Currently An Cumann Staire has 459 members in its society.
Compared to the figures of last year, we have increased our membership numbers by over 100 members.
In order to ensure the growth and expansion of the society, we were aware we needed a strong and efficient plan of action.
Before Societies Day 1 our committee arranged to meet and brainstorm as to how to go about this. We agreed we wanted to have a smooth day, to give the impression to students and staff that we were a fun, confident, organised and not to be missed.
We ensured all tasks that needed to be completed were delegated effectively, such as: who would bring a laptop, who would pick up the scanner in the morning, who would arrange our table in the morning, who would ensure the area was tidied at the end of the day etc. We also made a timetable of who would be at the table throughout the day to accommodate committee members who had lectures that day and to ensure that everyone had the chance to be a part of the day.
By Socs Day 1 the committee had created a schedule of events for the first semester and had a work in progress plan of what we had in store for the second semester. This greatly aided us when talking to students/staff who approached our table. We were able to tell them all about what events we had lined up which sparked people’s interests. We found it particularly useful to have an outline of our upcoming events when talking to incoming students, the majority of whom were not familiar with college life or what it is like to join a society.
In effort to retain our current members, we had the idea to adopt a theme of nostalgia. When talking to current members we would get to talking about what was their favourite part of being a member of Cumann Staire in the previous academic year or what moment or event was the highlight of society in the previous academic year. We found this aspect to be incredibly interesting and entertaining and generated familiar positivity for our current members who then renewed their membership.
We carried out the same duties and recruitment ideas as described above throughout the run up to and on Socs Day 2.
In effort to increase our membership numbers, we also did lecture shout outs at the beginning of term informing students of our existence as a society and invited all to join if they wished.
Our events for the academic year are as follows:
- Guest Lecturer 20/9/12
- Film Screening (collaboration with Film Soc) 4/10/13
- Guest Lecturer 18/10/12
- Guest Lecturer 08/11/12
- Guest Lecturer 22/11/12
- History Month (collaboration of a number of events with various societies including RockSoc, MedSoc, AstroSoc, DramSoc, FilmSoc, PhotoSoc, S:Tv)
Events for History Month include:
- Radio Show with Flirt FM 16/01/13
- Guest Lecturer 17/01/13
- Guest Lecturer 21/01/13 (collaboration with Astro Soc)
- Guest Lecturer 24/01/13
- CD and Record Fair 28/01/13 (collaboration with Rock Soc)
- Re-enactment Debate 29/01/13
- 50’s Theme Night 29/01/13 (collaboration with Rock Soc)
- Guest Lecturer 31/01/13
- Historical Table Quiz for charity (Brainwave)
- Guest Lecturer 05/02/13
- Guest Lecturer 07/02/13
7. Film Screening (collaboration with Rock Soc and Film Soc) 11/02/13
8. Arts Ball 2013 13/02/13
9. Arts Ball After Party 14/02/13
9. Guest Lecturer 21/02/13
10. Guest Lecturer 21/03/13
In order to guarantee the achievement of success for An Cumann Staire throughout the 2012-2013 academic year, for the upcoming academic year and its longevity in its future the following occurred:
- Regular committee meetings took place in which effective communication was paramount. It was a particular point of our core committee (Auditor, Secretary and Treasurer) as the senior members of the committee to demonstrate clear, organised and efficient methods of communication. By adopting and demonstrating these aspects of communication to our new and existing junior members of the committee and society itself, we (the core committee) strived to ensure the problem free running of the society.
- This year our committee decided to establish an internal training programme within the society. In conjunction with the training for committee members provided by the Societies Office, our committee inquired with society members who did not go forward for committee positions, if they would like to take part in a learning programme regarding the various positions on the committee. Essentially, most members of the committee took it upon themselves to train a non-committee member for their position on the committee. This role of training occurred in an assistant type format.
- In order to further ensure the continued success of any society, they must make an effort to attract new members and maintain the interests of current members. This year one of our main efforts to achieve this was to try something new and to collaborate with our peers in other societies within the University. We successfully organised ‘History Month’ which saw Cumann Staire and a number of societies such as RockSoc, MedSoc, AstroSoc, DramSoc, FilmSoc, PhotoSoc and S:Tv put forward a series of events while promoting the events to the entire student body and to the public through radio shows, social networking sites and newspapers.
Our relationship with the Department of History has always been a positive and cordial one. This year, we feel our academic relationship with the Department has been enhanced and further solidified. This is primarily due to our efforts to effectively communicate with the Department regarding the events occurring throughout the year. We achieved this by emailing each member of the Department and by keeping regular contact. The Department of History were particularly delighted to learn of our establishment of History Month with saw the society strongly promote the subject of History throughout the University. The History Department offered all and any help they could to the society if needed in line of promotion, invitation of Speakers and Lecturers and the provision of introduction speeches for our guests. They were also more than happy to take part in the launch of History in the form of an opening speech and general attendance.
Every year An Cumann Staire organises the NUI Galway Arts Ball. This event typically attracts over 1000 students and a 4 course meal is provided for them along with many different forms of entertainment. The money raised from tickets sold for this event is divided in two ways. The society always makes a charitable donation. Last year (2011-2012) the society donated €5000 to the Williams Syndrome association of Ireland and €5000 to the Alzheimer’s association of Ireland. This year the charity chosen was Brainwave/The Irish Epilepsy association. The donation will be made in the coming weeks. The remainder of the ticket profits, along with societies’ funding pays for An Cumann Staire’s events. This amount typically makes up roughly 60% of the societies expenditure. This enables the society to invite expert speakers from all over Europe and occasionally further afield to give papers to the society and to increase the students’ appreciation of History. This year the society organised history month. A number of events in this month involved no funding, such as our charitable table quiz, which raised €68 for the Irish Epilepsy Association. We also organised a re-enactment of a historical debate between Eamon De Valera and Michael Collins which cost the society nothing, but the time of the various committee members and was a large success. The history department also helped us in this regard. A lecturer of the Department, Dr. John Cunningham gave a lecture on the 6th of February which was very well attended and cost nothing. This lecture was free to all staff and students. History month was the main success of the year with regards to building on previous years successes. No such event has been successfully run in the past although several attempts were made. It greatly enhanced our members experiences and it is hoped that the society will organise it again next year. Certainly, the History Department is hoping that the society will continue to promote the enjoyment of historical studies on campus by running it again.
Promotion wise, we had Radio shows with Flirt FM, creation and regular updating of sites for An Cumann Staire on social networking sites, designing and hanging up of informative posters advertising each event we hosted and co-hosted throughout the academic year, circulation of emails through the Department of History in effort to create awareness of our activities within the department, lecture shout outs to the students of all faculties within the University, press releases given and published by local newspapers, word of mouth by our society members to their peers, emails circulated by our Societies Officer and our Events Officer within the Societies Office.
We made a particular effort to change and add to our promotion style this year by trying methods not used very often by our society such as establishing a series of radio shows to talk about what we had planned throughout the year. We also drafted a press release for History Month which was featured in two local newspapers advertising the month.
We feel that the on-campus profile of the society had indeed been raised this year. Our member numbers have indeed risen and we have a number of fresh faces to go forward for committee positions for the upcoming academic year. Attendance of our events has also risen. This was particularly evident mid-way through History Month and numbers have maintained since.
An Cumann Staire has long had a very successful and friendly relationship with the History Department. Many challenges are faced by each new committee and the Department always strives to aid them in various ways. Likewise an Cumann Staire always aims to support and enhance the events and achievements of the Department, such as book launches and guest speakers. The Department regularly will give the society advice on contacting guest lecturers and indeed, three members of the Department spoke at Cumann Staire events this year. Although it is always a great help for the society to have the help of the Department, the support still works both ways and the promotion of Departmental events along with our own gives our members and students of the University further opportunities to enhance their experiences and enjoyment of history and historical studies.