The Constitution of the

The Constitution of the

Oxford Arthurian Society

amended to 9th December, 1999


The name of the society shall be "The Oxford Arthurian Society".


The aims of the society shall be:

1)To seek the Holy Grail.

2)To discuss, investigate and generally celebrate the myths, legends and ancient mysteries whose roots lie in the darkness of our forgotten past. This clause is to be known as the Robert Holdstock Memorial Clause, on account of its overwritten prose, and a minute's silence should be held immediately following its being read aloud.

3)To explore the truth and fantasy around which the legends of King Arthur are inextricably woven.


1) Full Members may only be matriculated members of the University resident for the purposes of fulfilling requirements of any statute, decree or regulation of the University; or reading for any degree, diploma or certificate of the University; or a member of any of the institutions listed in the Proctors' Memorandum. Full membership may only be terminated by a unanimous decision of the committee.

2) Unofficial Membres: Other interested people not entitled to Full Membership may join the society at the discretion of the committee providing that these unofficial members do not constitute more than one fifth of the total membership. Unofficial membership may be terminated at the discretion of the committee.

3) Honorary Life Members: Any person who has made a significant contribution to the society may be elected to Honorary Life Membership by the committee. Honorary Life Membership may only be terminated by the decision of a General Meeting. Honorary life Members who have not paid their subscriptions as full members shall not be included for the purposes of establishing quotas at general meetings.

4)a) All members shall be bound to act in a manner befitting the ideals of King Arthur's court; that is, never to do outrageousity nor murder, and always to flee treason; also, by no means to be cruel, but to give mercy unto him that asketh mercy, upon pain of forfeiture of their worship and lordship of King Arthur for evermore; and always to do ladies, damosels, and gentlewomen and widows succour, strength them in their rights, and never to enforce them, upon pain of death. Also, that no man take no battles in a wrongful cause for no law, nor for no world's goods, even as the knights of the Round Table swore every year at the high feast of Pentecost.

b) In the foregoing clause a) by the terms "forfeiture of their worship and lordship of King Arthur" and "death", shall be meant no more than expulsion from membership of the society.


1) All except Honorary Life Members shall pay subscriptions at a rate to be decided by the committee.

2) Members wishing to receive society mail sent to a non-pigeon post address may be levied a charge to be decided by the committee.

Ordinary Meetings:

The Society is encouraged to pursue a wide range of activities relevant to the aims of the Society, which could include:

1) Lectures and informal talks given either by members of the University or external speakers on subjects relevant ot the general aims outlined above.

2) Social events which should be relevant to the aims of the society as outlined above, including an annual Mediaeval Banquet.

3) Story-telling evenings on a theme chosen in accordance with the aims of the society.

4) External [sic] expeditions to sources and sites, about which particular myths, legends and mysteries revolve.

5) An annual "Pilgrimage" during the early part of the long vacation, which should ideally be an extended excursion lasting at least five days, to an area which is particularly rich in sites relevant to the aims of the society, and which shall be organised by the committee which left office at the previous AGM.

General Meetings

1) The society shall hold an Annual General Meeting in the Hilary term, at which elections for all committee posts will take place.

2) At his discretion, the President may call an Extra-ordinary General Meeting. If a petition of at least fifteen signatories or twenty per cent of the membership, whichever is smaller (all signatories must be members) is handed to the President, then he is required to call an EGM to be held within fourteen days of the receipt of the petition. If the position of the President should fall vacant, an EGM must be called by the Secretary within fourteen days and a new President elected.

3) At least seven days' notice must be given to all members of EGMs or AGMs.

4) At least fifteen members or twenty per cent of the membership, whichever is less, must be present at an AGM for its decisions to be valid.

5) The AGM shall:

a) Receive a Treasurer's report on the state of the society's accounts.

b) Receive a president's report on the past, present and possible future activities of the society.

c) Approve amendments to the constitution for submission to the Proctors.

d) Elect such officers of the society as are required by the constitution.

6) Any decision of a General Meeting shall be on a majority vote of the members present.

7) All votes concerning specific individuals shall be by secret ballot.


1) The committee must elect a Returning Officer before the AGM from its own ranks, who will co-ordinate voting at the AGM.

2) Nominations can only be made by members of the society and must be given in writing to the Returning Officer before a date to be decided on at the same committee meeting at which the returning officer is elected. Each nomination must be seconded in writing by another member of the society and be accepted by the proposed candidate.

3) Only members of the society who will be resident in Oxford for at least one full term following the AGM may be elected as Society officers.

4) Election of officers at the AGM shall be by secret ballot using a voting system proposed by the Returning Officer and agreed by the committee.

5) Should no nominations for an elected post be received by the agreed date, nominations shall be reopened at the AGM and a new officer elected from among those present. In the event that no person comes forward, the post shall remain vacant until a new officer is appointed by the committee at a subsequent meeting.

6) "The Gidlow Code of Electoral Conduct" is hereby incorporated into the constitution and holds that:

a) The Returning Officer must not propose or second any candidate in the election, neither can the proposer or seconder of any candidate be elected Returning Officer.

b) In order that no candidate be seen to receive an unfair advantage, the President should not propose or second any candidate, neither should he use his Presidential speech at a General Meeting to support any candidate in a contested election.

c) All postal votes to be placed in the ballot box immediately upon receipt by the Returning Officer.

d) The number of ballot papers sent out is to be recorded and the number of postal votes received, and from whom, to be declared before the start of polling.

e) No information, other than the names of the candidates and the posts for which they are standing, shall be printed on the ballot paper.

"The 1996 Amendment to the Gidlow Code of Electoral Conduct" is hereby also incorporated into the constitution, stating that members should be informed of a contested election and the opportunity to arrange for postal votes within twenty-four hours of the agreed time for the close of nominations having passed.

7) The term of office for all officers shall run from one AGM to the next.

8) Members unable to attend the AGM may apply in advance to the Returning Officer for a ballot paper which must be returned before the beginning of the AGM. Postal votes can only be made on ballot papers issued by the Returning Officer before the beginning of the AGM.

9) Should a post other than that of the President fall vacant during the year, the committee should elect a new officer. Should the post of President fall vacant, the Secretary shall be acting President until the EGM.

The Committee

Shall be collectively responsible for the running of the Society and be formed of the holders of the following posts elected at the AGM:

1) The President or Regent

who shall:

a) Be a member of the Society and a resident matriculated member of the University.

b) Act as head of the society.

c) Chair committee meetings.

d) Be primarily responsible for contacting guest speakers and acting as host for their visits, and for co-ordinating any affiliation to or communication with bodies, societies or persons outside Oxford.

e) Be solely responsible, irrespective of gender, for performing all ceremonial duties involving the display and execution of the sovereign or executive power commensurate with the headship of the Arthurian Court, such as the knighting of those members of the Society wishing to be admitted into the chivalric fellowship of the Round Table and other persons wishing to be knighted in such a manner, and

f) Be solely responsible for delegating the performance of such ceremonial duties involving the display and execution of the sovereign or executive power commensurate with the headship of the Arthurian Court as described in clause The Committee 1.e above, should the President or Regent be unable to perform such duties.

2) The Secretary or Chancellor

who shall:

a) Be a member of the Society and a resident matriculated member of the University.

b) Keep a proper record of all committee meetings and society activities which shall be preserved in the society's minute book.

c) Be primarily responsible for co-ordinating communication with other bodies, societies or persons within Oxford, including the Proctors, the Senior Member, and OUSU.

d) Be responsible for the communication of necessary information to committee members.

3) The Treasurer or Seneschal

who shall:

a) Be a member of the Society and a resident matriculated member of the University.

b) Keep a proper record of the society's financial transactions. it is suggested that, in conjunction with the rest of the committee, the Treasurer should plan a rough budget for the following year when he takes up office and a more detailed budget at the beginning of each term.

c) Keep an up-to-date list of all the society's members, and ensure that an up-to-date version, including membership expiry dates, is supplied to such committee members as may require it for the fulfillment of their society duties.

4) The Social Secretary or Butler

who shall:

a) Be a member of the society.

b) Organise the refreshments provided by the society at meetings, the amount and nature of these to be decided by the committee.

c) Assist the Secretary in the arrangement of social events, dinners and story-telling evenings and society trips, in particular the acquisition of video-recordings and the booking of mini-buses.

5) The Magazine Editor or Scribe

who shall:

a) Be a member of the Society.

b) Be responsible for gathering material for publication and, if desired by the editor and the committee, soliciting advertising.

c) Be responsible for the layout, production and distribution of the magazine.

d) Follow the following guidelines enshrined in the constitution when executing the above tasks:

i) The name of the magazine shall be `Ceridwen's Cauldron'.

ii) It shall exist to cover all aspects of those subjects relevant to the society's aims (section 2) at all relevant levels of scholarship, and the activities of the society.

iii) It shall act as a forum for the views of the members of the society.

iv) It shall contain items relevant to the term's events, providing background material as appropriate.

v) It shall be distributed free to all members.

vi) It should ideally be funded by advertising and donations, but should no advertising or donations be received, be funded from the society's annual membership revenue.

vii) Proposed sources of advertising shall be discussed with the president before the production of the magazine; if the president thinks it appropriate, he should then consult the committee, who have the right to veto all or part of any article or any other item appearing in the magazine, including advertisements or the editorial. The source of all advertisements shall be declared to the committee prior to publication.

viii) The magazine shall not publish material that might in any way be contrary to English law.

ix) Copyright in all cases rests with the contributors.

x) Anything published in the magazine does not necessarily represent the views of the editor or the committee.

6) The Publicity Officer or Herald

who shall:

a) be a member of the Society

b) be responsible for producing and organising the distribution of posters and circulated letters intended to promote the Society and its activities.

c) communicate with bodies inside Oxford, such as Daily Information and other publications circulating within the university, in order to publicise the Society and its activities.

7) The Librarian or Bibliothecarius

who shall:

a) be a member of the Society.

b) be responsible for the maintenance of the list of books owned and available to be borrowed by members of the Society, commonly called 'the Library List'.

c) care for those books and periodicals owned by the Society.

d) supervise the borrowing of books from the Society and its members.

The Committee may also co-opt at any point during its term of office:

8) Committee Members without Portfolio

who shall:

a) be members of the Society.

b) be responsible for duties agreed upon between themselves and the rest of the committee.

c) ideally number no more than three at any point during the academic year.

The Committee shall also include the following:

9) The Chief Adviser

who shall:

a) be a member of the Society.

b) be the immediate past President of the Society.

c) not be a voting member of the committee.

10) The Senior Member

who shall:

a) be a resident member of the Congregation and be elected by the committee at the resignation of the current Senior Member.

b) be kept aware of the society's activities and has the power to inspect the society's accounts at any time, should he so desire.

The following post does not entitle the holder to a place on the committee and shall not be an elective post:

The Honorary Life Members Officer or Harold

who shall:

a) be the current member of the society who has been longest a society member, unless some good reason prevents it

b) be responsible for all business connected with Honorary Life Members of the society, ensuring they receive termcards, magazines and all relevant publicity material.

The AGM may also elect to the following position:

The Vice-President or Vice-Regent

a) This is a non(?)-committee title, awarded by election at the AGM, (one member, one vote).

b) The Vice-president shall have the privilege of sitting upon the President's knee. In all other respects it shall be purely titular.

c) This may also be known as "The Sarah Tucker Memorial Position" in honour of her having more vices than anyone else, (just look at her tool shed).

d) The Vice-president may, if eligible, stand for and hold any committee position.

e) The election procedure for Vice-president shall be as follows:

i) The election of the Vice-president shall take place after the elections of the officers of the society at the AGM.

ii) Nominations must be proposed and seconded by members of the society, and given to the returning officer either verbally or in writing before the final announcement of the candidates.

iii) The proposed candidate need not give his consent to the nomination.

f) The post of Vice-president shall run from one AGM to the next.

g) It is impossible to resign from the post of Vice-president, so tough NI! unless you perform these five (three, sir, three) tasks.

Firstly, we want a shrubbery. One that looks nice, and not too expensive, with a little path running up the middle. A path! a path!

Secondly, you must cut down the mightiest tree in the University Parks with a Herring (tremulous chord) NI!

Thirdly, you must stand at the top of St Mary the Virgin Tower and taunt the tourists in an outrageous French accent.

Should you fail in any of these three tasks, then you shall be burnt at the steak on Port Meadow and eventually rescued by Sir Lancelot.

h) This is an apology for the last clause. Those responsible have been sacked.

i) NI! Mind you, a mouse once bit mi sister.

j) This is an apology for the last apology. The people responsible for the sacking of the people responsible for clause g) have now been sacked. The constitution has been completed in an entirely different style at the last minute at great expense.

k) [And now for something completely different.]

Committee Meetings

1) The date and time of committee meetings shall be determined by the President in consultation with other committee members. Should the President fail to call a committee meeting if a third of the members of the committee have expressed the view to him that one is necessary, that third of the committee may call a committee meeting. In all cases, forty-eight hours notice of committee meetings must be given to all committee members.

2) Committee meetings are chaired by the President, or by the Secretary in his absence, or by the Treasurer in the absence of both.

3) The agenda for each meeting is to be drawn up by the Chairman and he should be informed at least twenty-four hours in advance of any items for discussion which other committee members consider to be important.

4) The decisions of the committee shall be by majority vote of all members. In the event of a tie, the chairman shall have a casting vote (in addition to his regular vote) which must be cast in favour of the status-quo where this is applicable.


6) Clause 5) is now no longer the clause that says "NI WHOOP!" It is now the clause that says "Ecky, Ecky, Ecky, Ecky, Pf'tang NIWOMSOWSIOW...."

7) If a committee member is wittingly unable to attend a committee meeting, apologies must be sent to the Secretary before the meeting takes place, detailing reasons for absence and including a report of his activities on behalf of the society.

8) If a committee member is wittingly absent from three consecutive committee meetings, having failed to comply with the provisions of 7) above, he shall be assumed to have resigned, and a replacement chosen under the provisions of clause 9) under the heading ?Elections?.

9) All committee members must display an acceptable level of chivalry and courtesy during committee meetings and pay due respect to the chairman.

10) Any action undertaken on behalf of the society or that could affect the reputation, atmosphere or general running of the society must not be undertaken without the approval of the committee, or if circumstances prevent this, the President.

11) It is to be noted that the following actions may be taken by the committee:

a) A vote of censure.

b) A vote of no cofidence [sic], which may be proposed by the President or by any other two members of the committee.


The Constitution

1) The society and the committee shall at all times follow the direction of the constitution, which should be made available to all members on request. Any member who believes that the society is acting against the constitution may appeal directly to the Vice-President, or, if more appropriate, the Senior Member.

2) Should the constitution give no clear directive on a particular point, the committee should make the relevant decision and should consider whether a constitutional amendment is required.

3) Amendments to the constitution may only be proposed by members of the society and seconded by another member of the society. They shall be submitted to the President at least twenty-four hours before for presentation at the next General Meeting.

4) The society will at all times follow the Rules and Regulations for societies and clubs as set out in the Proctors' Memorandum.

5) No copy of this constitution shall have fewer than three typing errors, of which this clause shall always contain oen.

It should be noted that where the term "he" is used, it is interchangeable with "she".

It should be understood that all punctuation marks are interchangeable with the term "NI!"