The president acts to ensure a smoothly running committee. They attend the SU societies council meetings to ensure PhysSoc has a voice within the SU, they organise commmittee meetings and they act as a middle-man between the school of Physics and Astronomy and PhysSoc.
Working with the SU:
There are multiple SU councils during the year which are held in the evening after lectures. The style of these sessions has been changing but it is run by the Activities Officer and used to provide information to all society presidents and for presidents to provide feedback. These sessions are compulsery otherwise the society gets a fine!
Working with the committee:
The president is there to hold committee members accountable. It is the president's job tyo ensure events are being organised and running, help out with trip organisation, work to ensure all SU regulations are followed and generally be a point of contact for any issues. The president also generally organises the EGM/AGM and summer BBQ events!
Working with the department:
One of the first jobs for the president is to set up the first year peer mentoring scheme with the school. This then develops into organising the Dominos pizza deliveries for peer mentoring sessions and other events that the department requires pizza for (and they fund it!). A more recent addition has been regular meetings with two faculty members to organise careers event (eg. Meet the lecturers) and enstate a departmental student careers rep to introduce a greater number of higher quality careers events and opportunities which a student run.
This role involves overlooking all aspects of the society, including events, SU negotiations and finance. The VP assists the president in making important decisions for the society, and takes on any jobs that are required throughout the year.
Events are a key part of a society such as PhysSoc. The Vice President overlooks the decisions made by the social secretaries and offers their experience when necessary, particularly when considering things such as costings and sales strategies. They also assist in stewarding events when there is a large number of attendees.
Merchandise is a task that is traditionally led by the Vice President of PhysSoc. This includes both committee uniform and merchandise required for bar crawls or general sale. Design, material, and costings are all important factors that must be considered in this process.
A recent addition to the VP role is engaging with members to gain feedback on the society. Two surveys were conducted at the very start of the academic year, on the topics of events, trips and publicity, and there is a plan to conduct several more as the academic year comes to a close. These surveys act to benefit future committees by highlighting which elements of PhysSoc are favoured by members, and which elements could be improved.
The role of treasuer mostly involves authorising funding for society events by sending relevant invoices to the Students union as well as approving expenses for events. However they are also responsible for trying to reach out to external companies for funding opportunities as well as applying for core funding from the Students Union.
During summer exam period after being elected onto the committee, the treasurer's first role is to fill out the core funding application alongside the president. This is a large form which is sent to the SU to apply for SU funding for the year.
Invoices and expenses:
The treasurer has to approve all of the committee expenses through the expense365 app. This requires fast replying times to ensure committee members are not losing their own money for long. Invoices are also always emailed through the treasurer, who must forward these on to be paid through the SU with their approval. This requires good communication with the social secretaries.
Throughout the year (especially during the start of the year), the treasurer will work to secure sponsorships from local businesses and institutions to boost PhysSoc's financial situation and provide key employer connections. This requires writing up a contract and working with the SU to get these signed by both parties.
The position of General Secretary requires organisation and communication. The main roles include taking minutes during meetings, organising a few meetings yourself, sending out the newsletter and generally helping wherever needed.
Every meeting it will be the Gen Sec's job to jot down everything said worth noting. At the very least the minutes should include a summary of each item brought up, and by whom, any action items brought up, when such items should be fulfilled, and by whom.
Once the meeting is over, the meetings will need to be made available to the committee. This is done by uploading your minutes file to the resources folder on the SU website. Simply navigate su.nottingham.ac.uk, click on “Admin” then “PhysSoc”, click on “Resources”, give your file a relevant title and summary and upload it there.
It is also the Gen sec's job to write and send out newsletters to PhysSoc members about every other week, or whenever information should be sent out. The newsletter should include things that the society has planned, like socials and other events, as well as things the department may want advertised, like research seminars and careers opportunities. It’s a good idea to include locations, dates and times and other things that maybe important, and/or include a link to the event page/ticket page relating to the newsletter item. Once the newsletter is written it will have to be emailed to the society members. To do this, again navigate to the PhysSoc admin page, click “Messages” and “Send email”. Clicking “To” will take you to the message recipients page, click on “All Members” and “Add Recipients”. Give the message a subject, paste the contents in the Message Text box and send it through. This is what is done for all emails sent on behalf of the society.
Whilst gen sec is free to help in any capacity with the actual organisation of socials, the main job in this regard is setting up a rota for things like payment and collection of wristbands and tickets. They consult with the Social Secretaries about when sales will take place, then construct a Doodle poll, or something similar, to collect the time intervals in which committee members are free. Once enough members have responded, they make a rota specifying when it will be each committee member’s responsibility to oversee the sale/collection of tickets. This will be one of the first responsibilities a Gen Sec with regards to the rota for the Welcome Fair stall.
The role of Gen Sec is not limited only to the above. Like any other committee member, they can also be there to help with something society related and can put forward any ideas concerning how the committee can improve the lives of their society members.
It is the role of the 'Trips Secretary' to organise the overseas trips that PhysSoc regularly runs. This usually includes a European city break in December and a trip to CERN in the Summer.
The European city break is usually run with the help of one of the SU's recommended suppliers. It is therefore the Trips Sectretary's responsibility to get in contact with the supplier and negotiate the best deal for the society, whilst also ensuring to comply with the SU's overseas trips requirements (e.g. filling in the Registration Form and Participant List). The Trips Secretary is also responsible for advertising the trip to members, which is usually done through social media, lecture shoutouts, and an 'Information Evening' that we host in the Physics Building. If the trip is being run with another society, as is often the case, it is necessary for the Trips Secretary to liaise with a representative from that society.
Regarding the CERN trip, this is usually not done with the help of a supplier, so it is necessary for the Trips Secretary to organise flights, accommodation and the tour of the CERN facility.
Social Secretary (x2)
Being a social sec is, in a nutshell, all about organising social events throughout the year for the physsoc members (and non members). All the bar crawls, laser quests and ice skating- it is the social sec's role to reach out to the managers and owners, speak to them about events and agree on dates and prices. This involves a lot of phone calls and emails. The social sec must also be actively social on the events, speak to people there, make sure they are comfortable and enjoying themselves.
Requirements for the role
The social secs need to be confident and comfortable speaking new people. They need to be organised, able to sort out and organise events and also promote them around physics. They also must come up with new ideas for events, and actively know what people of physsoc want and will enjoy.
PhysSoc host events roughly every 2 or 3 weeks, including non drinking events (such as ice skating or film night) and drinking events (mostly bar crawls). Some of the bar crawls are externally organised (like wacky science) so require leasoning with events companies. The two social secretaries (one male one female) call or email the bars or places to ask if they can be used for an event, or book the place out. They then have to submit an event form to the SU at least 14 days before the event. This requires good organisational skills, especially when there’s a lot of events in a short space of time. Social secs also create the online ticket link for some of the events, which is done once the event is approved by the SU and requires more forms to fill in. After the event is approved and tickets are set up, they lease with the publicity sec about promoting the event on Facebook. It’s between the social secretaries and publicity sec to set up an event page, create a banner/poster for it and publicise it on Facebook. On the day, the social secs take an active lead on the event they have organised, get people to the next bars or let people know what’s going on.
The largest part of the media sec role is taking photos and occasionally videos on PhysSoc events. As an ‘official photographer’, there is high potential for socialising. They tend to make friends with everyone as people remember you as the person with the camera! On PhysSoc nights out, the current media sec typically takes ~600 photos! Processing the photos is an essential part of this role. The current media sec uses Adobe Lightroom and occasionally uses Photoshop for post processing and Illustrator for graphic design work - that’s how they make the photos jazzy!
Other aspects of the role
Media sec also gets access to the PhysSoc social media to promote events and upload memorable albums. A notable role includes prepping for freshers fair to help make graphics to print on BIG A0 paper. Other roles include helping out with weekly pizza distribution in semester 1 mentoring sessions and masterclasses.
I’m the person who runs the social media. My role involves creating the advertising material and promoting the events. As Publicity Sec I work along side the Social Secs to create the posters and banners best fit for the events( if you have any editing skills, that's a bonus). You will run all social media (FB, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat) and will need to make sure you are always up to date with all social media. As a committee member you will also help out at all events run by the society.
The Astronomy secreatary i the society liaison with Steven Bamford for all issues concerning the telescopes. Their name role is to structure training and use of telescopes.
The astro sec is responsible for advertising that all members of Physsoc can attend a training session to use the telescopes. They ennsure that anyone wishing to use the telescopes is informed that they must attend a training session every year as the systems are updated. The solar telescope now has an astronomical CCD, so it should be possible to take excellent images of features in the Sun's Corona. All of the computers linked to the telescopes now run Linux and Steven Bamford has developed software to optimise the acquisition of images so even if someone has used similar telescopes before, they just attend training sessions.
The astro sec role is open for whatever interests the elected member choses to do. In previous years, they have helped organise a trip the Leicester Space Centre, they have got involved with national space competitions and they have helped PhysSoc run a development project sending a camera up into the atmosphere!
Start of the year - IMS
At the start of the year it is up to the sports secretary, treasurer and president to decide what teams PhysSoc will enter for the IMS leagues. Entering a team is fairly expensive, so enough society members need to be interested to make it worth the society investing, not to mention that if a team repeatedly fails to field a side due to lack of numbers they can be removed from the IMS league. At the start of the year a survey/signup document needs to be circulated to gauge interest throughout the society. In this period the captains of the teams need to be chosen. If the team already existed the previous year, some of the team members may have decided who they would like to be captain for the new IMS season, make sure to contact last year’s team members to ask about this. Advertisement of the sporting side of the society should also be undertaken at this time – there is a misconception that physicists are not interested in sport, so many new (and some old) members of PhysSoc are unaware of the sports teams. When advertising IMS, focus on that the atmosphere is very friendly, not extremely high level and welcoming, and that the teams are a great way to meet people in different academic years in the society. A good time to advertise the sports team is during the first-year induction lectures and freshers fair. Once the number of members interested in each sport is known and a captain selected, the teams can be entered into IMS. The new players joining at the start of the year need to be told how to participate in the IMS matches. Each league takes place at its own location at the same time every week (e.g Wednesday’s, DRSV - Astro, 7pm). This information along with each teams Facebook page (and possibly group chat) needs to be sent out to every member who signed up to play for each team.
Supporting the teams
Once the teams have been entered into IMS, the main responsibility of the sport secretary is keeping the teams running by supporting the captains. If the teams were set up properly with enough members, your contact with the captains should be minimal. However, it is a good idea to contact the captains once or twice a term to make sure everything is running well. If the captains are having issues within the league itself, you can email the director of an individual IMS league officially in the capacity of PhysSoc sports secretary. By doing this you can help resolve any official issues from a position of neutrality as you do not captain any teams within any leagues. If the captains require any equipment for the teams (most commonly balls for matches), have them send you the exact products they would like. You can then take this to the president and treasurer to request the funds to purchase these items. Keep track of these and make sure they are handed on at the end of the season to next seasons captain.
Besides helping the captains, you should direct new players to each of the teams when approached by members of the society. Allowing new players to join the teams throughout the year helps the teams with their numbers. You should tell a new player the location and time of the matches and add them to the Facebook page (and possibly group chat) for the team they are interested in. You should be available to perform lecture shoutouts for your year groups core modules to help advertise any upcoming events. As well as this you should make yourself available on request to help with the planning and running of upcoming events.
First Year Rep
So, what does being a first year rep actually involve? I wasn’t totally sure what to expect but quickly picked it up with the help of the current committee. The job of the first-year rep is quite a versatile one, making it all the more fun. A lot of it revolves around liaising with the PhysSoc committee regarding upcoming events and what the first year would like to see. This lets you get to know a fantastic committee and really see how it all works. Of course, to properly represent the first year, you need to know the first year. This gives you the opportunity to interact with far more of your course mates than you would normally and lets you get to know so many great people on your course. One of the slightly more daunting aspects is lecture shout-outs. In essence, this involves you getting up in front of your peers at the start/end of a lecture and telling them what crazy events PhysSoc has got in store for them in the upcoming weeks and why they should definitely come along. It can certainly be a bit nerve wracking to stand in front of a lecture theatre of 200 people but it’s a fantastic way to build confidence and public speaking, skills you certainly need going forwards! For this role, confidence is key. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, meet new people and not be afraid to let your voice be heard. It can definitely be hard to do in a new environment where you know very few people, but the friends you make and the experience you gain along the way make it totally worth it!