New Society Information 2015/2016

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New Society Information 2015/2016sulogobw

Thanks for your interest in setting up a new society. Please let us know if you would like any of our information in another format or if you have any additional requirements which you think we need to know about in order to help you run your group.
How to set up your society
Once you have decided upon the name, purpose and format of your society, you’ll need to fill this form in and email it to Once you’ve returned your form and we’re all satisfied that you’ve included everything, it’ll need to be approved by the Societies Committee, which will take around a week, then you’re up and running!
To become a Students’ Union society you’ll need:

• A student-led committee of at least three people to organise your activities

• A constitution to outline what you’ll be doing and how the society will be run

• A code of conduct which outlines the responsibilities of the society and its members

• A risk assessment to cover the main activity your society will be doing (unless it is a basic meeting. Risk assessments for one off events can be filled in as and when events take place.)
The Activities Centre

We have staff in thecharlie.jpg

Activities Centre, Falmer House dedicated to helping societies by providing advice and support;

Charlie Temperton

Societies Co-ordinator

Activities Centre, Falmer House
Tel: (01273) 678625



Lyndsay, the elected Activities Officer is a recent Sussex graduate who was involved in running societies as a student. Her role is to support societies, sports clubs, volunteering and events.

Tel: (01273) 678155


We’re here to help committee members run their societies so pop in and see us in the Activities Centre, Falmer House, email us, or call us. You’re welcome to come in and see us at any time but if you’d like to book an appointment to make sure we’ll be available just get in touch.

Completing this form

This form uses fields which allow you to enter information only where it is required. If you have additional information you can send this through separately via email. You can enter text in the general information sections by typing as normal. To tick boxes you can just click on them.

About your society

Society Name      
We have broad categories of societies to help students find societies they might be interested in. Each category of societies also has a representative on the Students’ Union Societies Committee which makes decisions that affect societies such as granting funding and approving new societies.
Society Category 
Societies do not have to charge a membership fee but this can be a useful way to raise funds. Please note that we have to deduct VAT from the membership fee when it is paid in so if your membership fee is £5 you will only get £4.17 added to your account.
Membership Fee      
Some societies have links with other organisations and companies, e.g. affiliations to charities or sponsorship agreements with local companies. If you plan to be affiliated/connected to any other organisations/companies please tell us a little about your plans;

Your constitution explains what your society aims to do and how it is run. You can use our structure below or write your own as long as it includes these two key aspects. Let us know if you’d like to discuss your ideas or would like to see an example constitution.

What are the overall aims and objectives of your society?

To help people share a hobby? To campaign on an issue? To bring people from a course together? What are you planning to do in the short and long term? What events, meetings etc. are you planning?

What is each member of the committee expected to do?

e.g. Treasurer – record details of transactions, apply for funding. President – recruit new members. (Committee roles can be anything you want them to be but should reflect the organisational structure you will use to make plans and decisions about how your society functions)


What other specific activities will you be organising or taking part in?

Are you taking part in competitions? Organising a conference? Running training for your members?


Membership & joining procedures

All societies are required to have their members join the society on the website. Once members are signed up online, committee members will be able to view their contact details.

We will take the number of members you have signed up online as an indication of you activity levels which may in turn affect your access to funding and other resources, however we will of course give new societies sufficient time to build up such a membership base.

Committee Members

We need the details of at least three people who will be involved in running your society. The role of each society committee member will vary depending on what your society does but the following broad principles apply to all committee members.

Committee members are responsible for organising the group’s activities and ensuring these are carried out safely. This could include some or all of the following;

  • Organising trips

  • Organising events

  • Selecting the team for a competition

  • Tasks specific to your group’s activities, aims and objectives

  • Ensuring the ongoing development of their group

  • Recruiting new members

  • Liaising with the Activities Centre

  • Working with other committee members and society members

  • Gathering and responding to feedback from society members

  • Attending Students’ Union training

To make sure that our societies are led by students all of your committee members must be current Students’ Union members, i.e. current Sussex or BSMS students. Please include all committee members’ Sussex/BSMS email addresses so we can make sure they are current students, if you have another email address you’d rather we use instead to get in touch with you you’re welcome to include it as well.

It is important that we have full contact details for committee members as sometimes we may need to get in touch with you at short notice. They are not passed on to anyone outside of the Students’ Union staff and officers but the email addresses will be added to our ‘irunasociety’ mailing list to receive important updates from the Activities Centre team.
If you have more than five committee members you can email us their details and we’ll add them on.
We will set up an email address for students to use to get in touch with you, usually in the format This will automatically send emails to the Sussex/BSMS email account of one of your committee members, just tick the box next to their name to identify the person you would like to deal with general enquiries from students.

Please mark the person you wish to receive the general email enquiries from students

about your society

1. Committee position:




Mobile number:


Sussex/BSMS email address:


Year started at Sussex/BSMS


Student status:

School of study:

Current Year of Study:


2. Committee position:




Mobile number:


Sussex/BSMS email address:


Year started at Sussex/BSMS


Student status:

School of study:

Current Year of Study:


3. Committee position:




Mobile number:


Sussex/BSMS email address:


Year started at Sussex/BSMS


Student status:

School of study:

Current Year of Study:


4. Committee position:




Mobile number:


Sussex/BSMS email address:


Year started at Sussex/BSMS


Student status:

School of study:

Current Year of Study:


5. Committee position:




Mobile number:


Sussex/BSMS email address:


Year started at Sussex/BSMS


Student status:

School of study:

Current Year of Study:


Financial reps

Please now nominate two financial representatives. These two people will be in charge of your accounts and funding applications. If you application is accepted we will provide your committee with more information. The two reps must be part of the named committee above and will occasionally be called upon to approve financial transactions on behalf of the society.

Rep 1 Name:


Email address:


Phone number:


Rep 2 Name:


Email address:


Phone number:


Code of Conduct

Running a society comes with responsibility towards your members and the Students’ Union. Our code of conduct outlines your responsibilities and those of your members. By signing your name at the end you show that you accept and understand these.

This code of conduct is to be adhered to in conjunction with the University of Sussex Students’ Union Articles of Association and Equality and Diversity Policy1.All members, ordinary and committee, must read, agree to and abide by this code of conduct and be aware of the repercussions of any breaches.
The committee shall be elected democratically by the members of the society at the society’s Annual General Meeting.
The society committee shall:

  1. Ensure their duty of care to their members within all activities2 undertaken by the society whilst working within the Health & Safety guidelines of the Union and the University.

  2. Act in accordance with the principals of the Union’s Equal Opportunities policy and not discriminate on any grounds including, but not limited to, sexuality, race, gender, age or disability.

  3. Make a commitment to providing a quality service to their members.

  4. Promote and facilitate the activities and interests of the society rather than their own interests and activities especially where these are inconsistent with the constitution of the society.

  5. Act professionally and responsibly in all matters regarding their society and the Union.

The society members (ordinary and committee) shall:

  1. Conduct themselves accordingly as representatives of their society, the Union and the University.

  2. Comply with the Union Articles of Association, Code of Conduct and Equality and Diversity Policy.

  3. Respect the rights and dignity of others and ensure that threatening or intimidating behaviour is not tolerated towards members, students, staff or the public.

  4. Use equipment owned by the society or the Union for the purposes of the society only and not wilfully damage or misuse said equipment.

  5. Carry out society activities soberly and with due care, and not under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating or mind-altering substances.

  6. Use Union resources only for the administration and execution of their society activities, including the telephones, computers and the photocopier in the resource area.

  7. Acknowledge these conditions also apply to any online and social media activity related to the society.

By submitting this document, I declare that I have read and understood the above Code of Conduct and agree to abide by it and the other documents and policies to which it refers.



Committee Position:




Publicising your group

When your society is approved we’ll set up a minisite for your society on our website which you can update and add news, events and other information to. It’s really important to have interesting and up to date details online as this will be the first place prospective members look. To edit the site, register yourself at then email and we will give you editing rights.

To get you started we’ll put some information about your society online for you – fill in the box below with the text you’d like us to include.
Make sure your society sounds interesting and that potential members will understand what your society does and the sorts of activities they could get involved in.
Information for your website

Health & Safety

As committee members you have a duty of care to your members and those that participate in your activities. If your main activity is a simple meeting you don’t need to carry out a risk assessment but if it is something more active, e.g. dance, or with more hazards, e.g. using equipment, you should submit a risk assessment along with this form.

This is something that we can work on with you but there is also there is lots of information and guidance about carrying out a risk assessment online at, please take the time to read this before submitting your risk assessment to ensure you understand how to complete it.
When your risk assessment is submitted we will let you know if any amendments are necessary. Once it is approved you should circulate it to members and/or participants. There is a blank risk assessment form at the end of this form that you can complete if required.

What next?

Once you have completed this form please email it to

We have a lot of information for societies online which can be accessed by visiting and navigating through the menu to find out more about funding, equipment, room bookings, trips, events and so on.
Once your society is approved we will set up your minisite and email address and add you to our mailing list. When you pay in some money we’ll set up an account for you (note that societies are not permitted to hold external bank accounts). The Students’ Union is here to support your group with advice, funding, resources and more. Make the most of it by talking to a member of the Activities Centre team to find out how we can help.

Risk Assessment 2015/2016internal logo - green - small

Society Name      

This risk assessment should cover your main activity/activities unless it is a standard meeting. You will also need to complete risk assessments for any other activities that you do throughout the year.

Please read the information and guidance online at before you complete your risk assessment. Once your risk assessment is complete and has been approved please ensure it is appropriately distributed to members of your society and/or activity participants.

Title of activity:

Location of activity:

Description of activity:

Date of activity:

Date assessment carried out:


carried out by:

Approved by:

Students’ Union use only

Date approved:

Students’ Union use only



Risk Without Controls


To Whom


Risk tolerable with controls?

insert more rows as required

1 The Students’ Union Articles of Association is available online at and the Equality and Diversity Policy is available online at

2 Society activity is described as any activity involving a group of students who are primarily connected through their Society and can be viewed as representing such by an external body whether this activity is officially recognised or not by the Society, Union or University.

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