Starting A New Society

Created by Thomas Weller, Modified on Wed, 5 Jun at 11:19 AM by Sam Baran

Whether you're into football, ancient history, unicycling or knitting - it's often great to share your interests with others. The Students' Union supports the running of over 200 student groups that cover a variety of academic fields, hobbies, sports, faiths, and cultures. If you spot a gap in our current offer of student groups, why not consider starting up your own SU-affiliated society or club? This article will detail the processes to getting started. 

Do Your Research

Your first step to starting a new SU-affiliated group would be to do a bit of research. Check out our current list of societies, clubs, and dormant groups to see if your idea is already covered by an established group. New groups should be distinct from existing groups so that there isn't too much competition for members or replication of work. 

What is a dormant group?
Some years a student group struggles to keep active due to the change in student interest, or lack of members willing to lead the group. These groups have already been set-up but need a helping hand getting off the ground again. 

Ask yourself some of these questions during your research 

  • What will your group be called? 
  • What are my group's goals? 
  • How will I set out to achieve these goals? 
  • What is the cost of participation? Is there a one-off cost for equipment, or would it require regular payments, such as for hiring a sports hall or pitch?
  • Does it interest many people? Your group will have to be able to financially sustain itself year after year as students come and go with an annual membership of at least 20 members. It sounds easy to do at a university with 24,000 students, but many groups struggle with this. 
  • Do you have interest with current students that buy into your vision? The application form requires 20 signatories to second your application. This doesn't necessarily mean 20 people that will join your society, it's just a measure that is used to determine whether there is demand for the Society and shows that the application has been carefully considered.
  • Who will support you? Students' Union governance sets out the requirement for at least 3 members to lead a group in the form of a President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Who will fill these roles and support you? 
  • Do I have the time and organization skills to start this group?

Putting It All Together

Once you've done your research and answered these questions you can fill out our Leading Your Society form. This form will go to the Executive Committee to review your application. This committee is made up of elected students who will decide if your group is unique and strong enough to become a Students' Union-affiliated student group. 

The Executive Committee meets once a month during term time, so please be patient whilst waiting to hear back from them!

Your New Student Group Has Been Approved!

So, you've heard back from the Executive Committee and your new group has been approved - now what? 

The SU will be in contact to confirm your successful application and will set you up, in-line with the information submitted in the application. An email account will be set up on behalf of your group and you'll be allocated a page on the SU website. Check that these login details work, or submit a ticket through this helpdesk if you can't access your new accounts. 

You should then request a time to meet with a member of the SU Engagement team to become acquainted and be shown how to use your SU webpage to its maximum effect!

Create social media accounts if you wish, and start encouraging people to join your new group. To join your group they will have to purchase membership. You can find out more about membership in another one of our articles. 

Find out more about student group memberships 

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