The Union of Clare Students
Click here to visit the UCS website
As an undergraduate or graduate, you are automatically a member of the Union of Clare Students.
You are entitled to leave the Union of Clare Students, Cambridge University Students Union, or the National Union of Students - details can be obtained from the UCS Secretary.
Once a year the UCS elects an Executive Committee (Exec), which is then directed to carry out your wishes through twice termly Open Meetings.
Members of the Exec sit on the key College committees and work with Fellows and College Staff to improve the students' lot in life and resolve difficulties. The Exec also runs campaigns on various health and education issues, and provides services and links with CUSU, the Cambridge University Students' Union. A list of names and contact details of the members of the Exec is available in the Porters' Lodges. The following is a brief summary of the posts on the Committee:
President: Your main representative within College.
Vice President: Deals with relations with CUSU and manages the appointed student reps.
Welfare & Equal Opportunities: A big role, involving providing a multitude of information and acting as a source of confidential support to guide you to sources of help.
Academic Affairs: Sorts out problems and runs campaigns on issues relating to academic work in Cambridge.
Services: Ensures the facilities provided by the UCS run smoothly, and works with the Catering Manager on food-related issues.
Treasurer: Sits on the College Finance Committee and manages the finances of the UCS. Works extensively with the Tutorial Bursar
Ents: Runs an Ents Committee to provide a range of lively events.
Secretary: Takes minutes of all Executive and Open Meetings and cares for the constitution.
First-Year Officer: Elected early in the first term to be the voice of the newly arrived first year.
Newsletter Editor: Edits a weekly news sheet containing a mixture of UCS and College news and gossip.
Social Secretary: Officer who plans and organises events such as UCS bops; also assists in planning of freshers' week.
Access Officer: Works with CUSU, University and College on encouraging applications from non-traditional backgrounds.
Buildings Officer: Deals with issues relating to student spaces in College, including accommodation - works with the Rooms Tutor and Rooms Co-ordinator.
The Executive Committee meets weekly and copies of minutes of what the Committee has said and done are available from the Secretary. Any complaints about members of the Committee should be taken to the person concerned, then the President.Committee members may be removed by a vote of no confidence at an Open Meeting. Copies of the UCS Constitution are available from the Secretary.
The Committee appoints a number of students as single-issue representatives, on:
- LesBiGay issues
- The Library
- Green issues
- Target schools
- Overseas students
- Women's issues
There are societies in Clare for most major sports, artistic & musical endeavours and charity work. They are allocated money by students during the first open meeting of the year.
If you wish to start your own society, then speak to the UCS Treasurer.
Open Meetings are the key way students make their opinions known, and a well-backed Open Meeting can substantially strengthen the students' negotiating position. The meetings are run according to a fairly formal procedure. Open Meetings should be advertised at least a week in advance, although emergency Open Meetings can be called at 48 hours' notice. Unless at least 50 members of the UCS are present at an Open Meeting none of its decisions are valid.
To submit an ordinary motion to an Open Meeting, it must be handed in writing to the UCS Secretary or President by noon, three days clear of the meeting. It must have a proposer and a seconder. Members of the Committee can help if you ask. Emergency motions can be handed in to the President before the start of the meeting. However, they will only be discussed (a) if the President deems them to be concerned with matters arising after time closed for ordinary motions but before the meeting itself, or (b) if they cannot reasonably be deferred, or (c) if the President does not judge them invalid on any other grounds.
The order in which motions are taken is set by the President, but can be overruled by the Open Meeting.
Any amendment to a motion proposed by a member and seconded by another shall be discussed and voted on (unless withdrawn or accepted), as long as it directly concerns a matter on the agenda. The Chair is the final judge in this matter. If the proposer/seconder of the original motion choose to accept a proposed amendment, it is accepted into the motion without a vote. Whether or not the amendment becomes part of the motion,the motion as a whole is then further discussed and voted on. For speed, the procedure on amendments is slightly different during the societies budget allocation motion at the start of the year. The intricacies will be explained then.
Discussion of any particular topic may last up to twenty minutes, unless the Chair decides otherwise, in which case the decision will be reviewed after every further ten minutes.
Most motions require a simple majority vote, but some require a two-thirds majority. These are decisions amending the Constitution, decisions to wind up the UCS, decisions to remove a Committee member from office, decisions circumventing or over ruling any decisions made by Open Meeting in the same academic year, and a vote of no confidence in the Chair. A vote of no confidence in the Chair needs to be proposed by ten members. If the vote is successful, the outgoing Chair will select another from the Exec.
Any motion passed at Open Meeting shall not be adopted as policy for 48 hours. In that time, an emergency Open Meeting can be called by either the President or a petition of 25 members. If the decision is confirmed by this meeting, it is adopted forthwith. Policy that is not overruled or circumvented by Open Meeting or Referendum shall remain active for three years, after which time it is deemed to have lapsed.