In April 2015 six committee members of Out in UL travelled to Athlone for the Board of Irish College Society awards after winning Best Society in UL. For most of us it was our first time at BICs but our Secretary, Colin, had been there the year before when we were nominated for Best Poster so we had the advantage of experience. Throughout the day all nominees are interviewed on their society’s progress that year. We were up against some tough competition including other LGBTQ societies from all around the country. At 11am all the nominees for all the awards got in for a huge photo that featured UL societies front and Centre.
The interviews started just after that and we were one of the first societies to be interviewed. We were understandably nervous but we had been working on what we were going to talk about for weeks in preparation. Marielle talked about the general day to day running of the society, I talked about the Health and Safety of our members and our Befriender and Queer Hangouts Services. Our events team James and Sean talked about events we ran throughout the academic year and the financial side of keeping the society afloat. The interviewers were friendly and really interested in the work we had done. After lunch we met with the other societies up for the Best Society award and every group had a chance to talk. We got to learn about the amazing things that GiG (Gay in Galway)Soc NUIG’s Queer society, and Maynooth University’s Pride Society were doing with their members. As well as getting to meet Reel Society from DIT, Media Production Society from DCU, and Dramat Society in UCC. It was a great way to network with other societies and form relationships that will hopefully continue into the future. We then had a chance to run to our hotel and change before the ball that night.
At 7pm the reception started and champagne was flowing, there was excitement and anxiety in the air. Everyone was dying to know who was going to win what award after all the work put in. Dinner was eaten with everyone talking about the celebrations ahead, no matter who won, at the end of the day the societies there that night were the best of the best. The twitter wall was a hit and #BICS2015 was trending in Ireland for the night with people at home sending well wishes and people at the ball updating their tweets every few minutes to keep up.
Finally it was time to announce the winners, unfortunately we did not win Best Society but we are still very proud of our society. The work we put in throughout the year was not for nothing, we had just come back from the GALAs where we won Best Student LGBTQ Society and we received the Best Society in UL award. The award was won by Reel Society for their brilliant work during the year and we graciously accepted defeat by joining all the other societies on the dance floor later that night. Although we were disappointed that we didn’t win it encouraged us to fight harder and do better this year. We aim to return to BICs and take home the trophy this year and for many years to come.