Last Updated 11th Jan 2017
1.1 Purpose of this Document
This document shall form the Constitution of Oxford University Rowing Clubs (OURCs).
1.2 Aims of OURCs
The aims of the Oxford University Rowing Clubs (OURCs) are to:
- Support rowing within the University;
- Organise inter-college rowing competitions;
- Assist member clubs to develop and maintain a safe approach to rowing;
- Oversee the conduct of college crews; and,
- Represent the interests of the College and University Boat Clubs.
- OURCs shall be administered in accordance with the regulations for University clubs which are published from time to time in the Proctors’ and Assessor’s Memorandum (“the Proctors’ Memorandum”)
- The activities of OURCs will at all times be conducted in accordance with the following University policies and codes of practice in force: Integrated Equality Policy, Code of Practice on Harassment and Bullying, and Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech.
- Any event or competition which is approved or advertised by OURCs as an official event of OURCs shall first be approved by the Proctors and relevant local authority. OURCs shall submit to the Proctors an event plan and risk assessment, together with documentary evidence of appropriate insurance cover. OURCs shall observe such conditions as the Proctors may then attach to the running of the event.
- No Member Club of OURCs shall participate in any activity overseas organised by OURCs, whether during term-time or vacation, unless the plans for such activity have been notified at least one calendar month in advance of the date of departure from the United Kingdom to the Director of Sport. Each Member Club participating in such activities overseas shall observe any conditions imposed by the Proctors on the recommendation of the Director of Sport, e.g. relating to the deposit of contact addresses, fulfilment of health, safety and insurance requirements, and stipulation of coaches, trainers or Senior Members to accompany the trip.
1.4 Membership of OURCs
- Membership of OURCs shall be open to the University Boat Clubs and College Boat Clubs.
- University Boat Clubs shall refer to the following clubs:
- Oxford University Boat Club (OUBC)
- Oxford University Women's Boat Club (OUWBC)
- Oxford University Lightweight Rowing Club (OULRC)
- Oxford University Women's Lightweight Rowing Club (OUWLRC)
- College Boat Clubs shall refer to the following clubs:
- Boat Clubs representing the Colleges and Permanent Private Halls of Oxford University
- Osler House Boat Club
- University Boat Clubs shall refer to the following clubs:
- Boat Clubs may apply for affiliation to OURCs at a Captains' Meeting upon the presentation of a request signed by a 10 members of the Club, one of which shall be a designated point of contact (as defined in 1.5.2), and another the designated Senior Member.
- Any motion to disaffiliate a College Boat Club is treated as a constitutional amendment (1.11).
- College Boat Clubs automatically cease to be affiliated on the 1st October if, in the previous year:
- they have not entered any OURCs events
- they have not paid British Rowing affiliation fees, or
- they have not submitted a British Rowing Safety Audit
1.5 Membership Requirements
- All Member Clubs as defined in 1.4 are responsible for ensuring that their members abide by the OURCs Constitution and Code of Conduct.
- All Member Clubs are required to provide details of points of contact. For University Boat Clubs, this must include their President and their Senior Member. For College Boat Clubs, this must include their Senior Member, and two captains. These points of contact must be confirmed to the OURCs Secretary in writing by the end of 2nd Week Michaelmas Term each year, and any changes to these during the academic year must be notified to the OURCs Secretary within 7 days of the change taking effect.
- In the case of St Benet's, "and two captains" shall be read as "and their captain".
- The Senior Member of a College Boat Club must be a member of the College, or be otherwise clearly associated with the Boat Club, with the right to be present at the governing body meetings of that College.
- All Member Clubs are required to be affiliated to British Rowing. Should a club become suspended by British Rowing they are automatically suspended by OURCs until reinstated by British Rowing.
- All Member Clubs are required to hold sufficient cover to insure against potential injury to their own members, or claims from Third Parties.
- All College Boat Clubs are required to pay an affiliation fee to OURCs, before the Sunday of 5th week of Michaelmas term, which will be used solely to fund the OURCs Sabbatical Officer. College Boat Club affiliations will be based on the number of boats competing in the Eights competition preceding the year of affiliation (excluding boats that fail to row on). The fee per crew must be confirmed in the first Captains' Meeting in Michaelmas Term. Any affiliation fee unpaid by Sunday of 5th Week may be subject to additional levies at the discretion of the OURCs Treasurer and Secretary and College Boat Clubs with any unpaid fees beyond this date may not enter or compete in OURCs events.
1.6 OURCs Committee
- The OURCs Committee shall further the aims of OURCs, as defined in 1.2.
- The OURCs Committee shall consist of:
- The Chair, who shall be the President of OUBC in academic years commencing in even years and the President of OUWBC in academic years commencing in odd years, and whose duty is to Chair OURCs Captains' Meetings.
- The Secretary, whose duties are to:
- Manage the affairs of OURCs.
- Act, or appoint a suitable deputy in each case to act, as Race Secretary for OURCs events.
- The Treasurer, whose duties are to:
- Oversee and keep a proper record of the financial transactions of OURCs.
- Issue invoices, receipts and payments as authorised.
- Issue, collect, and keep a record of fines.
- Notify clubs of any fines or other penalties incurred by breach of OURCs rules.
- Collect and keep a record of entry fees for OURCs events.
- Assess and distribute fine income to the University Boat Clubs.
- Prepare a quarterly record of the OURCs accounts. This record shall include all credits and expenses and closing balances, categorised as the Treasurer sees fit. The record shall be released via e-mail to the College Captains by the end of 10th week of each term, and at the end of 0th week, Michaelmas Term, for activity over the long vacation. It shall also be appended to the minutes of the subsequent Captains’ Meeting (usually, the first meeting of the next term).
- The Captain of Coxes, whose duties are to:
- Advise coxswains of the technique of coxing, safety and the rules of the Isis.
- Work with Oxford University Coxswains Society (OUCS) to issue coxing licenses, assess coxswains' status and maintain the register of coxswains.
- Advise on penalties to be imposed on individual coxswains for infringements of OURCs rules.
- The Webmaster, whose duties are to update and manage:
- the OURCs website
- the OURCs mailing lists
- the entries system
- The sponsorship and media officer, whose duties are to:
- Maintain the relationship between OURCs and its official sponsor(s) as agreed under 1.14
- Should advise the committee on how to best comply with the sponsorship agreement
- Where necessary, help in finding a new sponsor
- The Sabbatical Officer, whose duties are detailed in the OURCs Sabbatical Officer's job description, which is available from the OURCs Secretary or the Oxford University Director of Sport.
- The Senior Member.
- The Senior Treasurer, who shall oversee the short term financial conduct and long-term financial stability of OURCs
- No more than fifteen Ordinary Members, who shall assist the Secretary, Race Secretaries and Captain of Coxes with their duties.
- Not less than half of the OURCs Committee shall consist of members of the University of Oxford.
- The following shall be Elected Committee Members, and shall be elected in accordance with 1.8.
- Captain of Coxes
- Sponsorship and Media Officer
- Sabbatical Officer
- The following shall be Non-Elected Committee Members:
- Ordinary Committee Members, appointed as in 1.8.5.a
- The Chair, as in 1.6.2.a
- The Webmaster, appointed as in 1.8.5a
- The OURCs Senior Member, appointed as in 1.8.5.c
- The OURCS Senior Treasurer, appointed as in 1.8.5c
- All Non-Elected Committee Members shall be subject to ratification at the next OURCs Captains' Meeting.
1.7 Captains' Meetings
- The OURCs Captains' Meeting shall constitute the General Meetings of OURCs.
- There shall be at least one Captains' Meeting each Term.
- Any member of the OURCs Committee may call a Captains' Meeting, although normally it is the duty of the OURCs Secretary or the OURCs Sabbatical Officer.
- Notice of a Captains' Meeting must be delivered to all College Captains and OURCs Committee Members at least 48 hours before the meeting. The agenda for every Captains' Meeting must be made available and distributed to the general OURCs mailing list at least 48 hours before the meeting.
- A Captains' Meeting must be called within two weeks of a written request from five Captains of different College Boat Clubs to a member of the OURCs Committee. This request shall state the business to be brought before the Meeting, which must be included on the agenda for the Meeting.
- The quorum for a Captains' Meeting is 5 members of the OURCs Committee plus Captains from 15 different College Boat Clubs.
- The OURCs Chair shall normally chair Captains’ Meetings, unless resolved otherwise at the Meeting. The chair may not propose or second motions, and may only vote in the event of a tie.
- Only the following may propose, second or vote on motions:
- Captains or designated representatives of College Boat Clubs, with each college limited to two votes.
- Members of the OURCs Committee.
- Members of the University Boat Clubs who have been awarded rowing Blues or Half-Blues in the preceding 12 months.
- Senior Umpires who have been ratified by a Captains' Meeting in the preceding academic year.
- Motions may be proposed in advance of the meeting, in which case they shall be included on the agenda. Motions, other than those relating to the Constitution may be raised during the Meeting.
- At least one of the proposer and seconder of a motion (preferably the proposer) must be at the meeting before a vote can be called.
- Motions that require the use of OURCs’ funds for the University Boat Clubs, or any single College Boat Club may not be proposed without the approval of the OURCs Secretary and OURCs Treasurer.
- Except where otherwise stated, all motions shall be decided by a majority of those present and voting.
- Each person at the meeting shall exercise only one vote, even if they are eligible to vote on more than one different ground.
- At least one representative of each College Boat Club shall be required to attend each meeting.
- Clubs failing to send a representative to a Captains' Meeting shall be charged a penalty of £25 for the first non-attendance. The penalty shall double for each subsequent non-attendance in an academic year.
- No motion which requires the spending of OURCs' funds shall be passed without the presence of the Treasurer (or appointed deputy).
- The minutes of each Captains' Meeting will be completed and made publically available by the Rowing Sabbatical Officer, or another member of the OURCs Committee, within 7 days of the meeting.
- In extraordinary circumstances including, but not limited to, a change in external circumstances which threatens the safe running of racing, an Emergency Captains’ Meeting may be called during Torpids or Eights (including the Tuesday before the event). The time, location and agenda for this meeting must be delivered to all College Captains and OURCs Committee Members via email a minimum of 12 hours before the meeting. In the event of the OURCs Chair being unavailable, the OURCs Secretary shall normally chair such a meeting.
1.8 Appointment, Election, and Ratification of Committee Members
- Election (Elected Positions except Sabbatical Officer)
- All elections shall occur at Captains' Meetings.
- Those eligible to vote at Captains' Meetings shall also be eligible to vote in all elections.
- Notwithstanding 1.8.1.b, no person may vote if s/he is a candidate in that election. This does not apply to other elections (ie, positions) considered at the same Meeting.
- Each election must appear as an agenda item for the Meeting at which it is held.
- All candidates must be nominated and seconded by those entitled to vote.
- The incumbent Sabbatical Officer shall act as Returning Officer, and shall determine all election mechanics not specified here (method of voting, presence of candidates during voting, etc.).
- If only one candidate stands for a position, s/he shall prevail if achieving more votes in favor than votes opposed.
- If two or more candidates stand for a position, the one who achieves an outright majority of votes cast shall prevail. If the case no majority is achieved, a second vote will be taken including only the top two candidates from the initial vote.
- In the event of extraordinary outcomes (eg repreated exact ties), the Returning Officer shall devise a mechanism for determining the winner with the assent of the majority of voters.
- All elections take effect from the end of the Meeting at which they are held, unless otherwise resolved at the Meeting.
- All elected positions are held for a maximum of 4 terms, starting with the term in which the post was taken up, unless re-elected following the procedure in 1.8.1.
- Campaigning for OURCs Elections
- Except as explicitly set out below, campaigning is prohibited for all elected positions.
- All candidates for every position will be given the opportunity to make a single speech at the Meeting at which the election is held.
- Each candidate's speech may not exceed three minutes.
- All opposing candidates for the same position shall leave the room for the duration of each candidate's speech.
- Candidates' speeches may not make reference to any opposing candidates.
- After all speeches, the Returning Officer may open the floor to questions. Each question must be general in nature and addressed to all candidates. Candidates will respond in turn, and response order will be rotated.
- Sabbatical Officer
- Elections for the Sabbatical Officer will follow the procedures in 1.8.1 and 1.8.2 above where they do not conflict with the rules in this section. In case of conflict, the rules in this section have precedence.
- Notwithstanding 1.8.1.j, elections of the Sabbatical Officer shall take effect at such time as directed by the Director of Sport.
- Notwithstanding 1.8.2.a, candidates for the post of Sabbatical Officer may post a campaign manifesto to the OURCs website following the instruction of the Returning Officer.
- In the event of the successful Sabbatical Officer for Rowing no longer being available, or a similar problem, the captains authorise the Senior Member of OURCs to appoint a replacement who will then be ratified by the next Captains' Meeting.
- Interim Appointment
- Should any Elected Position fall vacant between Captains' Meetings, the OURCs Secretary may appoint a suitable person to act in that role until the next Captains' Meeting.
- Should the Secretary post fall vacant between Captains' Meetings, the Sabbatical Officer may appoint a suitable person to act in that role until the next Captains' meeting.
- In case of 1.8.4.a. or 1.8.4.b. a new election shall take place at the next Captains' Meeting.
- Appointment (Appointed Positions)
- Ordinary Committee Members and the Webmaster may be appointed by the OURCs Secretary.
- Positions appointed under 1.8.5a are held for a maximum of 4 terms, starting with the term in which they were appointed, unless re-appointed following the procedure set out in 1.8.5.
- The OURCs Senior Member and Senior Treasurer shall be elected by the OURCs Committee at a Committee Meeting (1.10), and holds the office until they retire, resign, or a new Senior Member or Senior Treasurer is elected by the OURCs Committee. Such a vote requires a two-thirds majority of the voting OURCs Committee Members to pass.
1.9 Removal of Committee Members
- Upon retirement, resignation, or removal, all departing committee members must hand over any OURCs documents or property (including intellectual property rights) in their possession.
- Any Elected OURCs Committee Members may be removed by a majority vote of no confidence at a Captains' Meeting.
- A vote of no confidence shall be treated as a constitutional amendment in regards to its procedural requirements (published as an agenda item, vote margin to prevail, etc.).
- If a no confidence motion prevails, its subject will be removed from his/her position with immediate effect.
- If a no confidence motion of the Sabbatical Officer prevails, the OURCs Secretary shall direct the Director of Sport to take immediate action in line with University employment policies.
- Any non-elected OURCs Committee Members may be removed at an OURCs Committee Meeting.
1.10 OURCs Committee Meetings
- A formally convened Meeting of the OURCs Committee has the interim power to interpret the Constitution, Code of Conduct and Rules of Racing.
- Any member of the OURCs Committee may call a Committee Meeting, although normally it is the duty of the OURCs Secretary.
- Notice of a Committee Meeting must be given to all OURCs Committee members at least 24 hours before the meeting.
- The quorum for an OURCs Committee Meeting is 5 members of the OURCs Committee.
- Normally the OURCs Secretary shall chair the Meeting, unless otherwise resolved at the Meeting.
- Within 24 hours of any OURCs Committee action at which power granted in this Constitution (for example, appointing or removing a Committee Member; interpreting the Constitution, the Code of Conduct, or a Rule of Racing; etc.) is exercised, the Secretary shall E-mail all College Captains abbreviated minutes including at least: the date of the meeting, the Committee Members present at the meeting, and the actions taken in regard to Constitutional powers at the meeting.
1.11 Alteration of the Constitution and Code of Conduct
- The Council of Oxford University Rowing (COUR) has the authority to require changes to be made on safety grounds to the Constitution, Code of Conduct and Rules of Racing. These changes shall be notified to the Captains of Member Clubs within 24 hours of the COUR Ruling, and then take effect immediately. At the next Captains' Meeting a representative of COUR will explain the changes and the reasoning behind them, and record the captains' response to be relayed back to COUR.
- Any rule changed or instated by COUR may not be subsequently changed, removed, or any exception granted to it, without the consent of COUR.
- A formally convened Committee Meeting may alter the Constitution, Code of Conduct, and Rules of Racing for the purpose of correcting typographical, grammatical, formatting and numbering errors, subject to ratification at the next Captains' Meeting.
- Changes to the Constitution, Code of Conduct and the Rules of Racing, other than those listed in 1.11.1 and 1.11.2, may only be made at a Captains' Meeting.
- Proposed alterations to the Constitution must appear as an item on the agenda circulated in advance of the Meeting.
- Motions to alter the Constitution require a 2:1 majority of those in favour to those against, and an overall majority of those present and eligible to vote.
- Alterations to the Code of Conduct and Rules of Racing require a simple majority.
1.12 Senior Umpires
- Senior Umpires shall be appointed for one academic year by the OURCs Secretary and ratified at the next Captains' Meeting.
- A person may be eligible for appointment as a Senior Umpire following a suitable period of training by the existing, ratified Senior Umpires.
- Senior Umpires are entitled to vote at Captains' Meetings, as specified in 1.7.8.d.
- Once ratified, a Senior Umpire shall only be removed by a vote of a Captains’ Meeting, except during racing when a Senior Umpire may be removed by the Race Secretary and a majority of the other ratified Senior Umpires acting together.
- So far as may be permitted by law, every member of the Committee and every officer of OURCs shall be entitled to be indemnified by OURCs against all costs, charges, losses, expenses and liabilities incurred by him or her in the execution or discharge of his or her duties or the exercise of his or her powers, or otherwise properly in relation to or in connection with his or her duties. This indemnity extends to any liability incurred by him or her in defending any proceedings, civil or criminal, which relate to anything done or omitted or alleged to have been done or omitted by him or her as a member of the Committee or officer of OURCs and in which judgement is given in his or her favour (or the proceedings are otherwise disposed of without any finding or admission of any material breach of duty on his or her part), or in which he or she is acquitted, or in connection with any application under any statute for relief from liability in respect of any such act or omission in which relief is granted to him or her by the Court.
- So far as may be permitted by law, OURCs may purchase and maintain for any member of the Committee or officer of OURCs insurance cover against any liability which by virtue of any rule of law may attach to him or her in respect of any negligence, default, breach of duty or breach of trust of which he or she may be guilty in relation to OURCs and against all costs, charges, losses and expenses and liabilities incurred by him or her and for which he or she is entitled to be indemnified by OURCs by virtue of paragraph 1.
- Sponsorship agreements signed by both the Senior Member and Secretary of OURCs shall be recognised by OURCs and treated as an agreement between OURCs and the sponsor. Any liability incurred by the signatories when signing as representative officers of OURCs, shall be indemnified by OURCs.