This year’s Freshers’ Week was well attended by students, with the Literary & Historical Society emerging once again as UCD’s biggest student society. 4,831 people joined the society this year, a record membership level for any campus society at this point of the year.L&H Auditor, Conor McAndrew, attributed the society’s popularity to the fact that the L&H is “a cross-faculty society… we get members from all over campus; we have a strong calendar of debates and guests so we had a lot of returning students.” Asked if the Society’s roster of guests for the year was a significant contributor, McAndrew also said the L&H’s age – the society is now in its 155th session – “makes us sound interesting; if we’ve succeeded to run the thing for 155 years.”
The Law Society broke their own membership records this year also, with 4,120 new members. Other large societies also fared well during Freshers’ Week; DramSoc now have 1,300 members and expect more to join over the coming weeks.
Special interest societies are well represented this year. The International Student Society has 398 members, while the LGBT Society has over 300 sign-ups, a reported increase from previous years. Subject-based societies also did well, with MathSoc signing up 230 members. The newly formed Humanist Society had 160 people join.
Elsewhere, at the UCD Sports Expo held concurrently in the Sports Centre, UCD’s sports clubs also declared themselves largely happy with their new membership levels. The Trampoline Club attracted 250 members over the week, while Badminton claimed 220 sign-ups. Swimming & Water Polo also retained their consistent popularity, with 163 members. Martial Arts proved popular with Tae Kwon Do signing up 162 members and Ninjitsu 110. In addition, the new Capoeira club signed up 54 members.
Womens’ sports clubs in particular proved popular on campus this year. Ladies Hockey has 90 members, and Women’s Soccer 85. Ladies Rugby boasted 60 new members, on top of 20 returning members from last year.
Students will have a second chance to join clubs and societies on Refreshers’ Day, which takes place in the second week of the second semester.
Gallery by Gavan Reilly and Katie-Ann McDonagh