I think most of what I'm going to say has been said already, but I just thought I'd add my bit (perhaps to show you that they aren't lying about Cuths!).
Yeah, accomodation is a bit of a problem, it has to be said. The number of people in Cuths has grown massively in the last 20 years, and more recently numbers have been increasing at something like +200 a year. Obviously being restricted in (physical) size, Cuths has to look to place successful applicants in accomodation, some of which can be, as was said in an earlier post, up to 30 mins away. But the majority of the accomodation is well situated, and the accomodation that is the furthest away houses about 80 students and they have their own dining hall and lounges etc, and from what I've seen seem to have developed a strong sense of community.
But I do think it is worth applying to the Bailey if you really want it (it does seem to help if you're female and good-looking...) Seriously though if you strike it lucky like me (Bailey room, dept. 5 mins away, lecture theatres 7 mins away. bar 10 SECONDS away) then you'll be glad you didn't just assume you weren't going to get a room on the Bailey.
The latest news on the housing front though (which won't affect any of you going in 2004/05) is that Cuths is getting brand new accomodation in addition to its presence on the Bailey at a site called Parsons Field Court, which will be the newest, best accomodation in the uni.
The best way of describing Cuths has been used already - run by the students for the students. We have the most cosmopolitan intake in Durham not least because we have the majority of local and mature students. And although it sounds cliched it really does make a difference to the atmosphere. But by the same token there are Rahs in Cuths, but everyone gets on well and in a year and a bit I've not seen anything to suggest otherwise.
Cuths, in physical size, is not the largest college (or rather, society!) by any stretch of the imagination. But we do have the best bar. We open at 12:30 and stay open until 11, apart from formals etc where there are sometimes late licenses. The bar is the main way that the JCR funds itself - i.e. sport, theatre etc and so there is a slight emphasis on the lash in Cuths (actually I think its really because we're all alcoholics). Shots are £1.40 apart from Aftershock which is £1.50 and Absinthe which is £2.00. Stella, Guinness and Real Ale are £1.40, and Worthingtons, Grolsch and Strongbow are £1.30. Carling is £1.20.
The formals this year have been 1st class, and people know they will be. For example the Christmas formal sold out in 15 minutes - and that was for two sittings on successive nights! The other colleges all have formals etc and depending on what type of formal it is you can go to those (only if invited).
One final thing - the Open Day this Jan is apparently quite small, but the one in March, if its anything like last year will be... an experience... The Cuths students take you around but I'm not sure that I'd say we were all 'responsible'.. But we are responsible for making sure you have an excellent time!
On a completely separate thread, I wasn't sure what you were saying about Johns(?) Kat, but from the people I've met they're all really friendly. The bar there isn't bad either, just a little small. From what I've seen of the college, there seems to be a fair mix of different types of Christianity - they're not all purely evangelical nor purely anything else.
Also, about traditional colleges - Castle (that's University in the prospectus) and Hatfield are usually regarded as the two most 'traditional' colleges. The balls at Uni are supposed to be amazing given the location, and Hatfield has lots of formals (I think one a week), but yes Cuths is also fairly 'traditional' and one of the oldest establishments.
Any other qs just ask. Cuths also has a website www.cuths.com where you can get a feel for what it is.