Wanted: Weird and Wonderful Societies

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We’ve all been there: herded round the Freshers’ Bun Fight, bleary-eyed from the night before and feeling anything but fresh. Despite this, the sheer number of clubs and societies on offer cannot fail to inspire even the most hungover student. From Salsa Society to Picnic Society, every year there really is something for everyone and, to an extent, nothing can be too unusual. However, if your do find your own interest is not represented by a society, why not grab the opportunity to represent it yourself?

Recently elected  VP of Media and Communications David Gilani has done just that. With his new Pancake Society, yet to be affiliated, Pancake Day is definitely not restricted to once a year.

‘It started in November with just a few of us as friends going to get pancakes spontaneously, then when some more of our friends found out that we’d gone, they wanted to get involved too. It’s just an easy way for people to come together over a common interest and have a fun morning out at the same time. That’s what societies should do,’ David explained.

With high hopes, David took a proposal to Societies Committee to become fully affiliated with SUSU. However, his proposal was rejected, highlighting the potential difficulties small, quirky societies may face in becoming official. The committee doubted their longevity as a result of the specific nature of the society and its central focus being only on pancakes. The unofficial society continued flipping their pancakes regardless, gaining members easily – after all, who can turn down a pancake? However, David admits that the main issue lies in financing the society. ‘Trying to plan bigger events to really prove ourselves has taken the most time and unfortunately, money.’

Despite these setbacks, David remains positive that his pancake society will one day soon become an official Southampton society. ‘I think as long as the pancake committee want this society to succeed, we will prove our longevity. SUSU has a fine balance to achieve when affiliating quirky societies. They want to maintain consistency in societies but at the same time allow students to really start societies that they want. Power to the people and all that.’

So, if your own dream society faces challenges upon starting up, don’t be disheartened. Got an overwhelming obsession with Pirates? A secret interest in Extreme Ironing? An impressive ability at Tiddlywinks? Don’t suppress your secret passions or skills any longer. Put them to good use and share the love – officially or unofficially.

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