Society of Open University Philosophers

  1. Name

The Society shall be known as the ‘Society of Open University Philosophers’ (SOUP), hereafter referred to as the ‘Society’.

2. Aims

  • To encourage open Philosophical discussion, research and learning between members of the Society
  • To hold monthly debates revolving around different topics in Philosophy
  • To organise online events, such as guest speakers, conferences and debates
  • To provide a university wide, non-module related space to support students in their Philosophy studies with the Open University
  • To form an Open University Philosophy Journal where members can publish Philosophy related content and for all members to read and comment on

3. Membership

  • Full membership shall be open to all students, former students and staff of the Open University.
  • Associate membership shall be open to any other person.
  • Family membership shall be open to the families of Full members.
  • Membership may be refused to persons who are opposed to the aims of the Society.
  • Membership may be revoked in instances where members’ behaviour compromises the aims and reputation on the society.

4. Government

  • 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 7.
  • The affairs of the Society shall be administered between General Meetings by the Committee.
  • Notice of General Meetings shall be given to all Full and Associate members not less than 14 days in advance of such meetings. Publication in a newsletter or other publication 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 Meeting’s business can be obtained.
  • Any Full member of the Society shall be entitled to speak and vote on any matter before a General Meeting; any Associate or Family member shall be entitled to speak on any matter before a General Meeting except where specifically excluded by the provisions of this constitution.
  • 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.
  • There shall be an Annual General Meeting (AGM) which shall be called not less than 11 months and not more than 15 months after the immediate previous AGM. Formal notification of an AGM must be sent to all members six weeks before the meeting to allow for nominations, motions, etc, to be sent and returned.
  • The Committee may call Ordinary General Meetings.
  • An Extra-ordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called by the Committee or at the request of not less than 33% of the Full members 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 request the Secretary shall within 1 calendar month give notice of the meeting to the Society. The agenda for an EGM shall comprise only the business for which the meeting has been called.
  • Members must alert the committee of any important matters of discussion no more than 5 days prior to a General Meeting. Minor matters can be left to ‘other business’.

5. Officers and Committee

  • 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.
  • The Officers of the Society shall be: i. Chair ii. Secretary iii. Treasurer
  • The Officers and ordinary committee members shall normally be elected at one AGM and shall hold office until the end of the succeeding AGM.
  • Only Full members of the Society may nominate or be nominated for officer posts or ordinary committee membership. Elections shall be by secret ballot using the transferable vote system. Nominations which have a proposer and seconder shall be accepted up to the time of the election.
  • No member shall be eligible to be nominated for the same officer post for more than 3 (three) consecutive years. No member shall be eligible to be nominated for membership of the committee (either as an officer or as an ordinary member) for a total of more than 6 (six) consecutive years. The provisions of this clause may be waived in whole or in part for periods of one year at a time at the discretion of an AGM if insufficient eligible members are nominated for officer posts or committee membership.
  • In the event of any casual vacancies either of 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 election. Not more than 3 (three) co options shall be made between General Meetings

6. Finance

  • The Society’s financial year shall run from the 1st August to the 31st July
  • The Society shall not levy subscriptions on its members, but will accept donations.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (£30) between committee meetings. The Committee may authorise 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.
  • The Treasurer will sign cheques or make bank withdrawals on behalf of the Society, subject to availability.

7. Changes to the constitution

  • 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.
  • Proposed changes to the Constitution must be notified in writing to the Secretary not less than 10 (ten) weeks before the AGM at which they will be discussed.
  • 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 Associate members.

8. Dissolution Clause

In the event of the Society being dissolved or wound up its assets shall be realised and any sum remaining after settlement of all outstanding liabilities shall be donated to the Open University Students Educational Trust (OUSET) or other Charitable body whose aims are to assist students of the Open University.