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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

What is York IVC?
York IVC is a non-profit making social club run by its members.
What sort of things do members get up to?
Events are put on by our members so it's up to them to decide. The result is a programme of around twenty events a month, which you can see in our diary.
What motivates people to join?
Generally people join the club who are new to York, those looking to make some friends or if you just enjoy meeting new people.
Can I try it out?
Yes, we always welcome new people. As our events programme varies and the nature of so,e events means they may only be attended by a small number of people, we recommend you come along to one of our club nights or club lunches as your first event. Full details of these are on our home page.
Do I need to contact the Prospective Membership Secretary before coming along to anything?
If you just want to come along to one of our club nights, it's not strictly necessary but is recommended: you can introduce yourself on the night, although you will most likely need to call the host so he or she can look out for or greet you. However, to get full details of our other events you will need to enquire via the web site or call the Prospective Membership Secretary.
What's attending a first event like?
Being with a lot of people you don't know can be intimidating. New people enquire regularly and every club member went to an event for the first time at some point. You should easily find a friendly person to talk to. The most difficult part for most people is walking up to a group of strangers and introducing yourself. Once you've done this you'll find that people are welcoming and happy to get you involved.
What if I'd like to go to a few more events?
By enquiring, you get a copy of our monthly events programme which allows you to go to nearly all events in the calendar. The only exception to this is events at members' homes which may be restricted to full members.
Are there any rules or etiquette when going along to events?
Usually the description in the events programme makes it clear whether you need to call or text first, any deadline, whether there are limited places and any other information. Even for events where just coming along might be ok, we request that you let the host know of your intention to come: a quick text or putting your name against the event on our web site will suffice. You should expect club members to be friendly and welcoming to all club members and we ask this of you too.
What if I didn't have a good time at the first event I went to?
Occasionally this can happen. Of course you may decide the club's not for you. York IVC has a lot of members and different types of event and it's possible you might have a better time at a different event. The Prospective Membership Secretary or Events Co-ordinator may be able to help.
Is the club free?
Sadly only for the first month or two: your first event programme is free and if you enquire towards the end of a month we'll give you the next one for free as well. Beyond that you can extend your trial for two months for £5.
Do I need to join? How long can my trial go on for?
Beyond your free programmes and the two-month paid extension, we ask you to apply to join.
How much are memberships?
A standard membership is £20 a year.
Why is the club not free, there are other free social groups?
There are but running a successful club with a lot of members does incur some costs. Everyone on the committee is a volunteer. By asking for a modest membership fee and a small commitment from our members, we think our club is better than free groups where people can dip in and out.
Can I just join or is there anything else I need to do?
To apply, you just need to have attended three events from our programme. Our application form has a section where you write down the events you went to. Our membership is self-selecting and we want to make sure that you think the club is for you.
What's the point of attending three events?
The committee consider all applications for membership and at least some of them need to know you a little before accepting your membership application. This is to protect the club members against anyone who behaves inappropriate joining, for example someone who behaves aggressively or upsets other members.
Do I need signatures from hosts or committee members to show I've attended three events before applying for membership?
We used to require this but you can just write down the name of the event you went to.
Do you ever refuse any membership applications?
Occasionally we have to, yes, but it's rare and there are always sound reasons for doing so. If you've been to events and enjoyed them, it's very unlikely you won't get in. Usually if someone is likely to be refused, the committee won't let things get to that stage and will discourage them from applying.
Once I've joined, is anything expected of me?
We ask that members put on a number of events of their own. At least one of these needs to be organised far enough in advance for it to appear in our monthly events programme, which is sent out on the first of every month. The number of events expected is:
  • first year of membership: one event.
  • second and subsequent years: two events.
What sort of event do I need to put on?
There aren't any set rules although the event needs to be in the spirit of the club, which means putting on an event that other members might want to go to. It could be something as simple as a pub night, requiring little organisation, all the way up to a weekend away.
Can I book a ticket to a concert, the theatre or the cinema and invite others to come along as a York IVC event?
If you're planning a trip to a concert or to the theatre, for example, the expectation is that members go as a group together or sit together or it's not much of an event. You can advertise events in advance and set a booking deadline if buying tickets together is a problem. You can also insist that members pay you for any tickets you book for them before purchase so you are not out of pocket.
Who can come to my event, can I just invite certain people?
Any events you put on for York IVC must be open to all club members. Of course, it's more likely that people you're friends with will want to come.
Can I refuse to allow certain members to come to my events?
You can set a booking deadline or restrict numbers on a first-come first-served basis but it's against the spirit of the club to discriminate in any other way.
What makes a successful event?
Unless you're an extremely popular person or your event is super-amazing, simply advertising your event in the programme might not automatically get you a big audience. The most successful tactic is to go along to others' events before yours and encourage people to come along to yours. Once a member, you can also use the club's email system to remind others about your event.
Can I invite friends who are not members to my York IVC events?
If you're holding an event in your own home or you meet up with some other friends while you're out, there's no harm in having a few extra people along. However, it's not in the spirit of the club for this to happen often. If the same people come regularly, they may be asked to consider joining.
When should I host my first event?
Whenever you like but we suggest you don't leave it to the last minute. We send out a reminder once you've been a member for six months but you can do events in your twelfth month if you prefer.
What do you mean by a last minute event?
This is an event that missed the deadline for appearing in our monthly events programme and therefore may just appear in the online events diary or be promoted via the messaging system.
What if I don't host sufficient events before my membership is due for renewal?
The club works by every member putting on a number of events a year, the number depending on membership duration. If you don't, you can still renew but membership rates are higher. Remember we allow one last minute event (defined as an event which does not appear in our monthly events programme) to count towards your events.
What if I have to cancel my event?
The club has an email messaging system and you can use this to let people know.
I've put on an event and no-one has said they're coming. What should I do?
This does happen occasionally, particularly with special-interest events or those that are at difficult times to attend for most people. If it's a casual event like a pub night, people may not bother to let you know they're coming and you may be surprised by how many turn up. If you wish to cancel it and booking through you was strictly necessary, you may just contact those who booked, but we strongly recommend you let as many members as possible know it's cancelled via the messaging system. If it's not too late, instead promote your event using the messaging system or go along to someone else's event and promote it in person.
What happens if end up out of pocket because someone didn't turn up to an event I'd organised?
Most events don't involve any money changing hands between members. If you do need to collect money, for example to make a group booking, we strongly recommend you protect yourself against this by insisting on payment in advance, particularly if significant sum are involved. If someone promises to come and you book them a place on the basis of that promise and they fail to turn up, you should take it up with the person concerned in the first instance. The committee may consider refunding you from club funds in some situations.
If I said I would attend an event requiring payment and then didn't, can I still be asked to pay?
If the host or hosts are out of pocket because they paid for a place for you and you didn't go and didn't pay, they may ask you for payment after the event. Whilst forcing you to pay may be difficult, it's against the club etiquette and the committee may take action against you such as suspending your membership. It's best to avoid this situation by contacting the host or hosts at the earliest opportunity if you can't make it.
Are club members hosting events under any obligation to offer lifts or transport to other people?
No, not at all. If an event is miles out of town, the host may have chosen to put something about lift-sharing or details of a particular train to catch in their event description but otherwise it's expected that everyone makes their own way there and back.
I'm putting on an event in my own home. Do I have to allow any York IVC member to come?
The club works on the basis that all members are welcome to all events, except where a booking deadline was missed or where numbers are restricted. It's in the spirit of the club that you let in any member who'd like to come. However, it is your own home and as such it's ultimately up to you who you allow in.
Are commercial events permitted?
We discourage events where the host has a commercial or financial interest in the event as this goes against the non-commercial spirit of the club, for example an event where attendees may feel obliged to make a purchase. Contact the Events Co-ordinator if you're unsure whether this applies to your event.
What does IVC stand for?
IVC stands for Inter-Varsity Club and reflects the fact that the original IVC idea was thought of by a group of graduates who wanted to continue to have a social life like they'd enjoyed at university. York IVC has no formal membership criteria and members do not have to be graduates.
Are there other IVCs?
Yes. Many cities have their own IVC and all are linked loosely by a national organisation. Our nearest neighbours are Tees Valley IVC, Leeds IVC and Halifax & Huddersfield IVC. Follow the AIVC link for details.
I've been a club member before? Can I just rejoin?
Generally speaking, yes. The exact process depends on how long ago it was that you left and whether you had hosted sufficient events in the twelve month period before you left. If you left recently and members of the current committee still know you, you can usually just rejoin; if not, you can usually join as a prospective member again. If you didn't host sufficient events previously you may still need to pay double fees. Contact the Membership Secretary to find out what applies to you.
Im already a member and my partner would like to join. What's the procedure?
To be fair to everyone, we ask that your partner joins as a prospective member. Once he or she is accepted, the Membership Secretary can move you both to joint membership.
What are the criteria for joint membership?
Any two members living at the same address can have joint membership. Whether you are flatmates or in a relationship does not matter.
I'm going away, for example on a long business trip, or am ill. Can I suspend my membership?
Yes, you can suspend your membership if you're going away for three months or more. Please let us know in advance. If you're too ill to come to any events we can do this retrospectively. The understanding is that you don't attend any events during your suspension period. Contact the Membership Secretary to discuss this.
I've lost my membership application form. Can I get a new copy?
You can download a copy by using this link if you have a printer; if not, the Prospective Membership Secretary can send you a copy. (Please don't use this form without registering as a prospective member otherwise we won't be able to accept your application.)
I can't log into the web site
If we have the correct email address for you on our system, you can request a password reset yourself by clicking the 'forgotten password' link. If not, please contact the Membership Secretary.
I am having trouble receiving emails from York IVC
We have found this is most common with free email providers who sometimes filter emails from York IVC members or move them to a junk folder. Adding mailer@yorkivc.org.uk to your address book may stop messages from being filtered or tagged as spam. You can report any difficulties to the Web Officer. If you can log into the web site, you can view any messages you've missed through the site.
How do I join the committee?
York IVC holds an AGM in September each year where elections take place for a new committee. In practice forming a committee is a process whereby people are asked whether they'd like to fill a particular post and are then elected unopposed. Sometimes positions come up at other times in the year. Contact the Chair to express an interest or just chat to any past or present committee member.
Are there any benefits to being on committee?
Committee members get half price membership renewal once they've served a whole year. The main benefit is greater involvement in the club and more easily being able to make friends with other committee members.
How much work is involved in being on the committee?
It depends on the role but many positions only involve a few hours a month. The Chair position means doing a little often, whereas being the Treasurer involves updating the accounts once a month and visiting the bank to pay in cheques and cash.

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