With just over 2 weeks to go, the shortlist for The Societies Awards 2015 has been released. Winners will be announced at The Societies Ball on Friday 8th May.
The 2014 Societies Ball celebrated the 169 societies and their 7,945 members’ achievements. This year, there has been an increase in both to almost 200 societies and 8,600 members! Societies play a massive part in student life and it is through the tireless work of committee members that this is the case, engaging students and providing countless activities.
The current VP Societies, Barney Willis commented: “the Societies Ball last year was possibly the best party I went to in the entire academic year! There were obvious reasons for this (like the awards, the fantastic food, the magician, the free wine etc.) but perhaps the most amazing thing about the night is seeing all of the incredibly dedicated society members together in one room congratulating each other on their successes. The event is full of ‘Societies people’ for lack of a better expression – dedicated people who care a huge amount about what they do! Seeing them all in one room is just incredible and it is a reminder of just how large the Guild of Societies family is! We are working hard to make sure that this year’s ball exceeds expectations – I can’t wait to see everyone there!”
The first category on the list is Best Go Global performance, which was held on the 21st March. Nominated for a second year running, Asian Society have been shortlisted alongside Malaysian Society, Palestine Society and Tamil Society. This category was won last year by the YUVA Indian Society with Arab Society the runner up.
As predicted, Act One and Operatic Society are seen again in the Best Cardiff Fringe Event category, the winner and runner up respectively at last year’s awards. The Cardiff Fringe Festival celebrated its second year as a festival dedicated to showcasing our performance and artistic societies’ talents and was held the week before Go Global from Friday 13th March. Broadway Dance and Student Minds are the other two societies in this shortlist.
Following on this pattern, the shortlist for the Association of the year includes the recipients of the winner and runner up awards from last year, the Women’s Association and LGBT+ Association, showing a consistently high level of commitment. The Mature Students’ Association and Postgraduate Association also made the shortlist. This trend continues with the Student Led Service Of The Year category, again featuring last year’s winner, SHAG, and runner up, Student Minds. Also included are Nightline and RAG.
The shortlist for the Best Small Event has five contenders: Battle of the Bands – Live Music Society, Catholic Society Conference, Netherlands Tour – Windband Society, Speed Ball – Airsoft Society and Yule Ball – Harry Potter Society. Both this category and the next, Best Large event feature an incredibly varied selection of events. The Best Large Event shortlist includes the Broadway Dance Competition, Convinced? – Christian Union, Festival of Diversity – Malaysian Society and the Real Ale & Cider Festival. The two latter events in this list are the same as last year’s runner up and winner.
The Best Newcomer award is shortlisted between the Bollywood Dance Society, British Red Cross Society, Cardiff Healthy People Society and the Effective Altruists Society, all formed at the beginning of the academic year and have been very successful during their first year.
The Best Society Collaboration category is another example of an award particularly celebrating the connections societies make with each other throughout the year, demonstrated in how successful these events have been. The Boots Varsity Challenge, Breaking the Silence, Music Showcase and Student Led Services Week made the shortlist.
The Most Improved Society is an interesting one, the shortlist featuring the A Cappella Society which was in the shortlist for Best Newcomer at last year’s awards, and the Music Society which featured in the same category last year. These societies are joined by Expression and Global Health Student Network.
A new category this year, the Committee of the Year shortlist features the Duke of Edinburgh Society, Jazz Society, Slash and Teddy Bear Hospital. A category which does not feature this year is Best Society Activity which could be because the other categories cover this suitably.
The awards that celebrate individual’s work with societies are the Most Committed Member, Committee Member Of The Year and The Officer’s Choice For Outstanding Contribution awards. The Most Committed Member shortlist is for a non-committee member of the society. The shortlist includes: Abby Spittle – A Cappella Society, Bri Parker – Baking Society, Harry Henshaw – Jazz Society and Kandarp Patel – Asian Society. The Committee Member Of The Year shortlist is: Charley Senter – Slash, Emily Harrison – Windband Society, Katie Blackwell – Operatic Society and Victoria Botting – Cardiff Marrow.
The Officer’s Choice for Outstanding Contribution shortlist is as follows: Eliza Walwyn-Jones – RAG & STAR, Emily Greenfield – Expression & Student Minds, Heather Sadler – Erasmus Society & Give It A Go, James Ledward – Maths Society & SHAG and Milly Dyer – Brass Band & Give It A Go. Give It A Go as a new programme of events has been particularly well received by societies offering no obligation events to potential members, so it is great to see two people in this shortlist who have had involvement with so many different societies through this.
Finally, the categories for the different sizes of society and their nominations are as follows. The Best Small Society: Cardiff Marrow, Healthcare Music Society, Operatic Society, Sikh Society and Slash. The Best Medium Society: Anime Society, Art Society, Christian Union, FAD and Windband Society. Best Large Society: Act One, Broadway Dance Society, Maths Society and Optometry Society.
All will be revealed on Friday 8th May, after a staggering 350 tickets have been sold. The ball is promised to be an unforgettable night of celebration.