No costs, no commitment - just start

Just Start groups are a great way to meet like-minded people who want to pursue the same activity. Unlike traditional societies, Just Start groups are free to setup and join!

Start a Group

Starting is easy. Download an application form and hand it in to the SU Office or email it to rt18986@essex.ac.uk.

We’ll contact you and arrange a short meeting between the representative of the group and a member of the SU. Once the VP Southend has approved your aims and objectives, you're set!

join a group

Here's a list of the groups we've got so far!



Contact Jasmine: jw17520@essex.ac.uk


Contact Immanuela: ia17741@essex.ac.uk


Contact Tishan: tt17507@essex.ac.uk 


Contact Deviniat: deveniatadedibu@hotmail.com


Contact Nsenda: nk18804@essex.ac.uk



1.Do I have to pay?

NO. The members of the group do not have to pay the membership fees.'Just Start' groups are more informal than societies, where likeminded people can get together and enjoy a shared interest.

2.Can other participants join over the year?

Of course. But please don't forget to complete and submit your group register after each session to the SU reception and bear in mind, that the number of participants, who are not students at the University of Essex must comprise less than 50%.

3.What are the differences between a Just Start group and a Society?



Obligations Societies Just Start
Complete an application form
Yes Yes
Application reviewed by the VP Southend
Yes Yes
Application reviewed by the Societies Guild committee Yes No
Has to be ratified at a GM Yes No
Organisers need to attend a start-up meeting Yes Yes
Have a constitution Yes No
Have a code of conduct Yes No
Have a budget Yes No
Have an inventory Yes Yes
Representatives have to attend General meetings Yes No
Can be the same as any SU activity already running No No
Have to abide by the Kickass Experience Yes No
Membership fee Yes No
Have a President, Secretary and Treasurer Yes No
Have a contact person with the SU Yes Yes
Has to hold an election Yes No
A Student must run the group Yes Yes
50% of those participating must be students Yes Yes
Must upload minutes to their webpage Yes No
Must submit a register within 5 working days of meeting No Yes
Can have an external bank account or hold funds elsewhere No No



Benefits Societies Just Start
Be listed on the SU Website
Yes Yes
Have their own page on the SU Website
Yes No
Be able to take part in the Fresher's Fair Yes Yes
Be able to book rooms Yes Yes
Be able to book external speakers Yes No
Have an account within the SU Yes No
Can seek additional funding Yes No
Can have a religious or political purpose Yes Yes
Membership Fee Yes No
Be a member of the Societies Guild Yes No
Will automatically close at the end of the year No Yes
Open to students and members of the public Yes Yes
Can host an event in the SU Lounge Yes Yes
Can attain sponsorship Yes No
Can use Societies Guild equipment Yes No*
Entitled to training Yes No
Entitled to support from the Societies Team Yes No
*Unless at the discretion of the Societies department


4. Why should I initiate a 'Just Start' group, rather than a society?

IF you want to meet up with a few like-minded people just to pursue your interest and the activity you chose has very little running costs, we advise 'Just Start'. Hence you are not a member of the Societies Guild, you have less paperwork, there is no need for a constitution, nor will you take part in the Fayres or have to attend general meetings.

5. Is the number of participants limited?

No.'Just Start' let activities shall be open to all students of the University of Essex.

6.When do I cancel my membership?

'Just Start' groups close automatically at the end of every year.

7.When do we have elections?

You only need a designated representative. Unlike a society a 'Just Start' group is relatively informal and doesn't have a president/secretary/treasurer.

8.Can I get funding for my group?

Yes, you may be able to get some initial funding for your group but will not have a budget. 

9.Can I book university rooms for group events?

Yes, when you are an official representative of your 'Just Start' group. In order to get the rooms booked please complete the society room request form.

10. Do I participate in the Societies Guild events like Freshers Fayre?

Yes. 'Just Start' groups are not part of the Societies guild however they're welcome to take part in Freshers Fayre or other Societies' Guild events on campus.

11. When can I start my own 'Just Start' group?

You can start your group throught the year. Download the application form online here.

12. Do I have to attend general meetings?

No. As a 'Just Start' group you don't need to take part in general meetings.

13. How often do we have to meet in our group?

Basically this is up to you, but we advise to hold activities on a regular basis.