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Student Groups 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 Student Association eligible for affiliation;
  2. eligible Student Groups can apply to become affiliated or re-affiliated; 
  3. Student Groups can seek funding from Victoria University to support their student-related activities; and
  4. Student Groups manage and account for any funds they receive.
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Section 2 - HESF/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) HESF: 7.2 Information for Prospective and Current Students

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to:

  1. Victoria University (VU) students; 
  2. members of VU-affiliated Student Groups.

(4) This Procedure does not apply to:

  1. The VU Student Union (VUSU) who are governed by the VUSU Inc. Constitution 2019 and an annual Funding Agreement with VU.
  2. The VU Postgraduate Association (VUPA) who are governed by the Constitution of the VU Postgraduate Association Inc. 2020 and an annual Funding Agreement with VU; or
  3. Sports Clubs which are governed by the VU Sport Procedure – Sport Club Affiliation Procedure. 
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Section 4 - Definitions

(5) Affiliation

(6) Executive members – Office holders of Student Groups who have been elected to Executive positions in accordance with their relevant Student Group’s Constitution.

(7) Student Groups – VU associated groups of students and/or VU-affiliated groups (VU Clubs, VU College Societies, and VU Student Associations). All types of these organisations will be defined as “Student Groups” and will be typically chartered to provide an opportunity for students to be involved in leadership activities, engage with their fellow students and other members of the University community. They are intended to advance the education and/or student experience.

(8) Club

(9) College Society 

(10) Student Association

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Section 5 - Policy/Regulation

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Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Roles

Responsibilities

Manager, Student Life & Leadership disaffiliate a Club where a breach of affiliation conditions has occurred and give notice to Club Executive members
Clubs Officer
consider applications for Student Groups seeking affiliation

advise prospective Student Groups if there is already an existing Student Group that services the proposed purpose
consult with the Student Group if further information is required in relation to their application for affiliation
advise regarding Risk Assessment and University Public Liability Insurance for Student Group activities
inform Clubs of the outcome of affiliation process
investigate and respond to alleged breaches of VU Policy and Procedures by Clubs.
assist Clubs to carry out their obligations if they are disaffiliated
assist Clubs with setting up and managing club bank accounts including timely processing of approved funding applications
approve funding applications and requests to set up external sponsorship for Clubs
receive regular post-activity reports from Clubs and arrange annual financial audits
VUSU Executive Officer
assist College Societies and Student Associations to carry out their obligations if they are disaffiliated

assist College Societies and Student Associations with setting up and managing bank accounts including timely processing of approved funding applications

arrange annual financial audits for College Societies and Student Associations
VUSU President investigate and respond to alleged breaches of VU Policy and Procedures by College Societies or Student Associations

disaffiliate a College Society or Student Association where a breach of affiliation conditions has occurred and give notice to the Student Group’s Executive members
 
VUSU General Secretary review College Society and Student Association affiliation requests

inform College Societies and Student Associations of the outcome of affiliation process

approve funding applications and requests to set up external sponsorship for College Societies and Student Associations

receive regular post-activity reports from College Societies and Student Associations
 
VUSU Board authorise funding requests for College Societies and Student Associations through Motions at monthly Board Meetings
 
VUSU Grievance Officer facilitate in the resolution of any College Society or Student Association grievance in accordance with the Student Charter Policy.

Part B - Expression of Interest and Establishment

(12) Students who are interested in establishing an affiliated Student Group should contact the Clubs Officer in the Student Life & Leadership team to express their interest. The Clubs Officer will advise if there is already an affiliated Student Group that services the purposes of the proposed Student Group.

(13) Prospective Student Groups will need at least 10 currently enrolled VU student members to attend their Inaugural General Meeting (IGM) to be eligible for affiliation.

(14) The Clubs Officer will support the prospective Student Group to set up an IGM to affiliate.

Part C - Affiliation and Re-affiliation

Conditions of Affiliation

(15) In order to be eligible for affiliation or re-affiliation, a Student Group must:

  1. have a unique mission and aims which align with VU values;
  2. not already be serviced by an existing Student Club;
  3. have at least 10 currently enrolled VU students who have expressed interest in becoming members; 
  4. have a name that reflects its stated aims;
  5. not have executive members that have been an executive member of a Student Group that has been disaffiliated due to misconduct within the last 12 months;
  6. not have executive members that are already executive members of two or more Student Groups;
  7. be concerned with providing services, activities and/or representation to VU students; 
  8. conduct activities which are covered by the University’s Public Liability Insurance (contact the Clubs Officer for more information); and
  9. agree to comply with the Student Groups Leadership and Representation Policy and this Procedure. 

(16) When a Student Group wishes to apply for affiliation for the current year, they must hold an IGM prior to the commencement of the Semester 2 Block 3 Teaching Period. The purpose of the IGM will be to:

  1. Adopt the relevant Student Group’s Constitution;
  2. Democratically elect the Executive members of the Student Group, who must agree to be the:
    1. President;
    2. Secretary;
    3. Treasurer; and
    4. Additional Executive members, which can be added upon the Clubs Officer’s approval, provided the Student Group can justify the necessity of the position for the operation of the said Student Group.
  3. Set the membership fees, if any. Further details for appropriately managing fees are laid out in Parts D and E of this Procedure.
  4. Record details of all members including at a minimum the full name, student ID (or other relevant identification if a non-student member) and membership type (student, staff or alumni).
  5. Complete all Student Group affiliation documents with the newly elected Executive members.
Within 10 business days of the IGM, prospective Student Groups must submit IGM Minutes along with completed affiliation documents (Student Groups Executives Registration form, bank signatory paperwork, and membership list etc.) to the Clubs Officer. 

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

(18) Once all necessary information has been received, for Clubs, the Clubs Officer will determine whether the affiliation criteria have been met. For College Societies and Student Associations, the Clubs Officer will email affiliation documents to the VUSU General Secretary and VUSU Executive Officer. The VUSU General Secretary will review the affiliation documents and determine whether the affiliation criteria have been met. The Clubs Officer or the VUSU General Secretary will refer applications to the Manager, Student Life & Leadership for determination where it is unclear whether the affiliation criteria have been met. 

(19)  For Clubs, the Clubs Officer will send the elected Executive member of the prospective Student Group an email advising whether the Student Group has been affiliated within 10 business days of the completed application and supporting documents being received. For College Societies and Student Associations, the VUSU General Secretary will send the elected Executive members of the prospective Student Group an email advising whether the Student Group has been affiliated within 10 business days of the completed application and supporting documents being received.

(20) Unless renewed, affiliation of the Student Group will end on 1 November annually.

Induction, Training and Other Obligations

(21) Executive members of affiliated Student Groups must complete the compulsory Student Group training facilitated by the Student Life & Leadership team, as well as undertake any relevant additional training modules as prescribed by VU. Failure to complete the compulsory training will disqualify the Student Group from receiving funding.

Student Group Communications

(22) Affiliated Student Groups must include the unmodified VU and/or VUSU logo and the SSAF statement in all communications and material produced by the Student Group, and all Student Group collateral using the VU Brand must be approved by the Clubs Officer or VUSU President before publishing.

(23) Affiliated Student Groups must create a dedicated email account from which they can communicate with their members.  The email address must show association with VU (for instance: ‘vuclubname@gmail.com’ or ‘vucollegesocietyname@gmail.com or ‘vuassociationname@gmail.com’).

(24) Student Group members’ details must be provided to the Clubs Officer, who will provide these details to the VUSU General Secretary and VUSU Executive Officer only for VUSU affiliated Student Groups. Member’s details may not be provided to anyone else without the individual’s express consent. Any requests for personal information from external parties must be forwarded to the Clubs Officer.

Re-affiliation

(25) Affiliated Student Groups must hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in accordance with their relevant Student Group’s Constitution, and resolve to apply for re-affiliation prior to 1 November, otherwise affiliation will lapse.

(26) Following the AGM, Student Groups must submit AGM minutes along with completed re-affiliation documents (Club Executives Registration form, bank signatory paperwork, updated membership list, etc.) to the Clubs Officer within 10 business days in order to complete the re-affiliation process.

(27) Once all necessary information has been received, for Clubs, the Clubs Officer will determine whether the re-affiliation criteria have been met. The Clubs Officer will refer applications to the Manager, Student Life & Leadership for determination where it is unclear whether the affiliation criteria have been met. For College Societies and Student Associations, the Clubs Officer will email re-affiliation documents to VUSU General Secretary and the VUSU Executive Officer. The VUSU General Secretary will review the re-affiliation documents and determine whether the re-affiliation criteria have been met.

(28) For Clubs, the Clubs Officer will send the elected Executive members of the prospective Student Group an email advising whether the Student Group has been re-affiliated within 10 business days of the completed application and supporting documents being received. For College Societies and Student Associations, the VUSU General Secretary will send the elected Executive members of the prospective Student Group an email advising whether the Student Group has been re-affiliated within 10 business days of the completed application and supporting documents being received.

Vacant Executive Positions

(29) In the event of a vacancy in an Executive position, or if Executive members are swapping positions after affiliation or re-affiliation has already occurred for the year, the Executive committee will be required to hold a Special General Meeting (SGM) to elect a student into the vacant position, or to ratify the swapping of positions until the next AGM is held. If the nominated student is uncontested, they will be automatically appointed to the position. If more than one student is nominated for the position, a ballot vote (secret or otherwise) will take place and a majority vote will decide. The vacancy must not be left open for more than six weeks, otherwise the Student Group’s affiliation status will lapse.

Disaffiliation

Lapsed Affiliation

(30) 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, unless the Student Group has contacted the Clubs Officer prior to this date and has been granted an extension.

(31) For Clubs, the Clubs Officer will email the Executive members to notify them that affiliation has lapsed. For College Societies and Student Associations, the VUSU Genera Secretary will email the Executive members to notify them that affiliation has lapsed.

Breach of Affiliation Condition(s)

(32) Where an affiliated Student Group breaches a condition or conditions of affiliation, they may be disaffiliated by VU.

(33) Where an affiliated Club 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. Where an affiliated College Society or Student Association has breached or appears to have breached an affiliation condition, the VUSU General Secretary will meet with the Executive members to seek their response(s) in relation to the alleged breach.

(34) Depending on the nature/severity of the alleged breach, and the response from the Executive member(s), the Clubs Officer or VUSU General Secretary 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 & Leadership or VUSU President that the affiliated student group be disaffiliated. 

(35) If the Manager, Student Life & Leadership or VUSU President 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.

(36) The Executive may seek a review of this decision within 10 business days by contacting the Director, Student Services.  The Director, Student Services will consider the matter and provide their response within 10 business days.

Obligations upon Disaffiliation

(37) Where a VU Club is disaffiliated, it must meet with the Clubs Officer or where a College Society or Student Association is disaffiliated, it must meet with the VUSU Executive Officer as soon as practicable to ensure that the following occurs within 10 business days:

  1. settle any outstanding payments due by the Student Group;
  2. return all unexpended funds to VU, which will then be reallocated appropriately;
  3. return all assets to the University via Student Life & Leadership;
  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.

(38) Once disaffiliated, the Student Group must not hold itself out to be connected to VU.

Part D - Student Group Funding

VU Clubs Funding

(39) As part of the affiliation process for Clubs, the Clubs Officer will assist the Executive members to set up an approved bank account. The bank account must list an approved VU staff member as an administrator and all funds received by the Club must be deposited into the approved bank account.

(40) As part of the re-affiliation process for Clubs, the Clubs Officer and the outgoing Executive members will assist the incoming Executive members to update access to the Club bank account.

(41) There are three main types of funding that Clubs are eligible to receive from VU:

  1. Affiliation funding:
    1. up to $500 per year.
  2. Participation funding:
    1. offered by the University at various times throughout the academic year and for which Clubs may apply, e.g. to participate in Orientation, Open Day etc;
    2. participation funding is available up to the amount of $50 per event.
  3. Activity based funding:
    1. activity based funding is only available to Clubs who have exhausted their affiliation funding for the year;
    2. funding of up to a maximum of $200 per year is available to Clubs to put towards events organised by them for their members and Club purpose;
    3. eligible Club events will need to have engaged with a minimum 50% or 15 members (whichever is fewer) for each activity.
Funding will be subject to the Student Life & Leadership Clubs budget for the allocated year and additional funding is allocated at VU’s discretion.

College Society and Student Association Funding

(42) College Society and Student Association funding is allocated through the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) Consultative Committee and managed by a Funding Agreement between VUSU and VU.

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

(44) As part of the affiliation process for College Societies and Student Associations, the VUSU Executive Officer will assist the Executive members to set up an approved bank account. The bank account must list an approved VU staff member as an administrator and all funds received by the College Society or Student Association must be deposited into the approved bank account.

(45) As part of the re-affiliation process for College Societies and Student Associations, the VUSU Executive Officer and the outgoing Executive members will assist the incoming Executive members to update access to the College Society or Student Association bank account.

(46) College Societies and Student Associations will only be eligible to receive funding through VUSU, not from Student Life & Leadership. Funding will be subject to the VUSU budget for the allocated year.

Accessing Funding

(47) Clubs affiliation funding may be requested via the Activity Registration form.

(48) For affiliated Clubs, the Clubs Officer will determine whether to grant the affiliation funds in full or in part within five business days of receiving a completed Activity Registration form and Risk Assessment.

(49) If approved, the Clubs Officer will deposit the funds into the Club approved bank account as soon as reasonably practicable and generally within 10 business days from the date of the decision.

(50) To access funds, College Societies and Student Associations must complete a VUSU Motion form and attend a VUSU Board Meeting to present the Motion and discuss their proposed budget.

(51) The VUSU Board will determine whether to grant requested funds in full or in part during the Board Meeting. The VUSU General Secretary will provide Board Meeting minutes including details of all tabled Motions to the VUSU Executive Officer.

(52) If approved, the VUSU Executive Officer will deposit funds into the approved bank account as soon as reasonably practicable and generally within 10 business days from the date of receipt of the VUSU Board Meeting Minutes from the VUSU General Secretary.

Conditions of Funding

(53) Funding is conditional upon:

  1. the Student Group’s Executive members having attended prescribed training organised by the Student Life & Leadership team having completed the Respect and Responsibility online resources and training in Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment and Family Violence;
  2. an approved nominated bank account being established, which lists an approved VU staff member as an administrator;
  3. submission of Activity Registration form, Risk Assessment and Post-Activity Feedback from for all Student Group activities; and
  4. the Student Group’s ongoing compliance with the Student Groups Leadership and Representation Policy and associated procedures.

Fundraising from Other Sources

Membership Fees

(54) Affiliated Student Groups may charge their members an annual membership fee.

(55) The annual membership fee, and the date on which it is due, will be set by the Student Group in accordance with their relevant Student Group Constitution.

(56) The Student Group Secretary must keep a register of members’ details, which shows the date on which each member paid their membership fee (if applicable) and provide this information to the Student Group Treasurer and to the Clubs Officer and VUSU Executive upon request.

Fundraising and Sponsorship

(57) Student Groups may raise funds from external parties (e.g. corporate sponsorship) only with the prior written consent of the Clubs Officer and/or VUSU General Secretary.

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

(59) 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 VU Values
  2. Migration and/or travel visas
  3. Activities closely tied to federal, state and independent political parties
  4. Programs that can be reasonably judged to be offensive or denigrating
  5. Activities that promote or encourage smoking, illicit drug-use or gambling
  6. Higher education providers, other than Victoria University
  7. Psychological counselling services
  8. Unions
  9. Fossil fuels

Ticketed Activities and Events

(60) In accordance with SSAF legislation and guidelines, Student Groups must not use their 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 Student Group Funding

Fund Management

(61) All funds (including membership fees) received by the Student Group must be paid into the Student Group’s approved bank account within 10 business days.

(62) The Treasurer is responsible for keeping records of each transaction, including membership fees.

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

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

Post-Activity Reporting

(64) Within 10 business days from the conclusion of an approved Student Groups activity, Clubs must report to the Clubs Officer and College Societies or Student Associations must report to the VUSU Board, by completing a Post-Activity Feedback form detailing:

  1. the expenditure of funds against each approved activity detailed in the original Activity Registration; 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 or VUSU Board.

Auditing

(65) The financial year for Student Groups is from November 1 to October 31 of the following year.

(66) 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. Clubs will be audited by the Clubs Officer and College Societies and Student Associations will be audited by the VUSU Executive Officer.

(67) 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.