Constitution of the Cambridge University Heraldic & Genealogical Society

As accepted at an Annual General Meeting of May 9th, 2009

1. Name2. Objects3. Affiliation4. Membership5. Administration6. General Meetings7. Amendments to this Constitution8. Finance9. Trustees10. Data Protection Act, 199811. Availability of the Constitution12. Dissolution

1. Name

The name of the Society shall be The Cambridge University Heraldic and Genealogical Society.

2. Objects

  1. The objects of the Society shall be:–
    1. To promote and encourage the study of heraldry, genealogy, and related topics.
    2. To promote the preservation, security and accessibility of relevant public and private archival and other material.
    3. To publish any appropriate research findings and other relevant information in a Society Magazine or other appropriate publication.
  2. In furtherance of the above objects the Society may:–
    1. Organise meetings and lectures;
    2. Build up collections of books and other items in a place specified by the Executive Committee;
    3. Preserve, transcribe and publish source material of interest to members;
    4. Collaborate with individuals and organisations, including Specialist Societies and others concerned with the topics covered in 2.1 above;
    5. Support the activities of the Federation of Family History Societies in its pursuit of these and similar objects.

3. Affiliation

This Society shall be a member of the Federation of Family History Societies and have the power to associate with other organisations which have compatible and mutually supportive objects.

4. Membership

  1. Membership of the Society shall be open to members of the University and others, by invitation of the Executive committee, showing interest in the Society’s objects.
  2. Honorary Life membership in the form of Vice-Presidency may be granted by election at a General Meeting to persons distinguished in heraldry or genealogy or who have rendered special noteworthy services to the Society.
  3. Subscriptions shall be payable at a time and rate determined by the Society’s Executive Committee subject to the approval of the Society’s A.G.M. Subscriptions for the ensuing year shall become due on the first day of the Michaelmas term.
  4. The Executive Committee may terminate the membership of any member whose subscription remains unpaid at the division of the Michaelmas term.
  5. The Society’s Executive Committee may suspend anyone from membership whose activities it thinks prejudicial to the interests of the Society. A person so suspended shall have his or her case considered by the next A.G.M. or by an E.G.M., which the Executive Committee shall call at the suspended person’s request. A General Meeting shall either revoke the Committee’s decision, determine the length of the suspension from membership, or expel the suspended person. No person expelled by a General Meeting shall be re-admitted to membership other than by a decision of a General Meeting. No person suspended from membership shall continue to hold office or attend any function of the Society while suspended, other than the General Meeting at which his or her case is to be considered.

5. Administration

The Society shall be administered by an Executive Committee consisting of a President, Secretary, Senior Treasurer (who shall be a member of the Senate), Junior Treasurer and up to four other committee members who may be elected or co-opted. Its duties shall include the drafting of working procedures to facilitate the smooth running of the Society.

  1. A quorum shall be four members.
  2. A General Meeting shall have the power to remove any officer or committee member from office and elect a replacement, if it so chooses, to serve until the next A.G.M.
  3. The President shall act as Chairman. In his absence those present shall elect a chairman for the meeting. In either case, the chairman shall have an additional casting vote.
  4. The officers and other members of the Executive Committee shall be elected annually at the A.G.M.
    1. Nominations shall be submitted to the Secretary not less than twenty-one days before the meeting takes place.
    2. The Secretary shall notify the membership of a list of candidates for election by posting on the website not less than seven days before the meeting. If insufficient nominations have been received prior to the meeting the Chairman may accept nominations at the meeting from the floor. Only fully paid-up members of the Society may vote at a General Meeting.
  5. The Executive Committee shall have the power to co-opt additional members to fill casual vacancies or for some other purpose provided the maximum number of committee members does not exceed ten.
  6. With the exception of the Senior Treasurer, no officer or member of the committee shall serve for more than three consecutive years, without special resolution at an A.G.M.

6. General Meetings

  1. An Annual General Meeting (A.G.M.) shall be held during the Easter Full Term when an account of the Society’s activities and finances shall be presented.
  2. Notice of the A.G.M. shall be issued at least fourteen days beforehand. Items for inclusion on the Agenda, save any other business, must be submitted to the Secretary twenty-eight days before the A.G.M.
    1. Together with the notice for the meeting, the Secretary shall send
      • An agenda
      • A summary of the accounts

  3. The business to be transacted shall be to
    • In the absence of the President, elect a chairman of the meeting
    • Receive apologies for absence
    • Approve the minutes of the previous General Meeting
    • Receive the President’s report
    • Receive the Secretary’s report
    • Receive a summary of the accounts of the previous year
  4. The A.G.M. shall elect
    • A President
    • A Senior Treasurer
    • A Junior Treasurer
    • A Secretary
    • Up to four members of the Executive Committee
    • An individual to scrutinise the Annual Accounts of the Society
  5. A quorum shall be fifteen members or 10% of the membership whichever is the smaller.
  6. Voting at General Meetings shall be by show of hands; the Chairman shall have an additional casting vote.
  7. An Extraordinary General Meeting (E.G.M.) may be convened at the request of the Executive Committee or fifteen members with prior written notice, stating the object of the meeting together with the terms of any resolution to be proposed at the meeting, issued at least twenty-eight days beforehand.
    1. A quorum at such a meeting shall be fifteen members or 10% of the membership whichever is the smaller.

7. Amendments to this Constitution

The Constitution may be amended only at an A.G.M. or an E.G.M. provided at least 28 days' notice has been given. Amendments are only valid if supported by two thirds majority of those present.

8. Finance

  1. The financial year of the Society shall terminate on 30th September. Accounts shall be submitted to the Junior Proctor.
  2. All income and property of the Society shall be applied solely towards the promotion and execution of the objects set out in Clause 2 above.
  3. Reasonable out-of pocket expenses incurred by officers and members, solely on the Society’s behalf, will be refunded on production of receipts.
  4. The Executive Committee shall maintain proper account books recording all sums of money received and expended by the Society.
  5. The Society shall keep its funds at a recognised high street bank and appoint three authorised signatories, the signatures of any two being required on cheques and other financial documents relating to sums in excess of £100.

9. Trustees

  1. The Executive Committee may appoint up to three people to hold property in trust for the Society.
  2. Safe custody shall be provided for the Letters Patent Granting Arms, the Society’s Library and its Archives which shall be closed to public access for 30 years.

10. Data Protection Act, 1998

Personal details relating to members of the Society, whether in manual or computer form, shall be held or processed by the Society, or on its behalf, only in accordance with the eight principles of the Data Protection Act, 1998. In practice, personal data must be:–

11. Availability of the Constitution

The Society shall publish its constitution on its web-site.

12. Dissolution

The Society may be dissolved only at an A.G.M. or an E.G.M., called for the purpose, by a resolution supported by three quarters of those present including postal votes. The resolution must specify the disposal of the Society’s collections and other assets after debts and liabilities have been settled. This may involve their transfer to an appropriate organisation or institution within the University with objects compatible with those of the Society.