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Constitution

RHODES UNIVERSITY

HOBSON HALL

Subject always to the authority of the Council of the University and the powers of the Senate to superintend and regulate the administration of the residence and the discipline of the students, the following Constitution has been duly approved for the Administration of HOBSON HALL. 

PREAMBLE:

We, the students and staff of Hobson Hall, acknowledge the challenges facing us in a diverse community with varying backgrounds, cultures and history.

Working together, we will strive to build an environment of fellowship and equality and the pursuit of academic excellence. 

We will endeavour to create a harmonious residential environment based on the principles of respect for each other in the spirit of democracy, encouraging each member of the Hall to reach their potential.

NAME:

The name of the Hall is “Hobson Hall”. The Hall consists of four undergraduate houses, namely Dingemans House, Hobson House, Livingstone House and Milner House and three Postgraduate Units namely 5 Gilbert Street, 6 Gilbert Street and the Gilbert Street PG Flats.

MEMBERSHIP OF THE HALL:

Members of the Hall shall be:

1.1.      

The Hall Warden

1.2.      

The House Wardens

1.3.      

Assistant House Wardens, if any

1.4.      

The Sub-Wardens of the Hall

1.5.      

All students residing in the constituent houses of the Hall, including the postgraduate annexes affiliated to Hobson Hall.

1.6.      

All Fellows of the Hall

1.7.      

Any members of the Hall Committee who are not members of the Hall in terms of clauses 2.1 to 2.5.

2.        

HALL WARDEN:

The Hall Warden is appointed by the Council of the University to be responsible to Senate and Council for the management and administration of the Hall as described in the Job Profile for Hall Wardens and subject to the provisions of this Constitution, as well as for carrying out any other duties as may be required from time to time by the Dean of Students, Senate or Council.

3.        

HOUSE WARDENS:

House Wardens are appointed by Council of the University to be responsible to Senate and Council for the Management and Administration of her House, as described in the Job Profile for House Wardens and subject to the provisions of this Constitution, as well as for carrying out any other duties as my be required from time to time by the Hall Warden, Dean of Students, Senate or Council.

4.        

SUBWARDENS:

The Sub-wardens are appointed by the Council of the University and shall be responsible to their House Wardens for fulfilling the duties described in the Job Profile for Sub-Wardens and subject to the provisions of this Constitution, as well as for functions and duties as required of them by their House Wardens.

5.        

HALL COMMITTEE:

5.1.      

The Hall Committee shall comprise:

5.1.1.     

The Hall Warden, who shall ex-officio be Chairperson of the Hall Committee

5.1.2.     

The House Wardens

5.1.3.     

The Sub-Wardens in the Hall

5.1.4.     

The Hall Senior Student

5.1.5.     

The Head Student of each House

5.1.6.     

The Fellows of the Hall

5.1.7.     

The SRC Hall Representative

5.1.8.     

Any co-opted members

5.2.      

The Hall Committee shall meet as often as it considers it necessary, but not less than four times per annum.

5.3.      

The Hall Warden may, at her discretion, on twenty four hours’ notice, call a special meeting of the Hall Committee to deal with a specific issue or issues, and must do so if 25% of the members of Hall Committee request such a meeting in writing.

5.4.      

The quorum for any Hall Committee meeting shall be at least 66% of the members of the Committee provided that at least one representative each from each house is present with the exemption of co-opted members.  The Hall Warden or the Hall Senior Student may,  in consultation with the Hall Warden, call a meeting of the Hall, and the Hall Warden must do so if the Hall Committee so resolves or if 25% of the members of the Hall request such a meeting in writing.  

5.5.      

The procedures governing Hall Committee meetings are set out in Annexure A.

6.        

POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE HALL COMMITTEE:

6.1.      

Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Hall Warden is the final decision making authority in all matters pertaining to the Hall.

6.1.1.     

To formulate rules and regulations governing the life of the student members of the Hall.

6.1.2.     

To advise the Hall Warden on issues relating to the administration, management and general policies of the Hall. The Hall Warden is obliged to consider such advice, but retains the discretion to accept or reject such advice. The Hall Warden may not unreasonably refuse to follow the Hall Committee’s advice. In the event of the Hall Warden refusing to accept the Hall Committee’s advice, she must provide full reasons to the Committee for the decision at the next scheduled Hall Committee meeting, or at a special meeting called for that purpose. If dissatisfied with such reasons, the Hall Committee may request the Dean of Students to intercede in the matter.

6.1.3.     

To exercise disciplinary powers as set out in the Student Disciplinary Code. In the event of a need to exercise such powers, a Hall Disciplinary Committee shall be constituted in terms of the Student Disciplinary Code and it shall conduct its business in terms of the Code.

6.1.4.     

To nominate Fellows of the Hall, subject to confirmation by the University Senate.

7.        

FELLOWS OF THE HALL:

7.1.      

After considering representation from the Hall Committee, Senate shall appoint up to three  Fellows, each to hold office for five years, or until such time as they resign in writing or cease to comply with the conditions of eligibility. The Hall Committee may also appoint Associate Fellows.

7.2.      

The Fellows of the Hall shall be a member of the University Council, academic staff or senior administrative staff elected by the Hall Committee, but should not be a member of Senior Management.

7.3.      

Fellows shall be eligible for re-appointment.

7.4.      

Fellows of the Hall are full members of the Hall whose responsibilities are to act as advisors to Wardens, committees and members of the Hall.

7.5.      

Upon retirement, an Honorary Life Fellow may be appointed at the discretion of the Hall Warden and Hall Committee in recognition of long service to the Hall.

7.6.      

The Hall Fellows should, where possible, champion the Hall’s needs to the relevant University authorities.

7.7.      

The Hall Fellows should, where possible, be invited to actively participate in all Hall activities.

7.8.      

The Hall Fellows should, where possible, enjoy limited dining rights as a member of the Hall for the duration of his/her office.

8.        

HALL SENIOR STUDENT:

8.1.      

ELIGIBILITY:

Any studentwho has been resident in the Hall for at least one year; and

8.1.1.     

who has not been found guilty of a University disciplinary offence by any disciplinary authority in the University and sentenced, whether suspended in part or in whole,  to a fine in excess of 25% of the Hall Warden’s maximum fine jurisdiction at the time the fine was imposed; or

8.1.2.     

who has not been sentenced to any form of exclusion; or

8.1.3.     

to compulsory service of 20 hours or more and;

8.1.4.     

who has not failed more than two half credits or the equivalent in the preceding June examinations. Under exceptional circumstances, the candidate may appeal to the Hall Warden prior to the holding of elections shall be eligible to be nominated or elected to fill the post of Hall Senior Student for the following calendar year.

 

A student who would not normally be eligible to be nominated or elected to fill the post of a Hall Senior Student may, prior to the elections, appeal to the Hall Warden who may, at their discretion, overturn one or more of the conditions listed above.

 

8.2.      

The Hall Senior Student shall liaise with the Hall Warden, the Hall Committee and students of the Hall.

8.3.      

Only students who have resided in the Hall for two full academic terms and who are currently resident in the Hall are eligible for election as a Hall Senior Student.

8.4.      

The Hall Senior Student shall hold office for one full academic year and shall remain in office for as long as she is resident in the Hall. The Hall Senior Student shall be eligible for re-election.

8.5.      

The Hall Senior Student shall be a full member of the Hall Committee and the House Committee of her House and shall have observer status on all other House Committees in the Hall.

8.6.      

The Hall Senior Student may not hold another office (e.g. Sub-Warden, House Senior Student or House Committee Member) during her tenure.

8.7.      

The procedures governing the election of Hall Senior Student are set out in Annexure B.

8.8.      

Should a student be elected Hall Senior Student, but subsequently fail more than two full credits or four half credits or the equivalent in the November examinations, she shall be deemed ineligible to take up the position. The candidate who secured the next highest number of votes at the elections, who is still willing to serve and who fulfils the criteria shall automatically be deemed to be elected and shall fill the vacancy.

9.        

HOUSE HEAD STUDENT:

9.1.      

ELIGIBILITY:

Any studentwho has been resident in a House for at least two full terms; and

9.1.1.     

who has not been found guilty of a University disciplinary offence by any disciplinary authority in the University and sentenced, whether suspended in part or in whole,  to a fine in excess of 25% of the Hall Warden’s maximum fine jurisdiction at the time the fine was imposed; or

9.1.2.     

who has not been sentenced to any form of exclusion; or

9.1.3.     

sentenced to compulsory service of 20 hours or more and

9.1.4.     

who has not failed more than two half credits or the equivalent in the preceding June examinations.

9.1.5.     

shall be eligible to be nominated or elected to fill the post of a House Head Student.

 

A student who would not normally be eligible to be nominated or elected to fill the post of a House Head Student may, prior to the elections, appeal to the Hall Warden who may, at their discretion, overturn one or more of the conditions listed above.

 

9.1.6.     

The House Head Students shall liaise between the Hall and House Wardens, the Hall and House Committees and students of the House and encourages participation by the House members in the House, Hall and University functions.

9.1.7.     

Only students who have resided in the House for two full academic terms and who are currently resident in the House are eligible for election as House Head Students.

9.1.8.     

The House Head Student shall hold office for one full academic year and shall remain in office for only as long as she is resident in the House. The House Head Student shall be eligible for re-election.

9.1.9.     

The House Head Student may not hold another office (eg Sub-Warden, Hall Senior Student or House Committee member) during her tenure.

9.1.10. 

The procedures governing the election of the House Head Student are set out in Annexure B.

9.1.11. 

Should a student be elected Head Student of a House but subsequently fail more than two full credits or four half credits or the equivalent in the November examinations, she shall be deemed ineligible to take up the position. The candidate who secured the next highest number of votes at the elections and who is still willing to serve and fulfils the criteria shall automatically be deemed to be elected and shall fill the vacancy.

10.    

HOUSE COMMITTEES:

10.1.  

ELIGIBILITY:

Any studentwho has been resident in a House for at least two full terms;

10.1.1. 

and who has not been found guilty of a University disciplinary offence by any disciplinary authority in the University and sentenced, whether suspended in part or in whole, to a fine in excess of 25% of the Hall Warden’s maximum fine jurisdiction at the time the fine was imposed; or

10.1.2. 

who has not been sentenced to any form of exclusion; or

10.1.3. 

to compulsory service of 20 hours or more and

10.1.4. 

who has not failed more than two half credits or the equivalent in the preceding June examinations.

 

Shall be eligible to be nominated or elected to fill the post of a House Committee Member.

A student who would not normally be eligible to be nominated or elected to fill the post of a House Committee Member may, prior to the elections, appeal to the Hall Warden who may, at their discretion, overturn one or more of the conditions listed above.

 

10.2.  

A House Committee shall comprise:

10.2.1. 

The House Warden, who shall be ex-officio Chairperson of the House Committee.

10.2.2. 

Assistant House Wardens, if any

10.2.3. 

The Sub-Wardens of the House

10.2.4. 

The Head Student of the House

10.2.5. 

The Hall Senior Student, if resident in the House

10.2.6. 

Any elected portfolios.

10.3.  

House Committee members shall hold office for one full academic year and shall remain in office for only as long as they are resident in the House. The House Committee members shall be eligible for re-election.

10.3.1. 

A member of the House Committee may be discharged of her duties if she is reasonably believed to bring the House in disrepute.

10.3.2. 

The House Committee member who is reasonably believed to bring her residence into disrepute shall be entitled to a hearing consisting of the Hall Warden, House Warden and two Sub-Wardens.

10.4.  

The Hall Warden, Hall Senior Student, may attend House meetings as observers with speaking rights.

10.5.  

The House Committee shall meet as often as it considers necessary, but not less than four (4) times per year.

10.6.  

The House Warden, may, at her discretion, call a special meeting of the House Committee to deal with a specific issue or issues, and must do so at the request of the Hall Warden or if 25% of the members of the House Committee requests such a meeting in writing.

10.7.  

The quorum for any House Committee meeting shall be at least 65% of the members of the Committee.

10.8.  

Either the House Warden, or the House Head Student, in consultation with the Warden, may call a meeting of the House and the House Warden must do so if the House Committee or 25% of the residents of the residents of the House requests such a meeting.

10.9.  

The procedures governing House Committee meetings are set out in Annexure B.

11.    

POWERS AND DUTIES OF A HOUSE COMMITTEE:

11.1.         

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and the powers of the Hall Warden, the House Warden is the final decision-making authority in all matters pertaining to a house.

11.2.         

The Hall Warden and House Warden may delegate authority to the House Committee to act in certain matters.

11.3.         

Notwithstanding Clause 12.1, a House Committee:

11.3.1.    

Has the power to decide issues relating to its own operation and activities.

11.3.2.    

Shall share with the House Wardens responsibility for the general welfare of the members of the House.

11.3.3.    

Shall assist in maintaining a high standard of discipline and good order among members of the House.

11.3.4.    

May act as intermediary between the student members of the House, on the one hand and the Hall Warden and/or House Warden, on the other.

11.3.5.    

Shall be responsible for arranging all social and other events for students in the House, subject to any University or Hall Rules pertaining to such events.

11.4.         

The House Committee may advise the House Warden, the Hall Warden and the Hall Committee on issues relating to the administration, management and general policies of the House and Hall. The House Warden, Hall Warden and Hall Committee are obliged to consider such advice, but retain the discretion to accept or reject such advice. The House Warden, Hall Warden and Hall Committee may not unreasonably refuse to follow the House Committee’s advice. In the event of any of them refusing to accept the House Committee’s advice, the House Committee shall have the power to request that it be provided with full reasons for such refusal. If dissatisfied with such reasons, the House Committee may request the Hall Committee to intercede in the matter.

12.    

RULES AND REGULATIONS:

12.1.         

The Hall Committee shall normally have the power to make rules and regulations governing the life of student members of the Hall.

12.2.         

In the event of an emergency arising, or where it is not possible to convene a meeting of the Hall Committee to consider formulating a rule that is necessary for dealing with an impending situation, the Hall Warden may formulate rules and regulations to deal with that situation. Thereafter the Hall Warden shall account to the Hall Committee at the next scheduled Hall Committee meeting, or at a special meeting called for that purpose. The Hall Committee shall then review the rule or rules that the Hall Warden formulated.

12.3.         

In the event of an emergency arising, or where it is not possible to convene a meeting of the House Committee to consider formulating a rule that is necessary for dealing with an impending situation, the House Warden, wherever possible in consultation with the Hall                 Warden, may formulate rules and regulations to deal with that situation. Thereafter at a House Committee meeting, or at a special meeting called for that purpose, the House Committee shall then review the rule or the rules that the House Warden formulated.

13.    

CODE OF CONDUCT:

13.1.         

In the spirit of participative governance, members of the Hall are committed to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

13.2.         

All members of the Hall should act in a responsible manner and will behave with dignity and self-control. Members should avoid personal attacks, treat each other with respect and should allow others to air their views without interruption.

13.3.         

All meetings will be conducted in good faith and members will strive to develop a common understanding and consensus. Inputs must be constructive and solution orientated.

14.    

THE HALL SRC REPRESENTATIVE:

14.1.         

ELECTION OF THE HALL SRC REPRESENTATIVE:

The election of the Hall SRC Representative shall take place in accordance with the procedures laid down in the SRC Constitution.

14.2.         

FUNCTIONS OF THE HALL SRC REPRESENTATIVE:

14.2.1.      

The Hall SRC Representative shall be a member of the Hall Committee and shall liaise between the members of the Hall and the Hall Committee, and the SRC.

14.2.2.      

She shall serve ex?officio as a member of her House Committee, and is entitled to attend, as an observer, the House Committee meetings of the Houses in which she is not resident at her discretion or by invitation of the House Committee concerned.

14.2.3.      

The Hall SRC Representative may, with the concurrence of the Hall Warden, call a meeting of the combined House Committees of the Houses of the Hall. At least half of the constituent members of the combined House Committees shall constitute a quorum.

14.2.4.      

With the approval of the Hall Warden, the Hall SRC Representative may at any time call a General Meeting of students of the Hall. The quorum at a General Hall Meeting shall be two?thirds of those members of the Hall who are eligible to vote.

15.    

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION:

15.1.         

The Hall Committee may recommend to the Senate and the Council, through the Board of Residences, any amendments to this Constitution.

15.2.         

If the Senate or the Council is of the opinion that the repeal or alteration or any of the provisions of this Constitution is necessary, the Senate may, after giving the Hall Committee an opportunity to express its views, repeal or alter any such provision or provisions.

 

ANNEXURE A:

The following procedures shall govern all meetings in the Hall:

QUORUM:

A1          

Once a meeting has been declared quorate, it remains quorate, even if members leave during the course of the meeting, thereby resulting in a lack of quorum.

A2          

In the event of there being no quorum, the meeting must be adjourned for at least two (2) days, and notice regarding the details of the meeting should be given to all members of the Committee. Should the quorum requirements not be met at the adjourned meeting, those present will constitute the quorum.

SUBCOMMITTEES:

A3

The Hall Committee or a House Committee may appoint sub-committees to deal with specific issues. Normally these should consist of members of the Hall or House. While in existence, sub-committees, via their chairpersons, must report back to the Hall or House Committee at its meetings.

DECISION MAKING:

A4

Whenever possible, issues shall be debated until general consensus is reached.

A5

Where consensus cannot be reached and it is necessary to resolve an issue, a formal decision shall be taken, by simple majority, with each member present at the meeting having one voice.

A6

The Chairperson has both ordinary vote and in the event of a tie, a casting vote.

A7

In the event of the Chairperson being unable, for whatever reason, to chair the meeting, the members present at the meeting must choose someone from their number to act as Chairperson for that meeting.

A8

The Chairperson shall have all the functions and powers normally associated with that position.

A9

At the first meeting of each year, the Committee may appoint a Secretary to take the minutes of the meetings in the event of the Hall Administrator being absent.

 

ANNEXURE B: ELECTION PROCEDURES:

SCRUTINEERS AND TIMING OF ELECTIONS:

B1

The Hall and House Head Students shall normally constitute the Scrutineering Committee for elections in the Hall. The Hall Senior Student shall ex officio be Chief Scrutineer. Should any of them, for whatever reason, be unable to act as scrutineer, the remaining members of the Scrutineering Committee shall, in consultation with the Hall Warden, appoint suitable replacements.

B2

The House Head Students shall normally be the Chief Scrutineer for elections in the House and shall have the power to appoint additional scrutineers to assist her if necessary. Should the House Head Student, for whatever reason, be unable to act as scrutineer, the House Warden shall, in consultation with the Hall Warden, appoint a suitable replacement, who shall have the power to appoint additional scrutineers to assist her if necessary.

B3

In the fourth term of each academic year the Chief Scrutineer, together with the Hall Warden, shall call for nominations for Hall Senior Student for the following academic year.

B4

The appropriate Chief Scrutineers, together with the Hall Warden, shall call for nominations for House Head Students for the following academic year within forty-eight hours of the election of the Hall Senior Student being finalised and for House Committee members within forty-eight hours of the election of the House Head Student.

ELIGIBILITY:

B5

Only students who have resided in a residence of the Hall for two full academic terms in the case of House Senior Student and one year for Hall Senior Student and who are currently resident in the Hall or House are eligible for election as Hall or House Senior Student or as a member of a House Committee.

ELECTION RULES:

B6

A call for nominations shall specify a day and time at which nominations will close. The period for nomination shall be kept open for at least forty-eight hours after nominations are first called, after which the names of the candidates shall be made public.

B7

If only one nomination is received for the position of Hall Senior Student or House Head Student the students in the Hall or House are nevertheless required to vote. For the candidate to be elected a 50% vote in her favour is required.

B8

Only students who have resided in the House in which they are resident, for two full academic terms and who are currently resident in the House may nominate or second candidates for election.

B9

All nominations must be made in writing and must be signed by both the proposer and seconder, who shall have ascertained beforehand that the candidate will accept office if elected.

B10

The Scrutineers, together with the Hall Warden, shall draw up a list of voters and shall specify the times and places at which voting may take place.

B11

Only students who have resided in the Hall of House for two full academic terms and who are currently resident in the Hall or House may vote.

B12

No campaigning is permitted in the vicinity of the voting area.

B13

Voting shall be strictly by ballot.

B14

Nomination lists shall accompany the ballot boxes and voting shall be kept open for at least twenty-four hours.

B15

If more than one nomination is received for any position a 65% poll is necessary to constitute a valid election. Should a poll not be obtained within the specified twenty-four hour period, voting shall be kept open for a further forty-eight hours, after which the votes cast shall constitute the minimum poll required.

B16

The candidate who obtains the majority of votes shall be declared elected. In the event of a tie, a by-election shall be held between the top two candidates. In the event of a further tie, the election shall be determined by the toss of a coin.

B17

Any candidate who wishes to contest the results of an election, must to so in writing to the Chief Scrutineer within twenty-four hours of the result being released.

B18

Should the elected person not return for her term of office, the person with the next highest number of votes will automatically fill the vacant position, provided that she remains eligible for that position, failing which a new election must be held.

 OCTOBER 2015

Last Modified :Wed, 03 May 2017 09:09:37 SAST