By Jessica Whiting
The ANU Board Game Society (BGS) today sought to have the Clubs Funding Policy amended to allow the purchase of assets with event funding. The club also moved to have its maximum funding increased. Both motions failed.
BGS submitted its motions yesterday, the evening before the final Clubs Council meeting of the year. The first motion was to amend the Funding Policy to remove an assets ban from the Ordinary Event Grant (OEG). In the explanatory memorandum, BGS wrote that it is “a board game society which spends 8x more on food than we do on board games” because the OEG does not allow funds to be spent on things which are “meaningfully reusable”.
As it stands, the OEG allows clubs to receive funding for events based on how many students attend their events. In the current policy, these funds cannot be spent on ‘assets’, which are defined as being items of “more than nominal value” which “have meaningful reusability”. Instead, the Capital Expenditure Grant can cover such expenses. However, this grant is limited to $1000 in a year.
The BGS delegate stated that the change would allow for the provision of “more resources in the spirit of the society’s constitution”, and highlighted the benefits of the change to other asset-heavy societies. Delegates for the ANU Robotics Club and ANU Computer Science Students Association (CSSA) spoke for the motion, and recounted facing similar difficulties in accessing useful funding. The delegate for the CSSA lamented this “crack in the system”, noting their collaboration with BGS for events in the past.
A delegate for the ANU Apiculture Society, named in the explanatory memorandum as a club which would benefit from the change, spoke against the motion. While noting that they would benefit from extra capital expenditure, he concluded that “this isn’t the best way to do it”.
Clubs Council Secretary Howard Maclean wrote a disclaimer in the agenda stating that the motion was not supported by the Executive. Speaking against the motion, Maclean said, “this is not the way to reform policy.” He also remarked, “the [ANUSA] Executive and SRC may look at this and wonder what the hell we’re doing.” Clubs Council Chair Jacob Mildren also spoke against the motion. A clear majority of delegates then voted against the proposal, meaning the exclusion on capital spending remains.
The BGS also raised a further two motions to increase their funding cap for 2018 and 2019 by $5 000, to $15 000. Liu said that the extra cap was needed so they can “maintain weekly events with high turnouts”. The delegate also noted the high costs of board games, and high costs associated with catering for long events. No club offered to second this motion, so it failed before getting to a vote.
ANU Dining Society (DinSoc) also motioned to have their funding cap changed for 2019. They requested it be increased from $10,000 to 9% of the Clubs Council’s budget for next year. In their supporting documentation, DinSoc outlined their allocation of funding for 2018, arguing they have spent funds efficiently. However, this motion was withdrawn by the club due to their delegate being absent from the meeting.
The Executive also handed down their last reports for the year. Mildren flagged the two-to-sign policy implemented this year, and told Observer that compliance from the community has been “reasonably good”. Maclean said that he estimates $94 000 has been spent in grants this year, out of the clubs funding total of $175 000.
During the meeting, voting also opened for elections for the 2019 Executive. According to the Nominations Notice issued by Returning Officer Lachy Day, 5 out of 13 portfolios are uncontested and 3 have no nominees. Voting links were emailed to delegates, with polls closing 5pm Tuesday.
ANU Board Game Society were contacted for further comment, but did not respond before time of publishing.
Jason Pover is Secretary-elect for Clubs Council for 2019. He is also Secretary-elect for ANU Observer Council for 2019. Pover had no involvement in the reporting, writing, or editing of this article.
James Howarth was a member of the Observer team during Term 1 this year.
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