Never a dull day in DCU

Amy Donohoe

DCU is home to over 140 clubs and societies. Credit: Michael Walsh

The wide range of clubs and societies to take part in on campus is one of the university’s main attractions. From Snowsports to Basketball to Style, there is something to suit every student, and the presence of clubs and societies on campus is set to be amplified with the opening of ‘The U’.

The brand new, purpose built student centre, which opened last week, will give space to societies to make use of state-of-the-art facilities. The centre sees plenty of space for meetings, rehearsals and offices. Being involved in club and society activities gives students a break from academic studies and the skills gained in societies such as communication, organisation and leadership can enhance the CV and aid the path to a future career. However, society life can be time consuming and distract students from studies. Also, it might be intimidating joining societies where it seems that everyone is already friends with each other.

Societies Officer Catherine Kane encourages first years not to be nervous about joining societies. Drama society was a “big thing for her in first year” but she regrets not getting involved with RAG and MPS previously as they have fantastic opportunities.

“Societies are a place of inclusion, like a mini little family in DCU,” she explained.

However, annual club and society events are going to be amplified this year with the opening of the new centre. One of the highlights for many School of Communications students is the 24 Hour Broadcast, hosted by Media Production Society (MPS). One of DCU’s biggest societies, MPS is made up of students who share a strong interest in all things media related. It covers the platforms of TV, radio and online blogging.

“Students should join MPS if they have any interest in any section of media, it’s not just for the school of communications and media related courses, we have many members from all courses throughout. It’s a making friends while making content and building a portfolio,” said MPS Chair, Hannah Gallagher.

“The 24 hour broadcast is our biggest event which is streamed on YouTube to raise money for a selected charity. It’s a chance to showcase great talent and fun shows for an amazing cause,” she added.

Snow sports host the largest abroad trip in the entire university. Members can learn how to ski or snowboard in a safe environment in Kilternan with instructors.

“Incoming first years should join because it such a good way to make lifelong friends as we have a sound committee and such unreal friendly members,” said Jack Callaghan, society Treasurer.

Jack’s personal highlight of the club is ‘Boots & Kats’ performing in The Alps in Val Thorens. When asked about upcoming plans, he teased that “we have plans for a beer pong event where teams of two compete for a free ski trip and we have a few more events that haven’t been finalized yet.”

Awarded DCU’s Best Society 2017/18, DCU Dance cater for all styles and levels from daily beginners classes to Intervarsity squads. First years get their first glimpse of the society in The Helix when they perform during orientation. The highlight of every academic year is The Full Monty, which is always extremely popular.

“I really recommend joining any society at all. If you’ve come into first year not knowing anyone, like me, that is how you will make friends. The people and the opportunities that have come from the dance society have given me the most amazing experience and confidence while dancing!” Chloe Demolder, Chair of DCU Dance said.

“As well as the obvious social benefits, it’s so good for your health. Even if you can only make the weekly Wednesday workshop with your busy schedule, it’s still a way of getting exercise in which I find so much more bearable than the gym,” he added.

Lastly, weird and wonderful societies are no stranger in DCU – and the Harry Potter Society proves just that. It brings people who want to make new friends and have a general interest in Harry Potter together. Each year, it hosts the Yule Ball.

“People should join as it is a great way to get then involved with society life in general, and we hope to plan inter-society events which is great for first years to get acquainted with new societies relevant to their interests outside of Harry Potter Society,” said Helen Wade, Vice Chair.

“We are also hoping to collaborate with other Harry Potter societies in other colleges for other events, we hope to create an inclusive and fun environment for all members, whether you’re a Potter fan or not,” Helen continued.

With over 140 clubs and societies, all interests and hobbies are facilitated. If students are willing to invest the time and the funds, they can be a lot of fun and a fantastic way to pass the time.

Amy Donohoe

Image Credit: Mikey Walsh