Moving to University: Societies (Part Two)

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It’s week two of the societies feature and this week I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing the Social Anthropology and Sociology societies. These two lovely societies will conclude the SSPS affiliated part of the societies feature. Next week we will be focusing on societies which exist outside of the School of Social and Political Science. Remember that societies can provide you with some awesome opportunities, skills, friends and memories. I hope that their answers can show you just how much you can get from being a society member and that you’ll go and meet them all during Fresher’s Week!

SocAnth Logo

Edinburgh University Social Anthropology Society:

1. Tell us a little bit about what you study and how you got involved in the Social Anthropology Society. What your role is now and how it has benefited your time at university?

My name is Lee McNeish and I’m SocAnth’s Treasurer. The current SocAnth Co-Presidents Kirstin and Katie asked me to answer these questions as I was in your position last year! I study Social Anthropology, I have just completed my first year of university and I’m loving everything about it so far. I found SocAnth at the Freshers’ fair and joined up as I thought it would help with my course. I am now starting second year as the society’s treasurer, which is only getting bigger and more fun. My exams and essays went very well last year and that’s without a shadow of a doubt down to having the society as a place to talk about all the new ideas and theory that we are taught. More importantly, I gained a great group of friends.

 2. What is the Social Anthropology Society and what do you do?

This is both an easy and a hard question to answer as the society can be anything you want it to be!! It acts as a group based on members’ participation that facilitates any ideas you have and gives you the platform to achieve these ideas. In the past, events have ranged from social events like film screenings and club nights, to more academic events like guest speakers and special lectures. In the past we have collaborated with other societies to put on bigger events, such as with Save the Children to present on global health issues and the Archaeology Society to host a seminar on materiality which brought speakers from Oxford and Canada. The best thing though is when we work with the department of Social Anthropology and put on big anthropological events such as the Social Sounds Project which ran during Innovative Learning Week.

Here are the lovely SocAnth committee & members at some of their events last year. Don't they just look so friendly and welcoming!

Here are the lovely SocAnth committee & members at some of their events last year. Don’t they look lovely!

 3. What do your society members gain from being a part of your society?

You really get what you put in, be that friendship or study partners, to having a closer connection to the Social Anthropology department and other professors around the university.

4.  What is the best event/social you had last year and why? Are there any funny stories? 

Hands down this has to be Social Sounds Project. This was a week long event for Innovative Learning Week which was a joint event between the society and the Social Anthropology department. We looked at the anthropological theories of sound in research of culture and how people relate to the sounds around them. We had groups of people going around Edinburgh recording sounds and also guest lecturers from different parts of the world. It all came together on the last day with an exhibition of our ‘sound map’ in the lobby of the department building. It was so much fun!

 5. Is there anything else you would like to add?

I think societies are a fundamental part of the Scottish university experience. You get what you put in to them and you shouldn’t underestimate the help they offer you.  We would love to welcome you into our society so check us out on Facebook if you’d like: www.facebook.com/soc.anth.soc 

 

 

SocSoc Logo

 Edinburgh University Sociology Society:

1. Tell us a little bit about what you study and how you got involved in the Sociology Society. What your role is now and how it has benefited your time at university?

My name is Ilinca Barsan, I have just finished my third year of Sociology and Politics at the University of Edinburgh. I enjoy Politics but I love Sociology, so that’s why I decided to get involved in the Sociology Society. I actually only got involved a couple of months ago – I had the idea to publish a sociology magazine featuring engaging and fun to read pieces with a sociological background, so I got in touch with last year’s committee and they liked the idea. That’s when I learned that the Sociology Society was a bit short on people, so I decided I might as well take on a bigger role in the society in general and not merely focus on the magazine. I wish I could say that I won a heavily contested election to become the president of the Sociology Society, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m planning to be a dedicated president!

2. What is the Sociology Society and what do you do?

We aim to offer a vibrant, friendly and inspiring community open to anyone passionate about (or just mildly interested in) sociology. We want to establish closer links between undergraduate students, postgraduate students and staff at the University of Edinburgh, both within and outside of  the sociology department. We do social events (sociologists do love their food and wine) but also host academic lectures and discussions and we plan to run academic support sessions as well. But it’s really up to the members – we’re a small, very dedicated committee  and we’re more than happy to accommodate any wishes and interests. As mentioned above, we’re also planning to start publishing a sociological magazine – if you’re interested in looking at everyday life and contemporary events and issues through a sociological lens and willing to make your writing approachable and interesting, we’d love to publish that. Sociology is a lot of fun, and we don’t want to be the only ones to know.

3. What do your society members gain from being a part of your society?

A lovely community that aims to be there for you every step of the way – if want to listen to and take part in academic talks and debates, that’s great, but if you just want to come along for food and chat with fellow sociological enthusiasts, that’s wonderful as well. And if you find yourself struggling with your courses, we’d really like to help and will gladly share our own experiences and knowledge. We also want to make an arts and crafts afternoon happen, I’ve learned that it’s hard for students to say no to that kind of mad fun.

The wonderful SocSoc members at the SPS Ball, picture used with permission.

The wonderful SocSoc members at the SPS Ball, picture used with permission.

 4. What is the best event/social you had last year and why? Are there any funny stories? 

Since I only got involved a couple of months ago, I’m probably not the best person to answer this question – but I did hear that there was a pancake feast last that got pretty wild last year. I did ask Anna Drever, who was SocSoc’s President for two years before I was voted in and she said, “A few of our most memorable nights have been spent in the pub over nachos, movie nights with sociological framings from lecturers and of course the always memorable wine-fuelled opening events at the start of the first semester, because who doesn’t love a game of ‘Pin the Beard on Karl Marx?’ A couple of years ago, SocSoc joined forces with PIR Soc, and Social Anthropology to throw a collaborative SPS Ball which was such a fantastic night and really highlighted what a great community feel SPS has!”

5. Is there anything else you would like to add?

The Sociology Society is a great opportunity for freshers and all other Sociology students to get involved and meet like-minded people, so please do join if you feel like that’s something you would be interested in. Come and talk to us during Fresher’s week, we’d love to meet you – follow us on www.facebook.com/edunisocsoc for updates and further information.

 


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