Big Shift in Student Clubs

Friday, 20 March, 2015

The Clubs and Societies (C&S) Committee has proposed several significant changes to clubs this year, including the launch of a Clubs Collective on Tuesday 17 March and the launch of Clubs Online in Semester Two.

“The Clubs Collective is an informal meeting where students can meet with [C&S] to discuss issues in clubs, and for [C&S] to share plans and ideas with people involved in clubs,” explained C&S Office Bearer, Stephen Smith.

The C&S committee believe that the Clubs Collective will ensure greater transparency and allow for an ongoing conversation between the C&S department and students. “We felt that it would be an opportunity to get more students involved in running the department,” Smith said.

After three years of on-again-off-again development, the Clubs Online Working Group expect that students will see partial roll-out of Clubs Online mid semester one. Clubs Online will be fully implemented in semester two this year. “This will reduce the administrative burden that having over 200 clubs has placed in the department, and will ensure that clubs have access to grants much quicker than before,” explained Smith.

James Bashford, German Club president, is optimistic about the change. “Forms and applications for grants are very complicated and time consuming, moving that online will really simplify things.”

The C&S Committee is also reviewing affiliation processes for student clubs at the Burnley and Southbank campuses, where only two out of 208 university clubs are currently affiliated. “There are vibrant and active clubs on these campuses, but they have opted not to affiliate due to onerous requirements,” Smith explained.

Additionally, the Clubs Carnival will expand this year, with contributions from Union House Theatre and student theatre groups.

Finally, the C&S Committee’s proposed Camp Welfare Training and the Safety in Clubs project are also being reviewed with Sally Coates from Campus Community.

“[In 2014, C&S] sought to provide clubs with advice on how to promote a culture of safety,” explained Smith.

The Safety in Clubs project will also address how incidents are reported and responded to in clubs. Such issues can be hard to navigate, says Bashford. “I’d hope this will mean safety issues will actually be addressed rather than falling by the wayside or being put in the too-hard basket.”