CONSTITUTION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE THIRD AGE
IN BURY ST. EDMUNDS
The name shall be the University of the Third Age in Bury St. Edmunds (also known as U3A in BSE) hereinafter in this constitution called "the U3A”.
2 . Objects and Powers -
The objects of the U3A are to advance the education of the public and in particular the
education of middle-aged and older people who are not in full time gainful employment and
who live in Bury St. Edmunds or in the surrounding area.
i) In furtherance of the above the U3A may purchase, take on lease, or in exchange, hire and otherwise acquire and sell or dispose of real or personal property and any rights or privileges which U3A may think necessary for the promotion of the objects.
ii) Publish books, pamphlets, reports, leaflets, journals, films, videos and instructional matter.
iii) Found and carry on schools and training courses and run lectures, seminars, conferences, courses and study groups.
iv) Encourage and assist in the formation and operation of other U3As and in regional and area groupings.
v) Receive donations, endowments, sponsorship, fees, subscriptions and legacies from persons desiring to promote the objects of the U3A or any of them and to hold funds in trust for the same.
vi) Do all such other lawful things as may be necessary for the attainment of the above objects or any of them.
3.1 All persons interested in supporting the objects of the U3A shall be admitted to membership at the approval of the Committee and upon payment of the annual subscription as determined either by the Committee or the membership at the Annual General Meeting provided that they agree to abide by this Constitution and any conditions properly imposed by the Committee.
3.2 Hereinafter in this Constitution the term “members” means only persons who have paid the current year’s subscription and whose membership has not been terminated by the Committee.
3.3 The Committee may terminate membership of any member if that member acts in a way prejudicial to the U3A or brings it into disrepute or there is any money owed to the U3A by that member in respect of membership or other fees and not paid within two months of formal notice being given by the Committee to that member that money is owed to the U3A. The individual concerned shall have the right to appeal to the committee before a final decision is made.
4.1 The management of the U3A shall be invested in the Committee whose duty it shall be to carry out its general policy and to provide for the administration, management and control of the affairs and property of the U3A. The Committee shall consist of the following:
i) at least 5 and not more than 10 members of the U3A elected at the Annual General Meeting (or in accordance with Clause 4.7),
ii) not more than two persons co-opted by the Committee. These persons need not be members but be invited to serve because of their special expertise. They shall not have voting rights and their tenure of office shall expire at the next Annual General Meeting.4.2 The election of members to the Committee shall be held at the Annual General Meeting of the U3A. With the exception of the Vice-Chairman and Treasurer, any member who has served on the Committee for the three previous years as an elected member is not eligible for re-election without an intervening period of at least one year. The Treasurer may serve for a period of up to six years and is not eligible for re-election without anintervening period of at least one year. A nomination to the Committee, duly agreed by the nominee, shall be proposed by a member and seconded by a member and delivered in writing to the General Secretary of the U3A at least two weeks before the Annual General Meeting.
4.3 The newly elected Committee shall take office at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting. At the first meeting of the Committee which shall take place not more than 30 days after the election of the Committee the members of the Committee shall elect from amongst their number the officers of the U3A which must include a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, a General Secretary and a Treasurer. Officers so elected shall continue in office until the first Committee meeting after the next Annual General Meeting. The Vice-Chairman shall be expected to hold office for one year and then to become Chairman for one year. The immediate past Chairman may remain as a member of the Committee for a further year, by co-option if necessary.
4.4 There shall be at least four committee meetings a year. Special committee meetings may be called at any time by the Chairman or by any two members of the Committee upon seven clear days’ notice being given, by the person or persons calling the meeting, to all other committee members of all the matters to be discussed.
4.5 At committee meetings matters shall be decided by a simple majority of votes of committee members present. In the case of an equality of votes the Chairman shall have second or casting vote. The quorum of any committee meeting shall be three or one third of the Committee, whichever is the greater.
4.6 The proceedings of the Committee shall not be invalidated by any defect in the appointment, election or co-option of any committee member.
4.7 Any casual vacancy in the elected members of the Committee shall be filled by a member of the U3A appointed by the Committee who shall serve until the next Annual General Meeting and shall be eligible for election at the Annual General Meeting.
4.8 The Committee may appoint sub-committees to which it may from time to time, and for such time as it determines, delegate such of its functions and powers as it thinks fit. Sub-committees shall report back to the Committee as soon as possible on actions taken under delegated powers. No expenditure shall be incurred by any subcommittee on behalf of the U3A without prior consent of the Committee.
4.9 The General Secretary of the U3A shall keep minutes of the meetings of the Committee.
5.1 The financial year of the U3A shall end on 31 st July each year and the Annual General Meeting of members of the U3A shall be convened before the following 30 th November. At least 21 days’ notice shall be given in writing to all members. A quorum shall be 5% of all members.
If within half an hour
of the appointed start time there is no quorum, the meeting shall be
adjourned to another date and time and at least 21 days notice given to all
members. If at the adjourned meeting a quorum is still not present, the
members in attendance shall be the quorum .
The business of the Annual General Meeting shall include:
(i) Receiving and approving the Annual Report.
(ii) Receiving and approving the examined accounts.
(iii) Electing the members of the Committee.
(iv) Appointing an examiner for the accounts.
(v) Considering any other business which has been published in the Agenda.
5.2 A special General Meeting of the U3A may be convened at any time by resolution of the Committee or upon a requisition signed by more than one fifth or more of the members stating the object of the meeting. A meeting held upon such resolution or requisition shall be called by the General Secretary of the U3A giving the other members 14 days notice of such a meeting. There shall be a quorum when 5% of members are present.
5.3 The Chairman of the U3A shall be the Chairman of any Committee or General Meeting at which he is present. In his absence the Vice-Chairman shall chair the meeting, and if both are absent the Committee shall elect a Chairman. The Chairman of the Meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
5.4 Accidental omission to give notice to any member shall not invalidate the proceedings of any General Meeting.5.5 Only members of the U3A present at any meeting shall be entitled to vote.
6.1 All the income and property of the U3A, and this is deemed to be held jointly by all the members of the Committee, shall be applied solely towards the objects of the U3A and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred in any way to any committee member of the U3A provided nothing herein shall prevent payment in good faith of reasonable and proper remuneration to any officer or to any employee of the U3A (see clause 6.3) and repayment of out-of-pocket expenses to members or Committee members incurred in the course of the work of the U3A.
6.2 The U3A shall have the power to collect and accept donations and to issue appeals for donations and to raise money by bequests or otherwise. Any money raised or received may be retained by the U3A and used at the discretion of the Committee. No form of permanent trading shall be undertaken in the raising of funds.
6.3 The Committee may appoint employees not being members of the Committee as may
from time to time be found necessary for carrying out the work of the U3A and may fix their
duties and remuneration.
6.4 All proper costs, charges and expenses incidental to the management of the U3A may be defrayed out of the funds of the U3A.
6.5 The Treasurer shall keep accounts of all the moneys received and expended on behalf of the U3A and shall prepare and publish such accounts duly examined at the Annual General Meeting.
6.6 No committee member shall be chargeable or responsible for loss caused by any thing or act done or omitted to be done by him/her or by any agent employed by him/her or by any other committee member although the employment of such agent was strictly not necessary or expedient, or by reason of any mistake or omission made in good faith by any committee member or by reason of any other matter or thing other than wilful individual fraud or wrongdoing on the part of the committee member who is sought to be made liable.
7. Powers of the Committee
All matters not provided for in this constitution relating to the U3A and not involving an amendment to this constitution may be dealt with by the Committee.
8. Alteration to the Constitution
The provisions of this Constitution other than clauses 2 and 9 and this clause may be amended with the assent of not less than two — thirds of the members of the U3A present and voting at a General Meeting of the U3A. Twenty-one clear days’ notice shall be given to the members, stating the intention to put forward such a resolution. No amendment shall be made which would cause the U3A to cease to be a charity
The U3A may at any time be dissolved by a resolution passed by a three-quarters majority of those present and voting at any meeting of the said U3A of which at least twenty-one clear days’ notice stating the intention to put forward such a resolution shall have been sent to all members of the U3A. If any assets remain after the satisfaction of all debts and other liabilities, such assets held by or in the name of U3A shall be transferred to such charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the U3A as the U3A may decide.
26 th February 1992 (amended 25 th February 1998, amended 18 th February 2003, amended 16 th February 2010)