Posted Jan. 2, 2013
University societies are all about a group of like minded individuals organically coming together to share their interest and passion for a certain activity.
If your university is missing a trick, why not fill the gap by starting your very own postgraduate society.
From weird and wacky to straight up bonkers, you can start a postgraduate society for anything your heart desires. Find out how below:
Make Sure You've Got a Unique Idea Before doing anything, be sure to check that your idea is 100% unique. Compile a list of all the societies that are currently operating within your university, along with their principles to use as a reference. It is highly unlikely that your university's union or society team will want to duplicate another club.
Pick Your Committee At the very least you will be expected to appoint a president and a treasurer, and in some cases a secretary. Choose your committee members very carefully. Try to stick with people that you know and respect.
Gather Support Gathering support for your proposed idea is essential to demonstrate that there is an interest in your cause. Some unions will require you to have a minimum number of confirmed members before they even start to take your suggestion seriously, especially if it is something out of the box!
Spread the Word Drumming up interest and momentum is what you need to get your postgraduate society off the ground. Advertise your society anywhere you can - Facebook, Twitter, posters, university magazines, email, and of course the student union.
Get Technical Once you have proven that your postgraduate society has got backing by the student body, the time will come to get technical. You'll need to meet with your union or university's society team to create an official proposal that will outline the mission, structure, goals, activities, budget, and membership. Once you get the nod you'll be a registered university society and you'll be good to go!
Make It Fun To get people to show a genuine interest in your postgraduate society and actually commit, you'll need to give them a reason to keep coming back. The best way to do that is to make your society fun. Arrange exciting days out and trips to exhibitions, museums or anything related to your cause, and also organize funky themed social events such as clubbing or film nights.
Add Value Students lead busy lives, which is why your postgraduate society needs to have value and be useful to its members. From lectures and seminars, to career events, there are plenty of creative ways to make your society a worthwhile pursuit.
Be Patient Last but not least, be patient. Your postgraduate society may get off to a slow start but don't give up and abandon the idea before it has had a chance to flourish. For many societies, it can take a good year or two before it starts to get noticed.
Have you got any experience starting a university society?
Share with us in the comments below.