Student Clubs and Societies
While things have changed dramatically for students attending university today – other things have remained very much the same Griffith. Socialising, making new friends and trying new things were as much a part of university life back in the ‘70’s as they are today. In the first issue of our first student publication ‘Griffitti’ (published in early 1975) the editorial encourages students to immerse themselves in university life and look for ways to engage with other students. In particular, students were encouraged to join clubs as a way of improving their mental health and overall university experience. The editorial even went so far as to suggest (rightly or wrongly) that success at university should be measured beyond the grades that students received.
Within the first couple of years of teaching, our students had organised themselves into a number of formal and informal clubs and common interests groups. The Griffith University Union of Students (GUUS) was hard at work building a ‘social scene’ – organising live band performances, dances and other social activities on campus. A number of student clubs had started to become prominent around the University. Students had established conservation, music and yoga societies. There were also special interest groups organised such as the Christian Union, an orchestra, bush walking club and even the underwater club (think snorkelling and scuba diving). And of course most universities’ clubs and societies directory would not be complete without representation of politics. Griffith by our third year of teaching had both a Labor (Australian Labor Party) and a Liberal (Australian Liberal Party) club.
Over the years, the interest groups that students can join have increased. There is a wide variety of diversity and specifically themed groups that students can join of just ‘hang out’ with. The staples such as sport, politics and environment are represented with student clubs/groups across our campuses. However, Griffith now has specific cultural groups represented (Sri Lankan, African, Chinese, Iraqi, Korean, Latin America) and there are even clubs for those devoted to their area of interest. Today’s Griffith students can join chess, electronics, forensic science, gamers, anime and debating clubs. There is even a ‘Zombie Appreciation Society’ for those students wanting to prepare themselves for the advent of a post-apocalyptic world.