Society and Sports Team Elections

Societies and Sports Teams are led by officers who work to organise events and bring students together. To make sure that everyone has an opportunity to become a society or sports team officer, club and society members will vote to elect their new committee leaders every year. Typically Club and Society Elections are held in Term 3, unless you're a new or postgraduate group. 

Any SOAS student can run in an election and it is a great way to get engaged with your club or society, take more responsibility and offer a brilliant professional experience that can benefit you throughout your career. 


Who can run in an election? 


You can only run in a committee election for your society if you fulfil ALL of the below criteria:  

  • You have paid your membership fee to the society at the time of running in the elections  

  • You are a current student member at SOAS (see Schedules of Constitution 1.1)  

  • You will remain a currently student at SOAS for the duration of your time on committee  

This criteria means that any associate/ alumni/ staff/ graduating members will not be permitted to run in an election for your society.  

All members of your student group must be given the opportunity to nominate themselves in the election. This means you should send an email, using the messenger function in your admin tools, to all of your members saying how they should nominate themselves and by when. 



What are the core officer roles? 



The President is the leader and main spokesperson for the club/society, taking responsibility for managing the committee and the affairs of the club/society. The President ensures that the committee functions properly, that there is full participation at meetings, that all relevant matters are discussed, and effective decisions taken, communicated and enacted. 

Responsible to: Your club/society committee, Co-President of Activities & Events, and members of your club/society 



The treasurer acts as the club/society’s finance manager and has ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the club/society’s financial matters run smoothly. 

Responsible to: Your club/society committee, Co-President of Activities & Events, and members of your club/society 



The secretary of the club/society is the key information and reference point for the President, committee, and members as well as the named contact for communications with the Students’ Union, University and external organisations. 

Responsible to: Your club/society committee, Co-President of Activities & Events, and members of your club/society 


Welfare Officer 

Societies and Clubs are, and should be, sites of nourishment and enjoyment where students can benefit from new experiences, opportunities, friendships and pleasure. The need for societies and clubs is especially important as, increasingly, university is a site of struggle, hardship, and intense pressure which is detrimental to student wellbeing. 

Therefore, in the spirit of promoting general wellbeing, destigimisation and treatment of poor mental health, and collaboration between student groups, having a welfare officer is of great benefit to students. A welfare officer will greatly increase visibility of welfare issues, provide the Co-President of Welfare & Campaigns Officer a direct point of contact in each society and club, with whom they can liaise and disseminate messages. As well as serve as an extra signpost to accessing important wellbeing services for students who need them. 

If there is a failure to elect a Welfare Officer, the role can be included in another mandatory member of the officers – president, secretary or treasurer. 



Who can vote in the election? 


Any paid member of your society who is a current student at SOAS can vote in the elections. Elections must be open for all members, not just officer members.  

No associate members can vote in committee elections, only student members can vote. 



What if someone has a concern with how the election was conducted? 


If anyone has any concerns with the running of the election, please email and we will help resolve any issues. This may mean investigating candidate conduct, answering election queries, restarting the election, disqualifying candidates or other disciplinary actions. 



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