The Lost Societies of Macquarie

MADI SCOTT | NEWS



Midway through my fourth year at a university that boasts about having more than 130 affiliated student clubs and societies I feel like I’m missing something. Sure, I’ve seen the stalls at O-week and even signed up to a few in my first year, but I haven’t really participated much in society-life. The few groups I joined on Macsync fizzled out in a few weeks after the obligatory introduction drinks and then… nothing. After that I kind of gave up, and I don’t think that’s an unusual story at MQ. I have many friends who have had similar experiences and I haven’t really given it much thought until I stumbled across an old poster for the MQ Nudist society in the depths of MUSE, which got me thinking about all the random societies I missed out on (for better or for worse).


Surprisingly I couldn’t find much on MQ’s Nudist society, apart from one lost poster. But after some deep diving on StudentVIP I found proof that it isn’t just my anti-socialness that has led to my lack of an extracurricular uni life, we just don’t have the societies that we used to. Sure, Macquarie has a lot of societies and I’m sure their members love them, but apart from the occasional free food on Wally’s Walk, we have nothing compared to past MQ Alumni.


The Mountaineering Society


The Macquarie University Mountaineering Society really made a name for themselves in 1993 when members of the society scaled the University library during O-week. Founded in 1967, society members still keep in touch, with a reunion held in 2019. Bushwalking, cannoning, canoeing, climbing, caving, and even the implementation of a climbing wall in the sports and gymnasium building – this society definitely did more than an occasional sausage sizzle and Facebook post.


Macquanauts


The Macquarie University Scuba Diving Club was formed in 1967 and up until 2014 regularly hosted lessons and trips. Teaching a variety of SCUBA diving courses from beginner to divemaster qualifications, Macquanauts gave affordable scuba diving to Macquarie staff and students.


The W.A.N.G Club


The ‘We All Need Grub Club’ began in 2001 providing free BBQs and social events for members. Last active in 2017, the club offered everything from Democracy Sausages to Re: Conception survival breakfasts.


FABSOC


One of the only societies I joined in my first year, the Fashion and Beauty Society enticed us at O-week with promises of freebies and events. Almost four years later I can’t even remember if any of that eventuated. Looking back at their Facebook page that was last active in 2018, they definitely did run a few events, so it looks like this one was just my own fault in not actually participating. Unlucky for me as that was the last year they were active.


SOCIETEA


The Macquarie University Tea Society was a student group for all lovers of tea. Hosting tea parties on campus, Societea was formed in 2013 and offered recipes, interesting facts, and various events held in conjunction with Sweets by Sweets – another now defunct MQ society dedicated to baking.


So there we have it; just a few of the many societies and student groups of Macquarie University. It is understandable that many societies seem to fizzle out, with members graduating every year; it can definitely be hard to keep the ball rolling. Although I'm feeling a bit gypped as I inch closer to graduation that I have never passed bake sales, tea parties, or been invited on a trip to scuba dive or illegally climb the library – it stands to reason that we need to bring back society culture. We need to bring back the Macquarie University “Experience” and make memories that are more than stressed nights finishing assessments and lining up for Boba Tea…