2001 Constitution

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The constitution was rewritten in 2001. Up until this point there were certain named roles that existed in the Constitution and then others that were created in the Policy. It was decided to move all the roles into the Constitution to give them equal status as officers of the society, and to group them into four teams.

Within each team were a number of more junior positions - the idea being that in the event of a position being vacant the relevant team leader would carry out their duties.

The Constitution was drafted by a small committee (Cally Nixon and Thea Darricotte were both on it) but most of the text was actually written by Michael Prior-Jones.

The next rejig was the 2005 Constitution, which restored the idea of creating junior roles through a Policy - the idea being that the policy could be more easily changed without needing to go through the process of amending the constitution.

The full text follows:


YSTV constitution 30th April 2001

  1. Introduction
    • York Student Television (often referred to as YSTV) is a student society based at the University of York, and provides a television service to the staff and students of the University. This document sets out the details of how the society is organised and administered.
    • It may be helpful to read this constitution in conjunction with the current society Policy (see section 10) and with the constitution of York University Student Union.
  2. Aims and objectives
    • The society aims to provide a television service to the University of York campus, and involve its members in all aspects of the operations of this service. As a part of this, the society seeks to produce original programme content of interest and relevance to the society’s membership and to the student body at large.
  3. Terms and definitions
    1. YSTV is an abbreviation of York Student Television.
    2. YUSU is an abbreviation of York University Student Union.
    3. AGM is an abbreviation of Annual General Meeting.
    4. EGM is an abbreviation of Extroadinary General Meeting.
    5. The terms "YSTV" and "the society" refers to the society membership as a whole.
    6. "The Station" refers to the rooms occupied by YSTV that are used for the production of television programmes.
    7. "Facilities" refers to all of the rooms and equipment owned or occupied by YSTV.
    8. "The Studio" is the room within the Station used for the set of television programmes.
    9. "The Control Room" is the room within the Station which holds the electronic and computer equipment used in the production of programmes.
    10. "The Workshop" (colloquially referred to as the "Techie Room") is the room within the Station used for the construction and maintenance of equipment.
    11. "The Office" is the room (in Grimston House) used for meetings and administration work.
    12. "in writing" means a printed or handwritten document, which must be signed in person.
    13. "by email" refers to communication by electronic mail.
  4. Membership
    1. Ordinary members are those members who have paid a subscription fee and signed the registration document.
    2. Ordinary membership is open to all, subject to the rules defined by YUSU.
    3. Ordinary membership may be withdrawn from any member in the event that they have committed a flagrant and wilful breach of the society Constitution or Policy. The member must be notified in writing or by email at least six days in advance of the society meeting at which the decision will be taken. The member in question has the right to defend themselves in person at the meeting or issue a written statement to the Secretary of the society defending their actions. The matter must be discussed, and then a majority vote will decide whether the membership is to be retracted. Anyone losing their membership forfeits their subscription.
    4. Honorary membership may be conferred upon anyone by means of a majority vote at a society meeting. It may also be withdrawn by majority vote at a society meeting, but the member in question should receive at least six days notice, by email, of the impending vote. Honorary members do not pay a subscription or sign the registration document. They may not serve as officers and have no voting rights at a society meeting.
  5. Officers
    1. The activities of the society have been divided into five distinct areas. Each area has a team of members associated with it, and each team consists of one or more officers and any other interested members.
    2. All officers have a right of access to the Station and a right to an official society email address.
    3. All officers have a responsibility to uphold the society Constitution and Policy and to carry out their duties as defined by the Constitution and Policy.
    4. No-one may hold more than one officership.
    5. An officership (other than the Director and the Team Leader posts) may be held by two or more people acting jointly. In this situation, they carry out their duties as one unit and any disciplinary action taken against them affects all of the people holding the officership.
    6. In the event of an officer failing to carry out their duties in accordance with the society Constitution and Policy or abusing their powers, a society meeting may take a vote of no-confidence in them. The officer must be notified in writing or by email at least six days in advance of the meeting at which the vote is to take place. They have a right to defend themselves in person at the meeting, or to issue a written statement to the Secretary of the society defending their actions. The matter must be discussed, and a majority vote will decide whether the officership is to be retracted.
    7. Officers must resign if they stand for election to Parliament or to an officership within YUSU.
    8. Within each team, one officership is defined as the Team Leader.
    9. Team Leaders have a right to their own key to the Station, in addition to their rights as officers of the society.
    10. Team Leaders are responsible for carrying out the duties of any vacant officerships within their team.
    11. Team Leaders are required to produce a written report to each society meeting describing the activities of their team.
    12. In the event of a Team Leader’s post being vacant, the Director assumes their responsibilities.
    13. The Director is responsible for the society as a whole and has the following duties:
      • to be the chair of the society.
      • to call and chair all meetings of the society in normal circumstances. See section 7 for details of meetings.
      • to co-ordinate and support the other officers of the society.
      • to act as an initial point of contact for general enquiries about the society and its activities, from both within the University and from the general public.
      • to ensure that the membership are kept informed of and encouraged to participate in all the society’s activities.
      • to ensure that the Constitution and Policy are in accordance with the constitution of YUSU, the ordinances and regulations of the University of York and English law.
      • to be a signatory of any bank accounts held by the society.
    14. The Administration team are responsible for the maintenance of the societies records, both secretarial and financial, and other general administrative matters.
      1. The Studio Manager is responsible for the smooth running of the society and has the following duties:
        • to be the Team Leader for the Administration team.
        • to deputise for the Director.
        • to ensure the upkeep of any rooms occupied by the society and to maintain a pleasant working environment within the rooms.
        • to liase with the University authorities over the maintenance of the rooms occupied by the society.
        • to assist the Director in carrying out his or her duties, as detailed in section 5.13
      2. The Secretary has the following duties:
        • to ensure that all official correspondence is dealt with appropriately, and brought to the attention of other officers and/or a society meeting, as appropriate.
        • to ensure that records of the societies membership are kept up-to-date.
        • to ensure that complete and accurate minutes of all society meetings are kept.
        • to ensure that the Team Leaders reports, and reports from any other officers, are collated and presented at society meetings.
        • to hold a key to the cash box and to be a signatory on the society’s bank account
      3. The Treasurer has the following duties:
        • to keep detailed and accurate records of the society’s financial status.
        • to compile, in consultation with the other officers and the society in general, a budget proposal, when requested to do so by YUSU.
        • to manage the society’s finances efficiently, including the payment of bills and collection of debt.
        • to ensure that all equipment is appropriately insured.
        • to be a signatory of any bank accounts held by the society.
        • to hold a key to the cash box.
    15. The Technical team are responsible for the technical operations of the society and the maintenance of the society’s equipment. To liase with other officers of the society with respect to technical matters.
      1. The Technical Director has the following duties:
        • to be Team Leader for the Technical team.
        • to supervise and direct the technical operations of the society.
        • to ensure all equipment owned by the society is adequately maintained.
        • to advise the society on technical equipment purchases.
        • to advise the society on technical matters.
        • to ensure that all equipment owned by the society is safe to use.
      2. There are two posts of Technical Assistant and they have the following duties:
        • to assist the Technical Director as directed by the Technical Director.
      3. The Computing Officer has the following duties:
        • to be responsible for the operations and maintenance of all general-purpose computing equipment owned by the society.
        • to be responsible for the society’s compliance with the regulations laid down by the University of York Computing Service department.
        • to advise the society on purchases of computing equipment.
        • to keep adequate backups of data and software owned by the society.
        • to liase with the Technical Director in matters concerning broadcast-critical computing equipment.
        • to ensure the security of all network-connected computer equipment.
    16. The Production team are responsible for all in-house productions and any rebroadcasting of third-party material.
      1. The Production Director has the following duties:
        • to be Team Leader for the Production Team.
        • to be responsible for the quantity and quality of all in-house productions.
        • to exercise editorial control over all broadcast output, whether in-house or third-party.
        • to co-ordinate and support producers of all in-house programmes.
        • to liase with all other campus societies who are interested in television coverage of their activities.
      2. The Controller of News and Current Affairs has the following duties:
        • to be responsible for the production of all News and Current Affairs programming.
        • to encourage good journalistic practice and impartiality within YSTV News and Current Affairs programmes.
        • to support and encourage producers of News and Current Affairs programmes.
        • to liase with other news-related societies.
      3. The Controller of Entertainment and Drama has the following duties:
        • to be responsible for the production of all Entertainment and Drama programming. This may be original content produced specifically for television, or coverage of other events.
        • to support and encourage producers of Entertainment and Drama programmes.
        • to liase with societies who have an interest in Entertainment or Drama.
      4. The Controller of Factual Programming has the following duties:
        • to be responsible for the production of all factual programming, which includes science and arts reporting.
        • to support and encourage producers of Factual programmes.
      5. The Scheduling Manager has the following duties:
        • to organise the scheduling of YSTV and third-party programming.
        • to ensure that, within reason, requests for programmes from the public are catered for.
        • to liase with the Business team to ensure that contractual obligations for the screening of advertising are met, and to ensure that the schedules receive publicity.
      6. The Training Manager has the following duties:
        • to encourage members of the society to become familiar with the operation of the society’s equipment.
        • to provide documentation describing the operations of the society’s equipment, and to keep it up-to-date as equipment changes.
        • to organise the training of members in how to carry out activities safely.
    17. The Business team are responsible for YSTV’s public image, and for raising money for the society through commercial activities.
      1. The Commercial Director has the following duties:
        • to be the Team Leader for the Business team.
        • to co-ordinate the raising of money for the society through advertising, sponsorship and other commercial activities.
        • to ensure that contracts entered into with commercial organisations are "watertight" and in the interests of the society.
        • to co-ordinate the promotion of YSTV and its activities to students and the general public.
      2. The Advertising Manager has the following duties:
        • to obtain advertising (both from within the University and outside) and programme sponsorship for the society
        • to ensure that all contracts entered into with advertisers and sponsors are met.
        • to organise the production of advertising materials (graphics, etc.) as required.
      3. The Public Relations Manager has the following duties:
        • to ensure that YSTV, both as a society and as a television station, is well-promoted within the student body and the general public.
        • to deal with the press and media (both campus and commercial).
        • to assist programme producers with the publicising of their programmes.
      4. The Web Designer has the following duties:
        • to design and maintain a user-friendly web site for the society, that is informative, up-to-date and universally accessible.
        • to assist programme producers with creating web pages about their programmes within the society’s site.
  6. Rules and regulations
    1. The society shall conduct its affairs in accordance with the constitution of YUSU, the ordinances and regulations of the University of York and English law. It is the Director’s responsibility to uphold this (see 5.13).
    2. Further to the above, the society shall conduct its affairs without discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, religion, disability or any other basis.
    3. All members of the society are required to comply with the society’s policy on health and safety matters when making use of the society’s facilities.
    4. The society shall be guided by the Independent Television Commission’s Codes of Practice for Advertising and Journalism, the Advertising Standards Authority’s Code of Practice and by the NUS/NUJ Guidelines for student journalists.
    5. No member of the society shall be liable for any loss, damage or misfortune which may happen to be incurred by the Society during any society business. However, this does not affect their liability for the consequences of any wilful misconduct or negligent act on their part.
    6. A decision may be taken by a society meeting (or, in an emergency, by a team leader) to withdraw the use of any society facilities from a member if it is decided that the Constitution has been or would have been breached. Any action taken by a team leader under this provision must be reported to and ratified by a subsequent society meeting.
    7. Keys to the station may be allocated to members other than team leaders at the discretion of the station meeting.
  7. Meetings
    1. Society meetings (sometimes referred to as Station Meetings) shall be held weekly during the term-time of the University of York.
    2. All officers are required to attend station meetings, or present a verbal or written apology to the Secretary, giving reasons for their absence.
    3. If an officer does not attend, and fails to provide an apology, for three consecutive society meetings, a vote of no-confidence shall be taken in them, in accordance with the rules laid down in section 5.6.
    4. The membership shall be informed in writing or by email of the time, date and location of society meetings at least once per term, and should be informed of any subsequent changes.
    5. Quorum for a society meeting shall be one quarter of the number of serving officers at the time of the meeting and not less than 8% of the total membership.
    6. The meeting shall ordinarily be chaired by the Director. In his or her absence, the person present who is highest in the following list shall chair the meeting:
      • Studio Manager
      • Production Director
      • Commercial Director
      • Technical Director
      • Treasurer
      • Controller of News and Current Affairs
      • Controller of Entertainments and Drama
      • Controller of Factual Programming
      • Computing Officer
      • Technical Assistants
      • Advertising Manager
      • Public Relations Manager
      • Web Designer
      • Taining Manager
      • Scheduling Manager
      • Secretary
    7. The chair of the meeting may be required to defer the chair to the next available person on the above list if they are deemed to be unfit to chair the meeting or have a perceived conflict of interest in the matter under discussion. The decision to defer the chair shall be taken by a simple majority vote.
    8. All binding decisions regarding the society (except where explicitly described elsewhere in the constitution) shall be passed by a simple majority vote of quoracy except the chair of the meeting. Proxy and postal votes are not permitted. Members may abstain, in which case their vote does not count towards either side. In the event of an even split, the chair of the meeting shall have the casting vote. After the vote, the chair should announce that the motion has been carried or defeated.
    9. Votes should ordinarily be taken by show of hands, but any member of the society present at the meeting may request a secret ballot. In this case, the ballot should be counted by the Studio Manager, or in their absence, by an officer nominated by the chair. They should pass the result to the chair to be announced. The voting figures should also be announced.
    10. All Team Leaders shall provide a report to the meeting outlining the activities of their team since the last quorate meeting. These reports should be submitted to the Secretary by noon on the day of the society meeting. The Secretary should collate the reports and pass copies around at the meeting. The reports should form part of the meetings’ minutes.
    11. The Secretary should circulate copies of the minutes of all previous meetings that await ratification. A vote should be taken at the end of the society meeting to confirm that the minutes are a true and accurate record of the events of those meetings.
    12. The agenda for society meetings should take the following format:
      • Apologies for absence
      • Elections for vacant posts
      • Business
      • Any other business
      • Questions to officers
      • Matters arising from the minutes of the last meeting
      • Vote of approval of the minutes of the last meeting
        • Business is all of the items noted for discussion by the chair before the start of the meeting.
    13. The society shall hold an AGM once per academic year, during the Summer term of the University of York. Ten days notice should be given in writing or by email to all members of the Society. The AGM has the full powers of a society meeting. At the AGM, all of the officerships come up for election. The officers shall serve from the end of the AGM until the end of the following AGM, subject to their resignation or being deprived of their officership by a vote of no-confidence at a society meeting.
    14. The society meeting may create (by majority vote) a working party to address specific matters. This must report to the society meeting on request.
  8. Elections
    1. Elections may take place at any society meeting
    2. The membership shall be notified in writing or by email at least six days in advance of the election. The details of the vacant post(s) shall be included in the notification.
    3. The returning officer shall be the chair of the society meeting, as described above. They are entitled to vote in the elections.
    4. Members wishing to stand for election should be nominated in writing by two other members of the society. Nominations should be submitted to the returning officer by noon on the day before the elections. The person nominated must be present at the election for the nomination to be valid, and must publicly accept the nomination at the meeting. In the event that a nominated candidate fails to attend, the election will be postponed.
    5. All candidates shall be invited to give a speech, which is not to exceed five minutes. During each speech and the subsequent questions, other candidates for the same officership shall be excluded from the room. Candidates should be invited to give speeches in alphabetical order by surname. When all of the candidates have given their speech, the candidates shall return to answer questions put to them all jointly. The order of answering shall be determined by the chair.
    6. Voting in all elections shall be by secret ballot, according to the Alternative Transferable Voting system, with the addition of an option to re-open nominations. However, if there is only one candidate standing for an officership, a vote of confidence may be taken by show of hands, with the candidate excluded from the room. The candidate shall be elected if they receive more votes in favour than against.
    7. Only members of the society present at the meeting are eligible to vote.
    8. The returning officer may release the voting figures with the consent of all the candidates, or by request of two-thirds of the membership present at the meeting.
    9. Any candidate who is elected to an officership shall be deemed to have resigned at the end of the meeting from any other officership that they may hold in the society. Their new officership commences from the end of the meeting.
  9. The Constitution
    1. The society Constitution outlines the aims, objectives, rules, regulations and procedures of the society as an association. It does not cover the specific rules, regulations and procedures required in the day-to-day use of the society’s facilities and equipment.
    2. The Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote (abstentions should be deducted from the number of those eligible to vote) of all members present at a society meeting. Notice of a constitutional amendment shall be given at the previous society meeting, and the membership shall be notified of the proposed amendment at least six days before the vote, in writing or by email.
    3. It is the Secretary’s responsibility to ensure that whenever the Constitution is amended, the out-of-date copies are destroyed or marked as invalid, and that a new edition is published.
    4. The society Constitution should be on display prominently within the station, and also made available in electronic form on the society’s web site.
    5. The Secretary should also ensure that YUSU hold an up-to-date copy of the society Constitution.
  10. The Policy
    1. The society Policy sets out the rules, regulations and procedures governing the day-to-day use of the society’s facilities and equipment. It covers matters such as equipment loans, production guidelines, charges for commercial services, safety, security, purchasing and other such matters.
    2. Amendments to the policy should be discussed at a society meeting and may be voted on by a simple majority vote of those members present at the meeting.
    3. It is the Secretary’s responsibility to ensure that whenever the Policy is amended, the out-of-date copies are destroyed or marked as invalid, and that a new edition is published.
    4. The society Policy should be on display prominently within the station, and also made available in electronic form on the society’s web site.