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Club Constitution

1. Name

The club shall be known as the Magdalene Boat Club hereinafter referred to as The Club.

2. General

2.1 Objectives and values

The Club aims to:

a) Enable and encourage its members to develop their rowing, coxing or coaching.

b) Perform well at every level in the University Bumping Races and other major sweep and sculling events both on and off the Cam.

c) Recognise the value of all members and treat all crews fairly while maintaining an efficient use of resources.

d) Uphold the equal value of the Men’s and Women’s sides, clearly justifying any difference in the distribution of resources.

2.2 Agreement to abide by the Rules

Any member, and in addition any person using Club equipment or facilities, agrees to abide by the “Cambridge University Combined Boat Clubs (CUCBC) Constitution and Rules of the River” as in force from time to time, to accept the authority of The Committee, and to abide by all The Club rules.

2.2.1 The Club Rules

The Committee will direct use of the boathouse and club equipment in accordance with rules to be published on the website, sent to all Club Members on first joining the club, and displayed in the boat bay.

2.2.2 Enforcement of the Rules

The Captain of Boats shall be responsible for ensuring that the members adhere to the Rules of CUCBC and The Club. In the case of violation of these rules by a member of the club he or she shall have the authority to restrict use of equipment or terminate membership in accordance with section 3.4. He or she shall normally require crews to pay fines imposed on the club by CUCBC and in addition may impose further fines on crews or members in breach of any of the above rules.

2.3 Amendments to the Constitution

The Constitution of the Club and Appendices may be amended only by a two-thirds majority of those present at a General Meeting. A quorum of 30% will be required and any intended changes being voted on should be publicised to the club at least one week before the meeting by email, on the notice board, and on the website.

3. Membership

3.1 Eligibility

Membership of The Club will be open only to members of Magdalene College, Cambridge, who meet the following criteria:

i. Are a matriculated member of Magdalene College.

ii. Are currently reading for a recognised qualification of the University.

iii. Are fulfilling the University residence requirements in both time and place.          

iv. Have not at any time been expelled from or refused membership of British Rowing. Postgraduate students fulfilling these requirements will be eligible for membership up to the end of the term in which they sit their viva voce or other final examination. Examinations sat between terms are considered to be in the previous term. Fellows and employees of college will be eligible to become Club Members with the Captain of Boats’ permission. In the exceptional circumstances that alumni of the Club wish to use equipment they may become members at the discretion of the Captain of Boats provided they pay membership fees in accordance with section 3.3

3.2 Definitions


Club Member shall refer to any person who has paid the subscription for any term before the present term and is currently eligible for membership.


Current Club Member shall refer to any Club Member who has paid the subscription for the present term.

3.3 Subscriptions

Subscriptions will be charged termly at a rate that may only be changed at a Club General Meeting (see section 6) For the purposes of subscriptions each vacation will be considered as part of the preceding term with the exception of the summer vacation for which subscription should be paid separately. The subscription for summer vacation as well as for a part of another term will be at the Captain of Boats’ discretion. Similarly reduced membership fees may be charged for limited use of equipment.

3.4 Terminating Membership

If the Captain of Boats believes that any Current Club Member has broken the rules of CUCBC or The Club, repeatedly or seriously, he or she has the authority to terminate membership. Termination of membership shall take immediate effect upon the Captain announcing it and shall last for as long as is specified by the Captain. The period for which the Member is not permitted to be a Current Member should be proportional to their violation of the rules and the judgement should be made in consultation with the Senior Committee. The Member concerned has the right to appeal in writing to the Senior Treasurer who may recommend that the Captain change their decision. However, neither the Senior Committee nor the Senior Treasurer shall have the authority to overturn the Captain’s decision.

4. Committee

4.1 Membership

The Committee shall consist of the Senior Committee, all Lower Boats Captains, and the holders of any co-opted positions. A full committee meeting will be defined as a meeting open to these members.

4.2 General Responsibilities

Every Committee member has a responsibility to:

a) Uphold the rules of The Club and decisions made by The Committee.

b) Attend each meeting of The Committee and The Stewards or deliver an explanation of absence to the Honorary Secretary prior to the meeting.

c) Assist the Captain of Boats in ensuring the good running of The Club.

4.3 Management

The management of The Club shall be the responsibility of The Senior Committee that shall consist of five members elected in accordance with section 7.1

4.4 Specific Roles

The specific responsibilities of each member of The Committee are detailed in the Appendix.

4.4.1 Delegation

The Captain of Boats shall have the power to delegate any task not specified in the appendix as being the responsibility of a committee member to any member of The Committee or to recommend that The Senior Committee create a new co-opted position.

4.5 Duration of Tenure

Members of The Committee will hold their positions for one calendar year beginning on the final day, Sunday, of Henley Royal Regatta in the year in which they are elected.

4.6 Hand-over Meetings

Each member of The Committee shall meet with his or her successor to provide advice and continuity. Members of the Senior Committee shall further give written advice and a record of their experiences to their successors, together with any useful documents in their possession.

4.7 Resignation

Any member of The Committee wishing to resign his or her position should give written notice to the Captain of Boats not less than fourteen days before he or she intends to resign. If the Captain of Boats is resigning, they should give written notice to the Secretary. After the resignation takes place, the Secretary will act as Captain of Boats until a replacement is appointed.

4.8 Dismissal

Any two members of the Senior Committee may requisition the dismissal of any member of The Committee. In this case the request, together with the grounds for dismissal, should be presented to the Captain of Boats, or if the Captain of Boats is the requisitioned member, then to the Secretary, who will call a full Committee meeting to consider the requisition within seven days. The grounds for dismissal should be made known to the requisitioned member no less than five days before the meeting. The following procedure should be followed:

a) The members who have requested the dismissal will present their reasons

b) The requisitioned member will present a defence

c) The requisitioned member will leave the room while the Senior Committee votes. If there is a majority to uphold the dismissal request the requisitioned member shall be dismissed with immediate effect.

4.9 Election of replacement Committee Member

In the event that any member of the Committee resigns or is dismissed, a replacement should be appointed as soon as possible at a General Meeting by the process described in section 7.1

4.10 Breach of Constitution

In the event that a member of The Committee is deemed by others to be in serious breach of the constitution, the dismissal procedure outlined in section 4.8 may be followed presenting the specific breaches among the reasons for dismissal.

5. Committee meetings

5.1 Scheduling meetings

Full Committee meetings shall be called by the Captain of Boats not less than once per term. An additional Senior Committee meeting shall be called by the Captain of Boats not less than once per term and in addition as he or she sees fit. The Captain of Boats shall announce the date of Full Committee meetings not less than seven days in advance.

5.2 Decisions by vote

If a consensus cannot be reached on an issue at a Committee meeting the Captain of Boats may call for it to be decided by simple majority vote. In this case all members of the Senior Committee may vote with equal weight. A quorum of four-fifths of the Senior Committee must be present and in the event of a tie, the Captain of Boats’ vote will be casting.

5.3 Minutes

The Secretary shall be responsible for minuting any decisions taken and any action planned and for distributing the details to everyone present and to anyone eligible to attend who was absent within one week.

5.4 Chairing

The Captain of Boats will chair meetings of the Committee, taking responsibility for the agenda and directing the discussion.

6. General Meetings

The Club Annual General Meeting shall be held on the third Saturday of Easter Full Term unless otherwise decided by the Captain of Boats. The date, time, and place of the meeting shall be communicated to all members, stewards and the Senior Treasurer not less than one week before. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called by the Captain of Boats and will be publicised in the same manner.

6.1 Purpose of the Annual General Meeting

At the Annual General Meeting a short summary of the year will be given to the club by the Captain of Boats. The members present may question the Senior Committee on any of their work over the year. The Stewards should also have the opportunity to communicate with the members on any matters that either group would like to discuss. The treasurer will also report to members present on the finances over the year. A further purpose of the Annual General Meeting is the election of the next Committee.

6.2 Attendance

All Club Members and the Stewards are eligible to attend together with the Senior Treasurer, and anyone else may attend with the permission of the Captain of Boats.

6.3 Motions

Motions shall be proposed and seconded by any eligible voting members of The Club and shall be passed by a simple majority of those voting. In the event of a tie the Captain of Boats’ vote will be casting.

6.4 Eligible voters

Any member of The Club who has paid the subscription for at least one of the terms in the current academic year is eligible to vote at a General Meeting.

6.5 Minutes

Full minutes will be taken by the Secretary and distributed by email within seven days to everyone eligible to attend the AGM.

6.6 Chairing

The President of the Stewards will chair General Meetings, taking responsibility for the agenda and directing the discussion. In the case that the President cannot attend, they may appoint a replacement, from either the Stewards or the Senior Committee.

7. Appointment of Committee

7.1 Senior Committee

The Senior Committee shall consist of six positions: the Captain of Boats, the Men’s and Non-Binary and Women’s and Non-Binary Captains, the Junior Treasurer, the Honorary Secretary and the Welfare Officer. In the event of more than one candidate for any position, an election shall be held at the AGM by the procedure below. In the event that there is only one candidate for any position the secret ballot will be replaced by a show of hands. In this section reference to a committee position shall refer to the member currently holding office unless suffixed by “elect”.

7.1.1 Pre-Election Procedure

a) The Captain of Boats shall invite nominations for all Senior Committee positions not less than 21 days before the date of the AGM.

b) Only eligible voters may stand for Senior Committee positions. They should email the Secretary with details of persons prepared to propose and second them. These persons must be eligible voters.

c) The Secretary should publish the list of nominations on the website and on The Club notice board outside the Porter’s Lodge not less than 7 days before the AGM.

d) Candidates wishing to submit manifestos prior to the meeting must send a poster of A5 size to the Secretary, who will display it on the Notice Board with the list of nominations and circulate it by email to subscribing members of the club. No further written or electronic publicity will be allowed. If the Senior Committee deems a candidate to be in serious violation of this rule they may, with a simple majority, prevent them standing for election.

e) Candidates standing for election should make any intentions to trial or take a significant role in another society clear at this stage. This will not automatically bar them from election but if they later choose to trial or take on another significant role without warning the club before election, this may be used in conjunction with clear evidence of failure to do their job fully as grounds for dismissal.

7.1.2 Election procedure

a) Candidates shall stand for election in the order in which the positions are listed in the appendix.

b) Each candidate shall have the opportunity to make a speech. This shall not exceed two minutes unless the presiding Captain of Boats decides otherwise for all candidates.

c) Where there is more than one candidate for a single post, they shall make their speeches in reverse alphabetical order.

d) All those present shall have the opportunity to question the candidate for election. This shall not exceed five minutes unless the Captain of Boats decides otherwise for all candidates.

7.1.3 Voting Procedure

a) The Secretary shall be responsible for preparing a sufficient number of ballot papers prior to the meeting.

b) Voting shall take place immediately after all the candidates for a particular position have made their speech and taken questions.

c) Voting shall be by the Alternative Vote method.

d) Votes shall be counted by the Captain of Boats and checked by another Senior Committee member. No member standing for election to a Committee post may be involved in vote counting. If the Captain is thus barred another member of the Senior Committee will take their place.

e) In the event of a tied vote there will be an automatic re-count, and if the vote is still tied, the Captain of Boats’ vote shall be casting.

f) The Captain of Boats shall announce the result of the vote immediately but will not disclose the exact record of votes.

g) Candidates may request that the President of the Stewards or the Senior Treasurer also count the votes.

7.2 Appointment of other committee positions


There shall be up to four Lower Boats Captains for each of the Men’s and Women’s sides. The Lower Boats Captains shall be nominated and elected in the same manner as the Senior Committee but will not make speeches unless the Captain of Boats decides otherwise.


The Senior Committee may propose to the AGM that the number of positions be increased in the case that more than four candidates stand for the post of Lower Boats Captain on either the Men’s or the Women’s side. If it is not the intention of the Senior Committee to do this, they should make it clear to the candidates standing for that position in advance of the meeting.


The appointment of a Head LBC for each side shall be the responsibility respectively of the Men’s and Non-Binary and Women’s and Non-Binary Captains elect, who shall consult the Captain of Boats elect and the current holders of these three positions before making an appointment.


Positions such as those listed in the appendix as possible co-opted positions will be filled by the Senior Committee elect once elected.

8. Use of equipment, liability, and fines

8.1 Use of equipment


Subject to clause 8.1.3 below, only Current Club Members may use club equipment and facilities.


Any damage or incidents must be reported to the Boatman, the Captain of Boats and the Men’s and Non-Binary and Women’s and Non-Binary Captains by email within six hours. The procedure is detailed in “Procedure for Incident and Damage Reporting”.


Use of equipment by non-members is only with the permission of both the Captain of Boats and the Senior Treasurer

8.2 Liability for damage

Members will not be held liable by the Club for damage caused to club property in the proper use of club equipment and facilities. In the event that use was in violation of MBC or CUCBC rules or deemed to be improper in some other manner such as carelessness, the Senior Committee may decide to require a contribution to the costs incurred.

8.3 CUCBC fines


Where a fine is levied against The Club by CUCBC the members involved in the incident to which the fine relates will be required to assist the Captain of Boats in producing a report on the incident.


Fines levied against The Club will be paid for by those members involved in the incident to which the fine relates, and a greater proportion of the fine money may be required of those members deemed by the Captain of Boats to be at greater fault. In exceptional circumstances the Senior Committee may agree that The Club pay some, or all, of the fine.

8.4 Appeals and Payment

In the event that any member is required to make a payment to The Club, either under section 8.2 or 8.3, they shall have the right to appeal to the Senior Committee. This shall be done in writing to the Captain of Boats and the Senior Committee shall meet to consider it within seven days. If no appeal is made or if the appeal is rejected, payment shall be made to the Junior Treasurer within seven days of the decision on the appeal being made.

9. Awards

9.1 Blades

Blades shall be awarded automatically to all permanent members of any crew that goes up four places and bumps at every opportunity, or finishes with Headship, in either the Lent or May Bumps. In addition, they will be awarded to any crew that wins The Fairbairn’s Cup or University Fours. Under exceptional circumstances blades may in addition be awarded at the Captain of Boats’ discretion to any members of any crew that goes up four or more places and is not bumped in either the Lent or May Bumps. A permanent member will be anyone who coxed or rowed in the crew in every bumps race. The awarding of blades is an awarding of the right to blades; the responsibility to arrange and pay for the trophy blades themselves resides with the members of the crew not the Club.

9.2 Trophies

Trophies are the responsibility of those members to whom they are awarded from the moment they are presented until they are returned to the Captain of Boats the following year. If trophies are lost, stolen or damaged the member responsible will be required to pay for replacement or repair as necessary.

10. The Stewards of the Club

The Stewards of the Club shall be between six and eight senior members of the college rowing community. The objectives of the Stewards shall be to advise the Committee and to make provision for the long-term future of the Club.

10.1 Membership and specific roles

Membership of the Stewards shall be open by invitation from the existing Stewards. Members of the Stewards would typically be alumni, fellows or staff of the college with an active interest in and knowledge of the Club. Stewards should serve for a renewable period of three years. The membership shall include ex officio the Senior Treasurer, the Master of the College and the President of the Club. The Stewards shall have the right to co-opt, for individual meetings or for a period, such advisors as shall appear desirable to further the objectives of the Stewards. The Stewards shall have the right, in consultation with the Committee, to invite such people as they see fit to become ‘Honorary Stewards’ in recognition of their service, assistance or commitment to the Club.

10.1.1 The President of the Club

The President of the Club shall be appointed by the Stewards from amongst themselves, in consultation with the Senior Treasurer, the Committee and the Master. The President will chair meetings of The Stewards and take primary responsibility for coordinating the work of the Stewards. The President will also be the external representative of the Stewards and their main point of contact with the Committee.

10.1.2 The Senior Treasurer

The Senior Treasurer shall be a Fellow of Magdalene College and shall be appointed by the Master in consultation with the Governing Body of the College. The Senior Treasurer shall take overall responsibility for the club finances, reporting to the Governing Body of the College, in consultation with the Bursar. The Senior Treasurer shall coordinate the club insurance policy in consultation with the Accountant of the College.

10.1.3 Safety Advisor

The Safety Advisor shall be appointed by the Stewards from amongst themselves. The Safety Advisor shall report any accidents to the ARA, advise the Committee on ARA safety codes, boat house safety and security and safety on the water.

10.1.4 The Mallory Club

The Stewards shall co-opt a member of the Executive Committee of the Mallory Club to be its representative at meetings of the Stewards. The MBC Committee shall appoint one of its number to act as liaison with the Mallory Club.

10.1.4 Meetings of the Stewards

The Stewards shall meet at least once a term with the Committee. These meetings shall be in addition to meetings of the Committee and Senior Committee described in section 5. The meeting in the Easter term shall precede the Annual General Meeting of the Club. Other meetings of the Stewards and the Committee may be convened as often as business shall require, and the President shall give at least two weeks’ notice of such meetings. A meeting shall be called if the President is requested, in writing, to call one by at least three Stewards, or three members of the Senior Committee. No business shall be conducted unless there are at least two Stewards present. Each Steward shall have one vote. The President shall have a vote and a further casting vote at such meetings. Honorary Stewards may attend and speak at meetings of the Stewards but will not have a vote. Any person intending to bring forward a motion at a meeting of the Stewards shall ensure that a copy of the motion be given to the President at least fifteen days before a meeting and the President shall ensure that all such motions are circulated with notice of the meeting. The Honorary Secretary of the Club shall enter an account of all business transacted at meetings of the Stewards in a Minute book and that at the opening of every meeting the minutes of the previous meeting, either pre-circulated to all members or read at the meeting, shall be approved.

10.2 Guidelines


It is the responsibility of the Captain of Boats to inform the President and the Senior Treasurer of all significant events in the club. These include but are not limited to:

a) Serious incidents, or fines levied by CUCBC.

b) Damage to boats beyond that which can be repaired quickly by the Boatman.

c) Off Cam training or racing.

d) British Rowing compliance including health and safety.

e) Licensing with the Conservators of the River Cam, the Environment Agency, and any other navigational authority.

f) Paid coaching.

g) Financial management in consultation with the Junior Treasurer.


Similarly the President shall consult with the Captain of Boats and the Senior Committee on all significant events in the club, particularly those relating to the daily activities of training, coaching and racing. Events that the Senior Committee should be consulted on include but are not limited to:

a) Any purchase or repair of equipment.

b) Any change in the facilities available to the Club.

c) All club finances.

11. The Patron of the Club

The Patron shall act as a figurehead for the Club. The patronage shall be open by invitation from the Stewards to supporters of the club, and shall have no fixed term, ending only when a Patron wishes to retire.

Appendix – Details of Committee Members

1. Duties of the Captain of Boats

a) Take responsibility for pursuing the objectives and upholding the values of the club as in 2.1 of The Constitution.

b) Know, make known, and enforce the rules of CUCBC and MBC.

c) Take a proactive approach to new initiatives for The Club in line with The Club’s objectives.

d) Liaise with the Boatman and ensure all equipment is safe and functional, arranging for repair and replacement where necessary.

e) Coordinate and support the activities of each member of The Committee and ensure that each fulfils his or her responsibilities.

f) Arrange and chair meetings of The Committee and Senior Committee as in 5.1 of The Constitution.

g) Take responsibility for communicating with the Stewards, particularly the President, and the Senior Treasurer.

h) Communicate with CUCBC and attend all Captains’ meetings.

i) Be the external representative for British Rowing, Conservators of the River Cam, and any similar navigation authorities.

j) Coordinate safety, recording and reporting any incidents and dealing with any fines levied by CUCBC.

k) Coordinate off Cam training events.

l) Be involved in the decisions of the Men’s and Non-Binary and Women’s and Non-Binary Captains on coaching and ensure The Club’s coaching budget is divided fairly across the sides.

m) Take responsibility for The Club trailer and trailering to off Cam events.

n) Be the external representative to the sponsors, arranging details of sponsorship and coordinating events and other efforts.

o) Organise, or arrange for someone to organise, the main club kit order.

2. Duties of Men’s and Non-Binary Captain and Women’s and Non-Binary Captains

Each of the following applies to the relevant side of The Club.

a) Will lead the squad by example, upholding the rules of CUCBC and MBC and assisting the Captain of Boats with their responsibilities specified under 1. a to d.

b) Shall have full and final control over the selection of crews for all boats.

c) Shall arrange the appointment of all coaches. In the case of paid coaches this will be in consultation with the Captain of Boats, and any long-term arrangements will be in consultation with the Stewards.

d)Shall organise an effective training programme for all boats.

e) Will advise and be responsible for the Lower Boats Captains and in particular the Head LBC.

f) Will plan race programmes and arrange details of race entry with the Secretary.

g) Will take responsibility for the practical details of all races on Cam and off Cam, with the exception of trailering where they will assist the Captain of Boats as required.

h) Should attend all the CUCBC Captains meetings and be the external representative for CUBC/CUWBC.

3. Duties of the Honorary Secretary

a) Temporarily replace Captain of Boats in case of extraordinary circumstances.

b) Coordinate communication within and outside the club, keeping an up-to-date list of the contact details of Members, Stewards, Coaches and other relevant persons.

c) Collect membership forms from new members and file them for reference.

d) Organise club dinners, booking venues and sending invitations.

e) Enter boats for all races, keeping the Men’s and Non-Binary and Women’s and Non-Binary Captain informed of upcoming deadlines and the information they require.

f) Submit British Rowing safety form.

g) Register the boats with the Conservators of the River Cam, the Environment Agency, and other navigational authorities.

4. Duties of Junior Treasurer

a) Keep up to date accounts and liaise with the Senior Treasurer and Senior Committee on purchases and payments.

b) Pay coaches

c) Organise novice kit order

d) Organise Amal bid and sit on committee as non-voting representative of MBC

e) Prepare an annual budget and present the accounts at Stewards meetings

f) Communicate the details of payments over £500 to the Senior Treasurer and obtain his or her signature.

g) Update the signatories on the account at the handover

5. Duties of the Lower Boat’s Captains

a) Encourage new members to sign up for novice rowing in Michaelmas Term

b) Coach novices in Michaelmas term

c) Help the Men’s and Non-Binary or Women’s and Non-Binary Captain with lower boats in Lent and Easter terms by coaching, bank partying or captaining crews as required.

6. Additional duties of the Head LBC In addition to the duties of a LBC, the Head LBC will:

a) Prepare suggestions for crew selection prior to discussing with the Men’s and Non-Binary or Women’s and Non-Binary Captain.

b) Produce training plans with the Men’s and Non-Binary or Women’s and Non-Binary Captain and communicate this to the novices.

c) Report on the progress of the novices to the Men’s and Non-Binary or Women’s and Non-Binary Captain weekly, to the Senior Committee at Full Committee meetings, and to the Stewards at the Michaelmas Stewards meeting.

d) Where appropriate delegate the running of specific novice crews to other LBC’s.

7. Co-opted roles

Additional committee positions may be created and appointed by the Senior Committee who will produce an appropriate job description at the time.

8. Duties of the Welfare Officer

The Welfare Officer’s primary duty is to support the Club, and everyone affiliated with it, to create safe, inclusive environments and respond to concerns and disclosures. The Welfare Officer should:

a) Have excellent communication skills

b) Have the time and skills to provide safeguarding support and advice as required

c) Not be someone involved directly in coaching or day-to-day running

d) Advise the committee on developing a safeguarding culture in the club The incumbent must approach their role in a flexible manner, handling issues with sensitivity and good judgement.

The role might include, as befits the circumstances extant:

a) Promoting welfare in the boathouse via communications (which may include email, Facebook, group chats, etc.)

b) Proving welfare provisions (in the boathouse, training rooms, changing rooms), perhaps in the form of more sanitation supplies and/or treats

c) Working with the Hon Sec to organise welfare events for the club to boost morale

d) Having weekly immediate contact hours: an hour reserved by the welfare officer that if a member has an issue – they can be guaranteed an immediate reply

e) Making all members aware of welfare assistance that can be accessed from outside the club

f) Charitable activities

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