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 access the SU Finance Office at this time?
The Finance Office team are working remotely and can be contacted via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. When the SU building reopens, you should keep contacting them by email for now. If you need to come into the building in person, the team will organise this with you, and once you arrive you might have to follow some new social distancing measures.
Supplier invoices will be paid as usual, but reimbursement payments will only be made if they are deemed urgent. These can only be made directly into bank accounts (i.e. not by cheque). Deciding which payments are considered urgent will be made 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 can be emailed to email@example.com with all of your 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”.
Please refrain from collecting cash income before the SU building reopens as we will be unable to lodge it for you.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for sporting clubs or email@example.com for societies. You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any financial queries.
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.
When the SU building reopens, 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.
- My Club / Society is expecting a delivery or post. Can we collect these from the SU?
Unfortunately it will not be possible to collect Club / Society post or deliveries at this time. Any deliveries which have already arrived will be kept safe and secure in SU storage.
When the building reopens, a safe process will be put in place to allow for deliveries to be collected. Clubs and Societies will be advised by email when this is available.
- Can my Club / Society access the external Clubs and Societies Store or borrow equipment from the SU during this time?
No, unfortunately we will be unable to facilitate access to the Store or to the equipment inventory during the building closure.
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.
- Can my Club / Society book rooms on campus for Semester 1?
At the moment, Campus Room Bookings are not open to Clubs and Societies. This is because on-campus teaching takes priority, and needs to be confirmed in full before any extra bookings can be accepted.
Clubs and Societies will be advised when Room Bookings open, and will be provided with additional guidance around social distancing / maximum venue capacities etc.
Sporting Clubs who normally block book training times in the PEC or other Queen's Sport facilities may experience some delay or changes in confirming their bookings. We would ask that you bear with us in this regard, and allow ample time for the bookings team to coordinate all internal, external, class, and Club bookings at this very challenging time.
Can my Club / Society plan events, activities, or Offsite Travel?
Over the last number of months, 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.
As we look forward, there may be opportunities for some Club / Society activity to return.
It is imperative that before organising any events or activities your committee carefully considers whether all 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 returning to any activity.
Some sporting clubs may also be subject to restrictions or guidance put in place by their governing bodies. Please check directly with your governing body to find out. Most have some really helpful resources and will give the Club a good steer on moving forward. If you're not sure if you have a governing body, or how to contact them, just email us on email@example.com.
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 now 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 can now apply for to access this funding pot by following the guidance here.