At our EGM we proposed some changes to our constitution; they were all voted through, so here’s a summary for those interested of what they were and why they were made:
13.1 Views expressed by Society members do not necessarily reflect the views of AUSA, the University of Aberdeen, or the Society itself.
13.1 Views expressed by Society members, including committee members, do not necessarily reflect the views of AUSA, the University of Aberdeen, or the Society itself.
This change was made to clarify that personal statements made by any Nerdverse member do not count as official statements by the society. I think the website says something to this extent somewhere, but it felt important to have it specifically in the constitution. Other societies have previously had issues with off-hand comments by committee members being taken too seriously by other societies, leading to drama, so this should hopefully reduce the chance of that happening to us.
3.3 Individuals who are not members of Aberdeen University Students’ Association or Robert Gordon University Students’ Union may only claim membership through association, but, as per Section 3.1, may still attend occasionally without purchasing membership.
3.3 Individuals who are not members of Aberdeen University Students’ Association may purchase Associative Membership, which will be treated within the society as regular membership.
This change was made because the previous wording suggested that Associative Membership was lesser than Regular Membership. The ‘may only claim’ part specifically gave strong implications that it was not treated as full membership. Regular and Associative membership are identical at Nerdverse, the reason there are two is because AUSA has two separate options for membership for each society. Regular membership is available to ABDN students while Associative membership is available to everyone else. We also had to change it as it suggested RGU students could buy regular membership, which they no longer can this year (we don’t know why).
7.3.2 All current full members in attendance shall have one vote per person for each position, which may be abstained.
7.3.2 All current paid members in attendance are each entitled to vote once per position. This vote may be abstained.
This change was made as the ambiguous wording could be potentially interpreted as “Each member gets one vote for every member running for a position”, meaning if 4 people ran for President then each attending member would receive 4 votes. A ridiculous way to interpret it, but we just wanted it cleared up.
7.3.4 A recipient of a majority may choose to conditionally accept a position if they are running for a different position which they would prefer.
7.3.4 A recipient of a majority may choose to conditionally accept a position if they are running for a different position which they would prefer. The individual may choose to accept one or none of the positions they are eligible to accept.
This change was made because it was pointed out that the section covering conditional acceptance gave the impression that one could use conditional acceptance to accept multiple positions. Both our constitution and AUSAs do not allow people holding multiple positions, but this section gave the impression otherwise. As such a sentence was added on the end to clarify. There’s potentially a better wording that could have been used to avoid the need for clarification, but I failed to come up with one.
The IT Co-ordinator’s Job Description:
I’m not pasting a before/after here because they’re both massive, but the summary is that I completely re-wrote my job description as the previous one didn’t really specify anything other that “Do IT stuff”. It now clearly specifies the responsibilities of the IT Co-ordinator and includes expanding/reducing Nerdverse services and downtime. I also made sure to add a new section covering allowed suspension of IT services, while this is not something I expect to have to use myself, future IT Co-ordinators may unfortunately have to shut off access to IT resources to a specific member. A potential scenario being a disgruntled committee member being about to be removed from the committee through a Vote of No Confidence. Previous the IT Co-ordinator would not have grounds to remove IT resources until after the member were removed from the committee, while it could well be necessary to do it before the vote. There were also some sections that pretty much cover telling the IT Co-ordinator not to be a dick with Nerdverse resources, which felt needed.
First Year Rep Job Description:
This section was added as we previously didn’t have a section for a First Year Rep. As the position has no clearly defined responsibilities the wording was difficult, but we tried to cover the principals of the position. Those being to ensure the society remains open and accessible to new members, as sometimes societies can end up feeling circlejerky, to feed new ideas into the committee and to get first years interested in the running of the society. Plus First Year Reps act to support a committee similar to any open position.
Those are all the changes that were made. Hopefully you found the changes at least mildly interesting.