Working together – Societies and your Academic Presidents
Jade Head (Societies Officer) & Jamie Hemingway (Department Societies Rep):
Sometimes it might seem that our extra circular activities get in the way of our degree- but not today! We held a session for academic presidents and departmental society presidents to meet up , get to know each other, discuss some ideas and eat pizza! The aim of all of this was to help them work together and collaborate more to make things better for all of you.
There is often confusion over the difference between the academic presidents and the society presidents- Academic presidents are the lead representative for their course, where societies tend to deal with more the social and pastoral support side. We have over 30 departmental societies (most courses have at least one!) plus over 30 academic presidents (again most courses have one).
The session showed that in some courses the academic presidents and societies already worked closely together, in some areas the academic president even sits on the society committee. Whereas in other courses, they weren’t even aware of each other’s existence!
Given that there were people from all areas of the university there- from geography to nursing, it meant that they were given the opportunity to talk about inter discipline collaboration and how the bigger societies could help the smaller ones out. This also made it clear that a one solution fits all approach wouldn’t work, for example some societies hold sell out summer balls where as others only manage to sell one ticket.
Here are a few of the ideas that came out of the session:
- Academic presidents present at the societies stand at the Bunfight
- Combined book sales
- Joint socials
- An academic societies spring ball
- Lecturers doing talks
- Buddy/ family system
- Fresher Officer on society committees
- Staff VS students sports day
- A giant water fight…
If you have any more ideas on how academic presidents and societies could work together or what they can do for you then post your ideas below.
The best thing about this was it allowed the presidents to realise they all have similar problems and are going through the same thing. It allowed them to offer each other solutions as well as new ways they can work together moving forwards- a good afternoon all round!