UTSoC Rewind: 2018 Year in Review

Hopefully this one won’t get 10+ million dislikes.  

2018. What a year – I feel like I say it every year, but this year, I truly mean it. It has been an absolute whirlwind, marked by national and global celebrations and tragedies alike; the Royal wedding, the passing of icons such as Aretha Franklin and Stan Lee, ScoMo and sex scandals, the semi-banning of plastic bags in grocery stores, media conglomerate mergers and board shake-ups, etc., etc., etc. We thought 2017 was intense, but 2018 brought it to a whole new level – and while we were left reeling and recovering from the last big event, life moved on and hit us with a new one anyway.

But we can’t say that the intensity of 2018 was not without its exquisite moments. On a note that’s closer to home, UTS Society of Communications (UTSoC) has had its best year yet, and it’s all thanks to you – our wonderful members. Here are some of the highlights.  

January – March

We started off with a bang and a half. Thanks to Isabelle Laker, our Session One Social Justice Director, UTSoC attended Dungeons and Dragqueens aka the world’s greatest role-playing game in drag. The show was directed by veteran UTSoC member, Alex Radovan, featured original live music by 2017 Treasurer Nigel Malcolm, and publicity by member Alice Madden.  Yet, while this live-action comedy may have been our first initiative for the year, it was definitely not the last to feature stars in drag.  

Next up was O’Day 2018, where we got to reunite with old members and meet some sweet new ones. It’s always such a delight to introduce the beauty of the folk in orange to fresh meat, and this year didn’t disappoint: 2018 saw our highest participation rate of first-year students yet, with a sold-out First Year Camp and the introduction of the Big Orange, Little Orange mentoring programme by the Publications portfolio. This spurred a ripple effect – because of the enthusiasm from firsties, we introduced a whole new portfolio dedicated to furthering all students’ uni experience and beyond – Education.  

With O’Day came the start of Session One, and with Session One came Welcome Back Drinks, plus newly-rebranded C.R.A.P.’s Wom*n’s Revue. If I haven’t said it before (hint: I have), I’ll say it again – we really love meeting new people. To those that I have crossed paths with this year, I want to thank you – you have made my 2018 all the better for it, and I hope I have done the same to you. What might have started as a casual chat at The Loft has most definitely spurred into something more – you know who you are *winky face emoji*.

April – June

Now we’re really getting into the thick of it. First Year Camp, where we elected Calvin Lu as our First Year Representative, was a wonderful – albeit hazy – weekend full of good ol’ fun in the sun. While the lack of signal in Broken Bay might have been a bit archaic at first, eventually we all got used to it, with the last night’s dinner definitely a welcome, cheerful contrast to the quiet awkwardness that was the first meal.  

April also signified the start of the ramping up of our Careers-related initiatives – we held The Job Truth Series: Media, Arts, and Production alongside longtime partners, ActivateUTS and UTS Careers. The Partnerships portfolio then held a phat collab of an event with UTS LSS, bringing the Australian Copyright Council to UTS to discuss intellectual property in the media at the UTSoC x UTS LSS | IP Law and Creative Industries Evening, which was quickly followed by the UTSoC Digital & Social Media Panel, where social media know-it-alls such as Ali King and Abigail Cruz bestowed their wisdom and career tips upon us. Sprinkle a bit of galactic fun with our annual (pub) scavenger hunt, The Hunt, an Escape the Room evening, and our first ever End of Semester Party (featuring aforementioned drag queens and a complete profit donation to Twenty10), you’ve got work-uni-life balance down pat.

July – September

Although classes may have been on a break in July, our members definitely were not. After attending UTS Backstage’s reimagining of Steel Magnolias, the Sports portfolio then hosted Trampoline Dodgeball as a way for us all to blow off some back-to-uni steam, before joining Tom Hanks and being cast away at The Cliff Dive with UTS BSoc and UTS LSS. Once again, Careers came through with another informative panel – this time based around the not-for-profit sector -  before we all bundled into Lendlease Darling Quarter for C.R.A.P.’s annual revue, carefully not wearing pink as it was not a Wednesday, and we did not want to piss off Tina Fey.  

We then held our SGM and elected Javiera Lo-Loyola as our Session Two Social Justice director and Aaron Liu as our Education director, before diving head-first into Pay It Forward Week, a multi-society initiative that aims to enrich the UTS and local community with acts of kindness. Our food and clothing drive, run with UTS Red Cross and UTS BSoc, was a complete success – with our boxes of donations having been sent to those in need only a few weeks ago.

August was a month of pride for our Social Justice portfolio, with our UTYes Live Your Best Life Campaign being launched on Wear It Purple Day by driving force Isabelle Laker. The video campaign was propelled across our social media channels and all screens at UTS with the aim of creating a more inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ students, and showcasing UTS’ commitment to fostering an inclusive culture.  

Before winding down as the assessment period amped up in October, we had to give the people what they wanted – distractions from their imminent (doom) success. We brought on useless facts at Geek’d Out Trivia, hustled at Power Up Day, and got insightful at UTSoC’s Agency Life Panel – all before STUVAC.  

October – December

Let’s skip all the other stuff – the introduction of UTSoC merch and AGM – and get right to the goods. We were all here for ball, serving looks at a night full of romance and dancing - made so wonderful by the ever-stressed Socials team. In fact, the photos truly speak of the fact that all their hard work was worth it.

Finally, I am proud to say that we concluded the year with the publication of our magazine. UTSoC’s The Comma’s 2018 Annual Edition explored what it means to be a Communications student in this ever-expanding, ever-changing, globalised world. You can read it here.

The future

The outgoing 2018 Executive Committee wish all the best to the 2019 Committee members and members alike. Our 2019 Executive Committee is as follows:

President: Cordelia Hsu
Vice-President: Olivana Lathouris
Secretary: Ainsley Jones
Treasurer: Gabrielle Oehlmann
Socials: Anna Lei/Calvin Lu
Publications: Tara Wesson
Careers: Shantelle O'Riordan
Creative: Aaron Liu
Education: Mark Joseph Samuel
Partnerships: Tash Spencer
Marketing: Joseph Beverly
Social Justice: Melanie Wong
Sports: TBD

The 2019 Executive Team. Image courtesy of Bronte Gossling.

The 2019 Executive Team. Image courtesy of Bronte Gossling.

 We wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season. Thank you for such a wonderful and exciting year, which has been full of love and learning opportunities – we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Signing off for the last time as Publications Director,

Bronte.

Bronte Gossling is a third-year (oh my god, already?!) Journalism/International Studies (Spain) student, who has a penchant for being super organised but is also perpetually late to any and all engagements. Nice.