University societies are operated by students, for students.
At university, joining a society is one of the best ways to meet people who are most like you – who share your most beloved passions and who just get you.
Long gone are the days when universities were restricted to the traditional societies dedicated to courses, countries, cultures, politics or religion. These days, students have the freedom to celebrate even the weirdest hobbies and interests – and the most wonderful. There’s literally something for everyone.
Here are just a few of the wackiest societies that some UK institutions have to offer.
1. The Durham University Assassins’ Society.
The Durham Univesity Assassin’s Guild consider themselves as “one of the most active assassin societies in the world”. Don’t worry, they don’t actually go out and assassinate people (we hope). Members of this society take part in games of mock assassination – players are assigned targets to hunt down and eliminate with fake weapons. Players themselves are also targets, and so it is a game of stealth and suspicion.
As well as holding a variety of games across the course of the year, the guild also have a healthy dose of socials along the way. They’re not always pretending to kill each other…
2. The Shelia and her Dog Society – University of Cambridge.
One of our personal favourites – the Shelia and her Dog society at Cambridge Univesity might just take the crown for the wackiest university society out there. This particular society will bring you right back to your childhood – once a meeting starts (at the Drop of the Penguin) members are required to act like 6 year olds, and any mention of grown-up things is strictly forbidden.
At these society meetings, you can expect to eat lots of cake, drink cocoa and read children’s stories in silly voices…
3. Jailbreak Society – University of Warwick.
In a nutshell, a jailbreak is a charity event which sees groups of students attempting to get as far away as possible from ‘jail’ – typically, their university campus. Jailbreaks are a popular activity throughout many universities across the country – however Warwick’s record is pretty impressive.
With just 36 hours to make their great escape, Warwick students are typically restricted from spending any money on transportation to aid them. Impressively, past members have (somehow) made it to destinations such as Poland, Morocco, and even New York.
4. 20 Minute Society – Newcastle University.
This unpredictable society is one for the thrill-seeking students. Weekly, unsolicited texts are sent out to members at an unexpected time, with the address of a random location. Members are then required to get there within a 20 minute time-limit.
Past activities have included paint-balling and comedy nights, and they’ve even had one or two mystery holidays with previous destinations such as Prague, Amsterdam and Dublin.
5. Viking Society – Plymouth University.
If you just happen to have a passion for Vikings – this is the society for you. Plymouth University’s Viking society aims to educate people on the Viking way of life. Activities include traditional Viking games and walks cladded in full Viking kit.
Of course, with the Viking way of life, comes the socials with regular Viking-style knees-ups.
6. Stitch ‘n’ Bitch – Leeds University.
Leeds University’s Stitch ‘n’ Bitch society is pretty self explanatory. A sociable group of crafters who get together to learn new skills and share their passions for the crafts they do. And of course, they’re partial to a bit of bitching…
7. KiguSoc – University of York.
Kigus – Japanese onesies that look like animal costumes. This society has a passion for them, and wants you to share your enthusiasm for Kigus with the rest of the world. This society can be summed up nicely by their mission statement: “We believe there is no occasion or activity that is not improved by a Kigu.”
8. Beekeeping Society – University of East Anglia.
The perfect society for anyone with an interest in keeping honeybees for pleasure or for profit. This society gives members the opportunity to share knowledge and experience. The society was initially set up with the intention of giving people the chance to try the hobby without having to establish and fully maintain their own beehives. We think it’s a rather sweet idea.
9. Hummous Society – The London School of Economics.
For the love of hummous! If you have a passion for the savoury chickpea delicacy, then this society is for you. The Hummous Society’s past events include hummous tasting evenings, with over 40 different types of hummous on offer. Grab your celery sticks, this is a hummous-lover’s dream come true.
10. Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Appreciation Society – University of St. Andrews.
St. Andrews’ Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Appreciation Society is wholeheartedly devoted to spreading the love of the vintage biscuits made in Scotland. They have weekly informal meetings to discuss all things biscuits and banter. Sounds like our cup of tea.
11. PunSoc – Univesity of Sussex.
Who doesn’t love a good pun? Sussex University’s PunSoc bring together a love of puns and pubs and aims to induce laughter while getting ‘dafter’ in the process. With socials such as ‘Punderthesea’, how could you resist?
12. Robot Football – Plymouth University.
Plymouth University’s Robot Football society is all about playing football with a robotic twist. Members of this society play matches against one another – even staff get involved in the antics. Apparently the robots are used for research and teaching purposes, as well as in competitions, which is pretty cool.
13. Extreme Ironing Society – University of Nottingham.
Members of Nottingham’s Extreme Ironing Society are all about promoting the joys of ironing in the extreme. They breathe new life into the ordinary, mundane household chores by making it one of the most thrill-seeking challenges out there. Dare you give it a try?
14. Competitive Eating Society – Kent University.
Inspired by sensational eating challenges such as Man Vs. Food, Kent University’s Competitive Eating Society hosts eating challenges at various locations on campus. Challenges include ones of speed, spice and quantity, with past events such as the Chicken Nugget Centurion, the One Metre Pizza, and of course, the Hot Curry Challenge. Feeling hungry?
15. Custard Wrestling Society – Cardiff University.
This is one society that unfortunately hasn’t stood the test of time, but we love the thought behind it all the same. Back in the day, members of Cardiff University’s custard-wrestling society could spend their evenings wrestling their fellow students in a paddling pool filled with custard. Standard.
16. SackSoc – University of Liverpool.
Do you have a desire to get fit but have zero athletic abilities? SackSoc might be the answer to all of your woes. Liverpool University’s sack racing society gives a nod to one of your favourite childhood sports. A great (and downright hilarious) way to exercise.
17. Nicolas Cage Appreciation Society – Lincoln University
If you feel like Nicolas Cage is the best actor to walk the face of the earth, then you belong in the Nicolas Cage Appreciation Society at Lincoln University. This particular society aims to bring people together through their mutual love of none other than Face/Off actor, Nicolas Cage. Seriously.
Which one will you be joining?