It’s getting to the time of year when societies are holding their AGMs and looking for people to run for committee positions. It’s easy to feel cynical about positions which seem to exist just to fill our CVs. However, I can say from experience that being on a society committee is potentially the most exciting, challenging and social experience you will have at university. Here is why you should consider running for a society committee position:
1. You love the society and want it to stay at its best
If you are a member of a society which has enriched your university experience, take on responsibility to make sure it stays that way for future students and yourself. As a member of the committee, you get to decide what socials you put on, how the money is spent and what the priorities of the society are. Don’t leave this up to fate – run for a committee position and ensure your society stays at its best.
2. You think the society needs improving
So you’re a member of a society which in theory could be amazing, but in practice fails to live up to its potential. Don’t just complain to your friends about how you wish your subject society did more than bar crawls or that a sports society is more competitive than social – do something about it and run for committee! You may not be the only one with these concerns. Put your ideas for changes in a manifesto, and if others agree with you, you could get elected and put these changes into place!
3. It keeps you committed to your society
University societies are supposed to be a break from your studies to have fun and enrich us in non-academic ways. Being on committee can be seen as making the experience of being in a society a responsibility and a commitment rather than a leisure activity. However, I have found that the dedication I have to my society due to my committee position means that I prioritise the importance of my society to my well-being. Every Thursday evening I know that however much studying may be stressing me out in my third year, I get to take a break and spend time with my society friends doing an activity I love. Without the responsibilities I have to the society, I’m not confident I’d put enough value into attending every week, even though I do enjoy it.
Portland Building, the home of the Student’s Union, where you’ll spend a lot of time whilst part of a society committee.
4. It’s fun!
Whilst treasurers are in charge of budgets and social secretaries have to book rooms, it’s not all doom and gloom. Most tasks on a committee don’t fall under any particular position and involve everyone pitching in. I’m on committee for Creative Writing Society and every week we plan a theme and tasks for our Creative Writing sessions called Lit circles, which we then get to participate in. The most fun I’ve had on committee was creating characters for our annual murder mystery, and seeing them come to life under the control of our members. Being on committee is not just bureaucracy, it’s creative, too!
5. Your committee could be your new friendship group
When on a society committee you spend a lot of time both in person and on social media with your fellow committee members. It’s a great opportunity to make or reaffirm friendships. Don’t be surprised if you end up hanging out outside of the society – you have a common interest that brought you together after all! Particularly when your degree gets stressful, meeting your society committee obligations can be a good way to socialise even when you don’t have much other time to do so.
6. It’s great for your CV!
Whilst this should not be the only reason you run for committee, a position on a society committee sure does look good on a CV. Employers know that society committee positions are an easy way to get experience in an economic climate when work experience in an office can be much harder to obtain. Unless you have other commitments such as volunteering or a part-time job, employers may question why you haven’t shown more initiative and time management skills outside of academia. Even if you don’t get elected, you can still put that you ran for a position on your CV to show your commitment.
Being on a society committee may be the most fun experience you have at university, whilst also allowing you to make your mark on your Student’s Union and your own future. Don’t be nervous – get involved!
Edited by Jayde Richards