Zimbabwe Open University established an association of students known as the “Students Union” both at national and regional levels. The Student Representative Council (SRC) serves as the executive branch of the Union.
Aims and Objectives of the Union
· To provide for the representation of the students in matters that affect their interests both as individuals and as a body in the pursuit of academic excellence.
· To promote intellectual, scientific, technological, artistic, cultural, aesthetic, political, religious, social, and economic activities arising among its members and to promote their general welfare.
· To provide, encourage and develop among its members the formation, organization and operation of clubs and societies for such purposes.
· To provide an effective channel of communication between the student body, the university authorities and the people of Zimbabwe in general.
· To organize the students around the principles of love, peace, justice, democracy, progress and the eradication of racism, tribalism, regionalism, nepotism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, and gender inequalities.
· To promote and maintain the co-operation of its members with other students at national and international levels.
The Roles and Duties of the SRC
The Students Representative Council is responsible for the administration and conduct of the affairs of the Students Union.
The duties of the Students Representative Council are to further the objectives of the Union in general and, in particular:
a) To decide on the policy of the Union and on external affairs.
b) To acquire, control, maintain and safeguard the property of the Union.
c) To prepare, in consultation with the university administration, and approve annual estimates of the union’s income and expenditures of all provincial and regional students councils.
d) To prepare for the general meetings of the Students’ Union.
Powers of the Students Representative Council
· In addition to any powers directly granted to it by the Constitution, the Students Representative Council has the power to decide on any matters within the scope of powers delegated to it by a general meeting of the Students’ Union.
In particular, the Students Representative Council
a) Form standing committees of the union as required by the Constitution and to establish other committees of the union as it sees fit for the conduct of its business.
b) Delegate any of its powers.
c) Call general and extraordinary general meetings of the union.
d) Determine which clubs and societies shall be recognized by the union.
Roles and Responsibilities of the SRC Executive
The President is the Chairperson of the Students Representative Council and the Students Executive Council, he/she
a) Convene and preside over general meetings.
b) Convene and preside over all the Students Executive Council and Students Representative Council meetings.
c) With prior approval of the Students Representative Council, issue public statements on behalf of the Union, provided that where three or more members do not approve and support a different view, the President will include in his statement a reference to such view.
d) Make representations on behalf of the Students Union to the Vice Chancellor, the Dean of Students, or any other responsible administrative official on any matters that concern the students.
The Vice President
a) The Vice President chairs the Finance Committee and convenes its meetings, at which he or she will have a casting vote only.
b) The Vice President has the right to inspect and examine all financial records within the custody of the Treasurer.
c) The Vice President shall report immediately to the President upon discovering any irregularities in the administration and use of union funds, and the President shall inform all Students Executive Members and the Students Representative Council.
d) In the absence of the President, due to any reason or cause, the Vice President assumes office as acting President.
e) The Vice President exercises all or any of the powers delegated to him or her by the President.
The Secretary General is the chief administrator of the Union and among other duties he or she
a) Conducts all correspondences and ensures the Union’s efficient all-round administration.
b) Keep proper records of all general and Students Representative Council meetings.
c) Keep a record of the constitutions of student clubs and associations.
d) Assist the President and other Students Representative Council members in carrying out their work in a proper and efficient manner.
e) The President or Vice President may delegate any of his or her powers to the Secretary-General.
The Treasurer is responsible for the bookkeeping and administration of the Union funds and in particular;
a) Acts as the secretary of the Finance Committee
b) on behalf of the S.R.C. within four weeks after elections, present a budget of the Union showing how Union funds will be disbursed and utilized to the S.R.C. who shall consider and approve it on behalf of the Union.
c) report to the S.R.C. and or the Union on any other matters incidental thereto whenever called upon to do so by the S.R.C. and or the Union.
d) Being the financial secretary, he or she will be directly in charge of all financial records and shall thereafter be responsible for all irregularities that may be found in the financial records.
e) Shall not disburse or approve such disbursements without SRC’s finance committee’s approval.
f) Be required to give a full financial report whenever called upon to do so by the S.R.C. or by the Union.
g) Be charged to ensure that funds allocated to the Students Representative Council are spent only as directed by the Students Representative Council and that proper and accurate records of all receipts and expenditures are kept.
h) Be charged to deal with the Bursar’s office in monitoring and controlling the disbursement of Union funds and receive the monthly statement from the Bursar’s office on the use of Union funds.
i) Be required to report any suspicious financial irregularities emanating from the accounting bursar’s office to the Vice President in the presence of the President and the Secretary General of the Union.
j) At the end of each quarterly month, publish a financial statement showing the income and expenditure of the Union for that quarter.
k) Be required to give on relinquishing office a full and accurate financial report to the Dean of Students, records of which must be approved and deposited with the Bursar’s office of the university and communicated to the Union.
Structure of the Student Representative Council (SRC)
Comprises of two bodies:
• REGIONAL SRC CHAPTERS- (With all SRC Executive posts)-Responsible for administration and conduct of the affairs of the Regional Campuses.
• NATIONAL SRC- Responsible for all ZOU students and has all the twelve SRC posts.
• SENATE MEMBERS- Six of the top positions are held by Senate members. These are National President, Vice President, Secretary General, Treasurer, Secretary for Legal and Academic Affairs and Secretary for Health.
The Student Representative Council (SRC) consists of the following:
b) Vice President
c) Secretary General
e) Academic and Legal Affairs Secretary
f) Health and Social Welfare Secretary
g) Transport Secretary
h) Sports and Entertainment Secretary
i) Information Publicity and External Secretary
j) Properties Secretary
k) Gender Secretary
l) Special Needs Secretary.
N.B: The above posts of the SRC are the same at both regional campuses and at the national centre.
The first top six SRC members at the national level represent the whole Student Board in Senate and are referred to as the SRC Executive Council (EC).