With over 160 teams and societies at the University of Surrey there’s not just something for everyone, but probably a few somethings. These societies are in different categories, from sports teams and interest groups, to course societies and student media! Most are really easy to join – just turn up! – and very welcoming. A President is elected for each society every year, and they’re trained in making sure freshers don’t feel like an outsider.
Sadly, some do have to be left out right now, but SUBCULTURED have been spotting the new, unique, and exciting – here are some of our recommendations:
Disney Soc was a new society in 2016/17, and won the Best New Society award. Since then, it’s only improved, having free weekly movie nights (because if a Hercules sing-along isn’t Monday Motivation, what is?!) and co-hosting one of Surrey’s infamous joint bar crawls – the Battle of the Fans. In short, it’s a zero-commitment way to meet people who will 100% be the Jasmine to your Aladdin in the line outside Rubix. Sure, all of Stag Hill will hate you, but you’ve put a smile on the bouncers’ faces. Find them on Facebook @SurreyDisneySoc
Do you like music that’s mostly digital drums. But like, layered and textured, and really vibey? You honestly probably won’t really know what genre, specifically, the music played at Presha is, but I do know that it’s one of the few alternative music groups on campus (see: No Wave). If No Wave is hyped on sugar, Presha’s definitely doing a detox. They both have meetings almost as secret as Bond and blast music from the Basement, because hearing Leroy spin “Football’s Coming Home” the third time in a night when they’ve never seen football come home makes them say “how about no” to Rubix. And you can look really cool when you pull twenty of their flyers down from the Tesco underpass and use them to wallpaper your bulletin board (please don’t do this). Follow them on Facebook @preshauk
You probably think you know about rugby. But you don’t know about rugby at Surrey. Like everywhere else, there’s the huddle of rugby boiz turning up religiously at Citrus nights, but in that little corner blocking the disabled lift there’s also the rugby girls. The women’s rugby team at Surrey recently got promoted to division 1A, and provide way more meme-worthy action pics than the men’s. Membership of either team is £65, which comes with some level of bragging rights as well as access to the SSP rugby facilities that are shared with some of the quins. If you like rugby, there’s no reason not to – joining a sports club at university is a great way to keep fit, give your schedule some structure, and meet friends. Find them on Facebook @USRFC.
The Al Maghreb Union is a new society, one of the many multicultural societies on campus, representing the nations of Northern Africa. Some cultural societies stand out – the Egyptian society formerly renowned for their loud gatherings – but there’s a varied lot that haven’t really been uncovered. With the large intention to not only bring together students from these cultures, but more so students from outside the culture who want to learn and experience it, expect Al Maghreb to introduce you to a wide array of food and music. You can follow them on Snapchat, amu-ussu
Su Snow is not an easy club/society to sum up in a paragraph. There is a lot of passion for, well, snowsports – the nearby dry slopes warrant almost weekly trips – but it’s also a very social society. Whiteout (and, at refreshers, Whiteout 2.0) is maybe the biggest bar crawl in Surrey, challenged only by the All-American, which they’ve usually somewhat merged with by the end of the night. This is the club for you if you like snowsports, but love après-ski. The annual ski trip during reading week is an in-demand pilgrimage on par with Tour, to the extent that the Students’ Union have read motions to help free students on medical courses so they can go on it. This year, the trip (to Tignes) has already started booking places. SU Snow is a hidden student culture at Surrey, you probably won’t be able to go a day without seeing someone with a Su Snow jacket or lanyard – if this sounds like the crazy extended family you want to belong to, or you really like dry ski slopes, Su Snow is probably the way to go. Find them on Facebook @SurreySnow.
Another cultural society, HK Pass is the Hong Kong student society. They’re much more like a professional organisation, though, managing Hong Kong Surrey students’ interests and investing in representing Hong Kong in the UK through things like charity work. If you are a student heading here from HK, the society holds orientation events in the Wanchai as well as meet-ups across the territory. Also serving as a news source, they’ll keep everyone up to date on what’s happening on the other side of the world. For nothing less than a figurative mega-tonne of culture thrown at you, this society has to top the recommendations. Follow them on Facebook @surreyhkpass.
Text by Hannah Mickleburgh
Picture research by Donna Darafshian; featured image from Pinterest.