The new or reformed societies at York this academic year


Here's every new University of York society you need to know about including sports, volunteering and more

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Image by The Northern Society

By Alanah Hammond

For the upcoming academic year, Nouse found out which new societies have been formed and got in touch with their members to share why you should consider joining them.

Sports societies

On the college sports side, it’s great to see that more women’s sports are forming this academic year. Both Vanbrugh Women's Football and Hes East Women's Rugby have new teams starting this year.

Nouse spoke to Hes East Women’s Rugby about why they formed their society. They said, “We are trying to grow engagement in women’s rugby on a college level and also offer a new space for people to enjoy socials and try out a new sport”.

They added, “Anyone joining the society can look forward to some genuinely fun socials, an introduction to a brilliant sport, and most importantly some great friends”.

For university sport, York already has tennis and squash societies, but it was felt that it lacked a Real Tennis Society (UYRTC). Now, you may be wondering what this form of tennis involves, so Nouse asked Will Bloxam, Vice Captain and Merch Secretary of The Real Tennis Society, to explain the sport.

He said, “It’s the original form of tennis, which you can think of as a mixture of squash and tennis, but with a completely different court and rules”. Will continued, explaining, “It’s not a well known sport which is a shame because it’s fantastic– you enjoy it because so much is going on and you really have to think”.

Will also explained to Nouse how there are so few courts over the country, making it hard to play the sport. This is why if you fancy trying it out, UYRTC is a great way to get involved!

If you’re into more extreme sports, YUWake, the University of York’s Wakeboarding and Waterskiing Society may be for you. Nouse spoke with YUWake’s Trip and Training secretary, Isabella Baskerville.

She said, “YUWake isn’t all about water sports– we will also be having socials a few times a term which allows a great opportunity for students to make new friends! We will also be offering trips to local water parks to allow students to have freedom on the water and have fun.”

YUWake is actually a newly reformed club, since, due to covid, the society suffered with no trips or socials and so wasn’t used. However,  they are back and can’t wait to meet new potential members!

Volunteering Societies

If sports aren’t your thing, you could join a volunteering society. Nouse got in touch with three newly formed volunteering societies, including Kathleen's legacy, Homegrown York and Viva Voce.

Nouse asked the founder of the Kathleen's Legacy Society, Amy Mann, why it was formed. She explained, “I formed the volunteer project due to my grandma (mama, Kathleen) suddenly dying unexpectedly in March. She would knit blankets for friends and family and they were known as a blanket of love and friendship”.

She continued, explaining, “When she was in ICU she was given a blanket as the nurses didn't realise she already had one with her. So, in her name we now supply hospices and hospitals across the UK, and soon to be Australia, with knitted and crochet blankets for End of Life patients, as I believe no person should have to die in a blue hospital blanket with no comfort”.

In a final comment Amy said, “Anyone joining this project will be helping pave the way in providing comfort for end of life patients and family. There may be nothing physical you can gain out of joining us, but you do know you are doing something positive and different, helping to change the taboo of death and dying”.

Both Homegrown York and Viva Voce were adopted through the 'adopt an activity' programme after the former was dormant since 2018 and the latter since 2016.

Homegrown York explained their aim is “To help students at the University of York to connect with nature, eat more healthily and sustainably, and improve their mental health through gardening”. They added, “Our general idea is for members to plan their gardening beds at the beginning of the year, and then we provide the equipment, tools and advice to help their vision come to life”.

Importantly, Homegrown York explained, “The fruit, veg and flowers that we grow will be free for anyone to come and pick (provided it is labelled as ready), whether they are part of the society or not. By setting up our gardening beds in different places over the campus, this will hopefully make it easier for students to access healthy food and find more little pockets of green”.  A greener campus sounds amazing, so if you fancy testing out your gardening skills, get involved!

Nouse also spoke to Viva Voce who explained that they are “An accessible online magazine featuring articles which are spoken aloud, as well as in the written form”. They explained that their goal is to make good quality journalism accessible to everyone, particularly those who are blind or visually impaired.

In a final comment, they added, “We now have a group of over 15 regular writers who share the same passion for accessible journalism. If you’re an incoming fresher interested in writing, editing, audio recording, and accessibility, get involved!”.

Other York Societies

The University of York also has many other new societies forming, including The Northern Society, The Geological Society, The Styles Society, The Last Taboo York and The Cosplay Society to name a few.

Nouse got in touch with The Northern Society, who explained how “In a pub on the second of March 2022, the foundations of Northern Society were built whilst tucking into a pie accompanied by a pint!”.

They detailed how they have formulated a plan to share and celebrate the wonders of Northern culture with the students at York. They plan to offer a whole host of different experiences for their members, from Yorkshire Tea Parties to nights out in Major Northern cities.

Ultimately, they guaranteed that there’s something at North Soc for everyone, and ended by reminding Nouse that “Everything goes with a Northern twist!”.

It is a well-known fact that The Taylor Swift Society (SwiftSoc) is a popular society, so it is no wonder that a Harry Styles Society has finally been formed. Nouse spoke to StylesSoc who explained, “We want to be a really inclusive society that creates a safe space to socialise and relax and most importantly have fun. Whether you’re a Harry Styles super fan or you just really like music, anyone is welcome in StylesSoc.”

They added, “We’re looking to have a large variety of events like a fashion show, club nights, listening parties and more so there’s something for everyone. We think that joining the society would provide a place for members to share their love of Harry and related music and we hope people will make great friends at our events too!”.

The Formula Society is also new to York as they explained, “In essence, we realised that there wasn’t an active Formula Student team at York and, given the amount of motorsport enthusiasts and talented engineers here, it was well worth getting one started”.

They told Nouse, “As a society, our goal is to design, build, and market a racing car for the annual Formula Student competition. It might seem very engineering focused, but this is a society for anyone, so become part of the Jorvik Racing family for life!".

Nouse also got in touch with Rohan Ashar, YUSU’s Activities Officer, to hear his thoughts on the new societies that have been formed. He said, “I really look forward to supporting and working with these new societies, and I hope to see them continue growing over the coming months! We truly have loads of student groups here at York already, so it’s incredible that the number is constantly expanding”.