Start a new group

Football in a grassy field

Start Something New

I want to start a society, what should I do?

All you need is an idea and 30 people willing to join your society. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Research the currently affiliated groups, checking that they aren't already covering your subject area. If in doubt, contact the group to explain your idea and see if they are OK with it, and let us know if this is the case on your application. 
  2. Read the New Group Guidance and the Bristol SU Code of Conduct - this will help you to understand what is expected when running a student group. 
  3. Collect your membership list - you'll need to get the name, student number, email address of 30 people who would like to join your society.
  4. Write a constitution - make sure you your aims are clearly laid out and that the officer roles are clearly defined. Your society will need a minimum of a President, Treasurer and Secretary.  Download a sample constitution.
  5. Complete the Society Affiliation Form  and email the constitution and members list to  
  6. Attend New Groups Guidance training (you will be contacted to confirm this). 

KEY DATES: Please note that your request will be considered at the next scheduled Societies Network meeting. Please submit your form and documents at least seven days ahead of the meeting and make a note of the timeline below. 

These documents will then go to the Societies Network who will decide whether or to to recognise your society. The Societies Network may ask you to attend this meeting to answer questions about your proposed society.

Affiliation submission deadline: 6th April 2018
Societies' Network meeting: 16th April 2018
Committee response expected by: 20th April 2018
New Groups Guidance training (compulsory): 25th April, 2-4pm


Under what criteria will the decision be made?

  • Originality - If an existing society already offers the same experience as the one you are proposing, then the application will be rejected. Societies require a lot of administrative support and we cannot have two societies doing the same thing.

  • Students playing basketballLong-term sustainability - You need to have thought through what your society will do if affiliated: What events will you put on? How will you make money? Once you have left University, will the society be able to carry on? The more prepared you are, the more likely we are to affiliate the society.

  • Community Benefit - As stated by Byelaw 9.4 ‘Clubs and Societies must be expressly set up with the intention of advancing education for the public benefit, as defined by Charity Law’. To what extent do your aims (set out in the constitution) fulfil this function?

  • Bristol SU Values - How will you respect and promote the Bristol SU values of equality, diversity, safe space and inclusivity? What actions will you take to make sure your activity is accessible?

  • Passion - We want society leaders that are genuinely passionate about something and can inspire others to do it with them.

If the Societies Network approves your new society then there's lots of help available to help your new society to go from strength to strength.