The Downing College Amalgamation Club (DCAC)

The Amalgamation Club (which includes the JCR and MCR) performs the functions of a College students’ union and operates in accordance with the below Code of Practice.

The Amalgamation Club administers funds to provide amenities for its members and represents their views to the Governing Body, the General Purposes Committee, the Finance Committee, the Education Committee, the Buildings and Environment Committee, the Health, Safety and Junior Committee and the Development Committee.

Virtually all College clubs and societies form part of the Amalgamation Club which is de facto run by the JCR and MCR.

The Amalgamation Club officers are elected from junior members to hold office for a year; they have financial responsibility for all activities of the Amalgamation Club described below, subject to general oversight by one of the Fellows, (elected as the Senior Treasurer), and subject to the provisions in the Code of Practice in respect of the Amalgamation Club.

Most of the income of the Amalgamation Club is derived from annual subscriptions allocated by the College. Open meetings of the Amalgamation Club, the JCR and MCR are held regularly throughout the year at which individual members can discuss issues of policy raised by the Officers and Committee or voice complaints or suggestions.

As the representative bodies of student opinion, the JCR and the MCR respectively have the important task of appointing the two undergraduate members (usually the President and Vice-President) and the two graduate students who attend meetings of the Governing Body and the General Purposes Committee for unreserved items of business.

The JCR and the MCR also nominate student representatives to various College committees concerned with matters in which junior members have an interest.

Amalgamation Club Code of Practice

Draft Code of Practice issued in accordance with the Education Act 1994 by the Governing Body of Downing College in respect of the Downing College Amalgamation Club.

Section 22 of the Education Act 1994 places a number of responsibilities on governing bodies of universities (as defined by section 21 [5]).

Sub-section 3 provides that every governing body shall prepare and issue, and where necessary revise, a code of practice as to the manner in which the requirements of sub-sections 1 and 2 of the Act are to be carried into effect in relation to any students union for students of the establishment, setting out in relation to each of the requirements details of the arrangements made to secure its observance.

This document constitutes the code of practice issued in relation to the Downing College Amalgamation Club.

The Downing College Amalgamation Club (DCAC) has a written constitution which is subject to review by the Governing Body at intervals of not more than five years. Any amendments are also subject to the approval of the Governing Body.

The members of the Downing College Amalgamation Club comprise the members of the Junior Combination Room (JCR) and the Middle Common Room (MCR).

Junior members of the College have the right to opt out of the JCR and MCR and hence the Downing College Amalgamation Club, but shall not be disadvantaged as a result of having done so with regard to the provision of services. They shall relinquish all rights specified under the Constitution of the DCAC to vote and stand in elections.

Election to principal offices of the JCR and MCR are by secret ballot in which all members of each organisation can vote. The regulations are designed to ensure that elections are fair and proper. A report on the conduct of each election must be submitted to the Governing Body.

The budget and accounts of the Downing College Amalgamation Club must be submitted annually to the Governing Body as well as a half-yearly report. At the same time details must be given in particular of any affiliations of the DCAC to external organisations including CUSU. Copies of the Budget and Accounts must at the same time be made available to all members of the Club.

Notice of a decision to affiliate to an external organisation is given to the Governing Body and all students, detailing the name of the organisation together with details of any subscription or similar fee paid.

Affiliations are reviewed annually and approved by members. There is a procedure for reviewing a particular affiliation to an external organisation by a requisition of a proportion of members not less than 5% calling for a referendum. The procedures specified in the constitution of the Club for allocating resources to constituent Clubs and Societies are all designed to be fair.

There is a complaints procedure for all students or groups who are dissatisfied with their dealings with the Downing College Amalgamation Club, JCR or MCR or claim to be unfairly disadvantaged as a result of having exercised the right to opt out.

Complaints are to be made to the President of the JCR or MCR as appropriate, from whom an appeal shall lie to an independent person, appointed by the Governing Body. Complaints will be dealt with promptly and fairly and, where upheld, an effective remedy will be sought.