Wolfson College Boat Club, Oxford


Below is the text of the Wolfson College Boat Club Constitution. The club is also subject to the provisions of the Oxford University Rowing Clubs (OURCs) Constitution, code of conduct, and rules of racing, which can be found on their website:

Wolfson College Boat Club Constitution

  1. NAME

    The club shall be known as Wolfson College (Oxford) Boat Club, hereinafter referred to as THE CLUB or WCBC.

  2. AIMS

    The aims of The Club are to offer the opportunity to participate in rowing to all members of Wolfson College Oxford and St Cross College Oxford (see section 3.); to represent the colleges in inter-collegiate events in Oxford; and to represent the colleges in external races.


    As recognised by the Oxford University Rowing Clubs (OURCs), St Cross College is affiliated with WCBC. In recognition of this affiliation there shall be a St Cross representative on the WCBC committee (see section 6.). Hereinafter any clause in this document referring to Wolfson College or its members shall also apply to St Cross College and its members.

    1. The following are eligible for membership:
      1. Any current matriculated member of Wolfson College, Oxford over the age of 18.
      2. Any other person over the age of 18, subject to the conditions in B.
    2. Classes of membership
      1. A Representative Member – Eligible to represent the Men’s or Women’s 1st VIII in the inter-collegiate bumps races under the rules of OURCs.
      2. An Associate Member – By majority vote, the Committee may adopt as an associate member any person over the age of 18, who is not a full member as defined above. Individual’s participation in inter-collegiate bumps races as an Associate Member is constrained by the rules of OURCs, but in all other respects the individual is a full member of the Wolfson College Boat Club and entitled to all benefits and facilities pertaining thereto. Typical candidates include partners of Wolfson and St. Cross college members and previous members of the boat club. The Secretary shall maintain an official list of associate members.
        1. Existing associate members will be asked by the Secretary to confirm interest in the position and will be voted in by the committee in the first committee meeting of Michaelmas term each academic year.
        2. If no response is received, the member will automatically be dropped from associate status and will no longer have access to boat club equipment. They may however reapply at any time.
        3. The committee may vote provisionally not to renew the associate membership of an individual.
          1. If the committee decides provisionally not to renew membership of an associate, the individual will be notified and informed as to the reasoning, and will be invited to present a case to the committee, who will then make a final decision.
        4. If a final decision is made by the committee not to renew their membership, they may not reapply within that term.
      3. An Honorary Member – Honorary membership of the Club may be granted at a Captains’ meeting subject to the guidelines stated in the OURCs rules. Individual is subsequently treated as a representative member.
    3. Election of members
      An individual qualifies as a member of WCBC after satisfying the requirements for subscription payment, as set out in section 4.D (ii) below. All members should read the WCBC health and safety declaration.
    4. Subscription
      Categorized based on the following criteria:

      1. Any individual using WCBC equipment on three occasions or more from nought week to nought week of each university term, excluding the long vacation, is required to pay subscription to The Club.
      2. Any returning members using WCBC equipment on three or more occasions during the long vacation is required to pay subscription costs for the long vacation. For new members the long vacation counts as part of Michaelmas term.
      3. Subscription costs will be set by WCBC committee and will be displayed on the website. Any changes to the subscription costs will be announced to the boat club with one terms notice.
      4. Boat club equipment, as referred to above, includes ergometers, coaching staff, the OUBC tank, and boats.

    An annual general meeting (AGM) shall be held after the Oxford Summer Eights, and before the end of Trinity term. The main purpose of this meeting shall be formal election of the new committee. Any member of WCBC, as defined in section 4, may attend the AGM.

    1. The committee shall conduct the affairs of The Club as a whole, and shall consist of those individuals elected at the boat club AGM to the positions listed below. Each position is entitled to one vote in committee meetings, even if the position is shared by two or more individuals, but no individual may have more than one vote:
      1. President
      2. Men’s Captain
      3. Women’s Captain
      4. Boat Club Secretary
      5. Captain of Coxes
      6. Safety/Kit Advisor
      7. Treasurer
      8. Equipment Officer
      9. Social Secretary
      10. Regatta Secretary
      11. St Cross Representative
      12. Wolfson Representative
      13. Webmaster
      14. Development Officer

      WCBC recognises that diversity and inclusivity is integral to building a supportive and positive community. The ‘Welfare & Inclusivity Advocate’ will champion initiatives to promote diversity and inclusivity across all facets of the boat club. With their help, alongside the rest of the committee, WCBC will continue to make tangible strides towards maintaining fair representation of the diverse college and university campus we are a part of.

      1. Inclusivity and Welfare Advocate

      The following appointed by existing committee members based on involvement in the previous year’s committee, whom are entitled to vote in committee meetings. Generally offered to retiring captains, with a maximum of three in total:

      1. Honorary Committee Member(s)

      And the following appointed by the committee, who is not entitled to vote in committee meetings:

      1. Senior Member
    2. Nominations for position (i)-(xiv) may be made by any member of WCBC including the individual standing for the position.
    3. All members present at the AGM shall vote for candidates for each position. Voting shall be carried out according to the following rules:
      1. A provisional list of nominations shall be disseminated by the Secretary 48 hours before the AGM. Elections for each position shall proceed one-at-a-time in the order in which positions appear in 6.A. Nominations for each position shall remain open until the election for that individual position commences.
      2. The election will be run by secret ballot using the alternative vote (instant run off) system. Voters will be asked to rank the candidates, 1 being their most preferred candidate, 2 their second most preferred candidate, etc, where “reopen nominations” counts as a candidate. The first preference votes for all candidates will then be counted. If one candidate has a majority of votes then that candidate wins the election. If no candidate has a majority, then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and their votes are redistributed. Votes are redistributed by adding the votes from the eliminated candidate to the tally of the candidate that is listed as the second preference on the ballot. If one candidate now has a majority, they win the election. If no candidate has a majority (which will only occur if there are more than two candidate remaining) this process is repeated, eliminating the candidate with the fewest votes, until one a candidate has a majority of votes. If the request to reopen nominations has the majority of votes in any round then nominations will be reopened and the election run again.
    4. The committee term of office shall commence after election at an AGM, and run till selection of the next committee at the AGM of the following year.
    5. Between AGMs, a vacant committee position may be filled by nomination as follows.
      1. An individual may be nominated for the position by a majority vote of committee members. The Secretary will publicise the nomination to the Boat Club. At this time, any member of the Boat Club opposing the nomination may, within two weeks of the Secretary’s announcement, make an alternative nomination. During this time the nominee may fulfil the duties of the role but is not entitled to a vote. If one or more alternative nominations is received, then at the end of the two weeks a special election will be held, by whatever means the committee deems appropriate, and the nominee receiving the most vote is duly elected. If there are no alternative nominations, the committee’s nominee will be deemed elected.
      2. Any committee member elected in this way will be a full voting member of the committee for the duration of that term of office (i.e. until the next AGM).
    1. President
      • Committee spokesperson for the club to Wolfson College, Oxford, and external parties
      • Chair committee meetings and the AGM
      • Organise and set an agenda for committee meetings in conjunction with the boat club Secretary and captains
      • Oversee the organisation of training camp with the assistance of the Secretary
      • Organize sponsorship of The Club with the assistance of the development officer
      • Ensure the long term stability of the boat club
      • Aid the captains in the integration of the various parts of the club
      • Correspond with other colleges when required
      • Should usually be elected having previously served in another position on the committee
      • Write WCBC year overview for the Wolfson and St. Cross college records and website
    2. Men’s and Women’s Captains
      • Organise, oversee and have the final authority on the selection process for crews
      • Liaise concerning shared resources such as coxes, women competing in men’s crews, ergs, etc.
      • Organise training, including outing plans, land training, coxes and coaching.
      • Find a coach for the squads.
      • Provide paid coaches with a contract in accordance with college regulations.
      • Represent the club to OURCs including attending captains meetings.
      • Communicate any business arising from the captains meetings or the rowing captains mailing list to the rest of the club.
      • Liaise with Regatta Secretary to make entries to intercollegiate regattas and races.
      • Keep track of members eligible for subscription fees and present associate members to the committee meeting to vote.
    3. Boat Club Secretary
      • Maintain the constitution in an up-to-date format
      • Chair meetings in the President’s absence
      • Organise the ordering of club photographs when necessary
      • Aid the President in producing agendas and organising committee meetings and training camps
      • Generate umpiring and marshalling rotas for Torpids, Summer Eights and other regattas
      • Take minutes at the AGM and committee meetings and ensure they are distributed in accordance with 8.I
      • Ensure the minutes are available in an amended form to the webmaster for publication as soon as possible after a meeting.
      • Responsible for issuing and maintaining lists for Wolfson erg use.
      • Maintain a list of associate and honorary members.
      • Organise orders of blades after Torpids and VIIIs. This includes gathering orders from rowers, ordering blades from Jim Ronaldson, club boatman, or other sources as needed, and arranging painting from Cummings Signs or other sources.
    4. Social Secretary
      • Organise full boat club social events, including:
        • Termly boat club dinners
        • Training camp-related social events
        • Internal club events
          • Excluding individual crew events such as crew dates
      • Aid the integration of ALL parts of the boat club.
      • Work with College Reps to organise representation of The Club at both Wolfson and St. Cross Fresher’s Fairs and aid the captains in recruitment of members from both colleges.
    5. College Representatives
      1. St Cross Representative
        • Must be member of St Cross college
        • Represent WCBC to and liaise with St. Cross Sports Committee
        • Assist Social Secretary in Fresher’s Fair
        • Provide a point of contact between President and St Cross administration regarding relations between WCBC and the college (e.g. awards/bar blades, representation in college, etc.)
        • Help promote boat club and boat club events within college
      2. Wolfson Representative
        • Must be member of Wolfson college
        • Attend SCC and Wolfson general meetings with or in place of President
        • Assist Social Secretary in Fresher’s Fair
        • Provide a point of contact between President and Wolfson Administration regarding relations between WCBC and the college (e.g. awards/bar blades, representation in college, etc.)
        • Help promote boat club and boat club events within college
    6. Captain of Coxes
      • Aid in the recruitment and training of new coxswains
      • Ensure all coxswains are aware of the rules of the river as set out by OURCs
      • Aid the captains in the coordination of coxswains and the equipment officer in the coordination of coxing equipment.
    7. Safety/Kit Advisor
      • Committee representative to British Rowing, including ensuring the annual British Rowing safety audit is up-to-date.
      • With the captains, ensure all rowers and coxswains have passed the required swim test.
      • With the captains, ensure individuals receive the correct training before using any club equipment.
      • Ensure accidents are handled in accordance with the Wolfson Boat Club Major Incidents Policy.
      • Ensure first aid equipment and emergency procedures are in place.
      • Organise the ordering of club kit each term
    8. Treasurer
      • Handle claims for reimbursement from members.
      • Produce a termly report on budget and accounts.
      • Oversee club budget.
      • Provide a budget review at each committee meeting.
    9. Equipment Officer
      • Keep an up to date inventory of boats, oars, coxboxes, and lifejackets.
      • Ensure the security and maintenance of BC equipment.
      • Consult with the boatman over any equipment issues.
      • Coordinate the repairs of equipment when necessary.
      • Maintain the boat replacement record and schedule.
    10. Regatta Secretary
      • Serve as an administrator on British Rowing online entry system.
      • Liaise with captains regarding which external regattas shall be entered.
      • Help the captains make entries and arrange payments to external regattas and heads.
      • Help the captains arrange trailering to external regattas.
      • Liaise with treasurer to ensure individuals are battled any costs incurred during regattas.
    11. Webmaster
      • Maintain the WCBC website with up-to-date information on committee members, racing results, sponsors, upcoming events and donation possibilities.
      • Maintain The Club’s ownership of its domain (wolfsonrowing.org).
      • Administrate the other internet resources of WCBC (e.g. Facebook group, Twitter).
      • Maintain The Club’s mailing lists and DropBox archive.
    12. Development Officer
      • Advertise WCBC-related events to alumni and sponsors.
      • Maintains and develops relations with the Development Office of the colleges.
      • Maintains an alumni database including alumni information.
      • Liaise with the Webmaster to promote the Boat Club on the internet.
      • Investigate potential sponsors of the Boat Club and develop links between the Boat Club President and potential sponsors of the Boat Club.
    13. Inclusivity and Welfare Advocate
      • Work with the rest of the committee to ensure inclusivity and diversity is given deserved consideration across WCBC decision making.
      • Be a point of contact to allow WCBC members to provide comments/reporting/grievances.
      • Create and maintain an anonymous method for club feedback on welfare and inclusivity.
      • Send out regular tips and advice on welfare and inclusivity to the club.
      • Advise committee on compliance with the procedures described by British Rowing’s Safeguarding and Protecting Children and Adults at Risk Policies.
      • Should be identifiable to all members of the club.
      • In the event that anyone under the age of 18 joins the club the Inclusivity and Welfare Advocate will not be involved in coaching them and shall ensure appropriate vetting is carried out for any coaches involved in training members under the age of 18.
      • Shall be registered with British Rowing as Club Welfare Officer.
  8. Honorary Members
    • Advise the committee on all aspects of The Club.
    • Provide continuity in implementing WCBC policy and ideas.
    1. Shall be called at the discretion of the President, with a minimum of two per term.
    2. The President and the Secretary will produce an agenda to be circulated to committee members at least 24 hours before the meeting.
    3. Only committee members should attend committee meetings. If they are unable to attend they must provide apologies to the Secretary and President. Other club members may be invited to committee meetings where relevant and at the discretion of the committee/President. They are not entitled to vote during the meeting.
    4. There must be a minimum ‘quorum’ of 50% of current committee members present at a meeting for any motions passed to be valid.
    5. If a committee member does not attend any committee meetings for term, a statutory vote of no confidence will be automatically raised at the next committee meeting.
    6. Motions may be raised by any committee member and shall be passed by a majority vote. If raised in advance they should be set in the agenda.
    7. Alternatively the committee may hold a vote electronically. The announcing of any such vote shall include a deadline and must allow at least 24 hours to vote. The motion shall then be passed by a majority of those voting according to quorum stated above.
    8. Committee members unable to attend a meeting may register votes on motions set out in the agenda, by emailing the President or Secretary before the meeting. It will not be possible for absent members to vote on motions arising during the course of a meeting not initially on the agenda.
    9. The Boat Club Secretary will produce minutes from the meeting, which will be available to club members on the website. Website minutes shall exclude sums, individuals’ full names and any other information deemed inappropriate for public viewing.

    A motion of no confidence may be raised against any member of WCBC including committee members, rowers, coxswains and coaches. The motion must be proposed and seconded by separate members of The Club, must be supported in writing, including a statement of its proposed consequence, to the committee. The member questioned by the motion must be notified within 24 hours from the proposal and have at least a week to respond before the vote takes place. The final decision will be reached by a secret ballot by committee members to reach a two-thirds majority decision under normal quorum. Under these circumstances committee members must vote in the ballot within one week although they may formally abstain.


    The committee shall manage the affairs of The Club. Financial or legal liability incurred in the rightful exercise of their office shall not, however, be the personal liability of the committee, but shall be the responsibility of The Club as a whole.
    Individuals are members of WCBC at their own risk. WCBC accepts no liability for personal injury or death sustained during activities undertaken by its members.


    The elected Safety Advisor will liaise with British Rowing and OURCs on issues of safety. All members must pass the British Rowing swim test, as required by the OURCs.
    The Club accepts the policy and procedures relating to child protection as set out by British Rowing, and as such it is a condition that all members of The Club must be over the age of 18.


    The Club will endeavour to ensure that the talents and resources of all members are utilised to the full and that no member receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, disability, marital status, creed, social class, ethnicity, age or sexual orientation or is disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be relevant to performance, reliability or crew morale.

    1. Use of the eights and fours is governed by the relevant captain(s). No one may use the eights or fours without the relevant captains’ permission. This includes the use of boats in racing.
    2. Use of the small boats is governed by the president in accordance with the Small Boat Rules. Boathouse keys may be checked out by the authorized members from the Wolfson lodge.
    3. Rules concerning the use of ergs and other boat club equipment will be set from time to time by the committee. Use of University College ergs is also subject to the University College erg policy. Members unfamiliar with the rules should ask their captains. (The Wolfson gym is not part of the Boat Club equipment)
    4. Lending of boats is generally discouraged but can be done providing the following conditions are met:
      1. Approval of the president, relevant captain(s) and the Wolfson College home bursar.
      2. Suitable insurance arrangements must be made by the college borrowing equipment and verification of the same provided in advance by the borrowing party.

    Crews competing in Oxford University Torpids or Summer Eights bumps races may be awarded blades under the following circumstances. A crew shall be awarded blades when all of the following conditions are met:

    1. Crew achieves a bump on each of the four days of competition.
    2. Crew achieves a bump at every opportunity to bump.
    3. Crew is not bumped during the course of competition.
    1. The accounts of the boat club shall consist of a long-term Equipment Fund and an annual Operating Fund.
    2. The Treasurer will report to the committee the current balance of the Equipment Fund annually and upon request, and the balance of the Operating Fund at least 24 hours before each committee meeting.
    3. At any time, by motion, the committee may allocate a budget from either of the Operating Fund or Equipment Fund to be administered by a sub-committee of one or more committee members for up to one year.
      1. Ordinarily, this will include annual budgets such as men’s and women’s training budgets administered by the relevant captains, an equipment maintenance fund administered by the equipment officer, etc. Other examples include one-off budgets for purchasing a boat, running an event, etc.
      2. The committee, by motion, may alter these arrangements at any time.
    4. Any committee member may be reimbursed up to £100 from the Operating Fund for reasonable minor or routine expenses associated with the boat club. The member will report this to the Treasurer, who will liase with the appropriate committee member.
    5. Expenses over £100 taken directly from the Operating Fund or Equipment Fund (as opposed to a sub-committee budget) must be approved by the committee by motion.
    6. At the end of the financial year, any remaining funds in the Operating Fund will be deposited to the Equipment Fund.

    Any matter not provided for in this constitution, or any question over the interpretation of it shall be dealt with by the committee, whose decision shall be final. Decisions shall be reached by a majority vote of committee members.

    1. The Boat Club funds are used to cover squad training, boat club equipment and entries in Christ Church, Torpid and Summer Eights regattas.
    2. Members competing in external regattas or training camps normally pay the entry fees, trailering fees, and other such costs.

    A review of the constitution should be made at least every 3 years by the incumbent President and boat club Secretary. Any amendments to be made during the review process should be ratified by the committee. Between reviews amendments can be proposed by committee members and passed by majority vote.

    The current constitution was lastly reviewed on 5th May 2017.