Patrick Couzens

Patrick Couzens played Dick Deadeye in H.M.S. Pinafore 1985, John Wellington Wells in The Sorcerer 1986 and The Lord Chancellor in Iolanthe 1987. He married Lynda Richardson (MD for Pirates 90) in 1996. He was Chair of the society from 1986-87. His fellow committee members were:

Secretary- Sally Morris
Treasurer- Mike Bradbury
Costumes- Jenny Woodward
Ordinary Members- Sarah Blentin, Elly Lewis, Bruce Walton, Rachel Venables, Stephanie Walker and Simon Bradley.
Director- Chris Boot
MD- Duncan Barraclough

Is quoted as saying:

"Before distributing leaflets to advertise Iolanthe on Sat 14th Feb I checked with the Police by ringing 31321. They said there was no problem if we did not intend to collect any money, but strictly the streets of York were under the jurisdiction of the City Executive on 59881 but I didn't actually ring them as I have yet to hear of someone being arrested by the City Executive."

The University of York Gilbert And Sullivan Society Constitution

Passed by a unanimous vote at the society AGM, 6th March 1987.

The G&S Constitution, copied verbatim from the original in the Archive. All committees must abide by both this and YUSU's Constitution. It should be noted that this isn't the constitution we follow today, but a historical constitution from the Archive.

Contents

The Society:
1. The name and nature of the society.
2. The objectives of the society and the society mascot.
3. Membership regulations.

The governing bodies of the society:
4. The committee.
5. The general meeting.
6. Constitutional amendments.
7. Ordinary motions, motions to wind up the society and votes of censure and no confidence.
8. The general meeting quorum.

Election of officers:
9. Election of named officers.
10. Election of ordinary committee members.

Duties of officers:
11. The chairperson.
12. The secretary.
13. The treasurer.
14. Responsibilities of cheque signatories.
15. The costumes officer.
16. The ordinary committee members.

The joint committee meeting:
17. Timing and function of the joint committee meeting.

Duties of the directors:
18. The director.
19. The musical director.
20. Appointment of production manager and assistant directors.
21. The production manager.

Productions:
22. Selection of productions.
23. Casting of principal parts.

Honorary posts:
24. Election of honorary posts.

The powers of the committee:
25. Review of the appointment of directors.
26. Suspension of membership.
27. Recasting of principal parts.
28. Interpretation of the constitution.
29. Officers' indemnity.

Amendments:
30. Discrimination.

The Society

1. The name of the society shall be 'The University of York Gilbert and Sullivan Society', hereinafter referred to as 'the society'. The scoiety shall be an affiliated society of the University of York Students' Union and shall be run in accordance with this constitution as laid down in articles (11) and (28) below.

2. The objective of the society shall be to study and perform from time to time the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, both in concerts and in fully staged performances. The society may adopt a mascot from time to time at the option of the committee.

3. Membership of the society shall be open to any past or present student of the University of York, any member of the University staff, or any other interested person on payment of an annual membership subscription payable un advance at the beginning of each academic year as agreed by the committee of the society from time to time. A member may resign his or her membership at any time by handing notice to the secretary, but no refund of any subscriptions paid shall be made.

The Governing Bodies of the Society

4. The society shall be administered by a committee, which shall be elected annually at the society AGM, excepting the director and the musical director who shall be appointed in accordance with article (17), and the production manager who shall be appointed in accordance with article (20). The committee shall be constituted as follows:

Chairperson
Secretary
Treasurer
Costumes officer
Up to 5 ordinary members.
Director (ex officio)
Musical director (ex officio)
Production manager (ex officio)

This committee may also co-opt any other relevant parties, as the chairperson, the director or the committee sees fit, as temporary or permanent non-voting members who shall not count against the quorum. The committee shall meet weekly during university terms, and the quorum for any meeting shall be 50% of the total number of committee members, rounding fractions down. In addition, the chairperson or any three members of the committee may call an extraordinary meeting if the need arises. In the event of two persons holding a post jointly as permitted by articles (9), (17) and/or (20) below, each shall count as separate members of the committee for the purposes of calculating the quorum, but hold only one committee vote between them, any use of which must be agreed upon by both postholders.

5. An annual general meeting (hereinafter styled 'the AGM') of the society shall be held during the spring term of each academic year, subsequent to but within two weeks of any productions which the society may present during that term. An extraordinary general meeting of the society may be called by the committee or by a petition signed by 10 members of the society presented to the chairperson or secretary. All members shall be given at least three days notice in writing of any general meeting of the society. The chairperson (or in his or her absence, the secretary) shall chair all meetings of the society. The timing of any one years' AGM may only be changed by a two-thirds majority vote at any general meeting.

6. Any member may at a general meeting of the society present an amendment to this constitution, which shall only be passed by a two-thirds majority of all members present, abstentions counting against, provided that adequate notice of the amendment has been presented to the secretary to ensure that 7 days' notice of the amendment in writing is given to all members of the society.

7. Any member of the society may present any ordinary motion, a motion to wind up the society or a motion of censure or no confidence in an officer from the floor of a general meeting , such as a motion requiring a proposer and one seconder. Such a motion, after a concise debate regulated as necessary by the chair, may be put to a vote, when it shall be carried by a simple majority of those members present and voting: however, a two-thirds majority of all members present (abstentions counting against) is required to carry a motion to wind up the society, and should such a motion be carried, all outstanding debts shall be paid from the society funds, and the balance returned to the Student's Union. When votes cast on either side on any vote are equal, the chair shall have a casting vote. Proxy votes shall not be permitted for any purpose during general meetings of the society.

8. The quorum for any general meeting of the society shall be 10 members of 25% of the total membership, whichever is the larger.

Election of Officers

9. The chairperson, secretary, treasurer and costumes officer shall be elected annually from the floor of the AGM of the society as follows. Candidates, who must be members of the society, should be proposed and seconded by members of the society from the floor of the meeting with the candidate's consent, and may be proposed in the candidate's absence only if the candidate had already indicated his or her willingness to stand to a member of the committee. Two persons may stand jointly for the post of costumes officer (only). The election shall be conducted by a show of hands in the absence of the candidates, except that in the event of more than two candidates being proposed for any post, a series of rounds of voting shall be held for that post, with the candidate with the fewest votes being eliminated at the conclusion of each round from all subsequent rounds. On any round where any candidate gains more than 50% of the total number of votes cast in that round, that candidate shall be deemed to be elected. In the event of only one candidate being proposed for any post, that candidate must pass a vote of confidence from the AGM before assuming office.

10. The ordinary members of the committee shall be elected from the floor of the AGM of the society as follows. Candidates, who must be members of the society, should be proposed and seconded by members of the society from the floor of the meeting with the candidate's consent, and may be proposed in the candidate's absence only if the candidate had already indicated his or her willingness to stand to a member of the committee. The election shall be decided by show of hands in the presence of all candidates, with each member of the soceity present entitled to a total of five votes which may be cast for any combination of candidates. Votes for each candidate shall be called for in turn in order of their nomination. The five candidates with the greatest number of votes are elected; in the event of a tie, the chair shall have a casting vote. In the event of fewer than five candidates wishing to stand, each must pass a vote of confidence from the ADM before being deemed elected.

Duties of Officers

11. The duties of the chairperson shall be to organise and chair all general or committee meetings of the society, to ensure that the society is conducted in accordance with this constitution, to represent the society to all other bodies except as provided in article (13) below, to instruct, co-ordinate and aid all other officers of the society in the execution of their duties as and when necessary and to sponsor enthusiastic participation in all musical and social events organised by the society.

12. The duties of the secretary shall be to give notice of all general or committee meetings of the society, to ensure that minutes of all such meetings are kept, to ensure that accommodation and transport as appropriate is booked for all performances, events, meetings and rehearsals organised under the society's auspices, to look after the society's production logbooks and copies of all soundtracks and videotapes of society performances, to ensure that these records are kept up to date, and to deal with all society correspondence.

13. The duties of the treasurer shall be to administer the finances of the society, which shall include organising and keeping adequate written records of all transactions entered into by the society including the sale of tickets, representing the society to the Students' Union during any application for a societies' grant, administering the petty cash held by the society, providing the committee with a realistic projected budget for any productions staged by the society and presenting an accurate end-of-year financial report for the AGM. The treasurer shall ensure that the society's financial records shall be available for inspection at any reasonable time by any member of the society.

14. The society shall hold at least one bank account, as the treasurer sees fit. The signatories for any cheque drawn upon any society account shall be the treasurer, along with either the chairperson or the secretary. Similar conditions shall apply to any contract or undertaking, financial or otherwise, which the society may enter into.

15. The duties of the costumes officer shall be to ensure that any stock of costumes or material held by the society is available to be used as required, and to purchase necessary materials for and organise the manufacture of new costumes as needed in consultation with the director and the treasurer.

16. The ordinary members of the committee shall take responsibility for organisation of all other areas of the society's business in agreement with the committee. These should normally include publicity, press relations, organisation of stocks of musical scores, liaison with charities, organisation of social events and preparation of music for rehearsals and concerts, and of scenery and properties for performances as necessary.

The Joint Committee Meeting

17. Within two weeks of the AGM, and during the same term, a committee meeting shall be called at which both members of the committee and elect committee members may attend and have the right to vote. This meeting will normally be towards the end of the spring term, in accordance with the provisions of article (5) above. Before this meeting adequate notice shall be given to all members of the society, and elsewhere as the committee sees fit, that nominations shall be accepted for the posts of director and musical director for the following year. The committee may if it wishes accept candidates from outside the society, giving priority to appointing the best directors possible. Candidates should present themselves for consideration to the joint committee meeting in advance by informing the chairperson in writing of their wish to be considered; they do not require to be nominated or seconded. Two persons may ask to be considered as a joint nomination for either of these posts. The committee may question candidates, and may conduct a concise debate in the candidates' absence. The committee shall then decide by show of hands in the absence of the candidates, using subsequent rounds of voting if necessary as indicated in article (9) above, to decide which candidates shall become ex officio members of the committee. In the event of any person who is already an elect committee member being elected as director or musical director, whichever candidate came closest to him or her in the election at the AGM shall replace him or her in his or her former position-elect, and should be informed as soon as possible. In the event of only one candidate coming forward, a vote of confidence in him or her must be passed by the committee prior to the candidate taking office. At the conclusion of this meeting, the committee-elect shall be deemed to have assumed their offices for the next year.

Duties of the Directors

18. The duties of the director shall be to provide all necessary stage direction at every rehearsal for any productions staged by the society, and to enter into necessary consultation with the musical director, the costumes officer, the production manager and other members of the committee to ensure that productions and conducted to his or her satisfaction in all departments.

19. The duties of the musical director shall be to conduct all musical rehearsals and performances by the society, to provide musical accompaniment as appropriate and to recruit, provide with scores and rehearse an orchestra as required for any productions.

20. The director may nominate a production manager, who may or may not be a member of the society, to supervise all technical aspects of any society productions if desired. The production manager, subject to the committee's approval, shall then become an ex officio member of the committee. Two persons may be appointed to serve jointly as production managers, subject to the approval of the committee. The director may also appoint one or more assistant directors, who may be co-opted onto the committee in accordance with article (4) above).

21. The duties of the production manager shall be to ensure that all properties and scenery owned by the society are properly stored and prepared as necessary for productions in consultation with the director, to supervise the manufacture and preparation of any new scenery or properties as required in consultation with the director and treasurer, and to recruit and supervise an adequate technical and stage crew. In the absence of a production manager the responsibility for these matters shall rest with the committee.

Productions

22. Any staged productions to be presented by the society in the year following an AGM should be approved by an open vote at the AGM. Any show from the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, or either one working in conjunction with another person, may be proposed for production by any member of the society. In the event of more than two productions being proposed for any one date, a series of rounds of voting should be held in the same manner as article (9) above.

23. The principal parts in any productions staged by the society are to be cast by the director and the musical director acting in conjunction, who shall organise, and adjudicate at, auditions. All auditions must be open to any member of the society: further, the director and the musical director may advertise auditions beyond the society membership is they feel that it may not be possible to cast any part of parts from amongst the society membership. The director and musical director may recruit a small number of additional individuals from within or outside the society to aid in casting, but the director's decision is final and binding, excepting a decision to the contrary made by the committee or a general meeting of the society in very exceptional circumstances (see article (27) below). Any recordings made during auditions should be destroyed after they have been used in the immediate casting process by the director and the musical director.

Honorary Posts

24. Any general meeting of the society may from time to time elect any person as an honorary president or honorary vice-president of the society. Candidates for these posts shall be proposed and elected in the same manner as laid down in article (9) above, excepting that nominated parties need not be members of the society, and need not be aware of their candidature. The secretary should then communicate with the person(s) elected to ask them if they are willing to accept the post. Honorary posts are not subject to annual re-election.

The Powers of The Committee

25. At the conclusion of every production staged by the society in the course of a year, or in very exceptional circumstances while a production is in rehearsal, the committee shall have the right to review the appointment of the director and the musical director, and may reappoint the incumbents or replace them according to the procedure outlined in article (17) above. Any director removed from office while a production is in rehearsal shall have the right of appeal to a duly convened extraordinary general meeting of the society, whose decision shall be final and binding.

26. The committee may by a majority vote of members present decide to suspend any member of the society from exercising privileges of membership if his or her subscription is still due at the end of the first complete week of the spring term of the academic year.

27. The committee may choose to recast any principal part in any production staged by the society during rehearsals and subsequent to the casting procedure as laid down in article (23) above, should the conduct of a principal render such a step necessary: however such action may only be taken with the consent of the director and/or the musical director. Any principal so recast may appeal to a duly convened extraordinary general meeting, whose decision shall be final and binding.

28. The committee, or in the absence of the committee the chairperson, shall be the sole authority for the interpretation of the rules in this constitution.

29. Every full member of the committee or their explicit nominees shall be entitled to be indemnified out of the society's assets against all losses or liability which he or she may sustain or incur in the execution of his or her office or otherwise directly in the service of the society. The provisions of this article specifically exclude any liability whatsoever on behalf of the society or its officers for the consequences of any illegal or malicious act on the part of a society officer, nominees of a society officer or any society member.

Amendments

30. The society shall conduct its affairs without discrimination as governed by the relevant parts of the YUSU constitution. (Passed 2.11.92)

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