Recipe for ‘Soc’cess: Meet KCLSU’s newest student groups

Improvised drama at KCL

Improvised drama at King's

ONE of the best parts about university is finding your niche, whether that’s on the rugby pitch or in a chemistry lab. With over 260 societies at King’s, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

But for College students Andrew Marks and Constantine Georgiou, something was still missing.

Taking charge of their own student experiences, both Marks and Georgiou decided to start their own KCLSU societies. Now with several months under their belts, they’re able to look back on what they’ve learned in the process.

Identify a need

Marks, founder of Running-a-Mock, loved improv long before he arrived at King’s. As a freshman in his California high school he was admitted by audition to an improv troupe known as the Sanguine Humours. Four years later, he was still hooked.

An English and theatre buff, Marks immediately searched for the opportunity to keep up his improv skills at King’s. As a first-year student, he visited the King’s Players and the Comedy Society, both theatre-related KCLSU societies, but wanted more than one-off improv workshops.

“The one or two hours they spent on it throughout the term were really fun, but having done a lot of improv before, I know that you can fill a lot more time than just one or two hours a term doing improv.”

Marks decided to fill the need himself. In May of 2014, he submitted an application to become a ratified society. To receive funding from KCLSU, a society must be open to all King’s students, not conflict with other societies, align with KCLSU values, show potential to attract students, and submit to a 6-month review process. After a successful application, Running A Mock was born.

Now, after just a few months, the society has more than 25 regular members, the minimum number of members necessary to remain a funded KCLSU society. The group ranges from seasoned improvisers to curious first-timers.

Like Marks, Georgiou found the society offerings to be lacking in his area of interest.

“I knew that there was a literature society, and I wanted to create a society which was solely based on poetry because I felt that my needs weren’t being facilitated when I was looking for a society,” said Georgiou.

Students improvising

Crouching a Mock?

Find a good team

A first year geography student, Georgiou lost no time in taking action. Through a serendipitous connection with several older students, Georgiou was able to make his idea become a reality almost immediately upon his arrival to King’s.

Success rarely occurs in a vacuum. Georgiou said connections with other interested students fuelled the start of the society. Marks also agreed that a strong support network  of other passionate students was key to getting his ideas off the ground.

Start Small

For both Marks and Georgiou, the process of establishing their societies within the King’s community has not been without its challenges.

The key for both organizations has been not getting too caught up in long-term plans to neglect the importance of community now.

For Marks, that means focusing on its current members before tackling bigger dreams for the group, such as weekly open improv shows.

“I guess for us the goal has just been, this year anyway, to create a community of people who get together every week, and start from there,”.

In the King’s Young Poetry Society, Georgiou said the group has been putting more emphasis on increasing the society’s social media presence and events.

Once the society’s membership is stabilized, it will have more leverage beyond just the Strand campus of King’s.

For more information about upcoming events and meeting, check out Running-a-Mock and the King’s Young Poetry Society on Facebook.


King’s Young Poetry Society:

To learn more about starting your own society, check out this KCLSU page.