Fourth Week is a week in Michaelmas Term, running from October 17-21, that serves as Trinity’s dedicated societies week in the year. With 120 societies currently active in Trinity and at least two more proposed societies in the works, each of these societies is centred around a different issue, organisation, group or interest, catering for the diverse social, active, creative and supportive needs of students.
“All events taking place throughout the week must be free of charge and open to all students of the college regardless of whether they hold membership.”
This creates a rich group of societies overall, each of which, in the words of Patrick O’Boyle, Central Societies Committee (CSC) Secretary, are “constantly awarded for their excellence, both nationally and internationally”. The society contribution to student life in Trinity is one of the highest in the country, with many students unable to imagine their college experience being quite the same without them.
This week grants unique opportunities to both societies and individual students. To societies, for instance, this is yet another valuable chance to promote themselves, what it is they do and what their aims and values are, though in a much less frenzied atmosphere than that of Freshers’ Week.
All events taking place throughout the week must be free of charge and open to all students of the college regardless of whether they hold membership. For freshers and society veterans alike it is an opportunity to start the ball rolling with unfamiliar societies, allowing students to see what is on offer before making the decision to join that particular society.
For those who think societies just aren’t for them, it can be looked at as another way to hone in on a specific interest and even make a friend or two along the way.
Since it was launched in 2009, Fourth Week has established itself as a popular date in the college calendar. It marks the middle ground between Freshers’ Week and Reading Week, and events have grown increasingly inventive and adventurous throughout the years.
For instance, Trinity Arts Festival’s (TAF) collaborative takeover of the GMB is often a highlight. Last year, in conjunction with Dublin University Photography Association, the Literary Society, DU Dance and sixteen other arts-based societies, attendees were brought to ‘The Dark Side of the Rainbow’ in an immersive and intense visit to an imaginative realm where Oz is surrounded by Pink Floyd music.
This year’s TAF event is called ‘What Lies in the Woods’, inspired by Grimm’s fairytales, and will no doubt be another night to remember.
Every year, the CSC presents awards to societies whom they feel have excelled in a particular area, with categories such as Best Overall Event, Best Freshers’ Event and Best Multi-Day Event. Last year, the category for Best Fourth Week Event was introduced.
The award, which was announced at the CSC’s Annual Awards Ball, went to DU Photography Association’s event, a light painting workshop. This popular event introduced members to various light-painting techniques, making use of both traditional and next generation experiences and technologies.
This year there will undoubtedly be many contenders for this award. This also presents the all-important question: what exactly is in store for this year’s Fourth Week?
“The French society are holding a debate, DU Gender Equality are holding a cuddle party, and the Architectural Society are planning a street art tour of Dublin.”
As usual, societies will provide events as varied as they are numerous.
The Literary Society will be holding a book-bombing event involving a book-making workshop, the products of which will be spread around campus for a potential reader to come across. The Knitting Society will be continuing their highly popular ‘Let’s Make a Blanket’ for a third year in a row in an attempt to create a den for the Hamilton, which is “far too draughty” in its current state.
Should the stress of choosing which events to attend become too much, Yoga Soc will be holding a free beginner’s class with a healthy breakfast buffet to follow. The Science Fiction Society are holding both a Mario Kart tournament and a cartoons and animation quiz. The French society are holding a debate, DU Gender Equality are holding a cuddle party, and the Architectural Society are planning a street art tour of Dublin.
As Fourth Week coincides with Maths Week, Trinity Maths Society have a full week of activity planned, with highlights including Tuesday’s maths and poker night. Q Soc’s cabaret-themed week will also be a full one, with a pub crawl and a drag-themed makeup workshop to name but a few of their many events.