It`s almost spring in Surrey unlike Bulgaria where it is snowing AGAIN, but I bet you are enjoying your cold snowy days.
Today I`ll be telling you about societies and clubs – how they work, how you can sign up, how you can set up one and how you can take a role in the teams.
First, Surrey is known to put a lot of emphasis on the social life of students and always care about how you spend your free time at university. The student union offers more than 140 societies based on any hobbies and interests students have and clubs for all kinds of sport that a student might want to take up. When I came to Surrey, I didn`t even know what the word society in this sense stands for, so after the event I mentioned in my previous posts – Freshers` fayre I learned more about them. I will gladly share all this knowledge with you to make sure you are prepared for your upcoming days at Surrey!
Basically, a society or a club is a group of students on campus who have common interests and the same aim at university – to enjoy their time there. Therefore, teams or committees of students are created which are at the centre of the society and deal with managing it and other members (any student) can join for free. The activities that societies are organizing usually include meetings to discuss most important objectives and meetings to vote for the students taking the roles in the committee for the following year, `socials` which are the night outs at clubs or bars organized by the committees and any extra activities depending on the specific theme of the society. It is not as formal as it sounds to you now and actually the people there are pretty laid back. I think the one of the best things about English education system is that students know they are entitled to leading a pleasant and healthy life along with their studies and they willingly join a lot of societies and clubs each year.
So, to sign up for a society and club all you need to do is attend the Freshers` Fayre during Welcome week, which I`m sure you will do! Otherwise, if you prefer to take the first semester to settle first there is a Refreshers` Fayre in the beginning of second semester when you can also join societies. If you don`t remember, I`ll remind you that this big event is basically one huge tent and tables and posters inside for most of the societies and clubs and loads of food deals and drinks. So, you go along the tables and just write down your email in the lists of whichever society or club you like. You also have the chance to ask the committee there about anything you want to know.
In case you want to set up a society, the procedure is easy:
- You need to find at least 2 other people who together with you can take up the most important roles in the committee and come up with a name and objectives of the society.
- You fill in some documents.
- You find at least 20 people who like your idea and are willing to sign up with their email and name.
- You present all this at the Students Union desk and you will get allocated to a Society Standing slot where you will be able to present for around 5 mins your idea and main objectives for the first year to all the other societies and then they`ll have the chance to vote for you.
I had the chance to present an idea of mine to create a new society, but guess what? I actually didn`t manage to convince them that this society was needed at university, unlike other 4-5 societies which had a successful presentation. So, you have the opportunity and it`s up to you and the other societies if you`ll be able to set up a new one or not.
Lastly, when you join a society or a club, you will also have the chance to apply for a role in the committee. There are 3 main roles – President, Treasurer and Vice-President and usually in May each year the societies get together and organize meetings in which the members vote for all the candidates for each role.
So, this is all the basic information you need to know before you come to Surrey, but trust me, you won`t regret your decision to join as many societies and clubs as you can – it will never be a wasted time.
Have a lovely week!