CHOIR LAWS OF THE HÁSKÓLAKÓR
Chapter I – Name, home and goal
The choir is called the Háskólakór and its home and venue is in Reykjavík.
- The goal of the choir is to give its members a chance to acquaint themselves with various types of music and simultaneously give others insight into the world of music.
- Fixed rehearsals shall be twice a week. Additional rehearsals may be added as needed and at the request of the conductor, but account the academic course load of students must be taken into consideration.
- An operational plan shall be available at the beginning of the operating year. Project selection shall be in the hands of the board and conductor. The majority of the choir has the power to override the choice projects at a general meeting.
- The choir shall aim to premiere at least one piece of Icelandic music each year.
- The choir shall appear:
- At the choir’s advertised concerts
- At the request of the Rector or the University Office, with the approval of the majority of the choir. The board and the conductor decide on other concerts in consultation with choir members.
- Any decisions which concern the organization of the choir, the conduct of the choir and the cost of concerts shall be submitted to the choir board, which makes the final decision.
Chapter II – Members
Choir members, the board and the choir directors are prohibited to discriminate against choir members based on gender, sex, sexual orientation, race, age, disability, nationality, religion, opinions, or their friendships.
The members of the choir should generally be registered students of the University of Iceland. It is also allowed to give others who are interested in the choir permission to join and it is the decision of the board and the choir director who should be admitted to the choir at each point in time.
Paying choir fees is a prerequisite for choir rights and privileges.
Choir members, the board, and the choir conductor shall follow the accepted choir code of ethics to the best of their ability.
The operating time of the choir is generally from 15. September to 20. April. The choir also has a few additional practices in June of each year and sings at the graduation of the University of Iceland.
- It shall be the responsibility of the board and the choir director to decide the number of members in the choir. The choir should be a mixed choir.
- All or certain individuals in the choir can be auditioned at any time if the conductor deems it necessary.
- Choir fees shall be decided by the board. At least half of it should be paid in the beginning of the semester and it is up to the board to decide when the rest should be paid.
- Board members are exempt from paying choir fees during the year(s) they hold their position in the board.
- Those among the choir who choose to be in the fund raising committee, the travel committee, and the fun committee get special perks, determined by the board and announced in the board’s report during the main meeting. The size of the committees is variable between years and decided by the board.
- If the choir were to disband all its property go to the University of Iceland. They shall be kept so that they gain the optimal amount of interest and should only be handed over to the choir that the University Council believes to be the rightful heir of the Háslólakór. After 10 years have passed the University Council shall get full authority over the property and can allocate it as they want.
Chapter II– The board of the Háskólakór and its role
The president supervises the operation of the choir and that its laws and rules in all articles are being obeyed. The president calls the main meeting and other choir meetings and supervises them. The president is the main spokesperson of the choir and distributes tasks. The president is the main intermediary to the conductor and they make all decisions together. If a disagreement should arise, the board has the final say. The president has the final say in board matters.
The vice-president fills in for the president in their absence. They are the intermediary of all committees inside the Háskólakór except for the fun committee. The vice-president oversees social media accounts.
The treasurer oversees finances, collection of fees and accounting. The treasurer is the authorised signer of all accounts belonging to the Háskólakór. They keep a fund ledger concerning the income and expenses of the choir and present the annual financial statement during the main meeting. The treasurer oversees the membership directory of the choir.
The social director shall have initiative for an active entertainment scene on behalf of the choir and supervise the yearly gala of the choir. They shall coordinate with the board and organize a fun committee, a gala committee, and a video committee.
The secretary is the archivist of the choir. The secretary shall primarily guard all sheet music of the choir, print them, and arrange them so everything is prepared for practices. They also make sure that board meetings and other choir meetings are registered, along with all major decisions made during those meetings. If a member of the board is temporarily indisposed, the secretary is to take over their duties in their absence. The vice-president remains the substitute for the president.
The newbie representative handles all the new members’ issues. They shall attend to new and incidental tasks at any given time. They are also required to take on tasks that the board gives them and be available to help other board members if needed.
Article 16 – new
- A motion of no-confidence shall be delivered in writing with the signatures of at least ¼ of choir members. The board shall, provided that the aforementioned stipulations are fulfilled, call to a choir meeting concerning the no-confidence within a week of receiving the motion of no-confidence. The motion is accepted if at least 2/3 of choir members accept it. If the motion is accepted, a new vote, like the vote during the main meeting, shall be held for the position.
- If the conductor breaks the code of ethics of the staff of the University of Iceland, the board is to hold a vote regarding whether to file a formal complaint with the office of the rector cf. the code of ethics of the University cf. rule 3 – reaction to violation of the code of ethics of the University of Iceland. A majority of at least 2/3 of choir members is needed to accept the proposal. The board is required to hold the vote in writing if it receives a proposition to do so, signed by at least ¼ of choir members or more.
a) If Háskólakórinn hires an external party for a project, e.g. in the case of singing, accompaniment or otherwise, all wages must be negotiated in advanced.
b) In projects where one or more external parties are involved, the conductor chooses who to hire for the project in consultation with the board of the choir.
c) In projects where a soloist comes from the choir’s ranks, choir members can request special auditions for this purpose. The conductor chooses the person in consultation with the choir’s board, provided that the person concerned agrees to take on the project.
If a member in an elected position chooses to resign, a choir meeting shall be called and a call for members interested in the post shall be made. The position shall then be voted for in the same way as during the main meeting.
There should be two confidants, generally one male and one female. At least one of them should be a native speaker of Icelandic and both should speak English. Confidants take care of confidential matters inside the choir. Those who speak to a confidant can remain anonymous if they so wish. Confidants are the intermediary between the members of the choir and the board. Confidants shall supervise that the choir’s laws and code of ethics are obeyed. Confidants should work to the benefit of the choir and its members, not for their own gain. Confidants should always keep the choir’s code of ethics in mind. If a confidant is considered unsuitable for a particular matter they must step aside. It is allowed to temporarily appoint an unassociated individual in their place.
Their responsibility is that all the choir’s events are photographed in some way. The vice-president can give them access to the choir’s social media, but is still to supervise. When photos or other material is published, its content must be in accordance with the code of ethics. Choir members have the right to ask for the removal of published photos if the content makes them feel uncomfortable/exposed.
Voice leaders shall be chosen at the beginning of each semester. They log the attendance of the members in their voice. They are not to be held accountable for the attendance of the members in their voice, but if a member of their voice is absent for too many times, voice leaders are to contact a member of the board about it.
Chapter III– Meetings and voting on positions
The main meeting is the principal authority in matters related to the choir. It shall be held before the first of May each year and it should be announced no less than a week before it is held.
The meeting is legitimate if it is called to in a legitimate way. Only those who have paid the choir fees for the operating year and have actively taken part in the choir during the operating year have the right to vote during the main meeting. If a disagreement regarding these stipulations should arise, the board has the final say.
The vote for positions in the board during the main meeting and other choir meetings should be binding and anonymous.
The vote for the appointment of committees does not need to be anonymous unless it is specifically requested.
If the vote is between more than two candidates and nobody gets a clear majority, another vote shall be held between the two candidates who got the most votes. A position needs to be voted on even if there is only one candidate and they still need to get a clear majority of the vote.
- Definition: A clear majority is when a candidate gets more than half of the votes (>51%)
- If no candidate gets a clear majority, a call must be made for new candidates for the position and an extra-choir-meeting must be held.
The board hires all the personnel. It is for the board to decide which committees are active at any time, but the following committees should always be active
- Coffee committee
- Photo committee
- Fun committee
- Travel committee
The following should be on the agenda for the main meeting
- The board’s report
- Annual financial statement
- Law amendments
- The appointment of a conductor
- Voting for president
- Voting for other board members
- Voting for an auditor of the annual financial statement
- Other matters
The transition between boards should happen on the first of September at the latest during a special meeting where the retiring board explains to the new one the operation and role of the board.
The board should receive law amendment proposals no less than four days before the main meeting. The board is required to present them at least two days before the main meeting.
A general choir meeting shall be held if the board believes there is cause for it. Furthermore, they are required to call a meeting if more than 20% of the choir members wish so. Such meetings should adhere to general rules about choir meetings.
A choir meeting should be held in the start of the choir’s operating year and during the meeting
- The planned activities of the choir should be announced
- A vote should be held for the newbie representative
- Votes shall be held to fill the committees
- The confidants should be chosen
Part IV – the conductor
- a) The conductor of the choir is appointed at the annual general meeting for one year at a time, and the board is responsible for the choice of director. Its must be approved by the choir members at the meeting.
- b) The conductor shall normally attend board meetings, and he has the right to speak and submit proposals.
- c) In the event of the conductor having a long or short period of absence, a decision shall be made at a general choir meeting about whether or not to hire a substitute during his absence. The substitute must be selected in consultation with the conductor if possible and approved by the majority of the choir.
- d) The Háskólakór can undertake regular services outside the University of Iceland, e.g. singing at Mass. An agreement must then be reached with the conductor for this, as the service in question is not directly under his job.
Chapter V – Code of conduct
Choir members should show up to practice as much as possible. They are to show up on time and prepared so that the practices can start on time. It is possible to get a special permission from the conductor to miss certain practices.
Choir members should keep private conversations between them to a minimum during practices or at least until the pause or end of practice.
Choir members are to look at the conductor, listen to them and heed their advice.
Choir members should not make/take calls or otherwise interrupt practices with their telephone usage.
Choir members are not allowed to consume food, drink, tobacco, chewing gum, or anything else during practice. It is allowed to have water in closed bottles. During the pause consumption of food is allowed in the predetermined area, but not in other areas. If a choir member drops food or drink they should clean it up immediately. Choir members are to be neat in all practice spaces.
Choir members should take good care of the sheet music they have been given and bring them to practices. Choir members should not take more than one copy of each song. Members should label all their sheet music with their name and keep them in folders.
Choir members should try to learn all songs by heart for concerts and other smaller appearances. If that goal is not attained and the member needs to have the sheet music with them they should be in a black folder without exceptions.
Choir members should all help with preparing for and putting things away after practice. All choir members who are able to should carry platforms up and down before and after practice.
It is imperative that members notify the voice leader of their absence for practices, extra practices, concerts, and other appearances of the choir. Voice leaders should take attendance and contact choir members who do not attend two consecutive practices without notifying and explaining their absence. A choir member who does not attend three consecutive exercises without explaining their absence is considered to having quit the choir.
The choir endeavours to be environmentally friendly.
The employees of the choir including the conductor should treat choir members with respect.
Choir activities shall not stand in the way of the education of choir members.
The conductor and the board should make sure that all important information is conveyed that is understood by the choir.
Choir members should always wear choir uniform during concerts, graduations, masses, and other appearances where the board decides the choir should be dressed in uniform. The uniform is black clothes and either a red necklace or a red necktie.
Rules regarding the choir uniform: Choir members should be wearing neat clothes, all black and the shoes should also be black. The sleeves must reach below elbow, necklines cannot be too low, skirts, dresses and shorts must reach to at least mid-thigh and they need to be worn with black tights. The board gives the members ties and pearls at the start of every appearance and the members return them when it is over.
All choir members should sing at mass at least once a semester. By singing at mass the choir pays for the space in which we practice so it is important that choir members take mass attendance seriously.
If a choir member cannot make it to their mass it is their responsibility to find a substitute.
Absences to mass should be announced to the mass leader.
Indecent behaviour is prohibited during practices or events connected to the choir.
Events that are considered choir events are choir camp, the choir trip, organized events planned by the choir, the yearly gala, and other organized trips planned by the board or other committees inside the choir.
Things categorised as indecent behaviour include any and all harassments, bullying, and violence (both mental and physical).
If a choir member believes they have suffered any harassment, bullying, or violence in the contexts of choir, they are encouraged to confide in the board or the confidants.
During specific circumstances the board can expel a member from the choir, both temporarily and permanently.
The circumstances required are:
- a) If a choir member has irregular attendance and the board and conductor do not think the person can catch up. If that is the case the board must give the member a second chance to re-join the choir at the start of the next semester and the choir member has the right to state their case.
- b) If a member can not keep a tune well enough.
That means they have difficulties harmonising, repeatedly sing off key without improvement and don’t listen well enough to others in their voice.
If that is the case for a choir member and the board and conductor want to expel them from the choir, they must first give the member a warning that they aren’t doing well enough. If the member doesn’t improve enough according to the board and director the member should be expelled.
If a choir member breaks a (major) rule in this code of ethics, the board is allowed to expel that person from the choir (preferably with the approval of the confidants and the conductor)
Later boards can not re-admit a person into the choir who has been expelled for breaking a rule in the code of ethics.
When a choir member is expelled from the choir they are no longer allowed to show up to organised events hosted by the choir. That includes practices, galas, planned activities, choir camp, trips, and other events organised by the board or the committees of the choir. The party in question may attend the concert of the choir as a general concert guest and pay admission accordingly.
If a member of the choir is to sing a solo part in a project, there should be held auditions for the part. All interested choir members are invited to audition and the most suitable candidate is chosen by the conductor and the board. Such auditions should be advertised at least one week beforehand. In the event that no one shows interest in the solo part, the conductor shall, in consultation with the board, request a suitable candidate to take on the part. A substitute for the soloist should also be chosen in the event the main soloist becomes unable to attend the concert.
Changes to this code of ethics should be done during the main meeting. Propositions of changes should be sent to choir members at least four days before the main meeting. Propositions need a clear majority to be accepted.