Club grant advice and spending guidelines
All club grants from The Guild are allocated from SSAF and as such must adhere to the laws around what SSAF can be spent on. Below is the legislation surrounding SSAF, with bolded entries being of particular interest to clubs.
- providing food or drink to students on a campus of the higher education provider;
- supporting a sporting or other recreational activity by students;
- supporting the administration of a club most of whose members are students;
- caring for children of students;
- providing legal services to students;
- promoting the health or welfare of students;
- helping students secure accommodation;
- helping students obtain employment or advice on careers;
- helping students with their financial affairs;
- helping students obtain insurance against personal accidents;
- supporting debating by students;
- providing libraries and reading rooms (other than those provided for academic purposes) for students;
- supporting an artistic activity by students;
- supporting the production and dissemination to students of media whose content is provided by students;
- helping students develop skills for study, by means other than undertaking courses of study in which they are enrolled;
- advising on matters arising under the higher education provider’s rules (however described);
- advocating students’ interests in matters arising under the higher education provider’s rules (however described);
- giving students information to help them in their orientation; and
- helping meet the specific needs of overseas students relating to their welfare, accommodation and employment.
Interpreting this list
It is the role of the clubs committee to interpret each club grant proposal to see if it matches the SSAF legislation. Many items such as food at club events, sports uniforms and artistic activity (eg. a theatre production) are straightforward. Other parts of the list like club administration (3) reading rooms (12) and skills for study (15) are vaguer and can allow for more creative uses of the club grant. For example, The Guild has supported and will continue to support expenses such as ‘gifts’ for invited speakers at club functions and subsidising travel costs for students to attend club organised educational events held at a significant distance from campus. Supporting documentation is encouraged to explain the purpose of spending that looks a little obtuse.
Note also that there are interesting caveats in some clauses, for example food and drink can only be consumed on campus. So the Guild won’t be paying for the hockey team to have a BBQ at Sharon’s house sorry, but we will pay turf hire fees.
Spending outside these areas
If your club wants to do stuff that is outside of these spending categories they can, the club will just have to come up with another way to pay for it. Club members can chip in themselves or external sponsors can be found. Club shirts are the most commonly requested items that unfortunately can’t be covered by SSAF, but these are also among the easiest items to get sponsors to pay for, usually in exchange for their logo on the shirt. Competition prizes are another that will often be donated by generous sponsors. Think of club grants as a backup to cover the costs that can’t be covered by members and sponsors. (This doesn’t mean you can invoice the Guild for unsold club jumpers. Don’t be that club.)
Other things to consider
Consider the appropriateness of the event and aim to keep costs low. For example, your club may be planning a social outing to the beach or a camping trip. For these purposes that fall in the grey areas of the SSAF legislation, clubs committee will likely look more favourably on efforts to reduce cost. Maybe everyone can carpool, maybe people can bring their own food, maybe you found a super cheap place to stay during a conference, maybe participants pay fees, in fact evidence suggests that people are more likely to commit to an event if it involves a small contribution on their part.