Inside Surrey societies: MechSoc
Joining a society linked to your subject is a fantastic way of gaining access to a range of events, making new friends and enriching your Surrey experience. We talk to Ana-Maria Tudorache, President of MechSoc, and some current members to go inside the Society and find out what’s on offer.
This academic year hasn’t been the easiest for Surrey’s societies, but MechSoc is going strong, with a thriving membership of over 200.
Ana-Maria Tudorache explains that societies like MechSoc have been more important than ever this year. “A key aim of the Society is to make people feel connected. During the pandemic we have hopefully helped students to feel less isolated by offering ways for them to get together – even if this is virtually – and feel part of the community.”
“We have a good mix of students across the mechanical engineering sciences courses, as well as other disciplines like maths and sociology/criminology, so joining the MechSoc is a great way of meeting people you wouldn’t normally cross paths with.”
MechSoc’s busy programme this year has included quizzes on Instagram, a Halloween costume competition, virtual escape rooms, student/staff social evenings, a talk from the Royal Aeronautical Society and an industry panel discussion with Lockheed Martin and Royal Engines. Planned before Easter are two more industry talks, from Dell Technologies and Stanhope-Seta, along with a third virtual escape room and MechSoc’s AGM.
The Society also focuses on fundraising. In September 2020, members were encouraged to get out on their bikes – wherever they were in the world – for a Cycling Challenge in aid of the Samaritans. The previous academic year, members raised a total of £260 with their Movember campaign.
“We try to get a balance between social and academic events,” explains Ana-Maria. “This year we’ve put on similar events to those we normally would, but just moved them online – which is possible for just about everything except our bar crawls!”
An important part of MechSoc’s work is the support it offers students. The Society has a number of ‘wellbeing champions’ – members of the committee who are always on hand to give help and advice.
Ana-Maria explains: “Whether we can meet up face-to-face or not, we are always there if a student needs to talk. This year we’ve partnered with two wellbeing companies to offer advice via social media on issues such as depression and anxiety, drug and alcohol use, and consent. We also recently released an interview with Sarah Surget (Students' Union VP Support in 2019-20) on mental health and wellbeing.”
Current member Chloe Pegg, who was Social Secretary of MechSoc in 2019-20, comments:
"MechSoc is the most supportive society I’ve ever been a part of. The committee shares so much information on different issues people may be experiencing, which helps to remove the stigma around mental illness while also providing support to those affected. This has helped me personally many times by making me feel less alone and also connecting me to helplines if I have needed them.”
MechSoc member Tomas Morgan agrees: “MechSoc has done a fantastic job in these trying times. They provide a judgement-free zone where everyone can feel welcomed and accepted, and have helped me to keep up my morale with all the events they’ve planned over the course of the year. Thanks to the Society, I’ve met and befriended course mates where typically I would have kept to myself. It’s made my University experience better than I expected, and I always look forward to what is planned next.”
Discover our courses in mechanical engineering sciences.