What is a society?

An image of students attending the Kent welcome fair

A society at university is an organization operated by students of which the membership typically consists only of students or alumni. Societies create a nice break from academia and provide you with extra-curricular activities. The categories of societies at Kent are: academic, cultural, faith and belief, performance, physical activity, politics and campaigning and special interest groups.

Commitment to societies is key, as there isn’t much point joining a society if you aren’t going to turn up. The majority of societies host an introductory session, therefore attend this and see if you enjoy the feel of the society and if you could see yourself committing to the society. Some societies require more of a joining fee than others, in order to fund events and equipment for the society, so please be aware of this during welcome week when signing up to different societies. The best piece of advice possible when signing up to a society is to get involved as soon as possible and commit yourself to the society outside of studies, as for many this is where they find secret talents or make many of their closest friends.

University is all about trying new things, therefore try new things with societies! You will regret joining a society in third year, realising it is awesome and then wishing you had been involved earlier. Societies are an enormous part of socialising at university, as they are where you will spend quality time with like-minded individuals working towards the same cause or goal. Societies can be a whole host of subjects and the possibilities are endless with them. Additionally, if none of the many different societies takes your fancy, there is the option to set up your own society, all you need is six members and permission from Kent Union and you’re away! If you commit yourself to a society and you feel very passionately about it you may even become a Kent Union society representative such as President of a society for example.

Welcome Week 2018 logoThere are many international societies such as: Albanian, African-Caribbean, Asian, Bangladeshi, Belgian and Dutch, Bulgarian, Chinese, Cypriot, Czech and Slovak, East-African, French, German, Hispanic, Hong Kong, Indonesian, Italian, Caribbean, Mauritian, Palestinian, Zimbabwe, Kurdish, Malaysian, Nepal, Nigerian, Nordic, Northern, Pakistani, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian and Moldovan, Russian, Southern African, Spanish, Taiwan, Turkish Cypriot, Filipino, Korean, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, West African.

Here at Kent we have what are known as societies executives, these are 11 elected volunteers who help the VP Activities oversee, empower and represent societies. They deal with new society applications and applications to the development fund, as well as organising events like society networking nights.

Make the most of university by joining a society in Welcome Week which will keep you engaged and entertained throughout your time at Kent.

By Oliver Daws, current Kent student.