Club and Society Concerns

Club and Society Concerns

SUSU’s clubs and societies are a very important part of University life, providing the opportunity to meet new people and try new activities. Clubs and societies need to be safe, inclusive and welcoming spaces and new committees are trained by SUSU when they start to make sure that is the case. You can view the full training slides here: Club and Society Inductions. We know that unfortunately sometimes committees allow or even facilitate behaviour which is not in line with SUSU’s values or expectations. If we are made aware of any concerns, we will take these seriously and SUSU staff will investigate. Committees or individual members may then be required to attend a Student Disciplinary Panel who have the power to impose a wide range of sanctions. You can report any concerns anonymously using the form here: Clubs and Societies Reporting Form. You need to be logged in with your student email to use the form but the only people who will know your identity are senior members of staff at SUSU. Your details will not be shared with the club or society without your consent. Please help us to ensure all students feel safe and welcome when they participate in club and society activity by telling us of any concerns you have. Oliver Murray, Union President 2022-23 | Sonia Cottrell, SUSU Chief Executive. Below you can find ways to report an incident that has taken place, and you can find support services on our Support page.

We make it clearly known that certain behaviours are unacceptable within clubs and societies, this includes any form of initiation, bullying or harassment. We also promote our Expect Respect policy encouraging clubs and societies to think about how they could make activity more inclusive.

We recognise that sometimes things happen that are inappropriate, and which go against our values. We also appreciate that it can be difficult for people to come forward with complaints in this area and have therefore created a reporting form. We will investigate all submissions in line with the club & society regulations and the union by-laws. Your details will never be shared with the offending club or society.

If an incident within your club or society occurs, it is essential that you inform SUSU. We can advise on how to follow the SUSU Incident Procedure. We ask that following any incident you complete our online incident report form as soon as possible.

You can find out more about club and society incidents on our how-to page: How to Deal with an Incident.

Together with the University, we are standing against all forms of bullying and harassment; we Expect Respect. The University’s Report and Support tool provides a secure environment for those affected by harassment & bullying to speak out about unacceptable behaviour and to get support, or to find out how you can support someone you know who may have experienced harassment or bullying.

At SUSU our values are:

Stand Strong: We stand up for students and make sure their voice is heard; We stand strong when facing challenges and are not afraid to be different; We think big and work to achieve great things.

Join Together: We are an inclusive and diverse community of students and staff; We join together with each other, the University, and the local community to make a positive difference.

Take Responsibility: We take action on the issues that matter to students and act with integrity; We continually work to be more sustainable, challenge discrimination and prejudice; We strive to be a force for good for students and wider society.

SUSU Disciplinary Committee Outcomes

SUSU’s Disciplinary Committee is responsible for taking action where breaches of good order occur. According to our Rules the outcome of hearings shall be published on our website. The identity of the respondent, witnesses and complainants will be removed, although if the respondent is an affiliated club or society the identity of the group will be published.

Case: Rugby (Men’s), SURFC – January 2023

Charge: Charges relating to Section 4.2(b) of rule 9 of the Union– conduct detrimental to the reputation of the Union. The complaint related to two reported incidents of bullying, harassment, and violent conduct from SURFC members.

Disciplinary Committee Hearing: The student panel concluded that the culture of the club has allowed student safety to be compromised. The panel noted the culture of bullying and harassment is systemic in the club. The panel agreed that the charges against the club showed behaviour detrimental to the reputation of both SUSU and the University of Southampton.


  • Named committee members to be removed from committee for the rest of 2022-23.
  • No SURFC attendance or representation at Varsity 2023.
  • Ban from organisation of a Tour for 1 year.
  • No SURFC attendance at AU Ball 22/23.


SURFC to create an Action Plan and evidenced standards of improvement with regards to behaviour and welfare before the end of Spring Term 2023.

Whilst these penalties may be viewed as harsh, they are designed to address the serious concerns that emerged during the investigation and are not designed to impede the Clubs ability to play Rugby.

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