The corporations have come a long way since the classic sports corporations of the 1980s.
Students expect more, and in return they get more. With membership fees rising and often very competitive societies vying for the award for best student society, it’s no wonder some societies have chosen to go the extra mile.
Ahead of the exciting launch of the 2022/2023 Student Guide, Bristol24/7 has compiled a list of some of the most offbeat student societies in our city.
Comic, Sci-fi and Fantasy Society, UWE Bristol
Described as “your one-stop shop for all things geeky at UWE”, this company enjoys all things sci-fi, from Marvel and Star Wars to Harry Potter, Doctor Who and Lord of the Rings. The society hosts weekly sessions every Thursday (in the law building on the Frenchay campus) and weekend socials that include movie and TV marathons, quizzes, and more. Recommended for anyone who loves nerd, fan girl or geek out.
Contribution: £5 for a year
University of Bristol Historical Re-enactment Society
One of the most eccentric societies at the University of Bristol, the Reenactment Society’s activities range from clothing, cooking, crafts, shield and weapon making, to wrestling with steel weapons. The company also attend shows across the country, spending the night in castles and recreating the 12th century with companies from universities across the UK. The group specializes in recreating Norman combat, but occasionally delves into the art of Roman warfare and is part of the national Historia Normannis society, which has over 400 members.
Contribution: Free unless you want to take part in national exhibitions, in which case the fee is £10 for the year to cover insurance costs.
Bristol University Folk Society
Dance, sing and play with the Folk Society at Bristol University. By hosting friendly practice sessions and workshops to enjoy traditional (and less traditional) folk activities, you can explore all the elements of ancient and contemporary folk at your leisure. The society meets every Monday from 7.30pm at The White Bear on St Michael’s Hill.
Contribution: Free, with almost all events free for members.
Read more: Location of the month: La Ruine des Mères
UWE Bristol Pole Fitness Society
The University of Bristol and UWE Bristol both have Pole companies, but the latter’s Pole Fitness company is often lesser known, but just as fun. The company is an inclusive space, where “anyone can enroll, regardless of skill level, gender, sexual background.” Hosting a weekly class every Wednesday at Spin City Bristol, UWE Pole Fitness Society pushes the boundaries of fitness, bringing body confidence, inclusivity, diversity and pure exercise enjoyment.
Contribution: £25 for the whole year. Although slightly more expensive than other companies, the amount of equipment and training you will use is well worth it.
University of Bristol Taylor Swift Appreciation Society
The Taylor Swift Appreciation Society at the University of Bristol is a microcosm of a rapidly growing international family of ‘Swifties’, the stratospheric superfans who live and breathe Taylor Swift. After a University of York student went viral last year for writing a full master’s thesis on Taylor Swift, Swifties students have come together to celebrate one of the reigning queens of pop of the 21st century. . The company’s description aptly writes: “Our social activities will range from cries Very good in a club for themed brunches and listening evenings.
Contribution: £5, a good cause.
University of Bristol Sexpression Society
Sexpression UK is a national charity that provides inclusive and informal sex education. Originally established in 2000, the charity now has members from over 25 university branches, providing education for 11-18 year olds in schools and community groups across the UK. National societies are training student volunteers to run inclusive, peer-led CSR sessions to empower young people to have fun and have safer sex. If you wince as much as we do at the memories of your sex ed lessons, this could be a great way to make sure no one else has to go through the infamous condom and banana experience…
UWE Bristol Kickboxing and Muay Thai
Bristol University and UWE Bristol are inundated with sports societies. Along with the classic titans that dominate the sports roster, there are a slew of companies that take inspiration from sports around the world. The UWE Kickboxing and Muay Thai Society is exactly that. A combat sports club offering many possibilities, Muay Thai is a standing boxing sport often called Thai boxing. For complete beginners or those competing at a semi-professional level, this is a company you won’t want to leave.
Contribution: £32.50 for the year
University of Bristol Drag Society
Designed for anyone who enjoys expressing themselves through drag, make-up and queerness, the University of Bristol Drag Society is open to all sexualities and genders. Members can share “tips and gossip” at weekly makeover meetings, experience the best of Bristol’s queer nightlife and attend or perform drag shows.
Contribution: £4 for the year, but the company also has a ‘no one turns away for lack of funds’ policy.
UWE Bristol Neuro-Diversity Society
A place where neuro-divergent people can “connect and feel understood”, the UWE Neuro-Divergent Society describes itself as “different, yet unique, with varying strengths and challenges”. We are different, but unique, with varying strengths and challenges. Weekly get-togethers provide a safe space to meet a wide range of people and opportunities.
Main photo: University of Bristol Reenactment Society
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