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Wits Model United Nations Society


Wits MUN is a society of students based at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Through simulated United Nations assembly sessions, our aim is to foster knowledge of the UN, and corrospondingly gain valuable experience in the complexities of contemporary world politics.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Wits MUN Constitution


Clause 1 Interpretation
Clause 2 Name and Membership
Clause 3 Objects
Clause 4 Composition and Functions of the Committee
Clause 5 Election of the Committee
Clause 6 Term of Office
Clause 7 Meetings of the Committee
Clause 8 Vacancies on the Committee
Clause 9 Finance
Clause 10 Amendments to this Constitution
Clause 11 Rules for the Summoning and Conduct of General Meetings
Clause 12 Vacation Executive
Clause 13 Sub-Societies
Clause 14 Expulsion of Members
Clause 15 Publications

Clause 1 - Interpretation

In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise indicates:

1. "University" means the University of the Witwatersrand.
2. "SRC" means the Students' Representative Council of the University
3. "Student" means a registered student of the University in terms of the SRC Constitution as amended.
4. "Year" means academic year.
5. "Committee" means the Committee of Wits Model United Nations which Committee is the Executive body of Wits Model United Nations
6. "Member" of the means any student who has paid a subscription fee to MUNSA.
7. "General Election" means the election held in the fourth quarter of each year for the purpose of election the Committee.
8. “Staff” refers to staff of the University of the Witwatersrand
9. In the event of a dispute as to the meaning or interpretation of any clause, section, word or words in this Constitution, the decision of the Committee shall be conclusive as to that meaning or interpretation on, provided that this meaning does not conflict with SRC Standing Orders.

Clause 2 - Name and Membership

1. The body hereinafter referred to as Wits Model United Nations is and shall be called Wits Model United Nations and shall be designated by the letters WITSMUN
2. Membership shall be open to all students and staff of the University.
3. MUNSA may admit to membership persons who are not students or staff as defined in this Constitution; provided that such admission is formally approved by the Committee of MUNSA and consequently ratified by the SRC. HOWEVER, should such persons be admitted into the club in terms of the abovementioned procedure, they might serve on the Committee provided that the number of such persons does not exceed one-third of the total number of people serving on the committee. Such person may not serve on the Executive of the Committee.
4. No person shall be considered a member until the subscription as laid down by the MUNSA from time to time, has been paid. The amount of the subscription fee is subject to such minimum subscription stipulated by the SRC.
5. Subscription fee shall be R65 for student and staff members and R100 for external members

Clause 3 - Objects

The objects of WITSMUN shall be:
1) To encourage hands on application of current international affairs.
2) Develop a culture of engagement and interest in the workings of the United Nations.
3) Offer support to high school learners involved in Model United Nations Debates.
4) Develop communication, interpersonal and research skills among University and High school students.
5) Strive towards creating a vehicle of engagement between University, the United Nations and Schools.

Clause 4 - Composition and Function of the Committee

The Committee shall consist of members elected by, from and for the purpose of representing the members of MUNSA.

1. The members of the Committee shall be:

a. President
b. Vice President
c. Treasurer
d. Secretary
e. Academic Director
f. External Relations
g. Marketing Director
h. Session Director 1
i. Session Director 2

2. The Executive of the Committee shall consist of

a. President
b. Vice President
c. Treasurer
d. Secretary

3. The functions of the Committee Members shall be as follows:

a. President : General organisation of society, overall co-ordination, liaison with important contacts
b. Vice President : Support President in duties
c. Secretary: Administration of society, minutes, room- bookings, requisitions, photocopying, phone calls etc.
d. Treasurer: Administration of finances, budgets, requisitions for money
e. External Relations: Organise and co-ordinate activities which are in collaboration with external organisations, e.g. Volunteer programme, academic talks, invitations to MUN conferences
f. Marketing: Advertising on campus for sessions and activities and seeking of sponsorship for society
g. Session Director 1: Organisation of session, ensuring that duties are fulfilled - room booking, refreshments, team co-ordination, adjudicators, gifts, trophies
h. Session Director 2: Support Session Director 1 with duties and also maintain website and mailing lists.

4. The committee shall have the power to co-opt up to two additional members, a two-thirds majority being required for such co-option.
5. Such co-opted members may or may not have a vote whichever must be established before such co-option.

Clause 5 - Election of the Committee

1. The Committee shall be elected at a general election.
2. The General Election shall be held annually in the fourth quarter of each year
3. The date of the General Election shall be at the discretion of the outgoing Committee
4. Only members of the WITSMUN shall be allowed to vote.
5. The suggested procedure for a General Election shall be as follows but can be modified:

a. A general meeting of all members of WITSMUN shall be called on the election day, the date and place of the meeting having widely publicised for at least two weeks before the election day.
b. A quorum for such meetings shall consist of two thirds of the members of WITSMUN.
c. If at such a general meeting, there is no quorum present thirty minutes after the advertised starting time, the President shall adjourn the meeting for a period of not less than forty-eight hours and not more than seven days, and shall then reconvene the meeting. This process shall be repeated until a quorum is obtained.
d. The outgoing President shall be President for the duration of the general election or, if not available the outgoing Vice President, or failing either of these two a Chairperson shall be elected by the meeting for the purpose of conducting the election.
e. The Chairperson of the meeting for the position of Chairperson shall call for nominations.
f. The voting for this position shall be by a show of hands, each member present being allowed to vote once only.
g. The nominee obtaining the greatest number of voted shall be declared elected as President for the Committee's term of office.
h. In the event of more than two nominations being forwarded for the position of President, the person obtaining the least amount of votes shall fall away.
i. This procedure shall be repeated until only two candidates remain whereupon the candidate obtaining the highest number of votes shall be elected President.
j. In the event of both candidates obtaining an equal number of votes, the outgoing President shall have a casting vote.
k. The same procedure shall be followed for the election of the remaining members of the Committee.

Clause 6 - Term of office

The term of office of the Committee shall be one month (thirty days) from the moment the full committee is elected at a general election until the next general election has been concluded.

Clause 7 - Meetings of the Committee

1. Meetings of the Committee shall be held at least once every three weeks.
2. A quorum at Committee meetings shall be two thirds. In the event of there being no quorum at any meeting of the Committee, the meeting shall stand adjourned and shall re-assemble at the time appointed by the Chairperson, provided that this second meeting shall be convened not less than forty-eight hours and not more than seven days from the date of the first meeting, provided further, that the members present at this second meeting shall constitute a quorum.
3. The procedure to be followed at all Committee meetings shall be that laid down in the SRC Rules for the Conduct of Meetings.
4. At meetings of the Committee, the Executive shall have both a deliberative and casting vote.
5. All questions shall be decided by a majority of the members present and voting (save where an increased majority is provided for).
6. At least seven days notice shall be given to members of ordinary Committee meetings.
7. The Chairperson, subject to the provisions of Clause 7.9, may call an extraordinary meeting at any time.
8. The Chairperson shall convene an extraordinary meeting of the Committee within 24 hrs of a written petition signed by not less than a third of the members of the Committee calling upon him/her to do so and station the nature of the business to be discussed.
9. At least forty-eight hours notice shall be given for an extraordinary meeting of the Committee.
10. Students who are members of MUNSA may attend meetings of the Committee but shall not take part in any discussion except as provided for in Clause 7.11 of the Constitution.
11. The Committee may invite any student or other person to attend a meeting. A person so invited may take part in the discussion but shall not be permitted to vote.
12. Accurate minutes of all meetings shall be taken and a copy thereof posted up on the notice boards of MUNSA
13. A copy of the said minutes shall be forwarded to the SRC Secretary.

Clause 8 - Vacancies of the Committee

1. The seat of a member of the Committee shall become vacant if:
a. The member ceases to be a student of the University.
b. The resignation of the member is submitted in writing.
c. The member is absent without good reason from two ordinary meetings of the Committee.
2. Any vacancy which occurs on the Committee shall be filled by a member of MUNSA. The by-election shall be conducted, mutatis mutandis, in accordance with the provisions set out in Clause 5, and within three weeks of the creation of the vacancy.

Clause 9 - Finance

1. The Committee shall request from the SRC at the beginning of each year a grant sufficient for its needs.
2. The Committee shall administer its funds in the interests of the members in terms of the SRC Financial By-laws.

Clause 10 - Amendments to the Constitution

1. This Constitution shall take effect from the date of its ratification by the SRC.
2. No amendment to this Constitution shall be made save by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting at an ordinary meeting of the Committee.
3. Notwithstanding the provisions of Clause 10.2, amendments to Constitution may be effected by resolution of a two-thirds majority of members present and voting at an ordinary general meeting of the MUNSA provided that notice of the amendment has been posted on the notice board of the MUNSA for a period of at least fourteen days prior to the date of the said general meeting.
4. All amendments shall be submitted to the Constitutions Officer of the SRC within two weeks of their having been ratified by the committee and shall not be deemed valid until they have been ratified by the SRC.
5. One copy of this Constitution shall be kept by the Constitutions Officer of the SRC, in the SRC office. A second copy shall be kept by the Secretary of MUNSA in the Minutes Book of MUNSA. These two copies shall be the official copies of the Constitution, and all amendments shall be written into them with the dates of the SRC meetings at which such amendments were ratified. In the event of a conflict between the two official copies, the one kept by the Constitutions Officer shall be the binding version.

Clause 11 - Rules for the summonining and conduct of General Meetings

1. The procedure to be followed at all General Meetings of MUNSA shall be laid down in the SRC Rules for the Conduct of Meetings.
2. The order of procedure at these meetings shall be:
a. Minutes of the last general meeting.
b. Chairperson's address.
c. Financial Report
d. Notified motions - written notice of such motions shall be sent to the secretary at least seventy-two hours before the meeting and posted on the notice board of the MUNSA at least forty-eight hours before the meeting.
3. At least seven days' notice shall be given to members of the calling of an ordinary General Meeting.
4. At least forty-eight hours notice shall be given to members of the calling of an extra-ordinary General Meeting.
5. The Chairperson may, at any time, call an extra-ordinary General Meeting and shall do so on receipt of a petition signed by not less than a third of the members of MUNSA..
6. At all General Meetings, 20% of the members shall constitute a quorum.
7. If at a General Meeting a quorum is not present thirty minutes after the advertised starting time, the Chairperson shall adjourn the meeting, and reconvene it not less than forty-eight hours, and not more than seven days, later.
8. The Chairperson of the Committee shall take the Chair at all General Meetings. In the absence of the Chairperson the Vice-Chairperson shall take the Chair. In the absence of the Vice-Chairperson, a Chairperson shall be elected by the Meeting.

Clause 12 - Vacation Executive

1. At the ordinary meeting in October, the Committee may elect a Vacation Executive.
2. The Vacation Executive may consist of 2 or more members of the Committee.
3. The Vacation Executive shall hold office from November until February.
4. The duties of the Vacation Executive shall be:
a. To act on behalf of the Committee in all matters during its term of office.
b. To furnish a report of its activities to the Committee at the end of its period of office.
5. The Chairperson of the Vacation Executive shall take the Chair at all meetings of the Vacation Executive and at all General Meetings held during the Vacation Executive's term of office. In the absence of the Chairperson, the meeting shall elect a Chairperson.

Clause 13 - Expulsion of members

The club may not expel any member, nor debar any member from standing office save the following procedure:
1. The member in question is found by the Executive or the Committee to be guilty of gross misconduct.
2. Any meeting of MUNSA at which any election to its committee takes place may, by simple majority of the members present require any candidate (or, in the event of there being more than one, all candidates) for election to sign a personal commitment to the furtherance of the aims and objects of the society as defined in its constitution;
3. Should a majority of the committee consider that any particular member of the society is acting to the detriment of the aims and objectives of the society as defined in this constitution, it may expel that member. Provided that in every instance the prior approval of the SRC be obtained.

Clause 14 - Publications

All Publications issued by MUNSA must comply with the media by-laws of the SRC.

Clause 15 - Ratification

This constitution as amended on 4 October 2004 will serve as an interim Constitution until ratified by two thirds of members present at the next general meeting.



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