Societies facing a battle to get off the ground

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In order to create your own society at the university you have to present the society you want to create, what it will do and collect 20 signatures in order for it to be approved.

However a few students have had difficulty getting their societies approved, despite having all these elements.

A first year computer science student wanted to set up a Cheese and Wine Tasting society and although his society has now been approved, it proved difficult.

He said: “On the 28th of October I proposed the Cheese and Wine Tasting Society to the student’s union. It was finally approved on 20th November, so it took over three weeks.

“The proposal was put on hold for so long because the society was associated with alcohol. Societies such as ‘Beer Pong’ already exist, which actively encourage consumption of alcohol – regardless of what spin you put on it. Whereas my proposed society revolved around the ‘tasting’ of wine, not the consumption of it. I had the 20 signatures required and I explained what my society was about but still had difficulty.”

Charlie Trotman proposed a Hospital Visiting Society which would involve visiting patients in Singleton Hospital, but was turned down.

The SU PR and Marketing Officer Annie Cottam told us: “The decision was taken to refer the idea of the hospital visiting society to the Discovery charity on campus, as they facilitate a large network of student volunteers to help support the Swansea Community. If this isn’t possible the Exec will definitely reconsider the proposal as we see it as a very worthwhile cause.”

Charlie confirmed that he is now in talks with Discovery to get the scheme off the ground.

The Pool Society also had issues while trying to set up their society. Richard Davis, the student who proposed the society, told us: “We’ve received an email from Charlotte in the Students’ Union and we have now been approved. The issue was they wanted us to see if we could tag on with Gaming Society, however after speaking to their president it became apparent that our aims were very different.

“I think the Students’ Union did everything they should have. I did get a little annoyed because I had gathered over 50 signatures.”

Students have started to run ‘illegal’ societies if the union doesn’t approve them. One student who asked to be anonymous told us: “My friends set up the Social Society at the end of last term, it got rejected by the union but they did it anyway. They run it mostly through Facebook and they’ve got almost 400 members on there.

“I can see why the union rejected it, as the common interest of the group is drinking. Thought they’ve cleverly called it Social Society it’s clearly very popular.”

Annie Cottam said: “We’ve approved 15 new societies this year so far, however some activities do take a little longer to approve. This can be down to causes such as similar societies already existing, union policy or affiliations with other university departments.

“We’ve now increased our committee meetings to take place fortnightly instead of monthly, so hopefully we can create a quicker process for new societies.”

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