A Look Into the Polish Society: Inclusivity, Consistency, & Unity

By Sariah Lake

The Polish Society of Essex has a lot to offer to campus this year led by President Monika Grzybek, who is supported by the rest of her executive team, Serhii Dutov, International Officer, Aleksandra Zakrzewska, secretary, Kornelia Krauze, treasurer, and Haru, Welfare Officer.

The group works to cater to Polish international students, UK students of Polish descent, and those simply interested in the Polish language and culture. The team emphasises that they are open to all and that there’s something in Polish Soc for everyone!

One of the ways the Polish society seeks to create an inclusive environment is by creating the international officer role. This role seeks to bridge the gap between Polish and non-Polish students in the society, overcoming language and cultural barriers to cultivate a positive experience for all members. Serhii Dutov prides himself on acting as the bridge between groups and softening the barrier between languages within the society. 

“It’s a big deal because you want to preserve that culture and language, but you also want to be open to newcomers.”

The execs acknowledge that people can feel excluded when attending a cultural society where they are unfamiliar with the language while others want to come to speak/hear their native language. 

“It works better and better each time,” President Monika shared in reference to balancing languages at society meetings. “We often switch between English and Polish, but everyone seems fine with this.” She added that they also engage Polish students who have grown up in the UK and are looking for the chance to speak their native language with members of their age group.

They are committed to keeping members engaged by hosting socials/events roughly every week or every other week. As of recent, they have hosted an International Women’s Day event in partnership with the Ukrainian Society and the Romanian Society, a language cafe in partnership with Vteam Lingo, and an end-of-term easter social. They also closely participated in One World Essex activities through a language cafe, stall in the cultural market, and attendance at the flag parade. The society even recently participated in Rebel’s Rebellion Livestream to raise money for charity.

The Polish Society has been acknowledged for their work and growth as a society, being awarded ‘Most Improved Society’ in 2021/22. They have also been working towards standard awards, achieving a golden standard for 2021/22 and a silver standard for 2022/23. This year they aim for another golden standard and are on a great path working towards it. 

To stay tuned and get involved, follow their Instagram page so as to not miss anything!


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