Society culture at university is an ever growing trend. The first thing anyone does at freshers fayre is sign up to as many societies as they can get their hands on, even if your’e only really interested in the free pens they’re handing out! You’ll be inundated with emails about bar crawls, hang outs and debates, it’s up to you to decide in those first few months which societies you’re serious about.

Below are three societies that are active, evolving and a lot of fun. We hear from their committees and find out just what they’re about, what they do and all their exciting plans for the new year.

13177782_1019387268155044_1543192829057659588_nSocSoc

Who are we?

‘SocSoc’ is short for the Sociology Society, we are a gold star departmental society for all those who are currently in the sociology department. But we also encourage membership among all those interested in politics, current affairs, the media and culture.

You can find us on Facebook at SocSoc – University of Surrey, Twitter on @SocSocUoS and Instagram at SocSoc. 

What do we do?

As a smaller society we like to encourage friendship between the different years by setting up group study sessions, holding talks about key moments in your university career like choosing your modules and placements and of course getting together for a pizza and movie night or a drink down the pub every now and then.

What sets us apart from other societies?

While we are a departmental society, what sets us apart from other societies is that we are group of people who aren’t restricted to any one thing. Sociology is the study of society and all that entails, one moment we can be discussing the rise and fall of Communism and the next discussing celebrity drama and how the media facilitates it. To us no topic is stupid and nothing is off limits, everyone can get involved in the debate!

Why is our society important for the student experience?

We are particularly important for the student experience for those who are part of the sociology department. We’re a much smaller group than societies like BizSoc and as a result we aim to make lasting, close knit friendships within our society. We think it is incredibly important that new and old students feel comfortable talking to each other and getting the support they need from like minded people.

What are we looking forward to in the new year?

With a brand new committee, SocSoc have big plans for 2016/17. Our key aims are to host more socials including themed bar crawls, movie nights, talks held by special guests and getting more involved with collaborations with other societies.

We also want to implement a mentor scheme where freshers are assigned to a second or third year who will be a point of contact throughout the year to support them through their studies and give them advice on surviving their first year at Surrey.

Finally, we plan to launch our own blog dedicated to all things sociological. We’ll be sharing interesting articles, writing our own opinion pieces and even accepting submissions from you guys!

SocSoc have a lot of exciting plans and we hope you’d like to get involved with them.

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VetSoc

Who are we?

VetSoc is a society mostly aimed at veterinary and bioveterinary students, but it is open to all. As well as supporting the students studying veterinary courses we run academic talks and events plus plenty of social activities too!

The VetSoc committee have meetings every couple of weeks but we also run a massive range of events each year. We try to keep the online calendar updated with any talks, practical sessions and social events we are running so keep an eye out there if you want to get involved! VetSoc ran over 50 events last academic year!

What do we do?

Our main aim is to support our members who tend to be vet and biovet students. For us, support means academically, socially and making sure we look after our member’s welfare as a whole. This means organising everything from extra lectures to bar crawls!

What sets us apart from other societies?

Animal themed bar crawls? Alongside supporting our members and running extra curricular events to help further their learning we try to balance work with social activities. We run several animal themed bar crawls a year so that’s probably when you’ll see us out and about!

Why is our society important for the student experience?

It feels like a lovely big family! Because our course is so demanding I think it’s important to have plenty of extra curricular and social activities in VetSoc to help keep us sane! Also the fact that we have such a diverse range of events being organised constantly is amazing.

What are you looking forward to in the new year?

From the start of the society in Dec 2014 I’ve always wanted VetSoc to be the largest society on campus – running the best events, and the biggest bar crawls which everyone raves about!
Whilst that’s still a hope of mine I’ve since changed tactics slightly and I’d just love to hear that VetSoc is making a big difference to students university experience. Whether that is through our Pets as Therapy de-stress sessions, the Vet Families welfare scheme or just students having a cracking night during our Vet Freshers Week. As long as VetSoc is constantly making a positive difference to someone out there that means that the society is going in the right direction, and as long as we keep that up I’m happy.

12046688_1119863374713586_3874678087504716090_nPolSoc

Who are we?

We are the Politics Society, the society for all the students who are interested in politics and wish to further this interest.

Politics is something that affects everyone in society and as university students, many find the topic of interest. So, although a lot of the students involved in the society also study politics as part of their degree, we attract many students from a wide range of courses.

What do we do?

We often host informal gatherings called ‘Politics and a Pint’ for those who want to discuss politics in a relaxed and friendly way, without the pressure of big audiences or the expectation of perfectly formed arguments.

We sometimes get in guest speakers to give mini-lectures or Q&A sessions to students, as a way of further opening up campus to a range of political ideas and political expertise

We also host debates, sometimes with other societies, on contemporary political issues affecting us in the UK. This allows students to express themselves politically, in a more formal way than Politics and a Pint, and helps them develop their debating skills

We publish a monthly journal, Incite. This not only covers the political events on campus but also gives a space for students to write articles on any political topics they are interested in.

What sets us apart from other societies?

Politics society can be seen as somewhat of a ‘unique’ society as it is both a political society and a departmental society. This means that we have the capability and freedom to host events that appeal to more than just members of the department. As a political society, although we are non-partisan, we want to challenge and investigate the political matters in the UK and all around the world.

Why is our society important to the student experience?

Politics is woefully underrepresented on campus even though, especially at the moment, it is having a huge impact on our lives – not just as students, but as residents of the UK! It is vital that there is a place people can discuss politics on campus and learn about it and to help build a more vibrant political scene on campus.

What are we looking forwars to in the new year?

Developing Incite – we have already redesigned it and are hoping, with a new website upcoming and a bigger team, that we can really broaden its reach on campus next year. If a student is interested in a political issue and wants to write about it, we want them to immediately think of Incite.

Due to the current exciting political climate happening in the UK right now following Brexit and the consequent political events, we are keen to host a number of different discussions and debates surrounding the topic and have collaborations with Conservative Society and Labour Society.

One of of our main aims for this year is to have an increased number of speakers in our events. We also wish to be able to invite a range of speakers- not just MPs (if we’re even that lucky!), but also political journalists, parliamentary workers and those involved in local governments. This is to showcase just how many different types of people are involved in politics on various levels.

Alongside our conventional events, we are also keen to host different types like mock parliament/model House of Commons, as suggested by our new social secretary. One event we are especially excited to host is one where we gather everyone in Rubix to watch the American presidential election in November as a previous committee did for the General Election of 2015.

If you would like your society featured in the next ‘Society Spotlight’ please get in touch with us by emailing ussu.subcultured@surrey.ac.uk.

Interviews by Naomy Kuma and Holly Butteriss