An article from The Tropical Island Society
The Tropical Island Society or as our members and many peers know us as TIS is one of the most diverse multicultural societies based in the University of Plymouth. We cater for all but we celebrate tropical island cultures which empower and encourage all our members to educate, share and have fun.
We are truly a 'Family Away from Home' and that is exactly why it is our motto. We strive on having all our members feel like they are 'home' even though their physical home is miles away. Founded in March 2018 by Lourdes Idez and Frances Benstrong, their three main aims were to promote a sense of pride & empowerment to students from the tropics, to provide a home away from home for all islanders at the University of Plymouth and to educate others so that they may learn to appreciate our cultures and lifestyles. They achieved this by many events which started the family connection and put TIS on the map.
“TIS is the community that I call ‘home’ whenever I’m away from my island.”
- Frances (2019 - 2020 Chairwoman)
As a society, we strive to keep our members physically active, culturally aware, and well entertained through our many events. We have done scooter tours, ice skating, various sports days, and challenged the UPSU volleyball team while drenched in UV paint, just to name a few. Our games night are never to be missed and our members danced away their stress at Socaerobics.
The past debate sessions stimulated our members' minds with poignant issues affecting our community and through our bake sales, we’ve introduced Plymouth to our tropical treats while raising funds for the Bahamas (post-hurricane Dorian) and the Shekinah Shelter. The success of these past events triggered a whirlwind of the new and upcoming ones.
“I really like the variety of events that TIS has to offer.”
- Kjellon (member)
TIS COVID Plans
All TIS events are filled with positive vibes and pure energy, unfortunately, the current pandemic has provided some restraints, nonetheless, we are dancing through it all. We wish to organise safe and enjoyable face-to-face and virtual events such as our scooter tours, Black History Month Movie Night, Digital Play and Virtual Carnival.
Our upcoming 3-ingredient-challenge where our members will have to explore their creativity through innovating tasty recipes and sharing them via social media with a prize to be given for ‘The Most Impressive’ recipe. To connect with our members during these hard times, we plan on having virtual ‘coffee breaks’ where we ‘sip and chat’, share our thoughts and feelings and offer our advice on various matters.
Being a member of TIS means that you are a part of a family and that is our biggest achievement ever. Our family does not only consist of members far and wide but it includes our partners iScootbike, SoulFood Vendor, Revolution Plymouth, Mama Rita’s, Diversity Business Incubator, Coffee Create & Connect and of course, we cannot forget our two favourite DJs: Billy Hannah and DJ Jonezy. With our family, we take part in several activities which allow us to give back to the community and have fun!
As a society, we have achieved many things from Bronze Icons to Best Newcomer and we encourage our members to donate to food drives, volunteer at clean-ups and speak openly about sensitive topics for which they are passionate about. Our members play a vital role in it all and hence our members are the real stars.
Having such a diverse and multicultural membership allows us to broaden our horizons through learning new foods, languages and philosophies. We hope that by offering this in a safe and comfortable environment, we aid our members in their personal development and growth, to achieve greatness. We benefit from learning from each other and work together to create, innovate, help and educate. The most important benefit of being an islander is meeting new people and creating connections to last a lifetime.
^ Committee 2020/21
There are multiple ways for interested individuals to get involved with our society. The simplest and most common way is by dropping us a like and follow on our social media platforms i.e. Instagram and Facebook. By turning on the notification button of our page, you will instantly be updated on our latest events and news.
When at a social, do not stay in the corner. Come mingle and interact with the committee as well as the other attendees. Do you have any ideas in mind or are interested in getting TIS involved in a project? Do not hesitate to reach out at any time of the year! We are always happy to hear people out as well as to collaborate. And if you join our family, a membership goodie bag will be on the way to you and let’s not forget we love a good hoodie to keep us warm in the winter so TIS merch is always available all year round to give you the warmth of the tropics.
“TIS has made my university experience a good one so far. Keep it up, guys!”
- Emmaline (member)
^ Members enjoying Merch
Being a Tropical Islander, there is a lot to be proud of such as bronze icons, many collaborations, big events, giving back to the community and most importantly building a society that is based on family and love. Home is where family is, and family is where the heart is and TIS is where love resides.