As a result of the on-going COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak in Northern Ireland, the University has implemented a range of measures to reduce the risk of spread within Queen’s. The most recently introduced measures for Clubs and Societies are summarised below.
Can we visit the Finance Office or access our funds?
The Finance Office team are returning to work in the SU building on a phased basis. You should continue to contact them via email on email@example.com.
At this time, supplier invoices will be paid as usual, and reimbursement payments will be made directly into bank accounts (i.e. not by cheque). Some payments may only be made if they are deemed urgent - this will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the SU Finance Office and the Clubs and Societies team.
To make a purchase at this time, soft copies of documents such as TAFs should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with all of your current committee signatories copied into the email thread,. Each one should then reply into the thread to clearly say that they approve the payment (including details of the amount and the supplier). So for example, if your Club / Society needs to make a payment of £500 to Signature Works, you need to email us the completed TAF and each of your signatories (i.e. Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer) need to confirm by replying to the thread “I approve this payment of £500 to Signature Works”. Signatories should use their student QUB emails when communicating with the Finance Office.
If the staff advise you to visit the office in person, you should proceed to the second floor following the building's new directional signage and wait in the corridor outside the office. Only one committee member from your Club / Society should attend at one time. There will be a desk in front of the office door where you will be met by a member of the team.
Note that the office will be closed to visitors on Fridays. You should contact the team by email instead.
If there is a queue in the corridor, please remember to respect social distancing as you wait.
Cash can be accepted and deposited at the Finance Office. However, it may not be possible to count the cash immediately. You should count the cash in advance and include a note detailing the amount. A receipt will be issued at the time, and the team will count the cash separately when it is possible to do so. You will be contacted if there are any discrepancies.
There will be an office available beside the Finance Office to facilitate the ordering of goods and services online or by telephone. Access to this office will be managed by the Finance Office team and a cleaning kit provided. You should make sure to clean any equipment used (e.g. telephone handset, keyboard, mouse) before you leave this office.
- How can my Club / Society access support from the SU during this time?
You can continue to access support during normal working hours by emailing email@example.com for sporting clubs or firstname.lastname@example.org for societies. You can also contact email@example.com with any financial queries.
The team is receiving a significant volume of email queries, so you may not receive a reply immediately. For non-urgent queries, make sure to check the Online Handbook first and re-read any recent update emails in your Club / Society inbox.
Committee members may also wish to join the Facebook group if they haven’t already done so. On requesting to join you will be asked to provide the name of your Club / Society and your committee position.
If the team advises you to visit the building, or if you urgently need to drop-in, you should go to Reception and let the staff know that you're there to speak to the Clubs and Socs team. They'll telephone the relevant team member who will come and meet you. Do not go straight to the second floor office as it's not currently open to visitors.
- My Club / Society is expecting a delivery or post. Can we collect these from the SU?
When a delivery arrives for your Club / Society, we will notify you by emailing your Club / Society inbox. Don't come to the building unless we have emailed you.
As staff are working both at home and in the SU, we can't guarantee that there will always be someone in the building to organise your delivery collection. In light of this, please let us know in advance what date / time you intend to come to the building.
When you arrive to collect a Club / Society delivery, stop at the Reception desk and let them team know you’re here. They will phone us and we will bring the delivery downstairs to you.
If it’s dry, you should wait outside the front door at the picnic tables. If it’s very cold or wet, please wait in the foyer near the Reception desk (as long as you can maintain social distancing).
Remember to bring your student ID as normal. Please only send one committee member into the building at a time to collect deliveries, and remember that we do not give out individual items from group deliveries (e.g. formal photos or member hoodies) – they must all be collected in one go by a committee member.
- Can my Club / Society access the external Clubs and Societies Store or borrow equipment from the SU during this time?
If you need access to the Clubs and Societies store, please contact the team or SU Reception to book an appointment in advance. Access to the store is supervised by staff so we need to know when you're coming. We may not be able to accomodate 'drop-in' visits to the store.
Please only send one committee member to visit the store at a time, to help maintain social distancing.
Remember that only Club / Society equipment should be kept in any SU or Queen's Sport store. Personal items should not be kept on campus and we cannot facilitate access by individuals to collect personal equipment.
The Clubs and Societies bookable equipment inventory is not open at this time.
- Can my Club / Society book rooms on campus?
The NI Executive has announced new restrictions which will be in place for two weeks from 27 November.
These restrictions strongly reiterate the Stay At Home guidance and the previous allowance for groups to meet has been removed.
This means that all face-to-face Club and Society activity must be suspended during this time, and no room bookings in the SU or across campus will be available during this period.
Room bookings will reopen once the restrictions are eased.
Can my Club / Society plan events, activities, or Offsite Travel?
Throughout 2020, we appreciate that the majority of Club / Society activity has been curtailed in accordance with the current government guidance. The University has undertaken significant measures to heed this guidance, including closing many areas of campus and moving to remote learning and working where possible.
The NI Executive has announced new restrictions which will be in place for two weeks from 27 November. These restrictions strongly reiterate the Stay At Home guidance and the previous allowance for groups to meet has been removed. This means that all face-to-face Club and Society activity must be suspended during this time, and no room bookings in the SU or across campus will be available during this period. Off-campus activity is not permitted at this time.
When the restrictions are eased, there may be some opportunities for activity to return. It is imperative that before organising any events or activities your committee carefully considers whether current government guidance can be followed, and social distancing maintained. You will be required to submit a Covid-19 Risk Assessment to the SU (and to Queen's Sport for sporting Clubs) before running any activity.
In the meantime, you might want to think creatively about how you could use the internet to keep your members connected. You could try:
- Encouraging your members to try some at-home exercise or yoga practices via YouTube
- Using video-calling software like Zoom to host committee meetings, or have a bit of fun with a quiz
- Hosting a Netflix Party using the Google Chrome extension and all enjoy a movie together
- Setting up a forum like a Club / Society Facebook group to share study tips, some photo highlights from your year, and to keep connected during this period of social distancing and isolation
If you'd like to talk more about ideas like this, drop the Clubs and Societies team an email.
Please note that non-essential travel (including Club / Society trips) remains restricted and the SU Finance Office will not be processing any travel or accommodation bookings until further notice.
- What about my Club / Society AGM and committee elections?
If you are concerned about any potential impact on your Club / Society governance or general meetings, please contact the Clubs and Societies office on firstname.lastname@example.org for sporting clubs or email@example.com for societies. The team will provide appropriate guidance on how to proceed.
The SU has developed some guidance on how to run your AGM online, including committee elections. You can read through the guide on the Clubs and Societies Handbook here.
Rest assured that no Club / Society will be penalised for deferring their AGM or for struggling to get one organised in the current circumstances.
- My Club / Society wasn't able to spend all of its grant money before the end of July. Will these funds roll over?
Grant funding must be spent during the committee year it was received. This means that any funds left unspent at the end of July have now been returned to the pot. This only applies to grant money – your Own Funds balance is not impacted and always rolls over year-on-year.
Rest assured that this money is not 'lost' - it's just put back in the pot. 2020-21 committees have now applied for this year's funding and it has been allocated to Club / Society funds.