The University of Leicester is host to a whole range of student groups, sports teams, and societies. Believe me when I say that no matter who you are there is probably a society that would interest you, whether it be an academic society, a cultural society or a political society. I recently found out to my delight that there is a Chicken Nugget Appreciation society at Leicester. Because why not? As long as you have a President, Treasurer, Secretary, and a few members, you can create any sort of student group you like (within reason I suppose). Getting involved with a society is definitely one of the most enjoyable things about university. Helping to run a society is even better.
As you probably know from some of my previous posts, this year I’m Secretary for the Erasmus and Exchange society. I wanted to do something extra-curricular during my final year and also get involved with the Erasmus/Study abroad side of things at Leicester. I’d never done anything like this before but I just went with it and I have absolutely no regrets. Running a society is challenging, especially when you have over 300 members like we do, but it’s also really rewarding. A lot of our members are international students who are new to Leicester and who don’t know many people in the area. So it’s really nice running a society whose aim it is to create a community and environment where these students can meet new people, make friends, and go on trips around the UK.
But yeah, as I said, it is challenging and requires a fair amount of effort and commitment. There is a heck of a lot of paperwork to complete before and throughout the academic year. Master risk assessments, event notification forms, trip registration forms, food provision requirements… It’s all a bit boring and not very glamorous but it has to be done. Organising trips can also be a bit of a pain at times. I’m talking about things like not meeting the required numbers, people deciding to drop out last minute, and problems caused by miscommunication between the committee, the hostel and our travel company. Arranging our socials and events also come with a whole host of problems, like venues double-booking us or venues suddenly letting us know at the last minute that they won’t be able to accommodate us. We’ve also had situations where members of our society have turned up to an event that they needed to book with us in advance, but who didn’t.
With a society that’s as big as ULEES there’s a lot of stuff that needs doing. Our committee isn’t as big as some other student groups – there’s only six of us – so balancing my academic studies with my responsibilities as a Secretary takes a bit of work. It’s stressful at times, yeah, but the rewarding stuff definitely outweighs the stressful and boring stuff. I’ve met so many lovely people and I’ve really enjoyed running all of our socials and trips. Not to mention all the transferable skills that it provides you with. It’s a great addition to the CV and it does so much for your communication and organisational skills. Staff in the Activities department in the Students’ Union are also pretty helpful in that they publish student group committee resources online and are around to give you advice if you need it.
So that’s the reality of it! Becoming a committee member of a society is a great thing to do and something that I would recommend Leicester students look into. I don’t recommend it however if you’re not willing to put in the effort or dedication. I’ll conclude with this link to the Leicester Students’ Union website, where you can find out which student groups there are at Leicester, how to join them, and how you can go about running your own.