Societies FAQ

Welcome to the Societies homepage! Here you’ll find all the information you’ll need to tap into the lifeblood of student life whether you’re interested in Films, Forensics or Philosophy there’s a society out there for you. Simply click on the A-Z of Societies to find it!

In case your interest is not being represented by one of the 90 societies, then why not just set one up yourself? Not only will you be contributing to the vibrant atmosphere on campus, you will also enhance your CV and learn skills crucial to future employment. Open up our ‘Starting a Society ‘ link to find out how.

Our time at University may be short, but the opportunities presented to us while here are timeless. Make the most of it, be enthusiastic and get involved.

If you have any societies-related questions that you cannot find the answers to here or you have ideas on student activities email vpsa@dusa.co.uk If you would like to book a meeting with the VPSA, contact Anne Marie Bottoms, Executive Support at abottoms@dusa.co.uk

Starting A Society

Your first step should be to contact the Vice President of Student Activities on vpsa@dusa.co.uk In your email you should detail what society you would like to start and who will it be open for.

Once you have received confirmation that there is indeed a society of that subject missing on campus, you would have to submit the following documentation online via the provided form.

For details of how to promote the idea of your new society or how to organize an AGM, visit the Running a Society section.

For information on the main committee officers and their duties, read through DUSA’s byelaw 5.

Prior to completing the online form, please read through the Society Affiliation Pack.

To start a new society, please click here

Affiliation Form

To start a new society, firstly fill out this form.
  • This is the chosen name of your new society
  • If you have already set up a Facebook Fan Page, please enter the URL
  • If you don't have a logo yet, please leave blank
  • Please enter 150 words that describe your society and its purpose
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The next step, once the VPSA confirms the accuracy of the submitted documentation, is to collect 20 signatories from Dundee University matriculated students, who approve of your society’s existence on campus. You will have to submit a hard copy of the contact sheet for your committee (last two pages of the Check List) and the list of 20 signatories a week in advance of a Societies’ Council meeting.

If all of the documentation is in line with requirements, you will be invited to the Societies’ Council where the other Societies’ Representatives will ask you questions and your affiliation will be voted on.

Running A Society

Booking and running your AGM

A society must hold an Annual General Meeting each year with the purpose of electing new committee members and informing your society members of the previous year’s achievements. Your Annual General Meeting is a constitutional requirement from both DUSA’s and the society’s constitution.

11 steps to a stress-free AGM:

  1. Book a room. For DUSA rooms email dusa@dusa.co.uk, for University buildings’ rooms use the central room booking system on the University’s website (type room booking in the search box at www.dundee.ac.uk)
  2. Once the committee has decided a date and location you must publicise it for seven days. The VPC and VPSA of DUSA will be more than happy to help with printing, please give notice of two if not three weeks.
  3. The AGM must be publicised openly in the DUSA building to all members – get everyone involved in postering the campus – if you’re not sure where you can/can’t flyer, pop by and ask! Do not pin anything to the trees!!!
  4. Create your agenda. We’ve provided a sample agenda below as a guide.
  5. The AGM requires an attendance of 10% of your officially registered members in order for decisions to stand. This required attendance is known as “quorum”.
  6. The President of your society will chair the AGM.
  7. The Secretary and Treasurer will give an oral or written report summarising the society’s achievements and any other relevant news. They will also submit an Annual Report of the society’s accounts. The President will also provide an Annual Report.
  8. Elections will be held for all Committee positions, regardless of anyone re-standing unless there are no other candidates.
  9. Elections can be decided either via a show of hands or a secret ballot, is it advised that you discuss the method with your committee members prior to the AGM.
  10. If the role of President is contested by the current President then the Chair must temporarily be handed to the Secretary or Vice Chair.
  11.  The Secretary shall write up the minutes and submit them to the next committee meeting for approval before sending them to the VPSA.

In some cases an Extraordinary General Meeting may be called, the roles are mostly identical to that of the AGM with the exception being the VPSA should be present if the EGM is for re-election to act as returning officer for a secret ballot.

Annual Re-Affiliation

For a society to resume having access to Societies privileges, they need to undergo a process of re-affiliation, part of which is fulfilled via the Members List online form, visit the section on members. The process is fully finalized upon Society’s submission of its accounts balance sheet and all receipts being handed to the VPSA. The Society also has to attend the annual Freshers Fayre at the start of September.

Members

Please consult DUSA Byelaw 5 on the rules of membership in Student Societies. Societies are obliged to charge their members an annual fee starting at a minimum of £1 and keep a record of their names and matriculation numbers. Please fill in the form below throughout the year every time you get a group of 15 new members.  Include their full name, matriculation number and the amount of membership fee they have been charged.

Members List

Please fill out this form for a list of your society's members.
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Meetings and Events

Roombooking

To use DUSA meeting facilities email dusa@dusa.co.uk specifying the time, date, number of people and set up you would require.
To book one of the commercial venues, please, fill the following form: http://www.dusa.co.uk/content/740523/event_booking/
For University buildings and rooms, please contact roombooking@dundee.ac.uk

AGMs or Annual General Meetings

These are annual meetings that take place at the start or end of the year, at which Presidents, Secretaries and Treasurers present annual reports and elections take place for committee positions.

EGMs or Emergency General Meetings

These meetings are held with a seven-day public notice for the purposes of unscheduled elections, expressing a vote of no confidence or to vote on constitution amendments or any other urgent matters.

Regular meetings

Societies usually schedule biweekly meetings to organize events or to participate in activities related to their interest.

Floor 5 and MONO

Some societies require bigger spaces or have events that have to cater for the public to attend. In those situations, the booking has to be made via the following form: http://www.dusa.co.uk/content/740523/event_booking/

Bake sales or Stall promotions in front of the Union

Holding a stall at DUSA provides your society with the best opportunity to publicise itself/any events to the student body. We can facilitate a stall on Floor 4 outside our offices, outside level 2 reception or even outside the association building. All we ask if that you come and see us well in advance to ensure you have a well-equipped and well-attended stall. To book a stall, contact dusa@dusa.co.uk If you would like to use the Campus Green, please, consult with the VPSA before requesting the booking.

Bake sales or Stall promotions in front of the library

For these, please contact the staff in the Advice area of the Library.

Publicity and Marketing

Freshers Fayre and Re-Freshers Fayre

At the start of every semester the Union gathers all its interest groups, local businesses and charities to showcase their activities and organizations. This is a great opportunity for Societies to advertise their own activities and attract new members. To book a stall please fill the form below.

Re-/Freshers Fair booking

Please fill out this form in order to book a stall for the Re-/Freshers Fair.

Posters and Flyers

DUSA is also able to design and print for you at discounted rates all the graphic materials you might need. However, you need to plan that well in advance. Four weeks are required for efficient marketing of events, which means your graphic designs should be with the printers at least six weeks before your event and it generally takes four weeks for graphic designs to be produced. Thus, you need to contact the relevant parties at least 10 weeks before your event to ensure its effective promotion.

For that please contact Rob Ryder-Richardson at rob@dusa.co.uk or Staci Jo Rowlison at srowlison@dusa.co.uk.

If your design has already been produced and you just need to print it please contact Matt Storey at mstorey@dusa.co.uk at least three weeks in advance of the time when you will need your posters up.

Website

All Societies must have a page on DUSA’s main website. For details on how to set up one or how to get log-in credentials, email Rob Ryder-Richardson at rob@dusa.co.uk

Contact the press

If you have planned a major or unique event then why not contact the press and give them the details. A well-placed press release can do the same work as hundreds of posters. We have provided a guide to writing a good press release here. Once you have written a press release, get in touch with the VPC here, who will be more than happy to put you in touch with the right people.

Put an advert on Hermes

Each week an email is sent to all registered students and staff at the University advertising forthcoming events and services (entitled Hermes). If you would like to have your events advertised on these emails, please, follow the instructions here: http://www.somis.dundee.ac.uk/hermes/general/Hermes_II.html

Discounted entry/deals for bigger events

If your Society is planning a big event in the Union and would like to discuss a discounted entry for your members or you would like to negotiate meal deals or discounts, contact Trevor San at tsan@dusa.co.uk

Communications

Mail

The postal mail your society receives should be directed and delivered to DUSA. This is so that any member of your society’s committee is able to collect the mail at any time throughout the week and so when you move house you don’t have to worry about changing the address. The pigeon holes are located on Level 4 of DUSA in the VPSA office. Mail from the bank should be addressed to your society, not a named person, as it is difficult to know what society it belongs to. Example “Diplomats at Dundee Society” Packages can be delivered here also, and will be stored in the VPSA’s office unless they are too big. If you are expecting a package please notify the VPSA, so Exec members are aware of any incoming packages which they may have to sign for. The address is:

Dundee University Students’ Association
 Airlie Place
 Dundee
 DD1 4HP

Email

To set up an email for your society, please, approach the ICS desks in the library.

Facebook

Societies are advised to maintain adequate and visible presence on Facebook by promoting their events through the Events options and creating Groups and Fan pages. There is also a Societies Committees Support page, which all new SocCom members have to join upon a society’s affiliation to DUSA. Here is a link to it: http://www.facebook.com/groups/206819012667327/

Funding

Fundraisers

Societies are encouraged to secure at least some funds for their activities. One source of revenue is the annual membership fee they collect from members. The second is bake sales on University grounds. A third, more efficient method that requires much more attention and coordination, is holding a fundraising night at the Union. To discuss what you could organise and get a practical perspective on your idea, contact Jamie Glasgow at jglasgow@dusa.co.uk or Tammy Fox at tfox@dusa.co.uk

Guidelines

Excursions

If awarded funds are to be spent on an excursion, this excursion must be open for all members of the Society. If there are a limited number of places on the excursion, the places must be awarded on a first-come-first served basis.

Conference attendance

Priority access to funds must be granted to new members over members who have attended previous events, especially in cases when new members have been equally successful in the selection procedure for any given conference or training opportunity.

Social Events

If a social event is to be supported by awarded funds, then The Union must be first choice of venue. However, if The Union is unsuitable as venue for well-grounded reasons, an alternative venue can be used. Society funds may not be spent on alcohol.

Equipment

If awarded funds are to be spent on equipment that costs more than £150, the VPSA must approve the purchase and the object must be properly tagged as belonging to the society. Additionally, the society must have an equipment list that is to be submitted to DUSA when the accounts are handed in.

Transportation

Societies may have access to the University’s fleet or the Union’s minibuses in certain cases. If your event requires group travel during the day and your journey allows for the Union buses to be back on campus before their evening operation staring at 9pm, you may be able to use the bus. All travels must be intrinsically linked to the Societies aims and objectives and must be initially approved by the VPSA. Minibuses may be hired overnight through the University fleet, but advance booking is mandatory.  To have access to that transportation option a member of your society must have an Authority to Drive, issued by the University. To arrange a meeting with Dave Broadfoot to start the process of acquiring one please schedule a meeting with him at dbroadfoot@dusa.co.uk

Handover

As sad as it is, there will come a time when you’re no longer at University and have to leave your society in the hands of the young upstarts we’ve nurtured from Freshers into fully-fledged students. It’s important that they receive all the help (and paperwork), for example accounts documentation and receipts) necessary to ensure that handover is smooth and that the society doesn’t have to be rebuilt from scratch.

First off, make sure that the new Committee is given all the banking details and that the signatures on the account are changed to the new President and Treasurer as soon as possible. This way, any early-semester plans can not only be funded but are also realistic; there’s nothing worse than having big ideas only to discover that the cupboard is bare.

Secondly, make sure that any society mailing list and/or society e-mail account is safely in the hands of the new Committee. This will ensure some level of continuation, allow consultation over the summer and allow the new Committee to get as many people as possible to help during the hectic Saturday that is Freshers’ Fair.

Finally, but most importantly, take some time out to go for a coffee or a pint with next year’s Committee and answer any questions or concerns they may have. Give them the low-down on Society Funding Council, how to best promote events, share anecdotes, give friendly warnings, and generally impart your worldly wisdom. If you follow these steps, you can walk into the sunset safe in the knowledge that your cherished Society will fight to see another year!

Funding Council

Societies may also apply to receive funding from DUSA to support their activities. The Funding Council is chaired by the VPSA and consists of the two Societies Representatives to the Student Representative Council and three ordinary members elected by the Societies Council. There are roughly four Funding Council meetings per semester. To request funding, Societies must submit a Funding Application via the online form below. Please read through the guidelines below on what DUSA does and does not sponsor. To fill the application, you will need the following:

  • The most up to date bank statement for your Society, scanned
  • Updated balance sheet on the finances of your Society or a financial statement explaining your financial situation as .pdf file
  • List of your current official members, who have paid their annual membership fee
  • Your Society’s bank account number and sort code

Funding Application Form

Please fill out this form if you wish to apply for funding.

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Societies Council

What is the Society Council?

The Society Council provides a forum for Presidents of all Societies to come together to discuss ideas, give feedback and iron out any problems they may be having. It’s a great way to build cross-over events and forge good working relationships with other societies.

When and where do they meet?

The Society Council meets once a semester according to the constitution but we don’t think that’s enough.In the academic year 2012-2013 we plan to convene the Society Council at least three times a semester.

The Society Council meets in The Union, in the Carnegie Suite, usually on Monday.

How do I get involved?

In order to sit on the Society Council, you have to be the President or a nominated representative of a society.

How many members sit on the council?

There is usually one council member per society, equating to around 90 council members in total.

Society Awards

It’s that time of year to get in your Society Awards. Read about the six awards below and then submit a nomination.

Best New Society
This Award goes to the society that has been affiliated in the last year and who we believe has made an impressive mark on campus life by organising engaging events, activities and has brought a new wealth of knowledge to the University.

Most Progressive Society
This award goes to the Society that has made the most progress throughout the last year, improved their society as a whole, involving more members, having more events and bigger events then they have had in the past.

Most Active Society
This award goes to the society that has been the most active for the past year throughout the University student body and has involved a large amount of the University’s community through various events, information sessions and other activities.

Best Society Event
DUSA has had this award since 2008, it goes to the society who has planned and executed an extremely successful event which has stood out in the past year.

Society of the Year
This title is awarded to the society that has made the greatest effort over the past year. Interacting with the student community, organising a range of events aimed at involving a diverse range of student demographic. This goes to the society that has really put in effort into everything they have done this year and tried to make the most of every event. This society would have also engaged significantly in DUSA led events such as the Raising and Giving Week and the International Cultures Festival.

Society Achievement Award
This award goes to a member of a society that has gone above and beyond the call of duty within their society and that have shown themselves to be an outstanding asset to their society. Members of each society can nominate any member of their society.

Society Awards 2013

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