It may sound foolish, stuffy and absurd to have people ranting and raving about the Constitution and its implications but make no mistake this is a vital component of any and all Clubs and Societies. A Constitution is effectively your term of reference and the rules and regulations on how to administer your club or society. If you find yourself in the position of committee member, this is your bible on how to run your club or society as voted by the members prior to your appointment.
The following exaggerated hypothetical situation may serve to emphasise its importance:
The Law Society is having a formal in Dublin. Emotions are high after a great formal night in which a lot of alcohol has been consumed but before the night is over a fight breaks out and a mirror is broken in the toilets of the hotel. The next day the Hotel manager contacts you regarding the accident from the night before. Incidentally the Hotel is involved in a lucrative sponsorship deal with the
College and is threatening to pull out of the deal unless the issue is dealt with immediately and satisfactorily. Unfortunately for you as the Society Chairperson, the member involved in the accident is your best friend.
What do you do?
(a) Reprimand the member in your capacity as the Society President, and lose your best friend?
(b) Tell the Hotel manager to get stuffed and the College loses the sponsorship money?
If you have a good comprehensive Constitution in place as voted by the members in which case it is clearly laid out how to deal with disciplinary measures, you implement those policies as the Society President. Therefore, the decision to suspend or expel the member is not your own ‘personal judgement’ but a term of reference, laid out in print that you inherited by taking office at the start of the year, as voted by the members for which it is your responsibility to represent the best interests of the University’s Law Society.
The College sponsorship is saved, your best friend should understand as should all other members of the Society, so you will still have some friends (if you had any at the start).
The Constitution will only be appreciated in times of conflict of interest, by which time it will be too late if it is inadequate to deal with the situation at hand. If carefully thought out and re-assessed each year, voted upon by the members, implemented and discussed with all members at least once a year, there will be no excuses as all members will be educated on its content and how it works.
Please see attached a sample Constitution of which you can use as a template when establishing your own club/society
|Sample Constitution.docx||847.45 KB|