The first steps
Applying for affiliation has several steps. When you are completing an Affiliation Application it is important to meet each requirement, otherwise your application may take longer to be assessed, or you may be asked to repeat parts of the affiliation process for approval to be granted.
Your first steps in creating a Club should be:
- Think of an idea for a Club. This should be something that you are passionate about and are ready to commit to. It should be rewarding, helpful, entertaining, or intellectually stimulating and be something that many UNSW students would be interested in joining (You should also have an overall plan of your Club’s aims and objectives, and a vision for future growth for members and activities.
- Check that a Club with a very similar name, purpose, aims, objectives, or activities does not already exist (see the list on SpArc). Consider if you will be a regular club or if you want to pursue becoming a constituent club (which means you are connected to a School/Faculty/Program/Residence).
- Check out the affiliation application timelines (see details below).
- Read through the model constitution and have a think about what the aims & objectives of the Clubs should be. If you would like to make some changes to the model constitution, make sure to talk to Arc Clubs staff and check what changes can be made.
- Think about how your Club would contribute the UNSW Student Community.
- Decide on a membership fee (this can be $0 - see Section 8 Membership for requirements)
- Plan the IGM (see details IGM & Getting Started for New Clubs Checklist)
When can I affiliate?
New Club applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Feel free to apply whenever suits your needs.
What type of club will we be?
Clubs are divided into two categories: Constituent or Regular.
- Constituent Club: A Club that is associated with a particular Program, School, Faculty or Residence, and has been given the approval of the appropriate authority (e.g. School or Residence management). All UNSW students enrolled in the relevant program, school, faculty, or Residence are automatically eligible to be full members to these associated Clubs.
- Regular Club: A Club not linked to any particular Program, School, Faculty or Residence.
Guidelines for Constituent Clubs
- Constituent Clubs must have at least 15 members. All UNSW students enrolled in the nominated degree program(s), School or Faculty or Residence of UNSW are automatically eligible to join as (full) Club members.
- All (full) Club members are eligible UNSW students who have completed a membership form (they must not be charged a membership fee);
- Club Associate Members are persons who are not eligible for full Club membership, who have completed a membership form and paid a membership fee set by the Club
There are four categories of Constituent Clubs
- A Program Club is linked to a major or degree program within a School or a Faculty. Arc recognises a maximum of one Program Club per major or degree program
- A School Club is linked to a School in a Faculty of UNSW. Arc recognises a maximum of one undergraduate, one postgraduate (research) and one postgraduate (coursework) School Club per School.
- A Faculty Club is linked to a Faculty of UNSW. Arc recognises a maximum of one undergraduate and one postgraduate (research) and one postgraduate (coursework) Faculty Club per Faculty
- A Residence Club is linked to a Residence of UNSW. Arc recognises a maximum of one Residence Club per Residence.
Decisions about the activities and finances of the Club are made by the Executive
Guidelines for Regular Clubs
- Regular Clubs must have at least 5 members. All UNSW students enrolled are eligible to join
- All Club members are UNSW students who have completed a membership form and paid a membership fee set by the Club;
- Club Associate Members are persons who are not UNSW students, who have completed a membership form and paid a membership fee set by the Club
- The minimum membership fee is $0 (see Clubs Handbook Section 8 for requirements)
- Decisions about the activities and finances of the Club are made by the Executive
- Where a Club’s aims & objectives relate to sport, Arc will determine whether the Club is better placed as a Club affiliated with Arc Clubs & Volunteering a Club affiliated with Arc Sport. If the latter, the Club will need to follow Arc’s Sport’s affiliation process.
Submitting your application
New Clubs will need to submit the Affiliation application on SpArc with the following documents and information attached:
- Basic details of the Club, including a description and contact information
- Membership Fee structure (See Clubs Handbook Section 8)
- Statement of Club’s Contribution to the UNSW Community
- Intended Club Activities
- IGM Minutes
- IGM Attendance Form (see related documents)
- All Executives' details (full name, student number, position, contact details)
- Details of 3 Executives that will be the bank signatories (full names as appears on Passport/Driver’s Licence)
- Club Constitution
- Arc Clubs Affiliation Agreement (must be signed by all Executive Club members)
- Letter from School/Faculty/Residence Office (Constituent Societies only)
You can access the affiliation form by visiting the Clubs page on SpArc and following the link under the Starting a Club heading.
You must complete the Affiliation Application, including all the necessary documents, and submit it online within two (2) weeks of your IGM. Make sure that everything is complete and all documents are included, as incomplete applications cannot be approved.
Once a complete application is submitted, it will be assessed by Arc Clubs Staff. The Club will be contacted regarding the application within 2 weeks after the close of application round (dates outlined above).
For example, an application is submitted in Week 2 Term 1 and the round closes in Week 5, the Club will be contacted by Friday Week 7.
Outcomes of your application
- Further Information - Arc will request further information from the applicant or Arc will notify the applicant that other stakeholders are being consulted about the application.
- Declined - If your affiliation application is declined, you will be given details of the issues that prevented your affiliation (and how they can be addressed), as well as information on appealing the decision, if relevant.
- Approved - If your application is approved, you will be given information on the next steps and the Executive Training modules.
My application is approved, what's next?
If your affiliation is approved, you will be issued with a Bank Letter to set up a fee-free Club account at any bank approved by Arc (including all banks on campus). You will also be issued with details about your Secretarial Allowance and how you can access other benefits from Arc.
You will be also sent information on the Executive Training program (this training must be completed by all Club Executives) (See Section 12)
What if it has been a couple of years since my Club was last affiliated with Arc?
A Club that was previously affiliated with Arc and wants to become affiliated again, but whose affiliation has not been active for more than 24 months, must apply as a New Club. See Clubs Handbook Section 3 (Starting a Club) for information on this process.
Can I start a sport Club?
It’s likely that a Club that centres around sport will not be approved for affiliation with Arc Clubs & Volunteering, but instead will be asked to follow Arc Sport’s affiliation process.
What is the difference between a Constituent Club and a Regular Club?
Constituent Clubs are officially recognised as being representative of a program, school, faculty or residence at UNSW. All the other Clubs are Regular Clubs.
How many members must we have to begin our Club?
For Regular Clubs, there must be at least 5 current UNSW students as members of the Club. For Constituent Clubs, there must be at least 15 current UNSW students that are part of the relevant program school, faculty or residence at UNSW as members of the Club.
What if my Club is similar to an existing Club, Program, Initiative or Collective within Arc?
The best way to avoid any issues is to have a chat with Arc Clubs staff before you start forming your Club, so we can provide you with advice on what existing Clubs, Programs, Initiatives or Collectives you might be similar to, and what aspects you might be able to change to differentiate yourself. While the issues can be addressed later on, it will usually require more time and work for you (e.g. holding an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Club to change its aims & objectives or name).
The outcome will depend on the degree of similarity to the existing Club, Program, Initiative or Collective. We may contact your Club and other stakeholders to assess the similarities and differences. If the Arc Clubs team agrees your Club is sufficiently different, then your Club will be approved for affiliation.
If your Club appears to be too similar, your Club will not be approved for affiliation. The Arc Clubs team will get in touch with you and let you know which Club, Program, Initiative or Collective we think you are similar to. Your options from there are to either work with us and see if you can make changes to your Club to differentiate itself, or you can appeal the decision in writing.
Where can I find information on Executive Positions?
You can look through our Clubs Handbook, Sections 11 (Being A Successful Club Executive, Section 11 – 11.6) for more information on responsibilities of executives. You can also find some information in Section 7, regarding Constitutions.
Why does my Club need a Grievance Officer?
A Grievance Officer Executive member whose role is to receive and handle formal grievances (as specified in your Club’s constitution). If this is not practicable or appropriate, another member of your Clubs’ Executive will act as the Grievance Officer on the complaint/grievance. This role is responsible for maintenance and review of policies & procedures of the Club, including its Grievance Resolution Policy & Procedure, and is a mandatory position within your executive.
Are there other executive positions to consider when starting a Club?
We are encouraging all Clubs to create or incorporate Executive roles that focus on fostering a culture of inclusivity within your Club. For example:
- Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Officer – This role should foster an inclusive culture within the Club; ii) Facilitating & promoting the engagement of non-majority demographics of the Club (which may include culturally diverse students, students with disabilities, female identifying students, gender diverse students and LGBTQIA+ students and indigenous students). You can find the template here.
- Women’s Officer – This role’s purpose is to address issues including under-representation of women in your Club. Some Clubs may not have a need for this role, but we recommend that in general, large (Gold tier) Clubs should have a Women’s Officer role. You can find a template here.
- Cultural Diversity – This role addresses the engagement of local and international students from diverse cultures at UNSW. Like the Women’s Officer, certain Clubs may not have much practical need for this role, but we recommend that large non-cultural Clubs should have this position on the Executive. You can find a template here.
How long will it take to know if our affiliation has been approved?
Applications submitted in Term 1 or 2 will receive an update 2 weeks after the end of the relevant application round. Applications submitted in Term 3 by the application deadline receive an update 2 weeks after the deadline. Applications submitted after the Term 3 deadline will likely experience a significant delay, as we are processing reaffiliation applications for all Clubs during this period. The update will either specify that further information is being sought from your Club and/or other stakeholders, that the Club’s application has been denied or that the Club’s application has been approved. Refer to Application Outcomes above for more information.
What happens if our application is denied?
For any applications that are denied, you will be given details of the issues that prevented your affiliation (and how they can be addressed), as well as information on appealing the decision, if relevant.
Can we re-submit if our application is denied? How long will re-submission take?
If your application has been denied because it is substantially similar to an existing Club, Program, Initiative or Collective and appeals have been denied, you can apply again in the next New Club application round as long as there has been a significant change in the aims, objectives or activities of the Club, or any other issues raised by the Arc Clubs team have been addressed. If neither of these are true, Arc will not accept another application from the Club for 24 months.
Clubs Handbook (arc.unsw.edu.au/clubshandbook)
- Section 8 – Club membership
- Section 9 – Holding a General Meeting
- Section 10 – Guidelines for Elections
- Section 11 – Being a Successful Club Executive
- Section 12 – Executive Training
Forms & Files (arc.unsw.edu.au/clubforms)
- Sample IGM Documents
- Arc Clubs Example Proxy Form
- Attendance Form
- Executive Spreadsheet
- Affiliation Agreement
- Letter from Head of Faculty/School/Residence
Arc Clubs List www.arc.unsw.edu.au/clubs