setting up a society

With over 150 affiliated societies, there is a huge variety of activities that you can join! But what do you do if you if the society you want to join doesn't exist?
 
Well, don’t worry, because you can set up a new society with support from the Societies Committee!
 

If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to get in touch with the Societies Officer via socs@st-andrews.ac.uk, come along to the weekly Societies Committee Office Hours (Mondays 4-6pm in the Main Bar) or drop by the DoSDA office on the middle floor of the Union.

 

Why Affiliate?

Affiliating your society to the Students’ Association has a number of benefits. 

  • You will qualify for financial assistance, in the form of grants and loans from the Students’ Association, to assist you in putting on events which fulfil the aims of your society.
  • You will have priority access to the facilities in the Students’ Association such as room bookings, equipment hire, and a stall at the Freshers Fayre.
  • You will receive a society mail box and society email address.
  • You have access to Students' Association permanent staff, insurance, and existing resources. 

Affiliated societies are managed and promoted by the Societies Committee. The Societies Committee will provide support and advice if and when you need it as well as provide training for your committee members. 

If you are thinking of affiliating, please note the following things:

  1. Make sure you check out the Students' Association's existing societies to confirm that someone hasn't already started up your society. We cannot affiliate a society which intends to do the same thing as an existing affiliated society because the Students' Association's status as a registered charity. To do so would be viewed as a misuse of money under OSCR law.  
  2. You must have at least 25 paid members.
  3. Ordinary membership of your society must be open to all students. 
  4. You must charge a minimum of £3 as a membership fee.*

If you have any questions regarding affiliation please contact the Societies Officer at socs@st-andrews.ac.uk

*If you believe this will be a significant issue for your society please get in touch with the Societies Committee so we may discuss options. 

 

Here's the process to affiliate a new society:

Step 1: Complete the New Society Request Form. 

Make sure you check out all our existing societies here to confirm that the society you want to start doesn't already exist! You will not be able to affiliate if the aims and activities of your society clash with any existing societies. 
 
Download and complete a copy of the New Society Request Form and email the completed the form to the Affiliations Officer via newsocs@st-andrews.ac.uk.
 
The Societies Committee will discuss your request at their weekly Wednesday committee meeting and you will hear by the following Friday. The committee's decision may be to:
 

a. Grant you Leave to Proceed (LTP) to formally start the affiliation process;

b. Conditionally grant you LTP, which means that the committee requires more information about your society OR you need to gain approval from existing societies with similar aims/activities; or

c. Reject your new society request.

 

Why are some new society requests rejected?

  • There is already an existing society that has comparable aims and hosts similar events.
    • Be sure to review the list of currently affiliated societies before applying!
  • The proposed society is sports-based.
    • You will likely be redirected to the Athletic Union (AU) if your society is somewhat related to sport, but of course the Societies Committee will reconsider if the AU formally rejects the society proposal.
  • The proposed society promotes competing brands/companies.
    • This includes specific alcohol brands that are not currently available in the Students' Association.
  • The proposed society is exclusive or challenges the values of the Students’ Association.

 

Step 2: Being granted Leave to Proceed (LTP).

If your new society request is successful, you will be given detailed instrutions on how to fulfil the necessary requirements of affiliation.
 
This process includes:
  • Drafting a Constitution
  • Filling out a General Risk Assessment (GRA)
  • Compiling a list of 25 paid members (you must charge a minimum of £3.00 as a membership fee and Ordinary Membership must be open to all matriculated students)
  • Opening a society bank account
  • Signing and submitting an Affiliation Agreement
  • Send relevant committee members to President's Training, Treasurer's Training, and Health & Safety Awareness
All these affiliation forms can be found here.
 
You will be sent the weblink to upload all necessary Affilation Paperwork electronically and you must complete society trainings within three weeks of being given LTP. 
 
We recommend attending training before uploading your paperwork. Trainings are held every two weeks on Wednesdays at 3pm in Main Bar. You can email socs@st-andrews.ac.uk or check the YourUnion calendar for the next training dates. 
 

Step 3: Upload the Affiliation Paperwork and complete all necessary society trainings.

Once you have met the requirements of affiliation, you will be notified by the Societies Committee and will be given access to all Union affiliated societies resources such as free room bookins and funding.

Congrats on starting your new society! 

If at any point you wish to discontinue the affiliation process for your society, you must notify the Affilations

 

Get in touch with the Societies Officer if you have any questions or go to the Societies Committee Office Hours on Mondays from 4-6pm in Main Bar.