Management Group Manual
Management Group Manual Page 1 imperialcollegeunion.org/training
Imperial College Union
General Financial Information
Other Finance Things
Updating Mailing Lists
eActivities for Management Groups
Management Group Meetings
Appendix 1 – Honorary Senior Treasurers
Appendix 2 – Union Structure
© 2013 - Imperial College Union Version 3.1 - 21 January 2013 Management Group Manual Page 2 imperialcollegeunion.org/training
Introduction Congratulations on being elected to be a Management Group officer or if you are thinking of becoming one, good luck. This is a really great opportunity to help the students running Clubs, Societies or Projects which are under the control of your Management Group, as well as getting really involved with the Union. Your work does not go unnoticed! Being a Management Group officer can be demanding at times, but it shouldn’t ruin your degree; it is important to find the right balance for you. The good news is that you aren’t alone, and you’re part of a big team, some of whom have been doing this for years. This means that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help, particularly if you have any big deadlines or exams coming up, and hopefully be in a position to help some of your peers if they get into the same situation. Similarly, if there is something you don’t know, please don’t be afraid to ask- it’s much better to ask beforehand if you are unsure than do something wrong, and there is always bound to be someone who knows the answer. You should become very familiar with the contents of the Key Information, Principal Officers, Core Finance and Approving Expenditure training available online at imperialcollegeunion. org/training
Henry Whittaker Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) E: email@example.com T: 020 7594 1763, extension: 41763
Stefan Nubert Deputy President (Finance & Services) E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 020 7594 8060, extension: 58062
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Imperial College Union The Sabbatical Officers The Union is run by students, for students. Every year, during the spring term, a campus-wide election takes place where every full member of the Union (i.e. a full-time UG/PG student) can stand and/or vote for who will be running their Union for the next year. There are five Union Sabbaticals. While the Sabbatical team work full time, as a Management Group officer you are the most important link between Club, Society & Project officers and them. For the majority of the time, you will be a group’s first port of call if they have any issues, but it’s also good for you to be aware of when groups are doing well which they sometimes forget to
tell you! You should familiarise yourself with the types of potential challenges likely to affect your Clubs, Societies or Projects and be ready to offer advice and guidance, or be able to redirect them to someone who can. For this reason, you need to ensure that all of your Clubs, Societies or Projects know your officer email address (eg. acc.chair@ imperial.ac.uk), and you should check this regularly. More often than not, you’ll receive emails with some of the more day to day questions, like how to hand in paperwork or when will a payment be ready. If information gets sent out to groups from someone other than yourself, please make sure to read it as well because you may receive questions about it later. On the other hand, the Union does appreciate that you’ve got a degree to do. If there is anything, like questions that you don’t know how to answer or an issue that you don’t have time to resolve, feel free to pass these up to the most appropriate member of staff or sabbatical who will be able to help you out. Often you won’t be the one specifically making a decision, but more helping to implement those decisions that have been made.
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General Financial Information Financial Responsibility As a Management Group officer, you should be familiar with the levels of Financial Responsibility that officers have. This is shown in the diagram below: £0
Club/Society/Project Chair or Treasurer
Management Group Chair or Treasurer
Deputy President (Finance & Services)
Executive Committee Trustee Board
The way these levels of authority practically translate are when you are approving expenditure. The value of the expenditure will determine who needs to authorise it. Most of the time, expenditure to approve will be within your financial responsibility limits, full details are in the Approving Expenditure booklet.
Management Group Chair or Treasurer, it is necessary to complete the Key Information, Principal Officers, Core Finance, Approving Expenditure, Requesting Spaces, Event Budgeting and the various other finance related training, both so you know the content for yourself and so that you can answer any questions that groups may have. After completing the eLearning it’s necessary to validate learning by doing the associated quizzes that have a 70% pass mark. These are open book, and can be done as many times as necessary in order to pass. Only once these are done can an officer sign a Financial Responsibility form. These are one of the few pieces of physical documentation the Union still requires, most other information is collected by online submission. By signing this form, it holds the person responsible for that year’s accounts, for the following seven years so it must be taken seriously.
Training Quizzes & Forms Budgeting Advice & Helping Groups In order to gain financial responsibility, and thus be able to authorise any expenditure, either as a Management Group officer or at a group level, you must first do some training. This should create an awareness of how the Union’s systems work. Details of the training required can be found online at imperialcollegeunion.org/training. As a
Every year, a couple of groups struggle with their finances for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s a case of mismanagement, other times it’s a combination of unfortunate factors. Either way, the Union takes groups in debt very seriously and relies on
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General Financial Information cont... Management Group officers to help groups to try to avoid that situation. It is important to make clear to groups that if they don’t have the money in their account then they can’t spend that amount – the Union doesn’t run an overdraft service. If a group that has been having trouble wants to spend some money, the first thing to do is ask to see a budget, or get the group to put one together if they haven’t already got one. If they’ve suffered from mismanagement in the past, this is a good exercise for them. Details are given in the Event Budgeting booklet. For some groups, this will be enough for them to see where their shortcomings are. You may have to help them by prompting them to think of all their expenses - some aspects like post-event cleaning get forgotten; or help them to think of other methods of getting income. Encourage them to think creatively, but realistically.
Helping Groups with Internal Grants And Sponsorship The Imperial College (IC) Trust The IC Trust currently considers applications from students in respect of conference funding (i.e. funding to attend conferences where the student is presenting or giving a poster presentation) and from students or
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groups of students in respect of other activities (excluding tours, equipment and expeditions in respect of which IC Trust already provides funding indirectly) Information about the IC Trust, eligibility and processes are online at http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/secretariat/ governance/committees/ictrust Harlington Grants Committee The Harlington Grants Committee has money to award to student groups, which has been accumulated from money received from gravel extraction at Harlington Sports Grounds. The awards help to finance new or improved facilities and equipment but will not meet the running costs of a Club, Society or Project. It does not replace lost or stolen equipment. Additionally, it will not support tours. Each year, the Committee awards approximately £50,000. The Union President is a member of the Committee. Tips For both of these sources, there are a couple of points to note: • It is worthwhile for a Management Group officer to read over an application before it is submitted. With some oversight of which groups have applied for what, it may be the case that you can help share best practice between potential applicants. • If an application the the Harlington
General Financial Information cont... Trust is successful, then a group may only apply to the same fund in three years time. There are some situations when this can be overlooked, but its best to consult with the Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) if a group thinks this might apply to them. • There is no deadline for applications, but the committees do meet a couple of times a year, so check with the Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) when the next one is. •M oney is sometimes quite slow to appear in the accounts of a Club, Society or Project which has been given an award from these sources. However, it’s helpful if an application is successful, to forward the confirmation email to the Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) so that the Union can chase this up if necessary. •A Management Group Executive Committee can also apply for money from these sources, but all of the Clubs, Societies or Projects in the Management Group should have access to the benefits equally, e.g. a Sports First Aid course open to anyone in an ACC Club.
better. There is a Sponsorship booklet with stepwise instructions and advice at imperialcollegeunion.org/training. The best way that you can help groups is by looking at their covering letters and the packages they are offering companies in return for sponsorship. You can be the impartial reviewer to say whether you think this is realistic and offer improvements, particularly once you’ve seen a couple from your groups and have seen what’s worked. If there is a deadline that a group needs the money for, they should really start the process at least six months before that deadline to give themselves enough time to prepare applications. Encourage groups to keep you updated if they do get sponsored and remind them to fill this in on the form when it comes to budgeting. Any sponsorship contract must be signed off by the Deputy President (Finance & Services). Finally, remind all groups that they should not spend any sponsorship money until it is in their account as it sometimes takes a lot of chasing up for this to happen. If groups have any queries about invoicing companies they should refer to the Sales Invoices booklet.
Clubs, Societies & Projects should always be encouraged to look for sponsorship because the less they rely on the Union to keep costs down, the
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Approving Expenditure Management Group Chairs and Treasurers have Financial Responsibility over all of the Clubs, Societies or Projects contained within that Management Group. They have Financial Responsibility up to £1000, and have a very important role in approving expenditure for Clubs, Societies & Projects. This work is primarily the responsibility of the Treasurer and sometimes an Assistant Treasurer, though often the Chair will need to assist during busy periods. This forms a large part of the role of a Management Group, and it is crucial this work is carried out accurately and efficiently. Approving Expenditure A Management Group Chair or Treasurer will review all expenditure from the Clubs, Societies or Projects in their Management Group over £20. There are some things to remember when reviewing expenditure, more details are contained in the Approving Expenditure training. •M ake sure that the Club, Society or Project has the money they are trying to claim in their accounts, if they don’t then reject the request unless you have a good reason not to. Make sure there is money where they are asking for it to come from. If there isn’t money there, you should reject it, and ask them to contact you regarding whether
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they would like to take the money from somewhere else, or make other arrangements. •M ake sure the receipts or invoices add up to the total amount indiicated on eActivities. Sometimes the better trained clubs start to make this confusing by separating things out into an item funded by Grant and the rest of the same item’s cost being made up from Self Generated Income (SGI). While this is perfectly acceptable, it takes a bit of getting your head around, this level of attention to detail is to be encouraged. Though, it might be worth asking them to leave you a note in the ‘notes’ box on the form just to clarify what it is they are doing. •M ake sure the Club, Society or Project hasn’t got frozen accounts - you can tell if they have frozen accounts because there will be a red box in the details summary page on eActivities. This will indicate which committee members have not completed the correct training or purchased membership. Don’t approve expenditure until they have done that paperwork. •A bove £1000, all of the above still applies, but the Deputy President (Finance & Services) also needs to sign it off.
Approving Budgets If a Club, Society or Project is hoping to put on an event or activity which incorporates expenditure and income they should be putting together an event budget. If the total expenditure comes to over £20, then the Management Group Chair or Treasurer will have to approve the budget, and similarly if the expenditure comes to over £1000 then the Deputy President (Finance & Services) also needs to approve it. The process for contruction and approving an event budget is outlined in the Event Budgeting booklet. The template has space for fixed and variable income and expenditure. Examples of each of these are as follows: • Variable expenditure: Number of dinners. This will depend on how many people attend an event, and should be a cost per person. • Fixed expenditure: Venue hire or deposits. No matter how many people attend, the price of the venue won’t change, and deposits won’t always be refunded if the event doesn’t end up going ahead. • Variable income: Ticket sales. Each person coming will buy a ticket, so you have to make sure you charge enough that in a scenario where fewer than expected people attend, your fixed costs will still be covered. • Fixed income: A sponsorship deal. If a group does manage to secure a sponsorship deal, it is usually for a lump
sum, rather than per person. Hopefully this will be able to reduce the cost for the attendees. Clubs, Societies or Projects should not be running their events or activities with the intention of making a loss even if they are aware of this in advance. If the Union has provided money to subsidise an event through the group’s annual Grant allocation then this amount should be entered in the fixed income section, in the same way as sponsorship would. When looking over a budget that a Club, Society or Project has put together, make sure that all of the expenditure and income has been put in the correct sections. Feel free to question the group and see if they’ve thought of everything - sometimes they forget to include things like setting up or cleaning up costs which take place before or after the event.
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Other things that you can look for is whether they have looked for competitive quotes for their areas of expenditure which can be a good way of keeping costs down. As a Management Group Chair or Treasurer, you can remind the group that the amounts that they have used to put together the budget should be the amount that they give to the other officers on the committee of what they can spend. For example if another committee person is in charge of decorations, they could be given a budget of £100 for decorations. That officer should then not exceed that value with their spending. Sometimes costs or values do change though, and there are two ways of minimising the risk to the event or activity. The budget can include an
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expenditure line for a contingency amount to give some flexibility, which is an amount of money in the budget that can be dipped into if things do turn out to be more expensive. The downside of this is that this can lead to a false sense of security. Alternatively, groups can budget in a ‘worst case scenario’ way, for example, budgeting for the more expensive option, though seeking the less expensive option where possible. This can lead to prices being higher than necessary for attendees which can put some people off. If done successfully however, this method can result in a significant surplus if the flexibility is not used. Finally, it is important to remember that once a budget is completed, it doesn’t have to be set in stone. If things change as time progresses, then the budget can be updated to reflect this. If things are projected to be more costly than the initial estimate, then a Management Group Chair or Treasurer should take another look at the budget as you have effectively approved the expenditure up to the amount that was originally stated. If it looks lower than original estimate, then it is advisable though not essential. Assuming appropriate caution was taken in the early stages, this should only serve to give the group a more accurate picture of the financial outcome of the event.
Approving Budgets cont... Common Things to Look out for Tours In some instances, Clubs, Societies & Projects who are organising major tours will appear on the transaction pages to have a very healthy SGI balance. You need to be careful that the money being collected as payments for the tour, which will appear under their tour activity code, isn’t masking their true SGI balance. Their general funds, under activity code 00 could be well into the red, being covered up by a large positive balance elsewhere when you look at all the totals. Deduct any money in a tour activity code from the SGI total to see if the group is overspent or not. If it is, don’t let them spend any more money! Events For every event Clubs, Societies or Projects within your Management Group run and within your authorisation limit, you should receive a budget. It’s up to you to approve it. There are unforeseen circumstances which may occur like the event costing more than what was originally budgeted for, or not enough people turning up to the event to break even. Another thing to note is that sometimes a Club, Society or Project may wish to run an event at a loss, and break even by using some of their SGI. This is fine, but the amount by which the group has
agreed to subsidise the event by should appear in the budget as a fixed income item. General Sometimes Club, Society or Project members will pay for something and try to claim it back later. You may be inclined to think that even if this would lead their group into a negative SGI situation, we would have to pay them back. This is true, however it needs to be noted that the Club, Society or Project Chair and Treasurer are responsible for paying this money back, as they would have approved the expenditure before it reaches you. In the worst case scenario the group’s Chair or Treasurer won’t qualify to graduate university until this is rectified.
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Other Finance Things Purchase Order Processing
Payment by Credit Card
As well as approving expenditure for claims, Financial Responsibility extends to using approving purchase orders up to the same levels. Purchase orders are a formal agreement between the Union and a supplier to supply goods or services for an agreed fee, and a guarantee that the Union will pay the bill for these goods or services when the invoice arrives.
Financial Responsibility also entitles holders to approve payments by the Union’s Credit Card, up to the same limits. Paying for items by the Union’s Credit Card is encouraged to secure the best online deals; details of the process are given in the Approving Expenditure booklet.
Chairs and Treasurers of Management Groups have a responsibility to approve Purchase Orders for over £20, in the same way they have a responsibility to approve claims. The process for doing this however is very different. During 2011 the Union rolled out an extension to the eActivities online system for creating and approving purchase orders. Full details of this system can be found in the booklet entitled Ordering from Suppliers. The advantage of using Purchase Orders is that once the order is approved and the goods have been received a Club, Society or Project does not need to worry about arranging payment for the invoice – this will be taken care of automatically by the Clubs & Societies Finance Administrator.
Almost certainly the amounts will be for more than £20, therefore the forms will need approving by a Management Group Chair or Treasurer. Once someone who wishes to use the Union’s Credit Card has completed the request on eActivities and it has been approved they must contact the Head of Finance, who will process the payments. Credit card payments also require the approval of the Deputy President (Finance & Services), regardless of their value. Online Sales By default all Clubs, Societies & Projects should be taking payments online, not by cash or cheque. Taking payments online is quicker, safer and automatically generates receipts for the purchasers and reports for the Club, Society or Project Treasurer. Items can be added to the online shop on the Union’s website imperialcollegeunion.org, details are given in the Core Finance booklet.
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Other Finance Things cont... Money from online sales is transferred to the accounts of the respective Clubs, Societies & Projects on most days. If anyone believes money from online sales is missing, or has been sent to the wrong place they should email clubs. email@example.com, or speak to the Clubs & Societies Finance Administrator.
It is the responsibility of the Club, Society or Project to chase the company to pay the invoice – the Union will not do this automatically. If after three months the invoice remains unpaid the Union will begin to chase the company for payment – when payment is received a charge of 10% of the value of the invoice will be levied to the Club, Society or Project.
Invoicing Issues, Comments & Complaints If a Club, Society or Project wishes to raise an invoice they must speak to the Clubs & Societies Finance Administrator. The most common need to raise an invoice is for Sponsorship payments. To raise an invoice the Club, Society or Project will need to have an official purchase order or sponsorship contract from the organisation they intend to invoice.
You are likely to come across small issues and have comments about the whole system, and your part within it, during your time in office. Matters which could improve the efficiency or accuracy of the system should be raised with the Deputy President (Finance & Services) or the Clubs & Societies Finance Administrator – whoever you feel is more appropriate.
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Dormancy Definition: A “dormant” group is one that can be closed after a stipulated length of time, but has no reduced abilities eg. can still make room bookings, pay money into their accounts and receive payment. This rule applies to Clubs & Societies, different processes are in place for Projects. As set out in the Clubs & Societies Policy, a Club or Society may be made dormant if they do not meet the following criteria: •D o not attend (or send apologies) to two consecutive Management Group meetings (unless otherwise stated in the Standing Orders of the respective Management Group). •D o not have the minimum of 20 members (for Clubs & Societies) •H ave outstanding Naughty Officers i.e. people on the committee who have not paid to become members of the Club, Society or Project after 01 November. A Club or Society is made dormant by being voted upon at a Management Group general meeting where a dormancy review is scheduled. These should be once a term and Clubs or Societies up for dormancy review should be notified at least a week in advance because it is in their interest to send a representative to the meeting to defend themselves.
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Once a Club or Society is eligible to be made dormant, you should have a vote on whether to make them dormant, and then you can also choose to have another vote on whether this should be for one, two or three terms. You might propose one term if it hasn’t got a committee or members and didn’t turn up to Freshers’ Fair, or reasons like this. If you don’t specify the time, it will be assumed that the dormancy is for 12 months. If you make a Club or Society dormant you must tell the Student Activities Centre by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so this information can be recorded on the systems. For Clubs & Societies made dormant, it is prudent to offer them the opportunity to sit down with the Management Group Chair and discuss any barriers to their success that could be mediated. If a Club or Society subsequently satisfies the criteria they failed to meet that made them dormant eg. getting 20 members, then they should notify their Management Group Chair who will notify the Student Activities Centre and they will have their dormant status removed. If a Club or Society doesn’t satisfy the criteria that made them dormant in the time that they were given, then they can be closed by voting in a Management Group General Meeting. Alternatively, a Management Group General Meeting can vote to extend the period of dormancy.
Frozen Accounts A frozen account for a Club, Society or Project means that the group is unable to complete any financial transactions until it becomes unfrozen. Reasons that a Club, Society or Project can have frozen accounts: •N aughty officers: this is when a member of the committee hasn’t bought membership to the Club, Society or Project. As soon as they join, this flag will disappear. Club officers have until 01 of November to join their club before the club budget becomes frozen. • Incomplete documentation or training. If the any committee member has not completed the appropriate training their accounts will be frozen until they have. Each Club, Society or Project must submit documentation throughout the year in line with Union policy. If
the forms are not filled in on time a group’s accounts will be frozen until they are complete. There are three main deadlines. By the 01 August the Financial Responsibility and Contact Details forms are due and groups who have not completed them may not perform transactions. On 01 November the Risk Assessment, Instructor Registration and Affiliations forms are due, though some groups are exempt from Instructor Registration and many will just have to resubmit identical information to the previous year. At the end of the Spring term the Next Years Committee Details forms are due. Finally, in June groups are required to submit a profile entry for the following year. As soon as documentation is submitted a group’s accounts are unfrozen and normal financial transactions may occur. Do not approve expenditure for groups which are have frozen accounts.
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Updating Mailing Lists As a Management Group you should have a mailing list containing all the contacts for the various Clubs, Societies or Projects under your care. Most Management Groups have a couple of different lists, so make sure you are familiar with the passwords for these. You can access them by going to mailman.imperial.ac.uk and then searching for your particular one. Your predecessors will have given you the passwords for these lists, if you do not have the list password email email@example.com. You need to update the mailing lists at the beginning of the year, donâ€™t forget to update these lists if you get a new Club, Society or Project during the course of the year, so that they too can stay in the loop. For new mailing lists contact the Deputy President (Finance & Services).
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eActivities for Management Groups eActivities contains a section called Management Group Overview specifically for Officers of Management Groups. To access these pages, first login to eActivities by heading to eActivities.union.ic.ac.uk/. Once you have selected your management group role then navigate to Finance then to Reports and then to Management Group Overview. You will see a screen similar to the example below which shows the various functions for Management Groups. When you login to eActivities you may discover you have two roles which appear to be the same. You should use the one in the format <MG> Chair (<MG> (<MG Name>)) to approve expenditure and view the Management Group Overview. For exmaple the role RCC Chair (RCC (Recreational Clubs Committee)) in the examle below.
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eActivities for Management Groups cont... Budgeting The first page is the Budget Submission page located within the Budgeting tab. Here it is possible to view how much subsidy has been allocated to each Club, Society or Project within each Management Group. This list won’t necesdsarily contain every group within your Management Group. If they did not submit a budget, then they will not appear here. Whilst it is best practice, do not forget these groups. The next tab is Membership Cost Adjusting. Here you can view each group’s membership target and also determine how much each club ought to be charging for membership based on the amount of subsidy they receive. When groups want to change their membership fee, check that the proposed fee is not below the minimum level. You should also tell the Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) so that the Union website can be updated. The final tab under the Budgeting section is Budgeting Categories. This table shows the total amount of money requested by all of the groups within each Management Group and how much money has actually been allocated after the Management Group has met to discuss the budgeting. More detailed guidance will be available around the time when budgets are submitted. Reports The Reports tab contains general information for Management Group committee members on all of their groups. Users can find out information such as the club’s website address, contact email address, how old the club is and much more, including whether the group has failed to submit any required documentation. This is a useful page for getting a lot of information about a group with a quick glance. It is also possible to view the same information from previous years and download a list of committee members.
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eActivities for Management Groups cont... Financial Documentation The Entire Management Group Financial Documentation tab gives details of all the items requiring attention of the Management Group Chair or Treasurer. It is important that you regularly check this page and attend to the items requiring your attention.
Tour Applications The Tour Applications tab shows which groups have organised tours including how many members are due to travel, the dates of travel and the cost of the trip. This function is not applicable to Projects.
Transactions The Transactions tab contains a table detailing important financial information about each group. Here, you can see a groupâ€™s SGI and how much Union Grant they have as well as any other external grants the group may have received.
Constitutions The Constitutions tab allows you to print proposed constitutions from Clubs, Societies & Projects for approval at Management Group meetings, and approve them after the meeting.
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eActivities for Management Groups cont... Overspends The Overspends tab contains a table detailing the current total of SGI, Faculty, IC Trust and Harlington Trust money each Club, Society or Project in the Management Group has, including their members funds. The movement column is the total income for the financial year less the total expenditure.
Activity Codes The Activity Codes tab allows you to rename activity codes on a Club, Society or Projectâ€™s transaction pages. You can only rename Activity Codes, you cannot create them. Rolling over Activity Codes Groups can choose whether to roll over an activity code from year to year. It is set to automatically rollover meaning that the same activity code will be in next year with the final amount from the year before. If clubs wish to cleardown an activity code at the end of the year Management Groups can unclick the tick box to communicate this to the Finance Department. This will cleardown the activity code into General (00). If clubs want to balance the activity code manually during the year this can be done either by using the Redistribution or Members Fund Redistribution forms. Management Group Manual Page 20 imperialcollegeunion.org/training
Meetings As part of representing your Clubs, Societies & Projects, there are a number of meetings to attend in the Union and in some cases also in College. These are always a good way of staying up to date with what is going on in other Clubs & Societies, Projects and the Union, as well as being a platform for getting things done for the benefit of your groups. Meetings are a two way road: you can escalate a matter to the appropriate person at them if you feel you aren’t able to handle it or similarly you might be given information to disseminate. For these reasons you should always aim to send someone from your committee (preferably the Chair or Treasurer). If no one can attend, then do send apologies and make arrangements to be able to receive the information or action points that you’ve missed soon after the meeting.
College Meetings Some Management Groups have College departments that complement what the activities their Clubs, Societies or Projects undertake. For example, the Arts & Entertainment Board have regular meetings with Arts Imperial, as they are complementary to one another. You should have been told by your predecessor if this applies to your Management Group, but if not then the
Management Group Chair should receive invitations to the meetings in their officer email account. Keep an eye out though as these may go to personal accounts. It’s very important to attend College meetings if you can, because representation on them is not a natural right. It comes across very badly if you, or a representative from your Management Group, consistently do not attend a College meeting as it is one of a few forums for College Staff to communicate directly with students and get feedback quickly. The Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) should also attend all of these meetings across all Management Groups so you won’t be alone. While you are instrumental in providing more detailed information about specific groups that may have raised problems or be of interest to the College, the Union appreciates that you have a degree to do at the same time. Therefore, if any action points come out of the meeting for the Union, these will normally be given to the Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) as they are employed full time.
Union Meetings All Union meetings have a set membership of officers, who get voting rights as a consequence. However, being
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an open, democratic organisation any Full Member of the Union is welcome to attend any Union meeting as an observer, and sometimes others are invited to come to meetings, such as Club or Society officers when applying to the Clubs & Societies Board for Tours Funding. The meetings most relevant to you are: Union Council Central Union body that decides on policy for the Union, or essentially ‘what the Union believes’ as a whole. This meets monthly and has representatives from across the Union including all Sabbaticals, Faculty Unions and members of the Representation & Welfare Board, as well as Ordinary Members. This is chaired by the Council Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Clubs & Societies Board (CSB) Only Management Group Chairs, and the Sabbatical Officers are members of this committee. It discusses anything pertaining to Clubs, Societies & Projects, so is arguably the most important for members of the committee to attend. It’s a good forum to share best practice or escalate issues that might be occurring across the Clubs, Societies & Projects spectrum. You also find out about up-coming deadlines or opportunities from it. There is a termly meeting of CSB specifically focussing on Tours applications and one of the meetings in the spring term is the budgeting meeting when all club budgets are set for the following year. This is chaired by the Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) (email@example.com).
Meetings cont... All groups may also have the option of applying to the Representation & Welfare Board for funding towards Freshersâ€™ induction activities and similar, as this is seen as a welfare role. Also, if a Club, Society or Project feel they want to do an event for the benefit of the whole student community then RWB has a pot of money for this, though the aims should fit into a campaign week or they should contact the relevant welfare officer. Executive Committee This is the paramount committee of resource allocation (and in particular money) sitting at the same level as Union Council. Two representatives are elected from the membership of CSB to sit on this committee, at the beginning of the year. It meets about once every three weeks, though if something urgent arises may be called to meet sooner. Other people on the committee are two representatives from the Representation & Welfare Board, the Faculty Union Presidents and the Sabbatical Officers. This is chaired by the Union President (firstname.lastname@example.org). New Clubs Committee (NCC) As the name suggests, this is the body that has the ability to set up new clubs. In a similar fashion to the Executive committee, the officers that comprise it are elected in the first Clubs & Societies Board of the year. It is made up of one
CSC/CU representative, one Faculty Union representative and another person from either. From these three people, a chair is chosen. The Committee meets usually once a month, or more often depending on the number of applications. The Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) arranges and attends these meetings, mostly in a secretarial capacity and does not get a vote in the proceedings, though their advice is often valuable. Other functions of the New Clubs Committee are deciding on which Management Group a new club would join, and allocating any start up grant to clubs which they have set up. It has a parallel committee, called the New Projects Committee. New Projects Committee (NPC) This body is able to start Projects under RAG or CAG. It is comprised of the RAG & CAG Chairs, and one other individual. The Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) also attends this meeting. One of the committee then chair the meetings. The Committee meets at least once per term, or more frequently if required. Other functions are deciding on whether Projects should fall under RAG or CAG and allocating any start up grants to Projects they do approve.
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Management Group Meetings Overview As a Management Group, you should be holding regular Management Group meetings. Each Club, Society or Project in a Management Group is represented in these meetings and the meetings are a chance for all the groups to meet and discuss things relevant to the members. As a Management Group officer, these are also your opportunity to pass on important information from the Union, highlight upcoming deadlines and any policy changes and big events going on which may be of interest to your members. For this reason, it is good to send out the agenda in advance so that individual groups can consult their committees on any issues, or have time to think of any questions they may have. It is also the forum for groups to air any particular problems affecting them which need to
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be addressed by the Union. Other things which regularly come up are: •B udget appeals (normally after the budgeting meeting in the Spring term) •A pproval of any changes in a Club or Society Constitution •C ontingency claims. The Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) may well also attend these meetings, so they can help answer any questions or raise matters with them directly. Frequency: Once a month. The Management Group Secretary will need to notify your Clubs, Societies & Projects of the date, time and location of the meeting at least two weeks in advance. Don’t forget to book a room. Who Attends: Every Club, Society or Project in the Management Group is required to send one representative. This is usually the Chair; however, other
Management Group Meetings cont... Committee members can attend in their place. More than one person from a Group can attend if they want to. Important: It is the Club, Society or Project, not the group’s officers who are members of the Management Group. Therefore, if more than one representative from a group attends, there will still be one vote per group. Any member of the Union can attend a Management Group meeting and observe. Tip: try to decide a provisional timetable of meetings for the following term and send this around at the beginning of the year. That way your Clubs, Societies or Projects have plenty of time to organise themselves.
Chairing the Meeting Generally the Chair of the Management Group is the chair for all meetings of that Management Group. Chairing meetings can be hard at first, but it’s a very useful skill in life so this is a great opportunity to get some practice. There are lots of things to bear in mind when chairing a meeting but here are a few useful pointers: 1. Speak up and speak clearly If your committee can’t hear or understand you, they are quickly going to loose concentration and respect for your
authority. 2. Keep things moving. Quite often if a contentious point comes up, many people will want to give long or rambling points. Feel free to give people a time limit like one minute, or if they’ve been going on for a while ask them to stop and you can summarise concisely the salient points of what they’ve said before moving on to the next person or the vote. 3. Keep track of people wanting to speak. Make it clear that to speak, members need to raise their hand. Once you’ve seen a hand go up acknowledge that person and don’t forget to come around to them when it’s their turn. A helpful technique is to number people as their hand goes up which helps them to know when it will be their turn. 4. Do give people a chance to ask questions. Whatever you are discussing, it’s good if people feel they can get clarification on the rules or surrounding facts. If no one present is able to answer the question, it’s ok to say that you don’t know but follow up, find out from the appropriate person who does know and get back to either the whole committee or the person who asked. 5. Don’t lose control of the meeting. If people are being distracting or unhelpful, use an appropriate means to make them stop or ask them to leave if it’s very bad. You have the right as chair to ask a member of the committee to leave with a vote of the meeting. If someone is not a member of the committee you do not have to take a vote. Management Group Manual Page 25 imperialcollegeunion.org/training
Management Group Meetings cont... 6. Maintain your neutrality. As a chair of a meeting, it’s important that your members feel that you aren’t trying to sway decisions in any particular direction. If you do feel that there is a misunderstanding or need for information, make sure that you deliver this in a manner that sticks to the facts.
Voting in a Meeting When making a decision as a Management Group, it is important for the chair to state the exact thing that they are voting on in a clear and concise manner. It’s also advisable to ask if anyone has any questions before proceeding, as you don’t want the committee to be confused about what it is voting on. Single Transferable Vote (STV) is recognised as the most fair way of voting when there are more than two options. If it is a case of for or against a motion, then normally a show of hands or ballot papers will suffice, though members of the committee should always be given the third option of abstaining from voting. It is also possible to choose not to vote at all. The chair of a meeting does not get a vote, but in the event of a tie they get the deciding vote.
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Common Terms in Meetings Quorum This is the minimum number of people required to make a meeting, and it’s decisions, valid. The concept is that if you have an attendance of below this number the committee is in fact not being representative and so can’t make decisions to reflect its membership. For Management Groups this is normally 50% of the membership. Importantly, each Club, Society or Project counts as one member, so it doesn’t matter how many people a group sends, each group still only has one vote. A proxy vote does not count towards quorum. Proxy Votes If a Club, Society or Project is not at all able to send a representative then they should send apologies. Ideally, they will also nominate another group or person to vote on their behalf and this is a proxy. Another group or person can only hold one proxy (i.e. they can have a maximum of two votes). For this to be official, the Club, Society or Project unable to attend should send their apologies and the name of their chosen proxy to the Management Group Secretary in advance, who should note this in the minutes.
Management Group Meetings cont... Common Agenda Items Dormancy Reviews The Union has an obligation to provide Clubs, Societies & Projects to serve the interests of the current student population. In some cases, the interests of the student population fluctuate leaving some groups with low or nonexistent memberships suggesting that our students are no longer interested enough in that activity to merit it being a Club, Society or Project. If the Club, Society or Project isn’t able to meet the basic requirements of being a Club, Society or Project, then the Union should not waste valuable time and resources on maintaining it. Having said this, it should be noted that every effort should be made to make the most of the existing groups that exist before making a new one, as it is similarly bad practice to start and close groups that we don’t believe will last that long due to the admin of getting everything ready.
the functioning of the Club, Society or Project would be compromised if the cost was not met. When reviewing a Contingency Claim paper in a general meeting, it’s important to remember that there are two potential votes. The first is whether the committee believe that the proposed expenditure is a valid contingency claim. This should be regardless of the amount of money that the claimant is asking for as well as how much the Management Group has as remaining in their Contingency Grant. If there are mixed feelings, it is also possible to vote on the amount being awarded, if it is within the means of the Management Group. In some cases it can be appropriate to award some, but not all of the money asked for.
For Faculty Unions looking after Departmental Societies, it is important to make frequent contact with those Principal Officers and find out what events they are putting on, and seeing budgets for these.
Alterations to Constitutions Constitutions often get lost or forgotten, but they are important to have to hand in case any disputes do come up. They are the backbone of a group, defining what it is fundamentally there for and can be referred to in situations when officers are unsure of official protocol. They are also totally democratic, so members of a Club, Society or Project should be able to see it on request and suggest alterations to it if they think necessary.
Contingency Claims Contingency Claims can be defined as ‘an unexpected, and unbudgetable expenditure’ and should apply where
There are two main reasons that a Club, Society or Project would alter their constitution, both of which are cause for review by the entire Management Group Management Group Manual Page 27 imperialcollegeunion.org/training
Management Group Meetings cont... at a general meeting. 1. Adding/taking away members of the Committee or aspects of their respective roles 2. Changing the aims, objectives or description of their activities In the first case, the Management Group can share best practice. The Management Group also have a vested interest in what other groups in it are doing due to the fact that grant money from the Union is allocated as a Management Group. If a group creates new positions in their committee with poor job descriptions which are unlikely to be filled in following years, it is likely that this will end up being a ‘Naughty Officer’, which then means that their budget will be frozen. If a group’s budget stays frozen for a long time, the other Clubs, Societies or Projects in the Management Group may well have benefitted from that money had it been allocated to a different group. Having said this, reviewing the positions and roles of a committee and making sure that they are well defined and efficiently distributed should be encouraged. If a Club, Society or Project is altering their aims, objectives or activities it is important for the Management Group to oversee this to ensure that they are not being changed to overlap with the objectives or activities of an existing
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group as this is a fundamental point in the Clubs & Societies Policy, in order to eliminate duplication. As such, it is important as a Management Group Officer to be broadly aware of what each of your groups do, though more information could be sought as and when necessary.
Appealing Decisions of a Management Group General Meeting Every full member of the Union has the right to appeal any decision made in a Union meeting. They can do this by writing a paper to the Committee which sits above the one that made the decision: Trustee Board | Executive Committee | Clubs & Societies Board | Management Group | Club, Society or Project For help writing an appeal paper, it is best to ask the Chair of the Committee the appeal paper will be presented at the meeting. Seek the advice of the Governance & Administration Coordinator to ensure that the wording of the decisions being requested is correct.
Policies It’s good to be aware of the policies that concern Clubs, Societies & Projects as these are effectively the rule book on which you base your decisions. The only document that supersedes these policies is the Union Constitution. As long as you stick to the policies, it makes your life a lot easier if someone wants to appeal your decision in an official context, or if they would like clarification on an issue. In these situations, you are there to uphold and explain the policies. If there is something that you come across that you think should be changed for the benefit of all Clubs, Societies & Projects, then the Clubs & Societies Board is the best place to bring this up in the first instance.
Clubs & Societies Policy This is the policy governing Clubs, Societies & Projects. It includes the processes for setting up a Club, Society or Project, making Clubs or Societies dormant and how to close them if they are struggling to fulfil the necessary criteria. It also contains what Clubs & Societies are entitled to from the Union, various rules and regulations on how they should function and how they can be disciplined (though more information can be found in the Union’s Disciplinary Policy) if they break the rules. It’s worth being very familiar with this policy.
Tours Policy This policy comes into practice for Tours meetings of CSB which is held once per term. Important points in this are that all applications from Clubs or Societies are submitted through online. Ensure that you have seen it first and have checked it over. In this case, you are looking to make sure it meets all the basic criteria of the Tours policy so it’s good to know what those are. Though this won’t guarantee its success in the meeting, it will mean that you are familiar with its contents.
Publicity Policy The publicity policy states the rules with regards to putting up posters around campus. It goes into detail about the size of posters, language, adhesives to put the poster up with and importantly the locations that they are permitted; together with rules for other advertising media. As a senior Union officer, you should be familiar with these rules so that if you see a poster that contravenes these rules (particularly if the offending poster is from one of your Clubs, Societies or Projects) you can take it down and/or forward the details to the Deputy President (Clubs & Societies). Similarly, if a poster is out of date on a poster board, then feel free to take these
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Policies cont... down as well. It really helps to have many people making sure that all groups are doing this correctly. Others There are two other policies that are effective over fairly short time frames, but that do involve Clubs, Societies & Projects. The Trading at Freshers’ Fair Policy says that there is to be no trading at Freshers’ Fair, either Club, Society or Project merchandise or from commercial stall holders, in order to protect our students. The Colours Policy takes effect at the end of the academic year when considering students for Union Colours.
The sabbatical officers, Faculty Union and GSA Presidents, three other members of CSB and three other members of RWB are members of the Colours Committee, so if you do attend, you should read this policy as it gives the criteria for each level of award. The Equal Opportunities Policy applies to everything that the Union does, so it’s worth reminding your Clubs, Societies & Projects of this. If a group does have someone wishing to be a member that requires some adaptations to your activities, such as a disability, then please contact the Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) in the first instance.
Appendix 1 – Honorary Senior Treasurers Name
Address & Extension
Mr Malcolm Aldridge
Room 314, Finance Division, Sherfield Building. Ext: 48683
Dr Shaun Crofton
Room 552, Dept of Mechanical Eng. Ext: 47085
Mr Colin Kerr
Room 440A, Skempton Building. Ext: 46044
Dr Richard J Murphy
Division of Biology, SAF Building, Room 511, SAFB. Ext: 45389
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RAG & CAG
Clubs & Societies Committees
Clubs & Societies Board
Representation & Welfare Board
Graduate Students’ Association
Health & Safety Committee
Appendix 2 – Union Structure
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