SES Constitution

Constitution of the Open University Students for Ethical Science



    The society shall be called Students For Ethical Science (referred to hereinafter as the 'Society').

    The name may be abbreviated to SES



    1. To urge the university to stop all use of animals for teaching and research;
    2. To encourage the university to take a lead in finding alternatives to animals for teaching and demonstrating known facts;
    3. To encourage the exchange of ideas between members about all aspects of living with compassion and respect for animals and all other species.


    1. Full membership shall be open to all students, former students and staff at the Open University
    2. Membership may be refused to persons who are opposed to the aims of the society.


    1. The governing body and sole policy making body of the society shall be the General Meeting consisting of all members of the Society who choose to attend. The quorum for General Meetings shall be seven 7 (seven) members of the Society's full and Associate membership.
    2. The affairs of the Society shall be administered between General Meetings by the Committee.
    3. Notice of General Meetings shall be given to all full and associate members no less than 21 days in advance of such meetings. Publications in SESAME or in a newsletter or other publications of the Society sent at an appropriate time to all full and associate members shall be regarded as notice. The notice shall include the name and telephone number of a member from whom details of the meetings business can be obtained.
    4. Any full or associate member of the Society shall be entitled to speak or vote on any matter before a General Meeting; except where specifically excluded by the provisions of this constitution.
    5. Minutes of all General Meetings shall be kept by the secretary and shall be available upon reasonable notice for inspection by any full or associate member.
    6. There shall be an Annual General Meeting (AGM) which shall be called no less than 11 months and not more than 15 months after the immediate previous AGM, subject to clause (ii), (iii) and (iv) of this section of this constitution.
    7. The committee may call Ordinary General Meetings subject to clause (ii) to (v) inclusive of this section of the constitution.
    8. An Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called by the committee or at the request of not less than 33% of the full member of the Society made in writing to the secretary. Such requests shall specify the business for which the meeting is to be called. Upon receipt of such a request the secretary shall with 1 calendar month give notice of the meeting to the Society. EGMs shall be subject to clause (ii) to (v) inclusive of this section of the constitution. The agenda for an EGM shall comprise only the business for which the meeting has been called.

    Officers and Committee

    1. The committee of the Society shall consist of the Officers and not more than 4 ordinary Committee members. The quorum for Committee Meetings shall be 5 members of which at least one member shall be an officer.
    2. The officers of the Society shall be: Chair, Secretary and Treasurer
    3. The Officers and ordinary committee members shall normally be elected at one AGM and shall hold office until the end of the succeeding AGM.
    4. Only full members of the society may nominate or be nominated for officer posts or ordinary committee membership. Elections shall be secret ballot, using the transferable vote system. Nominations which have a proposer and a seconder shall be accepted up to the time of election.
    5. No member shall be eligible to be nominated for the same post more than 3 (three) consecutive years. No member shall be eligible to be nominated for membership of the committee (either as an officer or an ordinary member) for a total of more than 6 (six) years whether consecutive or separate. The provisions of this clause may be waived in whole or in part for periods of one year at at time at the discretion of an AGM if insufficient eligible members are nominated for officer posts or committee membership.
    6. In the event of any casual vacancies either of the officers or ordinary committee members, the committee may in its absolute discretion leave the vacancy unfilled, co-opt from amongst the full members of the society or call an ordinary general meeting for the purpose of the election. Not more than 3 (three) co-options shall be made between General Meetings.


    1. The society's financial year shall run from the 1st of January to the 31st of December.
    2. The society shall levy subscriptions on its members. Such subscriptions shall fall due on the 1st of January of each year and shall be determined by the immediately preceding AGM.
    3. The treasurer shall be responsible for the conduct of all financial matters and shall maintain the accounts of the society. The accounts shall be available upon reasonable notice for inspection by any full member of the society.
    4. The accounts of the society shall be subject to annual audit by two auditors who are not members of the committee and shall be presented to the AGM.
    5. All expenditure shall be in connection with the AIMS of the society. The treasurer shall have the authority to spend sums in total not exceeding £50 between committee meeting. The committee may authorize the expenditure of sums up to £200 and not exceeding in total £500 between General Meetings. Any expenditure in excess of these sums must be authorised by a General Meeting.
    6. The treasurer and one other officer will sign cheques or make bank withdrawals on behalf of the society, subject to clause (v) of this section of this constitution.
    7. In the event of the society being dissolved or wound up, its assets shall be realised and any sum remaining after the settlement of all outstanding liabilities shall be donated to the Open University Students' Educational Trust or other charitable body where aims are to assist students of the Open University.

    Changes to the Constitution

    1. This constitution may be changed only by a resolution supported by at least two-thirds of the full members present and voting at an AGM of the society. All full members are entitled to vote by proxy in writing (through the secretary) if they are unable to attend the meeting and wish to vote at the AGM. These must be received by the secretary one full week beforehand.
    2. Proposed changes to the constitution must be notified in writing to the secretary not less than 10 (ten) full weeks before the AGM at which they will be discussed.
    3. Changes in the constitution shall be notified in writing to all full and associate members of the society. Each notification may be by publication in a newsletter and other publications sent out to all full and associated members.

This constitution was adopted by a postal ballot of all members

Approved by Vice President Constitution on behalf of the National Executive Committee

Signed.....(Susan D Fountain)