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Creating A New Club

160 clubs is never enough! We’re always open to new clubs

Congratulations for taking the first step towards creating and affiliating a new club at the University of Canterbury.
This outlines the basic steps and the requirements and documents that you need to get started.
Read it all carefully and feel free to book a time to sit down with the clubs coordinator to discuss. Email clubs@ucsa.org.nz to arrange

Getting Started

Step One: Get in touch!

The first step is to email the Clubs Team and let them know the following:

a) The name of the proposed club or society;

b) The unique aims of the club or society;

c) Provide a draft of your proposed constitution. More information on drafting your constitution can be found here.

Constitutions: More Information
Your constitution is your guiding document and a rule book for your club/society – it should help lead your decision-making process.

Drafting Your Constitution

All clubs affiliating to the UCSA for the first time are required to prepare a constitution for their club. A constitution is a legally-binding document for your club that formalises the conditions and rules of your club and your members – a rule book. You should not rush drawing-up your constitution without careful consideration of what is going into it. A well-written constitution can be of great use as it lets everyone know what the aims and objectives of the club are, and how to deal with any situations that may arise.
EXAMPLE: The UCSA provides a template that covers the basics for your club or society, which can be found here or from the Clubs Co-ordinator.
The idea is that you alter this template to suit your club, your executive positions, and your day to day running. Take your time and try to create clauses that are specific to your club and who you want to be. This may be a referenced code of conduct, a mission or long-term goal, even an unusual executive position.
Alternatively, if you feel confident enough, you can draw up your own constitution using all the required clauses in the standardised one (these are set out in the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and its amendments). Check out www.societies.govt.nz for more info.
All Constitutions should include:
·         Club/society name
·         Aims and objectives
·         Terms and membership
·         Committee structure and officers
·         Procedure for elections
·         Meeting procedure
·         Financial responsibilities
·         Process for dissolving the club
·         Process for amending the constitution or AGM/SGM meeting rules
Discipline of members
Winding down clause

Updating your Constitution

So you think your constitution is out of date or not meeting your needs. You will need to bring changes to the Annual General Meeting (AGM), or if it cannot wait, you will need to have a Special General Meeting (SGM). To start with, you must refer to the current constitution for guidelines around notice of the meeting. Make sure you follow these carefully otherwise the meeting will be in breach of the constitution and is not VALID.

Bring the changes to the meeting and present them in an orderly and fair way. Ensure that other exec members and general club members have the opportunity to ask open questions. It can be good to refer to your general purpose, or why the club is created and how these changes will help benefit that purpose.
Now it is time to vote – this should be in the manner prescribed in your constitution. If it’s not there, you can consider voting by raising your hand or perhaps a secret ballot so that members do not feel pressured to vote in a particular way.
Once you’ve completed this, make sure to submit your constitutional changes to the UCSA Clubs Co-ordinator for approval. This is to just check that your changes are in line with the principles of the UCSA and the clubs code of conduct.

 [HSB1]Taken from: https://clubsinfo.ucsa.org.nz/knowledge-base/drafting-your-constitution/
 [HSB2]Maybe this should move to the “Running your club” section?

Step Two: Gauge interest!

Once you’ve got your constitution drafted, it’s time to gauge some interest!

You need to collect the names, contact details, and student ID numbers of at least 20 people interested in joining your new club (of whom, at least 50% need to be current students).

Once you have that – email it through to clubs@ucsa.org.nz.

Step Three: Make it official!

Once the Clubs Team is happy with your proposed constitution, it is time to make the club official through holding a General Meeting. General meetings are meetings of the club as a whole, and include all your members (who wish to attend) and your committee, so that you can give feedback to the club as a whole. Generally speaking, you will hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) once a year. However, as this is your first one ever, it is called the Inaugural General Meeting (IGM).

You need to invite all of the people who said they were interested in joining the society if it was created. You need to give them a reasonable amount of notice – at least a week!

If you would like any help booking a room to hold your IGM in, let the Clubs Team know and they will assist you with the booking process.

The IGM should generally follow the following procedure:

  1. Find an official minute keeper who will keep an accurate record of the meeting. An example of suitable minutes can be found under Resources. You also need to keep a record of all attendees, including their student ID numbers.
  2. Have the convener open the meeting.
  3. Deal with any apologies.
  4. Discuss the aims, objectives, and constitution of the club.
  5. Adopt the constitution, via a majority vote, including any motions to amend the constitution, with a quorum of members.
  6. Hold the first election of the Club Executive, as per your constitution.
  7. Agree that a new bank account is to be opened, who will be the signatories on the account, and type of account required.
  8. General business (other issues).
  9. Set a date for the next meeting.
  10. Close the meeting.

For more information, see the Annual General Meeting (AGM) Policy.

Step Four: We affiliate you!

The steps to achieve affiliation are as follows. Within a week of your IGM you need to complete the Club Affiliation Form:

You will need to upload the following:

  1. A valid, approved copy of your constitution, as passed at the IGM.
  2. A copy of the UCSA Code of Conduct (available here) signed by your new President and executive.
  3. The minutes of the IGM, signed by the executive.
  4. Update any new members of the club, including their student ID numbers, in the membership tab of your club listing.

Once we have all this information, the Clubs Team will present your application the UCSA Executive for approval and affiliation. At this meeting the Executive will consider your aims and approach to campus life, and vote on whether or not to affiliate you. The Clubs Co-ordinator will then inform you of the outcome.

It is important to note that you must apply for re-affiliation each year. More details on this can be found below.

Please make sure you join the Club Exec Facebook page, and keep an eye on the newsletter in your mailbox. These are the two ways that we will send out important club information.

Step Five: Run the club!

Now that the club has been affiliated, you can get stuck in to running your club! The UCSA will be around to provide any support or advice you may need, but for the most part, how you want to run the club is up to your executive, as long as you stay within the rules! We want to see lots of great club events being run all over campus, so if you have an idea in mind feel free to have a chat about how we can make it work!

Just remember to fulfil the basic requirements:

Firstly, keep in contact with us! You need to make sure you’re regularly collecting any mail you have sent to us, that you’re reading any emails we send you, and that any time you update any contact details, that you let us know ASAP. Feel free to make a time to stop by and have a chat with the Clubs Co-ordinator about your Club/Society, and what they can do to help. Just remember that they are very busy, so don’t take it personally if they don’t have a lot of time!

Updated on February 10, 2023

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