GLITCH Coleraine Society
Glitch began in September 2010 by three students, Dáire Gribbin, Jodie Mulgrew and Clarke Weir, under the name Coleraine Gaming Society, and met in Lecture Theatre 10. We reached out to Dáire to ask about the first event held, “We started out very small and managed to gather 40 people for our first event… We made our way up the ranks and managed to secure a fortnightly slot at the then Senior Common Room.” According to Dáire, Glitch, or CGS as it was then known, was successful based off a few key principles, principles which the society has maintained to this day, firstly that Glitch was a place for people interested in a social experience that was unique,“… it was exciting as it was the first time anyone had actually started a game society purely based around playing games and chilling out. The idea was if you couldn’t be bothered with Kelly’s then just come play some games instead!” And secondly, that this experience was worth a yearly struggle against the odds, “It was crazy as we all had to chip in to help provide gear for the Events. Carting TVs all over campus. [Rain, hail or snow] we got the gear there no matter what…
Eventually, the society changed name from Coleraine Gaming Society to Glitch, and the society continued on strong, maintaining its weekly meetings in the Senior Common Room until that space was tragically closed. After this, Glitch continued to face its share of adversity, being moved from room to room, and with this constant moving the Society also lost its office in the south building, preventing the committee from storing over £2000 worth of equipment. But we as a Society adapted, members and committee alike stored equipment in their homes off and on campus, and would even lend their own consoles when necessary. This past year however has really been the renaissance for Glitch, as the society has found a permanent home in the SU bar, and has acquired a store room, allowing our events to run smoother than ever before.
The advice that I can give as the Committee’s Previous Chair, is that events are probably the most important thing to a society, even if all you do is have a meet up. This applies doubly so if your society is hobby or interest based, such as Glitch or the Poetry Society for example. Regular, free meet-ups where members and committee alike can hang out and enjoy themselves really help foster a feeling of belonging to a society, and that feeling is what gets you numbers when you really need them, such as for fundraising events. This is where the Students Union can really be a society’s best friend, as they can arrange room bookings for you, incredibly quickly and incredibly easily. Also you should work with the Student’s Union on advertising for your society, in particular when it comes to the Student’s Union Website. A majority of societies on the Website don’t even have basic information regarding their events, meet-ups or membership, and this is the primary resource that prospective students use to gauge interest.
A chairperson alone however cannot make a society successful, they and I have needed the help of my committee members in order to run the society smoothly. Lara Colgan, Glitch’s previous secretary has stated “As Glitch’s secretary it was my job to liaison with the UUSU, and I can’t stress enough the importance of a society’s secretary to do this. Always check your emails and keep an eye out for society business. Never be afraid to ask for help from the UUSU no matter how small you think it could be, if it can help your society then go for it. I think the most important thing a secretary must do is be organised; get a planner or put information in your phone calendar but always know what you have done and what you have left to do. If you are holding a quiz put it in your planner but have the things you need to do or get in a few days before the quiz, this will give you plenty of time incase anything goes wrong.
Sean Forker, our previous treasurer has this advice, “Being treasurer is all about options, it's about seeing all possibilities and presenting them to your committee. It's your job to know every piece of equipment, know the cost of every event and to organise what is possible.
The chairman is the vision and leader, the secretary is the voice and organiser. The treasurer does their best to organise the funds needed for their society to function.
With this, the advice of glitch is easily said “maintain and expand”.
Maintain is first and foremost, it is what you need to do your events or meetings, the equipment or resources. For the first stage, don't be afraid to buy administrative supplies. Storage boxes and money boxes. This make your event run smoother, they remove stress.
For 2 years glitch moved £2000 worth of equipment around. We know the value of stress reduction.
While at the beginning you'll struggle to get equipment, you'll use both funds and fundraising at the start. Yet later, when you start to feel you can go by these rules.
Maintenance, Use funding from the University for Maintenance, your bread and butter but equipment, fix broken things.
Expansion; this is where fundraisers come from. Raise money, do events and let your members know why they are doing this. Let them know about the treats or events your planning with the money.
Once you've gotten the equipment for your base events, use fundraisers for cool or interesting things. Buy a new tool everyone is looking at, organise a trip. Make anything a member puts in come back to them with new possibilities.
Maintenance first, get what you need. Then expand, make things interesting.
Ultimately, Glitch’s success has come from years of hard work and dedication, from both the membership and committee’s which have run the society. This is the best advice I can give not only to other societies, but to the future committees of Glitch as well; put everything you can into your society, not just in its running, but into its members as well, and encourage them to give back just as much. People come to you because they have a passion and an interest in what you do or what you represent, and it’s up to you to allow that passion to grow.