What is a Constitution?
The Constitution of a club contains the fundamental principles which govern its operation and establishes the specific rules of guidance by which the group is to function. All, except the most informal groups, should have their basic structure and methods of operation in writing. Why have a Constitution?
By definition a club is a "body of persons organised for some specific purpose, as a club, union or society." The process of writing a constitution will clarify your purpose, delineate your basic structure and provide the cornerstone for building an effective group. It will allow members and potential members to have a better understanding of what the club is all about and how it functions. It will provide a structure to aid future leaders of your club to ensure that the group continues on a sound course. If you keep in mind the value of having a written document that clearly describes the framework of your club, the drafting of the constitution will be a much easier and a more rewarding experience.
What should be covered by a Constitution?
The following pages are an outline of the standard information to be included in a Constitution. Extra articles and sections are included to provide some examples of sound organisational practices. However, remember the constitution is for your club. It is important to think through what is written so it reflects your club's purposes and needs as well as stays within the rules of the school. The prime objective is to draft a document that covers these topics in a clear and concise manner. If you have any questions you should consult your teachers.
Once your club has a constitution - what do you do with it?
Remember the reason for having a constitution is that it articulates the purpose of your club and spells out the procedure to be followed for its orderly function. Once your club develops this constitution, review it at least once every school year. The needs of the club will change and it is important that this constitution reflect the current state of affairs. Make sure the constitution is readily available to every member of your club. This will help members stay informed about the opportunities for participation and procedures they need to follow to be active contributing members.
Sivuyile Manxoyi (SAAO)
(021) 447-0025 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sample Constitution of a Typical Science Club:
(Please note that this is only an example that is meant only to serve as a guide. Your constitution need not look anything like this. This will merely help you see how to plan your club)
CONSTITUTION OF ABC SECONDARY SCHOOL SCIENCE CLUB
1. The name of this club shall be “The ABC Secondary School Science Club” PURPOSES
2. The purpose of this club is to promote Science and Technology by supporting learners’ enthusiasm.
3. The Club aims:
a) to organise meetings and relevant events
b) to encourage interest in Science and Technology
c) to provide opportunities and facilities to support scientific interest d) to encourage a spirit of comradeship
e) to liase with other organisations who share these aims
4. Membership in this club shall not be denied to any learner at ABC Secondary School on the basis of race, religion, gender, political affiliation, sexual orientation or physical handicap. 5.
There shall be three classes of members:
a) Full Member: Full membership is limited to learners and teachers of ABC Secondary School. Any eligible learner or teacher of ABC Secondary School who completes and signs a membership application shall be a Full Member upon filing the application with the club secretary.
b) Associate Member: Any eligible person who is not entitled for full membership shall be an associate member upon submitting a membership form to the club secretary.
c) Honorary Member: Any person giving outstanding service to the club may be voted in for honorary membership.
6. Any member...