Why I started my Pol Soc (Tips on making a society)

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I was talking to two members of my Politics Society who I bumped into when I was in University, and I was asked about how long the society had been running. This got me thinking that I never have really told my full story about forming my Politics Society. 

I formed the Politics Society with 3 people from my History with Politics course. Those were Chloe, Molly, and Luke, who serve as VP, Secretary, and Treasurer respectively. I am the President of the society. There were actually two things which I accredit to the formation of my Politics Society

  1. When I started at the University, I attended our Fresher’s fair, and there were many good societies there, including the History Society (which, spoiler, actually happens to be part of the reason the Politics Society was founded). There was no Politics society in Edge Hill when I started in September 2015, which was a big disappointment for me. During my semester, I was actually an associate of the people in the Labour Society. While it wasn’t a big society, they were the only Political Society in the University at the time. I felt that that was a disservice to people interested in Politics.
  2. My friend Jack Walsh took over the History Society by December, which was actually great. The fact that a first year was running a society was a very encouraging thing for me in the idea of running my own society. Jack continues to run the History Society, alongside some of my other friends on my course, including Harry, Ahmed, and Connor. Because they were actually running a society, I began to think that forming my own society would be feasible.

So, with those two things in mind, I did set about forming a Politics Society. If anyone here is thinking of starting a Society in University, I would recommend that you have a mission to accomplish with your society. You could be a society for a fandom like Doctor Who. Any society needs a remit in order to exist. Our remit was to promote Politics and encourage people to become Politically active. The Labour Society is all well and good, but it is a Labour members society. I’m not, and I am still not, a Labour member. There are a lot of politically minded people in the University, but the fear of a metaphorical lynching for holding non left wing views really doesn’t encourage debate. So we formed for them.

Then there is the issue of what you do in your society. We hold debates, talk about stories in the news, and let our members choose what they want to talk about/do. While doing that, we also offer assistance for first years doing their Politics Modules. That’s what you need to do to form a society. Have a purpose, and have something to offer people. Somewhere where a group of likeminded people (or very different people) can come together to talk about or do things they couldn’t do outside of the society.

About the author

Ben

Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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