On the second day of freshers, Joe shines the spotlight on the English Society…
‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.’
There, I’ve started off by quoting Shakespeare. That sets the stage for making myself seem qualified enough to be President of the English Society, so here we go!
I’m Joe, current President of the best English Society in Nottingham (alright, the only other one is presumably at Nottingham Trent, but the statement is still correct).
First of all, a big well done to all our new students who are heading into what will be an extremely challenging and different first year of uni. To give the above quotation some kind of relevance, I suppose you’re now all arriving onto the stage that is uni life, as players in a much changed first-year uni experience.
That’s not only true for the new first years – English students in the later years of their degree, we’re here for you too
And we, as a Society, are going to do our utmost best to guide you, support you and enrich you in these troubled times. And that’s not only true for the new first years – English students in the later years of their degree, we’re here for you too.
What is the English Society? Why should you care?
This seems an appropriate place to start.
We are a student group that aims to enrich the university experience of anyone who is interested in English, whether it be through actually studying the degree, or anyone who has a general interest in English literature, language, or in a broader cultural sense.
We seek, also, to support your welfare where we can, and provide you with a welcome distraction away from the more stressful aspects of your university experience
We seek to help you all get to know each other in these most testing of times, be it through socials, trips abroad, networking events, and collaborations with other societies (more on all this juicy stuff later).
We seek, also, to support your welfare where we can, and provide you with a welcome distraction away from the more stressful aspects of your university experience (exam period I’m looking at you).
Coronavirus has messed things up a lot. In a normal world, we’d be organising tea and coffee mornings, regular theatre trips, pub crawls and such like.
Instead, however, I’m going to have to talk like a politician and be hideously vague in what we are able to completely plan for, since a lot of the events that we’d normally arrange are simply a no go at the moment.
That being said, we’ve thought outside the box, and have the intention to do some of the following events (key word being ‘intention’, because you know in a couple months’ time we could all be completely locked-down again!).
We’re also going to launch The English Society Podcast (I promise we will come up with a better name than this!)
I’ll start with the expected. We’re going to be doing a few Zoom calls, particularly in the first few weeks, to try and help some of you get to know each other and the Society.
We’ll aim to spice them up a bit too, with pub quizzes and the like undoubtedly rearing their rather familiar heads. We also aim to do a book swap early-on at uni to try to get some of you meeting each other. We hoped this may lead, eventually, to the formation of a virtual book club.
We’re also going to launch The English Society Podcast (I promise we will come up with a better name than this!).
In it, we’re going to be conducting Joe Rogan-esque interviews of lecturers to help y’all get to know them at a time where tutor-student interaction is going to be unfortunately sparse (you can even submit questions, albeit vetted for appropriateness by us!).
In a similar manner, we’re going to have external speakers on the podcast too. You students will even be allowed on it, in whatever manner you all come up with (we’re open for students proposing their own podcast topics).
Some ideas already discussed have been holding a weekly podcast promoting a book by an author of colour (to reinforce the message of decolonising the curriculum), and to hold debates between students over certain topics.
We’re also trying to hold a socially-distanced version of the infamous Arts Ball
These debates can be deep and serious, such as what should be done with statues of people who have a problematic past? Or, a little more light-hearted, such as is Harry Potter overrated (yes)?
If allowed, we’d obviously love to eventually set up some film nights, bowling outings or adventure golf sessions. If clubbing in any capacity becomes viable, then of course we’ll get you there, too.
We’re also trying to hold a socially-distanced version of the infamous Arts Ball. It’d look very different to normal, and is in the very early planning stages, but who doesn’t want to get dressed up and pose for some photographs (provided it’s all safe, of course!)?
A trip abroad is also on the cards. Looking like Barcelona, but again the c-word may prove our undoing.
Look, this year’s gonna be weird. The mental health of everyone is going to be under more strain than ever. So, as a Society, we’re going to be doing our best to ensure we support you as best we can.
Feel free to approach any one of the committee members (names at the end) about any issues that you might have. We’ll be there to listen and help where we can, and certainly point you in the relevant directions.
We will be heavily supporting Black History Month, Pride Month, Movember and various other significant moments in the calendar
We’re going to be working extremely closely with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity student reps to help us deliver on issues relating to diversity.
Further to this, we will be heavily supporting Black History Month, Pride Month, Movember and various other significant moments in the calendar to reinforce our commitment to being a society that champions diversity and the mental health of our students.
And, if I may, don’t forget about sport! Doing sport is great for your mental health, getting those endorphins in and meeting new people. Our excellent sports officers are happy to help, and we’d love you to be a part of our English Society football and netball teams.
Feel free to message any of us about anything, Facebook being our main point of contact. Our Facebook page can be found here, and our Instagram page here.
President: Joe Paternoster
Vice-President: Magdalena Thacker
Treasurer: Katie Abbott
Publicity Officer: Rhiannon Edwards
Welfare Officer: Grace Sansom
Social Secs: Ellie Allen, Hannah Sutton, Savannah Wildgust
Female Sports Officer: Jess Sharpe
Male Sports Officer: Zack Palmer
Education Rep: Lilith Hudson
We look forward to talking to you all soon!
Featured image courtesy of Thought Catalog via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.
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