SHC Constitution

01.    TITLE
The title of the organisation shall be “THE SOUTHERN HAMSTER CLUB”, which may be abbreviated to “SHC”.

02.    OBJECTS
The objects of the Club shall be to encourage the keeping, breeding and exhibition of all species of hamster to a standard or standards defined by the governing body, the National Hamster Council (NHC).

The Club shall organise activities for the Hamster Fancy in the South of England, the exact area of responsibility to be as defined by the NHC.

The Club shall be affiliated to the National Hamster Council (NHC) and shall adopt and abide by the NHC Rules and Standards.

Membership of the Club shall be open to all persons.

There shall be six categories of membership:

(i)    Adult
(ii)   Junior (under l6 years)
(iii)  Partnership (two people)
(iv)  Family (must reside in same household)
(v)   School Affiliation
(vi)  Associate (must be a member of the NHC affiliated Club in whose area they reside).

The Club shall reserve the right to refuse or revoke membership, provided that such a decision is taken by a majority of the full executive committee of the Club. The club need not necessarily give a reason for so doing.

Annual subscription rates shall be determined by the membership at the Club’s AGM and shall be shown on the membership application form.  Subscriptions shall be renewable annually from the month of application.
06.       MANAGEMENT
(a)    Officers of the Club
The Officers of the Club shall be a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Show Manager, a Sales Manager, and a Publicity Officer, PLUS a Committee of not less than five adult members, and not more than nine adult and up to four junior members over 8 years old. In the interest of the SHC, any officer may hold any officers position in ONE of the other NHC affiliated clubs, with the exception of secretary and treasurer, who may hold an officers position, but not the position of secretary or treasurer, at one of the other NHC affiliated clubs.

At the discretion of a General Meeting, a person may hold a maximum of two Offices at any one time, with the exception of the offices of Secretary and Treasurer, both of which must be held by separate individuals residing in separate households.

All these Officers and Committee Members shall be elected by a simple majority vote at the Club’s AGM, and shall serve for two years, assuming office from the date of the AGM.

(b)      The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers of the Club, plus the elected Committee.

The quorum for this Committee shall consist of one third of the total number of members of the Committee of which 3 shall be Officers.

The business of the Club shall be conducted by the Executive Committee, and all decisions binding on the Club shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the Officers and Committee members.  In the event of an equality of votes, the officiating Chairperson shall have the casting vote.

Executive Committee meetings shall be held at least twice per year and members shall be notified in advance of such a meeting.

The Executive Committee shall have the power to fill any vacancy which may occur during their term of office without consulting with the membership, provided that all such appointments are notified to the membership in the earliest possible issue of the NHC Journal.

(c)    The Club shall operate a financial year from 1 September to 31 August.

Takes “chair” at all the meetings. Has ultimate responsibility for all decisions.

(Honorary position, non-elected)
Takes “chair” in absence of President. Shall have no vote at committee meetings

The Secretary’s duties shall consist of:

(a)    Enrolling new members to the Club, renewing existing subscriptions, collecting all such monies and forwarding these to the Treasurer, and keeping a record of all business conducted by the Club.

(b)    Keeping a record of the Minutes of all Club meetings and ensuring that all members shall receive a copy of the Minutes of any General Meeting (including the AGM) of the Club.  This copy of the Minutes shall be in addition to any mention published in the NHC Journal.

(c)    Informing all members of the Executive Committee of matters affecting general business.

(d)    Supplying the NHC Journal Editor with regular (monthly) news of interest to the membership, for inclusion in every issue of the NHC Journal.

(e)    Supplying every full member of the Club with a copy of the current NHC Journal (a maximum of one per membership).

(f)    Ensuring that each Club membership receives a copy of the NHC Handbook and the Southern Hamster Club Constitution on joining the Club, or as soon after as possible.

(g)    Informing all Club members of any forthcoming general meetings (including the AGM) at least forty-two days prior to any such meeting, calling for any items to be placed on the agenda for that meeting and, in the case of the AGM, nominations for office where necessary.  The Secretary shall despatch a copy of the agenda to every membership not later than fourteen days prior to such a meeting.

(h)    The Secretary should be one of the Club’s delegates to the NHC.

The Treasurer’s duties shall consist of:

(a)    Having charge of all monies belonging to the Club, except for the petty cash which the Secretary requires for Club duties.

(b)    Producing copies of the Audited Accounts for the AGM and giving brief financial statements to the Executive Committee as and when required.

All cheques drawn by the Treasurer on the Club’s account must be countersigned by another nominated member of the SHC Executive Committee and this person shall not reside in the same household as the Treasurer.

11.    AUDITOR
The members of the Club shall, at the Club’s AGM, appoint an Auditor, who shall not be a member of the Executive Committee of the Club.

The Show Manager’s duties shall consist of:

(a)    Arranging show venues, show secretaries, judges, book stewards and pen stewards for all of the Club’s shows.

(b)    Furnishing all show secretaries and other show officials with all of the relevant prize cards and stationery for each show.

(c)    Ensuring that there are sufficient stocks, at any time, of prize cards and other show stationery for at least six months and arranging for such items to be printed as and when required.  Any changes to the design of these items must be approved by the Executive Committee.

(d)    Keeping a Register of recognised Club Judges, Trainee Judges and others who wish to train to become a Club Judge.

(e)    Issuing an annual list of all major shows which the Club will organise or have a presence at during the forthcoming year.  This list should be presented to the membership at the AGM and contain full details of the Show Officials for each show.

The Publicity Officer’s duties shall consist of:

(a)    Providing all show secretaries with any assistance that they require in order to obtain the maximum publicity effect from and for their show.

(b)    Issuing Press Releases to all of the media in the area of each show, in time for those media to utilise such information.

(c)    Publicising the Club whenever and wherever possible.

The Sales Manager’s duties shall consist of:
(a)    Organising and supervising the sale of all hamsters and hamster requisites for and on behalf of the Club.  None of these shall be sold without the permission and approval of the Sales Manager.

(b)    The Sales Manager shall have the right to refuse to allow the sale of stock if, in his/her opinion, the animals fall short of accepted Club standards and may limit the number of hamsters offered for sale.

(c)    Keeping an accurate record of sales as above and passing to the Club Treasurer all monies applicable to the Club from such sales.


15.    TROPHY SECRETARY (Not an officer’s position)
(Maybe linked with Show Managers responsibilities should no other person volunteer for the position).
(a)    Shall keep records of all trophies and ensure their availability at shows.

(b)    Shall notify member holding trophy that it is due for return.

(c)    Shall ensure returned trophies are clean and check for damage, instigate repair where appropriate.

(d)    Shall purchase and organise distribution of rosettes.

(e)    Arrange for insurance of trophies.

(f)    Keep a record of Syrian and Dwarf member’s point’s class

The Southern Hamster Club shall provide the number of Delegates stipulated in the NHC Constitution to attend NHC Meetings and represent the views and interests of the Club membership, as expressed at the General Meeting held to discuss the agenda for the NHC Meeting. These Delegates shall vote in accordance with the wishes of the membership.
One of the Delegates should be the Club Secretary and the other Delegate(s) shall be elected from the Executive Committee by the members by a simple majority vote at the Club’s AGM.

The Annual General Meeting of the Southern Hamster Club shall be held at a date and venue decided at the previous AGM and should be held in the same month of each year.

These may be called through the Club Secretary, either by the Executive Committee or at the written request of not less than eight adult members of the Club.

Written notice of such a general meeting shall be given to all members of the Club at least twenty one days prior to the meeting and the meeting shall be held within fifty-six days of the request as above.

19.    ELECTIONS (officers serve for a two year term)
Nominations for Officers, Committee Members and NHC Delegates must be received in writing by the Club Secretary no later than twenty-one days prior to the AGM.  All nominations must be made by a member of the SHC and must be seconded by another member of the Club.  Nominations must be accompanied by a written statement from the nominee stating that he/she is willing to accept office if elected.

All Officers, Committee Members and NHC Delegates shall be elected by a simple majority vote at the AGM.  In the event of an equality of votes, the officiating Chairman shall have the casting vote.

20.    VOTING
Each full Adult member and each junior member aged between 12 and l6 years of age shall have one vote each, EXCEPT for School, Partnerships and Family memberships which shall have a maximum of two votes per membership.

All proposals & amendments as agreed on at the AGM that are not on the AGM agenda are put in the journal for acceptance by the membership. Ten dissatisfied members will need to object, in writing (with their reasons for objection) to the Secretary within 60 days of publication for the proposal to be reviewed at the next AGM.

22.    SHOWS
Major shows shall be as set at the Club’s AGM. Other shows and displays may be arranged by the Show Manager, in consultation with the Executive Committee, and full details of these should be forwarded by the Club Secretary to the NHC Journal well before the event.

The Club shall ensure that all shows are run in accordance with the NHC Rules and Standards pertaining at that time, and that all displays and shows present the Club and the Hamster Fancy in a good light.

There shall be NO SMOKING within the area(s) occupied by hamsters at any of these shows, providing that the Club has such jurisdiction at the venue.

Any children under 16 must be supervised by a parent or appointed guardian.
The parent/appointed guardian must make sure that the children’s behaviour is of an acceptable standard.
The SHC does not accept any responsibility for the safety of the children.
A notice to this effect would be displayed at ALL SHC shows.

All dogs to be under control & on a lead at SHC shows.

Lunch & drinks will be provided for judges, book stewards & the show secretary, and drinks for the pen steward, where the club operates a kitchen.

23.    JUDGES
Only those Judges who have successfully completed the appropriate training shall officiate as Judges at a Club show. Trainee Judges, at the discretion of the Show Manager, may officiate provided that the Book Steward is a qualified Judge.

After being accepted as a Trainee Judge for the Southern Hamster Club, the trainee must complete the following:
a.    Officiating as a Pen Steward to a minimum of three different Judges (i.e. those persons already recognized as a Judge by either an NHC affiliated club or by the NHC themselves).  At least one of these Pen Stewardings must be made alongside and assessed by an experienced Pen Steward, who must pass the trainee before the Pen Stewardings can be completed.
All 3 Pen Stewardings must be completed before the trainee can move on to Book Stewarding.
b.    Officiating as a Book Steward to a minimum of three different Judges.  Each of these must be signed off as acceptable by the officiating judge before the trainee can move on to judging.
c.    Officiating as a Judge at 3 shows, with a qualified judge acting as their book steward.  The 3 qualified judges sitting with the trainee must be different on each occasion.  If this is not possible, then the first and third assessments can be with the same qualified judge.
The qualified judge must submit a written report on the candidate.  At the end of the training these reports will be submitted to the committee, who will then vote on the candidate’s acceptance.
Stewarding and judging may be done at other club venues, provided they are held under NHC rules and judges are qualified from fully affiliated NHC clubs, and the number of hamsters judged fulfil our requirements.
NOTE:  for the judging section to count there MUST be a minimum entry of 40 Syrian/35 Dwarfs in the main classes.

NOTE stewarding must be done for a full show not just part of the show to count.

Any exhibitor with a CONTAGIOUS DISEASE in their Hamstery must refrain from showing any hamster species that may be affected by the disease, until they have a letter or certificate of clearance from a Vet.

Copyright resides with the Southern Hamster Club, but any or all of this document may be quoted and reproduced by any person, or used as a basis for the constitution of any other club or circle, providing that the Southern Hamster Club is credited and that a copy of the quote and/or finished article is sent to the SHC Secretary before publication.