MES Former Pupils' Guild
Mary Erskine Former Pupils Guild Constitution (Revised 2014)
The name of the Guild shall be The Former Pupils’ Guild of The Mary Erskine School (formerly Edinburgh Ladies’ College).
The objects for which the Guild is established are social and charitable. It seeks:
- To form links with Former Pupils worldwide.
- To form links with the Guild Clubs and to encourage the formation of new ones.
- To create funds to assist Former Pupils.
- To develop social and networking events for Former Pupils and Staff.
- To commemorate our Founders and maintain archive material.
- To form links with the SMC Club.
- To form links with the school and its present pupils.
- To form links between the teaching and support staff both past and present.
- To present prizes to the school.
- To contribute to school activities.
- To form links with the Development Office.
- To participate in the life of the school as appropriate.
3. GUILD CLUBS
Branch and Associate Clubs may be set up with the approval of The Guild Committee with membership as defined in point 4. Branch Clubs will draw members from a geographical area and will focus on providing social and networking events, while retaining strong links with The Guild Committee. Associate Clubs which may be organised in conjunction with the SMC Club or school groups, will foster sporting and/or cultural pursuits. Associate Clubs should provide The Guild Committee with an annual report. If these Clubs require a constitution this must be agreed by The Guild Committee.
- Life Membership: Life membership of the Guild shall be open to Former Pupils of the School.
- Staff Membership: Past and present members of the teaching and support staff of The Mary Erskine School and The Junior School are entitled to be staff members of the Guild and shall pay a nominal subscription. They shall be entitled to attend meetings but shall have no voting rights.
- Membership of the Guild Clubs shall be open to Life Members and Staff Members of the Guild. There may be a nominal fee charged by individual clubs.
- The financial year shall run from 1st August to 31st July of the following year
- Treasurer: It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive all subscriptions and other monies payable, to ensure the issue of receipts and to lodge such monies in the Guild bank account.
- Cheques shall be signed by any two of the following: President, Past President, Vice-President, Treasurer, or their successors in office. The Treasurer shall keep accounts of all transactions with the monies.
- School Charge Account – The Guild Coordinator shall have the authority to use the Guild’s Charge Account at the School in the execution of her duties. The Committee will authorise major expenditure and the Guild Coordinator will keep the Treasurer informed of all monies spent.
- Accounts: The Committee shall cause true accounts to be kept showing all sums of money received and expended by the Guild, and the matters in respect of which such receipts and expenditure have taken place, and the whole assets and liabilities of the Guild. Money derived from subscriptions shall be applied to the general purposes of the Guild and at the discretion of the Committee towards any school activities.
- The Accounts shall be audited annually.
- The Auditor shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting.
6. THE GUILD COMMITTEE
The Guild shall be managed by The Guild Committee consisting of the following office bearers, President, Vice-President(s), Immediate Past President, Treasurer, and up to 8 Ordinary members. The Principal/Deputy Head, The Development Officer, up to four Sixth Form Representatives and the Guild Coordinator shall attend committee meetings, but shall have no voting rights.
The Committee shall have the power to employ on such terms and conditions as may be thought necessary, assistance for the more efficient working and administration of the Guild, for example the post of Guild Coordinator. Such employees may, in the execution of their duties, attend committee meetings but will have no voting rights.
The Principal of the School shall by right of position be a member of the committee and titled Honorary President, entitled to join in all discussions but not to exercise a vote at committee meetings.
9. NOMINATED HONORARY PRESIDENTS
It shall be within the power of the committee to appoint from time to time an Honorary President in addition to the present Principal. Honorary Presidents may attend committee meetings but shall abstain from voting.
10. NOMINATION, ELECTION, TERM OF OFFICE of the various committee members shall be:
- Ordinary Members: Nomination and election shall take place at the Annual General Meeting. Their term of office shall be normally three years, with the option of serving for a further term.
- Office-bearers: Nominations shall be, duly proposed and seconded to reach the committee two weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting at which the elections shall take place. The President shall be a Former Pupil of the School. The President and Vice-President shall each hold office for two years but shall be eligible for re-election for one further term of office.
- Voting on other matters shall be by show of hands unless the majority present favour a ballot. In each case the counting of votes shall be by two members of the committee.
- Ordinary Members: The Guild Committee shall have the power to fill by co-option vacancies which occur during the year. Any term so served shall not count as part of an Ordinary Member’s three years in office.
- Office-bearers: Should the office of President or Vice-President fall vacant within the year, the committee shall convene a Special Meeting of the Guild to fill the vacancy. Nomination and election shall be conducted as in sec. 11. Vacancies in other offices shall be filled by co-option.
- Any member who is absent from three consecutive committee meetings without due cause being made known to the Guild Coordinator shall be held to have resigned membership and it shall be in the power of the committee to fill the vacancy in the appropriate manner.
- Committee Meetings: The Guild Committee shall meet regularly as required.
- Annual General Meeting: The Annual General Meeting shall take place on a date in the Autumn, the date being fixed by The Guild Committee.
- Special Meetings: Special Meetings of the Guild may be convened at any time, on written request if signed by fifteen members of the Guild.
13. CONVENING OF MEETINGS
- Annual General Meetings: Members will be advised of the date of the Annual General Meeting at least four weeks prior to the date of the meeting and this information will also be displayed on the website and announced in News Update.
- The Guild Committee meetings shall be convened in a way agreed by their members at the beginning of each session.
- Annual General Meeting: The agenda shall include the approval of the previous year’s Minutes; Reports by the President and Treasurer; election of Office Bearers and Ordinary Members; constitution updates and any other business. Agenda items should reach the Guild Coordinator two weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting.
- Special Meetings: The Agenda shall deal with the emergency which necessitates the calling of the meeting, and to this may be added other competent business at the discretion of The Guild Committee.
- Committee Meetings: Agendas shall be drawn up by the Chairperson.
- At meetings of The Guild Committee more than half of the committee members must be present when voting is required. The Chairperson shall have a deliberative and, at need, a casting vote. In the absence of the President the Vice-President shall be Chairperson, whom failing, committee member. Voting shall be by simple majority in all questions.
- General Meetings: No minimum number of voters is required. Voting shall be by a simple majority except as in sec. 18.
16. AD HOC COMMITTEES
The Guild Committee shall at all times have power to appoint ad hoc sub-committees for specific business. Except in cases of emergency all sub committees shall be appointed at a meeting of The Guild Committee and shall report their progress at Guild Committee Meetings. These sub-committees may be composed in part of persons not being members of the Guild committee. The Guild Committee in appointing sub committees, shall record in the minutes the objectives of the sub committee, powers of action -whether purely advisory or whether powers of action have been delegated, including the spending of money and the limit of such spending.
17. CHANGES OF CONSTITUTION
Any changes to the constitution shall be intimated and agreed at the Annual General Meeting. Proposed updates should be submitted as an agenda point to the Guild Coordinator. See 15(a). No alteration shall be made in the Constitution except at the Annual General Meeting in the Autumn or at a Special Meeting, and then only with the consent of two thirds of the members present voting. A copy of the current Constitution will be displayed on the website and is available to members on request.