Your President answers questions in relation to funding for sports teams, as raised by students.
"Some members of the sports societies at the University of Lincoln claim to have faced issues surrounding their funding in recent months and years, what steps do you and the SU team take to ensure each sports society is sufficiently and fairly funded?"
There exists a policy around funding for Sports teams. This can be found here: BUCS Funding Policy. The Board of Trustees allocate an amount of funding each academic year, through the Union’s annual budgeting cycle and these funds are allocated and fairly distributed amongst the team who apply for BUCS funding depending on how they meet the following criteria:
- BUCS points won by the team
- League placing in the year
- Performance in BUCS over the previous three years
- How teams have met (or not) their Key Performance Indicators for the year
- How the team has developed over the year
- Conduct “off the pitch” i.e. sportsmanship and “We Are Lincoln” ethos
Because of this, it is very much on a case by case basis, with the VP Activities, alongside the Activities Manager, making recommendations to the Participation Sub-Committee which then makes the decision on respective funding applications on behalf of the Board of Trustees.
"How does a sports society go about securing more funding and what steps do you and the SU team take to ensure that one sport is not favoured over another?"
A Sports Team can secure more funding based on positive performance on the above mentioned criteria. Additionally, teams have access to Development Funds whereby the SU will provide up to 80% of the funding needed, to the maximum of £500. This can cover anything from coaches, equipment, events and more. All that students need to do is to apply to the SU, attaching the quotes, and requests will be considered for approval at monthly Activities Hub meetings. The Activities Hub is made up of the VP Activities, Sports and Societies Officers and Cluster Reps who scrutinise applications of funding requests. The process is 100% student led and conflicts of interests are handled appropriately. Each application is handled on its merits therefore favouritism is mitigated by a standardised procedure. You can find more info here: 1002 Activities Hub; Development Grant Procedure
"How does the Students' Union deal with complaints or questions on the issues of under-funding for Lincoln sports societies?"
The process for funding applications has been streamlined and made more robust over the past few years. Ultimately as an SU we have to make sure that what we do is sustainable. To quote the Prime Minister, “there is no magic money tree” and we have to make sure the finite resources we have go as far to make sure the student experience is great. Ultimately this will mean certain teams will not be funded but the support is there. Further to note with this is that, ultimately, funding is a privilege not an unqualified right. I really have to stress this. Whilst we would like to fund every single sports team, that is not possible so we have to have a process that considers merit of effort on and off the pitch (or respective playing area). Teams can appeal on procedural grounds if they are unhappy with funding decisions, but all cases are handled fairly and appropriately.
"Some Lincoln University students have voiced their concern online about Lincoln Students' Union Barge and have suggested that funding for sports societies may have been sacrificed as a result of the barge being purchased. How does the Students' Union respond to such comments and ensure sports societies have not suffered as a result of the Barge being purchased last year?"
Without going into too much detail, the monies come from two completely different pots. The Barge was purchased as capital expenditure of fixed assets. This means that it is intended to be a productive and regenerative asset for a prolonged period of time and will feed back into the SU through increasing revenue (income). Funding for Sports teams is part of the SU’s annual budgeting cycle, we aim to at least breakeven each year and where we do make surpluses those are reinvested. I addressed these questions in the All Student Members’ meeting last Monday. Keep a look out on Lincoln SU for the minutes and materials from the meeting.
If you have any further questions for Kudzai regarding his answers above, please email [email protected].