SCR Constitution

St Chad’s College



1.  Name

The body referred to as the ‘SCR’ is the Senior Common Room of St Chad’s College.  The Senior Common Room is a constituent part of the College; as such it is part of the limited company known as St Chad’s College and of the registered charity known as St Chad’s College Durham.

2.  Aim

The aim of the SCR is to further the aims and objectives of the College, namely:

(i)  To advance education, learning, religion and research within the College in accordance with the principles of the Church of England;

(ii)  To provide a College for persons who shall be members of the University of Durham wherein they may work for degrees and other qualifications of the University of Durham (including, in particular, advancing the education, spiritual and moral welfare of students enrolled at the College).

The SCR may further the above aims and objectives in various ways.  If any dispute arises with regard to a proposed action falling outside the first of the College’s aims and objectives, the matter may be referred to the Rector; if any dispute arises with regard to a proposed action falling outside the second of the College’s aims and objectives, the matter may be referred to the Governing Body.  If disputes are referred either to the Rector or to the Governing Body, their decisions will be considered final.

3.   Ex Officio and Honorary Membership

(a)  The following are ex officio members of the SCR:

The Rector

The Chair of the Governing Body

The Principal and other College Officers

College Fellows

College Tutors

College Staff of graduate status

Visiting Fellows and Postdoctoral Fellows

University academic/academic-related staff resident in College

The Artist in Residence and other similar posts.

Ex officio membership lasts for as long as the person remains in post.

(b)  The following are ex officio honorary members of the SCR

Members of the Governing Body

Honorary Fellows of the College

Other people elected from time to time as honorary members of the SCR.

Members of the Governing Body who were members of the SCR previously remain ordinary members of the SCR.  Their membership does not end upon the expiry of their office.

4.  Ordinary membership

(a)  The Membership Committee.  The membership committee shall be appointed from time to time by the SCR and shall consist of no fewer than three SCR members, including the President of the SCR and at least one College Officer.

(b)  Nomination and Appointment.  Candidates for membership may be proposed by any SCR member. Candidates shall be considered by the Membership Committee, which shall normally meet before an SCR meeting, when it shall decide by consensus whether to recommend candidates to the SCR for membership. Those candidates who are recommended are voted into membership by a majority of those members present at an ordinary meeting of the SCR. The decision of the SCR is ratified when the Principal confers College membership on the candidate (according to College regulations only the Principal can admit someone to the College).

(c)  Mature undergraduates and mature postgraduates are eligible for appointment either via the procedure outlined in 4 (a) above or via 4 (d) below.  Student members retain their membership in their respective common room (the JCR or the MCR) unless they are also Mentors/Tutors, in which case they may elect not to remain a member of the MCR.

(d)  Membership (including temporary membership) may also be offered directly by the Principal.

(e)  The SCR President may waive these appointment procedures for anyone who has previously been a member of the SCR and who seeks to rejoin after a period of inactivity.

(f)  The SCR may adopt rules for withdrawing membership (in instances where the SCR has been brought into disrepute).  If such rules are adopted, anyone excluded shall have a right to appeal via the College’s regular appeal procedures.

5.  Rights and privileges

(a)  SCR members enjoy such rights and privileges as are extended to them from time to time by the Governing Body.

(b)  Matters of precedence and dress at events in College shall be according to College custom.

6.  Duration of Membership

(a)  For ordinary members, membership in the SCR normally continues from year to year unless an SCR member fails to pay his or her subscription in a timely fashion.

(b)  For ex officio members, membership lapses when the person ceases to hold the relevant office or position.  Such members may subsequently be elected or appointed as ordinary or honorary members.

(c)  For mature undergraduates or mature postgraduates, membership lapses when the person graduates.  Such members may also subsequently be elected or appointed as ordinary or honorary members.

(d)  Honorary membership may be for a definite term (e.g. for as long as a person is a member of the Governing Body), or it may last indefinitely.

7.  Officers

(a)  There shall be a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer, each of whom shall be elected to hold office for a period of not more than three years at the AGM of the SCR (or at an ordinary meeting if a vacancy occurs before then).

(b)  No officer may serve for more than six consecutive years.

(c)  Candidates for the posts of President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be proposed and seconded in writing by members of the SCR to the SCR Secretary at or before the Annual General Meeting (or the Ordinary Meeting, as the case may be).  Contested elections shall take place by secret ballot and by a simple majority.

8.  Governing Body Representative

(a)  The SCR shall elect one of its members to be nominated for a seat on the College’s Governing Body. The Governing Body may prescribe the manner of this election and is not bound to accept the nomination (given the need to have specific skills represented on that body).  To minimise the chances of non-acceptance, the SCR President should ascertain which skills are most needed by the Governing Body at that particular time.

(b)  All members of the SCR (except honorary members and sitting Governing Body members) shall be entitled to vote in elections for the SCR nominee to the Governing Body.

9.  Committees and Subcommittees

The SCR may appoint committees for specified purposes from time to time: membership of these committees shall be determined by the SCR.  Recommendations made by such committees shall be referred to Ordinary Meetings of the SCR, at which time they shall be discussed, accepted, amended or rejected.

As with other members of College, SCR members may be invited to sit on various other committees and subcommittees of the College, which eventually report either to the Governing Body or to College Officers.

10.  Meetings

(a)  There shall be an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the SCR to be held during the Easter term at which the accounts for the year shall be presented by the Treasurer and approved by those present.  The AGM will be quorate with eight members present.

(b)  Notice of the AGM shall normally be given to members at least two weeks before the date of the AGM.

(c)  There shall be at least one Ordinary Meeting of the SCR each term.  Ordinary Meetings will be quorate with five members present.  Notice of the Ordinary Meeting shall normally be given at least one week before the date of the Ordinary Meeting (notice on the College’s term card may be deemed sufficient notice).

(d)  Agendas for meetings are normally circulated beforehand (often with the Notice thereof).

(e)  The SCR President shall consider calling an Extraordinary Meeting if a request has been made by at least six members. At the President’s discretion, the matter that had prompted the request may be taken up instead at the next Ordinary Meeting. Extraordinary Meetings have the same quoracy and notice requirements as the AGM.

(f)  The SCR will provide social gatherings and other SCR events throughout the year.  At least one of these events ought to be a ‘combination event’ where members of the other common rooms are invited to join SCR members.

(g)  The agendas for all meetings shall be drawn up by the President or his or her delegate.

(h)  The Secretary shall ensure that Minutes of the last meeting are available to members before a meeting of the SCR and also that copies are available at the meeting.

11.  Procedure at Meetings

(a)  The Rector, if present, shall convoke the meeting and pass the Chairmanship to the President.

(b) The President of the SCR shall thus normally chair all meetings of the SCR. In the President’s absence, the other officers will appoint another member to chair the meeting. In the absence of any SCR officers, a College officer will act as Chair.

(c)  The Secretary shall maintain accurate Minutes of SCR meetings.

(d)  The Treasurer shall be responsible for the collection of the SCR subscription and all other financial matters pertaining to the SCR, presenting the annual accounts to the SCR at the Annual General Meeting. After approval by the SCR, the accounts shall be sent to the Governing Body for incorporation into the College’s accounts.

(e)  The business of meetings shall proceed in such manner as is customary and conventional in committees of the College with respect to the proposing and seconding of motions, the raising of points of information, and the voting on motions.

(f)  Voting, except where otherwise stated in this Constitution, is by show of hands and by simple majority, unless otherwise determined by a meeting of the SCR.

12.  Subscription

A subscription shall be levied on all ordinary members at a rate determined at the Annual General Meeting.  Subscriptions shall have a due date of 31 October each year, and reminders will be sent at the end of Michaelmas term.  A member who has not paid by the end of the Epiphany term shall normally be removed from the list of members. The SCR may, as a matter of general policy, waive the subscription for new members in their first year.

13.  Ratification of and Changes to the Constitution

(a)  This constitution will come into force after being ratified by the Governing Body of the College.

(b)  Changes to this constitution may be made at a General Meeting. Such changes must be approved by the Governing Body of the College before coming into force.

(c)  The SCR may adopt, alter or repeal bye-laws at a General Meeting.  Bye-laws shall be proposed when they are deemed necessary or convenient for the proper conduct and management of the SCR.  They may also further specify matters covered elsewhere in this constitution without prejudice to the generality of the above.