The Constitution

The constitution as proposed in the 2015 AGM is written out below. Additionally, it is available as a PDF file. Green text indicates new additions to the constitution.


Title and Objects of the Society

The Society shall be called the Adams Society. The Society should aim to host several talks or other events of mathematical interest each term, and organise social events for the members of the society as meets desire and funding available. The promotion of the Society’s objects shall be consistent with the Aims of St John’s College as a place of education, religion, learning and research.


The Membership of the Society shall comprise the Senior Treasurer and the Members. Membership will be free and automatic to the following groups:

  • The junior members, who will be all students at St. John’s College, Cambridge, undergraduate and graduate, who are studying or have studied mathematics there.
  • The senior members, who will be all fellows of St John’s that research or teach mathematics, and all tutors of St John’s mathematics students.
  • Alumni members, who are those who formerly fell into one of the above categories but no longer do.

No Membership subscription shall be levied without consent of the Committee of the Associated Societies; this consent may be reviewed from year to year.

Conduct of Affairs

  1. The Society shall be run by the Committee on behalf of the Members. The Committee shall have executive authority, but shall be subject to overruling by a majority decision of the combined Committee and Membership.

  2. Its activities shall be primarily for the benefit of members of the College.

  3. The Society shall have a bank account of which the Senior Treasurer must be one of the signatories and into which grants shall be paid. So far as the terms of the Society’s banking contract may permit, the Society shall ensure that the authorisation of two Officers is required to make any payment from the bank account.

  4. It shall maintain an up to date page on the College’s web site.

  5. It shall maintain adequate and up to date handover notes to facilitate the conduct of the Society from one year to the next.

  6. It shall not conduct any political campaign.

  7. In the case of a Society which is authorised to make grants, then those grants shall be made in accordance with the terms of this Constitution, and any restrictions which may have been imposed by the Committee of the Associated Societies.

  8. The conduct of the Society’s affairs shall be consistent with the Constitution of the St John’s College Associated Societies.

  9. Entry to talks and other mathematical events should be made open to all interested members of the University and their guests. Social events (such as the annual dinner) should be open to both junior and senior members of the Society. Other parties (for example, alumni members of the Society) may attend these events at the discretion of the Committee.

The General Meeting

Calling of General Meetings

  1. The Secretary shall call an Annual General Meeting before the division of Lent Term.

  2. The Committee may instruct the Secretary to call a General Meeting at any time.

  3. Upon a requisition signed by one third of the Members specifying the general business which it is intended to bring forward, a General Meeting shall be called by the Secretary; at such a meeting no other business but that which for the meeting is called shall be transacted.

Notice of Meetings

Notice and agenda of General Meetings shall be posted on the Associated Societies notice board in the pigeon hole room, First Court, by the Secretary. Notice of General Meetings shall also be sent by electronic mail to all members. Seven clear days’ notice of all meetings shall be given.

Quorum at Meetings

At all General Meetings 10 shall form a quorum.

The Annual General Meeting

The following matters shall be dealt with at the Annual General Meeting:

    1. Approval of the accounts of the Society;

    2. Election of the Officers;

    3. The hearing of annual reports from President and Treasurer;

    4. The planning of policies and events for the coming year.


Any member intending to bring forward a motion at a General Meeting shall send a copy of the words of such a motion to the Secretary, who shall send it by electronic mail to all Members at least three clear days before the meeting.

It shall be at the discretion of the Chair of the Meeting, having consulted the Committee members present, to accept a motion of which such notice has not been given, if in the Chair’s view (i) there is adequate justification for the failure to comply with the provision of this clause, and (ii) no one would be unfairly prejudiced by the acceptance of the motion.


Motions shall be voted on by a show of hands, all Members present being entitled to vote. A simple majority shall suffice to carry a motion, save in the case of a motion to amend this Constitution, when the support of two thirds of the Members present and voting shall be necessary.

The Committee


The Committee of the Society shall consist of the Senior Treasurer and the Officers.


For all business of the Committee, three shall be a quorum.

Holding of Meetings

In addition to the Annual General Meeting, the Committee shall meet not less than once per Term to discuss and transact any business affecting the Society, provided there is business to transact. Meetings shall be called by the Secretary in consultation with the Senior Treasurer, the convenience of Committee members being taken into account.


The Officers

The Officers of the Society shall comprise a Senior Treasurer, a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Junior Treasurer and a Webmaster, and any other roles the members see fit to elect at the Annual General Meeting (such as a Sponsorship Officer). In addition to the specific roles outlined below, the Officers should be willing to perform a share of the tasks not specific to any particular Officer.

Appointment of Senior Treasurer

The Senior Treasurer shall be invited by the Committee to stand. In the event of the Senior Treasurer ceasing to act during the year, the Committee shall approach the Senior Tutor so that he or she may appoint an acting Senior Treasurer.

Election of Officers

  • With the exception of the Senior Treasurer, the Officers of the Society shall be junior members, and elected, or re-elected, annually at the Annual General Meeting.

  • Candidates for election shall be proposed and seconded on a nomination sheet delivered to the Secretary. Nominations shall close 24 hours before the meeting. Candidates may circulate election manifestos among the Members before the meeting. If there are no candidates, nominations can be accepted at the Annual General Meeting at the Senior Treasurer’s discretion.

  • If a vote is necessary, it shall be by a show of hands.

  • The period of office of each Officer shall begin one week after the date of the Annual General Meeting. In the event of an Officer ceasing to act during the year, the Committee shall, after taking advice from the Senior Treasurer, either appoint an acting Officer or call a bye-election.

  • In the case of a society whose objects include the making of grants, the appointment of all officers shall be subject to the approval of the society’s Senior Treasurer.

  • In the event of a joint candidacy for the role of President, members may vote to approve a Co-Presidency.

Duties of the Senior Treasurer

  • To provide general oversight and guidance to the Society in the planning of its policies and in the operation of its events.

  • To act as Chair at the General Meeting of the Society.

  • To audit annually the accounts of the Society and to deliver the audited accounts to the Secretary of the Associated Societies by the end of Easter term.

  • In the case of a Society making grants to make payment of any such grants.

  • Upon ceasing to act, to inform the Secretary of the Associated Societies of the identity of his or her successor. If a Senior Treasurer ceases to act without appointing a successor, the Senior Treasurer of the Associated Societies shall take her/his place.

Duties of the President

The duties of the President shall be:

  1. To ensure the Society carries out its activities consistently with its objects, and in the best interests of the Society and the College.

  2. To be responsible for the long-term direction of the Society.

  3. To act as a spokesperson for the Society to the College.

  4. To Chair Committee meetings, other than General Meetings.

Duties of the Vice-President

The duties of the Vice-President shall be:

    1. To arrange and coordinate social events for members of the society, such as the annual dinner, the desserts party and the garden party.

    2. To work with other college and university societies to arrange joint events, such as Hall Swaps.

    3. In the event of a co-presidency, this role will be optional.

Duties of the Secretary

The duties of the Secretary shall be:

  1. To call General Meetings of the Society, and meetings of the Committee, and to keep minutes of the business done at such meetings.

  2. To transact any business of the Society under the direction of the Committee or of the General Meeting.

  3. To keep up to date a Register of Officers and Members of the Society.

  4. To inform the Secretary of the Associated Societies of any changes in the Societies scope, or constitution if any.

  5. Upon any Officer ceasing to act, to inform the Secretary of the Associated Societies of the identity of her or his successor.

  6. To provide an updated entry to the Register of member societies of the Associated Societies and their Officers by the end of Easter term.

  7. To inform the Archimedeans of any changes to Officers of the Society not more than fourteen days after the relevant change, and when doing so give notice of any changed contact details.

  8. To organise the sale of Society branded clothing, should there be demand for it.

Duties of the Junior Treasurer

The duties of the Junior Treasurer shall be:

  1. To keep detailed accounts of the financial affairs of the Society.

  2. To make no payment from the Society’s fund that is not for the proper objects of the Society.

  3. To lay before the Annual General Meeting of the Society, for approval, a duly audited statement of accounts for the previous year.

  4. To liaise with the Senior Treasurer.

  5. To deliver estimates of expenses for the coming year to the Secretary of the Associated Societies by such date as the Secretary shall determine.

  6. To supply, when requested by the Secretary of the Associated Societies, details of the Society’s activities during the previous twelve months, and of its planned activities in the twelve months to follow; detailed accounts of the Society’s financial affairs; and an updated copy of the handover notes of the Society.

  7. To appear before the Committee of the Associated Societies when requested to do so to discuss any matter of concern to that Committee in regard to that society.

  8. To inform the Secretary of the Associated Societies of any grants made by the society.

  9. In the absence of a Sponsorship Officer, to fulfil the roles outlined in section 22.

Duties of the Webmaster

The duties of the Webmaster shall be:

    1. To maintain the society’s website and be responsible for its online presence, including social media accounts.

    2. To endeavour to maintain photo galleries on the website and on social media with photos taken at society events.

Duties of the Sponsorship Officer

Should there be a Sponsorship Officer, their duties shall be:

    1. To seek sponsorship for the Society.

    2. To ensure that any sponsorship is acceptable to the Associated Societies before final confirmation.

    3. To ensure that the Society keeps to the terms of any sponsorship secured.


Interpretation and Amendment of this Constitution

This Constitution shall be interpreted consistently with the provisions of the Constitution of the Associated Societies, and the Statutes and Standing Orders of St John’s College. It shall be void to the extent of any irreconcilable inconsistency with those provisions.

The Society should also aim to meet any other requirements to be an Archimedeans-affiliated College Society as specified by the Archimedeans’ constitution.

Any question which may arise as to the interpretation of this Constitution or as to the resolution of any problem not apparently covered by its provisions shall be determined by the Senior Treasurer who shall, if he or she sees fit, consult the Committee of the Associated Societies.

Any proposed amendment to the terms of this Constitution must be first approved by the Committee of the Associated Societies before it may take effect.

26/02/2014 [Date of adoption of constitution]