Societies during COVID-19

It's a strange time for us all at the moment. However, we know just how important societies are to the student community at Heriot-Watt. Our best advice to you is KEEP GOING. If you do have any questions, please send them to

I want to set up a society

That's great!

Please take a look at this page on how you can set one up. Please note that Societies Council isn't running at the minute, but we will hope to run an online one in June where your new society may have chance to get affiliated.

I'm a Society member. What should I do?

Keep in touch

Your society will want to hear from you as much as you want to hear from them. Be nice, check in with your pals from the society and maybe come up with some ideas to stay better connected with the group.

Look out for AGMs

If you've really enjoyed being part of your society this year, you might want to get more involved in it next year. Some societies might not have held their AGMs yet, so now's your chance. Keep an eye on any society groups/social media. They need to give you a few days notice that the meeting will happen.

Don't know what role you'd be best at? Take a look at this video under the heading 'Society Roles'.

I'm on a committee. What should i be doing?

Keep in touch

You should try and keep in touch with your members however you can. Everyone's in the same boat; indoors and a bit bored. Make a big group chat with all your members, try watching a film/series together, set each other tasks or play a game.

Your members will remember if you're looking out for them during this tough period.

Have an AGM

You still need to hold an AGM to elect your society committee members. Committees must be elected, not appointed. If you don't have an AGM now, the society will be really disadvantaged when it comes to next semester.

Here's our tips on how to have an online AGM:

  • Pick an online platform to host your AGM e.g. Messenger, Teams, Discord
  • Any candidate wanting to stand for a position should upload a 1 min video/have 1 min to tell you why they’d be good in the role.
  • Other members should then have the opportunity to ask the candidates a few questions online.
  • You should then ask members to place their vote via email/dm to a nominated person and have a time/date deadline.
  • You should also make clear that members can vote by proxy (where you let someone vote on your behalf).

How to do Proxy voting:

  • You will need to declare anyone that’s standing in the AGM elections in advance.
  • Someone is nominated the proxy holder and anyone who wishes to vote by proxy needs to message/email the nominated person by a certain time/date to confirm their vote.
  • The nominated person’s proxies are then added to the vote totals.

Complete a Reaffiliation Form

This is the form which confirms that you'd like to be a society for the next year (now until May 2021).

There's quite a lot of info we need about who's in your society, bank details and risk assessments. Try and make sure you've got that ready before you start the form. However, you can edit the form after you've started just in case.

Complete the form here. You have until 31st May, 5pm.

Log your Volunteering Hours

As a society committee member, you can log your volunteer hours with the Student Union. That means any time you've spent helping your society at a committee meeting, organising an event or attending Societies Council can be volunteering experience.

If you log your volunteering hours with us, they'll go on your transcript when you graduate*.

If you're in final year, you need to have logged your hours with us by 24th April, 5pm to make sure they go on your transcript*.

Log your hours here.

*you must log a minimum of 50 volunteer hours and 5 skills to be recognised.