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March 28, 2011 | by  | in Features |
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The Sound of Science (Society)

To find out more about how this society started out and what its aims are for this year, Salient spoke to some of the exec over a beer. Joining us were William, Tess, Felix and Jessica.

Tell me about the beginnings of the society. I understand it started out as a normal club last year?

Felix: It started way smaller, it was just a club.
Tess: Now it’s a beautiful baby!
Jessica: Right, I don’t think any of us saw the rep group thing coming. I think mostly we just wanted to get money for events.
William: We were kinda talking about how it would be cool to have a club for science students and how we could like have cool events and stuff and then we talked to Michelle and she was all like “Yeah yeah yeah,” like “I agree.”
Tess: “Affirmative.”
William: Yes. She affirmated the club.
Jessica: Everyone we talked to said it was a good idea once we mentioned it to people. They’d take notice, and we didn’t get any bad feedback at all about it.
Tess: Basically it grew by word of mouth.
Felix: On the first day William created Nerds. And It was Good.

What has been your favourite part of the VUWSS so far? Your personal best thing?

Tess: Quiz night?
William: It’s just the support that’s been there. It’s been really fantastic. People come and they want to help out. Like at the quiz night there were tons of people there, and the atmosphere was amazing.
Tess: Everyone’s been giving us really great feedback. Quiz night was great because it showed it was working. We had so many people come we had to start turning people away. It was a real turning point for us because then we’d proved that we could do it, and that there were a ton of people who were really keen on having Science Society events.
William: The team around me has been such a good team. Y’know everyone’s brought something different. It definitely wouldn’t be what it is today without every person. It gives Science Society its flavour.

What are your personal goals for the VUWSS this year?

Tess: Run some really fun events that get people interested and active!
Amy [who was sitting next to us in the bar]: And also those like cram sessions before the exams!
Felix: Increasing awareness. Not for anything in specific.
William: [laughs.] I agree with Felix, we need to raise the profile of the society, get some sponsors on board, start to get that community feel, and that is achieved by having really good events, really high quality. We wanna have fewer events but like I said, of really high quality, get people excited about it. To be sustainable we just have to get outside support.

You wanna leave them hungry for more!

William: Yeah! And get places like IRL, Malaghan and GNS, get them to notice us to put the links in place.
Felix: Companies like that really want people, new interns, so having contact with a student-led society could be a really attractive option for them.
William: Right and they not only want people, they want people who are social and can make good contributions. Hopefully through science society we can encourage that to happen for students.
I mean a good example of that is Watson and Crick. They discovered the double-helix structure of DNA. But they didn’t spend all their time doing quantitative research, instead they kind of found the contacts and the other literature and doing that helped them to get the info needed to find the structure. Using that social aspect to solve the problem! It’s a powerful tool.

Tell us about your upcoming event.

Tess: Cool! It’ll be in the Hunter lounge. We’re combining our AGM with an after-party. It’ll be a dress up, science-themed party. We’re calling it the Start of Year Shindig.
Jessica: So you can dress up as anything science-y themed. So biology right, like an animal… like a cougar!
William: I hope no actual cougars do show up though
It’d be real awkward.
Tess: Right so what were the other ideas? Like a space construction astronaut? Anyway, it’ll be on Friday the 1st of April
William: No, no, no. We definitely have to invent teleporting so I’m never late for a biochemistry lecture again. So I can cure cancer. All right—quote: I’m gonna fuck up cancer. But seriously, we are going to have awesome events, like a zoo sleepover, a semi-ball/cocktail night, creative cram sessions, a quiz night plus a whole lot more. People should be excited.

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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