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Student Representative Committee Terms of Reference

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Section 1 - Establishment

Background

(1) The Student Representative Committee (SRC) is established in accordance with clause 13 of the Student Consultation Rules.

(2) These terms of reference were approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in accordance with clause 14 of the Student Consultation Rules on 30 May 2022.

Transitional Provisions

(3) These terms of reference come into effect on the date of approval, with the exception of clauses 6, 7, 8 and 9. Clauses 6, 7, 8, and 9 come into effect upon the call for nominations from enrolled students for election to the SRC in 2023. For the sake of clarity, membership of the SRC will remain as it was on 31 December 2021 during this transitional period.

Purpose

(4) Consistent with the intent of clause 3 of the Student Consultation Rules and more broadly, the purpose of the SRC is to provide for democratically elected student representatives to provide input to decision making of Macquarie University (the University) regarding teaching, learning, research, amenity, and services.

Authority

(5) The SRC has no delegation or authorisations for matters identified in the University’s Delegations of Authority Register. All responsibilities are identified in Section 3 of these Terms of Reference.

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Section 2 - Membership

(6) Membership of the SRC will include:

  1. four (4) students enrolled in an undergraduate degree with one student elected from each Faculty;
  2. two (2) students enrolled in a postgraduate by coursework degree (non-higher degree research);
  3. two (2) students enrolled in a higher degree by research;
  4. one (1) enrolled overseas student studying offshore (as defined in the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000);
  5. one (1) enrolled student that is not an Australian resident studying onshore; and
  6. up to two (2) appointed members from the pool of nominees to ensure diverse representation.

(7) Members of the SRC will be democratically elected by students in each of the enrolled student categories detailed at clause 6.

(8) A person cannot be and is not eligible to be a member, if the person:

  1. during the previous two years has been subject to a disciplinary penalty of the University; or
  2. is a fulltime employee of the University or any of its controlled entities; or
  3. has been or is a declared bankrupt; or
  4. has been found guilty of committing a crime; or
  5. has been charged with a crime.

(9) The elected student member of the University Council will be a member of the SRC.

Elections

(10) Election of SRC members must be conducted in accordance with election procedures determined by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). The returning officer for election of members to the SRC will be an officer of the University appointed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

Term of office

(11) The term of office of each member of the SRC will commence on the declaration of electoral poll results by the returning officer.

(12) The term of office of each member of the SRC will conclude:

  1. on the second anniversary of the election of the member; or
  2. the resignation by notice in writing of the member; or
  3. the member being removed from office in accordance with these terms of reference; or
  4. the member otherwise ceasing to be a member of the SRC.

(13) In consultation with the SRC, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) may stagger the terms of office of SRC members, including reducing an election round term to one year for half the SRC membership positions, where this is deemed beneficial to support the continuity of operation.

Appointment and Role of Chair and Deputy Chair

(14) The members of the SRC will appoint from amongst themselves a Chair who will:

  1. chair meetings of the SRC;
  2. ensure the proper working of the SRC;
  3. ensure compliance with these terms of reference; and
  4. any other functions conferred on the Chair by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) after consultation with the SRC.

(15) The members of the SRC will appoint from amongst themselves a Deputy Chair, who will undertake the activities of the Chair in their absence.

Appointment and Role of Secretary

(16) The University will appoint a staff member as the Secretary of the SRC, who will:

  1. ensure that accurate minutes of meetings are taken and approved and that the minutes include the following:
    1. the date, time, location of the meeting;
    2. a list of those present and any apologies;
    3. record declaration of conflicts and interest at the start of the meeting;
    4. a list of matters discussed;
    5. a list of reports presented;
    6. the text of recommended resolution and a description of how they are dealt with; and,
    7. ensure that minutes are prepared to a professional standard.
  2. ensure that records are maintained for SRC members;
  3. ensure that records are maintained and made available when required by authorised persons;
  4. ensure that an up-to-date copy of this terms of reference is available at all meetings;
  5. ensure that proper notice is given of each meeting;
  6. manage general correspondence and communication with the student body; and,
  7. establish and maintain a register of SRC members and promptly record in it:
    1. the name and address of each SRC member;
    2. the date their term of office commenced and the date it ended;
    3. the duration of their term of office; and
    4. such other matters as the Secretary considers appropriate.

Casual vacancies

(17) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on advice from the SRC Chair must fill a casual vacancy where a member vacates the SRC for any reason other than expiry of term if the vacancy occurs at any time before the date on which the member’s term of office would have otherwise expired. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) must:

  1. contact the person who was last eliminated in the last election to fill that office and who remains eligible for appointment and is available for appointment; or
  2. if the conditions in clause 17a cannot be met, call a new election to fill the vacant office.

Remuneration and expenses

(18) Membership of the SRC is honorary. No remuneration is payable to a member of the SRC unless they are appointed an officeholder of the SRC membership.

(19) The Vice-Chancellor may determine to remunerate officeholders of the SRC.

(20) The University must reimburse SRC members for reasonable expenses that are approved in advance by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or their authorised officer if they are reasonably incurred by the SRC member in performing their functions under these terms of reference.

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Section 3 - Functions and Responsibilities

Committee functions

(21) The SRC will:

  1. represent students enrolled at the University, in accordance with the clause 8 of the Student Consultation Rules;
  2. consult with enrolled students of the University, in accordance with clause 8 of the Student Consultation Rules;
  3. consult with student organisations that are recognised by the University in accordance with clause 17 of the Student Consultation Rules;
  4. through advocacy, understand and advance the teaching, learning, research, amenity, and support needs of enrolled students at the University;
  5. provide input to University decision making about any matter within these terms of reference and the specific use of proceeds from any compulsory student services and amenities fees levied by the University on enrolled students in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act 2003 subsection 19-37(5), or the Student Consultation Rules;
  6. offer advice and make suggestions to the University; and
  7. subject to these terms of reference, anything which is necessary for the SRC to perform its functions set out in this clause.

(22) The SRC will establish and maintain a standing subcommittee for equity, diversity, and inclusion to inform and assist the SRC in exercising its functions:

  1. the standing subcommittee will be called the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee;
  2. the standing subcommittee will receive and consider matters of equity, diversity and inclusion importance impacting enrolled students and report on findings to the SRC at least four times per year;
  3. the standing subcommittee will be chaired by the SRC Chair;
  4. other than the chair, members of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee will be appointed from enrolled students representing the interests of priority groups;
  5. the categories of priority groups to be represented on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee will be determined as part of the annual planning program for the SRC;
  6. in consultation, with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), the SRC will administer an open, competitive, merit-based process for selection of candidates for nomination to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee;
  7. on recommendation by the SRC, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) will appoint the members of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee;
  8. this process must be completed within 90 days of the commencement of each SRC year;
  9. members of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee will be appointed for a term of two years; and,
  10. members may reapply in subsequent years to their first term to be considered for reappointment, as part of the open, competitive, merit- based process for selection of candidates for nomination to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee.

(23) The SRC may establish other subcommittees to assist the SRC in the exercise of its functions. Members of SRC subcommittees must abide by these terms of reference.

(24) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) may request that the SRC establish subcommittees for the purposes of consultation on matters of importance to the University.

Annual Program and Budget

(25) The SRC must provide the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) before December in each year with a proposed program and budget that includes:

  1. details of SRC activities proposed for the next year; and
  2. an itemised budget specifying all estimated operational expenditure proposed for the next year.

(26) The University may at any time require the SRC to prepare and provide to the University a proposed program and budget in relation to any aspect of the activities of the SRC.

(27) The proposed program and budget must be prepared in accordance with the financial policies and procedures of the University. The University will provide resources to the SRC to ensure that the proposed program and budget is prepared to a professional standard.

(28) Not less than 20 business days after provision of a proposed program and budget and by no later than the end of the second session in each year or such other time as the University may determine, the SRC and the University must meet (as many times as necessary) and discuss the proposed program and budget for the next year for the purpose of agreeing an approved program and budget for that year.

(29) If an approved program and budget for a year is not agreed within 20 business days of the first meeting between the SRC and the University the Vice-Chancellor may determine what is to be the program and budget for that year.

(30) The SRC may vary an approved program and budget with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.

(31) The SRC must, until there is an approved program and budget for a year, subject to receipt of necessary resources, continue to carry out its functions.

(32) The SRC must not without the approval of the Vice-Chancellor undertake any activities which are not substantially in accordance with an approved program and budget.

(33) The SRC must report to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) as soon as reasonably practicable any unbudgeted expenditure it wishes to make in respect of the functions of the Committee.

(34) The University must hold and control all funds of the SRC, including expenditure of funds. The University will hold and control funds according to its financial policies and procedures and delegations of authority.

(35) Any funds received by the SRC from any sponsorship or other fundraising activity must be promptly provided to the University who will hold and control funds on behalf of the SRC.

(36) The SRC must ensure that funds are only spent for a purpose for which funds paid as student amenities fees and services are permitted to be spent under section 19-38 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

Annual Report

(37) The SRC Chair, with support from the relevant areas of the University, must provide an annual report, with statement of revenue and expenditure, containing an overview and review of the SRC’s performance against the annual program and budget. The annual report must include commentary on use of any student services and amenities fees in the previous year and its recommendations for the expenditure of any student services and amenities fees in the year ahead (as contemplated in clause 5 of the Student Consultation Rules).

(38) The annual report must be provided to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and be made available on the University’s website.

(39) The SRC must if requested, promptly report to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), as the case requires, in relation to:

  1. any specific queries or proposals referred to the SRC by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for advice or consultation;
  2. advice and recommendations made by any subcommittee; and
  3. general advice on matters within the terms of reference.

University responsibilities

(40) The University will provide to the SRC any information that is reasonably required for the purpose of carrying out its responsibilities. The University is not obliged to provide any information if it is confidential or to do so would be a breach of an obligation of the University or would otherwise in the opinion of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) not be in the interests of the University.

(41) The University must establish and maintain an online presence for the SRC in a medium determined by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or their authorised officer after consultation with the SRC. The purpose of the online presence is to provide a digital means for the student body to communicate with members of the SRC, so as to facilitate the performance by the Committee of its functions. The online presence must be moderated by the University in accordance with the University’s communication, information and Internet policies and procedures.

(42) Secretariat support and resourcing will be provided to the SRC in accordance with the Student Consultation Rules (16).

Member responsibilities

(43) A member of the SRC must carry out their functions in good faith and in the best interests of the University as a whole.

(44) A member of the SRC must act honestly and exercise a reasonable degree of care, skill, and diligence in carrying out their functions.

(45) A member of the SRC must not make improper use of their position to gain, directly or indirectly, an advantage for themselves or any other person or cause detriment to the University.

(46) If a person obtains information because they are, or have been, an SRC member, they must not improperly use or disclose that information to gain directly or indirectly, an advantage for themselves or any other person or cause detriment to the University, or otherwise use or disclose it for any purpose other than that for which it was provided to them.

(47) Every SRC member must keep any confidential information confidential and not disclose it to any person except:

  1. where the information is disclosed for a purpose that is directly related to a function or activity of the Committee and the disclosure of the information is necessary for that purpose; or,
  2. if required by law; or,
  3. if directed to do so by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or their authorised officer.

(48) A person must not disclose confidential personal information unless they are legally entitled to do so.

(49) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or their authorised officer may require any SRC member or any person assisting the SRC to give a formal undertaking or enter into a binding agreement or deed to comply with clause 43.

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Section 4 - Meetings

Frequency - SRC

(50) Ordinary meetings the SRC will be held at least four times per year.

(51) Extraordinary meetings may be called as required by the Chair or Deputy Chair with any period of notice, for business that they wish to submit as a matter of priority.

(52) Any six (6) members may request that the Secretary call a meeting. This request must be in writing, stating the matter(s) for which the meeting is required. The meeting will be held within 14 days after the receipt of such request.

Frequency - Subcommittees

(53) Ordinary meetings of subcommittees of the SRC will be held as frequently as determined by the Chair of a subcommittee.

(54) The Chair of a subcommittee is required to call a meeting if requested to do so by the Chair of the SRC.

Technology

(55) A meeting may be called or held using any technology.

(56) Where technology is deployed to meet, members must take all reasonable steps to ensure the confidentiality of the meeting and its business.

Agenda for meetings

(57) The Chair is responsible for establishing the agenda for meetings of the SRC.

(58) The Chair of a subcommittee is responsible for establishing the agenda for meetings of that subcommittee.

(59) Members may request that items be added to an agenda. Such requests should be made no less than 10 working days in advance of the meeting and the Chair will determine whether the item is appropriate for the agenda.

(60) If a matter arises between preparation of the agenda and the meeting date, the matter shall be presented to the meeting at the Chair’s discretion.

(61) Matters deemed by the Secretary or Chair to require discussion are designated by one ‘star’ on the agenda. Members will be given an opportunity to star any or all of the un-starred items on the agenda. Un-starred items may be resolved in a single vote.

Chairing of meetings

(62) The Chair, or in their absence, the Deputy Chair is to chair all meetings of the SRC.

(63) The SRC will elect, from amongst its members, the Chair of a subcommittee.

(64) If the Chair of a subcommittee is unable to attend a meeting, they may appoint another member of the subcommittee to act as Chair in their absence. Failing this, members in attendance at the meeting of the subcommittee will nominate a Chair from those present.

Quorum

(65) The quorum for a meeting shall be at least half the membership of the Committee plus one. Vacant positions on the SRC do not count toward the calculation of the number required for a quorum.

(66) A decision requires the presence of a quorum.

(67) If a quorum is not present within half an hour after the appointed time for a meeting, all business for that meeting shall be held over until the next meeting.

Decisions

(68) Decisions are made by a majority of members present being in favour of a resolution.

(69) Decisions may be made by circular resolution and must be conducted in accordance with these terms of reference.

Circular resolutions

(70) In certain circumstances it may not be practicable to convene a meeting and a decision is needed urgently or within a short timeframe. In such a case, a circular resolution will enable a decision to be made within the required timeframe.

(71) A circular resolution is a resolution passed without a meeting, by each member signing or approving via a verified email account and returning the resolution stating whether or not they are in favour of the resolution.

(72) The Chair may decide to use a circular resolution for approval between meetings:

  1. where the matter is urgent, and a decision is required within a short timeframe, e.g., three (3) days; or
  2. the Committee or a subcommittee has previously agreed, in a duly convened meeting, to finalise a matter by circular resolution.

(73) The proposed circular resolution must be accompanied by:

  1. a submission which sets out the details of the proposal, the resolution for approval, and provides for the members to signify their assent or dissent in writing;
  2. relevant information and documentation required for a decision on the resolution, e.g., financial analysis, background information.

(74) Circular resolutions must be circulated to all members and resolutions for approval cannot be amended after being circulated.

(75) Members must respond in writing stating that they approve or are against the resolution recommended in the circular resolution by close of business on the third business day following distribution of the circular resolution. The Chair may allow more time for response where it may not be practicable to contact all members within this period. A written response includes a reply by email.

(76) If a member votes against the resolution, that member may then request the Chair to convene a meeting. The request must be received by the Secretary by 5:00 pm Sydney time on the third business day following circulation of the circular resolution. The Chair must convene a meeting as soon as practicable after the request for a meeting has been received by the Secretary. The circular resolution will lapse if a meeting has been requested under this clause.

(77) If a member has not responded to the circular resolution in the manner required by clause 75 by 5:00 pm Sydney time on the third business day following distribution or within the period of any extension of time allowed by the Chair, that member will be taken to have abstained from voting.

(78) Where a member wishes to propose an amendment to the resolution for approval, the member must vote against the resolution and contact the Secretary to discuss the possibility of the resolution for approval being amended and re-circulated.

(79) A resolution is passed when the Secretary receives the last response within the time allowed for response and an absolute majority of members have approved the resolution.

(80) Passed circular resolutions will be retained as an official record by the Secretary.

(81) Where a circular resolution has been passed, it will be noted at the next meeting.

Adjournment

(82) Meetings may be adjourned to a later date.

Business without notice

(83) By majority vote or by decision of the Chair, any subject of discussion may be permitted at a meeting.

(84) A matter considered for discussion at a meeting which requires a resolution to be passed will be taken as a motion on notice for the subsequent meeting.

Conflicts of interest

(85) If a SRC member has a material interest in a matter being considered or about to be considered at a meeting or owes a material duty to another person in respect of such a matter and the interest or duty appears to raise a conflict with the proper performance of the member’s duties in relation to the consideration of the matter, the member must, as soon as possible after the relevant facts have come to the member’s knowledge, disclose the nature of the interest or duty at a meeting.

(86) A disclosure by a member at a meeting that the member:

  1. is an officer, or is in the employment, of a specified person;
  2. is a partner, of a specified person;
  3. has some other specified interest relating to a specified person; or
  4. has some other specified duty relating to a specified person, is a sufficient disclosure of the nature of the interest or duty in any matter relating to that person which may arise after the date of the disclosure and which is required to be disclosed under clause 85.

(87) After a member has pursuant to clause 86 disclosed the nature of an interest or duty in any matter, the member must not, unless otherwise determined:

  1. receive any information relating to the matter; or
  2. be present during any deliberation with respect to the matter; or
  3. take part in any decision with respect to the matter.

(88) For the purpose of the making of a determination under clause 87 a member who has a material interest in a matter or conflict of duty in respect of a matter to which the disclosure relates must not:

  1. be present during any deliberation for the purpose of making the determination; or
  2. take part in the making of the determination.

(89) A member must not take part in the consideration or discussion of, or voting on any question relating to, the member’s removal from office.

(90) A member is taken not to have a conflict of interest or duty under clause 87 if the interest or duty:

  1. arises only because the member is a student;
  2. is in a contract, or proposed contract, with, or for the benefit of, or on behalf of, a student organisation and arises merely because the student is a member of that student organisation; or
  3. in respect of a matter, is so remote or insignificant that it could not reasonably be regarded as likely to influence any decision the person might make in relation to the matter.

(91) The Chair may determine the procedure for dealing with any conflicts of interest or duty.

Professional behaviour

(92) The Chair may direct a member to leave the meeting if the member continues to conduct themself in an improper manner after being requested by the Chair to desist. A member must abide by the direction of the Chair and leave the meeting. The Chair must notify the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or their authorised officer of that action.

(93) If a member leaves a meeting under clause 92, the meeting may continue in the absence of the member notwithstanding that it results in a quorum not being present and any decision will not be invalid merely because of the absence of a quorum for this reason.

(94) Each member must cooperate and collaborate with each other member and the University in relation to the performance of their respective responsibilities and for the purpose of giving effect to decisions.

(95) A contravention by a member of any provision of these terms of reference may instigate an investigation for misconduct in accordance with the disciplinary by-laws, rules, policies and procedures of the University.

Attendance

(96) Attendance at meetings of the SRC:

  1. except as contemplated by these terms of reference, nobody may attend a meeting without the consent of the Chair, other than:
    1. the Vice-Chancellor;
    2. any Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University, or their authorised officer; and,
    3. the University Secretary, or their authorised officer;
  2. the Chair may consent to any University staff member attending any meeting on request by the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or the University Secretary;
  3. the Chair may consent to any enrolled student attending if the person makes an application to attend at least five business days before the relevant meeting which sets out the applicant’s reasons for wishing to attend the relevant meeting but no such person has any right to:
    1. address the meeting or otherwise take part in any of its proceedings except to the extent that they are invited to do so by the Chair; or
    2. vote at any such meeting;
  4. the Chair may:
    1. at any time, revoke or suspend any consent or invitation given under clause 96c; and;
    2. waive the requirement of an application to attend a meeting if the Chair considers it appropriate in the circumstances;
  5. the Chair must as soon as practicable notify members of any application to attend a meeting, the applicant’s stated reasons for wishing to attend and any consent given for any person to attend a meeting.

Minutes

(97) The Secretary will keep minutes of meetings in accordance with the requirements of clause 16.

(98) The Secretary must ensure that minutes of a meeting are signed within a reasonable time after the meeting by one of the following:

  1. the Chair of the meeting; and,
  2. the Chair of the next meeting;

(99) The Secretary must ensure that the minutes for resolutions passed without meetings are available for inspection by:

  1. any member or the Chair;
  2. any student enrolled at the University; and,
  3. if requested, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or their authorised officer;

(100) A current member may ask the Secretary in writing for a copy of:

  1. any minutes of a meeting or an extract of the minutes; or
  2. any minutes of a resolution passed without a meeting;

(101) The member must not unreasonably ask for access to or a copy or extract of any minutes or use it for a purpose unrelated to their role as a member.

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Section 5 - Variations

(102) Nil.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(103) Nil.