5 things to avoid if you want your society application approved

These societies join the Aztecs, Mayans, and the Western Roman Empire as the greatest examples of societal collapse in history.

MuzzSoc at O week MuzzSoc at O-Week 2016. They sadly didn't get approved later in the year. Source: The Slendy Show EDM & Comedy

Hey, you! Do you have a niche interest or two? Are you looking to submit a new club application to the University of Sydney Union (USU) Clubs and Societies Committee? Want to avoid getting your application rejected by the C&S Committee? Heed these precautionary tales and you’ll be well on your way.

1. Don’t pick something that is deemed inherently risky and dangerous.

One proposed society that really exemplifies this quality was Eye Gazing, a group which applied to the C&S Committee on the basis that it would be a “long-running club that will require funding”.  A quick Google search for what eye gazing actually is produced results relating to tantra, intense staring, and “altered states of consciousness”. Due to the “inherent risk of the activity”, the proposed club was rejected in a 2016 September meeting.

2. Make sure it’s not based on a trend too cool to be considered “long-term”.

Muzzsoc made this mistake. For the uninitiated, definition #1 in the Urban Dictionary reads: “the act of muzz, a dance done at clubs and festivals”. The C&S Committee’s view that a specific trend of dancing could “lose traction” and its angst at MuzzSoc’s inability to contact MADSOC to merge the two societies meant it was rejected in late 2016. Perhaps the C&S Committee wanted muzzing to feature in the 2017 MADSOC Major Production?

3. Don’t offer counselling.

This activity was put forward by Stigma, a proposed society focused on removing the stigma around mental health, it was rejected in the September 2016 meeting due to “concerns with giving counselling in a formal way”.  This “potential risk to members” was eventually nullified at the November 2016 meeting, but further issues about a doctor on the executive and complaints about similarity to the inactive “existing society” for mental health ensured its rejection (again).

4. Avoid receiving legal threats from other societies.

The C&S Committee is likely to consider threats of legal action as a negative. This happened when the Chinese Students’ Association (SUCSA) made clear its desire to commence legal action against an application to form a suspiciously similar Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) in late 2016. SUCSA’s threats worked – CSSA’s application was rejected.

5. Don’t stuff up your Inaugural General Meeting.

The USU has a rich history of questionable meetings taking place, and you can add the IGM of the rejected QuantSoc (quantitative data and analysis) to the list. The C&S Committee minutes for May 2016 state that “The C&S Office report indicates there is significant reason to believe the club’s IGM attendance was fraudulent.” Enough said.

If you don’t follow in the steps of these five never-to-be-societies, you’ll be well on your way towards being accepted by the C&S Committee. Good luck!