Note: This document is based on the constitution of 1992-1993, with amendments from 1995 onwards. If anyone is aware of any further updates within this period, please contact the site maintainer.
We, the members of the Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club, with the consent of the Senior Proctor, do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.
The style and title of the Club shall be The Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club, which may be abbreviated to C.U.Tw.C..
The purposes of the Club are:
Membership shall be open to all members of those Institutions of Further and Higher Education situated within three statute miles of Great Saint Mary’s Church. Honorary Membership may be conferred at the discretion of the Committee upon anyone.
A person shall sue for the status of member during their first, second or third meeting, and shall then attain such status after a formal motion. See Article 14.
A person shall, having attained membership, remain a member of the Club for life, subject to Article 5.
There shall be established as the sole administrative organ of the Club the Committee.
A quorum for a Committee meeting shall be a majority of the Committee members, provided that at least three ex-officio members are present.
All meetings shall be chaired by a Committee member who shall be:
For the purposes of attaining membership, meetings shall include the Club Dinner, Club matches, Club parties, and other official Club functions, in each case provided that at least two ex-officio members of the Committee are pissed.
A quorum shall be the number present.
An extraordinary general meeting may be called only by:
All ex-officio members of the Committee (excepting the Senior Treasurer) shall resign at the end of the Annual General Meeting and then they, with the rest of the Committee members (excepting the Senior Treasurer) shall each amigos a standard sized capital m ars’ capital b ar™ sideways, and drink a pint of beer through it.
The Constitution may only be changed at a General Meeting of the Club.
Any Club member who plays against C.U.Tw.C. in another team shall be burned at the Sage, subject to Article 9.1.
Following a majority vote of the Committee, the society I mean the Club has the ability to confer the title of Doctor of Tiddlywinks (Tw.D.) on such a person as has made a significant contribution my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? to the life or doings of the society I mean Club.
This section is not officially part of the constitution, and was added for clarity by the site maintainer.
Article 3 was considered at the 1997 AGM to have been amended to include the clause “, or others at the Committee’s discretion”. This makes the distinction between an honorary member and a normal member of the club, the difference (unnofficially) being that honorary members are invited to join, whereas a normal member must request to join the Club. This means that “townies” are normal, not honorary, members of the Club. Later discussion showed that in fact this amendment had insufficient votes to be included, so the “townies” are presumably honorary members (or not members at all). How confusing. :-)
To avert future concerns on this subject, it has been determined (by discussion with the Senior Proctor) that there is no requirement that any of the Committee be members of the University.
The clause “and male” was a constitutional amendment in 1995.
Note for Articles 9 and 20: it has been observed at the 2018 AGM that Mars has been making it very difficult to define “standard” when it comes to Mars bars. They have, notably, got smaller in recent years. Those purchasing consumables for the AGM might wish to note that Mars bars in multi-packs are typically (at least in 2018) substantially smaller than those bought individually.
C.U.Tw.C. used to have a President, but at the year 2002 AGM the references to President in the Constitution were changed to “Chairperson”. The editor has attempted to preserve the intent in Article 8.2. The apparent intent of the change is to limit the (non-honorary) membership of SEPTIC, rather than to mirror ETwA. This may cause complication of the ex-Committee page. The President voted in the 2002 AGM is, nominally, a President; it seems to be the case that they are the assumed Chairperson, as well. The ex-officio committee remains consisting of ex-presidents only (not ex-chairpeople) until someone notices and corrects the constitution...
UPDATE: thanks to an EGM, the President is back to being a President, thus avoiding a catastrophically confusing ex-committee page. And nobody even commented on the fact that the Constitution said “ChairMAN” instead of “ChairPERSON” in several places...
In 2018, it was observed that some of the instances of “President” in articles 19.1, 26.3 and 30.2 were incorrectly changed to “President” from “Chairman” during the confusion of 2002, and should apply to the person currently in charge of the meeting, not the head of the Club, who may be absent (or even not there). Logic suggests that the references to “president” in articles 25.5, 25.6, 25.7 and 25.8 (which were not present in the available copy of the pre-2002 Constitution) should also refer to the chairman. The 2018 AGM corrected these, and also changed all references to “chairman” (these and the existing references in 23.3 and 24.4) to “chairperson”. We could have explained this confusion by explaining that the “Chairperson” is the member defined in article 13, but what would be the fun in that?
The second and third sentences of the Secretary clause was added in the AGM of 2011, after the strategy was found to be successful for the outgoing Secretary.
Article 12.3 was updated from “The Assistant Secretary will help the other Committee members in the running of the day-to-day affairs of the Club.” at the 2019 AGM. Presumably the “shall will” was less deliberate than the “night-time affairs”. It’s possible that this is a mistranscription, although I’m reasonably confident that this is what was read out; on the other hand, I had to correct my notes from talking about a night club, so I may be in no place to judge.
This was further amended from “The Assistant Secretary shall will [sic] help the other Committee members in the running of the night-time affairs of the Club.” at the 2020 AGM.
Article 17.2 used to read:
This was removed in the 1997 AGM, acknowledging the difficulty of arranging for a large number of people to occupy a given licensed premises.
Article 17.4, reading “At a general meeting of the Club, there will be a vote of no confidence in the current Prime Minister. If the vote is successful, the Prime Minister shall be barred from attaining membership in SEPTIC, unless they already have membership in which case their membership shall be revoked.” was supposedly added in 2022, when the AGM coincided with the Partygate vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson; the minutes, which were accepted in 2023, indicate that there was a tie on this vote and the President resolved it in favour of the status quo, indicating that this clause should not actually have been included on this web page..
Article 19.4 “the Brown amendment” was added at the EGM of July 2021, after a number of members didn’t. The clause “or who is a current committee member” was added in 2022.
This was changed in the Year 2000 AGM (probably against the better judgement of the junior members of the club) to read [each member shall] “have at least one vote, but paid-up members holding one or more Cambridge degrees shall have the number of votes equal to the number of Cambridge degrees they hold”. This required minor changes to Articles 8.3, 23.2, 24.3, 25.2, and 26.2. The intention was that members with multiple votes may split their votes between the available options. Note that members with an MA have two degrees for the purposes of this calculation, and that in order to preserve anonymity during the Committee elections, members may need multiple ballot papers. Since S.E.P.T.I.C. now constitute most of C.U.Tw.C. anyway, this means of ensuring the S.E.P.T.I.C. block vote was removed in the AGM of 2001. However, the fact that the minutes of the 2001 AGM, read at the 2002 AGM, were accepted as a true and accurate record of events means that the erroneous vote count recorded therein restores the current version. Future secretaries are encouraged to record whether or not an amendment was accepted, not just the votes, to avoid confusion...
UPDATE: Thanks to an EGM in 2002, this has finally been cleared up, and we’re back to one member, one vote. All references to this section in other sections which refer to voting have been retained, pending future disasters of a similar persuasion.
The phrase “shall don a tie and” was added at the 1998 AGM (to confirm common practice), after much ranting. The precedent set (and the cause for the ranting) was that the two-thirds majority requirement of article 25 is met in the case of an exact two-thirds majority (i.e. a 4-2 vote in favour results in a change); however, against past (and accepted) precedent, only the total votes for and against were counted in the calculation of this majority, not the “votes” cast as an abstention. Traditionally, it is acceptable to cast an “abstention” vote (to indicate, presumably, that one does not feel the amendment worthy of discussion, or that one has an opinion in favour of the status quo, rather than explicitly for or against the proposal). For the sake of the sanity of the maintainer(s) of this document, it is hoped that in the future C.U.Tw.C. can be consistent on this.
The phrase “tie up a don” was substituted for “don a tie” (after the failed amendment to “don a kebab”) during the 2018 AGM.
"THE COW" was added at the 2022 AGM, because Molly.
The entire constitution invalidates itself, since there was a time in the Club’s history since the instigation of the constitution at which the condition of Article Twenty-four part 2 was not met. This may or may not be relevant, since the Consitution will probably have been acknowledged since that date by the Senior Proctor, and hence would overrule any previous Constitution, valid or not. This point is generally brought up whenever constitutional rants get too tedious. Somebody should probably collect together a number of old members from before the days of the destruction of Article Thirty-Two, possibly get them to stay overnight in Cambridge to satisfy Article Eight part 2, and get them to take the place of the Comittee according to the original reading of 32. They could then vote in some members, resign, and we could try to sort out this mess once and for all. There may or may not ever be someone organised enough to do this.
The clause (4) requiring an amigos for each proposal was added in 2000 (give or take some technicalities), in the vague hope of limiting future constitutional ranting. A new clause was added to apply a similar rule to amendments to amendments (etc.), but this disappeared during the 2001/2002 minuting qwxcl. Clauses 5-8 (according to precedent and the accepted minutes, if not events) were (probably) introduced in the year 2001 AGM, although the minutes leave that to the reader and the interpretation of abstentions. Oh dear, it’s all gone wibwibwibble wrong. Again...
There is some debate about how “Mars bar™” should be written. It has been noted that Mars bars now only say “Mars” on the front (I’m sure there was a time when “Mars Bar” was present, as in the Coke/Coca Cola ambiguity). It has been accepted that, at least with a modern confectionary, “bar” should be lower case. Strictly speaking, it should possibly be “Mars™ bar”, but the location of the ™ was fixed in the original vote. It has been suggested that “Mars”,“Bar”,“Fizzy shite” could be another drinking game variant for Stew to have invented.
As of 2018, the Mars web site uses “Mars” and “MARS”, and both “Mars bar” and “Mars Bar”. At the point of the 2018 AGM, the writing on the Mars bar packaging was actually “Believe”, for reasons to do with association football. Note that “Mars bar” appears three times in the Constitution (at the time of writing), but the ™ only appears in one instance, because CUTwC believes in tradition but not consistency.
As of the 2023 AGM, all spellings of this confectionary in the Constitution were amended to “capital m ars’ capital b ar™”.
This used to suggest that the Committee should reach decision by general agreement. This seems unlikely, and has been corrected in the 2017 AGM.
Clause 4 added at the 2020 AGM to resolve the problem of returning members not knowing if they’re paying enough. As of 2022 it was deemed that £13.20 was found to be a fair price in a pub. Let your conscience decide.
I assume this once used to read the equivalent of:
Article 32.1 was modified in 2019 from “tenuous grounds” to “cricket grounds” (via “coffee grounds”) as part of an attempt to ensure that nobody tries (again) to become President solely through serial amigossing, on the assumption that few people will be able to meet the “have cricket grounds” requirement. An attempt to restore the ability to replace a Committee member’s senior by “amigossing 0.5% of the mass of their Mother Superior in whipped double cream should a majority vote of the Committee decree that their Mother Superior has become incapable or unsuitable to perform their role as a Committee member” was downvoted, although apparently more because of the lack of nuts than for any practical reason. There is currently therefore no practical way to replace a Committee member other than by a General Meeting.
Article 32.2 was modified in 2019 from ‘as seen fit’ to ‘considered “fit”’. Pope Verisimilitude responded “oh God, I’m always going to be Pope”.
This article was added at the behest of the Proctors in 2022, presumably due to inferior Clubs folding during the COVID pandemic (they did not specify the solvent, obviously). The Proctors also requested the addition of 5.5-5.7.
This article was added without an indication of where it should be placed in the Constitution (though several suggestions of where to stick it were provided) at the 2013 AGM. A vote on whether this should be article 33 failed, and the President decreed that it should be Article n. An attempt to change “doings” to “machinations” failed on a technicality, which is the best way for it to fail. At the 2015 AGM, the title was confirmed as being “Doctor of Tiddlywinks” (as recorded by the Secretary in 2013) rather than “Doctor of Winks” (as recorded by the web site maintainer, and hence as represented on the web site without anyone noticing since 2013).
The text was originally “Following a majority vote of the Committee, the society I mean the Club has the ability to confer the title of Doctor of Tiddlywinks (Tw.D.) on such a person as has made a significant contribution god that’s horrible to the life or doings of the society I mean Club.” — “god that’s horrible” was amended to “my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” at the 2023 AGM. There was a tie and the President, untraditionally, did not vote in favour of the status quo (as encouraged, if not mandated, by Article 23.3).
Harley requested that the biblical quotation be recorded in the notes “in its original Aramaic”. Apparently the original Matthew 27:46 read, in Greek:
“Ἠλὶ ἠλὶ (or Ἡλεὶ Ἡλεὶ depending on the source) λεμὰ σαβαχθάνι;” τοῦτ’ ἔστιν “Θεέ μου θεέ μου, ἵνα‿ τί με ἐγκατέλιπες;”
The King James Bible (referred to at the meeting) transliterates the Aramaic as “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” in Matthew and “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” in Mark 15:34. Other versions have variations on “Eli” and “🦙”.
Of course, Jesus was quoting Psalms 22, which is in Hebrew and transliterates as “Eli, Eli, lama ʿazavtani” (אֵלִ֣י אֵ֖לִי לָמָ֣ה עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי) — although some apparently hypothesise that Jesus actually said “lama zabaḥtani” (למה זבחתני) which is Hebrew and translates as “why did you sacrifice me?” — if Jesus was making a bad pun while being crucified, he goes up in my estimation. Obviously I am not a Bible scholar (or religious), and it’s not like this phrase should be taken as Gospel truth or anything...