Student societies/Student activities

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Engaging activities are key to the success of any student society.

This page provides some ideas for events that are appropriate for Wikimedia-supported events, along with some examples of exciting activities that have been organised by established student societies in the UK.

Ideas for activities[edit | edit source]

Campus wiki-lounge at the University of Warwick

Campus wiki-lounge[edit | edit source]

Sit with a few friends in an on-campus cafe and, with a sign or t-shirts, indicate that you're here to help people with Wikipedia. Help people find information, upload files or edit articles. This is a way to meet people, share your knowledge, and correct misconceptions. This is something that can also be introduced as a stall or stand at the annual freshers' week. See general page for Student societies for further details on getting in touch with WMUK to help defray the costs involved in doing this.

Editathons: Improving articles on a subject[edit | edit source]

This is a joint event between a Wikipedia society and another student society. The idea is to get together for an evening or an afternoon and improve articles on a subject of interest, sharing expertise between the two groups.

Wiki pub quiz[edit | edit source]

This is run just like a normal pub quiz, but people are allowed to use mobile devices to look up answers. Hence you need to phrase the questions in a way that avoids the searchable terms. Bonus points to a team that finds an incorrect statement, and corrects the article based on a reliable source. You can set "trap" answers for negative points, like the TV programme QI.

For rich sources of unusual and surprising facts, look at Wikipedia:Unusual articles, List of common misconceptions or the Did You Know archive. Remember that use you can use images or audio clips from Wikimedia Commons as part of a quiz.

Cambridge University Wikipedia Society stand.

Consensus debate[edit | edit source]

In contrast to the "proposing statement/ opposing statement/ rebuttal / rebuttal" format of traditional debates, this is a format inspired by the way we work on Wikipedia.

You invite opposing speakers on a controversial issue, which can be in any subject. Each speaker takes it in turns to propose a statement and give arguments and evidence to justify it. The other side can then propose a modification of that statement that they find acceptable, and give arguments for that statement. Unlike with Wikipedia, original research is allowed. This can be repeated for different aspects of the issue. For example, you could ask speakers to propose a statement each about the past, present and future of the problem. The aim is to work towards a meaty, meaningful set of statements that the room agrees are supported by evidence. As per the consensus policy, not everybody in the room has to be won over.

A document or wiki page is projected on a screen and statements are added and modified as the debate progresses. This shouldn't be done in a Wikipedia article, but could be done in a sub-page in user space (see how to do this) so that multiple users with Wikipedia logins can take part in recording what happens in the room.

If there are areas of agreement between the speakers, write them up quickly and move on to more controversial topics. If there is a deadlock where the two speakers take up opposite positions and won't budge, the chair should move them to another statement, perhaps moving from "should" statements to more purely factual language. The secret is to find statements for discussion that are controversial, but not so controversial that debate can't progress.

Wiki Garden Party[edit | edit source]

A garden party is a great way to end the year. When all the exams are over and you've handed in all your assignments, weather permitting, members of a student society can get together to share plans for the summer while ensuring that the future of the society is in good hands though the appropriate farewell to graduates, where necessary.

Read about the 2013 garden party organised by the Cambridge University Wikipedia Society.

Please note that since we are a charity supported by donations, our money cannot be used to pay for alcohol and we must have confidence that the money is being used to advance our goals.

See also[edit | edit source]