Constitution

as amended December 2016

  1. Name and Status
    1. The Society shall be called Durham University Treasure Trap.
    2. The aims of the Society shall be:
      1. To run a mediaeval fantasy live roleplay system ("the Game") for its members.
      2. To hold regular adventures and interactive events using this system.
      3. To maintain a stock of equipment for use in the Game ("the Armoury").
      4. To run appropriate traditional eating and drinking events.
      5. To help its members gain skills related to the Game, including weapons skills.
      6. To support members' participation in other live roleplay systems.
    3. The Society shall abide by all policies of Durham Students' Union ("DSU") insofar as they apply to societies. The Society shall not unfairly discriminate against any person.
  2. Running of the Society
    1. The Society shall be governed by this Constitution, and by the following bodies:
    2. The Exec have ultimate responsibility for the activities, finances and reputation of the society and shall consist of:
      1. The President, who shall oversee the running of the society and will be responsible for acting as or appointing a Chair for society General Meetings.
      2. The Treasurer, who shall look after the society's money and keep accounts. They may authorise spending up to £20 without consulting the remainder of the exec.
      3. The Secretary, who shall be responsible for communicating with members. They shall produce regular email and/or paper newsletters for members, shall be responsible for calling General Meetings and Committee meetings and producing agendas and minutes. They shall ensure that records of the Society's business for at least two years are kept for inspection by members of the society or on request by a representative of DSU. They shall ensure that emergency contact details for all members are accessible at all events.
      4. The Social Secretary, who shall have responsibility for organising Society events.
      5. The Armourer, who shall have responsibility for the Society's weaponry and for players' use of weaponry and shall be the Society's safety officer. They shall make sure that weapons used in the Game are safe and used in a safe fashion and that the Armoury is reasonably supplied with weaponry and props; shall ensure that appropriate risk assessments and safety forms are completed for society activities; and shall organise weapon and prop makes.
    3. The Committee shall run the Society day-to-day, and shall consist of the Exec plus the following additional Committee Officers:
      1. The Wardrobe Officer, who shall have responsibility for the Society's costume and any other property which is not weaponry or armour. They shall ensure that the Armoury is reasonably supplied with costume and the costume is well looked-after, and shall organise purchase or making of new costume if necessary.
      2. The Web Editor, who shall look after the Society's web pages and keep them up to date, and shall ensure that the official copy of the Game Rules is up to date.
      3. The Head Ref who shall be responsible for running the Game and the activities of the Ref Team; and for ensuring that emergency contact details have been submitted to the Society prior to someone playing the Game.
    4. The President, Secretary and Treasurer must be members of DSU.
    5. The other Officers of the Society shall assist the Committee with the running of the Society. They shall consist of:
      1. The Archivist, who shall look after the Society's archives.
      2. The Banqueting Officer, who shall be responsible for the planning and running of the annual banquet; in consultation with the Social Secretary, and subject to approval by the Treasurer on all financial aspects.
      3. The Police Liason Officer, who shall be a member of the Exec or Ref Team. The Police Liaison Officer shall be responsible for furnishing the police with the details they require for all events we run in public areas, giving adequate time for this information to be processed by the local police.
      4. The Assistant Officers. Any officer of the Society may appoint one or more Assistants, who shall assist them in their duties.
  3. Running of the Game
    1. The Game shall be governed by the Game Rules, and run day-to-day by the Ref Team. The Ref Team shall rule on ambiguities in the Game Rules and on the Game world. Any action which alters the Game world (for example, granting a character special powers or introducing an item) other than those specifically permitted by the Game Rules must be approved by the Ref Team. The Ref Team shall consist of:
      1. A Head Ref, who shall have ultimate responsibility for the activities of the Ref Team and shall sit on the Committee.
      2. A number of refs, appointed by the Head Ref, who shall assist the Head Ref in the running of the Game.
    2. The running of a major adventure at the end of each academic year, to be known as the Third Year Goodbye ("3YGB"), shall be the role of a separate team of refs under a 3YGB Head Ref, who shall have ultimate responsibility for the running of the event, and may appoint other refs to assist with their duties. The focus of this event is to provide a final adventure for outgoing students these are to be known as 'Third Years'.
      1. A third year is someone who is currently in their third year at Durham University, or has chosen (for whatever reason) to defer their third year to a subsequent year.
      2. At the discretion of the 3YGB Head Ref a member of the society who has participated in a reasonable number of regular events for three years, or any other member in extenuating circumstances, may also be designated as a third year.
      3. The 3YGB may be declared 'non-canon' at the discretion of the incoming head ref.
      4. The Budget for the 3YGB must be approved by the Treasurer
      5. People who are not third years may participate in the event as either characters or crew; however, the focus of the event is to be on the the third years and those charactering should expect to be in less powerful and less significant than the third years.
      6. A person who has participated in a 3YGB as a third year may not then again participate as a third year.
  4. Complaints and Unacceptable Conduct
    1. Members of the Society shall have the right to participate in society events, subject to the following:
      1. Safe behaviour. The Armourer shall be responsible for ensuring safety in the Game. If any player is judged to be behaving unsafely, disruptively or threateningly at a Society event, the Armourer, the event organiser, a member of the Ref Team or a member of the Committee may bar them from participating in the event for a limited time or for the whole of the rest of the event.
      2. Abiding by the Game Rules. No player shall perform any act which they know to contravene the Game Rules in force at that event. If any player is judged to be acting against the Game Rules, the event organisers or a member of the Ref Team shall first warn them; if they continue to do so, the event organiser may bar them from participating in that event for a limited time or for the whole of the rest of the event. The ruling of the organisers on the Game Rules shall be final for that event. If a player disagrees with a ruling, they may raise it with the event organiser, but if the event organiser upholds the ruling, players must abide by that ruling for the remainder of the event. Longer-term rulings on the rules may be made by members of the Ref Team; if a player disagrees with a ruling, they may raise it with the Head Ref, but if the Head Ref upholds the ruling, players must abide by it.
      3. Accepting the authority of the event organisers. The organiser of any Society event (in the case of interactives, downtime and ongoing plot, the Ref Team) shall have responsibility for deciding how the event shall be run. All players shall abide by instructions of the event organisers. If any player is judged to be contravening reasonable instructions of the event organiser, the event organisers shall first warn them; if they continue to do so, the event organiser may bar them from participating in that event for a limited time or for the whole of the rest of the event. If a player disagrees with an action of an event organiser, they should first raise it with the event organiser (in the case of Interactives, the Head Ref); if they are not satisfied that the organiser has dealt with the issue satisfactorily, they should raise the matter with the Committee. Players must not persistently argue with event organisers over their decisions.
      4. Acceptable social conduct. If any member is judged to be behaving unacceptably, in a way which causes distress to other members or brings the Society into disrepute, the event organiser or a member of the Committee may bar them from participating in the event for a limited time or for the whole of the rest of the event. Unacceptable behaviour is behaviour which a reasonable member of the society would reasonably expect to cause harm or distress; this includes but is not limited to behaviour which is bullying, harassing, sexually harassing, insulting, frightening or stalking.
    2. If a player seriously or consistently contravenes any of these then the Committee may, by majority vote, ban a player for a period or for life. In the case of a ban over a week, the player shall be entitled to receive a refund of membership fee proportionate to the length of the ban.
  5. Membership
    1. Membership shall be open to all members of Durham Students' Union ("DSU"); and, at the discretion of the Committee, to non-members of DSU. Membership shall not necessarily grant the right to participate in the Game, which shall be subject to the conditions in this Constitution.
    2. The Exec shall set a membership fee for students, which shall not be less than the minimum specified by DSU. They shall also set a membership fee for non-students, which shall be the same or higher. Additional charges may be added for extra facilities (such as the sending of newsletters by post rather than email).
    3. Non-members shall be admitted to Society meetings and events at the discretion of the Committee and the event organisers.
    4. The Societies and Student Development Officer of DSU shall be admitted to meetings and events if DSU Council believes there is a good reason for him/her to attend, or if they are requested to by members of the Society; but shall be allowed to participate in the Game only at the discretion of the event organisers.
  6. General Meetings
    1. The Society shall be ultimately governed by its General Meeting. There shall be a General Meeting held in each term; one of these shall be the Annual General Meeting, which shall take place if possible within two weeks of the annual banquet, if one takes place in that year. Emergency General Meetings shall be held if a Committee position becomes vacant, if 6 members or more, or 10% or more of the membership, petition for one to be held, or if there is business which the Secretary judges to merit one. EGMs shall discuss only the business specified when they were called. All Officers of the Society shall abide by any resolutions passed by General Meeting.
    2. General Meetings may:
      1. amend the Game Rules or this Constitution;
      2. instruct the Committee or other officers of the Society;
      3. remove any officer of the Society from office;
      4. discuss and make resolutions on any other issue related to the Society or the Game.
      and shall:
      1. elect Officers other than those specified to be appointed in some other way;
      2. annually approve the accounts of the Society.
    3. The agenda for any general meeting shall be publicised to all members of the society (so far as possible) at least 7 days in advance. The Secretary shall set a deadline for motions between 7 and 14 days before the meeting to allow this. The Meeting date, and the deadline for motions, shall be publicised to all members of the Society (so far as possible) at least 7 days before this deadline.
    4. Amendments to motions may be submitted after this deadline. The Secretary shall not accept any amendment which he or she judges to not relate to the original purpose of the motion it amends. Any amendment rejected for this reason may be reinstated by a vote at General Meeting.
    5. Any constitutional changes mandated by DSU shall be brought to a General Meeting if there is time for one to be called; otherwise, the Exec shall be empowered to make such changes pending approval by a General Meeting, or to deratify the Society from DSU if they consider the changes to be incompatible with democratic running of the Society or with the Society's aims and objectives.
    6. While DSU regulations require it, only members of the Society who are Durham University students may vote at General Meetings. All members of the Society may speak and take part in straw polls.
    7. Motions and amendments must be passed by a majority at a General Meeting by secret ballot, with each person casting one vote or abstaining; apart from amendments to this Constitution, which shall require a two-thirds majority.
    8. All Officers shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting and shall take office at midnight two weeks from the day of the AGM; except for:
      1. the Head Ref, who shall be elected at the final General Meeting of the Academic year, and shall immediately join the Ref Team, but not take up the position of Head Ref until the beginning of the following Academic Year;
      2. the other refs, who shall be appointed by the Head Ref at his or her discretion;
      3. the 3YGB Head Ref, who shall be elected at the final General Meeting of the Academic Year. They shall be required to pitch their proposed event to the society as part of the hust, and shall take office at the beginning of the next academic year.
      4. the Assistant Officers, who shall be appointed by the officer to whom they are assistant and shall take and hold office at the discretion of that Officer.
    9. Committee and non-Committee Officers shall be elected by a two-round run-off system, with a first vote being held then, if no candidate receives over 50% of the vote, a further vote being held between the two candidates receiving the most votes. Re-Open Nominations shall be an option in the first round of all elections, and shall be eligible to proceed to the run-off. All voting will be carried out by secret ballot.
    10. In the case of a member of the Society being unable to attend a General Meeting, they may nominate another member of the Society to vote on their behalf as their proxy, if they notify who to the Secretary 24 hours in advance of the General Meeting. Each attendee to the General Meeting can possess only one proxy vote in addition to their own.
    11. Any member may propose a procedural motion to take any vote by open ballot.
    12. If there is no formal opposition to a vote, that vote may be passed on a general aye.

  7. Finance
    1. The Society shall have one bank account, held with such bank or body as the Exec shall decide in accordance with any requirements from bodies to which the society is affiliated.
    2. The Treasurer shall ensure that accounts for at least the previous three years are kept. Accounts for the year shall be submitted annually to a General Meeting, and shall be submitted to DSU whenever requested by a competent representative of DSU.
    3. The Exec may seek grants from DSU or from other bodies. These shall only be used for the purpose for which they were granted.