HOW TO START A STUDENT SOCIETY

STARTING a student soci­ety can be a great way to meet new people, have some fun and boost your CV. However, you can’t start one just like that. You’ve got to go through the right motions and tick the right boxes first.

Here’s our guide to starting a stu­dent society. We hope it helps!

STEP ONE: GET AN IDEA…

Ok, this may sound a bit obvious, but it’s essential that your society is fresh, origi­nal and unique. You can’t just start another football society if one already exists. You’ll need to decide on the society’s name, its purpose, its main initiatives and the events and activities that you intend to provide.

One thing to remember when you’re developing your idea is that your soci­ety proposal must be approved by your university’s student union. Therefore, a society known as the Bunghole Scratch ‘n’ Sniff Society might not get accepted!

STEP TWO: PLAN EVERYTHING METICULOUSLY…

Like anything, if you’re going to succeed, you can’t just go storming into this like an absolute nutcase; you need to plan your society in great detail. You need a mission statement, an organisational structure and plan of action. Sit down, brainstorm all your ideas and then work them all into an initial scope document.

STEP THREE: FIND SOME DISCIPLES…

To get your society off the ground, you need to garner a decent amount of sup­port from your fellow students. Some students affairs sections/ SRCs won’t let you even think about starting your society without a minimum number of members. You might need at least 20 or 30 people that are willing to become a member.

Make some calls, chat to your friends, start talking to random students at the canteen, start a Facebook group and ba­sically do whatever you can to promote your idea and get other people excited about your society. Once you’ve got a bunch of like-minded people express­ing an interest, you need to get all their names, student numbers, contact details and signatures onto a piece of paper.

STEP FOUR: WRITE A CONSTITUTION…

This is where you’ll get all your ideas, objectives, plans, values and protocols down on paper. Keep it simple, concise and all-encompassing. Ideally, everyone and everyone should have the right to join your society. Get together with your other members to discuss the constitution. This should be a collaborative process and the final document should reflect the beliefs and motivations of all your members.

STEP FIVE: APPOINT YOUR DREAM TEAM…

Choose a bunch of your members to take on important roles as part of your society’s committee. You could do this through a nomination and election pro­cess, or you could just take the lead and ask the people that you think will be the most effective and enthusiastic.

STEP SIX: REGISTER WITH THE STU­DENT’S AFFAIRS SECTION/SRC

Once you’ve got your list of mem­bers, your constitution and your committee, it’s time to submit your application for registration to your uni­versity’s student affairs section/ SRC.

You might get your proposal approved straight away or you might have to at­tend an interview, where you’ll be asked searching questions about your soci­ety and your future plans. Once you’ve passed the test, you will be granted status as an official student society.

STEP SEVEN: GET A STALL AT THE CLUBS EXPO…

Now you’ve got approval, you need to get more members. The more members you have, probably the more funding you will get from the student union. It can also be pretty satisfying to get a multi­tude of excitable and enthusiastic mem­bers flocking to your humble society.

The best place to start is the Freshers’ Fair. Get yourself a stall and try to attract as many impressionable first years as pos­sible; offer free sweets, hand out free condoms, pump some big tunes out of a hifi or get a busty lady and a six-packed lothario to stand near your table (ok, maybe not this last one!). Get their email addresses and start messaging them about your upcoming events and activities.

STEP EIGHT: CARRY ON THE HARD WORK…

When you’ve got a dedicated army of followers, you can’t just sit back and re­lax. You need to start organising events, meetings and social activities. People will have joined up for a reason, so you need to give them what they want. You should also keep your promotional efforts go­ing; use social media, posters. You could even pull some one-off marketing stunts.

STEP NINE: TO INFINITY & BEYOND…

Once your society is established, just keep doing what you’re doing. Running your own society is a lot of hard work, but it’s def­initely worth it! It can look great to poten­tial employers and can give you immense personal satisfaction. Hopefully, when you eventually leave university, somebody else will continue to run the society and carry on the legacy that you have left be­hind!- adapted from allaboutcareers.com | cover image: Alicia D Weaver.

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