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Student Groups Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to confirm the University’s commitment to Affiliated Student Groups. It sets out the requirements (including management) and expectations of Affiliated Student Groups.

(2) For Affiliated Student Groups, this Policy must be read in accordance with the respective Student Group’s Terms of Reference.


(3) This Policy applies to Macquarie University Students and non-student members of Student Groups.

(4) This Policy does not apply to University Sports Clubs.

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Section 2 - Policy

(5) The University is committed to enabling genuine Student engagement and fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging amongst Students.

(6) As part of its commitment, the University offers Student Groups the opportunity to be affiliated with the University.

(7) Affiliation with the University offers a Student Group the opportunity to:

  1. receive support from Staff in the Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging team and from the Governance (SRC) and Education Officer, Dean of Students Office;
  2. utilise University property, including room/outdoor bookings;
  3. receive funding; and
  4. apply to use the University name and/or logo.

 Eligibility for Affiliation

(8) To seek affiliation (including reaffiliation), the Student Group must:

  1. not be comparable to an existing Affiliated Student Group;
  2. have a minimum of 30 members, with at least 80% of members being currently enrolled Students at the University;
  3. be open to all Students who have a genuine interest in joining; and
  4. must have three members appointed to the following executive roles: President, Treasurer and Secretary. These executives must be enrolled Students at the University who have satisfactory academic standing.

(9) Unaffiliated Student Groups applying for affiliation must have been operating unaffiliated for a minimum of three months.

(10) The process for Student Groups to apply for affiliation is set out in Section 3 – Procedures.

Requirements of Affiliated Student Groups

(11) Affiliated Student Groups must:

  1. adopt and comply with a Terms of Reference approved by the University;
  2. not operate or engage in any activity that provides any personal financial gain to its members or their families and associates;
  3. not be controlled or unduly influenced by any person or organisation that is unrelated to the University;
  4. not bring the University into disrepute; and
  5. comply with all University policies and procedures, including the Student Code of Conduct and a Terms of Reference as approved by the University.


(12) Affiliated Student Groups must only collect and use personal information that is necessary for the administration of the Student Group and at all times comply with the University’s Privacy Policy and Privacy Management Plan.


(13) Affiliated Student Groups may apply for funding.

(14) Funding through the University for Affiliated Student Groups comes from the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). The Higher Education Support Act 2003 governs how SSAF funds may be spent. In accordance with the Act, SSAF funds provided to Student Groups must not be spent to support:

  1. a political party; or
  2. the election of a person as a member of:
    1. the legislature of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory; or
    2. a local government body.

(15) Affiliated Student Groups may receive Funds from University or external sources, for example, through sponsorships or fundraising (refer to Events section).

(16) All University/external funding opportunities (including sponsorships) must be reviewed and approved by the Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging team before they are accepted. These may be rejected if they do not meet the University’s requirements.

(17) All Affiliated Student Group finances must be held within the University’s accounting system. Affiliated Student Groups are not permitted to maintain separate bank account(s).

Financial Management

(18) The Head, Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging will oversee the finances of all Affiliated Student Groups and ensure that a review is completed of each Affiliated Student Group’s finances on a quarterly basis, which will include:

  1. income and expenditure;
  2. debts;
  3. inconsistencies;
  4. recurring transactions; and
  5. any other anomalies.

(19) Following confirmation of affiliation, the Treasurer of the Student Group, in consultation with the President and the Secretary must devise an annual budget, which includes projected income, expenditure and any anticipated asset acquisition for the following 12-month period.

(20) Affiliated Student Groups must establish a central online storage repository (e.g., OneDrive), which must be shared with Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging and the Governance (SRC) and Education Officer and include:

  1. tax invoices for all purchases made;
  2. copies of receipts for any payment or receipt of cash (scanned digital copies of receipts are acceptable); and
  3. annual financial reports and any associated statements.

(21) The Treasurer of the Affiliated Student Group must submit an annual financial report 12 months after the date of affiliation that includes:

  1. funding received from the University;
  2. any other funding or revenue received (including sponsorships);
  3. details of any transactions made (including date, description, details of the payer/payee, monetary amount, invoice/receipt or transaction numbers); and
  4. a statement of expenditure for the following (where applicable):
    1. catering, noting that the Affiliated Student Group must not use funding to provide catering for meetings of the Executive Members;
    2. event and venue hire fees;
    3. publicity, including postage and social media;
    4. publications including advertisements;
    5. travel, which must be in accordance with the University’s Travel Policy and Travel Procedure (Affiliated Student Groups must seek guidance on the use of Funds for travel from the Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging team); and
    6. any other expenditure.

(22) Commentary on any material variances or discrepancies in spending in relation to projected budgets must be included in the annual financial report.

(23) Failure to provide an adequate annual financial report may result in disaffiliation.

(24) Any Affiliated Student Group member can view the financial records of the Affiliated Student Group. Requests to view these records must be made in writing to the Treasurer of the Affiliated Student Group.

(25) Affiliated Student Groups must keep a register of all assets held and acquired during the annual financial Reporting Period, including:

  1. a description of the asset;
  2. the date that the asset was acquired;
  3. the person/s responsible for the management of assets;
  4. where the asset is stored; and
  1. if applicable, the date and method of the disposal of the asset.

(26) The Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging team has the right to request adjustment to expenditure as per operational checks.

Membership Fees

(27) Affiliated Student Groups may charge their members an annual membership fee.

(28) Membership fees must be:

  1. submitted by the President to the Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging team for approval;
  2. reviewed annually by the President, Treasurer and Secretary (thereafter collectively referred to as the Executive Committee); and
  3. deposited into a University held bank account.

(29) A member should not be removed from an Affiliated Student Group for failure to pay membership fees in instances where the fee may cause the member undue hardship.


(30) Affiliated Student Groups must seek approval from the Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging team for all official events organised by the Student Group.

(31) Requests for events must be submitted as directed by Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging.


(32) The University will provide mandatory training for members of the Affiliated Student Group Executive Committee (i.e. President, Treasurer, Secretary). A Student Group will not be able to access funding or request approval for events until the training is completed.

Disaffiliation and Dissolution

(33) An Affiliated Student Group may be disaffiliated at any time for failure to comply with the requirements of this Policy, or its Terms of Reference.

(34) If at any time the majority of members at any meeting decide to dissolve the Affiliated Student Group, the Executive Committee will remain in office and be responsible for the orderly conclusion of the Student Group’s affairs.

(35) In the event of disaffiliation or dissolution, the Executive Committee must account for all outstanding liabilities of the Affiliated Student Group and relinquish the remaining assets and Funds to the University via coordination with the Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging team, and where required the Governance (SRC) and Education Officer, within 10 (ten) business days.

Final Report

(36) At the conclusion of the affiliation period, or in the event of disaffiliation or dissolution, the Executive Committee must submit a final report to the Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging team and the Governance (SRC) and Education Officer containing:

  1. a current register of all assets as per clause 25;
  2. a final financial report completed by the Treasurer of the Student Group as set out in clause 21, encompassing the entire period of affiliation;
  3. a President’s final report to end date; and
  4. if applicable, a copy of the minutes indicating dissolution of the Affiliated Student Group by a majority vote.

Disputes and Complaints

(37) Members of Affiliated Student Groups should raise possible breaches of this Policy or a Student Group’s Terms of Reference with the Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging team.

(38) Alleged breaches of the Student Code of Conduct should be reported according to the Student Conduct Procedure.

(39) Members of Affiliated Student Groups may lodge complaints in accordance with the Complaints Resolution Policy for Students and Members of the Public and Complaints Resolution Procedure for Students and Members of the Public.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Application for Affiliation

(40) Student Groups may seek affiliation (including reaffiliation) during the period published on the Student Groups Website.

(41) An application for affiliation must be submitted to Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging by following the process outlined on the Student Groups Website.

(42) Applications for affiliation must include:

  1. a Terms of Reference for the Student Group (using the available template); and
  2. the minutes of meeting of the Student Group, which evidence the:
    1. proposed Terms of Reference as agreed; and
    2. elected President, Treasurer and Secretary Executive Members.

Application review

(43) Applications will be reviewed by the Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging team and the Governance (SRC) and Education Officer (Dean of Students Office), with a response provided within 10 (ten) business days.

(44) An application for affiliation may be rejected where the Student Group does not meet all of the eligibility requirements (refer to clauses 8-10). The applicant may request feedback on an unsuccessful application.

(45) Affiliation lasts for 12 months from the date the Student Group Executive Committee is notified that an application for affiliation is successful.

(46) Following approval of affiliation, the minutes of the first quorate meeting of the Affiliated Student Group resolving to adopt the Terms of Reference, must be provided to the Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging team.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(47) For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:

  1. Affiliated Student Groups means groups which have been approved for affiliation by the Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging team.
  2. Executive Member means a President, Treasurer or Secretary of the Affiliated Student Group.
  3. Funds means any funds of the Affiliated Student Group as gathered through membership fees, fundraising, sponsorships or other means as approved by the Dean of Students.
  4. Reporting Period means the 12-month period which begins when executives are elected and ends when executives finish their term of office.
  5. Staff means all persons employed by the University, including continuing, fixed term, and casual Staff members.
  6. Student means a person currently enrolled in a program or unit of study at the University.