& opinion


The Outstanding Society or Club Award & Recognition night was the culmination of a year of activity for our Clubs & Societies. Held on April 29th, it was an evening that won’t easily be forgotten.

Under the four federations (Arts, Clubs & Societies, Music and Social Action), the groups are growing from strength to strength. With too much to say and do, here is a taste of what some of Sussex’s clubs and societies have been up to.

2003 witnessed yet another sell-out Culture Festival courtesy of the ever active ACAS; hundreds of students have been cajoled into action to protest against the war in Iraq thanks to SUCAW and friends, and the rest of our plethora of Clubs & Societies have been equally busy. SUDS have been manically engulfing us in at least four shows a term on and off campus, and SMUTS knocked ‘em dead with a bit of Sweet Charity. There’s relaxing candle-lit meditation with Baha’I and feverish dark room activity with Photosoc.

And now there’s dancing. An ever-growing number of Sussex students are able to truly grace the dance floor in increasingly elegant forms of partner dance due to the hard work of two of our newest clubs - Ballroom Dancing and Swing Out Sussex. Tripping the light fantastic to the sound of whispering chiffon, nice.

Along with the dancers, this year witnessed the arrival of two new indominatable forces - Club Bollywood and the University of Sussex Indian Students’ Society. Both of these groups celebrate varying aspects of Indian culture and the burgeoning appreciation of such within British society today.

Last and by absolutely no means at all least, one of the most socially valuable societies to be set up in recent months is the Legal Observers, dedicated to making sure the police force is accountable for their actions and ever-present at local demonstrations. Whether huge and sprawling or mini at McDonalds the bright fluorescent jackets are there to protect everyone’s right to demonstrate and have their voice heard. Their showing of the film Injustice, possibly one of the most moving and important documentaries made about twentieth century Britain, was an education to all who attended, and should be widely applauded as this film has been withdrawn from public view by the might of the police who, unsurprisingly, don’t want us to see it. Next time it is shown, go see, it will be possibly the best two hours you will have spent in a long time.

As a result of all these frenetic machinations, the world of Clubs & Societies is a wonderful world. In appreciation, Student Community Action organised the OSCAR Night sponsored by the Sussex University Bookshop. Members were asked to nominate people who ‘done good’, as a way of saying thank you. Awards were given, speeches delivered and there were even a few tears and tremblings from the recipients. The night was thoroughly party-popped by all, and people left smiling and full of the edible delights provided gratis.

Next year it could be you, weeping with emotion at the adoration and respect of your peers, although not everyone received their award in person (a number only available by satellite link in true Oscar style).