Joining a Society at University
What is a society.
A society ranges from academic, sports or hobbies, academic societies are based on courses provided by the University. Nearly all freshers will join the society of their course, this helps them to meet and bond with their fellow course-mates. Sports societies are for certain sports and hobbies (activity) societies can be anything. Two memorable societies were the Pokemon society and the LOTR (Lord of the rings) society.
Aerosoc key fob
Aerosoc key fob
Vodka Revolution discount card
What societies offer.
Societies will find sponsorship from clubs and bars in and around the City, from these places they are given various special offers for that society alone. This ranges from drinks offers, food offers and also sports kits for any teams. For example the Aerospace Engineering society (known as Aerosoc) gave out two objects, one was a key fob and the other was a card. The fob was to act as proof that you are a member of the society and you could show that at certain places to get offers.
Vodka Revolution offers it's own discount card for it's bar which they designed themselves, the card has to be registered online just name, date of birth and some other small bits of information. This is to try and see if the cards are being used by people who are not members of the society. When used the card tracks how much was spent so they know how much money the society is bringing in.
Offers on the card:
- Favorite cocktails 2-4-1.
- Six-shot stick £6.
- Pints (Becks, Vier, Strongbow and Tetley) £2.
- Double vodka & Mixer £2.95.
- Bottle of VK £2.
- Soft drinks £1.
- Selected food 2-4-1.
What society should you join.
It's kind of hard to know which society will actually be good for you and which will just take your money and do nothing the whole year. A good place to get information about societies is the freshers fair, this usually takes place within freshers week. All the societies and their committee members are available to talk, they will probably have some sweets and cakes to entice you as well.
You shouldn't join a society just because a friend did, you have to feel like you like something about that society before joining. You don't wanna go around wasting a load of money on different societies for no reason. The prices of a society ranges from £3 to £40 but only the best societies will charge this much. If possible try and talk to second and third years about a society before hand so you know what they are like. Some societies will only run a single social for the whole year.
What are socials.
The social offered by each society will vary based on it's type. A film society will have a film day as a social and say the Law society will have a bar crawl. An interesting social was the Pokemon society who held a tournament for all members. The best were appointed gym leaders, elite four and a champion. The members of the society could challenge the gym leaders at anytime and if they were successful they would receive a gym badge.
In freshers week most socials will be a drinking social, after a week or two the society will announce a non drinking social. This can be paint-balling, laser quest, go karts or anything you can think of. It's best to ask the committee for a specific social if you think you and your friends will be up for it.
Give it a go.
Give it a go sessions are great for trying out a new sport, they are beginner sessions for anyone that hasn't decided whether they want to join the society yet. They are most useful for narrowing down which societies you will join. They only have a bout 2 of these type sessions at the start of each semester, so be sure to find out dates.
Choosing the right society.
For Shy Students it can be hard to put yourself in a situation where you will have to actively socialise with other people. It is usually harder for students coming from a place that is predominantly one culture. Interacting with others can be hard as some everyone will have different views on what is ok and what isn't. Obviously societies with a large number of members will have much bigger socials and students nerves can sometimes get the best of them. Smaller societies that would be beneficial to improving a students confidence include:
- Book Club.
- RAG (volunteering).
- Tea Society.
- Academic Course.
- Film Club.
All these societies will have relatively small socials and give the student a better chance to be themselves and let go. You should always join the society for your course, probably only need to do this in your first year. The majority of your time will be spent with your course mates (depends on how many lectures you have though), the first social and the meet and great are the best opportunities to make some friends.
For the students who want to try lots of different things at university they can go for the adventure type societies. Examples of these:
- Rock Climbing.
- Bungee Jumping.
Students that don't have any problems interacting socially with other people, they can pretty much chose the society based on the type of people they want to meet. A couple of male students I knew chose to go to ballroom dancing and salsa dancing in order to meet girls. But it is probably best to go to all the give it a go sessions you can, that way you can find which societies you like best and also wont waste money on lots of different membership fees.
Some international students have trouble speaking English and might want to meet more people of a similar background. You might have to look around a bit but there are a wide range of societies for internationals.
- Hispanic Society.
- Afro Caribbean Society.
- Japanese Society
If there isn't one available for you, you could try to make your own society, you will need a few other people in order to get your society approved.
List of socieites
Cultural and National
Departmental and Academic
Music and Performance
Media and Technology
African Caribbean (ACS)