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Start a club

Start A New (or relaunch an inactive) RUSU Club For 2024

RUSU is proud to represent the needs of a unique, ever-changing, and diverse student body at RMIT.

Our Clubs and Societies (C&S) Department is dedicated to helping students explore their social, professional, political, spiritual, and cultural identities by supporting a wide array of campus clubs. Starting and running a club can be challenging - but it is worthwhile. And, it can also be a lot of fun and a great way to develop a range of skills and make a long-term contribution to the RMIT student experience - some of our clubs are over 50 years old!

The steps involved in starting a new club can seem complicated, but to try and simplify things, we have divided it up for you. Please read all the information carefully.

Your RUSU Clubs Officers are available to help guide you through the process. If you have any questions or need advice about the information below,  please contact our friendly RUSU Clubs team at rusu.clubs@rmit.edu.au , who will be happy to assist you.

If you seek information about re-launching an inactive (lapsed) club, please email rusu.clubs@rmit.edu.au Please Note (1) club bank account processes have changed so it is unlikely a relaunched club can access the club's original bank account (and $ in it) and (2) the new club timelines and processes may still apply for relaunching club. So please read the info on this page. 

Important - finalising a new club or relaunching an inactive club takes time. The Clubs Department will do its' best to assist you as quickly as possible, but resources are limited. It is unlikely new clubs will be able to participate in start of year University Orientation events (Campus Festivals) but there will be other opportunities to promote your club. 


Step 1: Research and Check Requirements

Background Research

Do some research to find out whether a club like yours already exists, and where your club should sit at RMIT (e.g. with RUSU or RMIT Student Life ). Ensure you check the following:

  • The club (or one very similar) doesn't already exist at RMIT see https://www.rmit.edu.au/students/student-life/clubs-societies) 
  • That the club would sit with the RUSU Clubs Program (competitive and recreational sports and creative arts type clubs sit with Student Life Clubs Program - not with RUSU) 
  • The club would not replicate a RUSU or University department or service.

Check Basic Requirements: 

1- Key RUSU standards: 

If you think your club is suitable, and it comes under the administration of RUSU Clubs, you then need to check your club will meet RUSU's Standards. You must consider ALL of the following points:

  • Would the club be democratic? [required - RUSU clubs must adopt a Constitution, elect their leadership teams and club committees must operate democratically] 
  • Would it promote discrimination? [not permitted] 
  • Would it promote violence or militarisation? [not permitted] 
  • Would it really just be a business (or a way to start a business)? [not permitted] 
  • Would it primarily for the benefit of an external organisation and/or people who aren't RMIT students? [not permitted]
  • Would it fundraise to pay for academic materials or to otherwise assist students to complete academic assessments? [not permitted] 
  • Further info about RUSU Clubs Regulations and requirements are located at https://rusu.rmit.edu.au/clubregulations

2- Other factors that impact support for a new club idea: 

RUSU doesn't automatically accept new club applications, Other key reasons for not supporting a new club proposal include: 

  • There isn't at least four (4) current RMIT students working together to start the club (new clubs involve work and you need a team to get it going!) 
  • The majority of lead students wanting to start the club are final year students (this creates a significant succession capacity risk - having time to find and train up continuing RMIT students to take over and build the club for the following year) 
  • The club goals &/or activity plan are not achievable (usually because of the financial and/or practical resources required)
  • University insurance won’t cover the club's activities.
  • The club/club's activities might bring RUSU into disrepute with the University, the City, or other parties.
  • The idea is really a campaign, not a club.
  • The club is not sustainable  - RUSU may have prior experience with the same or a similar club,  the primary member audience is too small  or, if it's an academic club, we know the linked academic program is going to close or change significantly, etc.. 
  • The club would breach SSAF (Student Services and Amenities Fees legislation) or other laws. 

If you are unsure about your new club idea and any of the above, please contact the Clubs Department before moving to Step 2.  


Step 2: If you are confident to continue, notify RUSU Clubs and Wait for Feedback

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) 

Ensure you have thoroughly checked over all of the points in Step 1, above. Based on what you have read and researched, if you believe your new club idea would be supportable, the next step is to formally notify RUSU Clubs of your request to start a new club.

To do this, complete and submit the New Club Expression of Interest Form here

The EOI needs you to really think through your new club idea and your commitment to it!

Await Feedback From RUSU Clubs

This can take several weeks. Feedback usually consists of one of the following three options:

  • Option 1: We refer you to Student Life clubs (sports/recreation and creative clubs) because that's what sort of club you want to start. 
  • Option 2: Your proposal is supported and the Clubs Department makes a recommendation for it to proceed to Provisional Affiliation (see Step 3). 
  • Option 3: Your club idea/proposal cannot be supported and your application is refused. An explanation will be provided about why this decision was made. 

Step 3: Provisional Affiliation 

If your EOI is all good (possibly with some follow-up questions from the Clubs Department Staff), your application will be referred to RUSU Management for Provisional Affiliation approval.  Provisional Affiliation gives new clubs access to some clubs' resources to assist them, and a timeline to complete the “Full Affiliation” process (for either Calendar Year or Mid Year intake).

You'll be required to meet with one of the Clubs Officers to prepare for the next steps.

This meeting will include preparing the Club's Constitution and explaining and beginning to arrange what the club needs to do for the Full Affiliation process. 


Step 4: The Full Affiliation process

Inaugural Full Affiliation process

Once your club is granted provisional affiliation, you must do the following so that your club can become fully affiliated:

  • Sign up at least 20 RMIT student members (Full members) to your club.
  • Call and hold your Inaugural General Meeting (IGM) to formally start the club. This can be in person or online though RMIT Teams. RUSU may require this meeting to happen during regular business ours so a Clubs Officer can attend.
  • Complete the Full Affiliation process (outline below) 

Holding an IGM (must be held during Sem 1 or 2) 

At your IGM, you need to do ALL of the following steps:

  • Vote to approve the Club Name.
  • Vote to approve the Club Aims.
  • Vote to approve the Club membership fee.
  • Vote to approve the adoption of the Club’s Constitution (a document that sets out how your club operates).
  • Vote to elect the Club Executive.
  • Vote to approve the Club’s Annual Activity Plan.

Finalising Full Affiliation

Within 2 weeks of the IGM, the new leadership team needs to:  

  • Complete some online Details Forms (Club Affiliation Form and Leader Details Forms)
  • Set up the Club Bank account (instructions are provided!) 
  • Book in time for the new leadership group to meet with their Clubs Officer (for initial club leader training). 

Annual Reaffiliation

Clubs must re-affiliate every year! Re-affiliation involves almost the same process as the Inaugural affiliation process:

  • Hold an Annual General Meeting.
  • Club Executive presents annual reports.
  • Vote for changes to club name/aims/fee/Constitution.
  • Elect the next year’s Executive.
  • Approve the next year’s Annual Activity Plan.
  • New Leaders complete the next year’s affiliation document/Forms.

Important Notes

There are specific rules that ALL clubs must follow:

  • Only enrolled RMIT students may be club Executives.
  • 75% of RUSU Club members must be currently enrolled RMIT students (Full Members).
  • Club members must re-join their clubs every year.
  • Core funding is based on the number of RMIT student members in your club.
  • A club that fails to re-affiliate the next year is considered “lapsed”.
  • A club that fails to re-affiliate within 2 years is considered not to exist anymore.

 

 

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