ARTICLE 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1. This document is known as “The constitution of the Postgraduate Student Association of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (PSANA)”.
1.2. The safekeeping of this document is the responsibility of the:
1.2.1. Chairperson, Vice Chairperson;
1.2.2. Member of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, the Head of Administration of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
ARTICLE 2: NAME
2.1. This student body will be known as “The Postgraduate Student Association of Natural and Agricultural Sciences”, University of Pretoria, hereafter referred to as “PSANA”.
ARTICLE 3: LEGAL PERSONALITY
3.1. The Association is a juristic person and the bearer of its own rights.
3.2. The Association does not pursue any financial gain for or through its members and no member is entitled to any of the assets of The Association by reason of membership, either before or after the dissolution of The Association.
3.3. No member of The Association and no member of the representative body of The Association are liable for the fulfilment of any duty or the payment of any debt, which might be incurred by The Association.
3.4. The Association is subjected to the rules and regulations of the University of Pretoria.
ARTICLE 4: OBJECTIVES
The objectives of PSANA house are to:
4.1. Act as the official mouthpiece of postgraduate students of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences;
4.2. Unite all postgraduate students of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences into one organization;
4.3. Maintain and further the relationship between all postgraduate students;
4.4. Participate in University activities at various levels;
4.5. Organize relevant events for postgraduate students represented by PSANA;
4.6. Promote communication and interaction between the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, the undergraduate house (Nat house) and postgraduate students.
ARTICLE 5: MEMBERSHIP
5.1. A person is eligible for membership of PSANA, if the person is registered as a postgraduate student, under the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, or an equivalent degree in a related discipline, from a recognized University, and registerable as a Natural Scientist or Natural Scientist in training, and is a registered student of the University of Pretoria, is eligible for Ordinary membership.
5.2. Membership can be obtained by direct email to the web master, President or Vice-President.
5.3. Termination of membership: The Executive Committee (EC) reserves the right by way of two-thirds majority vote, to terminate membership of any member. Termination will be subjected to bylaws (see Appendix A).
5.4. Any member can terminate his/her own membership by direct e-mail to the webmaster, President or Vice President.
5.5. Any member of PSANA (either executive committee member or ordinary member) that is blacklisted by any of the organisations or facilities of the University of Pretoria needs to explain his/her actions that have caused this to the executive committee of PSANA as well as a representative of the organization or facility. Until this meeting between all three parties, the member is barred from PSANA. A joint decision will then be made by the committee and the representative concerned as to whether the person concerned may be reinstated as a member of PSANA. The decision will then be made known to the person as soon as possible thereafter.
5.6. Any final-year undergraduate student or full-time staff member of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences is eligible for affiliated membership.
5.7. Rights and privileges of members are given in the Bylaws of The Association.
ARTICLE 6: PATRONS
6.1. Any person, organization or institution may, with the approval of members, become a Patron of The Association.
6.2. Rights and privileges of Patrons are given in the Bylaws of PSANA.
ARTICLE 7: VOTING RIGHTS
A person has the right to vote if he/she:
7.1. complies with the membership requirements of PSANA
7.2. are not subject to disciplinary measures imposed by the disciplinary body of the University.
ARTICLE 8: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS
8.1.1. At least one meeting will be held per month for the duration of the academic year
8.1.2. Notice of the meeting should be given at least five days before the meeting and should indicate the date, time and venue for the meeting
8.1.3. The quorum for a meeting amounts to two-thirds of the EC members. If a quorum is not present the meeting should be rescheduled to the soonest date possible for a quorum to be present
8.1.4. Apologies for absence at a meeting should be presented in writing (e-mail notice is considered as writing) within the previous working week before the meeting takes place
8.1.5. Minutes and points for the agenda to be discussed at meetings may be submitted to the President, but should be in writing
8.1.6. Members not able to attend meetings due to emergencies are excused provided the committee is notified beforehand or as soon as possible thereafter.
8.2. Meeting procedure
8.2.1. The President / chairperson or authorised person appointed by the chairperson is the chair of the meeting and he/she mediates all discussions
8.2.2. The previous minutes should be printed out and brought to the meeting by all members. Any mistakes or differences on the minutes should be discussed and changed accordingly. The President and Vice President will then sign off the minutes
8.2.3. Decisions are made by majority vote through the showing of hands; All members of the executive committee have the same voting rights excluding the NAT-house representative. His/her duties are for communication between the two organisations
8.2.4. Any member that has a particular issue that they wish to bring to the attention of the committee is welcome to do so. The member has to verbally notify the committee prior to the commencement of the meeting of the issue. The member may be banned if they repeatedly attend meetings to bring up issues and cause trouble. Members may notify the committee of the issue by either sending the issue through to one of the committee members or by attending a meeting and bringing up the issue themselves.
ARTICLE 9: SPECIAL / EMERGENCY MEETINGS
9.1. Special meetings may be called with at least one day’s prior notice if instructed by:
9.1.1. the President or Vice-President
9.1.2. the Dean of the Faculty.
ARTICLE 10: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS
10.1. All members may attend general meetings and take part in discussions
10.2. The President / chairperson or, the Vice-President / Vice-Chairperson, shall chair the Annual General Meetings
10.3. Twenty percent of the enfranchised members of the Association shall constitute a quorum at an Annual General Meeting.
10.4. The Annual General Meeting shall deal with the following matters:
10.4.1. The President’s report
10.4.2. Reports of the branch representatives
10.4.3. Transaction of any business and adoption of resolutions on any matter of importance to the Association
10.5. Deferred Annual Meeting
10.5.1. If a quorum of members is not present at the appointed time of the Annual General Meeting, the meeting shall be adjourned for 30 minutes. If a quorum is not present on assembly, a Deferred Annual Meeting shall be held with the members present
10.5.2. The Agenda prepared for the Annual General Meeting shall be dealt with by the Deferred Annual General Meeting
10.5.3. The Deferred Annual General Meeting shall have the same powers and functions as an Annual General Meeting, but may neither consider nor adopt proposed changes to the Constitution of The Association.
ARTICLE 11: MINUTES
11.1. The secretary or the nominated person takes minutes of the proceedings of all meetings
11.2. The minutes of meetings must be approved and signed by the President and Vice-President
11.3. Only minutes that are approved and signed by the President and Vice-President are accepted as an official account of the proceedings of the meeting concerned
11.4. The full set of minutes is open for perusal to any member of the University who requests them.
ARTICLE 12: CONSTITUTIONAL MEETINGS
12.1. Amendments or additions to this Constitution are valid only if:
12.1.1. they are approved by means of a two-thirds majority at an EC meeting
12.1.2. notice of such proposed amendments or additions is provided in writing at least five days before the EC meeting
12.1.3. after acceptance by the EC, a written application is made to the law department for the approval of proposed amendments or additions
12.1.4. it is in accordance with the general regulations of the University.
ARTICLE 13: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
13.1. The Executive Committee (EC), consists of a:
13.1.1. President (chair)
13.1.2. Vice-President (Vice Chair)
13.1.4. Social representative
13.1.5. Marketing representative
13.1.6. Welfare officer
13.1.8. Departmental liaison officer
13.1.9. NAThouse representative (nominated by NAThouse Committee).
ARTICLE 14: SHARED DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
14.1. The duties of the EC are to strive towards reaching the objectives as defined in the Constitution.
14.2. The EC must cooperate with other student bodies and organizations of the University of Pretoria in a positive and sincere spirit.
14.3 The EC must oversee and take responsibility for all gatherings, functions and any other affairs regarding PSANA.
14.4. The EC must, if needed, meet to discuss issues regarding PSANA and take action where necessary.
ARTICLE 15: INDIVIDUAL DUTIES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
15.1. President / Chairperson He/she will be responsible for:
15.1.1. Convening all EC meetings and acting as Chairperson
15.1.2. Supervising all affairs of the EC and overseeing the smooth running thereof
15.1.3. Assisting all other portfolios where assistance is needed
15.1.5. Ensuring that the Dean of the Faculty is kept up to date with the happenings of PSANA
15.1.6. Preparing a list of duties for all the members of the EC and be responsible for the safekeeping thereof
15.1.7. Notifying EC members of all meetings and activities of the EC
15.1.8. Acting as Treasurer, signing of all documents where money of PSANA is involved.
15.1.9. Sitting as a student representative on the Faculty Executive Committee, the Faculty Board, the Senate Committee for Research and on Team 5 of the Self-Evaluation group.
15.2. Vice President / Vice Chairperson He/she will be responsible for:
15.2.1. Supporting the EC Chairperson in the execution of his/her duties
15.2.2. Acting EC Chairperson with the full responsibility and power of the EC Chairperson, either in the absence of the Chairperson or under instruction from of the EC Chairperson
15.2.3. Seeing that the internal EC runs smoothly
15.2.4. Assisting all other portfolios where assistance is needed
15.2.5. Acting as Treasurer, signing of all documents where money of PSANA is involved.
15.2.6. Sitting as student representative on the Appointment and Selection Committee (ASC) and on Team 5 of the Self-Evaluation group.
15.3. Secretary He/she will be responsible for:
15.3.1. Keeping the minutes of all meetings as well as the safekeeping of the above-mentioned minutes and other documents of the EC
15.3.2. running the correspondence of the EC
15.3.3. establishing communication between the EC and other bodies on campus
15.4. Social Representative He/she will be responsible for:
15.4.1. Organisation of all social events of PSANA
15.4.2. Marketing of social events along with the Marketing Coordinator
15.4.3. Acquisition of sponsors for social events
15.4.4. Liaising with the NAThouse Social Representative
15.5. Marketing Representative He/she will be responsible for:
15.5.1. General marketing of PSANA throughout the academic year
15.5.3. Marketing and advertisement of all social, sporting and fundraising events
15.6. Welfare Officer - He/she will be responsible for:
15.6.1. Emotional support to PSANA members.
15.7. Webmaster: He/she will be responsible for:
15.7.1. Maintaining the PSANA website
15.7.2. Updating the web with the minutes of each EC meeting.
15.8. Departmental Liaison Officer: He/she will be responsible for:
15.8.1. Interacting with the departmental representatives of the Faculty
15.8.2. Gaining information from the students about problems in each department
15.8.3. Sitting as a student representative on the Heads of Departments Meeting and the Programme Coordinators Meeting.
ARTICLE 16: ELECTION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
16.1. The election of the executive committee takes place every two years. The House Coordinator will set the date for the election but the election will take place before 1 September of each year.
16.2. Members of the EC are elected for a term of two years.
16.3. Nominations for the annual election of the EC must be put forward at least 28 days prior to the elections. Nominees will be interviewed by the existing EC. A short list of 20 candidates will be presented by the existing EC, 14 days before the election.
16.4. A person is allowed to volunteer and nominate him/herself
16.5. The annual election of the EC takes place via email.
16.6. Nominations must contain the following information:
16.6.1. full name and surname of the person that is nominated
16.6.2. full name and surname of the proposer of the nomination
16.6.3. names and surnames of at least two (2) other members of PSANA as seconders for the nomination
16.6.4. the portfolio to which the nominated person made him/herself available.
16.7. In order to stand as a candidate for election to the EC, a nominated person must be registered as a student under the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences as a postgraduate student.
16.8. The proposer as well as the seconders of the nomination must also be registered students (see 15.7).
16.9. Voting takes place over a period of one (1) week from the Monday to the Friday via email.
16.10. The EC must give notice of the date of the election at least fourteen (14) days prior to the election.
16.11. The votes must be counted by the EC.
16.12. The webmaster will be responsible for the gathering of the nominations and safekeeping thereof until the votes can be counted as in (15.11)
16.13. The newly-elected EC and existing EC must meet as soon as possible after the counting of the votes.
16.14. The election is only valid after at least twenty (20) legitimate votes have been cast.
16.15. A constituting meeting must be held as soon as possible after the announcement of the new EC. The previous outgoing EC as well as the newly-elected members of the EC attend this meeting. At this meeting the annual reports are read by the members of the previous outgoing EC and the election for specific portfolios of the new EC members takes place.
16.16. In the case of votes being tied, the PSANA President has the deciding vote.
16.17. At the constituting meeting, the outgoing EC could recommend to the newly-elected chairperson that a member of the outgoing EC be co-opted to the new EC to complete an unfinished task.
16.18. All EC members must remain available for at least one year after their outgoing to assist the new EC in the tasks.
16.19. The President of the old committee will sit on the new committee as a non-participating member.
ARTICLE 17: STEPS AGAINST EC MEMBERS NEGLECTING THEIR DUTIES
17.1. The EC has the right to suspend a member of the EC by means of two-thirds majority vote, in case of continuing neglect of his/her duties.
17.2. After a formal inquiry within seven (7) days after suspension, the EC reserves the right to either terminate or re-install the membership of the EC member.
17.3. Any member that is blacklisted by the University of Pretoria needs to explain his/her actions that have caused this and redeem them from their position in PSANA.
ARTICLE 18: APPOINTMENT OF A NEW COMMITTEE MEMBER
18.1. When an EC member resigns or his/her membership is terminated, a new EC member will be elected following standard election procedure as described under Article 15.
18.2. A committee member needs to give a three-month warning before resignation. When an EC member resigns or his/her membership is terminated, a new EC member will be elected following standard election procedure as described under Article 15 on reservatory demand of the necessary position.