The society Fusion has been told they will be unable to give the proceeds from the ticket sales of this year’s event to charity.
This is in accordance with the Ultra Vires restrictions which governs all charitable organisations, including societies such as Fusion, restricting their fundraising to RAG only. This means they cannot donate the profits from their ticket sales.
However, the society is currently approaching the legal department hoping to find a way around the problem.
Fiona Lavelle, Fusion President, expressed her disappointment at YUSU’s actions, stating: “I’m not sure if they are merely being overcautious, but as our Student Union they should be there to help, and not simply to tell us we cannot do something.”
Fusion is one of the largest societies on campus, now in its seventh year, celebrating student diversity and talent in the form of an annual show. Over the years Fusion has acquired a reputation for both its high quality performances and substantial contributions to charity.
“We will continue to strive to look for ways to overcome this problem without breaking the law”
Creative Director of Fusion
Janey Stephenson, Creative Director of Fusion, stated her frustration at the current situation, but stressed they were still looking at ways to make the donation happen.
“The reason I became involved with Fusion in the first place was because it has such a unique potential to raise thousands of pounds for charity and really make a difference to people’s lives.
“Although it’s extremely frustrating that this confusing bureaucracy is trying to prevent us from doing something which seems to us so simple, just giving money to charity, we’re not defeated just yet.
“We will continue to strive to look for ways to overcome this problem without breaking the law.”
In previous years Fusion have had similar problems with the Ultra Vires Act but are adamant they want to stand by RAG and donate money to charity through their event.
YUSU President Tim Ngwena, who was also Fusion President in 2009, stated: “” I understood, and was overwhelmed by the desire for students to get involved with an event like Fusion. However since 2009, the restrictions on Student Unions from the Charities Commission has made it important for YUSU to comply with Ultra Vires restrictions. No ratified society, including Fusion is an exception to the rule.”
He added that way around the charity law would be for Fusion to de-ratify as a society and become recognised as a RAG fundraising activity, though this has proved an unpopular idea within the society.
Lavelle has indicated that this year, Fusion has the potential to raise over £20,000 from the three shows, this March.
Ideas such as halving the ticket price, and instead asking people to donate once inside, thus enabling the money to go to charity, have also been suggested as a way around the charity law.