The UCD Literary and Historical Society (L&H) and DanceSoc were among the societies to surpass their highest membership ever last week.
1024 students joined DanceSoc during Freshers Week, held on campus during the second week of term, while 5143 joined L&H. The number of students to join L&H this year has set a European record for college society membership
“It’s 39 more than our previous record, which was 5104 and was also held by the society; that was last year,” says L&H Auditor, Daisy Onugobu. “To the best of our knowledge, of all the numbers that are available, the society’s the largest in Europe… It might also be attributed to the fact that not a lot of societies keep records like we do. So some societies might actually be larger, they just don’t have the capacity to record it.”
She attributes the society’s diversity as the reason for its continued popularity: “We do something that a lot of societies don’t do where we try and attract beyond our range. We know that of that 5000, only about 10% are interested in hardcore competitive debating. But at the same time, it helps them do so much, so even if you’re not going away on trips to debate for the college, you might still be interested in debates to watch other people argue. Even if you’re not interested in that, you might still be interested in meeting celebrities.”
LawSoc are the second largest society on campus, while ArtSoc, at 2400 members, are the third largest.
DanceSoc was re-activated as a society last year, and auditor, Elayne Ní Ruáin, was pleased with the increase of over 200 members: “We were thrilled with the numbers as we broke last year’s record of 800. There has been a huge surge in interest in the society, with 44 people at our first class of the year, and over 170 people auditioning in total for the three crews.”
“We have a lot planned for this year including a trip to Liverpool at the end of January, a number of charity events and we will also be hosting the National Inter-Varsity Competition at the end of March,” says Ní Ruáin. “Alongside this, we will be performing throughout the year at various events both on and off campus, such as home games in the sports centre.”
UCD Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Society remain the largest LGBT society in Ireland falling just short of 400 members. DramSoc, PsychSoc, RussianSoc and Netsoc also recorded increased numbers, with 1120, 297, 222 and 184 joining the societies respectively, all of which were personal bests for the societies.
300 joined MatureSoc, 841 joined St Vincent de Paul, and 280 joined English Literary Society.