As third level colleges prepare to resume despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the experience of incoming students is one of learning to live with the virus rather than waiting for life without it. After months of uncertainty surrounding the cancellation of the Leaving Certificate, and it’s replacement with a calculated grading system which delivered the highest results on record, the Class of 2020 is to further adapt to the implications of the pandemic as they begin their time at UCC. While face-to-face teaching has migrated to a system of blended learning, emulating the pre-COVID college experience is a challenge accepted by UCC Societies’ as their Give it A Go Festival is launched.
From September 14th to October 2nd, UCC Societies will present 78 online events for new and current students to sample some of 104 societies on offer at UCC. The Festival is described by UCC Societies’ President Adam Burke as an effort to “recreate the atmosphere of societies in a way that kept everybody safe. Part of the excitement of going to college is getting to join in on society activities, but right now we can’t do that in person.”
“Our biggest hope is that people have some fun and get a chance to try something new! The whole point is to showcase our societies and how much fun they can be, and give people a taste of what to expect when we get back up and running on campus.”
Events available range from screenings and quizzes, to guest speakers and virtual campus tours, led by societies which vary from Criminology to Harry Potter, and Comedy to Physics. Each is listed as one of ‘beginner’s standard’ to welcome as many students as possible.
For an hour each Wednesday evening during the three week-long Festival, UCC Societies’ offer the ‘Soc’s Sampler’ where students are invited to join a meeting and be sent to a random break-out room—in each is a society hosting an activity. If the randomised event does not suit the student’s interests, they are reassigned to one which matches what they are looking for.
The Give it a Go Festival is running from September 14th until October 2nd. The registration for the events and weekly Soc’s Sampler can be found on the social media of UCC Societies or on their official event page at societies.ucc.ie/give-it-a-go-festival-14th-sept-2nd-oct-2020/.