Home away from home: Part 2

Siobhán Walsh talks to two of Trinity’s cultural societies to discuss their goals and values, and how they can act as a home for those missing theirs

In Trinity News’s first issue of the year, the Societies team spoke to the Hispanic and Japanese societies on campus about what they offer Trinity students. Now, we’re following up with two more brilliant cultural societies: the Afro-Caribbean Society (ACS) and the French Society.

Afro-Caribbean Society

Q (Walsh): What would you say is the Afro-Caribbean Society’s overall aim?

A (Afro-Caribbean Society Committee): 

Here at ACS, we are dedicated to encouraging and embracing the celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture within Trinity. We aim to connect all students of African and Caribbean descent, as well as those who are looking to experience the diverse and rich culture. Members can expect back-to-back events of all kinds – so whether you want a break from the hustle of college life, or an excuse to party hard, our society is the place to make the most out of your college experience. In addition, we are very welcoming to everyone and  anyone regardless of race, ethnicity, ability, sexuality, religion, etc.

Q: What is the balance between students looking for a piece of home vs students looking to experience a new culture?

A: Over the course of the academic year, your friends at ACS work hard to provide events that cater to [all] students… [We host] fun movie nights where you can cosy up with your friends and reminisce about the Nollywood films you watched as a kid, or about those game nights that always seemed to get too heated too quick[ly]. Maybe you don’t know much about Afro-Caribbean culture and would simply love the chance to delve into the music, art, language and food. Our bigger cultural events like Afro-Jam, where we showcase these aspects of our culture in the most lavish way, or Letters to the Motherland, at which our members and an influential panel engage in an open discussion about all things black related might just be the thing for you. Whatever vibe you’re looking for, trust that the Afro-Caribbean Society has your back!

Q: What are some of your most popular events? 

A: It’s no surprise that our society loves to go big or go home; theatrics are in our DNA. So when it comes to our events, expect just that! Some of our most popular events include our infamous Wild n’ Out night, which was revived last year as a collaboration with DCU’s Afro Society. This event features our own take of the hit TV show, in which we settle beef with a series of comedy and rap based challenges. At the end of the night only one society is crowned the winner – naturally we took home the crown!

Another big event we do is Afro-Jam, which was also revived last year. At Afro-Jam, we showcase our best displays of African and Caribbean culture and talent – expect live performances of music and dance, flavoursome cuisine, exciting workshops, fashion shows, and pop-up shops of some of your favourite black owned Irish brands!

Other popular events include our Nollywood party, at which we invite members to attend in their own recreation of old Nollywood fashion. This means whipping out your best Y2K looks. Of course, we can’t forget the annual ACS Ball! Make sure to check out our Instagram page to get all the details on these events and more – @tcdacs.

Q: Is your society active much over the summer/other college breaks?

A: Our annual Christmas and End-of-Summer Party occur after exam season in both semesters. Besides these, we normally don’t hold events during college breaks. However, we are still very active on our social media. Follow our Instagram and Tiktok for memes,  polls, college info and updates on upcoming events – @tcdacs.

Q: Finally, what would you say to any students looking to get involved in your Society after Freshers Week?

A: For students who would like the opportunity to be a part of the committee, you’re more than welcome to run in our October AGM, in which positions like Public Relations Officer and First Year Representative will be up for grabs!

French Society 

Q: What is your overall aim?

A: The French Society’s overall aim is to promote and celebrate French language and culture among students while creating a community of French speakers and providing a welcoming environment for French students to feel at home. This includes fostering a sense of belonging and cultural exchange within the college community by organising events, activities and opportunities for members to engage with French language and culture.

Q: What would you say is the balance between students seeking a piece of home and those looking to experience a new culture?

A: This tends to vary depending on the type of events we are hosting. There are not a lot of native French speakers studying full-time at Trinity so there are definitely more people interested in learning about the language and the culture. However, as a French student myself I am looking to get more francophones involved in the society.

Q: Does much collaboration go on between different cultural societies on campus? 

A: Yes, our collaborations are facilitated by the strong relationships and friendships among the heads of these language societies. This close connection makes it easier to organise joint events and mix different groups of students who may not have the opportunity to interact otherwise. Such collaboration not only enriches the cultural experiences of students but also provides a wonderful opportunity for students, especially those from abroad, to meet new people and engage in cross-cultural exchanges.

Q: Tell me about some of your most popular events.

A: Some of our most popular events include our recurring “Café and Croissants” sessions, which happen twice a week. These events provide a cosy and relaxed atmosphere for guests to enjoy freshly brewed coffee or tea along with delicious croissants. It’s a great way for people to unwind, chat with friends, or simply savour a moment of tranquillity.

Q: Is the French society active during the summer?

A: No, our society is less active during the summer. Many of our members, including the undergraduates who run the society, take a break and go home or travel. This downtime is essential for us to recharge after a busy academic year and prepare for the upcoming year’s activities.

Q: Finally, what would you say to anyone thinking of joining your society? 

A: We would enthusiastically encourage any students looking to get involved to join us! Our society offers a welcoming and inclusive community where you can engage in a wide range of exciting activities, make new friends, and contribute to meaningful initiatives. Whether you’re passionate about our events, our mission, or simply want to be part of a fun and dynamic group, we’d love to have you on board. Feel free to reach out, attend our events, and explore what we have to offer. Your enthusiasm and participation will make our society even better!

Sometimes, it can seem intimidating to join a society . You might feel overwhelmed by the choice on offer or be worried about meeting new people. At the end of the day though, there really is something for everyone, and as this series has shown, the one all Trinity societies have in common is that they’d be delighted to have you.

Siobhán Walsh

Siobhán Walsh is Deputy Societies Editor for Trinity News and is currently in the final year of her English Studies degree.