We are very a small Sikh society; our events are mainly attended by local Sikh youths and alumni with the only University students attending chiefly consisting of non-Sikhs and the Sikh soc executive itself! Yet remarkably we have had an engaging year packed with numerous discussions, debates, collaborations and seminars, and we even wrote, organised and performed in two Sikh historical dramas.
What is the secret of our success? What have we been doing differently? Well it all began when we started holding our committee meetings at the Library Cafe. The logic was that if only three or four people were going to turn up, why go to the trouble of booking a room? Surely a table at the cafe would suffice; after all, a half hour meeting can easily be fitted in during lunch between our lectures.
The Great thing about a weekly lunch is that there is no organisation involved; nobody needs to bring a musical instrument or book a room; and the event is by no means a failure even if only two people show up! Empty stomachs will always need filling, and this way there is no anxiety over filling an empty lecture theatre! Any common room or learning space could be used; you will have a good idea of suitable places at your own university. As long as you have a few chairs and a table you’re in business. Ideally, it should be centrally located in the university so that it is within easy reach; not too busy that it’s difficult to find a free table; and, not too quiet that those awkward silences get too uncomfortable!
With a few members graduating and others on placements, next year Southampton may not be left with a Sikh soc at all. With no one to pass on our years of collective experience, we decided to commit it to writing in the hope that one day Southampton Sikh Soc, like the proverbial phoenix would re-emerge from the ashes! We leave this blueprint which is the backbone of our society, on which every event was built, in the hope that it may aid any freshers coming to Southampton next year and we also offer this to all those Sikh societies that are struggling to get sufficient attendance to their events.
Below is the advertisement of the weekly lunch which as of next year will in some shape or form be permanently left on our Facebook page (we hope!) As you can see, the success of this idea is in its simplicity: this works even if your Sikh soc has only two members. In our next article we will explore some of the events and activities that were a direct inspiration from our cafe meetings…
Every Thursday – Lunch at SUSU Café – Time 12:00 – 13:00 (term time only)
Come join us for our weekly lunch and informal chat – an opportunity to network and discuss all matters of Sikh student life in a welcoming and down to Earth atmosphere.
SUSU Café is the cheapest place to eat at uni, so as you can imagine it’s a popular destination for students!! Whether you bring a packed lunch or buy from the canteen it’s totally up to you!
Just look out for the turbans or Sikh Soc Hoodies, and if there are none, fear not! Take a seat, get started on your lunch, and before you can say Waheguru we’re sure a few Sikhs will have joined you!
This is open to Sikhs and non Sikhs alike, so feel free to bring your course mates & housemates!! That said, being a Sikh Soc lunch, conversations are likely to be geared around Sikh topics or from a Sikh perspective! No topic is too sensitive to discuss, after all, how else will we learn, but by drawing from each others experiences!
An article by Kiran K Sihota [President], Gurpreet Singh [Committee Support] and Nicky Bharij [Secretary] – Southampton University Sikh Society, 2010-2011