Vice President of UWE Linguistics Soceity 2012-13

Contributor: Amy

What? Vice President of UWE Linguistics Society.

Why did you choose this place? I had been a member of the society since it was founded by Tom in 2011 (see related post) – I wanted to get more involved and see the society continue for another year.

How did you find the application process? Committee members are voted in at the society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). I didn’t have anyone stand against me for the position, so I was voted in!

What do you do here? I attend regular meetings with other committee members to plan and organise activities for the society. I have spent a lot of time researching different things to do in LingSoc and then going on to organise them. In my time so far as Vice President, I have been heavily involved in organising three trips, socials and other activities such as language games/scrabble nights.

The good things: I really enjoy organising things for the society and doing interesting things with like-minded people. Being involved in LingSoc has made uni a lot more fun, interesting and memorable for me. I have developed my organisation and teamwork skills (cheesy, but true!).

The bad things: Not much, except there are a few compulsory things that you have to do as a society with the SU, such as attending meetings.  Also I think that in a position like this, you get out of it what you put in, so you do have to commit time and effort.  As a voluntary position, you have to be motivated enough to do this!

Anything else we should know: If you are part of any society and are really interested in it, I would definitely recommend electing yourself as a committee member. Even though there are titles like ‘Secretary’, ‘President’ and ‘Treasurer’, in reality it is a team effort, you aren’t left to do it all on your own!

Volunteering – Creating UWE Linguistics Society

Contributor: Tom

Which Society?  UWE Linguistics Society

Why did you start the society? I tell people who I want to impress that I set it up because I passionately wanted to spread the good word of linguistics and increase student participation in extra-curricular academic events.

In reality I read this language log post about Edinburgh’s own LangSoc and thought “oh that’d be so cool if we had a society like that at UWE” and got a bit depressed that UWE didn’t have a linguistics society. A few days later I remembered that I was a lazy student who had loads of time to set up a society. I asked some students if they thought a linguistics society should exist, got some friends together to form a committee, a month later we were a proper official society!

What was your position? I was elected as president. To start with this meant I was responsible for nearly every aspect of running a society, but it got a lot easier as the committee grew.

Good things: We had some fantastic lectures and we went on some really fun trips. And I got to work with some brilliant mates and made even more brilliant mates too.

Also, because I ran a linguistic society, I was contacted by David Arnold, a student of the University of Edinburgh, who invited the society to the first Undergraduate Linguistics Association of Britain conference … but that’s another very long story… (click the link to find out!)

Bad things: People kept expecting me to be some kind of linguistics whizz-kid – which was a pity because I’m actually quite stupid. They’d be all like “Tom, you run the linguistics society, do you remember all the rules on Sanskrit morphology” and I’d be all like “no!” then they’d be all like “what about a brief history of marxism in linguistics” and I’d be like “how would I know that?!” then they’d say “oh but you’re the president of the linguistics society, surely you’d know” and then I would have to run away and hide in shame.

Also running a society (*cough* especially a twice-award-winning society *cough*) takes a lot of time – so you need to ensure you stay organised and not let it take over your life!

Anything else: If you’re at university studying linguistics and there isn’t a linguistics/language society near you, set one up! Make sure you’ve got some good people who are just as enthusiastic as you are to work with, and you’re good to go.

And if there is a society near you, get involved in any way that you can – it’s a great way to meet people and have fun, all while pretending you’re only doing it to beef up your CV.