Planning a party, creating a community
By Harry McKenna, Level 3 History student
The President of the University of Lincoln History Society, Chris Cowdell, has lauded the inaugural University of Lincoln History and Heritage Ball as a resounding success and believes it has helped to lay the ‘foundation for a future relationship between the student body, the academics and the society’. He was satisfied and proud on the night at the high turnout – there were 200 party-goers in total – and the level of engagement from students and staff alike.
Chris came up with the idea for the History and Heritage Ball with Georgia Petts, a History course rep, who had spoken to History academics who pointed out that an entire history school event had never been organised before. Both Georgia and Chris thought it might help to ‘create a community’ by bridging the gap that existed between academics and students.
To ensure the ball was inclusive, and that it was not just limited to third year students, the History Society worked closely with staff to advertise the ball so that all students in the department were made aware of it. There are signs that the ball has been a real success with all History course reps being present and several academics also attending. Chris stated that staff had been really supportive of his efforts to create a stronger sense of community in the History department and that the academics look forward to being as involved in the society as ‘their personal circumstances allow’.
Before the start of the year there was a lack of interest in the society from the student body as in the past the society had failed to communicate effectively with students or organise interesting events. Consequently, Chris has sought to make the society more engaging and respected by giving it a more serious sense of direction and by ensuring that it is a society for everyone who is a History student – not just society members. His efforts have borne fruit as illustrated by the fact the majority of students who attended the school ball were not society members.
Although Chris concedes the society has still got a lot of growing to do, with it being ‘a multi-year process’, he feels throughout this year the foundations have been laid which will allow the society to have a successful future and continue to organise interesting and engaging events.