Education Act 1994
All UK universities are subject to the Education Act 1994, Part II in regard to their
responsibilities for the organisation of Students' Unions. These responsibilities and the
way in which they are discharged are spelled out in University Ordinance 24. The
Students' Union, its management and constitution are subject to Ordinance 24.

1        Name
         The name of the organisation will be the University of Warwick Students’ Union.

2        Mission Statement
         “This Union is directed by its members and aims to enhance the experience of
         students whilst at the University of Warwick.”

3        Aims
3.1      This Union aims to:
         (a)    promote the interests of our members as effectively as possible at
                institutional, local and national levels
         (b)    ensure effective communication between our members, the University of
                Warwick and other bodies
         (c)    provide for the educational, cultural, recreational, sporting, social and
                welfare needs of our members to the best of our ability
         (d)    operate an effective equal opportunities policy while guaranteeing
                freedom of expression and minimising any adverse environmental
                impact, therefore providing a safe and enjoyable environment for all

3.2      The Union strategic plan will detail how these aims are to be achieved and will be
         reviewed annually by the Union Executive Committee.

3.3      The above aims will satisfy English law and the 1994 Education Act. Neither the
         Union, nor any representative, body or individual, will knowingly act illegally or
         ultra vires.

4        Membership
4.1      The following will be members of the Union:
         (a)     Full members: All registered students of the University except those who
                 exercise their right not to be a member under clause 22 (2) (c) of the
                 Education Act 1994. Sabbatical Officers of the Union will be full
                 members of the Union
         (b)     Associate members: Those persons admitted to membership by Union
                 Council or a delegated Officer, who have also paid any required fee

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         (c)     Honorary members: Those persons conferred honorary life membership
                 by a General Meeting or Union Council

4.2      Only full members will have voting rights and will be identified by a recognised
         Union card which will remain the property of the Students’ Union.

4.3      Members may be disciplined according to Disciplinary Procedures.

5        Affiliations
5.1      Any decision regarding affiliation to the National Union of Students (NUS), or
         the appropriate area organisation established by the NUS, may only be made by

5.2      The Union will send delegates whilst affiliated, to NUS National, Regional and
         Area Conferences as appropriate.

5.3      The President will display a list of all affiliations. Any affiliation may be
         challenged through a referendum.

6        Policy
6.1      This Union will be governed by the constitution, its attached appendices and
         individual policies.

6.2      There will be the following policy making bodies:
         (a)    Referenda
         (b)    General Meetings
         (c)    Union Council

6.3      The Constitution can only be changed by Referendum and changes must be
         approved by the University Council before taking effect. The University is
         expected to review the Students’ Union Constitution at least every five years.

6.4      Policies passed by referendum cannot be overturned without a referendum.
         Policies passed by General Meetings cannot be overturned without being debated
         and voted on at a General Meeting or referendum.

6.5      A motion will only be carried if the meeting is quorate and those voting in favour
         exceed those voting against.

6.6      Any motion that involves revenue or expenditure will include a suggested and
         realistic funding plan.

6.7      The President will ensure that a Policy File and record of lapsed policies is

6.8      Policies will lapse after two years unless renewed by Council who will specify the
         next renewal date.

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7        Officers of the Union
7.1      The Officers of the Union will be:
         (a)   Sabbatical Officers
         (b)   Chair and Deputy Chair of Union Council
         (c)   Chairs and members of Union Standing and Representation Committees

7.2      There will be seven Sabbatical Officers. There will be a President, Deputy
         President and a Sabbatical responsible for finance.

7.3      The Sabbatical Officers will fulfil their approved job descriptions.

8        Referenda
         Full regulations will be detailed in an appendix

8.1      The President will call two referendum periods in each academic year.

8.2      The President will call the referendum period at least thirty five days in advance
         of close of polling.

8.3      Members will be given a period of seven days to submit motions.

8.4      A referendum motion may only be called to propose a change to the
         Constitution, to debate a controversial issue, challenge an affiliation or to
         propose any changes previously determined at referendum level. Union Council
         must agree that any proposed motion requires a referendum.

8.5      The quorum for all Referendum motions will be ten per cent of full Union

9        General Meetings
         Full regulations will be detailed in an appendix

9.1      The President will call an Annual General Meeting during the academic year.

9.2      Further General Meetings will be called by the President if deemed necessary or
         on receipt of 150 members’ signatures.

9.3      General meetings called by a petition of signatures will be held within fourteen
         days of the President receiving the petition.

9.4      The quorum for all General Meetings will be 300 full members.

9.5      An inquorate General Meeting will become an Open Meeting. An Open meeting
         will discuss motions in full and take an indicative vote to be submitted to the
         next Union Council meeting for consideration.

9.6      The Annual General Meeting and any subsequent General Meeting will:

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         (a)    hold Officers of the Union to account by question, censure or No
         (b)    formulate policy
         (c)    receive the annual report and accounts of the Union
         (d)    appoint the Auditors to the Union.
         (e)    receive an Elections Report

9.7      A General Meeting may express No Confidence in any Union Officer by a simple
         majority. The exception is Sabbatical Officers, where the number voting in
         favour must be at least twice those voting against.

9.8      Union Officers are obliged to attend all General Meetings.

10       Union Council
         Full regulations will be detailed in an appendix

10.1     There will be a Union Council whose membership will include the following
         (a)    Sabbatical Officers
         (b)    Chairs of Union Standing Committees
         (c)    Chairs of Union Representation Committees
         (d)    Convenors of Union Campaigning Groups
         (e)    Senate & Council Representative(s), providing they are a full Union
         (f)    Third Student Member of Senate, providing he/she is a full Union
         (g)    Undergraduate and Post Graduate Faculty Representatives (including the
                Institute of Education Representative), providing they are full Union
         (h)    Chair and Deputy Chair of Union Council.

10.2     The membership of Union Council will include at least twice the number of
         Councillors as Officers. A number of first year Union Councillors will be elected
         each year.

10.3     The quorum for Union Council will be fifty percent, plus one of its elected
         members. All members of Union Council except the Chair and Deputy Chair
         will have a vote.

10.4     Union Council will:
         (a)    receive reports from Union Officers
         (b)    hold Officers of the Union to account by question, censure or No
         (c)    formulate and agree policy
         (d)    scrutinise the budget proposed by the Union Executive Committee
         (e)    co-opt Officers and Councillors until elections can be held.

10.5     Union Council will not have the responsibility to hold its Councillors to account.

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10.6     Union Council will be administered by Steering Group, whose membership will
         include Chair and Deputy Chair of Union Council. Further members will be co-
         opted by Union Council.

10.7     Union Council will meet a minimum of five times a year.

10.8     If Union Council overturns a decision made by the Executive Committee, Union
         Council will take a vote on whether a censure debate is deemed necessary.

10.9     Union Council may vote to remove any Union Officer from office by a simple
         majority, except Sabbatical Officers where the number voting in favour must be
         at least twice those voting against.

10.10 Meetings of Union Council will normally be open to any full member of the

10.11 Any member of Union Council may call for a closed session if the matter for
      discussion concerns an individual member of the Union or University. This will
      be agreed by a simple majority.

11       Bodies Reporting to Council
         Full regulations will be detailed in an appendix

11.1     The bodies that report to Council will be:
         (a)   Standing Committees
         (b)   Representation Committees
         (c)   Working Groups

11.2     All meetings of these bodies will normally be open to any full member of the

11.3     A closed meeting may be called if the matter for discussion concerns an
         individual member of the Union or University. This will be agreed by a simple

11.4     Standing committees will be responsible for implementing and administering
         policy applicable to all members. Chair and members will be elected by cross
         campus ballot.
         (a)     There will be an Executive Committee whose membership will be:
                 (i)     Sabbatical Officers
                 (ii)    Chairs of Union Standing Committees
         (b)     The President will chair the Executive Committee
         (c)     The Executive Committee will be the trustees of the Union
         (d)     The Executive Committee will have policy-making powers of Union
                 Council only when:
                 (i)     Union Council requests or mandates the Executive Committee to
                         make policy
                 (ii)    an emergency issue arises and a meeting of Union Council is not
                 (iii)   the previous two meetings of Union Council have been inquorate.

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         (e)     The quorum for the Executive Committee will be two thirds of elected
         (f)     The Executive Committee will be responsible for making and reviewing
                 regulations as necessary. The Executive Committee will ensure
                 regulations are enforced.

11.5     (a)     Representation Committees will be responsible for implementing and
                 administering policy specific to identified groups within the membership.
         (b)     Chair and members will be elected by the appropriate identified groups.

11.6     (a)      Working Groups will be responsible for advising Union Council on
         policy, and monitoring its implementation.
         (b)      Each group will be led by a Union Council officer nominated by the
                  President and approved by the Executive Committee.
         (c)      Members will be appointed by Union Council.
         (d)      Membership will be open to all full members.

12       Election Regulations
         Full regulations will be detailed in an appendix

12.1     All full members of the Union may vote and stand in elections unless indicated
         otherwise in this constitution or its appendices. These elections will be conducted
         in accordance with approved Election regulations.

12.2     No member of the Union will be eligible to be a Sabbatical Officer for more than
         two terms of office.

12.3     For all non-sabbatical positions other than University Representative posts,
         candidates must be full members of the Union throughout their time in office.

12.4     Officers and Councillors of the Union will serve no more than 13 months in one
         term of office.

12.5     Voting in all elections will be by single transferable vote.

12.6     The quorum for elections will be ten percent of full members of the Union for
         Sabbatical Officers and five percent of eligible members for all other officers
         elected by cross campus ballot.

12.7     Cross Campus elections will be held for all posts for which all members are
         entitled to vote. Elections for other posts will be conducted as deemed
         necessary, as laid down in the elections regulations.

13       Equal Opportunities
13.1     Discrimination of any nature is unacceptable and will not be tolerated as
         explained in the disciplinary procedures.

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13.2     The Union will strive to create a positive and welcoming atmosphere for its
         members, staff and visitors.

13.3     The Union will encourage a community to which all individuals may contribute
         without fear of discriminatory attitudes or practices.

13.4     There will be an Equal Opportunities Policy which will cover all activities within
         the Union and any subsidiary company which will exceed, wherever possible,
         legislative requirements.

14       Legal and Financial Regulations
14.1     The Executive Committee will approve budgets for the following financial year
         and will present them to Union Council.

14.2     Budgets will only be valid if the budgeted income exceeds the budgeted

14.3     The financial year of the Union and any subsidiary company will be from August
         1st to July 31st.

14.4     There will be one or more Student Services Companies, which will perform such
         duties and functions as are required by the Union. Such functions will be subject
         to the provisions of any agreement between the Union and the University, which
         in any way relates to the operation, control and management of the Union
         building and services.

14.5     Profit generated by the Unions activities will be invested back into the Union.

14.6     The company and the Union will jointly employ staff as is considered necessary.
         Matters relating to the employment of staff and the conditions of their
         employment will be at the discretion of the Student Services Company.

14.7     Sabbatical Officers will be paid a sum to cover living expenses.

14.8     Elected officers and any staff acting on their behalf will be entitled to be
         indemnified from the assets of the union, provided they act legally within policy
         and/or in line with the aims of the organisation.

14.9     The editorial independence of any student media funded by the Union will only
         be challenged when conflicts with the provisions of this constitution, appendices
         or policy arise and/or the trustees are unable to fulfil their legal obligations. A
         Code of Practice will be agreed annually between the Executive committee and
         each student media body.

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