Mon 19 Feb 2018
- The award-winning student news website of Imperial College

Know something you shouldn't? Tell us, using our quick, 100% anonymous tip-off form!


Union slices club budgets

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Apr 30 2002 21:30

“Francis not entirely to blame,” admit C&G sources.

Click Here for the Full Article

1. Sunil   
Apr 30 2002 22:42

Why was the Active budget cut? Which idiot decided on doing that? No, scratch the word idiot and replace that with something else... you choose the word.

2. Dan L   
May 01 2002 00:08

And nice to see the Union decided that the only Motor Club in IC which actually does motorsport shouldn't get money for motorsport! Well that sets a great example. Maybe next year we should expect Sports clubs to get no money for doing sport.

3. Bob   
May 01 2002 00:10

Thanks David for your support.

May 01 2002 10:46

Ths idiot(s), or whichever words you would personally chose to use, are called the budgets advisory group (BAG) which consisted of the four sabs (well only three most of the time as david..................), Dave P (Union finance manager) and three other odd bods, which included the medic sab Shazia (their jobs being to stop the sabs making rash decisions and thus controlling the finances completely.) Also representative of the clubs having their budgets reviewed were the chair/president and the treasurer of each CCU/CSC. They were there specifically to defend any decisions on any budgets that may be over the top. The first point of blame is therefore them for not making a good enough case and justification to have the money kept.

The cuts this year had to happen, with a projected 10% loss in the money coming from college to fund clubs/socs/CCUs. Indiviual clubs under C&G may have lost big style, but C&G overall has lost 12%. This is in line with the across the board cut that was logically being aimed for. Very few clubs actually got more than last year. Without severe amounts of justification the best that any one club could actually hope for is the same as last year. If everyone gets the money they ask for then there would be an overspend and so SAC, Exec, BAG and Council would be seeing where they could lose more money as opposed to allocating left over money.

Budgets can often be a book cooking excercise. People ask for more money than they need because they want the union to pay in full for the activities the club partakes in, as opposed to the union subsidising the expenses of such activity, which is what the money is there for. Even if money is eartagged in a budget to be spent on something specific, that something might not get bought and the money will be used for something else by the club/soc/CCU. Active may still have hope!

It is not surprising that the CCU budgets are being hacked (excuse the pun) down a bit. The only reason for keeping budgets for the CCU at the moment is to fund the clubs it provides a hood for. Eventually Faculty Associations will replace CCUs (the money has to come from the same budget somewhere) and this will happen quite fast. The clubs that CCUs administer could all be run independently in theory with a little adjustment. The process must start somewhere.

May 01 2002 12:05

Starbuck, your comments make very little sense (I'm afraid) and seem to repeat the CCUs-are-pointless-get-rid-of-them argument we've been hearing (and thought we'd finally stopped hearing about) all year. "The clubs that CCUs administer could all be run ndependently in theory" - well, in theory yes, but in practice - no; not within C&G anyway.

Given that C&G is practically identical to the Faculty of Engineering we expect only minor adjustments to be needed between the C&G budget as allocated and the FoESA (also called C&G) budget next year. Ditto for the Medics. RSM and RCS are more complicated, but there you go.

As for who was on the Budgets Advisory Group, during 90% of the session the only person present (besides myself and Mustafa who can't vote) was Ben Hawkins, close to the end the other sabbs appeared. There were no non-sabbaticals present at any point.

You are correct that very few areas of the Union received an increase, however. ACC (athletic clubs) received about 5%, I believe, while Media Group (Felix, IC Radio et al) received a 22% increase. Everyone else was cut, by varying degrees.

May 01 2002 13:17

7 out of 8 people missing BAG is pretty shit I have to admit. My argument is not necessarily that CCUs are pointless, but they are on the way out. The times are a changin' and we have to keep up, although yes for C&G this means not a great deal except for a bit of a name change.

You and Mustafa may have not been allowed a vote, but it is your job, is it not, to come up with enough justification for budgets that seem to be a little out of the ordinary (bearing in mind that that will include most budgets when a big spending cut is needed, despite the fact that the number of clubs and socs has gone up over the last few years.) As I said, budgets are often distorted from what the actual financial applications to the union should be. Active may have been one such problem (speculating a little here.) Perhaps giving funding to spin offs is considered possibly elitist in the sense that not everyone under the remit of C&G will directly (or perhaps even indirectly) benefit from, whilst being a good cause in principle.

The general theme at BAG, i believe, was not to fund expansion, elitism, money that didn't get used or used for the wrong reasons and to try to level fund as many things as was justifiable. An overall C&G cut inline with the majority of clubs and socs (ACC may have gone up, but a lot of sports clubs individually haven't been given as much as they asked for, the increase is largely due to replacing outdated essential equipment) seems fair to me.

May 01 2002 13:28

Except that Active has been funded in the past (enthusiastically) by BAG, as an excellent means of promoting student activity. The initiative will doubtless survive, but will require significant financial support from the Executive (which has just over 1p per student for Freshers next year). As to whether the cut was 'fair', I couldn't really comment - now that the C&G Media Group nonsense has been corrected the cut is roughly in-line with what we were expecting.

8. Sunil   
May 01 2002 14:19

Active has been enthusiastically defended in the past and is widely known to be a hugely successful means of getting students interested. You wouldn't be posting here if not for Active, for a start.

If there's a 10% cut, there is no reason why the cut should be across the board. The cuts should be applied first to underperforming clubs - those with declining membership, those straggling sports teams that lose everything they play, and those sections of the media that are completely wasteful and do not reach large numbers of students. These are wasteful. Unfortunately, these happen to be the pet clubs of various Union hacks. There is a direct collision of interest here.

Clubs that have large numbers of active participants and generally provide platforms for students to do things should not be touched.

But of course any attempt to change how things get decided gets stalled by hack hectoring.

May 01 2002 15:27

The clubs you describe are not necessarily pet clubs of hacks. In fact the majority of "hacks" are all for baiting and questioning anything that happens from those clubs. I did know that Live! was something that came out of Active. However what you haven't realised is that the readership of Live! is largely hack based and so is as elitist as it comes really even though in principle it shouldn't be.

For your information, clubs that have failed to meet with the minimum membership for the last few years or so or don't intend to meet with it have been zero funded! ie any money they have is purely self generated and they don't receive a union grant. Which parts of media don't reach the majority of students? ICradio is heard daily by people that live in Southside and is available over the net if you actually want it. Felix is read by most of college, even if it is only for the crossword sometimes. Stoic, well problems with equipment have slowed progress somewhat in the last few years. But now everything is gradually getting up to scratch and speed (equipment for this is not cheap and so takes a few years to acquire) and now that they are ready to be up and running again, they should be encouraged not supressed. "Those that lose all their matches".........should we get rid off all the people that you were calling "thick" over the weekend as well, Sunil. A lot of the clubs your describing actually get vast amounts of money from their members to match what the union cannot afford to pay for them, eg subsidised travel, accomapnist fees etc. whatever. Does Live! (or Active) get any money from the people that use it???? If the percentage distribution of club and soc spending from the last five years or so is fair and even, they why shouldn't the total amount of money spent on clubs and socs just be brought down so that the percentages don't actually change ie across the board?

If you have a probelm with the way things are decided then why haven't you got yourself involved. Or can't you be arsed just like the other 9000 students out there that very rarely enter Beit Quad. Get involved and change things if you're concerned, that's why the Union is there!

Either that or try and find your handler, get your mussle refitted and make sure that before he lets you loose again that he ensures your brain is in gear.

May 01 2002 15:41

It's all swings and roundabouts...

Of those who suffered budget cuts, how many operated bad finances, how many broke Union regs and how many submitted late/ludicrous budgets with "Jollies to Brighton" and "Trips to Alton Towers"?

The ICU Media Group has always been a black hole for money - particularly when they have their mafia installed in strategic positions within the Union structure. Council.

Damn, my axe has worn out!

May 01 2002 16:43

I have to substantially disagree with Sunil - clubs without a minimum number of members are already zero-funded. If something was to be done randomly, applying a 10% cut across the board would be a fairly fair way of doing it. As it is, both BAG (well, Ben Hawkins), SAC and Exec were not convinced that Active should be funded (though everyone agreed that it was a wonderful idea and should continue with 'someone else' paying for it).

"Does Live! or Active get any money from the people who use it?" Er, sort of. It would not make sense for a club like the C&G Media Group to charge its members but it does raise a fair income from advertising etc. Does Active get money from the people who use it? Er, sort of-ish-maybe-hmmm. That question doesn't really make much sense - the 'active' members of Active act like the committee of a club - they organise things which other people participate in. If thats something big (eg the Olympics this year) then the people participating may get charged (as they did for the Olympics), or funding may come from sponsorship. Active has, in the past, received some funding to help kick things off (i.e. recruit people, start projects) but not to sustain them (they are expected to be self-funding in most cases) - that is what has been cut.

May 01 2002 19:11

The appeals to Exec last night all went the right way (except C&G media group - i'm sorry but guildsheet is pants, and everything in it can be put on Live which is infinetly superior in many ways).

And the C&G Motor Club claim was not for sport - it was clearly a jolly/evening out at Daytona for over ?600 under the pretense of health and safety!

The sooner we put all the clubs in CSCs the better....

13. Sanity   
May 01 2002 21:20

Guess it's a pity the clubs don't want to move, then...

14. Sunil   
May 01 2002 22:21

Rewarding excellence is not synonymous with elitism, but then you wouldn't know that, would you, starbuck?

Allocating budgets is a hard job, and a lot of people freely give up their valuable time to perform the various bureaucratic functions in the Union. That does not mean their clubs or those of their friends should be favoured over any others.

You must be fully aware that it is possible to find excuses for budget increases for anything - equipment always needs replacing, leagues always need more by way of entry fees etc.

The clubs that ultimately suffer and get the biggest cuts are those which are not staffed by people who actively enjoy petty bureaucracy and have rubbed off the relevant treasurer the wrong way. In some cases, true, it is through their foolish, tardy or incomplete budgeting. But it is all too easy for meeting chairs and the hacks to dominate proceedings and stifle debate. I have seen it happen too many times.

In general, ICU would rather fund four mediocre teams in one sport than one truly excellent and outstanding one in another. of course, fielding four teams provides more opportunities for students to do things. But should the team that is genuinely brilliant have to suffer and run around wasting time trying to raise sponsorship instead of practicing and doing what they do best?

[I think we have a fundamental difference of opinion, but could you please be civil about it and not resort to graceless personal attacks? Thanks.]

15. Dan L   
May 01 2002 22:42

Sorry Gus, but if you speak to the people who are in the clubs in the current CCUs you will find most of them like it the way the way it is. The C&G Motor Club voted to stay with the Faculty of Engineering next year instead of moving to a CSC.

May 02 2002 11:42

1. Apologies for the outburst. I'll keep it civil.

2. I know exactly how hard it is to allocate budgets. I not only had to proof read, correct and assist with 13 or so budgets this year under the remit of A&E treasurer (as well as writing one for my own club), but I also sat on BAG. When you have seen some of the budgets that get submitted, you learn very fast to see through those that are not playnig straight.

3. Having sat on BAG, no favouritism of any kind was given to any clubs. People that were there to vouch for the budget of clubs (CSC/CCU Chair/treasurer,) if they themselves didn't beleive it was a fair budget (one that had had its books cooked,) they didn't stick up for them.

4. Nobody likes bureaucracy. But there are rules that have been set in the past that are to be followed. For a club to be active it has to have finacnial responsibility assigned somewhere. If those that are doing it don't like it, they can hold a club election and have that changed. Rubbing people up the wrong way? That will always happen, people will always have differences of opinion (Ahem!) But I think its generallising to say that if a treasurer has been rubbed up the wrong way that he won't stick up for a club. Most CSC/CCU treasurers are impartial in decisions. I have too seen hacks dominate/stifle debates. But I've also seen them go round in circles for hours with out moving forward at all (you should come to SAC)

5. If a team is an excellent team then should it get more money than any other team? Inside an individual club that may happen. In the interests of fairness I'm not so sure, but excellence should be rewarded. However the Union is not there to reward excellence in these cases. It is there to allow students to participate in an activity that would otherwise be very expensive and not affordable to our old friend Joe Blogss. The Union may be very proud of its sporting achievements here and there, but is it fair to throw money at a single team that do well as opposed to trying to distribute the money fairly? Some may regard that as rewarding excellence, others might see it as elitist when they think "why aren't my team getting a fair share of the funding?"

17. Sam   
May 03 2002 00:20



do some work and stop posting on here!

you call this revision/project work?

May 03 2002 09:30

Yes mum, sorry

May 05 2002 14:02

I feel that I ought to correct Gus Paul's facts, as he clearly does not have them correct.

I wrote the C&G motor club budget. The Daytona claim, in our opinion was not a "jolly evening out". Even if you feel it was, it was "CERTAINLY NOT CLAIMED UNDER THE PRETENSE OF HEALTH AND SAFETY"

It was claimed under "Ground Hire", which is, according to the union budget submission form, "for costs incurred in hiring areas to engage in club activities", which is what the Daytona evening was.

We understood that it was alot of money, but the union gave us NO CHOICE. We only wanted part subsidy, but the rigid budget submission regime this year gave us no choice whatsoever, we had to claim 100% for it.

I could continue to rant about the other categories that we fulfilled, but yet still got no money for, but it seems a little frivolous to me.

I just wanted to add my response to this discusion to clear the name of the C&G Motor Club. We would apprechiate it in the future if the facts that were submitted on this discussion forum about our club were actually correct.

Thanks for your time.

Mike Gosling, C&G Motor Club Treasurer.

20. idris   
May 06 2002 21:53

Oh comeon, there must be some way we can blame David?

Closed This discussion is closed.

Please contact the Live! Editor if you would like this discussion topic re-opened.