Student non-sports clubs, societies and publications run by students for students across the University can apply to register with the University via the Proctors. Please note that sports club registration and support is via the Sports Federation.
Why register a club, society or publication
Registered clubs have access to benefits like University IT for the club, insurance cover, minibus hire through the University scheme, and financial support. After a period of continuous registration, clubs can apply for permission to use the University's name and coat of arms.
Preparing to register a club, society or publication
There are various criteria that need to be met in order to register and to maintain registration. To be eligible to register with the University, a non-sport club (whether a club, society, publication or other type of student association) must first adopt the standard constitution for registered clubs. Before you register a club you must ensure that you fully understand roles and responsibilities arising from the Regulations for the Activities and Conduct of Student Members. Information about governance and management of registered clubs can be found in registered clubs.
In particular, you must ensure that:
- you understand rules relating to the use of the University name and its coat of arms
- establish Committee Officers
- the club, society and publication have adopted standard non-sports constitution
- the club, society and publication have either adopted the Template Club Code of Conduct or have set up their own version which should be supplied as part of the registration process.
- the club, society and publication have either adopted Template Complaints Procedure for Clubs have set up their own version which should be supplied as part of the registration process.
Registering a club, society or publication
Applications for new registrations can be sent in at any time of the year by submitting a New Registration Form.
Keeping in touch after registering a club, society or publication
Keep us up to date with any changes to the committee through the update committee members form as this is how we will contact you with information and updates throughout the academic year.
Clubs must adopt the standard constitution in order to register with the University - either the standard sports constitution for sports clubs registering via the Sports Federation, or the standard non-sports constitution for all other clubs, societies or associations, including publications.
Where should the standard constitution be modified?
Paragraph 1 - your club's name
Each club’s constitution must specify its name and so this space is left blank on the standard constitution. Note that not all clubs’ names fit the format “Oxford...Club” set out on the face of the constitution - for example, some clubs prefer to refer to themselves as societies. In such cases, the first sentence should be tailored as follows: “The Club is called the Oxford … Society (hereafter referred to as “the Club”).”Certain limited variances from the standard constitution are permitted by default and are indeed necessary to enable clubs to have a fully functioning constitution. (Please apply 'Track changes' option before making any changes to the Standard Constitution for submission to the Proctors.)
Paragraph 1 - your club's objects
Clubs must have “objects” – i.e. a stated purpose and range of activities for which the club exists. For registered clubs, these must relate to the promotion of an activity in the University and must also remain subject to the conditions set out at the end of the paragraph. No proctorial permission is needed to insert objects, so long as they are contained within the sentence structure of the paragraph succinctly; lengthy interpretation or clarification of the objects should not be stated in this paragraph but, if necessary, in (annexed) regulations made in accordance with paragraph 28. Some clubs may be able to secure approval to depart from the requirement to be charitable; if you think that this is the case for your club, you should seek advice from the Clubs Officer.
Paragraph 18 - the number of committee members which your club will have
The club’s committee must have a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer and a Senior Member and may have other members, up to a maximum of 8 as specified in paragraph 15, and should simply insert the number decided on in paragraph 18. It is not permitted, however, to amend the constitution to specify what the various additional roles are; clubs wishing to define particular roles for the additional committee members should specify them instead in by-laws/regulations in accordance with paragraph 28. Similarly, if your club feels that more than 8 committee members would be beneficial, you should consider creating non-committee roles via paragraph 28 regulations and by-laws.
The Proctors do not normally permit clubs to vary the constitution other than as described above. However, in certain circumstances and when supported by a compelling case, the Proctors have discretion to authorise variances from the constitution. Such authorisation is normally only granted where the Proctors consider that a change is strictly necessary in order to enable the club to carry out its objects (as defined in paragraph 1 of the constitution). If you think that your club may have a case supporting departures from the standard constitution, please seek advice from the Clubs Officer in the first instance.
Club secretaries should bear in mind that they have a responsibility to keep an up-to-date list or register of bona fide club members (i.e. people who have paid their subscriptions or have otherwise been confirmed as remaining active members in accordance with the club’s constitution). This list or register will in most cases represent the definitive information about those eligible to stand in, and vote at, elections for club offices; and it should be made available on request to the Proctors for inspection.
It is not sufficient for a club simply to keep a mailing-list of people who have expressed interest in its activities.
Whether the list or register is kept in electronic or paper format, the club secretary should be aware of the requirements of the Data Protection Act. Information about the legislation and further resources are available from the data protection page.