeting.
- Liberation Groups
6.1 There will be autonomous community liberation groups who will self-govern. This must include spaces for students who self-define as:
6.1.1 BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic).
6.1.2 Disabled Students.
6.1.3 LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer plus).
6.1.4 Women Students.
6.2 The Executive Officers shall seek to offer the following communities:
6.2.1 International Students.
6.2.2 Post Graduate Students.
6.2.3 Further Education Students.
6.2.4 Mature Students.
6.2.5 Part Time Students.
6.3 Any full member of the Union shall be entitled to be a member of a Student liberation and speak or vote at a Student liberation meeting or debate at the discretion of the Chair so long as they define within that community.
Regulation 6: Referendum
1.1 A referendum shall be a vote in which every active member of the Union shall be able to vote on question.
1.2 Referendum has the ability to set policy which governs students as students and not academic study or to challenge affiliations.
- Enacting a Referendum
2.1 Referendum may be called by:
2.1.1 A 75 % majority of the Executive Committee.
2.1.2 Any full member of the Union submitting a referendum idea through the Union.
18.104.22.168 For this to trigger there must be a minimum of 2% of students agreeing with the statement including a proposer and seconder.
22.214.171.124 The person(s) or body proposing the referendum must propose the question for referendum.
2.2 A referendum to pass or amend policy shall be valid provided a majority has voted in favour and 5% of the student body has voted.
2.3 A referendum to amend or revoke the constitution requires a resolution to be passed by a 75% majority of full members voting provided the participation of at least 4% of full Union members and the approval of the University for the Creative Arts (as required for the purposes of compliance with Section 22 of the Education Act).
Regulation 7: Elections Regulations
- General Principles
1.1 The Union is a democratic organisation and, as such, the conduct of elections is of paramount importance.
1.2 The Union shall conduct all elections freely and fairly.
1.3 Promote equality of opportunity in elections by ensuring that all members are able to take part in the democratic processes.
1.4 Ensure that all breaches of election regulations are dealt with swiftly and efficiently.
1.5 Run the electoral processes in a spirit of friendliness and cooperation.
1.6 Elections will be conducted online where possible, by an elections provider as specified by the Board of Trustees in agreeance with the Head of Membership Engagement and the Campaigns and Democracy Coordinator.
1.7 The Returning Officer for the elections shall be an external staff member to the Union.
1.8 The Returning Officer may delegate any tasks they seem fit to the Deputy Returning Officer.
1.8.1 The Deputy Returning Officer shall be a nominated member of Union staff and is appointed to support the Returning Officer and oversee elections.
1.9 These regulations apply to all elections conducted by the Union including, but not limited to, Sabbatical Officers, Part-Time Officers, and NUS Delegates.
1.10 Only members of the Union enrolled at relevant campuses to the position shall be eligible to stand for President and Executive Officer
1.11 No member who has opted out may vote or stand for any position.
1.12 Reopen nominations (RON) shall be a candidate in all Union elections.
- Timing of elections
2.1 The Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer are to ensure the elections of Sabbatical Officers take place before the end of May each year.
2.2 Once elected the officers will take office for a minimum term of one (1) year.
2.3 The dates of elections for all Student Officers, a copy of the election timetable, and a copy of the election regulations shall be published through Union media channels at least twenty-one (21) University days before the first day of nominations.
2.4 Job descriptions and election rules are to be made publicly available for all roles.
2.5 The Schedule for elections may be shortened by the request of the Board of Trustees to the Returning Officer.
2.6 Nomination forms will be provided by the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer and shall be available online ten (10) University days before the first day of voting.
2.6.1 Members of the Union may stand for election upon completion of a nomination form signed (this can be electronically) by the candidate.
2.7 Nomination forms must reach the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer in person or online by the time outlined in the election rules.
- Publicity about the election
3.1 The Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer shall produce a list of candidates which shall be available via Union media outlets within three (3) University days after the close of nominations.
3.2 The candidates have the option to produce a manifesto to a specification to be determined by the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer.
3.3 After a completed candidate list had been released, the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer shall provide each candidate with an election campaign pack.
3.3.1 The contents of the election campaign pack shall be determined by the Returning Officer in conjunction with the Deputy Returning Officer.
4.1 Candidates may commence campaigning at the time determined by the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer.
4.2 There shall be no campaigning within 5 meters of any polling device.
4.3 The Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer shall publicise the location and arrangements of voting stations, together with a list of candidates and manifestos.
4.4 The Union will enable candidates to campaign and provide publicly via its website for the elections.
4.5 Nominations will be open for a minimum of five (5) university days.
- Voting procedures
5.1 The Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer shall ensure that all members of the Union have access to vote no matter their place or time of study.
5.2 All full members of the Union may vote.
5.3 If paper voting is active, papers will be issued to each voter.
5.3.1 Which shall bear the Union stamp.
5.3.2 Votes will be cast in sealed ballot boxes.
5.3.3 Voting papers shall bear the name of each candidate and the office being contested.
5.4 Voting shall be by secret ballot and shall be conducted according to the most recently published edition of the rules for the operation of the Single Transferable Voting (STV) system as set by the Electoral Reform Society.
- Counting and declaring votes
6.1 The Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer shall inform candidates of the time and venue of the count.
6.1.1 The candidate or their appointed deputy may, if they so wish, attend the counting as observers only.
6.2 The Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer may appoint anyone to assist them with the count.
6.3 Once the votes have been counted any paper votes shall be kept for a period of six months in case of appeals against the result.
6.4 Results of the elections shall be declared by the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer when the count for each post has been completed, and any complaint has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Returning Officer.
6.5 A list of successful candidates shall be posted via Union media outlets and at each campus within one (1) University day.
6.6 The Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer shall send a copy of the result to the Executive Committee and the Clerk to the University for the Creative Arts’ Board of Governors.
6.7 In the event of a complaint being received by the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer the results shall be suspended until the complaint has been resolved.
6.8 If any post falls vacant then a by-election shall be arranged by the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer.
7.1 Any complaint against the conduct or administration of the election shall be received by the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer before the close of polling.
7.2 Any challenge or complaint concerning the administration and good conduct of the election process shall be heard and determined by the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer within two (2) University days of such a complaint being lodged by any full member, candidate, or candidate nominee.
7.3 A challenge or complaint during or following the count shall only relate to the conduct of the count and shall be lodged with the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Office who shall resolve the complaint within two (2) University days of it being lodged.
7.4 In determining a resolution to a complaint, the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer after hearing all the appropriate evidence may:
7.4.1 Not uphold the complaint.
7.4.2 May halt elections for specified post(s).
7.4.3 Disqualify specified candidate(s) if, in their view, they have breached election regulations.
7.5 The ruling of the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer on any complaint shall be final, subject only to a successful appeal to the Clerk to the Governors.
Regulation 8 – Transitional Principles
1.1 On adoption of this Constitution and its attachments, any previous Constitution previously adopted by the University for the Creative Arts Students’ Union, as well as its regulatory appendices and standing orders, shall no longer apply or be seen to apply to the governance of the Union.
1.2 Any decisions made under the previous Constitution, schedules or standing orders shall be binding and these governing documents should be kept on file for reference.
Regulation 9 – Accountability
- Annual General Meeting (AGM)
1.1 Any full member of the Union may attend the AGM wherever they are held.
1.2 Any individual(s) who are not full members of the Union (including honorary, life and associate members) must be invited to attend by the meeting or must receive permission to attend by submitting a request to the chair who shall then take a vote on whether the individual(s) may attend.
1.3 The agenda is set out in the Constitution Regulation 10.3.
1.4 The AGM has no link to the Executive Committee or any student lead group.
1.5 Quorum is 1% of full membership.
1.6 AGMs can be held virtually to ensure maximum student participation.
1.7 The Board of Trustees are responsible for calling an AGM once an academic year.
- General Meetings
2.1 General meetings will only be called when resolutions are required by a meeting open to all members
2.2 General meetings will have the power to amend the constitution in reference to regulation 7.5.1 of the Constitution.
2.3 The meetings are open to all students.
2.4 The quorum is 1% of the membership who shall be entitled to vote and speak.
2.5 General meetings may be held virtually in ensure maximum student participation.
- Appeals Committee (Trustee Board Issues)
3.1 The appeals panel shall relate to the removal of trustees and the right of trustees to appeal.
3.2 The appeals panel shall be made up of one (1) nominee of the University for the Creative Arts, one (1) independent person, one (1) Chief Executive and one (1) full-time elected officer of another Students’ Union.
3.2.1 The independent person shall be a Union member who is not a trustee and does not hold another Union elected post.
3.2.2 The recruitment of the members shall be conducted by the Chief Executive of the Union in partnership with the Clerk to the University for the Creative Arts Board of Governors.
3.3 The Unions Chief Executive shall act as clerk to the meeting.
- Conduct and Disciplinary
4.1 Failure to abide by these by-laws, the Union Constitution, the Code of Conduct, the Student Disciplinary Policy and/or the Disciplinary Procedures for clubs and societies may result in censure, suspension, re-recognition of the club or society, and/or potential disciplinary action.
4.2 Disciplinary/censure of clubs and societies as a whole shall be conducted in line with the disciplinary procedure for the clubs and societies outlined in the clubs and societies handbook.
4.3 Disciplinary/censure of individual members of a club or society shall be conducted in line with the student disciplinary policy as outlined in the clubs and societies handbook.
4.4 The conduction of the disciplinary procedure lies with the Chief Executive, Campaigns and Democracy Coordinator, and Clubs and Societies Coordinator.
Appendix A – Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure
1.1 Complaints about the Union, the actions of an individual officer or member of any Union committee in relation to the powers granted to each within the Constitution, shall be dealt with by the Board of Trustees.
1.2 Complaints about a member in relation to their general responsibilities as members shall be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedure of these by-laws.
1.3 Any member of the Union has the right to initiate a complaint if they are dissatisfied in their dealings with the Union.
1.4 All complaints concerning elected officers shall be brought to the Chief Executive.
1.5 All complaints concerning the Chief Executive shall be brought to a Sabbatical Officer.
1.6 All complaints concerning a member of staff shall be brought to their line manager.
1.7 The addressee shall attempt to resolve the matter informally within five (5) University days.
- Complaints Committee
2.1 If the complainants are not satisfied with the outcome, the addressee shall follow the disciplinary procedure for staff members or, in the case that elected officers are implicated, the Complaints Committee will be convened within a further ten (10) University days.
2.2 The Complaints Committee shall comprise:
2.2.1 An appropriate staff member from another Union or the National Union of Students.
2.2.2 A Student Trustee.
2.2.3 An External Trustee.
2.2.4 The Chief Executive (who shall act as clerk).
2.3 After meeting to discuss the complaint and hear the case for the complainants and those implicated, the Complaints Committee shall either:
2.3.1 Make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees to treat the complaint as a HR matter and as such, follow the Staff Disciplinary Procedure.
2.3.2 Advise how to initiate a petition for a vote of no-confidence.
2.4 If the complainants are not satisfied with the outcome they may go to the University’s Clerk to the Board of Governors and request an investigation by an independent person.
- Disciplinary Procedure
3.1 Clubs, societies, and members of the Union shall be expected to abide by the Constitution and its schedules at all times, as well as the Union’s Equality and Diversity policy (Appendix C).
3.2 The Union’s Disciplinary Procedure has authority over any premises managed by the Union and any Union activities, including the activities of any Union club or society, or any misconduct which takes place outside Union premises but relates to the Union and is likely to affect the reputation of the Union.
3.3 If a student, club, or society is deemed to have breached the rules of the Union their conduct shall be examined by the Disciplinary Committee.
- Disciplinary Committee
4.1 The Disciplinary Committee shall be convened within ten (10) University days of the alleged offence occurring. The student(s) shall be given written notification of the time, date and place of the hearing, together with written notification of the alleged breach, at least three (3) University days before the hearing.
4.2 The Disciplinary Committee shall comprise of:
4.2.1 All sabbatical officers.
4.2.2 An appropriate staff member from another Union or the National Union of Student (this must not be the same member as the Complaints Committee).
4.2.3 A Student Trustee (this must not be the same member as the Complaints Committee).
4.2.4 An External Trustee (this must not be the same as the Complaints Committee).
4.2.5 The Chief Executive (to act as clerk).
4.3 In cases involving the misuse of Union facilities, resources, or behaviour likely to cause potential danger or offence to students, staff or other persons, the student, club, or society may be suspended from the use of particular Union facilities or resources until the Disciplinary Committee has reached a decision.
4.4 No person shall sit on the Union disciplinary or appeals committee if they are a witness, potential witness, the complainant, or directly connected with the student, club, or society being charged.
4.5 The person bringing the charge and the student, or their elective representatives may call upon witnesses to give evidence. Witnesses may be cross questioned by each party involved.
4.6 The Disciplinary Committee may ask questions of any witnesses, the person bringing the charge, the student, club, society, or respective representatives.
4.7 The Disciplinary Committee shall then deliberate on the matter and decide upon an appropriate action to be taken.
4.7.1 The Disciplinary Committee shall base its decision on evidence presented and examined in the presence of the person bringing the charge and the student, club, or society being charged.
4.7.2 Evidence of any earlier misconduct shall not be presented until after the decision has been reached on the facts of the case, but then may be admitted and considered in deciding on any punishment.
4.8 The ultimate sanction shall be the suspension of Union membership.
4.9 The Union Disciplinary Committee may refer any matter additionally to the University for the Creative Arts’ Disciplinary Panel.
4.10 The Disciplinary Committee must inform the person of their right to appeal and that any appeal should be made in writing to the chair of the Board of Trustees within five (5) University days.
4.11 If the student is not satisfied they may appeal to an Appeals Committee made up of three (3) elected Officers (either sabbatical or Campus Executive) appointed by the Board of Trustees.
4.12 The student, club, or society shall be notified in writing at least three (3) University days in advance of the meeting.
4.13 The Appeals Committee shall hear the reason for the appeal and the rationale behind the original decision. They shall also hear any new evidence that has emerged since the disciplinary meeting.
4.14 The hearing shall normally take place in private however, the student, club, or society may request that the hearing is held in public.
4.15 The decision of the Disciplinary or Appeals Committee will be posted via Union media outlets if requested by the subject of any charge.
4.16 The matter shall be put to a vote and the decision shall be final.
4.17 If one party wishes to waive the in-person disciplinary procedure and defer to an evidence-submission and online decision process, this option can be taken by either party involved.
- Complaints process
5.1 The following complaints procedure shall be made available to all students or groups of students who are dissatisfied in their dealings with the Union or claim to be unfairly disadvantaged by having exercised their right to opt out of membership.
5.2 Any complaint about the Union shall be addressed to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
5.2.1 In any circumstances where the complaint relates to the Chair it shall be addressed to another Sabbatical Officer.
5.3 The Chair shall investigate and make a written reply within fifteen (15) University days.
5.4 If the complainant is not satisfied with the response they may appeal to the Clerk of the Board of Governors of the University for the Creative Arts.
5.4.1 The Clerk shall investigate and respond to the complainant within fifteen (15) University days, seeking advice from Union trustees who were not part of the original investigation.
5.5 If the complainant remains dissatisfied with the response provided by the Clerk to the Board of Governors, the University for the Creative Arts’ Board of Governors shall appoint an independent person and a Union external trustee to consider and resolve the complaint.
5.5.1 This decision shall be final.
- Members who complain will also be referred to standing mechanisms in the constitution to remove officers and change the policy of the Union.
Appendix B – External Speakers Motion
1.1 An external Speakers policy is a key element in the fight against hate speech on campus.
1.2 The no-platform policy compliments the Equal Opportunities policies, the Race Relations Act and the Public Order Act.
1.3 The Union states that no-platform policies safeguard its members from being subjected to listening to the lies, bigotry and hatred of racists, fascists and extremists.
1.4 No-platform policies safeguard members from being subjected to violence on the grounds of any protected characteristic.
1.5 No-platform should include incitement to racial hatred, sexism, sexual violence, Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, phobias directed at gender and sexual minorities, ableism, or anyone who incites extremist radicalisation.
1.6 The Union shall not provide a platform to hate speakers such as those who promote speech as stated above.
1.7 Enforcing the no-platform policy shall be the responsibility of the Trustee Board.
1.8 A permanent standing task force of the trustee board shall be created, which will be composed of:
1.8.1 A Sabbatical Officer
1.8.2 An External Trustee
1.8.3 A University staff member nominated quadrennially by the university executive (to be filled on an ad hoc basis should it become vacant).
1.9 The committee shall meet once every two (2) years, to discuss which organisations shall be deemed in breach of this policy, in line with the criteria outlined within this section
1.9.1 The committee shall meet when a speaker, event, or piece of material is referred to it by a full member of the Union, and shall decide whether said speaker, event, or material should be viewed as in breach of this policy
1.9.2 These resolutions shall be known as the Union’s ‘No-Platform Policy’.
1.10 Not to allow any individual who is known to hold racist, fascist, or gender discriminative views from entering Union premises.
1.11 Not to allow any individual who is known to hold racist, fascist, or gender discriminative views to speak at a Union event.
1.12 Not to allow any individual who is known to hold racist, fascist, or gender discriminative views from distributing any written or recorded material in the Union which expresses those views.
1.13 No elected officer of the union will speak on a platform with an individual who is known to hold racist, fascist, or gender discriminative views.
1.14 To widely publicise this policy, not only to its members but also to the institution.
1.15 To incorporate the no-platform policy into all of the Union’s policies and procedures and to use it accordingly.
1.16 If members are found to be intentionally in breach of the no-platform policy, they will be dealt with through the Code of Conduct.
Appendix C – Equality & Diversity Policy
1.1 The Students’ Union is committed to providing an inclusive and supportive environment where everyone is treated equally and with respect. We commit ourselves to promoting equal opportunities as an employer, a representative and campaigning body, and as a provider of services. We will not tolerate any form of discrimination including harassment and bullying based on one or more of the following grounds; age, ability or disability, ethnic origin, caring or parental responsibilities, pregnancy, gender, gender identity or gender reassignment, HIV status, marital status, nationality, opinions or beliefs on matters such as religion and politics, physical appearance, race, sexual orientation, spent or irrelevant criminal convictions, trade union affiliation, employment status, socio- economic background, medical conditions, full or part time student status, mental health status or any other relevant distinction. This list is not exhaustive but illustrates our commitment in regarding such discrimination as unacceptable.
- General principles
2.1 This policy exists to:
2.1.1 Ensure that the Students’ Union carries out its activities within a framework that respects and promotes equal opportunities alongside legislative requirements.
2.1.2 Ensure that the Students’ Union is proactive in promoting equality of opportunity.
2.1.3 Make explicit the rights and responsibilities of all members.
2.1.4 Commit the Students’ Union to monitoring the implementation of this policy and the evaluation of its effectiveness.
2.2 This policy will be amended as appropriate to meet the demands of future legislation.
2.3 This Union’s policy is guided by all current and relevant legislation.
- Our commitment
3.1 The Students’ Union will work proactively to involve all members in its activities who are typically under-represented or marginalized.
3.2 The Students’ Union is committed to providing a working and learning environment in compliance with all relevant legislation.
3.3 The Students’ Union will work with the University, and other relevant bodies, to promote its Equality and Diversity policy and to ensure that both the Union and University are actively working to comply with policy.
3.4 Any groups or individuals contravening this policy will be subject to disciplinary procedures where patronage and support will be reviewed.
3.5 The Students’ Union will regularly monitor practices to ensure that we meet our commitment to equality and diversity.
3.6 The Students’ Union’s procedures will apply to all aspects of our activity, including advertising, media, and all forms of documentation.
3.7 It will apply to all those involved in the Students’ Union including members, staff, visitors, clients, contractors, consultants, customers, and potential as well as existing employees.
- Implementation and Responsibility
4.1 Overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy lies with the Board of Trustees and Chief Executive.
4.2 All elected officers, members of Union staff, and volunteers are responsible for their own behaviour and should strive to ensure equality and diversity best practice within their remit. They shall be held personally accountable should any complaint arise against them.
4.3 All elected officers, members of Union staff, and volunteers are responsible for ensuring that personal harassment of another member of staff or student does not occur.
4.4 All Students’ Union members are responsible for their own behaviour and should strive to respect and demonstrate equal opportunities principles.
5.1 The Students’ Union understands that the needs of different groups vary and will therefore strive to provide according to need, which in some cases will result in different provisions.
5.2 The Students’ Union recognises the need for liberation groups (BAME, Disabled Students, LGBTQ+, and Women for example) to have a ‘safe space’.
5.3 The Students’ Union is committed to making our service provision accessible to all students.
5.3.1 Where offices are inaccessible, we will endeavour to find alternative spaces for meetings and events in order not to exclude any involved party.
5.3.2 Any alterations to and/or development of the Union buildings shall occur with improving access as a priority.
- Employment and elections
6.1 The Students’ Union commits itself to becoming an equal opportunities employer and democratic body with the aim to eliminate unfair discrimination at each stage of the recruitment/election process and throughout an individual’s period of employment or term of office.
7.1 All Union staff, elected officers, liberation leaders and volunteers will receive equality and diversity training.
7.2 All Union staff and elected officers must be fully aware of the equality and diversity policy and its strategy for implementation.
- Monitoring and Review
8.1 Full-time officers and the Chief Executive will be responsible for monitoring the day-to-day implementation of policy.
8.2 There will be an advisory sub-committee of the Board of Trustees, called the Equality and Diversity Panel which will consist of:
8.2.1 Two (2) Sabbatical Officers.
8.2.2 The Chief Executive.
8.2.3 The Head of Membership Engagement.
8.2.4 Other staff and representatives from the Union’s liberation groups will attend panel meetings by invitation.
8.3 The panel will meet every term to assess and assist with implementation and act as advisors to the annual review.
8.4 The panel will also be responsible for instigating the evaluation of the policy in view of future legislative change.
8.5 The panel shall contact relevant individuals and organisations to ascertain comments on Union policy and practice, as well how Union members and staff from under represented and marginalised groups.
8.5.1 This shall determine how participation in policy making and activities can improve and how Union and Company services can be enhanced.
8.6 The Board of Trustees and Executive Committee will be responsible for organising an annual review of the policy, its implementation, and effect.
8.6.1 The review will report on the development and implementation of the policy as well as create an action plan containing explicit, measurable and achievable objectives and targets.
8.6.2 The annual report will be made public to all staff through department meetings, all students through general meetings (presented by the Chair of the Trustee Board) and Union media outlets, and the University at the review of their own policy.
- Promotion & Publicity
9.1 The Students’ Union will ensure that all members, staff, and volunteers are aware of the Union’s commitment to equality and diversity and that they are expected to promote its objectives.
9.2 This policy shall be made available to all members, staff, clubs, and societies as a requirement that they actively counter prejudice and discrimination and demonstrate their commitment to equality and diversity policies and practice.
9.3 Notices stating that the Students’ Union will not tolerate behaviour which contravenes the equality and diversity policy shall be displayed throughout our services.
- Complaints Procedure
10.1 If any (potential or existing) Students’ Union member, employee, or volunteer feels they have not been treated in accordance with this policy, they have the right to make a complaint free of retribution.
10.2 All complaints will be handled with consideration to both sides and with the utmost confidentiality.
10.3 Complaints can be made through the Students’ Union complaints procedure, which can be viewed at ucasu.com.
- Relevant legislation
11.1 This Union’s policy is guided by ‘The Equality Act 2010
Appedndix D – Code of Conduct
1.1 The Code of Conduct sets out the standards of conduct the Union requires of its members in order to seek and maintain a safe environment for those who study, work, or visit. This is conducive to learning, research, study, work, and the enjoyment of a positive student experience to secure the proper functioning of the Union in its broadest sense. The Union Code of Conduct is to be read alongside that of the University for the Creative Arts’.
- Behaviour expected of members
2.1 Members shall act within the law and not engage in any activity or behaviour that brings the Union into disrepute or which interferes with its proper functioning.
2.1 Members shall act in a considerate and respectful manner towards staff, fellow students, and visitors of the Union.
2.3 Rights to freedom of expression and belief must be respected. Sexual violence and hate incidents will not be tolerated and there shall be no harassment on any grounds within any functions of the Union. This includes, but is not limited to; racism, sexism, ableism, LGBTQ+phobia, islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia.
2.4 Property must be respected whether it belongs to the Union, members, staff, or visitors of the Union. It must not be moved without due authorisation, or damaged.
2.5 Noise, including the playing of music, must at all times be kept to a volume unlikely to offend or distract others. Similarly, activities in public areas which constrict their use by others must be avoided. Litter must not be left anywhere.
- Examples of behaviour regarded as misconduct
3.1 The Union considers the forms of behaviour set out below to constitute misconduct that is likely to lead to disciplinary action however, this list is not to be regarded as exhaustive.
3.1.1 Disruption of, or improper interference with organisational, social or other activities or functioning of the Union.
3.1.2 Obstruction of, or improper interference with the functions, duties, or activities of any member, staff member, visitor of the Union, or with the enjoyment by students of a positive student experience.
3.1.3 Action which otherwise improperly damages the Union or its reputation.
3.1.4 Violent, indecent, disorderly, threatening, intimidating, improper or offensive behaviour or language (whether expressed verbally, in writing or electronically, including via blogs, social networking websites or other electronic means).
3.1.5 Bullying or harassment of any member, staff member, or any visitor of the Union
3.1.6 Sexual misconduct (including violence) against or sexual harassment of any student, member of staff, or any visitor of the Union.
3.1.7 Discrimination, harassment or victimisation of others on the grounds listed in the Union’s External Speakers Motion (Appendix B).
3.1.8 Hate crimes or incidents motivated by hostility on the grounds listed in in the Union’s External Speakers Motion (Appendix B).
3.1.9 Actions which involve making defamatory statements and/or false claims about a member of the Union.
3.1.10 Failure to respect the rights of others to freedom of belief and freedom of speech and expression.
3.1.11 Fraud, deceit, deception or dishonesty in relation to members, staff, or visitors of the Union.
3.1.12 Theft, misappropriation, or misuse of Union property or the property of others.
3.1.13 Misuse or unauthorised use of Union premises and property, including computer misuse.
3.1.14 Action likely to cause injury or impair safety on Union premises.
3.1.15 Unacceptable behaviour arising from the consumption of alcohol or other substances.
Appendix E – Financial Regulations
1.1 The financial Regulations are the property of Audit, Finance and Risk committee, and can be amended and changed with a 75% majority at this committee.
2.1 Cash in any of the floats within the Students’ Union must only be used for supplying floats for box office and bar tills.
2.2 Under no circumstances should floats be used to pay bills of any kind.
2.3 Float monies must not be used to pay loans or advances to students or members of staff.
2.4 The Head of Business Development and Venue Managers are responsible for bar and box office floats.
2.5 Cash must be kept in a locked safe when not being used to float tills.
2.6 Floats must be counted and reconciled by the Finance Assistant on a regular basis (at least once a month).
- Banking and Cash
3.1 All accounts shall be kept in the name of the University for the Creative Arts Students’ Union.
3.2 Our bankers are National Westminster Bank plc.
3.3 Cheque signatories shall be one from Pool A and one from Pool B on each cheque in line with the bank mandate as follows:
3.3.1 Pool A Chief Executive or Finance Assistant
3.3.2 Pool B Elected officer from the Board of Trustees
3.4 Every cheque over £1000.00 (one thousand GBP) should be signed by an Sabbatical Officer.
3.5 Balance of funds from the current account shall be transferred by the bank, to an interest-bearing reserve account at the close of business each day.
3.6 All takings must be counted each day and till, or ticket totals, reconciled with any amounts to be banked.
3.6.1 The Finance Assistant is responsible for double checking takings against till receipts and then banking all takings.
- Petty Cash
4.1 Petty cash claims will be made only in cash and directly to the claimant.
4.2 All petty cash vouchers must be authorised by the Finance Assistant, Chief Executive, or Chair to the Board of Trustees.
4.3 Petty cash claims will not be paid unless accompanied by appropriate VAT/till receipts (personal credit card slips are not acceptable).
- Company Credit Card
5.1 A credit card will be issued for use within the Students’ Union in order to pay train fares etc., which have to be booked and paid for immediately.
5.2 The name on the card and the person responsible for the use of the card shall be the Chief Executive.
5.3 The Chief Executive will keep the card in a secure place and in the event of the loss, the card insurer must be immediately informed along with the police being notified if appropriate.
5.4 The Chief Executive will approve use of the card in the following situations only:
5.4.1 When a payment needs to be made to a supplier who is not on the Students’ Union bought ledger.
5.4.2 When travel arrangements must be made and paid for on-line.
5.5 In both above cases a signed, approved, and authorised purchase order must be completed before the credit card is used.
5.6 The Chief Executive shall not use the credit card for any purchases of a personal nature for themselves or any other person.
- Purchase Orders
6.1 Purchase orders are submitted on an agreed online platform.
6.2 All purchase orders require approval from the appropriate staff member as listed:
6.2.1 Under £200.00 (two hundred GBP) – the member of Union staff creating the purchase order.
6.2.2 £200.00 – £2000.00 (two hundred GBP to two thousand GBP) – Head of Membership Engagement or Head of Business Development.
6.2.3 £2000.00 – £5000.00 (two thousand GBP to five thousand GBP) – Chief Executive of the Union.
6.2.4 Over £5000.00 (five thousand GBP) – Board of Trustees.
6.3 A purchase order must be raised, approved and authorised before an order is placed with a supplier.
6.4 The Finance Assistant must be made aware immediately should any cancellations or amendments be made to a purchase order
- Payment of Invoices
7.1 The Finance Assistant is required to check all incoming invoices against signed and approved purchase orders. Once these checks have been completed, invoices can be passed for payment.
7.2 Invoices for supplies and services covered by regular bank standing orders can be cleared for payment without the need of a purchase order.
7.3 Invoices which do not match with a purchase order or standing order, will only be paid after authorisation by the Chief Executive or an officer of the Board of Trustees.
- Payment of salaries and wages
8.1 All salaries and wages shall be paid by BACS transfer.
8.2 Salary levels for monthly paid staff will be agreed by the Board of Trustees and Chief Executive.
8.3 Wage levels for weekly paid staff will be agreed by the Board of Trustees and Chief Executive, after consultation with the Head of Business Development and relevant Venue Managers.
8.4 All weekly paid staff are required to submit a time sheet each week, which will be authorised by the Venue Managers prior to any payment being made.
8.5 The Finance Assistant shall be responsible for processing wages and salaries on Sage payroll and the maintenance of Income Tax and National Insurance records for all employees.
9.1 Annual budgets are submitted by the Chair of the Board of Trustees to the Head of Finance at the University for the Creative Arts.
9.1.1 The budget is then discussed at a meeting of the Employment and Finance Committee for the University, where the level of block grant for the forthcoming year is set.
9.2 The Finance Assistant is required to prepare the budget in conjunction with the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Chief Executive, and Head of Business Development.
9.2.1 The Chair of the Board of Trustees is responsible for the Student Union sector of the budgeted income and expenditure account.
9.2.2 The Head of Business Development and Venue Managers are responsible for the Bar and Entertainments sectors of the budgeted income and expenditure account.
9.3 If there are any significant changes to the approved budget, which would result in a proposed surplus becoming a deficit, this shall be reported by the Chair of the Board of Trustees to the Employment and Finance Committee of the University.
- Failure to Comply
10.1 All staff must be responsible for ensuring full compliance with these Financial Regulations.
10.2 Instances of non-compliance may lead to disciplinary action under the Union’s disciplinary policy, removal of all budget holding authority or any other action deemed necessary and appropriate by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
10.3 The Trustees will not be able to handle Union funds off campus.
10.4 All changes to these by-laws will seek advice from the Clerk to the Board of Governors only to ensure consistency with the constitution.
The University’s Code of Practice regarding the Students’ Union can be found HERE.