On 25th August 2019, the Executive Committee (EXCO) was mandated by the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to lead the process to review the OSS Constitution. EXCO established a Governance Sub-Committee which included members of EXCO and additional members in good standing of the Society. Following a consultative process throughout the year that followed, an amended Constitution was presented to the members during the 2020 AGM on 30th August 2020. Members provided additional feedback during the AGM and a final draft was presented and passed during a Special General Meeting (SGM) on 27th September 2020. EXCO presented this draft to the Registrar of Societies to secure her consent in line with the Societies Act before the Constitution takes effect.
We are grateful to the Governance Sub-Committee, led by Mr. Colbert Ojiambo (Class of 1998), for coordinating the constitutional review process and delivering a final draft which was passed by members. We are equally grateful to members of the Society who submitted proposals and passionately engaged in the process. We are better off as a Society as a result of this work.
The amended Constitution (2020) is quite progressive and offers many opportunities that, if taken advantage of, will enable OSS to become the premier alumni association serving, leading and transforming society. Let me highlight a few:
- Inclusivity: The place of Starehe Girls’ Centre & School alumnae is cemented in the leadership of the Society, and so is that of younger alumni and older alumni. This does recognise the contribution that these groups can make in the running and transformation of the Society.
- Representative: A Coordinators Forum has been officially recognised as an organ of the Society. This enables different alumni interest groups including, but not limited to, chapters, class groups, house groups and professional fora to be formed and have representation in the Coordinators Forum – a parliament of sorts.
- Membership: The membership categories have been more streamlined so that every alumni feels that they belong and are part of the Society. Student and Associate membership categories have been removed. The Constitution also recognises that other contributions to Starehe Institutions count towards membership subscriptions, if an alumni provides or solicits monetary or in-kind support to the Starehe Institutions through OSS.
- Patron: A role for a Patron has been introduced and enables the Society to appoint the role from amongst senior alumni of Starehe Institutions, present or past members of the governance bodies of Starehe Institutions, or eminent members of the wider society who have great interest in the Starehe Institutions. This role was previously referred to as the President and was restricted to the Director of Starehe Boys’ Centre.
- Dispute Resolution: A dispute resolution mechanism has been established to resolve disputes between members of the Society, a member or members vs the Society, or any dispute generally relating to the affairs of the Society.
We encourage you to read through the amended Constitution (2020) for more information. We recognise that a constitutional review is a give-and-take process which requires patience, understanding and compromise, and does not address all issues or proposals submitted. We believe that we have a good enough document as a result of this process, and one that addresses pertinent issues that had been raised. We hope that all members and alumni will stand behind this Constitution and contribute in making OSS a more responsive Society to alumni needs and a transformative force in Kenya.
But the journey has just begun. EXCO has established a Constitution Transition Sub-Committee led by Mr. James Mugwe (Class of 1990) and deputised by Ms. Arita Mercy (Class of 2011), to advise and coordinate the transition from the current Constitution to the amended Constitution. There is a lot of work ahead of us in 2021. The Constitution Transition Sub-Committee looks forward to receiving your support during this transition period. If you would like to provide any support to this team, do reach out to us via email@example.com.