Constitution

1. Definition


The Society shall be called the “Cambridge University Physics Society”; also known as “CUPS”.

2. Aims


The aims of the Society shall be to promote an active interest in physics within the University of Cambridge and in the Cambridge area, and for this purpose especially:

a) to arrange meetings at which lectures shall be given on topics relating to physics,

b) to promote social and sporting events within the society and between other societies,

c) to allow a forum for discussion of physics-related issues,

d) to arrange visits to establishments of physical interest,

e) to develop links with physics societies outside Cambridge,

f) to undertake other activities incidental to the attainment of the above aims.

3. Events


a) The Society will have the right to levy a charge on Members and Non-Members for attendance of Society-organised events in order to subsidise and improve the quality of the event, provided that the rate charged is appropriate and that Members will receive substantial discounts relative to the Non-Members’ rate.

b) The Society shall organise a Garden Party during, or at a convenient time around, May Week.

c) The Society shall hold an annual dinner for the retiring Committee to be known as the Omega Dinner. The Dinner shall be held towards the end of February or at the beginning of March; the Society’s anniversary. The Society shall subsidise the expense of this meal for all attending members, contingent on adequate funds.

e) The Committee reserves the right to ask attendees to leave from any CUPS events.

4. Governing Bodies


The affairs of the society shall be governed by the Committee, which shall consist of:

a) (hereinafter referred to as “the Senior Committee”) The President, Vice-Presidents, the Senior Treasurer and the present Head of the Cavendish Laboratory.

b) (hereinafter referred to as “the Executive Committee”, or “the Committee”) The Committee shall consist of: two Co-Chairs, the Secretary, the Junior Treasurer as separate roles, optionally the Webmaster, Speaker Liaison, Sponsor Liaison, Publicity Officer and General Duties Members, as well as any additional positions agreed upon by the Committee. A majority of the Executive Committee excluding the General Duties Members shall constitute the quorum of the Committee.

5. College & Year Representatives


It is intended that the existence of College and Year Reps will encourage applications to the Executive Committee in the Annual Elections.

a) The role of the College Reps is to provide a fundamental University network for the Society by:

i.distribution of Society publicity information in their college.
ii.providing someone in each college who will co-ordinate questions and membership queries to the Committee as well as answering individual queries and making themselves known to their college as a rep.
iii.keeping the Committee aware of activities in their college which may be of interest to the Society.
iv.helping the Committee find a successor in college when they retire.
v.attending CUPS events whenever possible.

The term of office of the College Reps is officially that of the corresponding Committee, but they are to be elected by direct appointment of the Committee and shall not require re-election annually, following a general request for applicants.

b) The role of the Year Reps is to provide a contact and promotion point for the Society by:

i.distribution of Society publicity information at appropriate course lectures (primarily overhead projection acetates).
ii.attending CUPS events whenever possible.

The term of office of the Year Reps is the academic year. They are appointed by the Committee at the start of each academic year, following a general request for applicants.

6. Membership


a) Membership of the Society shall be open to all Members of Cambridge University and other persons as the Committee approve.

b) Each member of the Society shall pay a membership subscription according to whether they have subscribed for a Year or for a Life Membership. A Year Membership shall lapse on the first day of Full Term of the following academic year and the Life Membership will be defined literally as “valid for the lifespan of the holder”. The rates of subscription shall be fixed from time to time with the approval of the Senior Treasurer.

c) If a year Member wishes to upgrade to Life Membership, they may do so at the cost of the difference between the life and annual membership rates by exchanging their Year Membership card for a Life Membership one. This may be done at any time.

d) Society members who are not also members of the University of Cambridge may be discriminated against in the provision of places at attendance-limited events held by the Society.

e) Any person who has behaved in a manner disruptive or disrespectful to the Society may have their membership revoked. This shall be decided by a majority Committee vote.

7. General Meetings


An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held during each Lent Full Term. Other General Meetings may be held at the discretion of the Committee or by requisition signed by five or more Members and delivered to the Secretary. At least 10 (ten) days’ notice of any General Meeting must be given to all members.

8. Elections to Executive Committee


a) The Members of the Executive Committee shall be elected at a General Meeting and shall hold office until the end of the next Annual General Meeting. The outgoing Members of the Executive Committee shall be eligible for re-election. The Committee shall have the power to fill unfilled Committee vacancies between Annual General Meetings by co-option.

b) At least one Member of the Executive Committee shall have served on the previous Executive Committee in order to achieve continuity between the years and ensure that Committees do not work against each other. If no Member of the previous Committee wishes to be re-elected then one must make him/herself available in an advisory capacity to the following Committee.

c) Nominations for the Executive Committee shall be made by email or internal mail (ICMS) to the current Executive Committee. Nominations must be opened officially (with notice made to all Members) at least ten days before and shall close a maximum of three days before the relevant General Meeting. The nominee must be a Member of the Society.

d) The Society shall elect the candidate for any office by a simple (i.e. not necessarily overall) majority. Elections will take place in the order of Para.10. Unsuccessful candidates may run for other posts following their own original attempt, should nominations still be officially open. In the event of a tie for office, another vote will be taken by the Society solely between those who tie. If a tie again results then the retiring Chair shall have the casting vote.

e) Executive Committee Members must be studying for a qualification at the University of Cambridge during the year which they will be on the committee. This ensures that the society is run by students primarily for the benefit of students.

9. Elections to Senior Committee


a) The President, Vice-Presidents and the Senior Treasurer shall be elected by the retiring Executive Committee which shall announce the names of those elected at the AGM. They shall be of MA or equivalent status and Members of Cambridge University and shall hold office until the next AGM.

b) The Executive Committee may also elect one or more eminent physicists, in Cambridge or elsewhere, to be Honorary Vice-Presidents of the Society. The aim of these elections is to gain active endorsement for what the Society does and what it represents.

10. Roles of Committee Members

a) Co-Chairs The two Co-Chairs shall preside at meetings of the Committee. The Co-Chairs’ primary responsibility is to ensure the smooth running of the Society, which includes, but is not restricted to, taking overall responsibility for CUPS events, checking on the activities of the other Officers of the Committee and providing motivation and direction to the Society.

In the absence of both Co-Chairs, the Committee shall appoint a Temporary Chair from numbers present.

It is strongly advised, although not necessary, that the Co-Chairs have previously held a different Office in the Committee.

With the consent of 2/3 of the committee, one of the Co-Chairs may interpret the Constitution when it is unclear, contradictory, or brings the society into a violation of the rules for Student Societies as presented by the Junior Proctor. These interpretations do not form a precedent or constitute an amendment in and of themselves.
b) Secretary The Secretary’s primary responsibility is to record the minutes of Committee meetings. Other responsibilities include providing Society Members with updates on Committee decisions, conducting the correspondence of the Committee and Members, keep a record of Members, produce and issue membership cards, and maintain the Constitution.
c) Treasurers The Junior Treasurer’s primary responsibility is to keep a proper record of the income and expenditure of the society. The Senior Treasurer shall audit the accounts which shall be open to inspection by any Member of the Society. A summary of the accounts shall be presented at each Annual General Meeting by the Junior Treasurer. In the event of the Treasurer’s absence from the AGM, the Treasurer must submit the summary of accounts to be read by another member of the Committee.
d) Speaker Liaison The Speaker Liaison’s primary responsibility is to contact Speakers and organise talks held by the Society. The Speaker Liaison will ensure that the speaker is welcomed by members of the committee on the day of their talk.
e) Publicity Officer The Publicity Officer shall have responsibility for the production of all advertising materials, advertising via email, and liaison with student newspapers. They shall also recruit and liaise with College and year representatives. It is expected that they will be aided in this role by the other members of the committee, especially the Co-Chairs, as and when necessary.
The following are optional Committee roles that exist to reduce the responsibility load that would otherwise be carried by the above Committee positions.

g) Sponsor Liaison The Sponsor Liaison’s primary responsibility is to foster relations with corporate sponsors and to provide a contact within the Committee to discuss sponsorship issues. Working in conjunction with the Chair and Junior Treasurer, the Sponsor Liaison shall attempt to build sponsor support for all Society events with the aim of reducing costs incurred on to Members.
h) Webmaster The Webmaster’s primary responsibility is to maintain the internet site and mailing list provided for the Society by the University Computing Service.
i) General Duties Members General Duties Members The General Duties Members, or simply General Members, shall exist in the Executive Committee in order to assist with any particularly large tasks nominally assigned to another Officer and to take charge of any issues arising which are of indeterminate designation. The existence of such Members should provide scope for manoeuvrability within the Committee. General Duties Members are also the first resource used to fill vacancies within the Committee due to resignation or other incapacitation of a Committee Officer.

There must be a limited number of general members of less than half the number of non-general committee members. If at some point the number is not respected, there must be a general meeting in the next 4 weeks of full term to reduce it.
j) General Committee Responsibilities The Committee has several responsibilities that are not officer-specific, however, officers may be appointed to be in charge the following responsibilities. The Committee shall:

i.conceive of and organise social events within the Society and organise social events involving other physics societies or other societies within the University. These responsibilities could otherwise be grouped into the office of “Social Secretary”.
ii.undertake other unforeseen responsibilities regarding the welfare of the Society and delegate tasks as it sees fit.
iii.attend subsidised dinners with speakers before the talk (no more than 3 Committee members are recommended at each dinner).

11. Fiscal Issues


The income and property of the Society shall be applied solely towards the aims of the Society. The Society shall have one or more bank accounts and the Junior Treasurer may hold a sum as petty cash.

Both the Junior Treasurer and either of the Co-Chairs will be able to authorise and transact on behalf of the Society. It shall be a term of every contract entered into by the Society that the funds of the Society alone are to be liable for any debts, obligations or engagements incurred or entered into; and that no Member or Officer of the Society is to be under any personal liability thereof.

12. Society Logo


The Cambridge University Physics Society Logo is a shield divided into four (4) quadrants by a cross. The blazon – a description of each “field” (quadrant) and the “ordinary” (cross) – of the escutcheon (shield) is as follows:

a) The upper left field contains a representation of the upper body of Cavendish Crocodile. The Crocodile is gold, with a black outline, in a red background.

b) The upper right field contains an idealised representation of an atom; three oval orbitals at sixty (60) degrees to each other, surrounding a circular core. The atom is gold, with a black outline, in a red background.

c) The lower left field contains a representation of an apple, in honour or Sir Isaac Newton. The apple is gold, with a black outline, in a red background.

d) The lower right field contains a lion passant guardant or (walking with its right forepaw raised, facing the left-hand edge, looking at the observer), in honour of the University. The lion is gold, with a black outline, in a red background.

e) The ordinary is an ermine cross whose spots have been replaced by diode symbols. On the cross is a closed clasped red book, with the clasps pointing downward, garnished with gold detail and outlined in black.

13. Dissolution of the Society


a) The Society may be dissolved at a General Meeting provided that at least 21 (twenty-one) days written notice of the intention to dissolve the Society has been given to the members. The quorum of the Committee must be present at that General Meeting, and at least two thirds of those present and voting at the General Meeting must vote in favour of the motion for Dissolution for it to be effective.

b) Any motion for Dissolution of the Society shall provide that assets remaining after all liabilities have been met shall be transferred either to another Registered University Society, or to the Society’s Syndicate, or to all the members of the Society equally.

14. Constitutional Amendments


This Constitution may be amended at any General Meeting, provided that notice of the proposed amendment(s) is given under the same conditions as the notice convening the meeting (see Section 7). A motion to amend the constitution shall be considered lost if it fails to obtain a two-thirds majority. For minor problems with the Constitution, see section 10.a).

Constitutional History

Adopted 28th Feb 1957
Amendment to paragraph 4 9th March 1961
Amendment to paragraph 4 19th Nov 1964
Various amendments 24th Feb 1966
Various amendments 3rd March 1976
Various amendments 15th Nov 1979
Amendment to paragraph 9 19th Feb 1981
Amendment to paragraph 6 5th March 1981
Amendment to paragraph 6 4th March 1982
Amendment to paragraph 11 25th Nov 1982
Amendment to paragraphs 2, 4 & 6 with introduction of new para 3. 6th Nov 1986
Amendments to all paras, esp para. 2, 3, 6, 8 & 10, general restructuring and introduction of paras. 5 & 12. 11th March 1999
Amendment to paragraphs 3, 5, 10, 11 & 12 13th March 2000
Removal of references to Sports secretary 25th April 2001
Wikified 3rd May 2006
Various amendments to all paragraphs 14th March 2007
Secretary’s version typeset 8th March 2009
Addition of Director of Communications as a compulsory role, Other amendments to paragraph 10 11th March 2009
Various amendments to sections 4, 8 and 11, Renaming of 3 positions to: ‘Publicity Officer’, ‘Chair’ and ‘Vice-Chair’ 1st March 2010
Amendments to sections 3, 6, 10 and 13 15th May 2010
Amendments to sections 7 and 10 28th April 2012
Various amendments to several sections, esp sections 4, 10, & 11 11th May 2012
Introducing new section 13 and renumbering old 13 to 14 9th March 2014
 Amendments to section 10: “Chair & Vice-Chair” to “Co-Chairs”  5th March 2016
 Amendments to section 11  20th November 2016