Joining a club or society when you go to university is highly recommended and one of the most fun and rewarding things you can do during your degree. There is something for everyone - really!
The most famous of all the student clubs in the UK is surely the Bullingdon Club at Oxford University – Boris Johnson, George Osborne and David Cameron are all former members. When we heard there was a beekeeping society, we made it our mission to try and find the strangest, wackiest university clubs and societies in the UK. If you like the sound of them, start one at your own university!
KiguSoc @ University of York
In case you missed it, Kigus (Japanese onesies that look like children’s animal costumes) are all the rage now. So it’s fitting that someone at the University of York started this club. Their mission statement says: “we believe there is no occasion or activity that is not improved by a Kigu” – and who could argue with that?
Assassins Society @ Durham University
Assassins Societies are really popular university societies across the world, and in the UK, the Durham University lot reckon they’re one of the most active. The idea is you’re assigned a target by the Guild, and you have to kill them without being noticed. The club bio says: “Membership requires skill, cunning and alertness. Some members turn into cool, calm, collected and ruthlessly efficient killing machines, whereas others become jibbering wrecks, torn apart by paranoia, lying awake at night huddled close to their excessive arsenal of destructive weaponry.”
A bit like playing Assassin’s Creed, we think.
Re-enactment Society @ University of Liverpool
Again, there are several branches of re-enactment societies at universities across the UK so if you’re a history buff, you might want to check and see if they have one at your student union. The re-enactment society at the University of Liverpool exists to “promote and encourage involvement with the UK and European Re-enactment Societies, and bringing to life the Historical ways of life from many different periods of our history.”
The Curry Society @ Leicester University
Leicester has a great reputation for being a brilliant place to grab a curry, so it's fitting that their university should have a curry society. Ash Davies, Curry Society President, said: “Leicester is frequently rated as the best city in the UK for curry, one of the reasons that tempted me to join the Curry Society. Although it may sound clichéd, joining is also a fantastic opportunity to meet new people - especially during Freshers’ Week. We hold regular trips to Indian and Thai restaurants in the Leicester area that specialise in curry, alongside those that serve less common cuisines such as Nepalese.”
The society are planning to hold a ‘curry crawl’ in 2013. We reckon this one might be the reserve of those with iron stomachs!
Hummous Society @ London School of Economics
This one isn’t so much strange as… We didn’t realise people were such fans of the stuff! Past events have included a hummous-tasting evening with over 40 types of hummous, a tour-de-force of a middle-eastern kitchen, hummous-making master-class, summer picnic and scrumptious evenings out. They’ve even had henna painting and sheesha.
Society for Gentlemanly Pursuits @ Keele University
Ah, we like the sound of this society! It is apparently “based upon the mutual interest in the partaking of fine liquors and music of good quality alongside educated discussion.” The group says they cater for a “plethora of interests, from Classic cinema to Distillery visits”.
Sounds simply charming.
Harry Potter Society @ Cardiff University
Strangely, Harry Potter-themed societies are gathering in popularity in student unions. This group in Cardiff hosts Triwizard Tournaments, socials, assault courses, and of course film screenings and discussions.
Gog Magog Molly @ Cambridge University
Gog Magog Molly was founded in 1996 to perform at the 80th Birthday Party of Cyril Papworth, who lived in Cambridge and collected the local traditional dances. Molly dancing is the East Anglian morris tradition, originally danced every January by disguised plough boys, when the fields were too frozen to plough. The group will be celebrating their 16th birthday this year.
Helen Barnard, a member, said: “We retain some interpretations of the traditional dances but have drawn on a range of other inspirations, including Harry Potter, a one-way system, a doctoral thesis, local punting hazards, and we even have an Oompa Loompa dance! It's great fun, good exercise, intellectually challenging, and you get to meet fantastic people while keeping an English tradition alive.”
KrakenSoc @ Southampton University
This society is for people who are into steampunk. The aim is to provide a focus point for those who take part in the Steampunk culture, and as part of this, the society organises trips to museums and hosts film screenings.
The Pirate Society @ the University of Sussex
Disillusioned by societies which required an element of skill or specific interest, med student Ben Carter founded the group with one thing in mind: fun. Ben Carter and Chris Postle, who run the society, said: “The Pirate Society started life as all truly great ideas do: over a few tankards of ale in the local tavern. On a dark and stormy night on Sussex campus, six costumed buccaneers assembled in a campus bar, unaware that they were making history.
“Months later, Cap’n Carter led a crew of eighty pirates on our first Freshers’ pub crawl. In subsequent years, scavenger hunts, cinema trips and even a “hostile” takeover of the Students’ Union have cemented the Pirate Society’s place in legend.”
Now, where’s all the rum gone?!