Join the Club

There are over 250 clubs, societies and associations at the University including cultural, sport, academic, specialist, religious and spiritual, cause-based, and special interest. It’s pretty safe to say that there’s a club, and a place, for everyone!

This year, we hand-picked 6 friendly club members to tell us about their experience with student clubs, what they got up to in 2022 and what’s in the works for next year.

Pacific Island Law Students Association (PILSA) 

Caitlin Lorigan, Secretary 

Area of study: Law and Arts

Why did you join the Pacific Island Law Students Association? 

I first joined whilst in Part I Law in 2018 and have been a member ever since. I am now in my 5th and final year of Law School and am privileged to serve as the Secretary. 

I joined to be part of a supportive community of Pacific students, where we can share our cultural identity, support one another, and build further opportunities for those that come after us. I joined to give back to the association and be able to recognise and celebrate, Pacific success within the University and Law School. 

I joined to be part of a supportive community of Pacific students, where we can share our cultural identity, support one another, and build further opportunities for those that come after us. I joined to give back to the association and be able to recognise and celebrate, Pacific success within the University and Law School.

Can you sum up the association in one sentence? 

PILSA provides social, academic, and cultural support within a collaborative community for Pacific Law Students and ensures there is fun along the way.

What does a typical gathering look like? 

A typical gathering may be one of our academic, social or sporting, and cultural events. Our academic events may include CV or LinkedIn workshops with law firms, PILSA Talks Guest Speaker events hosted at law firms, or our mentoring programme. Our social and sporting events include quiz nights, games nights, socials, or sports day. We also ensure we celebrate our culture and faith and do so through chapel services and a cultural day. 

The 2022 highlight was:

The 2022 highlight was our Law School Cultural Day, in collaboration with the South Asian Law Students (SALSA), Korean Law Students (KLSA), Chinese Law students (CLC), and Māori law students (TRT) Associations. Held in August during Semester Two, this event was an amazing day to celebrate cultural diversity within the law school by each club holding a stall, cultural games, free cultural food, DJ, and a diverse range of performances (including fire dancing). Many law and non-law students came through to celebrate and engage with the event which turned out to be very successful. This event was led by our PILSA co-cultural officers, Lahaina Toleafoa and Mele Langi with support from the rest of the PILSA Exec. Stay tuned for our 2023 Cultural Day! 

Postgraduate Students’ Association (PGSA)

Moritz Messerschmidt, Student Engagement and Wellbeing VP

Area of study: Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) 

Why did you join the Postgraduate Students’ Association? 

I wanted to take responsibility and work with a wonderful team of highly engaged students to positively impact the postgraduate community at the university. 

Can you sum up the Association in one sentence? 

The PGSA serves and represents all postgraduates, from honours students to doctoral candidates, on University-governed committees, and collaborates with University and faculty partners for social, academic, networking, and wellbeing activities to support the postgraduate community at the University of Auckland.

What does a typical gathering look like?

At least every two weeks, we discuss important matters relevant to the postgraduate community, and talk about our upcoming events and initiatives over a light snack. 

The 2022 highlight was:  

Welcoming back international students from overseas, giving a campus tour, and helping them settle in Auckland and the University. 

What plans does your society have for 2023? 

Many new social, wellbeing, and development initiatives fostering an even stronger postgraduate community! 

Is there anything else you’d like students to know about PGSA? 

You can register as a member on the PGSA website to get 10% off at Strata Café and check out the PGSA Lounge. If you want to stay updated about all PGSA news and upcoming events, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Auckland University Horticulture Club 

Alisha Keshaw, President 

Area of study: Biosecurity and Conservation

Why did you join the Horticulture Club?

I wanted to join a club that aligned with my interests! I find plants super fascinating to learn about and I own quite a lot of them at home, so naturally, it made sense. When interviewing for the position, our founder, Wei-Shean mentioned the ideas she had for the club which furthered my interest in the club.  It also seemed like a great opportunity to enhance my skills and learn new plant tips. 

What does a typical gathering look like? 

A typical club gathering involves a variety of plants, wholesome people, and lots of food. 

The 2022 highlight was:  

There are so many to choose from! I would say the terrarium making workshop, which is our most successful event to date. We had a total of 50 people come to this workshop and make terrariums! Our members are super creative and really enjoyed making their own little plant community for their rooms. 

What plans does your club have for 2023? 

We plan to continue with the events we ran this year such as kokedama making, propagation sharing, terrarium making and pot plant making.  New events we want to host include florist workshops, herb workshops, a field trip to Kelmarna Gardens and Stonefields Kings Plant Barn, as well as collaborate with Waiheke Resources Trust to help restore Waiheke wetlands. Finally, we would love to start talking with the university about creating a community garden for students on campus! 

Is there anything else you’d like students to know about the Horticulture Club? 

You don’t need to be a plant expert to join the club, just an interest in plants is absolutely okay! The executive team makes thorough guides for our events, and we create a guide to taking care of your plant creations after each event. You can message us through our Instagram and Facebook or email us for advice on plant care. 

Auckland University Dance Association 

Anson Lim, President

Area of study: Property Practice

Why did you join the Dance Association? 

It’s a cool hobby to pick up with a great community always being built. 

What does a typical gathering look like? 

We usually have dance classes at studios which can be a fun time with new friends. We have our annual fundraiser showcases where we have performances and donate the proceeds to charity. 

Our social events involve pizza and also KFC or beer as well. 

The 2022 highlight was:  

Each and every one of our classes and events. Charity Collab Showcases with cool performers and our regular, pole and Latin/ballroom dance classes. 

What plans does your association have for 2023? 

More collab events, workshops and classes.

Is there anything else you’d like students to know about the Dance Association? 

We are very active on Instagram – follow us for regular updates.

The University of Auckland Cheerleading Association 

Georgia Armstrong, President 

Area of study: Design

Why did you join the Cheerleading Association? 

I used to cheer during my time in high school and I saw the University teams at competitions and thought they were so cool, so I just had to join the club when I got the chance.

Can you sum up the Association in one sentence? 

We are one of UoA’s most exciting clubs, you can always count on us to be super high energy and loads of fun.

What does a typical gathering look like? 

Our trainings during the competition season are always tough but very rewarding. We focus on our routine for the season and work to improve our skills. Our trainings are run by professional coaches and includes a warm-up, jumps, stunts, tumbling and a cool-down. We also hold fun team bonding events like ten-pin bowling, pub quizzes, etc. 

The 2022 highlight was:  

The highlight of the year for us would be winning Scholastic Grand Champions at Cheerfactor in September. The club has never won this before so it was gratifying to see our hard work pay off especially after Covid putting a dampener on the last two years. 

What plans does your association have for 2023? 

We wish to keep growing our club and continue with the amazing results we achieved this year.

University of Auckland Women in Law 

Lauren Burbage and Huma Shehzad, Co-Presidents 

Area of study: Lauren – Law and Arts, Huma – Law and Health Sciences

Why did you join UoA Women in Law? 

Lauren: I joined WIL ultimately for the sense of community the club fosters, which was evident when I attended my first-ever WIL event. 

Upon becoming more involved with WIL, I have witnessed first-hand the club providing female-identifying students with a safe space to form meaningful relationships and connections, something that is very important in a highly competitive degree. Additionally, I was attracted to WILs strong advocacy focus for issues that affect women-identifying individuals at law school and beyond. 

Huma: I found the first couple of years at Law School incredibly isolating, struggling to make meaningful connections or friendships. I have been passionate about gender equity within the male-dominated legal profession and found Women in Law’s values and ethos as a club resonating with my personal ideals, but also as a great way to make like-minded friends at Law School. Since joining 2 years ago, I’ve found the club has fostered an incredibly empowering environment at law school for female-identifying students to unite and develop meaningful connections.  

Can you sum up the club in one sentence? 

Women in Law champions values of equity, intersectionality and empowerment to ensure a welcoming environment and community for all female-identifying students to thrive at University. 

What does a typical gathering look like? 

No gathering/event held by Women in Law is the same, but we will always provide an incredibly warm, welcoming and supportive environment for students to participate, where intersectionality and equity are central to the event’s purpose. We will always have our passionate executive there, steering the event to ensure it’s a success, followed by great music, energy – and of course, immaculate catering! 

The 2022 highlight was:  

A key highlight of Women in Law’s 2022 was our high school outreach visits at low decile schools in South Auckland. This initiative intends to promote the Law School and the wider legal profession as a viable pathway for those who may face additional structural barriers to entry. Hearing from the students that they were inspired to study law after attending our workshop was a standout moment. We have heard back from affiliated organisations that the rate of law scholarship applications has increased exponentially following the school outreach visits, and we feel very proud of having potentially paved the academic and career pathways for many high school students.

Further, having the success of our outreach programme recognised by the University at the 2022 Clubs Awards and winning the Cause of the Year award was special for all of our executive team, and really made all the hard work and effort worthwhile! 

What plans does your association have for 2023? 

In 2023, Women in Law plans to continue growing on all the progress we made this year, by expanding our mentoring programme, advocacy, and Outreach initiatives beyond the Law School, working alongside our members to create meaningful change not only in the legal profession but for the wider community. Further, we plan to capitalise on the amazing existing clubs at Law School to collaborate on events that impact the constituents of all our respective clubs, to foster a culture that recognises intersectionality – a key value at the core of Women in Law’s mahi.

Is there anything else you’d like students to know about UoA Women in Law? 

University clubs are a fantastic way to immerse into wider university life, make friends, establish a strong network of like-minded individuals and give back to the student community. There is a diverse array of clubs at UoA that cater to every interest, be it academic, religious, sport, cultural or just something else. There truly is something for everyone.

Looking to join a club next year? Find a club you like on the University website and don’t forget to keep an eye out for Clubs Expo at the start of each semester. 

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