I spent Michaelmas on eight different committees

How many committees are too many?


Remember those girls in sixth form who just seemed to be doing it all? Head girl, netball captain, house captain, lead in the school musical, doing Gold Duke of Edinburgh, and probably applying to do a real degree like medicine (not history)? Yeah, me too, and it was never me… Until this term, when I decided I wanted to do it all. So here are my experiences being a part of too many committees and societies, and the ones I recommend taking part in.

Cambridge University’s Society for History (CUSH)

Being at Cambridge means you have passion for your subject, enough to devote your degree to it, but the committee for CUSH are so dedicated to history, that they’ve decided to serve the historical interests of the university. As General Events Officer, I work with the academic and social events officers on what we’re running during term.

So far, we’ve ran a few socials, including Horrible Histories Karaoke (where the singing was not horrible at all), and successfully had our first academic event with Darold Cuba, on the bicentennial of the Anti-Slavery Society. You don’t have to be a history student to join, and it’s great fun. I’m most excited for the pub quiz on the 14th November, because there’s a special Horrible Histories song round, but with a twist!

Freshers fair shift (image credits: Maitri Nori)

The Tab

Though this is not technically a committee position, I’m going to include it anyway. I’ve written a few articles for The Tab this year, after signing up in the summer break, and it has definitely been the most rewarding. At the risk of sounding slightly soppy (alliteration), I do love Cambridge, and The Tab has let me write about my favourite aspects of Cambridge: College parenthood, my college, the best places I’ve taken my dad, and the colleges as Taylor Swift albums. Writing these articles has inspired me to consider different careers, and I’d recommend writing for The Tab, where things are more chill but still amazing quality.

Taylor Swift Appreciation Society

There’s something about the way CUTSAS brings their A-game to every term card they produce, and it’s because of the dedicated and loving committee behind-the-scenes. As one of the Socials Officers at CUTSAS, we’ve helped to organise the pub quiz that took place at the start of term, and the recent successful 1989 (Taylor’s Version) listening party at Hidden Rooms. CUTSAS are known for their amazing Taylor Swift themed club nights, and for good reason, because nobody needs to be drunk to enjoy the music. Even if joining a committee seems too much, I’d highly encourage you to come to CUTSAS events! Special mention to Keira, president of the society, who is the coolest big-sister figure I’ve ever met, and keeps the society ticking.

Women’s Officer at Murray Edwards

After a pretty hectic election (I was uncontested), I was elected women’s officer at Medwards at the end of Lent term last year. As a result, I joined the JCR, which is made up of the loveliest lot ever. We have weekly meetings to discuss different action points to help college be better, and support students in their Cambridge experiences. Being women’s officer is very rewarding, especially at a college that does not admit cis men, and has given me the chance to meet the other women/women and non-binary officers at WomCam forum. I’d recommend applying for a JCR position, because it is rewarding and great for the CV!

FemSoc President at Medwards

I inherited this role as part of Women’s Officer duties but it is definitely so much fun! After coming up with a term card in Summer, I now get to run my events which has let me meet so many people within college, particularly the freshers this term! One of the highlights this term has been the formal swap with Sidney Sussex, which I arranged with Anoushka, Sidney’s FemSoc president. I’d recommend going to your college FemSoc, especially if it’s active, because you never know which college’s formals you can go to!

FemSoc presidents! (image credit: Jessica Spearman)

Winter Ball Committee

Can you name me another committee in Cambridge where you’ll get to meet reindeer? Exactly. Being part of the Cambridge Union’s Winter Ball Committee has given me this opportunity. As one of the Ents officers, alongside Louis, I have contacted different musical and non-musical acts, who are the best in Cambridge (and the world), allowing us to arrange a spectacular evening with exciting events. This committee definitely has perks, one being working alongside a friendly and hard-working team. Check out the instagram and make sure to get your tickets before they sell out! Don’t miss out on the reindeer!

Freshers’ Rep

Perhaps the first thing I did this term was help out as a Frep. This included helping the freshers move in, giving them a tour of college on their first day, and help to run events. The first event I ran, with the help of a few others was a FemSoc pub quiz, which was a success, given how busy the bar was! The perks of this role include free brunch, a few days of free accommodation before term, and a very cool t-shirt. I got to meet most, if not all, of the incoming freshers, which was so much fun.

Union Subcommittees

Being on two subcommittees, and a position on Full Committee, means I will never defeat the “union hack” allegations from my friends, and especially my boyfriend. However, in defence of this title, these positions have given me the chance to plan and enjoy different events. For example, on the social events committee, I helped to organise the Freshers’ Ball, including writing the programme, and on the day, I got to have a great time with my friends who were also there “working”.

Union hacks in the silent disco (image credits: Jessica Spearman)

If you do want to get involved in the Union, and have your own ideas, then I’d definitely recommend applying to Full Committee, or to the subcommittee you find most interesting.

Do I think you need to join this many committees? Absolutely not (my degree and mental health are probably taking a hit). But would I recommend taking part in societies that interest you? Absolutely! The intensity of Cambridge means that having an outlet will be the saving grace you never knew you needed.

Featured image credits: Keira Quirk

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