15 societies at Sheffield University that are off the beaten track

Freshers’ week is an exciting time for new students. You make friends, explore a new city, and are introduced to a variety of activities that you may have never heard of before. It is one of the few times in your life where you get the opportunity to try something totally new — an opportunity embodied by the freshers’ fair.

Those of you embarking on a day out at the fair in The Octagon Centre will soon find yourselves bombarded with a plethora of leaflets, posters, and free t-shirts (side note: don’t get used to the latter), as presidents, treasurers and secretaries insist on why you must join their society.

For those of you who would rather spend the annual fee of £5-£10 on something a tad more exciting than becoming a fully-fledged member of the Debating team, why not explore the more idiosyncratic side of student-led groups at Sheffield uni?

To help all of you lucky soon-to-be Sheffield undergrads, here is a definitive list of the best and most unique societies on offer.

1. Coppafeel!

Also known as the Uni Boob Team, this is an immensely important society, especially, though not exclusively, for female students. Its objective is to encourage all of us girls to regularly check our fabulous boobs to make sure that they are healthy and happy. Its members strive to raise awareness about all things boob by hosting bake sales, sponsored events, and even a Big Fat Boob Crawl! Anybody at the university who identifies as female and has an interest in women’s health is welcome, and wants to raise awareness about a worthwhile cause is welcome.

Holly Roper, president, said: ‘Our society exists to remind fellow students to check their boobs regularly with an aim to stamp out late detection of breast cancer. We do lots of fundraising activities like bake sales, glitter parties, and we even set up pop-up salons! Knowing your boobs could save your life.’

2. Beekeeping

A society that owns two bee hives, Beekeeping Society aims to provide all students at University of Sheffield with the opportunity to experience beekeeping and to learn all about the wonderful world of bees. And just like Coppafeel!, it advocates a fantastic cause: campaigning for the conservation of the species, who play a vital role in nature through pollination. Its committee holds regular inspections of their hives which are open to everyone, and annually offers members to take a beehive management course. What’s not to love!

Kat Hopley, president, said: ‘The most rewarding part of being a member of beekeeping society has been watching our colonies flourish over the summer months, and getting to know such dedicated committee members along the way.’

3. Film Making

If you have ever wanted to make a film, or even considered it but never have, then get involved in the Film Making Society. Every month, the committee takes ideas for short films from its members, then as a group, the entire society develops the script and the ideas behind it, before shooting and editing the film. It is open to everyone, regardless of filmmaking experience, and is a great way to make films and friends.

Jenna Muiderman, president, said: ‘Our weekly meetings feature workshops on everything from scriptwriting, to cinematography, to editing, and are all run by experienced committee members –so anyone can get involved, even if they have never held a camera before!’

4. Flying Teapots Circus

This zany-named group offers its members the opportunity to practice circus skills, such as juggling, poi-spinning, diablo, and much more. Members learn new tricks, swap tips, and, most importantly, have a good catch up with one another. Equipment is provided, too.

5. Horror Society

This is a great society to join if you love all things inspired by the gory genre of horror. Members attend ghost walks, horror movie marathons, ghost walks, and much more. With Halloween coming up next month, its committee are bound to be planning a spookily delightful activity.

Ashleigh Davey, president, said: ‘What I love about this society is that you don’t have to be a die-hard horror fan to join –we just want our members to come along and watch some scary films, and have oodles of fun!’

6. Guild of Change Ringers

This is society dedicated to people who love bell ringing! All are welcome regardless of ringing ability — all you need is a passion for the sweet chime of bells. Hopefully, its theme tune is the famous Anita Ward anthem, too.

Gill Murray, Sheffield alumna and former society member, said: ‘The university friends that I’m still closest to are those I met through the Guild of Change Ringers. Bell ringing is an immensely sociable hobby that helps you to develop new skills and build long-lasting friendships.’

7. Medieval Re-enactment

Ever fancied being trained in how to use medieval weapons, make clothes, and live the 15th century way? If the answer is yes, then grab a place at the Medieval Re-enactment Society, where you will learn all about sword-swinging, fair maidens, and every event that took place during one of the most tumultuous periods of history.

8. Real Ale and Cider Society

This is for all of you who put Sheffield down as your first choice purely because of the magnificent range of beers and pubs that the city has to offer. Members are invited to pub crawls, brewery tours, city visits, and even home brewing events!

Patrick Lewis, president, said: ‘What makes it so special for me is that it’s a group where people can make new friends and have a chilled drink without all the regular hassle of clubbing.’

9. Save our Sandwiches (S.O.S)

A great society that champions a great cause: saving on surplus food around campus and redistributing it to those who need it most. Members cook up left over food and serve it to the most vulnerable people in Sheffield. If you want to give something back to the community, this is a brilliant way to do it.

Charlie Stephen, president, said: ‘As a student, it’s quite easy to stay within the student bubble in Sheffield, but Save Our Sandwiches has allowed students to connect with the local community. Reaching out into the city is something that we at SOS really value.’

10. Stationery Appreciation Society

Is walking past Paperchase without going in to examine their stock an impossible task for you? If so, then good news: you are a pen-passionate warrior! Here’s some even better news: there is a society that will satisfy all of your stationery-based desires.

Lucy Fox, president: ‘The society will always be special to me. Stationery is an essential part of university life and the society brings quirky people together to obsess over it.’

11. Sheffield Market Society

A lovely society for all health-conscious foodies, Sheffield Market Society members aim to promote more environmentally conscious grocery shopping, healthier eating habits, and the benefits of buying food locally.

Ying Xuan, a spokesperson for the society said: ‘In the Market Society, we’re always coming up with creative ideas to promote sustainable grocery shopping while supporting local businesses. We see ourselves not only filling a knowledge gap about the provenance of what we buy, but also building bridges between consumers and producers. It gets crazy when we have to put together all the elements of a good market event, but it’s all worth it when we see how much fun everyone is having!’

12. Quidditch (minus the magic)

A sport in itself that is entirely separate from Harry Potter’s favourite game, Quidditch is a great game. Comprised of Uni Of, Hallam, and non-students, the Sheffield team welcomes players of all abilities, and regularly takes part in national tournaments and competitions.

13. Tea Society

It’s an excellent uni in a fantastic location, where Yorkshire Tea is served just about everywhere. If you fell in love with Sheffield because of its strong relationship with this steamy treat in a mug, then why not join the Tea Society? Do you love the different strands of tea that you’ve come across, and are ravenous to discover more? Then get tea it and find the Tea Soc stall at the freshers’ fair.

14. The Dead Languages Society

Offering the unique opportunity to learn Ancient languages, from Koine Greek, to Classical Hebrew, this is a society focussed on resurrecting long-forgotten tongues. Members are able to choose how and what they learn as they take on a language that they have never before spoken. The society also hosts talks lead by Ancient language scholars, provides lessons on how to read illuminated manuscripts, and shares insight on the ideas and thoughts that inspired the construction of these deceased languages.

15. K Pop Dance Soc

No doubt you’ll have heard K Pop – and no doubt you’ll have danced along to its quirky beats and fun tunes. If you’re an avid listener of all things K Pop, then try strutting down to the K Pop Society and meet fellow music fans. It provides a great space for meeting other K Pop fans and dance enthusiasts, where members are taught dance moves inspired by t inescapably catchy genre of music.