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    Hi all,

    I'm trying to decide which college to name as my first preference at Durham. What I'm looking for is a college that
    (1) is relatively close to my department (i.e. close to Old Elvet),
    (2) has a decent number of library or other study rooms, and
    (3) is relatively socially progressive rather than socially conservative.

    Based on (1) and (2) as well as some negative indicators regarding (3) available online, I've narrowed down my selection to
    - St. Mary's College,
    - St. John's College,
    - St. Chad's College, and
    - University College (Castle).

    My problem is that I have no way of telling how these colleges fare with regard to (3). Any advice, experiences, informed opinions would be much appreciated! -- In short, which one of Mary's, John's, Chad's and Castle is the most progressive college???

    (If any other college is stellar with regard to both (2) and (3) I'd be fine forgetting about (1).)
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    Cuth's accommodation on Parson's Field is the closest to Old Elvet (2 minute walk), has the only entirely student-run library and, 100% the most fun to be in.


    The unbiased view of a Cuthsman.
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    (Original post by Rooster523)
    Cuth's accommodation on Parson's Field is the closest to Old Elvet (2 minute walk), has the only entirely student-run library and, 100% the most fun to be in.


    The unbiased view of a Cuthsman.
    Your view is SO biased I think most people at Durham will have bias towards their college, as a majority end up loving where they're put. I can't argue with the closeness to Old Elvet and the library, but the most fun I would challenge :P


    (Original post by nelinas)
    Hi all,

    I'm trying to decide which college to name as my first preference at Durham. What I'm looking for is a college that
    (1) is relatively close to my department (i.e. close to Old Elvet),
    (2) has a decent number of library or other study rooms, and
    (3) is relatively socially progressive rather than socially conservative.

    Based on (1) and (2) as well as some negative indicators regarding (3) available online, I've narrowed down my selection to
    - St. Mary's College,
    - St. John's College,
    - St. Chad's College, and
    - University College (Castle).

    My problem is that I have no way of telling how these colleges fare with regard to (3). Any advice, experiences, informed opinions would be much appreciated! -- In short, which one of Mary's, John's, Chad's and Castle is the most progressive college???

    (If any other college is stellar with regard to both (2) and (3) I'd be fine forgetting about (1).)
    I could only really offer you somewhat stereotypical opinions with regards to the colleges you've mentioned (ie Castle is pretty traditional, John's is quite Christian), not being a student there. I would guess that most colleges have a real mix of people- there'll be people who're socially progressive/conservative at all of them, and I'd be wary about relying too much on negative things on the internet!

    I'm at Butler- it's not close, though really a 30 minute walk isn't a hassle, and the PR2 bus runs every 10 minutes, with £1 day tickets from college. If distance is important, don't pick it, but I'd say distance should be the least of your worries unless you have a specific reason for it to concern you
    It's not amazing with regards to library- we have a decent IT suite, and a large bar which is a coffee shop during the day and good to work in, although it's obviously not a silent place to work. The rooms are also pretty good with desks and things. We're not far from Bill Bryson (library), either.
    I've found it pretty progressive. We've had some engaging speakers and discussions, and generally we fare pretty well overall at this I think.
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    Thanks Rooster523 and Anny Smiles! That's helpful!

    I've come across the stereotypes as well, and at least for Castle I found the stereotype to be quite accurate when I visited. Chad's is supposed to be the most liberal one on the Bailey - and was it Butler that's supposedly the most liberal/progressive one of them all? (invitation for an unbiased answer ) Actually I've done my undergrad at a university where episodes like the 2013 Cuth's RFC incident were commonplace, so I'm really keen on avoiding anything more of it - hence not Cuth's (sorry Rooster523). I'm just not sure which other colleges are more at the progressive/equality-smphasising/liberal end of the spectrum (aside of, perhaps, Chad's). Any ideas??

    And as I wouldn't be living in, I'd mainly go to college to have a nice, snug study space (like a library room or reading room) as well as to meet friends. And since I'm rather lazy , I'd be unlikely to trek all the way up the hill if I could settle for Bill Bryson or Palace Green for studying instead. Hence a Bailey or lower Hill college would be best. So - does anybody know which of the Bailey/lower Hill/Hild Bede colleges are particularly progressive and have plenty of snug study spaces??
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    Chad's is liberal in terms of its ethos, but conservative in its traditions. The formal dinners and events are as conservative / traditional as you will get in any college. That being said, the general ethos and atmosphere in the college among staff and students is very liberal - everyone is really friendly, and it is a generally relaxing environment with staff.

    I should add an example of how this plays out. Formal dinner twice a week (optional signups) are traditional, unless it is a themed formal - gowned, high table etc. But there is a strong focus on social issues and a very tight-knit community which fosters permeates and is generally quite liberal. So, on appearance, it is traditional but the community itself makes it liberal. Also, for example, the college has held a number of panels this term on a range of social issues such as Feminism etc. which are liberal.

    There are lots of libraries - most people who share a room (vast majority of first years) use the libraries constantly, and there is always more than enough space.

    Location is great too - right on the edge of town (literally a two minute walk) so you are close to shops without being in the middle of the noise. Very close to Elvet (5 minute walk) and about a 15 minute walk to Bill Bryson / Science Site.

    Source / Chadsian
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    I received an offer a week ago but I'm wondering when they will send me an email concerning the accommodation and college membership. I would like to apply early so that I guarantee a place in my preferred college. Should I wait for the uni to send me an email regarding this?
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    Thanks GeneralStudent95! That just sealed it for me to make Chad's my first choice. (Now what about the second?)

    As for when we can register our preferences, I received this via email:
    "Postgraduate students beginning their programme in September/October 2015 will be invited to apply for College membership and accommodation from March 2015. You will not be able to state your preference or receive confirmation of your College membership before then therefore please do not request any preferences to be noted or saved for future processing at this time. The invitation to begin the allocation process will be sent via email from [email protected]. [...] In the meantime, it is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the Colleges and the facilities they offer, so that you may make an informed selection when stating your first and second choice preference."
    For undergrad college allocation, this page [ https://www.dur.ac.uk/collegiate.office/allocations/ ] seems the best source of information.

    Good luck everyone who is applying in getting into their first-choice college!
 
 
 
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