UCC celebrated the success of its top-class societies at a reception in UCC on Monday 1 October 2012. The event saw the launch of the first Annual Societies’ Yearbook and presentation of the National Board of Irish College Societies Award for Best Society to UCC’s LGBT Society (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender).
The Yearbook, a collection of all the tremendous highlights of societies’ activity in the previous year, was presented by UCC President Dr Michael Murphy to the 7 recipients of the Bene Merenti Award, the Fresher of the Year and the previous Societies Guild Executive. There are 91 societies in the college catering for a huge array of interests ranging from debating to Medieval re-enactment. The Yearbook charts the two-thousand or so events held by societies every year by students who volunteer their time.
The evening also saw UCC LGBT be presented with the BICS Award for Best Society, effectively crowning them the best society in the country. The Society scooped the prize at the Board of Irish College Societies in April this year beating out stiff competition from several other third-level institutions including Trinity College and Queens University. UCC LGBT impressed the adjudicating panel with the sheer volume of the activities they held and the depths of the campaigns they organised throughout the year. One such campaign, Ally Week, a week dedicated to straight allies of the LGBT Community, was the first of its kind and has now been adopted by the Union of Students in Ireland as a national campaign.
Annie Hoey, UCC LGBT Auditor, said of the remarkable win: "We are absolutely delighted to have won such a prestigious award. We believe this shows that LGBT rights are making a move forward in Ireland and that, finally, our voices are being heard. We are so honoured to be recognized for all the hard work we have put in over the last year and simply cannot thank everyone enough – from all on the committee and those involved, to our allies who have supported us all year – you have all played a part in our success."
Jamie Hooper, the Societies Guild President, congratulated all societies on their success in the previous year: "This evening is about honouring the tireless effort put in by students involved in UCC societies; students who are not content to passively experience college life but are determined to add to it and to better it. We don’t need awards to tell us what we already know – we have the best societies in Ireland…but it doesn’t hurt to have it in writing either!"