It’s the start of a new academic year, and with that we’re often inclined to make new resolutions, something to make this semester a little different to previous ones that have passed by.
“Quite possibly, one of the most common resolutions among many students’ hopeful goals is the aspiration to join a new society”
But it can be SO OVERWHELMING (emphasis on the capitalization here…). Sometimes, it is a lot more comfortable to stay in our social bubble and observe from a distance. However, there are only so many times we can eye up the weekly emails that pop up every Sunday evening in our TCD inbox and think “Ah maybe next time I’ll go to that event.”
A huge factor in one’s reluctance, is that for certain societies, especially the larger ones, there can be so many names, so many people, and so many different society positions! I’m sorry but what does OCM even stand for? Whether you are a first-year student or a final-year student wanting to try out something new, it is a daunting task for anyone to wrap their heads around.
So, as we try to navigate the minefield that is the countless societies that Trinity has to offer and the “behind the scenes” that upholds the running of these societies, listed below are the most common positions on a society’s committee. These positions get filled at the society’s AGM held at the end of every academic year.
Read their descriptions to try and get a feel of what each person’s role on the committee requires.
Chairperson (also known as the President/Auditor/Director. How many names can there be?)
The head of the society’s committee and the person who oversees all the decisions being made. Your go-to person for everything and anything society-related. The chairperson is also the person in charge of the committee’s welfare and is their point of contact if any concerns arise during their participation in the society.
The secretary records what has been discussed at the committee meeting, and holds notes of each discussion. They’ll become a friendly acquaintance with your inbox as they are often the representative of the society responsible for sending out weekly emails.
The financial guru of the society. They manage the society’s accounts and distribute the money within the society by working in close conjunction with the CSC (Central Societies Committee).
Public Relations Officer (or if you’re cool and would rather refer to the position as the abbreviated “PRO”).
This position involves the running of the society’s social media pages (yes, that means the Insta page you have been lurking on). Alongside this, they promote events and try to recruit more people to join their society. In other words, they’re the marketing force of the society. Picture them as that society member during Freshers Week begging you with a pile of sweets to join their society.
Events Officer (sometimes known as the Entertainment Officer/ Social Secretary).
The person appointed with this position is in charge of all entertainment-related activities. They are the brains behind the society’s Reading Week trip to Berlin or the pub quiz in Doyle’s. Depending on the society’s size, this position sometimes merges into the one of PRO.
The librarian is usually appointed with the responsibility of running the society’s weekly coffee hours. This is the perfect opportunity to talk to someone involved about joining the society if you have a general query or even if you simply want to chat about all things art, film – whatever the specific society is about!
Ordinary Committee Member (or again, if you’re down with the lingo and would rather the acronym OCM…).
These are the general committee members. They help other members of the committee by participating in the running of different events throughout the year.
This is more so for larger societies where they have a representative from each year group. Again, you can direct any general queries towards the society representative for your year who will either be able to help you out themselves or direct you to another person on the committee (the first year representative is only elected a few weeks into the academic year, so if you’re new to college and have a certain society in mind, keep an eye on their social media page and you might potentially nab the final spot on the committee!).
The roles listed above are the core positions implemented in the majority of societies at Trinity. However, the list of all the committee positions throughout the clubs and societies is inexhaustive (and it would probably take me until the start of the next semester to finish listing them all out….). Due to the individuality and various needs of each society, each society’s committee differs from one another. For example, VDP (Vincent de Paul Society) requires a Volunteer Liaison Officer. Meanwhile, the Environmental Society’s committee includes a Green Campus Coordinator.
Try to tick one of your resolutions for this academic term off by getting more involved with the societies. Contact one of the members of a committee, and see how you can get involved and where you can allow your interests to flourish. Try to remind yourself, that each of these members would have started somewhere by looking at the society’s events broadcasted on their Instagram feed or noting each weekly email piling in after another. They would have been in the same position as you. If they can, why can’t you too?