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Start a club

Start A New RUSU Club For 2023

 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 club can seem complicated, but to try and simplify things, we have divided it up for you. Your RUSU Clubs Officers are available to help guide you through the process. If you have any questions about the information below, please contact our friendly RUSU Clubs team at , who will be happy to assist you.

Please note that it can take between 6 weeks and up to 4 months to finalise a new 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 Sports & Creative). Ensure you check the following:

  • The club (or one very similar) doesn't already exist at RMIT 
  • That the club would sit with the RUSU Clubs Program (sports and creative clubs sit with Student Life Clubs Program - not with RUSU) 
  • The club would not replicate a RUSU or University department or service.

Check Requirements

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:

  • Will it be democratic?
  • Does it promote discrimination?
  • Does it promote violence or militarisation?
  • Is it really just a business?
  • Is it primarily for the benefit of an external organisation and/or people who aren't RMIT students?
  • Is it fundraising to pay for academic materials or to otherwise assist students to complete academic assessments?

Things To Think About

RUSU won't always accept new clubs, and there may be specific reasons that RUSU may not support your new club idea. As well as the requirements listed above, other key reasons for not supporting a new club proposal include: 

  • 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 may 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, if it's an academic club, we know the academic program it is linked to is going to close, etc.) 
  • The club would breach SSAF (Student Services and Amenities Fees legislation) or other laws.

Step 2: Notify RUSU Clubs and Await 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 2023 New Club Expression of Interest Form here

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

Await Feedback From RUSU Clubs

Note, awaiting feedback from the RUSU Clubs team could take several weeks during busy periods. 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! 

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. 
  • Complete the Full Affiliation process (outline below) 

Holding an IGM

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:  

  • Send their Clubs Officer the Minutes from the IGM, the meeting Attendance List, and any other meeting docs 
  • Complete some online Details Forms (Club General Details Form and Leader Details Forms)
  • Set up the Club Bank account (instructions are provided!) 

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.