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Student Groups: How to do a Committee Handover

Group of Amnesty students posing for the camera

All Amnesty Student Group members eventually leave university or college so keeping groups going from one year to the next can be tricky. It’s no fun becoming a new committee member for your group, only to find that you have no idea how your Student Union works, where your resources cupboard is, and who your contact is at Amnesty UK! This is why committee handovers are so important; they are the key to ensuring your society survives and thrives once you’ve graduated ✨ 

Forming a new Committee 

The best time to hold your committee elections is around April each year. If you hold them much earlier than this, it will be too soon to tell which members are fully committed and who might go ghost!  

By April, new members to your society will have had a chance to get to know the group before deciding to commit themselves further, and you will be able to push strong candidates to apply to roles. Holding your elections now also means the old committee will still be around for a few months to support the transition and help, if needed. 

It may be an idea to extend the number of officer roles beyond the 3 usually required by the Union (chair, secretary and treasurer). This will increase your pool of officers and share responsibility more across the committee and lighten the workload, which is always a win! 

Encourage 1st /2nd years, post grads and anyone else who will not be leaving at the end of the year to stand, to ensure some continuity.  If a committee is made up of only final year students, there is a higher chance of the society becoming less active once everyone has graduated. Also – it's nice to have a range of different years reflected in your society, as this will allow campaigns to have more long-term impact. 

When recruiting, think about how you can get a range of lived experience represented on your committee. As a campaigning society, it is important that your work is inclusive, intersectional, and speaks to the experiences of many different students – not just a set few.  

Help! We don’t have anyone interested in being on the committee next year  

The first thing is; don’t panic! There’s still lots you can do to make sure you have a committee for next year: 

Stay active! Although you’ll be busy with exams and deadlines, it’s important to try and hold a couple of events after the Easter break to entice people into the society. This might be a stall on campus, or a ‘give it a go session’ - effectively a welcome meeting for new members. Target these to students who are continuing their studies next year.  

Don’t be afraid to let new people take over! That first year who came to their first event last week? They might be your next secretary or treasurer – or chair! Of course, it’s great when you have consistency from year to year, but new members can bring in fresh perspectives and ideas – and at the end of the day it’s much better than having no society at all!  

Focus on fresher’s fair. You might have a couple of students who want to be involved next year but don’t want the responsibility of being on the committee. The most important thing is that you can run a Freshers Fair stall to get new members next year – if they can commit to doing that, they can elect a new committee in the Autumn term.  

Reach out. If you’re still struggling speak to your Student Union or contact Hannah (the Student Organiser) at We can offer help and support to keep your society going. 

Preparing for a new Committee 

We’ve created a guide that provides a template to pass on all the key information to your new committee, including information about Amnesty and the Student Action Network. Access our Committee Handover Guide here

Once a new committee has been elected, please remember to let us know the updated information: 

Being the new Committee 

If you’re part of a new Committee – congratulations! Being part of an Amnesty Student group is so rewarding, and a great experience. 

Before the previous Committee disappear, make sure to ask them loads of questions to learn what went well and what could be avoided this year.  

Reach out to Hannah, the Student Organiser at Amnesty UK, to introduce yourself and set up a quick meeting ahead of the new year. She’s happy to support you in this journey and will have some good tips and advice. You can contact Hannah at: 


Mobile/Whatsapp: +447879109074  

We like to know what you’re up to and how you’re getting along throughout the year so keep in touch with us! 😊  

Access our Committee Handover Guide below.  

Handover Guide for New Committee.pdf