The 2018-19 academic year has been wonderful for the Neave Society. Michaelmas term saw a large increase in first-year attendance at the society’s events, with a packed JCR on alternate Tuesdays discussing contentious issues in a respectful and informal environment.
We are particularly proud of the fact that we were able to keep up this high level of attendance throughout the term, through exams and other events. To us, this is an indication that the society is providing fellow Mertonians with a platform to express their opinions in a safe environment and that they clearly view it as an opportunity to listen to their peers rather than drowning out opposing views and opinions.
One of the primary initiatives the committee took this year was to use the Neave Society events as a platform for members to discuss broad contentious issues that were relevant to the JCR specifically. For example, at a time when informal conversations were raging around College about a possible ‘Meat Ban’ motion being introduced in a JCR meeting, we took the opportunity to discuss the future of meat eating and the benefits of vegetarianism so that the members could engage with the underlying issues and hear contrasting opinions in ways that they would not have been able to otherwise.
We are looking forward to another wonderful term next year and sincerely hope that the incoming Merton students participate in Neave Society events with the same fervour as we have had the pleasure of experiencing from our current members this past year.
Siddhant Iyer (2018)
Neave Society President 2018-19