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Being a committee member

The fundamentals of being a committee member, including committee training, elections and handovers, and updating admin access.

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Committee Roles and Responsibilities

Every club and society is different, so your roles will vary. All student groups must have a President, Vice President, Treasurer and Health and Safety Officer as well as a committee member do Equality, Diversity and Welfare training. We advise this training is undertaken by committee members who’s roles include these principals, but can be undertaken by anyone on the committee.

You are required to have a representative at Union Council, therefore we also advise that you elect a Union Council representative.

We recommend that you consider having additional committee members to help support your club or society. You have flexibility to create specific committee positions that you think will help your club and society. Examples of these roles include: Events and Socials Officer, First Year Representative, Kit Officer and Publicity Officer.

See below for more information regarding the responsibilities of these roles.

President (compulsory)

As a President, you:

  • Must attend Signatories and Finance training.
  • Are a visible leader of your student group.
  • Oversee the running of your club or society. This will include delegating duties, overseeing others in their roles and supporting committee members to ensure tasks are completed.
  • Set the direction, aims and objectives for the year after consultation with committee members, and student group members.
  • Lead your committee, supporting them with their own roles and making sure everyone is communicating.
  • Are the first point of contact between the SU and your student group.
  • Chair your student group’s meetings.
  • Review expenses claims on the app along with your vice president and treasurer.
  • Lead on elections for new committee members.
  • Keep in contact with the SU via email and by reading the committee newsletter.
  • Attend monthly president's meeting.

Treasurer (compulsory)

As a Treasurer, you:

  • Must attend Signatories and Finance training.
  • Create and manage budgets, and monitor the spending and general financial situation of your club or society.
  • Understand financial processes established by the Students’ Union and help other committee members comply with these.
  • Liaise with external companies and Union for purchasing and payments.
  • Watch your ledger (your society/club account) so to accurately track the financial situation of your student group.
  • Apply for grant funding from uea(su) and/or UEA Sport.
  • Take a lead in seeking and securing external sponsorship.
  • Review expenses claims on the app along with your president and vice president.
  • Keep in contact with the SU and read the committee newsletter.

Vice President (compulsory)

As a Vice President, you:

  • Must attend Signatories and Finance training.
  • Keep your club/society page on the website, social media accounts and email inbox up to date and organised.
  • Make sure information is circulated among your members.
  • Book rooms for meetings and events. You may complete risk assessments and guest speaker forms if you do not have a health and safety or event organiser.
  • Formulate and circulate the end of year hand-over.
  • Make sure your members know when and where events are. This will include sending emails, posting on social media and uploading events on the website.
  • Organise storage for your society.
  • Take minutes at your meetings.
  • Review claims on the expenses365 app with your president and treasurer.
  • Keep in contact with the SU and read the committee newsletter.

Health and Safety Officer (compulsory)

As a Health and Safety officer, you:

  • Must attend Events and Socials training.
  • Ensure a risk assessment has been submitted and approved before your event or activity.
  • Ensure the information from your risk assessment is delivered at the event or activity.
  • Ensure the guest speaker process has been followed.
  • Complete 'accident and incident' forms if necessary.
  • Complete a food hygiene course if handling food.
  • Ensure events are safe.
  • Being aware of SU schemes Safer Taxi and Never Okay.
  • Potentially undertaking first aid training or mental health first aid training.

Equality and Diversity Officer (recommended)

As an Equality and Diversity officer, you:

  • Must attend Equality and Diversity training.
  • Consider the different needs of your student group members.
  • Actively learn about the different people you are representing.
  • Use your knowledge that you learn from listening to support your committee when making decisions or handling sensitive problems.
  • Use your knowledge to help make socials and events inclusive, diverse and accessible.
  • Work to eliminate barriers that may prevent students from joining your student group or from participating in it.
  • Report incidences.
  • Be respectful and mindful or everyone's experiences and needs.
  • Keep in contact with the SU via email and by reading the committee newsletter.

Welfare Officer (recommended)

As a Welfare officer, you:

  • Must attend Welfare training.
  • Understand the services the SU and the University provide.
  • Signpost these and try to make all group members aware.
  • Report incidences.

Union Council Representative (recommended)

As a Union Council Representative, you:

  • Must attend Union Council Training.
  • Attend Union Council.
  • Vote on motions at Union Council in a way which represents your members’ views.
  • Reporting back to the committee and your members on issues discussed at Union Council and any changes in policy that might affect you.
  • Are an approachable point of contact for your members on matters of Union policy.
  • Put forward motions to Union Council whenever needed.

Events and Socials Officer (recommended)

As an Events and Socials officer, you:

  • Must attend Events and Socials training.
  • Run safe and exciting events for members.
  • Ensure correct processes and forms have been completed for your event. For examples, you make sure a risk assessments and external speaker forms are submitted. You may also complete these forms yourself.
  • Ensure the information from your risk assessment is delivered at the event or activity.
  • Add tickets to online events on the website, even if the event is free.
  • Complete 'accident and incident' forms if necessary.
  • Help to make all events inclusive and accessible.
  • Monitor cliqueness in student group.
  • Be someone society members can talk to about problems or ideas.

First Year Representative (recommended)

As a first year representative, you:

  • Are Elected in October/November.
  • Represent the views of students in your club or society that are in their first year of study and to represent the views of students in other years of study that are joining your club or society for the first time.
  • Support committee members and make change within the student group.
  • Do not have a specific set of tasks to undertake. You are there to support committee and achieve anything specific you have put on your manifesto.
  • Are there for continuity, to ‘learn the ropes’ from other committee members to try and ensure the club or society will continue in the following years.

Publicity Officer

As a publicity officer, you:

  • Work to publicise your club and society, recruit new members and get your name out there.
  • Come up with social media campaigns and strategies.
  • Create visuals advertising events to put on social media, on screens around campus, and on event listings on the SU website.
  • Book hive stalls to publicise your group and events your group is running.

Using your admin tools

What are they and how do I get to them?

As a commitee member, you have access to 'admin tools'. Admin tools are buttons that enable you to make and update various things to benefit your student group. To access your admin tools for your club or society, click the cog in the top right hand corner of the SU website, then click the name of your club or society. You will be taken to your club or society admin tools page, which will look like this:

If you do not have the option to click the name of the club or society you are on the committee for, then you may not be correctly registered. To resolve this issue, contact our Opportunities team.

Each button on your admin tools allows committee members to do a different thing. To find out what each button does and for a guide on how to use them, please see our guides below.

Admin Tool What does it do? Link to 'How-To' Guide
Edit Details Enables committee members to edit details and social media links on their club or society page Edit Details tool guidance
Events Enables committee members to make events on the SU website for their club or society  Events tool guidance
Tickets Enables committee members to add tickets to their events on the SU website Tickets tool guidance
Messages Enables committee members to message all members of their club or society  Messages tool guidance
Members

Provides committee members with a list of members of your club or society, and members' UEA usernames e.g. abc19def

Members tool guidance
Products Enables committee members to sell products, such as hoodies or deposits, through the SU website Products tool guidance
Sales Reports Provides committee members with a list of sales and purchaser details within a certain time period.  Sales Reports tool guidance
Website Pages, Groups, Signups, Polls, News, Resources, Activities, Fundraising These functions are not enabled on ueasu.org. If you want to use one of these functions, please message union.opportunities@uea.ac.uk. These functions are not enabled on ueasu.org. If you want to use one of these functions, please message union.opportunities@uea.ac.uk.

Committee Training - Investing in you

Being a student group committee member is a great way to equip yourself with personal development skills, make friends, and enhance how you appear to employers. To ensure you get the most out of your time as committee member, we offer training sessions and resources that will help you understand what is expected from your role, best practices you should undertake and how to verbalise the skills you have gained from your experience as a committee member.

The table below indicates which training session committee members should undertake and links to training slides.

Committee Training We Offer

         Training designed for... Link to Training Slides  Additional Resources and pdfs relevant to training

 

Student Group Induction

 

  • All committee members (compulsory)
Student Group Induction Presentation   

Leading Your Student Group: Being a Signatory

  •  Presidents (compulsory)
  • Secretaries (compulsory)
  • Treasurers (compulsory)
  • Vice Presidents
Leading Your Student Group: Being a Signatory  Training Presentation 

 

Student Group Development Plan

Student Group President - Job Description

Student Group Secretary - Job Description

Student Group Treasurer - Job Desciption

Student Group Finance Training

  • Treasurers (compulsory)
  • Presidents (compulsory)
  •  Secretaries (compulsory)

Student Group Finance Training Presentation

How to use the eXpense365 app

Template budget spreadsheet to help keep track of clubs or socs finances

Template budget for running large events

Student Group Treasurer - Job Desciption

Equality and Diversity Training

 

  • Equality and Diversity Officers, or equivalent (compulsory)
  • All other committee members

 

Equality and Diversity Officer Training Presentation 

Inclusivity and Accessibility Hub

Student Group Equality and Diversity Officer - Job Description

Events and Safety Training

  • Health and Safety Officers
  •  Events and Socials Officers, or equivalent (compulsory)
Events and Socials Training Presentation  

 

Things to consider when holding an event

How do I fill out a risk assessment?

Template budget for running large events

Student Group Events and Socials Officers - Job Description

Incident reporting

Student Group Health and Safety Officer - Job Description

Wellbeing/Welfare Officer Training

  • Wellbeing/Welfare Officers (compulsory)
Wellbeing Officer Training  Student Group Wellbeing Officer - Job Description

Publicity Training

  • Publicity Officers/Social Media Officers/Media Representatives (compulsory)
Publicity Officer Training Student Group Publicity Officer - Job Description

First Year Representative Training

  • First Year Representatives (compulsory)
First Year Rep training presentation

 

Union Council Representative Training

Union Council Representatives (compulsory) Union Council Training Presentation Student Group Union Council Representative - Job Description

Anti-Racism Training 

  • All committee members 
 

You can request this training for your committee by emailing our diversity coordinator -  Elisha Owen,  elisha.owen@uea.ac.uk


Training calendar

We offer a range of training sessions, both compulsory and additional training, throughout the year. To see what we have on offer and when it is taking place, please see our calendar below.

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Elections and Handovers

For more information on the clubs that we run for clubs and societies, please follow the links below:

Please note, every year during Easter, the Students' Union run mass elections for clubs and societies to elect new committee members for the following year. This section is not referring to this election.

There may be scenarios when you decide mid-year that your club or society wants to elect a new committee member. This may come about if a committee member drops out of university or steps back from their position, if a committee position was never filled, or if you create a new committee position, for example, you may decide mid-way through the year that a publicity officer would be useful and therefore decide to elect one.


Election rules

If you are running your own election, you need to be aware of these rules:

  1. Committee members cannot appoint someone into another committee position. Committee members can only be appointed if you are a new society creating a committee for the first time, or if you are re-activating a previously disbanded society.
  2. Committee members must be voted into power by paid members of your student group. Elections must be open for all members, not just committee members.
  3. All members of your student group must be given the opportunity to nominate themselves in the election. This means you should send an email, using the messenger function in your admin tools, to all your members saying how they should nominate themselves and by when, at least 3 days prior to the election process.

Running your own elections: Two Options

If you want to run an election for your club or society, you have two options:


Option 1: You can use Microsoft Forms and then send the Students' Union the results union.opportunities@uea.ac.uk

Option 1 process:

    1. Decide the following as a committee:

  • Your election timeline. Dates for when nominations open, when nominations close, when voting opens, and when voting closes. . We recommend you give your members at least one week to nominate themselves and at least one week to cast their vote. An example election timeline is as followed: Nominations open 1st December 10am. Nominations close 7th December 10pm. Voting opens 8th December 10am. Voting closes 14th December 10pm.
  • How you want your members to nominate themselves. The easiest way to do this is to ask people to email the president/secretary if they wish to nominate themselves.
  • Whether you want to organise a call before the vote (via Zoom or Teams) where nominees have the option to pitch themselves.
  • Send an email using your admin tools on the SU website to all your members alerting them of the election. Let members know what the election timeline. Provide instructions of how members can nominate themselves.
  • Create the election using Microsoft Forms. Add all the nominees to the form so your members can vote for their preferred candidate. Ensure you include Re-Open Nominations (R.O.N) as a candidate.
  • Send an email using your admin tools on the SU website to all your members with a link to the election. Double check the election settings before sending it out to ensure your members can vote.
  • Once the elections ends and you have a winner, send in proof of your election and proof of the results to union.opportunities@uea.ac.uk (Please note, the results aren’t valid until they have been approved by the SU)
  • If the election ends and you have a tie, you can either flip a coin or you can chat to the winners to see if they would like to share the role. This isn't possible if you are running an election for president, treasurer or secretary.

  • Please send in your internal election results by completing the table below, and sending it to union.opportunities@uea.ac.uk , alongside proof of election results, showing that it meets the criteria above (we need to see that R.O.N was a candidate, only members have been able to vote, everyone has only voted once, etc ):

    Role Name of elected candidate: 323 (e.g aaa24bbb) uea email ID:


Option 2: You can contact the SU and we can set up an election on your society or club webpage, similar to the elections we run for a full committee change but specifically for your club or society.

Please note, it takes longer for this type of election due to the opportunities team having to take time to set up, monitor, and run the election count. Please provide us with 2 weeks' notice before the date of the election.


Option 2 Process:

    1. Decide the following things as a committee

  • Which positions you want to elect
  • Your election timeline. Decide dates for when nominations open, when nominations close, when voting opens, and when voting closes. We recommend you give your members at least one week to nominate themselves and at least one week to cast their vote. An example election timeline is as followed: Nominations open 1st December 10am. Nominations close 7th December 10pm. Voting opens 8th December 10am. Voting closes 14th December 10pm.
  • 2. Contact union.opportunities@uea.ac.uk and ask us to set up your election. Tell us what your preferred election timeline is. Please wait for confirmation from the SU before advertising your election. Please also be aware that during busy periods, such as at the start of semesters, that it may take us up to 10 days to get to your email.

    3. Once you have confirmation from the SU that we will set up your election, send an email using your admin tools on the SU website to all your members alerting them of the election. Let members know what the election timeline. Provide instructions of how members can nominate themselves.

  • Members can nominate themselves by going to the election at the bottom of your SU webpage. Members can vote by going to the election at the bottom of your SU webpage. Only paid members will be able to nominate themselves or vote in the election.
  • 4. Once the elections end, the SU will alert committee members what the results are. The SU will automatically grant admin rights for the new committee member.

Here is a handover document template that you should complete with outgoing and incoming committee members.

Here is a list of prompts to help you get the most out of your handover meetings.

Please read our handover questions and answers below for more information.

This guidance is only relevant to societies. UEA Sport arranges handover with clubs.


What is a handover?

A handover is when old committee pass on crucial information, their knowledge of process and tips for the new committee. Old committee members make a document with essential information that is then given to new committee members. Old committee membes and new committee members then meet-up for a handover discussion(s).

Handover Document

What information should you include in a handover booklet?

This will differ from group to group. However, anything that is important and easily forgotten, such as passwords, should be put in the handover document. We have a template below that you can edit to suit your needs.

Here is a list of essential information you should put in your handover document:

  • Email addresses and passwords to email addresses.
  • Social media accounts and passwords to social media accounts.
  • Information and access to any group chats and social media groups.
  • External website log in information.
  • Share Point log in information (please note if you have a google drive or non microsoft based drives please notify the SU immediately to discuss provisions for your society).
  • Room bookings information for room bookings happening after the committee change and before the year ends.
  • Contact information for sponsors, external contacts, or SU / UEA Sport members of staff that your group frequently contacts.
  • Information regarding your locker. List what is in the locker and it's working condition, where the key to the locker is kept and what number locker you have.

Here is a list of recommended information you should consider including in your handover document:

  • Information regarding meetings and the frequency of them
  • Recommendations regarding best rooms or venues for activities and events you run
  • A list of events or activities you ran last year and whether they were received well or what you would change
  • General committee tips - what you found worked well for your committee this year and any improvements or processes you would recommend for the new committee
  • A bank of ideas you had but weren't able to implement

When should you make a handover?

Current committee members should begin making a handover, or editing last year's handover document over the Easter period before a new committee is officially elected. Winners of the election will be announced by April 8th 2021.

Who should you give the handover to?

Current committee members should give newly elected committees members their handover document and organise a handover discussion. You should send in your handover documents to the SU once it is made so we can save it in it is lost during committee change period.

Handover Document Template

Here is a handover document template that you should complete with outgoing and incoming committee members. This is a basic template that can be used by all societies. Please feel free to add in any additional sections you feel would be useful for your incoming committee members.


Handover Meetings

What should we talk about at handover meetings?

There isn't a set list of questions you need to ask at handover meetings. We encourage you to talk about what feels natural and important to you and ask questions that come to your mind in the meeting. However, we have put together an list of promts to help you get the most out of your handover meetings. See this list of prompts here.

When should we run our handover meetings?

Once the committee elections have finished and we have announced the newly elected committee, you should then book in an online handover meeting for a time convenient to all that should attend. Voting for committee elections close 6th April 10pm. Winners will be announced by the 8th April.

How many handover meetings should we run?

We recommend you:

  • Have one large meeting where all the current and newly elected committee meet,
  • plus multiple meetings for individual roles to meet up i.e. current president meets with newly-elected president. For these meetings, only the relevant roles should attend

This means that the more committee members you have in society, the more handover meetings you should have.

Who should attend handover meetings?

In short, current committee members, and newly-elected committee members!

We recommend you:

  • Have one large meeting where all the current and newly elected committee meet,
  • plus multiple meetings for individual roles to meet up i.e. current president meets with newly-elected president. For these meetings, only the relevant roles should attend.

Society and Club Storage

We know that some societies and clubs have a lot of equipment so we have a supply of lockers to help you manage this.

  • Society equipment should be stored in the societies storerooms, which are upstairs in Union House. If your society doesn't have an allocated locker and would like to get one, please contact union.opportunities@uea.ac.uk
  • All equipment should be kept safely in lockers. Things should not stacked on top of them. If equipment is left on the floor then it may be thrown away. Any society found to be making a mess or abusing their storage area will have their locker taken away, so please keep the space clean and tidy.
  • Clearing out your locker at the end of each academic year is essential. The Opportunities team will send notifications about this. The Opportunities team can help you donate any unwanted equipment to charity.
  • Lockers remain uea(su) property and we reserve the right to conduct spot checks on them at any time.
  • Our locker policy is available here.
  • Before we can allocate you a locker, we'll need to check that you are able to meet our locker allocation criteria.
  • Sports equipment should be stored at the Sportspark, the Union Sports store or the kit storage room. Storage of your equipment is dependent on which club you are in. To discuss storage for your club, please contact studentsport@uea.ac.uk or your UEA Sport coordinator.
  • Our locker policy is available here.

Issues and Complaints

Sometimes, as a committee member or a member of a club or society, problems arise. Please read our guidance below on how to handle difficult situations that occur within your student group.

If you are unhappy with the behaviour of a committee member, a member of for your club or society, or the behaviour of a club or society, you can make a complaint under our Code of Conduct. Your complaint will be fully investigated and, if appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken. 

If you are comfortable doing so, we highly encourage you to register a formal complaint with the Union if you have been subject to, or witnessed, any form of harassment, abuse, racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, or unwanted attention.

Should you wish to receive support for the content of the report, then please click here to use Report and Support.

Send your complaint to union.info@uea.ac.uk. You can find the full Code of Conduct here.

There may be scenarios that occur in your student group which are difficult to handle but may not warrant a formal complaint. For example, you may feel that a fellow committee member isn’t committed to their role, you feel there is a clique within your student group, or there may be members in your student group or committee that have fallen out.

Members of the Union are always here to help you resolve these issues. The best people to reach out to for support on these matters will be the Activities and Opportunities Officer, and the Opportunities Team. To reach the Opportunities team, you can contact our shared inbox union.opportunities@uea.ac.uk, or reach out to our Student Groups Coordinator, Kyle, at kyle.callaghan@uea.ac.uk.