What is a constitution?

Every student group, once ratified, has their own constitution. Your constitution is your group’s most important document, that sets out how you must operate. It includes the core aims of your group, the reason you were ratified, and what you must set out to do each academic year. It outlines the responsibilities of all your committee members, as well as key information on financial guidance and governance structures. It’s essential in ensuring the consistency of your group year on year.

Why is it important?

Your constitution is essentially a set of guidelines and rules that you must follow. Not following your constitution may mean decisions you are making are not democratically legitimate, and could be overturned. The constitution is also important to ensure consistency of your group each year. As you can imagine, with committees changing year on year, it is vital there is a document that guides your group continually despite this. 

Where can I find it?

As of summer 2022, a new constitution template has been created and shared with your Google Drive. You will find it under the file name ‘Group Name - Constitution’ and you should update it so it matches your previous constitution, by filling out the sections highlighted in yellow. If you haven’t done this yet, it’s really important you get this done as soon as possible. If you’re unable to locate your previous constitution, then we may be able to provide the most recent version we have kept on our files.

Your most up to date constitution should always remain on your Google Drive so it can be easily accessed by the Student Opportunities team and committee members for years to come. 

How can I make amendments?

Student groups are able to alter their constitution by democratic vote of members in an all member meeting. You can do this by:

  1. The committee make the proposed edits to the constitution

  2. Send the updated constitution to VP Societies & Sport (vpsocsport@su.rhul.ac.uk) for approval

  3. Once approved, let your members know that a general meeting (GM) will be taking place to vote on the proposed amendments to the constitution. You must give them at least 2 weeks’ notice

  4. At the GM, you must:    

    1. Describe to your members the amendments you would like to make to your constitution

    2. Have 25% of the group’s membership or at least 20 members in attendance (whichever is smaller)

    3. At least 50% of attendees must vote for the amended constitution in order for it to be passed

  5. Email VP Societies & Sport the outcome of the vote

  6. Update the constitution on your Google Drive