University of York Students' Union (YUSU)

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Why Societies Don't Get Ratified

Posted by Christopher Wall, 07/11/2015

How Societies Get Ratified

Societies get ratified by societies committee 3 times a year. Societies committee is a committee of 8 students that have been elected by societies to represent societies. They allocate funding for societies, support and coordinate the work of ratified student societies, resolve disputes between societies as required, exploring opportunities for societies to collaborate on large-scale events in the interests of the membership, and they ratify new societies!

The committee meet 3 times a term, with one of the meetings to discuss your application, along with anyone else who has applied to set up a new society. The committee will use the application form that you have filled out and look to see if you meet the criteria included in the guide above.

If these criteria aren’t met it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the journey. You will be entitled to meet with the activities officer to explore your options on how to proceed.

It’s one of the hardest roles societies committee play a part in.

The Main Reason Societies Don’t Get Ratified.

As above, societies committee will use the checklist to see if your society fulfills all the criteria. If your society isn’t ratified it’s more often than not because your society activity is duplicated by a subset or part of another society.

The reason we can’t have multiple societies doing the same thing is resourcing.

  • Splitting funding between multiple societies doing the same thing is inefficient. This would eat into the societies budget if we had to fund multiples of the same thing.
  • The time it takes to support all societies from an admin point of view is large. With 180+ societies and only one Societies Coordinator we need to be as efficient as possible to ensure that we get the best support.
  • Longevity and sustainability. One of the great things about York societies is that we have many niche societies. It’s truly one of the best parts about York. However factionalising societies means it is more difficult for those groups to bring in members and retain them. If you are competing with a very similar society rather than working together it becomes difficult to retain and keep members.

These are just a couple of reasons that I wanted to make people aware of to help explain why societies may not get ratified. It’s not because we don’t want to support what you want to do, I will always endeavor to do this, we do have to bear the bigger picture in mind when looking at societies and getting the best deal for everyone.

There may be other reasons as well. All outlined in the document that can be found when you initially apply to be a society.

For any further questions please get in touch with me and I will be happy to clarify this for you.