[ProgSoc] Changes to Fee Structure & Registration Process

Roland Turner roland at rolandturner.com
Wed Feb 28 22:20:37 AEDT 2018

Hi Brenton,

Thanks for the update, I'm perfectly happy to pay the higher amount and 
suspect that at least some other alumni members will feel the same.

For context, I'd point out that the differential charging between Union 
members and others (or even Union members who elected not to provide a 
student number) was part of the deal from the outset. I can't recall 
whether we were obliged, but it certainly seemed reasonable to charge 
non-Union-members a premium equal to the 1:1 membership fee matching 
payment that the Union was providing for Union members. At the time 
matching was limited to $5, so we set membership at $5. (I suspect that 
the actual deal that we were doing in the early years was something like 
offering TFM for $5 if you joined at purchase, or $10 otherwise. I don't 
recall exactly. And yes, even back then, there were some privacy 
sensitive individuals who - despite being Union members - preferred 
paying $10 to paying $5 and disclosing their name and student number to 
us.) Note that purchasing power has roughly halved since 1989, so $5 for 
Activate members is about half of what it was, while $25 for others is 
only slightly above what it was.

The fact that the $20 is a nominal amount allocated against the grants 
etc. fund (which is to say, the popularity contest which is used to 
allocate discretionary funds to clubs) rather than membership fee 
matching is rather unfortunate, but points back to one of the 
motivations for founding ProgSoc as a Union-affiliated club in the first 
place: outrage at the use of mandatory Union fees (IIRC: ~$300/semester 
at the time, or about 4* the current $149 in real terms) to purchase a 
yacht. I look forward to hearing what grant(s) the club is successful in 
landing this year :-)

- Raz


On 28/02/18 16:41, Brenton Smith wrote:
> Hi All,
> I have some good and bad news regarding registration and the ProgSoc 
> fee structure.
> The good news is that the executive team have decided to reduce the 
> membership fee for students and staff from $10 to $5, to keep the 
> price in line with other comparable societies and to help attract members.
> The bad news however is that ActivateUTS (formerly UTS Union) have 
> instated a minimum $20 additional charge for external (non student or 
> staff) members of all affiliated clubs/societies, meaning we will have 
> to charge $25 for these members. This change was made as students have 
> to pay a Student Services & Amenities Fee (SSAF) which is used in part 
> to fund grants etc. for societies. After reviews/discussions an 
> increase in external fees was decided upon to ensure fairness between 
> externals and students.
> Finally, we will be unable to take cash payments or direct transfers 
> for membership fees at this stage. An MVP of a website has been rolled 
> out and all societies will be using a centralised registration site 
> integrated with PayPal. This site will also be able to verify a 
> member’s student/staff status during registration. You can find 
> ProgSoc’s page on this site here: 
> https://activateuts.com.au/clubs/programmers-society-progsoc
> From what I have seen, these are both unpopular changes, and there 
> have been a lot of complaints and opposition to it. If you have any 
> complaints or feedback on these changes, I would recommend contacting 
> Activate to discuss it. As has informally been the case for the last 
> few years (as far as I’m aware), this year’s executive have no 
> intentions of locking the accounts of ex-members that have ceased to 
> be financial members, but this of course does not extend to events, 
> AGM voting privileges etc.
> We really appreciate the continued support from ProgSoc alumni, so I 
> apologise for making this change but hope you understand that we had 
> no choice and were not proactively consulted on this.
> *TL;DR*: We must now charge alumni $25, and registration or renewal 
> has to be done via a website + PayPal.
> Regards,
> Brenton Smith (ProgSoc President)
> _______________________________________________
> Progsoc mailing list
> Progsoc at progsoc.org
> http://progsoc.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/progsoc

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