Reducing loneliness and encouraging happiness, one conversation at a time.


    We are a charity operating in St Andrews and Dundee (and soon Glasgow).


    Populus was started in 2016 by Sam Ross, as a way of reducing her own loneliness at University. She recognised that many feel the same, and by bringing people together we all become less lonely. Populus holds a variety of events, which are open to all, encouraging people to come together to make new friends, make memories and reduce loneliness.


    Come and join us!

    "Populus means people, and that's who it's for. For all of us."

    Registered charity: SC047243

  • What We Do

    Reducing Loneliness

    Loneliness affects every one of us and joining a University is one of the key triggers for loneliness. We've all seen the movies of University life; the parties, everyone having fun, and making lifelong friends on day one. But for many students this is not the reality. Populus understands that we are all one of these students, we all know how it feels to be sat in your room and missing home, friends, and the life we had before coming to University. Populus was started by Sam Ross who felt exactly like this, and decided to launch Populus, and now, two years later, we have had over a thousand attendees at our events who felt like this too and have now made new friends, had fun and enjoyed their student life a little bit more.


    Come along and meet people in a safe, alcohol free environment, where you can get to know people on your terms, we are everyone and you are one of us.

    St Andrews, Dundee & Glasgow

    Populus St Andrews, Dundee and soon Glasgow (Watch this space) both encourage students to reach out to others and just have some fun, even if it's just for a coffee date. One thing each member of our Team found when we started our University journey was how difficult it was to be social, so Populus wants to encourage even the shyest of people to come to our bake sales, drink tea, go to the cinema, meet a puppy, have some Nachos with others, all in the name of having some company and making friends.

    Who are we for?

    We are open to anyone including all matriculated students at the University of St Andrews, Dundee University and the University of Abertay (and soon the students of the University of Glasgow), as well as people from the wider community. This means that everyone is welcome at our events. We know firsthand how hard it can be to meet people and we are here to encourage you to come along, have some fun, make great friends and wonderful memories.

  • Our vision & ideas

    Encouraging students across the globe to reach out, mingle and make new friends.

    Speed Friending

    The perfect way to meet new people or grow an existing friendship.

    Complete with conversation cards to make starting conversations easier, Speed Friending occurs throughout the year, and across university premises. You never know, the person you see every day but don't speak to might become your best friend!

    Board Games & Pizza Party

    Like Pizza? Like Games? Come and join us for a night of fun and food ​

    Everyone is welcome to join for a night of chatting and making new friends while playing board games and eating pizza. What better way to spend a Saturday night?

    Puppies and Afternoon Tea

    Two things that make the world a better place; Puppies and lunch

    Take some time to relax and make some furry friends, as well as human ones, and enjoy some afternoon tea with some puppies. What better way to relax and destress while having a great time and meeting new people.

    Nacho Night

    A chance to meet people over a bowl of Nachos

    Who doesn't like a tasty, steaming hot plate of Nachos? Certainly we do and were sure you will too. Come along and enjoy some food, some chat, and have a great night out with other students.

    These are just some of our suggestions

    But Rome wasn't built in a day, so if you're looking for a friend to attend an event, a dance partner, or someone to eat cake with, just get in touch! ​

    Drop us a note below, or email us your suggestions at hello@populus.zone.

  • Meet Our trustees

    Our Trustees manage the charity and most of them have been with us from the beginning. They also get involved in events in our locations in St Andrews, Dundee, and soon Glasgow. They are also very fine people so if you see them around say "Hi"

    Sam Ross

    Founder, Chairman & Trustee

    Sam loves coffee, power walking, and always has her planner in her hand!

    Ruxy Chitac

    Treasurer & Trustee

    A coffee addict, Ruxy does a fantastic job of keeping our accounts, and Sam, in order!

    Camilla Lillelund

    St Andrews Manager & Trustee

    Part of the team since 2016, Camilla is an avid reader, and has just discovered she loves whiskey ()!

    Rebecca Gunson

    St Andrews Manager & Trustee

    A huge lover of doggos, Rebecca also spends her time bringing Populus to St Andrews.

    David Mackenzie

    Glasgow Manager & Trustee

    David has been with Populus from the start and now coordinates our Glasgow team.


    Our St Andrews team for 2018/19, all of us with a passion for change, people and having a good time. This team works from St Andrews, hosting as many free events for people as possible.

    Camilla Lillelund

    St Andrews Manager

    I’m Camilla and I’ve been a part of Populus since the early stages in summer 2016. Together with Rebecca, I am running the St Andrews branch of Populus, and I am responsible for planning events and making sure they run smoothly.

    Rebecca Gunson

    St Andrews Manager

    A huge lover of doggos, Rebecca also spends her time leading our events assistants and reaching out to university accommodation!

    Anna Rose Harris

    Social Media Butterfly

    Anna takes care of our message here in St Andrews. She makes sure that all our social media is up to date and looking sparkly.

    Elise Gunter

    Events Assistant

    Elise helps out and organises our events, along with Daniel, Anna and the other Events Assistants.

    Jolie Minh Tran

    Events Assistant

    Jolie helps out and organises our events, along with Daniel, Anna and the other Events Assistants.

    Katharine Moulton

    Events Assistant

    I’m Katharine and I joined the Populous in 2018 right before my 4th year, I’m on the events team which means I’m responsible for helping out at Populus, running events and brainstorming ideas for new events to bring people together! I love finding good Netflix series’ and fancy cocktails!

    Kelsey McIntyre

    Events Assistant

    Kelsey joined our events team in May 2017 and is currently working on our brand new study buddy programme, which aims to help students make new connections with classmates.

    Linnea Maria Sjögren

    Events Assistant

    I’m Linnea, part of the Populus Events team. I started this position in autumn 2018 and you will be seeing my friendly face at many events hosted by us. I came along to my first populus event during my first year at uni and I liked the concept so much that I wanted to get involved. I love craft beer, specialty coffee, dogs and techno music!

    Mathew Foxley

    Events Assistant

    Matthew joined our events team in May 2017, and is always up for a chat at our events!

    Navya Saini

    Events Assistant

    Navya helps out and organises our events, along with Daniel, Anna and the other Events Assistants.

    Teresa Sarametta Arumardi

    Events Assistant

    I’m Teresa, a volunteer for Populus! The first time I joined Populus was during Christmas lunch on my first year and I thought Populus is built for a good cause and it is filled with really sincere and friendly people. I was intrigued to be more involved in that exact moment! You’ll see me in some of Populus events, and I’ll be more than delighted to have a chat and get to know more about you. I also love travelling, singing and cooking!

  • The Dundee COMMITTEE

    Our expanding Dundee team for 2018/19, we have some exciting developments upcoming after our first successful event in 2018.


    Dundee Manager

    Daniel is our Dundee Manager and at the moment he is beavering himself away to setup more great events for populus in Dundee and building a fab team to bring you all some great events.

    Shivani Kumar

    Events Assistant

    Hi! I'm Shivani and I'm a 3rd and final year English Law student. I joined Populus to have the chance to meet and mix with new people before I graduate. I'm an avid reader, aspiring photographer and burdened with a crippling coffee addiction!


    Events Assistant

    I'm Katy and I am part of the Dundee branch of Populus as secretary. I like coffee, live music and visiting new, interesting places!

  • The Glasgow committee

    Our expanding team for 2018/19. David, along with the trustees will be launching Populus Glasgow soon.

    David Mackenzie

    Glasgow Manager

    David has been with Populus from the start and now keeps in touch from his home in Glasgow where he will be launching Populus there soon.

  • Blogs

    Here you can find blogs which we each individually write, and we hope this shows you our vested interest in wellbeing. We'll share some home truths, give advice and reflect on various topics, but if you feel we're missing something, give us a shout -- we'd love to have you write for us!

    I seek distraction in many different things that make me happy. This is not to escape ever...
    Love island. Babies. The World Cup.      These are just some of the things I've spoken about with...
    We all know that our grandparents’ lives are full of fascinating stories, some of which may even...
    We are all led to believe that in this life, we have “all the time in the world”: We are told by...
    4 The issues of loneliness and solitude and the external world naturally go beyond just social...
    On Solitude “For me, thinking seems to act at times as a defense mechanism, a way of avoiding...
    In my view, an experience is made up of two factors: sentiment and memory. Whether the sentiments...
    One of my favourite forms of procrastination is watching Saturday Night Live videos on Youtube. I...
    Becca, Postgraduate Representative Starting a new chapter of your life always appears a bit...
    Dread is maybe too strong a word for it. Fear isn’t quite right either. Perhaps trepidation is...
    More Posts
  • Drop Us a Note

    Come and join us for coffee and cake. Why leave a note when you can have cake?

  • always give credit where credit is due

    From the pictures we use, the brain power which drives Populus and those of you who come to our events, thank you.

    The Teams

    All of our amazing volunteers have such wonderful qualities and put so much work into making Populus the best it can be. Not just pretty faces, these amazing people contribute their time, effort, Facebook shares and likes, cake and sleep to making this organisation work. Thank you!

    Online Sources

    Some of the pictures we use on our website, including the background of our logo are taken from online sources such as Pinterest and freepik.com. A big thanks also to Canva for providing us with the tools we needed to advertise our events on social media. Thank you!

  • Annual Report

    Check out what Populus has been up to over the past year!

  • Accounts

    Here you can find our official accounts for the past financial year!

All Posts