Stalls with stacked up leaflets, an abundance of free sweets and goodie bags galore filled with free pens and (even more) leaflets…Campus was certainly a buzz of excitement this Wednesday, as hundreds of societies from across the University – each and every one of them fueled by enthusiasm – congregated to the Students’ Union in a bid to entice some fresh new faces to join their society at this year’s Bunfight.
The atmosphere was electric throughout the day and everyone appeared to be in high spirits despite a small spot of rain in the early afternoon. Over 300 societies, including 80+ sports clubs and more than 30 performing arts groups were present this year and some even showcased their talents throughout the day. Performances from various societies were held outside the SUSU shop, whilst other performing arts societies took to the stage in the Cube as eager freshers made their way around the PA stalls which were bordering the performances.
So, what kind of incentives were societies trying to use to entice new recruits this year? The Wessex Scene managed to catch up with a few societies to see what they did differently this year.
“It’s going quite well so far.” said Matthew Chapman, President of KrakenSoc (Steampunk Society) “We’re using our society as our main incentive: dressing up as well as advertising our events. We also like to stress that we’re a very close knit society,” KrakenSoc had a very busy table, with an interesting ship at the forefront of it. “The previous President had an interest in navel architecture and he made the ship, so it’s sort of become our Society Ship now!”
Naturally, the “Steampunk Ship” wasn’t a freebie to give away, however, PotSoc honed in on their very own creative skills and had hand-made fridge magnets to give away. “A member of the committee made all 96 of our fridge magnets in one sitting!” informed Wendy Smith, Social Sec. It certainly added a very unique touch, and probably also makes a robust reminder for freshers to come along to their taster sessions next month.
Of course, the Bunfight is not only a way of recruiting freshers. Students from various other year groups attended too. How did they find it from previous years? Fayida Jailler, a 4th year studying French and Spanish, commented: “the Bunfight seems to be much more organised than I previously remember, although the queue is definitely longer! I’ve also noticed there are a lot more cultural societies this year – which is a very good thing!”
The queue was definitely something to behold – it was even seen at one point to span as far as the Law building this year. SUSU therefore were forced to close the queue for a short time because a record number of people turned up.
Harry Potter society were handing out flyers in the queue: “Yeah, people have actually been really friendly in the queue and enthusiastic. Some are even quite apologetic. We had someone come up to us and say “Oh, I don’t like Harry Potter, but I do like how nerdy you are…” said Poppy Harris, 3rd year English student and President of Harry Potter Society.
It appears that despite some chaos, the Bunfight once again was a huge success. Even in the late afternoon, there were still students browsing the stalls. “I queued for about an hour and a half,” said Sweeya Nidamarthi, a first year studying English. “So far I’ve signed up for Piano Society and Meditation society, which for me is something new, as I’m not very patient!”
If you missed the Bunfight, all societies can be found listed on the SUSU website with contact details or click here.