The Constitution lays down the fundamental rules and principles by which the JCR is governed and which members have to follow. It applies to everyone, determines your rights and ways to exercise these rights. It includes definitions, ways to raise formal complaints, the structure of committee, rules for financing, the General Meeting (GM), and how elections have to be run. The constitution has to be followed at all times in the administration of JCR affairs. It can be changed through GM Motions, is reviewed by the Governing Body on a regular basis, and interpreted by the Vice President.
The Standing Orders (SOs) are an extension of the Constitution. They are equally as important and considered part of it but they can be changed more easily and they can be suspended in a single GM. The SOs are more detailed and lay down the specific requirements of individual committee roles, details about elections, the exact order of General Meetings, the rules for the room ballot and more.
Changes to the constitutions have to go through 2 GMs: "Amendments to the Constitution must be passed at a General Meeting by a simple majority, and again at a second reading in the same term by a vote of two-thirds. Alternatively, they may be made following a positive result in a single referendum."
Anybody may decline membership of the JCR and in doing so won’t have to pay any fees. However, they have no rights in the JCR, may not use JCR facilities nor participate in JCR organised events. (Like guest dinners or bops)
Complaints & reports of breaches of the Constitution should be made in writing to the Vice President, electorial matters to the Returning Officer. Unresolved complaints should be referred to the Dean and Censors.
The JCR adheres to the University’s Equal Opportunities Statement and “The JCR Committee shall not be party to unlawful discrimination and shall endeavour to promote harmony amongst its membership.”
The JCR Committee should meet at least once a week during term, these meeting have to be minuted, and these minutes are normally circulated to the JCR.
Committee members can be removed by a 2/3rds majority Motion of No Confidence, following a petition of fifty signatures.
The JCR is financed through funds from the College, levies of its members and voluntary activities. Expenditures and Budgets have to be approved by the Junior Treasurer and the President. The Junior Treasurer has to circulate a list of expenditures to the JCR every Term. An Annual Budget Proposal has to be prepared by the President and Junior Treasurer in Trinity.
Elections are run every term, on Thursday of 5th or 6th week. It is a secret ballot and all members may vote. Referendums may be called, the results of which are binding.
The composition of the Committee, when and how they get elected: Nominations must reach the RO one week before election. Current Committee members might not be allowed to stand. Nominations can be re-opened and the names of the candidates, their proposers and seconders will be publicised.
Hustings happen on the Sunday before elections, everybody standing has to attend. Candidates give a small speech and then answer questions from the floor. All questions have to be addressed to all candidates, the RO may not accept questions that apply to one candidate only.
One A4 sized manifesto may be produced. No campaigning material other than the manifesto may be published or produced. No mass messages or canvassing of votes on the day of election is allowed.
The room ballot is administered by the ABE rep in Hilary Term, any member can attend the ballot. Some rules:
No one will be automatically allowed to retain their rooms from the previous year.
Those with extended terms may opt out and choose Liddell Flats.
Those on their year abroad may nominate somebody else.
The order of priority is as follows:
3rd & 4th year Scholars
3rd & 4th year Exhibitioners
Remaining 3rd & 4th years
Musicians have a separate ballot.
If award holders share with someone outside their award holder groups, they drop down to the bottom of their group. (Like a scholar sharing with a Commoner will be at the bottom of the Scholar’s group.)
Time slots are allocated to groups of five at a time but their choices must be made in the order of the ballot.
No one who has already lived in a shared set in Peck may choose another shared set in Peck.
You can only swap after you’ve made your choice if everybody agrees and with permission of the Censor.
Special occupancy requirements apply to some rooms, info will be publicised.
Disclaimer: All of the above are just descriptions and summaries of and do not replace the Constitution or Standing Orders. Please always refer to the original documents for further information.