There will be a future consultation on Funding principles; currently the guidance around funding is not clear and does not apply to all groups equally. This consultation will hopefully mean that individual Zone committees will have a standardised set of criteria that applies to funding. This work will be done after Spring Elections in time for the new academic year.
Jamie asked the committee what they look for in funding applications that influences whether or not applications are approved in Zones. Chris McGeehan explained that it helps to keep in mind the Zone's goals and how they can be achieved through the funding. William Cable explained that the principles they apply when looking at applications are no food and no resources that will only benefit the committee or very few people. In the Education Zone, their doesn't seem to be as much requests for funding as other Zones.
Chris brought up an issue that had arisen during the last Union Council (4th February) regarding the Sports Development Zone approving applications that did not appear to be fully completed. On further investigation, it was explained that there had been a detailed breakdown of costs given to the VP Sports Development but unfortunately this had not been made available at the time this issue arose. This issue highlights the importance of providing more guidance on how groups should be applying for funding i.e. applying for individual items or bulk resources, the process should be consistent for all.
Laura-Mary mentioned instances where Creative Industries had provided part-funding to a group, but the group, having not recieved the full amount, were unable to hold their event. To prevent situations like this, Chris suggested that on the application form, the groups should be asked whether full funding or a contribution is required.
Claire asked if the new Funding principles will include asking groups, when they apply for funding, how much is in their bank account, membership numbers and bank account details. Guy explained that hopefully over the next few years, all student groups bank accounts will become centralised under SUSU which will solve some of the problems that are coming up as currently, SUSU does not know these details.
Claire also asked if this work would look into how groups spend the money they are given. Nic explained that part of the project looking into the student groups' economy will involve looking back at past applications and aksing groups how they spent their money. Chris asked Nic if the process could be adjusted to take into account the different levels of information required by SUSU, outlined in the support packages. Nic said this is possible if the committee want this.