There has been a huge surge in the number of societies at Kingston University, with the number increasing by more than a third in under 12 months.
The beginning of this 2013-14 academic year saw a total of 93 established societies compared with just 65 in November 2012. With an additional 17 inquiries for new societies under discussion, the number for this year is likely to rise even further.
When asked why there has been such a rapid surge in society numbers, Will Franden, Vice President for Activities at KUSU, said: “This is due to many reasons. The first being societies are now more active and [have] been hosting more events this year, more so than ever before. Along with this, both societies and KUSU have done excellent work in promotion over the last two years for society events.”
Mr Franden continued: “Also, with the addition of multi-society events such as ‘Global Festival’ – which featured 26 events in the first year and 56 events last year – and the new ‘Society Uncut’ nights, which feature multiple societies hosting events, societies have more chances to get involved in events.”
This unprecedented rise in numbers has also seen KUSU struggle to cope with the workload. An email sent out to all society members last Thursday read: “DUE TO THE HIGH INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF SOCIETIES, THE SOCIETIES OFFICE WILL NOW BE CLOSED TO WALK INS ON FRIDAYS WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT. THIS TIME WILL BE USED TO PROCESS ALL ADMINISTRATION REQUESTS & EASE EMAIL BUILD UP.”
Despite the number of societies set to go way past the 100 mark, KUSU seem confident they can effectively deal with the extra workload. When asked if he was worried that the societies office might become overwhelmed, Mr Franden said: “I have no doubts that the Societies Coordinator will be able to handle the workload and produce effective results. Since coming into office Charlie has managed to help streamline, organise and develop society activity more so than any other Societies Coordinator before, and she will continue to do so over the course of this year.”