Uni Life

Navigating the UON Club Scene

Kieran Resevsky uncovers the benefits of participating in clubs and societies at UON and how to create your own. 

No matter how social and outgoing you may be, navigating university territory can be difficult, especially when to comes to finding a new group of mates to be around. Since pre-school, you only had to make friends with the people you went to school with, though as university courses shift and people move around, it can often be difficult to keep friends you’ve made just through classes.

Sometimes the best place to meet people at uni isn’t actually in classes, but in some of the many great clubs and societies that UON plays home to. Whether you enjoy hitting the icy slopes, playing quidditch, chowing down on vegan food or sipping goon out of tall glasses, there is almost something for everyone to provide a great place to meet genuine and fun people with similar interests. Not only will you make some great friends, but you’ll have a better work/life balance and be open to some great new experiences you may have otherwise missed out on.

We spoke to Amy Hollins, a member of the Musical Society at UON, who said, “I joined the society because I have a passion for performing and for singing. I have always had an interest in musical theatre and wanted to give it a go to see what I could make of it. It’s given me the confidence to pursue a career in performing arts, which I was always scared to do as there’s no real job security, but at least I’ll be doing something I love. I have met so many lovely people in this club and I haven’t regretted joining for a minute!”

Vice President of the Amnesty International Group, Rachel Ferris, shared her reasons for joining the club, “I’ve always been enthusiastic about human rights and social justice and wanted to make a positive change particularly within the university culture. On a social level, the club allows me to reach out to a wide demographic of students and educate them about important issues. It means not only do I get to connect with people with similar interests, but I get to engage in discussion with people of very different views. Being surrounded by people with similar interests means that I get to pursue my passion for human rights in a practical way while developing leadership skills.”

“Don’t worry about any reservations you may have, because once you get out and join a club, you’ll find it one of the best aspects of university life,” Rachel said.

While there are many clubs and societies on campus (over 140!), you may find the club you’ve always dreamed of joining is no where to be seen, but don’t panic, UON offers you the chance to initiate and run your very own club.

Heres how:

  1. Check and double check there are no clubs or societies too similar to your new one.
  2. Talk to some mates and stroll around campus to gain some support. You’ll need to have at least 20 members (80% of whom are current UON students) to have your group funded and approved.
  3. Check if you are able to affiliate with a Student Association (NUSA, NUPSA, NUsport). If you are able to affiliate with one of these organisations, you may be entitled to more university funding for your club or society.
  4. Email clubs@newcastle.edu.au and let them know you’d like to start a club, here you’ll be put in contact with the Student Engagement Team.
  5. The team will then send you a template for you to work out a Constitution. Here you’ll need to outline the membership rules, liabilities, aims and other responsibilities of your club. Once you’ve done that, hit return and the Student Engagement Team will take a look over it and make sure its appropriate for a club.
  6. Plan your first Annual General Meeting (AGM), making sure to invite a lot of people so you are able to reach your quorum to ensure legit voting. Also be sure to make a signed attendance list of all the AGM attendees.
  7. Head to one of the on-campus banks and set up a club bank account (you’ll need one).
  8. Once you’ve held the meeting you’ll be ready to register your group with UON. Send them all the info including Constitution and AGM notes, along with bank account info and a description of the club (including contact info) for the UON website.
  9. Within two weeks you’ll receive a response from UON with the outcome of your group request based on the criteria set on the university’s club register website.

Whether you are choosing or starting your own club or society at UON, you’ll have plenty of help through the university’s many support services and you’ll be well on your way to making new lifelong friends and many great memories.

Feature Image: via Alexis Brown.

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