Society Code of conduct

Preamble

A Students’ Union society refers to any group ratified within the Students’ Union (hereafter known as “USSU”), this doesn’t include sports clubs who fall under the umbrella of Team Surrey. A Society member is an individual who has paid the relevant membership fee to their respective society. If there is no membership fee associated with a society, a member can also be classed as an individual who has actively ‘joined’ via the relevant membership button on the USSU website.  

Societies are semi-autonomous and are run by student committees; both the committee members and the society members have a responsibility to each other, the USSU and the University to represent themselves appropriately in their activity. 

The purpose of this society code of conduct is to clarify the accepted behaviour of society members and to promote the values of the USSU and the University.  

Management committee

  1. The Activity Zone is responsible for amending and approving this document. 
  2. VP Activity and Student Activities Manager have the authority to respond to students who do not comply with this code of conduct, through the Union disciplinary process.

Responsibilities of Society members

A Society member is anyone who is officially registered to a specific society.

They have the following responsibilities:

  1. To first and foremost, represent the University of Surrey in a responsible way. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Respecting the rights and values of others.
    • Be fair, considerate and maintain integrity when dealing with others.
    • Ensuring your society is welcoming and friendly to all students regardless of experience, background, disability, gender, ethnicity, sexuality or any other characteristic or trait.
    • Avoid influencing others into inappropriate actions.
    • Maintaining appropriate standards of behaviour at all times.
    • Act in an appropriate manner during training and/or at competitions.
    • Comply with all reasonable instructions issued by officials and respect their decisions.
    • Treat all staff, students and spectators with respect.
    • Avoid any form of verbal or physical intimidation or harassment of others.
    • Avoid any behaviour that may bring the University or Union into disrepute.
    • For those of you have one, be aware of and comply with your activity’s relevant National Governing Body’s (NGB) guidelines.
    • Refrain from consuming alcohol pre-match or competition.
    • Refrain from drinking on Union organised transport (including hired vehicles).
    • Do not use illegal recreational drugs, including legal highs.
    • Performance enhancing substances are banned as per the NGB of your relevant sport. UK Anti-Doping, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the University guidelines should be referred to regarding the use of such substances.
    • Society social media accounts should clearly state who they belong to e.g. University of Surrey Bengali Society.
    • Be aware that contribution towards a society’s social media account is ultimately representing the University.
    • Appropriate use of society accounts is required along with appropriate use of personal accounts when discussing University of Surrey or Students’ Union matters.
      • Please refer to the University’s Social Media Policy can be found here.
  2. If applicable, society members must also abide by any rules set by British Universities and College Sport (BUCS), the relevant competition body and National Governing Bodies. 
  3. When competing or travelling home, away or abroad, Society members are considered to be representing USSU and the University at any activity or event organised by USSU or the society. This includes both during competition and socially whilst wearing any USSU or University branded kit. Any student that is considered to be representing USSU or the University must therefore not act in any way that is deemed damaging to both parties. Examples of irresponsible behaviour include, but are not limited to:
    1. Misconduct at both competitions and training sessions e.g. use of violent, disorderly, threatening, intimidating or offensive behaviour or language to any University of Surrey student, staff member, coach, visiting team or spectators. 
    2. Harassment to any University of Surrey student, staff member, coach, spectator or visiting team.  
    3. Anti-social behaviour at society socials or events whether on or off campus. Society signatories have a responsibility for any society organised activity.  
    4. Causing damage or harm to any University of Surrey student, staff member, coach, spectator, or visiting team.  
    5. Theft, misappropriation or misuse of USSU property owned equipment i.e. equipment bought through your society budget. 
    6. Using society money (own funds) to make profit for yourself individually. Union regulations must be adhered to.  
    7. Breaching rules set out by your activity’s NGB, competition or event organisers 
    8. Failure to comply with the University’s Social Media Policy 
    9. Any other behaviour which brings the University and/or the USSU into disrepute. 
  4. Any student misconduct must be reported to the Students’ Union Student Activities Manager.

If a student is in breach of these standards, they will face disciplinary action from the Union or the University, if the breach was deemed more serious.

Responsibilities of Society Committee

Society committee members are members who have been elected by their specific society to run that group, whether in a signatory position or not.

All guidance for society committee members is available in the Clubs and Societies Handbook and the Signatories Agreement.  

  1. The elected officers of the Society shall share collective and individual responsibility to run their Society in coordination with the aims and objectives of the group. Collectively they should provide a united front, but also work on their own individual roles within their committee.
  2. At least one member of the committee must attend Society Standing committee every month; failure to do so may result in sanctions against the society. This will be at the discretion of the Societies Chair and criteria is subject to change each year.
  3. Within the committee the three signatories have overall control on the direction of the society and the withdrawal of funds. Abuse of this power may result in a vote of no confidence and their withdrawal of the role and its responsibility.
  4. It is the Society committee’s responsibility to ensure all society equipment is kept in good condition and stored appropriately and tidily, while maintaining an up to date inventory of society equipment.
  5. It is the committee’s responsibility to ensure all appropriate forms are filled out correctly as they will be held responsible for their society members.
  6. It is the committee’s responsibility to ensure their supporters and fans behave in a respectable way.
  7. It is the responsibility of the signatories to communicate to their members the importance of insurance against injury and what each individual member’s responsibilities are in view of personal insurance.
  8. It is the responsibility of the signatories to ensure that they comply with the University’s Dignity at Work and Study Policy, in particular not allowing harassment or bullying to take place during society activity be that training, competitions, socials, on social media or other communication channels.

procedure for complaints about a society or society committee member

  1. Any member of a society or any member of the Union can raise a complaint about a society committee member or society with USSU staff including VP Activity, Student Activities Manager and Societies Chair. Alternatively, the member may email ussu.complaints@surrey.ac.uk.
  2. If a complaint comes via a member of staff or officer, the matter should be raised with VP Activity and Student Activities Manager. The complaint shall be investigated and the Student Activities Manager will inform the member of the necessary procedure.
  3. If, as a result of the investigation into a complaint, action is required with regard to the conduct of a society committee member then the Students’ Union CEO should decide whether the matter should be referred to a Union Disciplinary Procedure, a University Disciplinary, or determine that no action is required.
  4. If a disciplinary is recommended and the issue is deemed a whole Society issue, the signatories of the society will all be required at the relevant disciplinary.

procedure for complaints about a society member

  • Any member of a society or any member of the Union can raise a complaint about a society member with USSU staff including VP Activity, Student Activities Manager and Societies Chair. Alternatively, the member may email ussu.complaints@surrey.ac.uk.
  • If a complaint comes via a member of staff or officer, the matter should be raised with VP Activity and Student Activities Manager. The complaint shall be investigated and the Student Activities Manager will inform the member of the necessary procedure.
  • If, as a result of the investigation into a complaint, action is required with regard to the conduct of a society committee member then the Students’ Union CEO should decide whether the matter should be referred to a Union Disciplinary Procedure, a University Disciplinary, or determine that no action is required.

discipline and grievance procedures

This code of conduct works in accordance with disciplinary procedures laid out by the Students’ Union, University of Surrey and Office of Student Complaints, Appeals and Regulation (OSCAR).

If any point on this code is breached it will result in disciplinary action taking place.

If a society has their own Code of Conduct, this Students’ Union Society & Member Code of Conduct takes precedence over individual society codes.