Governing Documents

Referenda

Harper Adams Students' Union Constitution Ammendments

Referendum 2022

 

There are no referenda running at the present time.

What we've done so far

  • We've reviewed the whole constitution alongside an external consultant who's worked across the SU sector and with NUS on governance review and reform
  • We've worked with our partners in the university and their solicitor to ensure the changes meet the requirements under the education act. If the majority of students vote to adopt the changes the new constitution can also then be ratified by the university Board of Governors to ensure they meet their requirements by law. 
  • We've had universal approval from the Students' Union trustees for the changes to go for final approval through students. Our Trustee Board is made up of the President and Vice President (vacant), 2 student trustees and 4 lay trustees who come from a range of backgrounds including HR, Higher Education, the Civil Service and other Students' Union.

What are the changes

The Union Constitution has been due for review throughout the coronavirus pandemic. During 2021/22 we have spent time recovering as an organisation and have now reached a stage when we are able to review our governing documents.

To ensure that the process resulted in us having a redrafted constitution fit for purpose in 2022 and beyond we appointed an expert external consultant in Nick Smith. Nick has previously worked for NUS specialising in SU Governance and acts as the company secretary for Wonkhe, Middlesex SU, Arts SU, LSE SU. (http://nicksmithconsulting.org.uk/)

Summary of Changes

There are no substantive changes to the constitution that will seriously alter the business or function of the Union.

  • Procedure for general meetings deleted and moved to By-Laws.
    • The constitution does not need to have granular detail for how meetings take place just that they do take place
  • Removal of the detail of “First Board Charity Trustee” names
    • This is not required and is not relevant
  • The word “may” has replaced “shall” in a number or areas to give the union greater flexibility as a small institution.
  • Trustee Board given responsibility for deciding how to proceed in the event of a sabbatical officer resigning. There are no changes to the requirements for all SU Officers to be elected in a cross campus ballot.
    • This provides the organisation more flexibility and offers an alternative to a costly, time consuming by-election if late in the year an officer resigns. As is standard practice the Board is likely to instruct a by-election in most instances of an officer leaving early in their term of office.
  • Greater clarity given over the democratic process of the removal of trustees (No Confidence)
    • Sector standard used. The new wording more clearly articulates the requirement of a General Meeting or Referendum.
  • Removal of operational specifics e.g. use of specific rooms for meetings
    • These have been removed for common sense reasons. Being tied to a specific room made it difficult during the pandemic “x % of the capacity of room Y” was vastly reduced due to social distancing and creates a previously unforeseen risk. If a room was closed for refurbishment or the capacity was reduced the unions governance could be altered on a tiny number of students. The new wording allows for the Union to hold these meetings in any rooms or digitally.
  • Clarity over terminology
    • Some phraseology has been changed to make it clearer and comparable across the sector.

Existing Constitution

Proposed New Constitution