If you happened to be at Solbjerg Plads on Thursday 15 September between 9 am and 4 pm, you could not help but notice the many booths – and the buzz of interested people. 5,000, mainly students, are estimated to have attended the annual Student Society Day.
They visited booths promoting all manner of societies, some for pure fun and friendships and others for acquiring useful career skills.
“Most students are excited and surprised by the number of societies they meet on Student Society Day. I think a lot expect just a couple of speeches, but they find societies that have prepared and are eager to talk about their activities,” says Duarte Carrasco, Director of Networking at CBS Students, and a driving force behind Student Society Day.
He says that student societies are a great way for students to meet people from different study fields.
“Through student societies, you can meet people with different backgrounds who have the same interests as you outside your study field. For many, especially international students and students who come from other parts of Denmark outside Copenhagen, the societies allow CBS to become the main part of their life; you become more than a student; you become part of a community,” Duarte Carrasco says.
“Student societies enrich your life both socially and academically”
One of the organisations participating in Student Society Day 2022 was Oikos Copenhagen – Students for Sustainability.
President and Head of Projects Melissa Kälin explains that this time they will be looking mainly for new members wishing to help organise the four-day Green Week in March event.
Melissa Kälin believes if you have the time, student organisations are a great way to enrich your life both socially and academically.
“Employers like that you have joined a student organisation, partly because you learn a lot of skills that might not be part of the curriculum, and partly because it shows that you can be part of a community,” she says.
For her, joining Oikos has given her a network as well as skills that she did not learn from her student job.
“When I started at CBS, I did not know anyone. Oikos helped me build a network and friendships. I still keep in touch with some former members,” she says.
Everyone can sing at CBS International Choir
Another organisation hoping to attract new members at Student Society Day was the CBS International Choir. Everyone is free to join as long as they attend one of the open rehearsals at the beginning of the year.
The choir usually has about 100 members and practices once a week on Wednesdays from 7:15 pm to 9:15 pm.
“We believe that everyone can sing. The open rehearsals simply give you a sense of whether the choir is for you,” says Ina Köller, president of the CBS International Choir.
She explains that people are usually pleasantly surprised to hear that CBS has a choir and that they sing pop songs.
Some might feel a bit hesitant about joining a choir, since they associate choirs with classical music.
“Classical music is great, but we want the choir to be accessible to all, so we focus on songs that most people know,” Ina Köller highlights. “Choir members have a major influence on which songs we sing. This year, for example, we will be singing Frit Land by Ulige Numre, Everything I Wanted by Billie Eilish, and Running up that Hill by Kate Bush,” she says.
Besides the weekly rehearsals, the choir holds social events and provides a great environment for making new friends and extending your network.
It also stages concerts at the nearby Sankt Thomas Church on Rolighedsvej. The next concert is on 29 October.
Can you still join a student society if you are pushed for time?
Attending classes, preparing for lectures, and perhaps holding down a student job while still trying to have a social life can seem stressful. Joining a student society might seem like too much for you.
Melissa Kälin from Oikos emphasises that you should only join a student organisation if you have the capacity.
“Some people seem to think they need to join an organisation, but I don’t want to see our members burn out from too much pressure. That won’t be the experience they are looking for.
“Neither you nor the organisation will benefit if you burn out. If you don’t have much time, plenty of organisations focus on socialising and don’t involve investing that much time,” she says.
Ina Köller from the CBS International Choir believes the choir is one of those organisations:
“The choir is very flexible. We try to plan concerts so they don’t coincide with exams, and while we want you to make it to every rehearsal, we put recordings of what we have worked on online, so you can rehearse at home if you couldn’t attend, although that is not a requirement,” Ina Köller says.
Duarte Carrasco mentions the choir alongside organisations such as CBS Yoga and the CBS Hygge Hiking Society as organisations where you can join an activity when you have time.
“Indeed, most student societies facilitate events that are open to all students at the university, and, as a student, you don’t necessarily have to put in hours of volunteer work to show up to those,” he says.