The Freshers' Guide

Societies and Clubs

The Cambridge University Student Union Freshers' Fair, held in the Kelsey Kerridge Sports Centre (map), is the place to find out about the many and varied clubs and societies in Cambridge. With hundreds of societies in attendance, there should be something to suit everyone no matter their nationality, interests or political proclivities. We recommend you search the CUSU Societies Directory to find a society that interests you. Societies cater for all levels of experience and expertise - so if you're a competitive freak or a bumbling incompetent you're sure to find something to please. Even if you're not interested in joining any societies it's worth a visit just to pick up the many promotional trinkets on offer from many companies also present. There are also some societies open only to Sidney Students, which can be found at the at the College Societies Fair (you will receive details of when and where this Fair takes place during Freshers' Week).

The trick to a Societies Fair, as those of you who experienced them as undergraduates will recall, is to keep your hands firmly in your pockets. Once you find a Society you're interested in disclose your name, number and e-mail address only - chances are you'll sign up to many more societies than you'll have time to keep up through the year. The best place to decide whether or not to hand over your membership fees (usually the princely sum of a few quid) is at the society's first social meeting, or "Squash" as they're called in Cambridge.

A current list of societies within Sidney Sussex College is below. The full University list of societies has links to society websites; CUSU information for University-wide societies is also available. If you don't see a society you like, why not set one up, either within College or for the whole University? Modest funding, webspace and mailing list administration are available for official societies. Click here for detailed information.

Dates of Freshers' Fairs

The University Freshers' Fair is usually held on the Tuesday and Wednesday of Freshers Week; for the most current information, visit the Cambridge University Student Union Societies' Fair link.

Sidney Sussex College Societies

Links to some college society websites are listed on the college website. The SSCSU/JCR website has a full list of societies and contact details, some of which are introduced below.

Academic societies

  • Confraternitus Historica (History Society)
  • Law Society
  • Linguists' Society
  • Medical Society
  • Stephenson Engineering Society
  • Vidal de la Blanche Geography Society

Other societies

  • The Boat Club - see their website for all you need to know about rowing at Sidney
  • Chapel Choir
    • Sidney Choir is one of the friendlier, more relaxed College Choirs in Cambridge. About half of the choir members are students at Sidney and the rest are other members of Cambridge University or Anglia Ruskin University. The choir sings at Evensong on Fridays and Sundays in the College Chapel, with rehearsals on Thursday evenings. The choir also sings at Cathedrals throughout England such as Westminster, Ely and Norwich. There is an annual choir tour usually in the summer.
  • Music Society
    • Sidney Sussex College Music Society exists to bring together members of College who enjoy playing, performing and/or listening to music. The Society presents termly concerts in the College chapel in which soloists and ensembles from College are invited to perform. The Society also acts to put musicians in contact with other members wishing to form ensembles. Music can be purchased by the Society for use by members following recommendation. This music is then stored in the Music Society Library for use by future members.
  • SYBS, SLAGS and PORCS
    • Most colleges in Cambridge have drinking societies (otherwise referred to as "fine dining societies"). Membership to these societies is obtained by invitation. The Sybs (women only) and Porcs (men only) invite members to join on the basis of their contribution to the sporting life of the college, normally requiring members to play two sports for College or one sport for College and one at University level. The SLAGS (Sidney Loving And Giving Society - women only) draws students from a wider pool of general involvement in college life, predominantly socially. If this all sounds exclusive and pretentious to you then you've got a good grasp of what they're all about. Embrace or ignore. A number of other drinking/fine dining/social societies exist withinin the College and students are always very welcome to create new societies.
  • May Ball
    • The Sidney Sussex Mayball is held biennially. In June.
  • Christian Union - for brief info please scroll down the College Chapel webpage

Freshers' Guide last modified: 1 November 2017
This section last modified: 2 July 2012