The University of York Astronomy Society (‘AstroSoc’) Code of Practice
The purpose of this code of practice (COP) is to state the rules and regulations associated
with AstroSoc. The University of York observatory, which we use as our base and
storage facility, is covered by the COP provided by the Department of Physics. This
COP is an extension for members of AstroSoc, in that we as a society allow entry to the
observatory for both Physics and non-Physics students. The society is proud to make our
telescope and facilities available to all members, this COP is necessary to state what rules
and regulations must be adhered to when using any items owned or under the
responsibility of the society.
Definition of terms:
‘Equipment’ is defined as;
‘Everything owned by the society, or that we are responsible for. This includes the
storage box, and everything held within, including equipment owned by individual
members held within. Equipment includes the box, telescope and associated
accessories (eyepieces, finderscope, tools, and all other items), the laminator,
posters, charger/battery, and all other items used by the society during the course of
its business, or that come into possession of the society in the future.’
Should the Society be abolished, all equipment will pass into the care of the physics
department, who will be able to adequately maintain it, until such time as the
Astronomy Society reforms.
Usage of the Society Telescope
To attempt to make our equipment available to all our members, including at times
outside of usual society meeting times, a number of guidelines are required to:
(A) Protect the users of the equipment from injury or accident.
(B) Protect the equipment from misuse and/or damage, or theft.
(C) Ensure users are familiar with how to use the equipment responsibly.
(D) Protect the local environment around the observatory.
(E) Define the procedures for access to the equipment.
(F) Provide a statement of liability.
Statements to members regarding use of the equipment;
“Our equipment is available for all members to use. Please contact a member of the
AstroSoc committee for details.”
This places the access of the equipment at the discretion of the AstroSoc Committee.
Keys for the observatory and box will be held at a porters lodge and signed out by
members. Authorisation to sign the keys out will generally only be given:
(A) To individuals who have attended a training course given by the committee on
how to use the equipment safely, correctly and responsibly, and whose names are
therefore on a list of authorised individuals.
(B) To individuals who have shown an interest in participating in the society, and not
just use of the equipment outside of society time.
(C) To individuals who are not under the influence of alcohol, drugs or solvents.
(D) When a University Card or some form of photographic ID is provided to the
porter in charge and left as deposit with the porters until return of the keys.
(E) When at least two people fulfilling the above criteria are present to sign the
equipment out, for the safety and security of individuals and equipment. At least
two of these people must be present to return the keys to the Porters lodge, and
throughout use of the equipment.
“Members signing out the equipment must take responsibility for reporting any
damage to or incident involving any piece of AstroSoc equipment, or any item
within the observatory. By signing out the keys to the equipment members agree
that they may be required to contribute towards the cost of repair or replacement of
equipment determined to be damaged by misuse or irresponsible use. This will be
at the discretion of the AstroSoc Committee”
Further statements regarding AstroSoc conduct;
“ Equipment is within the observatory that is not AstroSoc property and should not
be used or handled or moved by AstroSoc members or participants unless they are
authorised to do so by the Department of Physics and do so following the
Department of Physics guidelines.”
“AstroSoc members must make every effort to ensure the security of the
observatory and equipment within is maintained, this includes but is not limited to,
not aiding unauthorised members to gain access to the keys and not disclosing
“The AstroSoc equipment is stored on the ground floor of the observatory. It is
therefore deemed unnecessary for AstroSoc members to need to gain access to the
upper floor of the observatory. This area is designated for the main Department of
Physics telescope, not for the use of AstroSoc. Care should be taken whilst
observing outside the observatory, with the AstroSoc telescope, to not disturb the
work environment of any project students working on the upper floor.”
“No AstroSoc member, guest or representative must interfere with the flora or
fauna within the observatory in any way. This includes NOT cutting down the
grass, and limiting movements to the observatory to a single route. Members must
not stray from this route without permission from the Department of Biology. A
general respect for all local plants and wildlife around the observatory is required to
be upheld by all members.”
“Failure to adhere to these guidelines, or misuse or the equipment may result in
authorisation to sign the equipment out being withdrawn or membership being
terminated. AstroSoc members have the right to enjoy the society without fear of
prejudice from others. Exclusion from the equipment or the society may also apply
to any members causing distress to others at any AstroSoc events through abuse
directed at a persons ethnic origin, sexuality, gender or any other issue deemed to be
inappropriate. This is at the discretion of the AstroSoc Committee.”
By signing this code of practice you are agreeing to adhere to the regulations set out
within, and you accept the liabilities detailed regarding misuse of the equipment. The
ultimate decision of the AstroSoc committee will be final on all matters regarding
membership and use of the equipment.
Full Name: (Please print) ………………………………………………
York Username/E-mail: …………………………………………………