Ultimate MASS updates are LIVE! St Andrews still in the lead, with UWE making a fast climb, Leicester in a sturdy 3rd and a tough battle taking place in the middle of the table.
Term 1 mark up has been applied and the scores are in. Head to the Ultimate MASS page to see more about what points have been applied and how they were earnt.
What Went Down
St Andrews hit the ground running in a HUGE way at the start of 2018/19 with big membership levels and high clothing order numbers. The Scottish society complimented this with solid social media, great member inductions and organised administration to solidify their place at the top of the league. A couple of other societies were on par with them for the freshers period points but St Andrews activity numbers such as members and merch were on another level such that it pulled them out in front by a mile.
After the term 1 mark up UWE have made a steep climb. They were late to the party with their clothing orders, missing the freshers period mark up, but got them in during term 1 and clocked up those points there, even more so than St Andrews’ overall total. UWE can attribute most of its points however to its big involvement in all MASS National events and it’s active society calendar – winning MASS wars, attaining high entries to SPC and student shredding and running almost every ‘recommended’ society event from the list.
Some could say UWE’s points from involvement in MASS National events is an unfair advantage over St Andrews (and other societies), with UWE being so close to national events and St Andrews being too far away to attend. But, this luck is not by chance, UWE president Shamil makes it very easy for MASS National to run it’s events there, always getting in touch with HQ giving ideas, confidence in numbers and suggested locations… In other words, he’s persistent. St Andrews will have to concentrate on what’s in their control and focus on their strengths of large activity numbers and near-perfect organisation to gain points elsewhere if they want to retain the title. UWE have fallen short on some easy points where their spirit has been there but their attention to detail is lacking – some easy points were missed for not running the MASS educational series, this is an example of where St Andrews thrive – they are on track with the delivery of the MASS educational series.
UWE are set to have big numbers going into the SPC, which could earn them a lot of points. They stand a good chance of winning Ultimate MASS if they analyse the league table fully and tick-off all that they’ve missed. St Andrews, at a disadvantage due to their distance, but with their fierce leadership from Dennis, will no doubt tick off all points in their control. The question lies in whether or not the big heart at UWE can get focused enough to play the game, too, and max out points in areas they’ve missed.
Leicester, not to be written off, have been very active on their events, social media and administration with entries to all competitions across the board, a broad society events calendar, every social media point available claimed and they are the only society to submit financial forecasts. Their downfall has been clothing sales which are way off of St Andrews and UWE. Getting the brand out there on campus is key to promoting member buy-in to the mission and spreading the MASS message, strong clothing sales are evidence of a committed membership base. Leicester has less than a third of what the top 2 have achieved. Had Leicester hit the same sales as UWE and St Andrews then they would be in front by 10 points. Now, late into the year, Leicester will struggle to get these clothing numbers up, the start of the academic year is the prime time for clothing sales, they should have hit it harder in term 1. BUT, with a BIG push they could get it back, or perhaps they’ll find other areas to gain points? We will see. One thing for sure is that it’s a strong family there in the Midlands and if they want it bad enough, they’ll do it.
Going into term 2 there are some key table movers to keep an eye out for! At the bottom of the Points Available Table, you’ll find Handover Milestones, National Growth Milestones and Other Milestones.
One achievement that’s common in the top 3 is ‘other milestones’ for contribution to MASS national in the form of content or work contribution. Shamil at UWE pioneered the idea for MASS Student Shredding and Dennis at St Andrews wrote a compelling script for the I AM MASS series, these are just two examples. These students weren’t asked to put these ideas forward, they came forward themselves firstly with the idea and secondly with the tenacity to push it through to reality. That’s an easy 10 points.
The national growth of MASS is very important to the organisation. The more Universities we have societies at, the further we can spread the MASS vision, and the more benefits we can reap as an organisation as a whole… it’s economies of scale. And for that reason referring another successful society start up is a MASSive 20 points. Plus another 20 points for a second referral. Refer 2 society start ups and that’s 20 points… It’s game changing, but not easy, as starting a society is a hard task. Are you up for the challenge? Matt Woodley at Brighton is the first and only thus far, helping his society into the top 5.
The handover milestones. Everyone will complete a handover, it’s how you do it that is important. An organised and prompt handover sets up your society for future success. For that reason, there’s 50 points available in the handover.
Be smart with these, and you could bag an unexpected Ultimate MASS win, or at least make a big jump in the table.
The Middle of the Park
From places 4 to 9 we have societies with a lot of potential. The middle of the park is by no means a bad place to be, it shows that you are successfully running a University society.
These societies were all at freshers fair and they’ve all earned some solid points in a few areas be that a well ran freshers fair, a good competition showing, big member numbers or active social media. They’ve also lost the ball in some areas too, missing a large event, having a period of inactivity or simply getting minimal to 0 points for one or two things.
They key for these societies if they want to break the top 3 is consistency. Take the wins they’ve had and build upon them in other areas. It can seem like a lot to think about and to do, try to stay focused, keep the community going and keep up appearances and you’ll find that yourselves making waves in no time!
Also, take a step back. There might be some things are the root of your society to address that are stopping you from making that next step, are you missing a committee member to cover one area? This could be an area you’re missing points? Is there an SU facility you could secure that will make life much easier for you? Such as transport? Or do you simply need to up your aggression a little? And go harder with the sales pitch to potential members? Make more follow-ups to members who have said they would attend an event to lock them in?
Same goes for our societies at the lower end of the table, most of whom are new societies. Build a firm foundation covering all areas of MASS – then stay focused and execute daily.
Words of wisdom
We caught up with UWE President Shamil to get his advice for MASS societies nationally.
How does it feel to have made such a big climb?
“Feels really good considering it will be last year as president. I founded the society and have been president for three years, it’s been a long run. To achieve such an accomplishment at the end of it all is an amazing feeling”
What advice would you give to other societies trying to excel?
“Engaging in social media is a key area, not just posting but commenting and messaging people. Regular email updates. Getting across to people through freshers, events and even just go up to people in the gym (especially the Uni Gym) and ask them if they’d like to join. I always make sure I rep the merchandise, this helps a lot when talking to people”.
What would you attribute your large competition numbers to?
“For the competitions, it’s about having someone already in the committee who’s done it before and activates that energy in other people, makes them want to go for it too and see how it is. Find a committee member suitable for each competition and task them with helping lead members. Get someone experienced in all areas of MASS. Having a variety of people who do different sports is massive as MASS is about more than just Bodybuilding or just Strength, the society is for all people whether they’re endurance, stamina or strength – sell all the different areas of the MASS competitions such as Wars for athletic fitness. Motivating others is key, plant a seed in your members to achieve big then support them to do so.”
You’ve contributed to MASS nationally on quite a large scale. Tell us how?
“I just follow my imagination. If I get an idea I’ll do it with my society or if it’s something that can’t be done locally I’ll run it by them to gauge interest then suggest it to David. Listen to your members too, if there’s a recurring theme then that’s a sign. Try to bring up new events, run the events on the MASS recommended list but also think about what you can do that’s outside the box. New events are going to excite the members, keeping them interested and your event could get picked up by MASS nationally and make a difference – remember that you are the heart and sole of MASS and your idea is as good as anyone else’s.”
You’ve been a president for 3 years. Your society hasn’t always been this way. What advice would you give to those starting out?
“Get a strong committee and make sure that committee is committed to bringing the society up. Students who you can work with. Be prepared to let committee members go if you have to. Freshers is key and your committee needs to know step by step what to say to potential members and be driven to get them in. Events weekly, such as MASS Wednesdays or whatever you choose to do weekly is hugely important – then members feel like they’re paying for something where they can engage regularly, and the regular contact builds the family.”
Most important piece of advice?
“Member numbers is key, stay committed to getting more members all year round and your society will grow.”
Term 2 brings the most exciting opportunities yet. I look forward to all the big things to come for the MASS family.