Societies are essential to any university experience. They provide students with a way of holding on to long standing interests, or exploring new ideas and activities that they’d never dreamt of enjoying before.
Here is our low down of the five most innovative, interesting and lively student societies on offer here at Bristol.
All Society Memberships can be viewed and purchased at https://www.ubu.org.uk/activities/societies/
With what is sure to be a close run and controversial general election coming up in the spring there has never been a more apt time to engage in student politics. In line with the growing trend toward Socialism throughout Europe, the Marxist society has become increasingly popular with Bristol students over the past few years.
It has by far the largest student following of any political society (with almost two hundred members on their Facebook page). Moreover the society takes part in a wealth of social events and campaigns on campus, most notably in their support of the recent UoB teaching strikes.
If you’re looking for a place to engage in lively (and often cider fuelled) debate, this up-and-coming society is one of the best places in Bristol to do it.
Bristol Volunteers for Development Abroad (BVDA)
BVDA is a student run registered charity that offers students the chance to make a difference in developing countries through overseas volunteering. They currently send volunteers to Uganda, Nepal and Malawi for 8 weeks involving projects of teaching and construction.
BVDA has the added benefit of being partially subsidised, which means that the amount the individual must raise is more realistic and achievable than many other volunteering projects. Furthermore, since the society consistently sends teams of students out to the same charities year on year strong bonds are created with partner non-governmental organisations; this secures the sustainability of the projects.
BVDA provides a brilliant way of meeting people who are also passionate about charity. Socials and fundraising activities allow members to bond with their team members before leaving for project, and the two months spent together in a developing country turns these links into firm friendships.
Applications for 2016 Summer Projects open in November of 2015
Bristol Jets Cheerleading Squad
The Bristol Jets Cheerleading Squad is one of the University’s newest and fastest growing co-ed clubs.
The Jets have three different squads: all-girl cheer, co-ed cheer, and POM dance (who support the American Football team). The brevity and variety of activities within the society means that it is able to cater to a broad spectrum of students. Indeed, one of the best things about the Jets is its inclusivity: men and women of all standards are welcomed even if they have no previous experience.
This also makes for a lively social life, as well as the standard Bunker Wednesday Sports Night the Jets have many of their own events on the social calendar. And let’s not forget Varsity!
If you fancy trying out a new sport and getting fit in a fun and competitive environment then the Bristol Jets are the sports team for you.
FemSoc is a society that provides unbelievable value for money. For just £2.50 members can partake in a variety of activities, including debates, panellist’s discussions and film screenings.
The society also has strong links with UBU and the Student Council so members are able to focus their opinions and concerns within a practical forum for change. In addition, FemSoc offers many opportunities for engaging with social media and publication. FemFM airs on Burst Radio every Friday from 5-6pm and the FemSoc magazine “That’s What She Said” provides students with a creative outlet in which to cultivate discussions of the issues facing feminism in 2015.
In terms of nightlife FemSoc is flourishing: the success of Boobie Nights in 2014 has seen its resurgence this year and turnout from across all sections of the student population remains strong.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next Boobie Nights, tickets are typically a fiver or less and the proceeds always go to a great cause!
Whether or not you’re an English student, Falstaff provides innumerable possibilities for entertainment. Through its link with Raise the Bar (Poetry Slam) and the Drama and Panto Societies, Falstaff has helped to stage many performances which are always priced as to be accessible to the student bank account.
As well as providing the opportunity to witness a myriad of literary entertainment Falstaff also provides many opportunities for creativity. Just this week Falstaff has been running a short story competition, and last term students were challenged to submit their own plays (the best of which were collated and performed in the Wardrobe theatre).
Finally, the society’s options for evening entertainment are more varied than most since UoB Arts’ events are advertised through Falstaff. As well as the standard society nights on the triangle, there are often readings from visiting authors and poets (made very regal by their setting in the Great Hall).