Old Rhodian Constitution

(Adopted September 2004)

The name of the Union shall be the OLD RHODIAN UNION

The Union shall be a body corporate, which has an identity and an existence distinct from its members and/or management.


The members of the Union shall be -

3.1 all past students of the University who have registered as students of the University for at least one academic year;

3.2 all Honorary Graduates of the University;

3.3 all past and present members of staff, including members of Associated Institutes;

3.4 all past and present Chancellors, and past and present members of the University Council;

3.5 all other persons connected with the University who, having been nominated by at least two members of the Union, have been accepted by the Committee of the Union as members.


The objects of the Union shall be:

4.1 to maintain and strengthen the ties between the University and past staff and students of the University, as well as among past students;

4.2 to assist in and encourage the development of all aspects of the University;

4.3 to raise funds for Union activities;

4.4 to administer and award bursaries, grants and prizes;

4.5 to perform all such other functions as are proper to the achievement of the above-mentioned objects or as may be approved by a general meeting of the Union.


The Committee of the Union shall consist of the President, the Vice-President, the Honorary Secretary, the Honorary Treasurer, the Vice-Chancellor, the President of Convocation, the Registrar, the Director of Communication and Development, and four other members of the Union elected annually, of whom at least two members shall be members of Convocation.


The University’s Director of Communications and Development shall appoint a person to act as Administrative Secretary and who shall perform such functions as the Committee may allocate to him or her.


7.1 The Committee shall meet at least twice in each calendar year.

7.2 Five members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum.

7.3 The President of the Union shall be the chairperson of the Committee and in his or her absence, the Vice-President or a member chosen by those present at the meeting shall chair the meeting.

7.4 Voting at Committee meetings shall be as at General Meetings, except that voting by proxy shall not be allowed.

7.5 The Administrative Secretary shall not be permitted ex officio to cast a vote at Committee Meetings or General Meetings.

7.6 In the event of a deadlock the chairperson shall have a casting vote in addition to a deliberative vote.


The Committee shall have the power to:

8.1 fill any vacancies on the Committee that may occur during the year;

8.2 co-opt additional members;

8.3 nominate representatives on other bodies as may be necessary;

8.4 raise funds for the Union, and in particular, to conduct society lotteries in term of the Lotteries Act , 57 of 1997;

8.5 administer the funds of the Union in whatever manner it deems beneficial to the interests of the Union;

8.6 appoint trustees where necessary;

8.7 establish branches of the Union;

8.8 establish and co-ordinate projects, including fundraising projects;

8.9 administer and select recipients for the bursaries, grants, and prizes awarded by the Union;

8.10 take any steps necessary to issue any publications of the Union;

8.11 conduct any other business which it deems to be within its powers subject to any directions which have been given at a general meeting;

8.12 employ any other persons who may be deemed necessary for the proper
administration of the Union and fix the salary and the terms of employment of such person;

8.13 appoint Honorary Presidents and Vice-Presidents.


The President, Vice-President, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer shall constitute the Executive, and any two of such persons shall have the power to operate the accounts of the Union.


10.1 The Annual General Meeting shall be held once a year at such time and place as designated by the Committee.

10.2 The President, or in his or her absence, the Vice-President, shall be the chairperson at all general meetings; otherwise a chairperson shall be elected by a show of hands. The Chairperson of Convocation may preside over joint meetings of Convocation and the Union.

10.3 Notice of the time and place of the Annual General Meeting shall be given at least four weeks notice has been given of the date, time, place of the meeting and statement of the business to be considered in newspapers in Grahamstown, East London, and Port Elizabeth, and by placing a notice on the University’s home page on the world wide web.

10.4 Voting on every resolution shall be by a show of hands provided that any member shall have the right to call for a ballot.

10.5 Every resolution duly passed shall be binding on every member of the Union.

10.6 Absent members may vote by proxy, provided that such proxy shall be given in writing and provided further that no member present may hold more than ten proxies.

10.7 In case of an equality of votes at any meeting, the chairman shall have a casting vote, in addition to a deliberative vote.

10.8 A quorum of twenty members in person shall be required in order to constitute an Annual General Meeting. In the event of there being no quorum the Annual General Meeting shall be postponed to the same time and place in the following week when those members present shall constitute a quorum.


The purposes of the Annual General Meeting shall be:

11.1 to receive the President’s Annual Report;

11.2 to receive the Vice-Chancellor’s Annual Report, provided that if such Report contains any matter that should form part of the Convocation Agenda, then the said Report shall be presented to Convocation;

11.3 to receive and approve a Financial Report on the Union’s financial affairs since the last Annual General Meeting;

11.4 to elect officers and committee members for the following year; and

11.5 to conduct any other competent business.


The Committee may call a special general meeting if the Committee shall have received a requisition, signed by at least twenty-five members requesting such a meeting. The rules applicable to special general meetings shall be as for the Annual General Meeting.


An amendment to this Constitution may be made at any general meeting of the Union by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, provided that notice of the proposed alteration to this Constitution was given in the notice calling the meeting.


14.1 The Union may only be dissolved if a resolution to that effect is passed by two-thirds of those voting in person and by proxy at a special general meeting called for that purpose and after at least four weeks notice has been given of the date, time, place of the meeting and statement of the business to be considered in newspapers in Grahamstown, East London, and Port Elizabeth, and by placing a notice on the University’s home page on the world wide web.

14.2 In the event of dissolution all accumulated funds and other property of the Union shall vest in Convocation or, failing it, in the Council of Rhodes University, subject to the proviso that any funds held in trust shall be administered in accordance with the terms of that trust.

14.3 Notwithstanding the above, any funds raised from any lottery conducted under the Lotteries Act shall be used solely for the award of bursaries to students at Rhodes University.

Last Modified: Fri, 16 Aug 2019 11:54:18 SAST