During every Freshers’ Week, we always hear of the societies a first year has to join, such as the perpetual favourites theL&H and C&E.
One of the most well-known societies in UCD is Arts Soc. With a dwindling reputation as a society that doesn’t exactly know what it really is, it was interesting to hear how it has changed over the last three years. It certainly has a new attitude towards engaging students and focusing on arts related events, as current auditor, Aoife Hurney, told me about what Arts Soc has now become.
First things first, how were numbers compared to last year?
Our numbers are pretty much the same as last year, a lot of returning members excited to see more being done in terms of guest speakers and events on campus. We are excited to say we had a lot of interest from first years this time round; so many new faces all excited to get involved with the society. It would be nice to get their input and opening [the society] up to that market.
What has Arts Soc got to offer this year compared to the other societies?
Arts Soc as a society has such potential that I think people in past years may have overlooked. This society has such an amazing characteristic that not every society has; we are a society for everyone. Not only do we have a wide variety of members from all different courses but we also have such an open opportunity to work with every society and get events on campus that will include every type of student in UCD. This year we are aiming bigger with inter societal work and want every student to be involved at some stage with Arts Soc. For example, we have huge plans with the mature student society, which will bring together the community in UCD. We will offer what students want and will regularly ask them what they want, to maximise the efficiency of the society.
Aside from Arts Ball, what other big events do you have this year?
We are aiming for some pretty big guests who I cannot reveal right now, but our main aim is to bring back more on-campus events during the day for commuters and people who have big gaps between their classes. Such events will include our pet farm day, Arts Day in semester one and two, mystery bus tour, quizzes in the Clubhouse Bar and a Halloween party on campus. We will also be working with societies such as Draw Soc, Harry Potter Soc and many more during Arts Day so that everyone on campus can be involved. This will engage all students who have often been overlooked.
Do you think Arts Soc still has that “session society” reputation?
I think last year’s auditor did a great job at moving Arts Soc away from being a ‘session society’ and I completely aim to keep that reputation away. I don’t believe Arts Soc has to completely move away from nights out and a mystery bus tour, but it certainly will not be just for those who like to go out. Arts Soc is such a widespread society that we can really do anything with it this year; there is so much potential in it as a society and I think if there was ever a committee who could bring Arts Soc back on campus, it is this year’s committee. In recent years, Arts Soc has looked into career focused events, which is a huge leap from the once ‘session society’ that existed.
During your year as auditor, is there anything you hope to introduce or change in this next year?
This year I hope to make Arts Soc bigger and more focused than ever, my committee are fantastic and have such amazing ideas for this year. I say focused because before we have been seen as a catch all society, now we aim to narrow in on Arts and Human Sciences similar to Science Soc and really engage with our members. As a committee we are all so invested in Arts Soc and have all done or are doing our degrees in the Newman Building so we know the struggle of not knowing where you belong in UCD. What is amazing is some of the committee joined Arts Soc to make new friends and that’s all I want Arts Soc to be this year; a society that can bring together new people and where people can build friendships. If anyone wants to get involved why not pop down to the office or even just drop us a mail at email@example.com. We are open to all suggestions. Enjoy your year and make the most of your time in UCD. It will be an unforgettable few years that you spend here!