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Ninja acrobats? Nerdfighters? More of the very strangest university societies...

29th November 2012

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Every year universities come up with stranger and stranger clubs and societies for their students to join - some kooky, some scary and some just plain awesome. Here are ten of our favourites from Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam, Leeds, Nottingham and Manchester Metropolitan Universities.

10. Assassins Guild
Both Leeds and Sheffield have versions of this, where members go around ‘assassinating’ other members for fun in certain guises, whilst being hunted themselves. As so we can all be 007s, they also go out for a cheeky vodka martini afterwards...

9. Airsoft                                                                            
Along the same lines as the Assassin groups, Sheffield Hallam’s Airsoft is where players are outfitted with replica military weapons and equipment, including grenades, and pitted against each other whilst attempting to achieve objective based goals, such as capturing a flag or defending a strong point. Founders of the group say “Think of it as playing Call of Duty, or Battlefield, except you’re not sat at your Xbox/PS3/Computer. You’re really there, kitted out, shooting people in the name of fun.” Sounds great.

8. Lemon Fresh
I’m still not exactly sure what this is, but it’s sure won a heck of awards so I’m intrigued. It basically seems to be an events society, “created to run regular, massive, exciting and memory-making events for all students”, including treasure hunts, scavenger hunts and murder mysteries. And why Lemon Fresh? You got me....

7. Wilderness Medicine
This not so much a strange thing as a strange idea for a society. Designed for those with a passion for medicine and the outside, each year this Leeds society holds a scenario weekend with a mountain rescue team to test the skills of its members... Yikes!

6. Ninja Acrobats
It’s the name that’s so brilliant about this one. Is it circus training? Is it martial arts? Well, it’s kind of both. The Manchester Met Ninja Acrobats teach ‘tricking’, described as “an urban underground sport which is a mixture of gymnastics, martial arts and acrobatics” intended to “defy gravity and look out of this world!” Dude!

5. Kettle Soc
Many tea/coffee drinking societies have sprung up around the country recently, but Kettle Soc in Nottingham takes this one step further. It's not just about tea,” says their site. “Well, it is, but it's also about coffee, milkshakes, espresso, lattes, gluhwein [mulled wine to us plebeians], iced frappes, hot chocolate, pretty much any hot beverage you can think fact, it doesn't even need to be hot.” As well as drinking every beverage under the sun, they do cafe crawls, a ‘teas from around the world’ tasting event and an espresso tutorial with a trained barista! Where do I sign up??

4. Flair Soc
Cocktail-making societies are also on the rise, but Nottingham’s Flair is more about the style as well as the skill. “Flair bartending is the art of flipping, spinning, and balancing bottles and various bar tools.” But there is know-how included too: “We also host our cocktail masterclasses. We take over an entire bar and bathe in the wisdom of their Head Barman, who teaches the art and history of your favourite cocktails.” Learning to look cool and drinking?? Brilliant!

3. Hide and Soc
Another Nottingham gem, Hide and Soc is a society which “invites members to come and re-live the fun of their childhoods” by playing the games of the past. Members can expect 40-40, Sardines, Capture the Flag, and of course, Hide and Seek, and are always ready to accept ideas from new members. Anyone for Hee Round the Pegs, eh what?

2. OpSoc
Choir societies are no longer grand enough, not now there is OpSoc. OpSoc in Nottingham celebrates all things Opera: singing it, watching it, writing it and performing it. Their latest piece is “Carnival”, a debut opera to be performed on December 8th this year. Now in their third year they seem to be going from strength to strength! Do you think Liberace went to Nottingham...?

1. Nerdfighters
My favourite of the lot: Manchester Metropolitan’s Nerdfighters. A ‘nerdfighter’ is defined as “someone who wants to help break the negative nerd stereotype, who is willing to fight for good causes and someone who not composed of cells and tissue, but instead made entirely of awesome.” Members meet to vlog, chat and revel in all things nerdy, including quizzes and movie nights. Keeping it Nerdy... YES.

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