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Student Leadership and Representation - Student Group Establishment, Affiliation and Funding Procedure

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Procedure details the process by which:

  1. student groups can establish themselves as a Club, College Society, or Association eligible for affiliation;
  2. eligible student groups can apply to become affiliated; 
  3. student groups can seek funding from VU to support their student-related activities; and
  4. student groups manage and account for any funds they receive.
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Section 2 - Accountability

Accountable/Responsible Officer

Role

Accountable Officer Pro Vice Chancellor, Students
Responsible Officer Director, Student Services
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Section 3 - Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to:

  1. Victoria University (VU) students; 
  2. VU Clubs, VU College Societies, VU Associations; and 
  3. members of VU-affiliated student groups.

(3) This Procedure does not apply to VUSU and its processes for funding its affiliates.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(4) Affiliation

(5) Executive members – Office holders of student groups who have been elected to Executive positions in accordance with the Constitution for VU Clubs and Societies.

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Section 5 - Policy/Regulation

(6) Student Leadership and Representation Policy [insert hyperlink].

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Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Roles

Responsibilties

Clubs Officer
Advise prospective student groups if there is already a student group that services the proposed purpose
Consider applications for student groups seeking affiliation
Consult with the student group if further information is required in relation to their application for affiliation
Advise regarding University Public Liability Insurance for club activities
Inform student groups of the outcome of applications
Investigate and respond to alleged breaches of VU Policy and Procedures by student groups
Assist students groups to carry out their obligations if they are disaffiliated
Assist Clubs with setting up and managing clubs bank accounts including timely processing of approved funding applications
Approve funding applications and student group requests to set up external sponsorship
Receive quarterly reports from student groups and arrange annual audits
Manager, Student Life and Leadership Disaffiliate a group where a breach of affiliation conditions has occurred and give notice to student group Executive members.

Part B - Establishment

(7) Prospective student groups should contact the Clubs Officer in the Student Life & Leadership Team to express their interest in establishing an affiliated student group.  The Clubs Officer will advise if there is already an affiliated student group that services the purposes of the proposed VU Club, VU College Society or VU Association.

(8) Prospective student groups will need at least ten currently enrolled student members to be eligible for affiliation.   All prospective members should be listed on the New-Club Affiliation Application form.

(9) When a student group wishes to apply for affiliation, they should hold an Onaugural General Meeting (IGM) prior to 31 March. The purpose of the IGM will be to:

  1. Adopt the Student Clubs and VU Societies Consititution;
  2. Democratically elect the Executive members of the VU Student Group, who must agree to be the
    1. President;
    2. Deputy President;
    3. Secretary; 
    4. Treasurer; and 
  3. Set the membership fees, if any, which must be minimum $5 per member, with the option of a waiver for attending the student group’s Annual General Meeting. Further details for appropriately managing fees are laid out in Parts D and E of this Procedure.

(10) The minutes of the IGM must record that the Student Clubs and VU Societies Consititution was adopted, the nominees for Executive and who was elected, and how much will be charged for membership.

(11) Within two weeks of the IGM, the prospective student group must submit a copy of the minutes, together with a completed New-Club Affiliation Application form to the Clubs Officer.

Part C - Affiliation and Reaffiliation

New Clubs/College Societies/Associations

(12) Student groups seeking affiliation will be considered by the Clubs Officer against the affiliation criteria.

(13) In order to be eligible for affiliation or reaffiliation, a student group must:

  1. have a unique  mission and aims which align with VU’s values [insert hyperlink];
  2. not already be serviced by an existing VU Club/VU College Society or VU Association;
  3. have at least 10 members; 
  4. have a name that reflects its stated aims;
  5. executive members must not have been an executive member of a disaffiliated student group within the last 12 months;
  6. be concerned with providing services, activities and/or representation to VU students; and 
  7. conduct activities which are covered by the University’s Public Liability Insurance (contact the Clubs Officer for more information); and
  8. comply with the Student Leadership and Representation Policy [insert link] and this Procedure. 

(14) The Clubs Officer will consult with the applicant group if further information is required to consider the application.

(15) Once all necessary information has been received, the Clubs Officer will, on behalf of the Manager, Student Life and Leadereship, determine whether the affiliation criteria has been met.   The Clubs Officer will refer applications to the Manager, Students Life and Leadership for determination where it is unclear whether the affiliation criteria have been met.

(16)  The Clubs Officer will send the President of the prospective student group an email advising whether the student group has been affiliated within two weeks of the completed application and supporting documents being received.

(17) Unless renewed, affiliation of the student group will end on 1 November.

Induction, Training and Student Leadership Council Obligations

(18) Executive members of VUSU and affiliated student groups must attend the compulsory student group induction training held by the Student Life and Leadership Team.

(19) Executive members of VUSU and affiliated student groups are automatically members of the Student Leadership Council. Executive members must attend the Student Leadership Council throughout the year.  At least one Executive member from each affiliated student group must attend at least 50% of the Student Leadership Council meetings throughout the year.

Student Group Communications

(20) Affiliated student groups must include the unmodified VU and SSAF logo in all communications and material produced by the VU Club, VU College Society or VU Association.

(21) Affiliated student groups must create a dedicated email account from which it can communicate with its members.  The email address must show association with VU (for instance: ‘vuclubname@gmail.com’ or ‘vucollegesocietyname@gmail.com or ‘vuassociationname@gmail.com’).

(22) Student group members’ details can be provided to the Clubs Officer, but not to anyone else without the individual’s consent.

Renewing Affiliation

(23) Affiliated student groups must hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in accordance with the Student Clubs and VU Societies Consititution and resolve to reapply for re-affiliation prior to 1 November otherwise affiliation will lapse.

(24) Following the AGM, the Club Re-affiliation Application form should be completed and sent to the Clubs Officer, together with a copy of the minutes from the AGM.

Disaffiliation

Lapsed Affiliation

(25) If a student group does not apply for re-affiliation prior to 1 November, affiliation will lapse and they will be considered to have disaffiliated from that date.

(26) The Clubs Officer will email the Executive members to notify them that affiliation has lapsed.

Breach of Affiliation Condition(s)

(27) Where an affiliated student group breaches a condition or conditions of affiliation, they may be disaffiliated by VU.

(28) Where an affiliated student group has breached or appears to have breached an affiliation condition, the Clubs Officer will meet with the Executive members to seek their response(s) in relation to the alleged breach.

(29) Depending on the nature/severity of the alleged breach, and the response from the Executive member(s), the Clubs Officer may:

  1. give the affiliated student group a warning;
  2. coach the affiliated student group or mandate training to ensure remediation and compliance; or 
  3. recommend to the Manager, Student Life and Leadership that the affiliated student group be disaffiliated. 

(30) If the Manager, Student Life and Leadership is satisfied that a breach has occurred, they may disaffiliate the student group and must provide written notice of this decision to the Executive members of the student group.

(31) The Executive may seek a review of this decision within 14 calendar days by contacting the Director, Student Services.  The Director, Student Services will consider the matter afresh and provide their response within 14 calendar days.

Obligations upon Disaffiliation

(32) Where a VU Club/Society is disaffiliated, it must meet with the Clubs Officer as soon as practicable to ensure that the following occurs within 14 calendar days:

  1. settle any outstanding payments due by the student group;
  2. return all unexpended funds to the University, which will then be reallocated to the student groups funding pool;
  3. return all assets to the University via Student Life;
  4. cancel the student group’s official email account;
  5. close the student group’s social media account/s; 
  6. close the student group’s bank account.

(33) Once disaffiliated, the student group must not hold itself out to be connected to VU.

Part D - VU Club and VUSU College Society Funding

VUSU College Society Funding

(34) VUSU’s funding is allocated through the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) Consultative Committee and managed by a funding agreement between VUSU and VU.

(35) VUSU will determine the allocation of funds to College Societies through the mechanisms outlined in the VUSU Constitution as adopted by the VUSU Board.

(36) College Societies will only be eligible to receive affiliation funds through VUSU, not VU Student Life.

VU Clubs - Funding and Support from Victoria University

(37) As part of the training/induction process for newly affiliated student groups, the Clubs Officer will assist the Executive members to set up an approved student group bank account. The VU student group’s bank account must list the Clubs Officer as an administrator and all funds received by the VU student group must be deposited into the approved student group bank account.

(38) There are two main types of funding that VU student groups may apply for, in particular:

  1. Affiliation funding:
    1. up to $500 for VU Clubs; and an extra $200 for Clubs with more than 50 members.
  2. Grant and activity based funding:
    1. offered by the University at various times throughout the academic year and for which VU student groups may apply, e.g. to participate in Orientation.

(39) Funding will be subject to the Student Life student group budget for the allocated year.

Affiliation Funding

(40) VU student group affiliation funding may be requested via an Clubs Funding Request form.

(41) The Clubs Officer will determine whether to grant the affiliation funds in full or in part within 5 working days of receiving a completed affiliation funding request.

(42) If approved, the funds will be deposited into the VU student groups nominated bank account as soon as reasonably practicable and generally within 10 working days from the date of the decision.

Conditions of Funding

(43) Funding is conditional upon:

  1. execution of a Student Group Funding Agreement;
  2. the student group’s Executive members having attended prescribed training organised by the Student Life and Leadership Team;
  3. an approved nominated bank account being established, which lists the Clubs Officer as an administrator; and
  4. the student group’s ongoing compliance with the Student Leadership and Representation Policy and associated procedures.

Fundraising from other Sources

Membership Fees

(44) Affiliated student groups must charge their members an annual membership fee of minimum $5 per annum. Student Groups may opt to waive that fee for members that attend their AGM.

(45) The annual membership fee, and the date on which it is due, will be set by the student group in accordance with the VU Student Group Constitution.

(46) The student group Secretary must keep a register of members’ details, which shows the date on which each member paid their membership fee.

Fundraising and Sponsorship

(47) VU student groups may raise funds from external parties (e.g. corporate sponsorship) only with the prior written consent of the Clubs Officer.

(48) In accordance with the Student Leadership and Representation Policy [insert hyperlink], all members must disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to seeking or obtaining external funding. 

(49) Student Groups must not engage in event sponsorship arrangements with any entity that is involved with any of the following:

  1. Proposals that do not reflect the values of VU as defined in the Student Charter
  2. Activities closely tied to federal, state and independent political parties
  3. Programs that can be reasonably judged to be offensive or denigrating
  4. Activities that promote or encourage smoking, illicit drug-use or gambling
  5. Migration and/or travel visas
  6. Higher education, other than Victoria University
  7. Psychological counselling services
  8. Unions
  9. Fossil fuels
  10. Cluster munitions and anti-personnel land mines

Ticketed activities and events

(50) In accordance with SSAF legislation and guidelines, Student Groups must not use clubs funds to subsidise non-member participation in events and activities. Non-members must be charged cost-price or greater for participation in club activities.

Part E - Managing VU Student Group Funding

Fund Management

(51) All funds (including membership fees) received by the student group must be paid into the student group’s bank account within 10 business days, with the exception of a maximum cash float of fifty dollars ($50) to be retained in the cash box provided by VU.

(52) Receipts must be kept for each transaction, including membership fees. Receipt books will be provided to each student group to assist with record keeping.

(53) Money must be immediately repaid/reimbursed to VU if the money:

  1. is not spent on purposes consistent with SSAF;
  2. is not spent for the purpose for which it was provided; or
  3. is not spent/committed such that activity can occur within timeframe specified (at VU’s discretion).

Quarterly Reporting

(54) Student groups that receive VU competitive grant-based funds must report quarterly to the Clubs Officer and detail:

  1. the expenditure of funds against each approved activity detailed in the original funding request; and
  2. any variances against each approved activity or unusual expenditure;
  3. the balance of any funds in the bank account; and
  4. any other matters or issues requested by the Clubs Officer.

Auditing

(55) The financial year for VU student groups is from November 1 to October 31.

(56) Each VU student group will be audited in September each year, on dates set by the Clubs Officer. This is to ensure the financial integrity of each affiliated VU student group at VU. Each student group must comply with any reasonable direction given to it by VU to enable this to occur.

(57) The following will need to be provided to the auditors by the date set by the Clubs Officer:

  1. record of all income and expenses for the financial year to date;
  2. receipts, including cash receipts, of all expenses for the financial year to date; and
  3. bank transaction statements for the previous 12 months (or such longer period as requested); and
  4. the up-to-date register of members.
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Section 7 - Guidelines

(58) Nil.