Society Spotlight Week: Reaffiliate Your Society

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Societies are the heart of the student community at Heriot-Watt. But if your society doesn’t reaffiliate, it won’t be around next year! 

Every society needs to reaffiliate (or re-register) with the Student Union if they still want to be here for the next academic year. We want all our societies to reaffiliate asap (very latest 12th July) so we know which groups will exist when new students start in September. 

With COVID-19 affecting so many things on campus, it’s really important that the student community is as strong as it can be and societies will play a huge part in this. As a society, it’s your job to help students feel welcome at Heriot-Watt and give new students a sense of normality in what will be a very strange University year.

How do I reaffiliate? 

Reaffiliation forms are available here:  

The process is all online and you can go back in and re-edit information if you don’t have it all in front of you. So long as all that info is on the form by 23:59pm on 12th July, you’re good. 

What info do I need to reaffiliate? 

The main things we need to know are: 

  • Who your new committee members are and their contact details 

  • Society bank details and how much you charge for membership 

  • Who the society shares data with e.g. any external sponsors 

  • Risk assessment of the society’s activities, particularly for more physically active societies 

  • Your society’s constitution i.e. any specific rules your society operates by 

  • Evaluation of how this year went – good, bad, what we can help with 

That’s pretty much it. If you’re unsure how to fill it in, join our Reaffiliations Q&A with Polly and Colin on Tues 7th July, 12-1pm. You can join the Q&A on Teams by clicking here.

What can societies do during COVID-19? 

We think the most important thing you can do is keep your members engaged, even if it’s just sending them a wee message every now and then. Don't forget, you can message all of your members through the admin tools on our website!

Checking-in with your society pals to see how they’re doing shows you’re looking out for them and is a nice gesture which might just make someone’s day. Also members are more likely to come back to the society when term starts again if they’ve heard from you when you’re not all at Uni. 

Here’s some other society ideas: 

  • Online games tournament - heard of Quiplash / Words with Friends / Fortnite? 

  • Watch-a-long party - share your screen and watch something together 

  • Book / Podcast / Film Club – chat about what you’ve read/heard/watched 

  • Talent tutorial  - does someone in your society love to draw/cook/craft/sing? Ask them to share their talent and teach your other members about it 

  • Take an online Yoga class – or see if our fab Yoga Society fancies hosting one for you 

  • A good old catchup – grab a coffee (or something stronger) and chat about what you’ve been up to 

What will Freshers Week look like? 

Freshers Week 2020, as always, will be amazing. The week will still contain a great programme of events and activities, and the main focus will be on helping new (and returning) students settle in to life at HW. 

The only thing that might be different is how our events and activities will take place. Following the University, we are going for a blended approach - so some things might take place in person on-campus, and some may take place online remotely. We're following all guidelines to ensure we can offer a safe environment for everyone - our students' wellbeing is most important.

The Freshers Fair will still be happening, and we're currently working with the Sports Union and Oriam to offer an on-campus fair using the large Sports Halls to enable social distancing, with staggered entry times. This will be coupled with an online fair, both as a back up in case guidelines change and for those students who may not be able to attend campus. We're still working on all the details, and we'll keep you informed as plans progress - but make sure you keep it in mind, as the Freshers Fair is one of the most popular ways of getting new members for your society.

This year, more than ever, we'd love for societies to run their own events and activities during Freshers Week and beyond. There are loads of ideas for ways in which you can engage with new members and raise awareness of your society - and we'll do whatever we can to help and support you to do it. So please tell us what you've got in mind by dropping Polly an email on


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