ActivateClubs has a new sign up process

By Nicole De Palo

 

ActivateClubs have reformatted the process of joining clubs. This is expected to harshly impact the revenue of and participation in clubs.

 

The process has been lengthened. Members used to simply pay $5 on O’day and get a membership sticker in return. To join an ActivateUTS club, students now have to express interest, wait for a response, sign up online, and then collect their membership sticker. Activate have also proposed a $20 increase to non-UTS students joining ActivateClubs.

 

Members and executives of UTS Clubs say, however, that this is counter-intuitive to club participation.

 

The UTS Japanese Society have stated, “The introduction of an online payment system is definitely a good thing. However, removing the ability to pay cash as an alternative is frustrating. This is compounded by the short notice of the change. As an example, we are selling t-shirts at O’day. However, members need to pay for the t-shirts in cash and for membership online, creating extra effort and a potential logistics issue.”

 

Activate UTS have tried to promote the changes by saying in a Facebook post, “Join clubs and societies online no more waiting in long queues to join and no more cash!”

 

However, the changes may prove frustrating for the people who run these clubs, as it could deter students from participating on O’day. As a result, clubs would have less sign-ups and money to use for future events.

 

The UTS Music Society have reiterated this by saying, “Activate’s new system is causing extreme frustration and exclusion, both for society members and executive bodies. O’day remains the most prominent time of year for societies to gain membership and exposure, so by removing cash options entirely, Activate has eliminated the need to attend these events. Societies now need to fork out appealing incentives to try and convince people to come.”

 

The idea of having a unified membership database is valuable, but taking away the option of cash payments makes immediate community interaction very difficult. After O’day, clubs will generally have a welcome event where new and past members can meet and get to know each other. Unfortunately, clubs are now expecting less people to attend their vital events.

 

Another issue that has been raised is the ineffectiveness of an app that has been created by Activate. It was expected that the app would have collated information on all ActivateClubs, making it easy for students to see what was offered. However, the app has no features other than the payment of joining fees.

 

The UTS Vegan Society has expressed disappointment over the app and its lost potential to be informative, accessible and waste-efficient. The app could have replaced non-environmentally friendly membership cards and club information brochures, however lacks these features. Jessica Respall said, “It leaves much to be desired and acts more as an inconvenience than a benefit to clubs and students. We aren’t happy about it, but I think if they properly consulted clubs and students we could design a system in the future.”

 

Executives fear the changes that have been put into place. It is important that different clubs and societies gather data to show membership decline, money wasted on unused freebies, and other problems they may incur as a result of this lackluster new system, and hope that Activate takes their concerns on board.