Starting a Club or Society

Starting a Club or Society

Being part of a club or society is one of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding things you can do at university, and SUSU is here to help.

Applications to affiliate your existing club or society to SUSU can only be made in the summer term during the affiliation window period. In order to apply for affiliation, you will need to follow the process and criteria detailed below.

Step 1: Speak to a member of SUSU staff

Each new club or society will be supported by a member of SUSU staff. In order to ensure that you are given the correct information and recommendations, please arrange to meet with a member of staff from the appropriate area to discuss your new club or society. To arrange this meeting please contact suactivities@soton.ac.uk.

Step 2: Be an Active Group

We are more than happy to offer guidance to those of you wishing to start a completely new club or society, but can only affiliate those that are established. You can still exist as a non-affiliated group and are able to use our spaces just as individual students can.

To be considered for affiliation you will need to be demonstrate that your club/society is already running and has members, generally we would expect you to have been functioning for a minimum of 2 terms.

Some of the things we take into consideration when determining whether a group is active:

  • Does the group have an established committee? A committee must have a President, Treasurer & Welfare/Inclusion Officer
  • Do they have social media for the group or send out communication?
  • Do they have a minimum of 20 active members?
  • Have they held any events?
  • Do they meet regularly?

If your club/society does not meet all of the above, it may not be the right time for you to apply for affiliation. We encourage you to speak to us to get advice but remember if your application is unsuccessful you are always welcome to apply again in the next round.

Further Requirements For Affiliation

No duplication. A new student club or society can’t duplicate the objectives and aims of another club, society or Students’ Union department, in whole or in part. We will not allow a new group if it is a subset of an existing group.

We are unlikely to affiliate a club/society if we feel that it’s aims could easily be represented by another society.

If your society has an overlap with an existing society but very clear differences (e.g. Law and Inns of Court societies, or Indian & Pakistan and Punjabi societies) we would expect you to have spoken to the existing society and gained approval.

Not too narrow: the scope of the club or society should be as broad as possible, so as not to encourage the creation of other similar student clubs or societies.

All are welcome: membership of the club or society must be open to all Students’ Union members.

Objectives: a club or society must have clearly defined and lawful aims and objectives.

If you apply for affiliation and your group meets the criteria, then the decision will be put forward to the Affiliations Committee (selected student officers chaired by VP Activities) to vote on.

Please remember fulfilling all the criteria does not guarantee affiliation. We currently have over 300 clubs and societies and are not necessarily able to accommodate affiliating all applications. We would anticipate being able to affiliate a maximum of 10 new clubs and societies each year. We encourage you to be as clear as possible about the benefits you expect from becoming an affiliated club or society.

Step 3: Apply

Clubs & Society affiliation is open until Monday 13th May 2024. 

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