How does my club or society affiliate with the University?
All clubs and societies can indicate their wish to affiliate with the University by contacting OSA( firstname.lastname@example.org) to request an online form. Subject to the initial vetting of submitted information, you will be required to provide the following information in a later stage for completing the affiliation:
The newly registered student bodies would carry names such as “XXX (Society), The Chinese University of Hong Kong”. They would be requested to sign a statement to declare that the nature and activities of the society will not be in violation of any Hong Kong law or guidelines of the University and OSA.
For Faculty and Departmental Societies to affiliate with the University, please indicate your affiliation preference through the online system. OSA will process the information and then pass it on to the relevant Faculty or Department. Once the process is completed, these bodies will continue to be eligible for support from the student activities fund and booking amenities and facilities managed by OSA.
OSA will provide administrative support to these student bodies, including the venue (or locker) for student bodies’ activities, eligibility to apply for student activities funds, and right to reserve amenities/facilities via the OSA online booking system, etc. OSA will also provide supporting documents to registered student bodies as and when appropriate, e.g., for the purpose of applications for hostel residence.
Regarding room/facility allocation, all affiliated student bodies are eligible to apply for a society room or a locker in BFC, JFC or PSC, subject to the availability of resources. The new room/locker arrangement will officially start by Term 2, 2021-22. Accordingly, for student bodies which choose not to affiliate, or if an application is denied by OSA, their rooms/lockers will have to be returned to the University before the commencement of Term 2. Student bodies which encounter difficulties will be considered by OSA on a case-by-case basis.
Student bodies who apply and accept OSA’s offer of a room/locker will have to sign an agreement with OSA, confirming that all contents and activities held in the room/locker will not be in violation of any Hong Kong law or any guidelines of the University and OSA.
How will CUHK protect student information if they choose to affiliate with the University via OSA under the new system?
Student information will be managed in strict accordance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, as well as relevant University policies and procedures. OSA has extensive experience as an administrative unit in managing student information and takes its responsibilities seriously as a custodian of student data and personal information.
If a club or society’s funding application is rejected, what should I do?
There are many funding schemes managed by OSA, e.g. Internationalisation Activity Fund (https://lces.osa.cuhk.edu.hk/cultural-diversity/fund/ ), UGC Student Activities Fund Block Grant, FAA Student Activities Fund ( http://sdrs.osa.cuhk.edu.hk/en-gb/support-to-student-bodies/student-activities-fund ) etc. The requirements of each funding scheme are different. All guidelines and notes to applicants are set out in OSA’s relating website. If you have further questions during application, student bodies can contact OSA at email@example.com.
Can student bodies use Cultural Square for student activities?
Booking of the Cultural Square is now temporarily administered by OSA. All eligible clubs and societies or Units can check the venue availability with OSA.
Will the University restrict the activities of clubs and societies after they affiliate with the University via OSA?
The University respects the rights of student societies to conduct activities and we recognise their role as essential in nurturing a vibrant campus community and student experience. The only caveat to this is that all student societies need to conduct their activities in compliance with both the law and University policies and procedures. The only “guideline” or “restriction” the University has given to OSA is to make sure that no illegal/unlawful activities will be conducted on campus by our students.
The basic principle or “rule of thumb” is that CUHK fully supports the activities of student societies that are focused on enhancing student experience and enriching student life, and do not engage in illegal conduct or violate University policies and procedures.
Will the University support the re-establishment of a student union?
We look forward to a new student body that upholds CUSU’s tradition in serving not only the student community but also society more broadly. We wish to see an organization with a good representation of the current student mix of the university, a transparent organizational structure, and a wide participation from all different student groups.
Student representation and participation is an integral part of university life. We look forward to seeing a new student body come into existence. The University stands ready to provide necessary and appropriate assistance.
How will OSA forge better relationships with students?
This has to be a two-way process. The University takes a multi-pronged approach to student engagement. While centralized student bodies have been communicating with the University Dean of Students and with OSA, Colleges are also working closely with their respective College Student Unions and affiliated bodies. During the transitional period, we encourage Faculty/Department and Programme Offices to play a more proactive role in supporting their respective student bodies.
In addition to communication with student bodies, we are also in frequent dialogue with Student Senators and Faculty Boards Student Members. In the past, we have consulted them on various issues, including Pass/Fail arrangement of examinations, online teaching and learning, programme changes, etc.
Separately, OSA has also been working directly with some student ambassadors and student volunteer teams (e.g., i-ambassadors to promote internationalization and uBuddies to support student mental wellness), as well as some international student bodies, such as AIESEC and Uni-Y.
A further layer of communication is with non-local student bodies that previously chose not to affiliate with CUSU. They have been supported by the University in terms of office space and activity funding.
Meetings will be arranged with other student groups, like SEN, non-local students, postgraduate students, on a regular basis. Ad hoc meetings will also be arranged for various purposes, e.g.,on the collection of student responses over selected new/ particular programmes, including students who have taken the positive psychology course, students who participated in the EPIN programmes, etc.
The University will continue this multi-pronged approach in communicating with different sectors of students and student societies. At the same time, we look forward to seeing the development of complementary and constructive, student-led initiatives.
What is the legal advice regarding independent registration of the student union?
The University received clear legal advice requiring CUSU to register as an independent entity under the Societies or Companies Ordinance. As the CUSU is a student led, student-initiated body not constituted pursuant to or directly under The Chinese University of Hong Kong Ordinance, CUHK’s legal advice believes there is a clear requirement for CUSU to register under the Societies or Companies Ordinance.
Are College student unions also required to register independently and is there a deadline to do so?
The relationship between College Student Unions is first and foremost with their respective Colleges. While the University has not provided direct advice to College Student Unions, it has recommended to Colleges that where student unions exist, they should also pursue independent registration. The University has not set a deadline and students are encouraged to talk directly to their Colleges about their options.
Will the University start collecting fees on behalf of CUSU under the OSA transition plan?
The University is not currently collecting fees on behalf of CUSU and there will be no change to the current practice. College-based unions will continue as per current arrangements with individual colleges.