Why It's a Good Idea to Be on a Society Committee

It is currently AGM season and election time at most universities, and this is a time when students get the opportunity to run for important roles on the committees of various clubs and societies. Each club and society has a student run committee, with various roles to be undertaken, such as President, Treasurer, and Social Secretary. Although taking on a role such as this can seem daunting, due to the responsibility and time commitment it involves, it is such a great opportunity, and as students we can gain a lot from society or club committee engagement. Here are just a few reasons why: 

Make great friends

Some of the best friends I have made while at university came from us being on committees together. I met my flatmate, who I live with this year, through both of us being on FXU Fusion’s Cheerleading committee in second year. Not only did we bond through our love of cheer, but we also realised we were in very similar places in our lives, as we were both applying for a year abroad. The opportunity to work with a group of people who share similar passions with you is wonderful, and you can meet some really brilliant, like-minded people who might even become some of the best friends you could ever meet during your time at university. 

Be a part of something special

In second year, I was Social Secretary for Cheer, and this allowed me the chance to organise a variety of events which also offered our members a chance to bond as a team. Social events are so important for any club and society as it helps the members to get to know each other in a space outside of normal society meetings or rehearsals. The opportunity to organise these was great, because it afforded me the chance to have some fun and schedule different events to suit different members, such as a film night. 

This year I have been a committee member for Tremough English Society, and I have held the role of Treasurer. This role gave me the opportunity to help organise our biggest event of the year, ‘Once Upon a Ball’. Although the planning that went into this event was at times slightly overwhelming, working with a strong committee of good friends aided us in puling off a great event. We had a lot of fun both planning and attending our event, and I have gained some memories that I will never forget.

Enrich your university experience

Clubs and societies provide the perfect opportunity to try new things in a safe space. Before I came to university, I have never tried Cheerleading, but I found something that I enjoyed, which was also a way to make friends and release any stresses. You may have never thought of undertaking a role of responsibility in such an organisation but developing connections within clubs and societies really allows you to expand your social life and adds to your extracurricular achievements. On top of this, it also means you can be more involved with campus life and develop a larger group of friends. This was important for me on returning from my year abroad, as many of the first years I had met whilst as a second year committee member were still studying and it was great to have some friendly faces to come back to. 

Gain important skills

The student unions with which university clubs and societies are affiliated often provide various training sessions for committee members, which always prove useful for your role. Our student union’s Treasurer training helped me to understand my role, one which I had not undertaken before coming to university. Alongside general training for each role, you can also gain other qualifications, such as First Aid Training, and our campus also offers minibus driver training qualifications. These are all extras that improve your skillset and can help to make you a more well-rounded individual - because who doesn’t want to be like that?

Volunteering is great

The skills you gain from being a committee member help you to stand out from the crowd when it comes to applying for jobs and courses after undergraduate study. However, skills are not the only benefit to these roles. Not everyone truly understands the value of volunteering, but undertaking a voluntary role allows you to give something back to the campus community. For those who wish to involve themselves in charity work, they can do so through clubs and societies as often student unions encourage their affiliated groups to sponsor a charity.

Our student union also provides all its volunteers with a chance to gain real recognition for both themselves and the society with its ‘V Team’ scheme. This scheme allows students to log their volunteering hours, and gain certificates for the amount of hard work they have put into helping to run a club or society.

I think that an important part of university experience is taking on the challenges that life throws at you. By deciding to run for a committee position, you are choosing your own challenge, and one that, if you throw yourself in and dedicate yourself, will really pay off for you. So, go for it!