Our Constitution

Our members voted in 2016 to adopt a new constitution designed to put decisions in the hands of our students.

Student Jury system

The biggest change in the new constitution is the introduction a Student Jury system, designed to make sure that all students have more opportunity to get involved in decision-making – it’s summarised by the diagram below.

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Under this system, our elected officers will look at your ideas and – if they’re uncontroversial, legal and affordable, will make them happen.

But if they think your idea might divide opinion among union membership, they’ll pass it along to a Student Jury.

Juries will be randomly selected, demographically representative groups of students. They’ll be convened on a regular basis to consider evidence and make informed decisions on which new ideas the union should adopt.

If Juries can’t reach consensus, we’ll hold a ‘Preferendum’ – an all-student vote where you’ll be able to rank your preferred options.

Once a Jury or Preferendum has told us what you want, we’ll get on with whatever you’ve told us to do.

We designed the new system after conducting extensive research – including a survey completed by nearly 2,000 of our members – to find out what you want from your union. We believe the new system makes us more representative of Lancaster students making your union much more responsive to your needs.

You can read the Constitution documents in full at the links below. Please note both documents are subject to approval by the Charity Commission.

Legal status

Another significant change is the transition from being an Unincorporated Association towards Incorporation as a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee.

Incorporation is the legal process of declaring that an organisation is an entity separate from its owners. In the case of the Students’ Union this would mean that the charity has its own legal identity outside of the Trustees.

Incorporation would create a separate legal identity for the charity and therefore reduce the riskon individual trustees.

It means that the assets of the charity (like The Sugarhouse) could be held directly by the company and not holding trustees.

Incorporation is now the most common form for Students’ Unions of medium to large charities to take.

Read our guidance note for more information