Overview of Society Positions

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1 Overview of Society Positions A Sheffield Students Union society is a group of students who share an interest, approved and supported by the Students Union. Being on a society committee is exciting but can be tough. It takes time, commitment, dedication, and above all, a real belief in what you re doing. This guide will provide you with an overview of committee positions that can help your society achieve its aims and objectives. By putting in the effort for your members, you ll be providing great opportunities for them and making a difference to their lives by building a co-operative and caring Students Union community. It doesn t stop there either: organising a society is a great way to develop your own skills; meet interesting and influential people; and have a good time (of course!). You can also get recognition on your HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report) for being on a committee: please refer to the HEAR pages on the Zone Online to find out how to get HEAR recognition. There are four mandatory roles on every committee. These roles must all be filled by current University of Sheffield students. The President, Secretary and Treasurer must all be different people. These roles are: 1. President 2. Secretary 3. Treasurer 4. Inclusion Officer There are a whole host of optional roles that you can set up to help your committee run effectively. Some common ones include: Vice President/Chair Social Secretary Web Officer Publicity Officer Intra-Mural Sports Rep

2 Executive Roles: 1. President The President of a society is the leader, who oversees all of the society s activity. The President will need to provide support, advice and guidance to the other committee members throughout the academic year and oversee the direction in which the society is heading. Probably the most challenging role on the committee, you ll need experience of what the society does, and a strong belief in the aims of the society. Leadership Communicating (written and verbal) Dedication and commitment People management Motivating the committee Organising Delegating tasks Managing change Taking responsibility 1. Calling meetings but your secretary compiles the agenda and minutes 2. Chairing meetings ensure everything is covered and no-one dominates 3. Delegating tasks you shouldn t do everything yourself! 4. Understanding the broader picture keep the vision and aims of the society in mind at all times 5. Understanding your responsibilities and legal duty of care for the society s activities 6. Being a spokesperson or figurehead representing your society to students, the Students Union, the University and even the media! 7. Maintaining committee enthusiasm if you re not passionate, no-one else will be For more detailed guidance, please see the President guide on the Zone Online. 2. Secretary The secretary is the backbone of any society and ensures that everything runs smoothly. s need to be written, agendas and minutes need to be created, rooms need to be booked, and above all you need to communicate what s going on to your members so they stay interested and stay involved. Students sometimes report that they leave committees because there was nothing useful for them to do. Writing (minutes and s) Organising Researching Prioritising Time management and multi-tasking

3 Record keeping Friendly and approachable 1. Reading and organising society s 2. Arranging meetings and AGMs 3. Booking (accessible) rooms or venues 4. Maintaining up to date membership records and mailing list 5. Being aware of key dates for your society throughout the year 6. Collecting post from your pigeon hole in the Activities & Sports Zone 7. Creating agendas and taking minutes 8. Record keeping and associated paperwork 9. Communicating regularly with your members For more detailed guidance, please see the Secretary guide on the Zone Online. 3. Treasurer Being a treasurer isn t just about counting money! It means knowing how your finances stand at any one time; being transparent and accountable; avoiding potential debt and planning accordingly. Well organised Numerical competence Communication (with society members trying to spend the money!) Trustworthy Risk management Planning and forecasting Monitoring and reporting Processing payments Account management 1. Learning and understanding the Students Union financial systems 2. Keeping track of all income/expenditure 3. Organising affiliation to national bodies 4. Applying for Students Union (and external) funding and 5. Collecting all membership fees and paying all bills in good time 6. Keeping the committee and members informed of the society s financial situation 7. Organising fundraising or sponsorship for your group For more detailed guidance, please see the Treasurer and Funding & Sponsorship guide on the Zone Online

4 4. Inclusion Officer In accordance with Students Union policy, the Inclusion Officer s role is to ensure that everything the society does (e.g. rooms used, images on posters, language used in meetings) does not discriminate towards any student. The Inclusion Officer also looks into the best ways that disabled, international, postgraduate, timid students and those with any other additional needs or circumstances are catered for and feel welcome to get involved with society activities. Welcoming attitude Negotiating and influencing Understanding of the Equality Act 2010 Understanding of the internationalisation agenda Creativity and ability to generate ideas 1. Publicising your role to members and at events 2. Being a confidential and direct contact for members and potential members 3. Ensuring that meetings and events are as accessible as possible 4. Ensuring there are a diverse range of socials, ensuring some are nonalcoholic 5. Looking at potential inclusion issues and how they can be addressed 6. Asking members about dietary requirements and other needs 7. Uploading an accessibility statement onto your website For more detailed guidance, please see the Inclusion Officer guide on the Zone Online. Optional Roles: A society can function (just about!) with only a President, Secretary, Treasurer and Inclusion officer. However, to make your society bigger and better, you can create as many optional roles in your committee are you want. Here are a few suggestions: Vice President/Chair The President or Chair is going to get exhausted doing all that work by themselves, so the VP or Vice Chair can be a crucial position. You ll share the workload, be a listening ear and make a real difference. Leadership Ability to be a critical friend and sounding board Tact and diplomacy Listening Communication and interpersonal skills Impartiality, fairness and the ability to respect confidences

5 1. Knowing everything the President or Chair does and supporting them every step of the way 2. Standing in if the President or Chair is absent 3. Helping to train committee members 4. Ensuring the bigger picture and the society s vision is always kept in view 5. Holding confidential discussions with committee members if they are unhappy and feed this back to the President or Chair 6. Being impartial Social Secretary Socials are an essential aspect of society life. Whether these are evenings out, a ball, a weekend away, or just a meal with your members at someone s house, your society will get to know each other better, enjoy themselves more and even put more effort in! Organisations call it teambuilding: we call them socials! The Social Secretary should organise a wide range of socials, bearing inclusion and internationalisation issues in mind. Consider tea parties in Coffee Revolution, a walk in the Peak District or working with a national or cultural society to put on a cultural evening! Reflecting the diverse nature of the student body will increase your membership and participation and everyone will feel more able to get involved. Understanding of inclusion and internationalisation issues Creativity and ability to generate ideas Enthusiasm and welcoming attitude Motivating the committee Organising and event planning For more detailed guidance, please see the Event section on the Zone Online. Web Officer Societies communicate primarily through , social networking sites and their society website. All societies have a webpage on the Students Union page (where students will look to find your society!). All you need to do is keep this up to date and add news and events to the website whenever you need to! Willingness to learn how to update your webpage and add events to the SU website (it s easy!) Creativity and ability to generate ideas Writing and design skills Ability to navigate Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media! For more detailed guidance, please see the Society Webspace guide on the Zone Online.

6 Publicity Officer Every society needs publicity from posters to plasma displays to hoodies. It s a great way to recruit members, network with other societies, organise an exciting event and generally create a buzz around your society. You may be even to attract sponsorship. This is all fantastic evidence for the Activities Awards at the end of the year! 1. Creatively using Students Union poster boards and plasma screens 2. Organising the Activities Fair publicity 3. Advertising meetings and events (especially the AGM!) 4. Organising hoodies, t-shirts or other merchandise 5. Taking photos for the website and other social media (perhaps even a yearbook!) For more detailed guidance, please see the Marketing & Publicity guide on the Zone Online. Intra-Mural Sports Rep Society members enjoy doing something interesting and worthwhile together, and there s no better way to bond after a hard week s work than some intra-mural sport at Goodwin Sports Centre. These casual leagues are set up so teams of five can join for a season or shorter and you don t need to be a professional! Time management Organising matches and volunteers Understanding of health and safety Enjoys a bit of sport! Don t forget to use your fantastic new skills to apply for the Sheffield Graduate Award! Any questions? Contact the Activities Zone Desk:

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