The CUH&H Constitution
The name of the Club is “The Cambridge University Hare and Hounds Club”, hereafter referred to as “CUH&H”, or simply “the Club”.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The aims and objectives of the Club are:
- The advancement of amateur sport for the public benefit by encouraging and developing running (which includes but is not limited to cross-country running, road running and track running) at the University of Cambridge (“University”) at both the University and Collegiate level; and
- The organisation or provision of facilities for the learning, teaching, coaching, practising of and competing in running with the objective of promoting health and well-being; and
- The advancement of sports education by the provision of support, assistance and encouragement for running in order to enable members to develop their capabilities and fulfil their potential.
The aims and objects set out above are directed primarily for the benefit of undergraduate and postgraduate student members (Student Members) of the University, but may additionally benefit other members of the University and/or residents of Cambridge and the surrounding area where the Committee (as defined by clause 5) are satisfied that to do so would be conducive or incidental to the benefit of Student Members of the University.
- Membership of the Club is open to all Student Members of the University and (subject to clause 3(3)) other individuals by arrangement with the Committee.
- Membership is required to compete for the Club, but not required to train with the Club.
- The Committee may admit to membership individuals who are not Student Members of the University. If such members constitute more than 10% of the total membership, the Committee (including the Club President and Senior Treasurer) will review the situation.
- There are fees for membership to contribute to the running of the Club, which are reviewed and determined by the Club Captain and the Senior Treasurer during Easter Term and ratified by the Committee. The decision will be communicated to the rest of the Club and may be reviewed and altered by the Committee at another time.
- All members are subject to the regulations of the constitution and by joining the Club will be deemed to accept these regulations, as well as any rules/codes of practice that the Club has adopted.
- Membership of the Club is terminated if the member resigns by written notice to the Club or if any sum due from the member to the Club is not paid in full within three months of it falling due without explicit written exemption from the Club President, Senior Treasurer or Club Captain, or if the member is expelled in accordance with the Code of Conduct and clause 10.
EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY
The Club values diversity and is committed to support and encourage all under-represented groups and promote an inclusive culture. This is outlined in the Club’s Code of Conduct.
- The Club is committed to everyone having the right to enjoy their sport in an environment free from threat of intimidation, harassment and abuse.
- The Club has a responsibility to oppose discriminatory behaviour and promote equality of opportunity.
- The Club will deal with any incidence of discriminatory behaviour seriously, according to Club disciplinary procedures outlined in clause 10.
- The day-to-day management of the Club’s affairs shall be conducted by the Committee, which shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
- The Committee shall consist of a Club President; Senior Treasurer; Vice-Presidents; Club Captain; Men’s or Ladies’ Captain (refer to 6(6)); Ladies’ Vice-Captain; Men’s Vice-Captain; Secretary and Junior Treasurer. The number of Vice-Presidents is not specified. Members may be elected to additional roles on the Committee subject to the agreement of the Committee. The Men’s and Ladies’ Captains shall sit on their respective Blues Committees.
- The Senior Treasurer shall be a member of the Regent House, or other person approved by the Sports Club Registration Sub-Committee. The Senior Treasurer will work with the Club Captain to ensure that there is in place proper finance, administration and regulation of the Club.
- All Committee members must be members of the Club and shall be eligible for re-election each year. If the post of any member of the Committee should fall vacant after election, the Committee shall have the power to fill the vacancy until the next AGM. In addition, the Committee may co-opt additional members onto the Committee. Any temporary replacement for the Senior Treasurer shall be a member of the Regent House, or other person approved by the Sports Club Registration Sub-Committee.
- The majority of the members of the Committee shall be full-time undergraduate or postgraduate students of the University.
- Meetings of the Committee shall be chaired by the Club President, or, in their absence, the Senior Treasurer. If neither the Club President nor Senior Treasurer is present, the remaining members shall elect a chairperson for that meeting. The quorum for a meeting of the Committee shall be one of the Club Captain, Secretary and Junior Treasurer and five additional members of the Committee. Meetings must be held at least once per academic term, with an additional committee meeting to discuss the selection of the Varsity teams no later than a week before the Varsity matches, which is detailed in clause 14.
- The Committee will be responsible for adopting new policy and codes of practice, and making rules and bye-laws for the conduct of the Club’s activities and management of its affairs and must adopt such means as they think sufficient to bring these to the notice of the members. Any such policies, codes, rules and bye-laws shall be binding on all members.
- Only Committee members will have the right to vote at Committee meetings. Questions arising at a meeting of the Committee shall be decided by a simple majority of votes, with the chairperson holding the casting vote.
- The Committee will have powers to appoint any non-voting advisers to the Committee as necessary to fulfil its business.
- The Club shall hold an AGM during each Academic year, in the second half of Lent Term. All members of the Club shall be entitled to attend and vote at any AGM. At least ten days’ written notice shall be given to members before the AGM by the Secretary, containing the date, time, and place of the meeting as well as the roles for which there are to be elections for (although additional roles may be presented for election at the AGM subject to the agreement of the Club President) and any proposed changes to the Constitution.
- Candidates for election shall be proposed and seconded by two other members.
- Nominations for Club Captain will close 72 hours before the start of the AGM. The Secretary shall announce the candidates for Club Captain not less than 48 hours before the start of the meeting.
- The AGM shall be called to approve the minutes of the previous AGM; approve the Club Accounts for the preceding year (as outlined by the Senior Treasurer); review and agree membership fees; elect the Committee for the next year; consider proposed changes to the Club Constitution; conduct such other business as is necessary.
- The AGM shall be chaired by the Club President or if not present the Senior Treasurer. If neither is present the Club President will select a Vice-President to chair on their behalf. The quorum for an AGM will be 20 members or 20 percent of the membership, whichever is fewer. A written record of every AGM shall be kept.
- The Club Captain may be either a male or a female member of the Club. In the event of a female Club Captain there shall be an election for a Men’s Captain. In the event of a male Club Captain there shall be an election for a Ladies’ Captain.
- At each AGM members shall be appointed to serve for the ensuing year in the roles listed (but not restricted to) in clause 5(2), beginning on the day following the last day of Full Lent Term.
- At the AGM, an election shall be held for each post with ‘reopening of nominations’ (RON) as an option at any stage. Votes may be taken by a show of hands, but if any member demands it a written ballot shall be taken. Where there are two candidates for any office or post, election shall be by a simple majority of votes. Where there are three or more candidates the election follows the procedure defined below: All members present vote for a single candidate. Any candidate with a simple majority of votes will be elected. If no candidate achieves a simple majority, the one with the lowest number of votes is eliminated and voting is repeated with each member present again voting for a single candidate. This process shall continue until a candidate achieves a simple majority. In the event of a tie at any stage of the above voting procedures the Club Captain will have a casting vote. Members present in person at the Annual General Meeting shall be eligible to cast votes for all Offices and posts. Candidates may not cast a vote in the election in which they are standing.
- Members must be present in order to vote, except for the vote for Club Captain, where an absent member may cast a vote for Club Captain by proxy in writing sent until two hours in advance of the start of the meeting directly to the Club President or to a deputy appointed by the President.
- Except for changes to the Club Constitution referred to in clause 8 and Reserved Matters referred to in clause 12, voting shall be by a simple majority.
- Only current, fully paid-up members are eligible to vote at an AGM.
- A Special General Meeting (SGM) may be held at any time during Full Term. It shall be held in Cambridge and may be called by the Committee or at the written request of at least six members, and at least ten’s day notice shall be given to members by the Secretary before an SGM is held. All procedures shall follow those outlined above for AGMs.
- In the case of resignation of the Club Captain, President, or Senior Treasurer, an SGM shall be held with an election in accordance with the above. In the case of the resignation of another committee member, the Committee shall appoint a suitable replacement, at the Committee’s discretion. The Secretary shall announce the change immediately to the entire Club, and the change shall have immediate effect.
FINANCIAL AND LIABILITY MATTERS
- The Club shall maintain a banking account in the name of the Club with a suitable Bank or Building Society to hold the Club’s funds.
- It shall be the responsibility of the Senior and Junior Treasurers to ensure that monies received are properly accounted for, and that the Club’s financial records are kept in good order. In particular, the Junior Treasurer shall ensure continuity of Cambridge resident signatories for any bank accounts held by the Club.
- The Senior Treasurer shall make arrangements for the Club’s Accounts to be properly audited on an annual basis, by some other person approved under University Ordinances.
- For so long as the Club shall be registered with the University Sports Service, it shall be the duty of the Committee to ensure that the Club complies with the registration requirements.
- The Committee (acting by its members) is authorised to enter into contractual arrangements with third parties for and on behalf of all members, but only to the extent reasonably necessary for the proper performance of its duties pursuant to the Club Constitution and acting always in the best interests of the Club and its members. Non-Committee members are not entitled to enter into contractual arrangements for and on behalf of other members unless expressly authorized to do so by the Committee in writing.
- When entering into contractual arrangements pursuant to clause 7(5), the Committee shall endeavour to agree a contractual limit on the members’ liability which does not exceed the assets of the Club, or, if not possible, a reasonable limit of liability taking into account the nature of the contract and the circumstances.
- All monies drawn against Club funds shall be authorised by the Senior Treasurer, or at least two members of the Committee (including the Junior Treasurer and/or Club Captain)
- The assets of the Club shall be held on trust by the Club President, Senior Treasurer, Club Captain, and Junior Treasurer as trustees for the benefits on behalf of the Club and its members.
- As an unincorporated association, all members are liable for any debts and obligations properly incurred by one or more members on behalf of the Club. In the event that members individually or collectively suffer a claim, penalty of other financial loss or liability on behalf of the Club (whether in negligence, contract or otherwise) which is not covered by insurance, then provided the relevant members have acted in good faith and in accordance with the Constitution and have taken all reasonable steps to mitigate their loss, they shall be entitled to an indemnity from the Club’s realisable assets to the value of the assets. Such indemnity shall be administered by the Committee subject to the approval of the Senior Treasurer.
- The Senior Treasurer shall not be held personally liable for any financial debt or other obligation beyond being a member of the Club or having acted otherwise than in accordance with the Club Constitution.
CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION
Subject to clause 12 the Club Constitution may be amended at a General Meeting, with the approval of at least two thirds of those members present and voting. Proposed changes will be discussed in consultation with the Sports Service and must be circulated at least ten days prior to a General Meeting. Minor amendments to duly proposed alterations to the Constitution may, at the discretion of the Chair of the General Meeting, be put forward at the meeting itself and voted upon by a show of hands. No alterations may be made that would cause the Club to cease to be a charity at law.
- Prior to submitting a written complaint members should, where possible and appropriate, first discuss any concerns that they may have in relation to club activities with a member of the Executive Committee, Club Welfare Officer or relevant team captain so that a suitable informal resolution may be considered. If not possible or appropriate, or an informal resolution cannot be agreed, then the member should follow the complaints process identified in the remainder of this clause 9.
- Prior to submitting a written complaint, members should refer to the University Sports Club Incident Pathway (Students/Adults) to determine the complaints procedure(s) that should be followed. Advice on the appropriate procedure(s) may be sought, in confidence, from the Club or Sports Service Welfare Officer(s) whose contact details can be found in the Club Welfare Policy.
- Where a club level complaint is indicated, this must be submitted in writing to the Executive Committee in an expedient manner. Complaints should be treated confidentially and must not be distributed publicly.
The Executive Committee will acknowledge receipt of any written complaint within 7 days.
The Executive Committee will meet to review the complaint within 21 days of receipt to determine what information, response or action is required. The Executive Committee will also agree an appropriate timescale for the process to be completed. This will be communicated to the complainant within 7 days of the meeting taking place.
Where indicated by the University Sports Club Incident Pathway (Students/Adults), or when agreed by the Executive Committee as the appropriate course of action following their meeting, the complaint will be referred to the Senior Treasurer and/or President who will conduct an investigation.
- Complaints against a member(s) of the Executive Committee may be lodged with the Senior Treasurer and/or President, or, where a further conflict of interest arises, with the Sports Service who will advise on the appropriate procedures depending on the nature of the complaint.
- The Executive Committee may also trigger the complaints process in the event of an observed or alleged breach of the Club Code of Conduct.
- Subject to the remainder of this clause 10, the Executive Committee, in consultation with the Senior Treasurer and/or President, shall have the authority to expel or to suspend a member or members whose actions are felt to be such as to bring the Club into disrepute, or materially harm or present a risk of material harm to the interests of its members.
- The Executive Committee, in consultation with the Senior Treasurer and/or President, may also take other disciplinary action in respect of a member of the Club, commensurate with the seriousness of the offence.
- In line with clause 9, written notice of any investigation by the Senior Treasurer and/or President will be provided within 28 days of a complaint being received. In the case of serious misconduct, the Club Executive Committee, in consultation with the Senior Treasurer and/or President, may suspend a member pending the outcome of the investigation.
- The member against whom a complaint has been made will be given an opportunity to make written or oral representations, following the conclusion of any investigation, before a decision is taken regarding expulsion. The expulsion of a member can only be effected, following a majority vote of all Executive Committee members.
- In the event of an expulsion, the excluded member is required to return all equipment, documents and finances belonging to the Club within 7 days. They will not be entitled to any full or partial refund of annual subscriptions.
- If a member who has been excluded, suspended or subject to other disciplinary action pursuant to this clause wishes to appeal the decision, that appeal should be made to the Secretary of the University Sports Committee who will convene a Review Group from members of the Sports Committee/Sub-Committees. The Review Group will consider the investigation process and the facts of the case and their decision will be final.
- A resolution to dissolve the Club can only be passed at a General Meeting in accordance with clause 12.
- In the event of dissolution, all debts shall be cleared with any remaining funds of the Club. Any assets remaining after all liabilities have been met shall be given to a charitable organisation within the University whose objectives are analogous to those of the Club as determined by the Committee.
The following matters (the “Reserved Matters”) require approval by the Club President and Senior Treasurer and at least two thirds of the members voting at any General Meeting at which any of the following matters are discussed:
- Any amendment to the Club Constitution which materially affects the position of the members or which materially alters the relationship between the Club and the University.
- The dissolution of the Club.
- Any proposal which has a material impact on the Club, its members, its assets, and/or its finances.
- The application and/or use of Club/financial assets of the Club other than for the benefit of the Club.
PROVISION OF INFORMATION
The Committee must supply annual accounts of the Club to the University, together with such other information as the University may reasonably require from time to time, whether in connection with the Club’s registration as a Sports Club of the University, or in relation to the need to ensure that the Club is being administered in accordance with paragraph 28(1)(a) of Schedule 3 to the Charities Act 2011 or otherwise.
- The Committee shall promote safe and healthy training, social and racing activities, and review these regularly. Details can be found in the separate Health and Safety Policy which includes the Club’s Code of Conduct.
- The Club colours shall be Cambridge blue vests and black shorts, and such kit may be worn by all members of the Club. In competitions with Oxford University a special kit may be worn.
- Club notices, including the Varsity team announcements, may be displayed on the Club noticeboard in the window of Ryder & Amies, Kings Parade.
- A member of the Club is eligible to compete against Oxford University provided he or she is a bona fide student of Cambridge University, as defined by the Joint Blues Committee of Oxford and Cambridge Universities, at the time of the competition.
- Teams to represent the Club, otherwise than in the matches against Oxford University, shall be selected by the Captains with the assistance of the Secretary and the Vice-Captains. Teams to represent the Club against Oxford shall be selected as follows: the Men’s Blues team by the Men’s Captain alone; the Ladies’ Blues team by the Ladies’ Captain alone; the other teams by the Captains, but subject to the approval of the Committee.
The Cambridge University Hare and Hounds Club hereby adopts and accepts this Constitution as its current constitution regulating the actions of members and will also comply with all University and legal requirements.