We encourage societies to put on social activities for their members, allowing your members to have fun and get to know each other ourside of your group's normal activities. However if your society decides to put on a social activity for your members, you must make sure that you are aware of our Social Events and Initiations Policy to ensure that the social event meets our expectations.
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The Students’ Union has a duty to ensure it upholds the name and positive reputation of the University of Salford and the University of Salford Students’ Union, and to ensure that it is acting within the best interest of University of Salford students. Student Opportunities & Wellbeing has a duty to ensure that any member can participate in student led activities in a safe, non-threatening and enjoyable environment whilst removing potential barriers to an inclusive menu of opportunity.
This policy aims to encourage students to have a good time at social events, build strong and active communities and to be open and fully inclusive in terms of participation and involvement.
The University of Salford Students’ Union believes the practice of initiations is a dangerous and degrading exercise that jeopardizes the safety of members and reflects negatively on the public image of students. The Union is also painfully aware that unforeseen circumstances resulting from such activities can cause anguish that may affect students and their families both personally and academically.
It is the policy of the University of Salford Students’ Union and the University of Salford that no student, University or Union employee, Sport Club or Society or other recognised group or association shall conduct or condone initiation activities, ‘consensual’ or not.
Social events can act as a team building exercise when the activity group members can meet and socialise with other members as well as building communities and celebrating success. The following regulations must be adhered to in order to encourage a safe, non-threatening, enjoyable environment in which students can enjoy these events:
- All Sport Club and Activity Group members must recognise and adhere to the Students’ Union Equality and Diversity Policy
- Challenging Discriminatory Behaviour
Members have a duty to abide by the Equality and Diversity Policy and the Union will not tolerate any discriminatory behaviour. It remains the right of the Sabbatical Officers and staff to challenge any discriminatory behaviour. Such behaviour may lead to disciplinary measures being taken. Where a breach of the Equality and Diversity policy is alleged, and it involves a member of the Union, it shall be the duty of the disciplinary committee to take action. If an incident occurs involving a staff member then the Unions’ terms and conditions of employment shall be implemented.
- Right to withdraw services and disciplinary action
It is our aim to prevent discriminatory behaviour from occurring, but we recognise that this is not always possible in severe cases, or where behaviour is persistent, the Union reserves the right to withdraw any / all of our services and / or take disciplinary action against individuals or groups.
- Individuals should be made to feel part of the team and celebrate regardless of their willingness to participate in social activities.
- It is intended that all activity groups have a good time. It follows that each member will have a different response to activities, and no peer pressure (intended or not) should be placed in any member to do anything they do not want to do.
- The committee of each Activity Group is responsible for the welfare of all members and must take the necessary measure to ensure that an adequate level of safety is maintained at all time.
- Representing the Students’ Union and the University of Salford is a privilege for many students. When representing the Students’ Union or University it is imperative that you present and conduct yourselves appropriately and spread the good name of the Students’ Union and University.
An initiation ceremony is an event in which members (often new members) of the Activity Group are expected to perform a task or tasks as a means of gaining credibility, status or entry within the group. This may involve peer pressure (though not explicitly) exerted on students, and may compromise a person’s inherent dignity as a person by forcing or requiring an individual to drink alcohol, eat mixtures of various food stuffs, nudity and behaviour that may be deemed humiliating.
Social event’s must not become ‘initiations’ or be classed as ‘welcome drinks’
It is the responsibility of each Activity Group’s committee to organise and supervise all social events and be responsible for the welfare of all members ensuring that an adequate level of safety is maintained and discriminatory behaviour is prevented at all times.
- It is advisable that someone on the committee acts as a supervisor and remains sober throughout the event to maintain adequate control.
- Supervision is essential to ensure each member’s safety, and to prevent any injuries or problems from occurring. No activity should take place that causes a risk of injury or damage to health.
- The Students’ Union discourages excessive consumption of alcohol. This applies to every group. Consumption of alcohol should be of the member’s free choice.
- It is the individual’s choice whether or not they attend a social event (attendance at social events is by no means criteria for being selected into a group, and should not be a barrier to the individuals participation).
- It is each activities objective that every member of the club has an enjoyable time. It follows that each member will have a different response to activity, and no ‘peer’ pressure (intended or not) should be placed in any member to do anything they may not enjoy.
- All activity must demonstrate equal opportunities and respect the diversity of the student at the University of Salford.
- The committee are responsible for the behaviour of its members, and should pass on the message that their actions reflect not only on the group as a whole but potentially also on both the University and Students’ Union. All members must show respect towards others, staff, and the public and public property.
All society members must adhere to this policy and are accountable to the Students’ Union.
Breach of this policy may result in the following penalties:
- Closure of the society
- Funding removed / frozen
- Disciplinary action of individuals in line with the Students’ Union and University disciplinary procedure
- Criminal Prosecution