The committee of Imperial College Chinese Society (ICCS) has issued a legal threat to the sabbs following the suspension of their club. Solicitors acting on behalf of society chair Emily Chow have indicated an intention to seek a court order if the club is not reinstated.
ICCS was suspended as part of a continuing review of the finances of union clubs. The particular problem in this case is that in previous years the club has sold multi-year and 'lifetime' memberships, which is not permitted.
Last year money was confiscated from their freshers' fair stall after they were found to be selling club membership - trading is not permitted at freshers fair. When the money was returned £500 was paid in, which is enough for single year memberships for all 100 members of the club. Live! has seen emails which show that some members paid more than £5 for a year, instead paying for lifetime or four year membership at £10. Where the extra money went appears to be unknown at this time.
A result of this is that central union now has no idea who believes they are members of ICCS, or where some of its income has gone. Additionally their union accounts show them to be £1800 in debt. The new committee have been unable to locate membership and financial documentation as they have been overseas, leading to a suspension until the situation is sorted out. This does not suggest they are responsible for the creation of the financial problems, however they are responsible for getting the club out of them.
ICU President John Collins refused to comment on the matter, however no official complaints appear to have been sent to any committee before legal threats were made. Quite why the club chose to bring lawyers in rather than appealing in a more restrained way is unknown. Clubs have no legal identity, which could create the interesting position of a member of the union taking legal action against the union on behalf of the union.
The club's finances will remain suspended, like all clubs, until their financial responsibility form has been received.