Guidance for Student Groups with Under-18 Members

Created by Thomas Weller, Modified on Tue, 31 Oct 2023 at 12:10 PM by Thomas Weller

In some circumstances, students arrive at university and are still aged 17 or sometimes even as young as 16. As such, additional measures and controls may need to be put in place within your student group to enable them to take part safely. 

Guidance for Student Groups with Under-18 Members 

For Swansea University Students’ Union (SUSU) groups considering admitting members under the age of 18, it's crucial to ensure a safe, inclusive, and enriching environment. This guidance aims to provide clubs and societies with valuable insights to effectively integrate under-18 members while prioritizing their well-being. 

1. Establish Clear Communication Channels: Maintain open lines of communication with both under-18 members and if necessary, their parents or guardians. Clearly outline club or society activities, expectations, and responsibilities, ensuring all parties are well-informed and comfortable with the involvement. 

2. Designated Supervision: You may choose to have a designated member of your committee assigned to the student(s) for support and to ensure that they feel welcomed and included.


3. Age-Appropriate Activities: Tailor activities to suit the age and maturity of under-18 members. Avoid situations that may be inappropriate or unsafe for them. Instead create a welcoming atmosphere that encourages their growth and development. 

Be mindful of laws surrounding alcohol consumption. Avoid organizing events where alcohol is the main focus, as this can create uncomfortable situations for under-18 members. Try to organise a mix of drinking and sober socials.

4. Obtain Consent and Medical Information: If you require consent for your group's activity, ensure that a parent or guardian signs on behalf of the under-18 member. Additionally, collect relevant medical information to ensure you're aware of any allergies, medical conditions, or special needs – this can be useful to know about any member depending on your type of activity. 


5. Education and Awareness: Educate club or society members about the presence of under-18 members. Provide guidance on appropriate behaviour and interactions to ensure a positive and respectful environment for everyone. 

6. Anti-Bullying and Harassment Measures: Ensure your code of conduct is robust and clear around bullying, harassment, or discriminatory behaviour. Implement clear reporting mechanisms and consequences for anyone found engaging in such behaviour. 

7. Flexibility and Feedback: Gather feedback from both under-18 members and their parents or guardians. Use this input to adapt your club or society's approach and ensure the best possible experience for all.


8. Additional Training: Explore the possibility of attending safeguarding training through the SU, or your national governing body. 

Integrating under-18 members into sports clubs and societies can offer unique opportunities for mentorship, personal growth, and diverse perspectives. By following these guidelines and prioritizing the well-being and safety of all members, clubs and societies can create an inclusive and enriching environment for everyone to thrive. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with us by submitting a ticket.

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