Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
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so i have an offer from durham and honestly it wasn’t my top choice but is my only offer so i am considering going as i don’t want to take a gap year and there are things about it that i like. however the things i’ve heard about the atmosphere there are really stressing me out. most significantly, the sexual assault scandal that it was involved in. we had a talk at school that mentioned durham as being one of the most significant unis when it comes to SA and as a girl that terrifies me. i’m also a poc and it’s known for being predominantly white so idk how comfortable i would be.
what have peoples’ experiences been like?
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John Bull
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#2
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You probably won't get raped. You'll be alright. Don't be worrying.
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Anonymous #2
#3
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(Original post by Anonymous)
so i have an offer from durham and honestly it wasn’t my top choice but is my only offer so i am considering going as i don’t want to take a gap year and there are things about it that i like. however the things i’ve heard about the atmosphere there are really stressing me out. most significantly, the sexual assault scandal that it was involved in. we had a talk at school that mentioned durham as being one of the most significant unis when it comes to SA and as a girl that terrifies me. i’m also a poc and it’s known for being predominantly white so idk how comfortable i would be.
what have peoples’ experiences been like?
Not POC or female so I can't speak universally on either counts, but every university has such problems and, as with many things, the issues have been greatly exaggerated as they've spread across the Internet. Not denying that there may be a problem; as said, I can't speak for that; just that to my knowledge, and from conferring with fellow durham students, the problem isn't quite as severe as the media makes it out to be.

Secondly, the collegiate system means that the atmosphere can vary wildly between different colleges. Some have reputations for attracting the stereotypical arrogant rich boys, but realistically all colleges have a mix of backgrounds and you can easily choose a college which has a bit of a friendlier reputation if it eases your worries. I'd be happy to provide some more information if you'd like! I'm assuming that you've already put down a college of preference, if I recall the application process correctly?
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Anonymous #3
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(Original post by Anonymous)
so i have an offer from durham and honestly it wasn’t my top choice but is my only offer so i am considering going as i don’t want to take a gap year and there are things about it that i like. however the things i’ve heard about the atmosphere there are really stressing me out. most significantly, the sexual assault scandal that it was involved in. we had a talk at school that mentioned durham as being one of the most significant unis when it comes to SA and as a girl that terrifies me. i’m also a poc and it’s known for being predominantly white so idk how comfortable i would be.
what have peoples’ experiences been like?
i know someone who graduated from durham just before covid and the impression i got from them was it's a really good place to study (at least for the subject they did) and they made good friends instantly and that. honestly, i don't know much about durham but from how i see it, the pros sort of outweigh the cons.

but really, it's your decision at the end of the day, so just go with your heart
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Not POC or female so I can't speak universally on either counts, but every university has such problems and, as with many things, the issues have been greatly exaggerated as they've spread across the Internet. Not denying that there may be a problem; as said, I can't speak for that; just that to my knowledge, and from conferring with fellow durham students, the problem isn't quite as severe as the media makes it out to be.

Secondly, the collegiate system means that the atmosphere can vary wildly between different colleges. Some have reputations for attracting the stereotypical arrogant rich boys, but realistically all colleges have a mix of backgrounds and you can easily choose a college which has a bit of a friendlier reputation if it eases your worries. I'd be happy to provide some more information if you'd like! I'm assuming that you've already put down a college of preference, if I recall the application process correctly?
yep i've been allocated castle which seems to have more of a reputation for being more 'white' but idk much about it
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Anonymous #4
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(Original post by Anonymous)
so i have an offer from durham and honestly it wasn’t my top choice but is my only offer so i am considering going as i don’t want to take a gap year and there are things about it that i like. however the things i’ve heard about the atmosphere there are really stressing me out. most significantly, the sexual assault scandal that it was involved in. we had a talk at school that mentioned durham as being one of the most significant unis when it comes to SA and as a girl that terrifies me. i’m also a poc and it’s known for being predominantly white so idk how comfortable i would be.
what have peoples’ experiences been like?
No offence. But since your POC and Durham is majority white; you won’t be the first choice for a a student rapist. In regards to the ‘sexual experience’ of uni, POCS and white students in the UK have polar opposite experiences. So don’t worry you’ll be fine, if I were you I’d be more stressed about racism and would probably have applied for a school with more ethnic diversity and subsequently less wannabe oxbridgeism
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Anonymous #5
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Probably true. Fresh young white flesh will probably be the main target for rapey white men
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Anonymous #6
#8
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(Original post by Anonymous)
No offence. But since your POC and Durham is majority white; you won’t be the first choice for a a student rapist. In regards to the ‘sexual experience’ of uni, POCS and white students in the UK have polar opposite experiences. So don’t worry you’ll be fine, if I were you I’d be more stressed about racism and would probably have applied for a school with more ethnic diversity and subsequently less wannabe oxbridgeism
A few things on this response. 1. When you start a reply with "No offense" it generally means what follows is going to be offensive. You did not disappoint. 2. Beneath the words "you won't be the first choice for a student rapist" lies a massive amount of white superiority.
Your response is insensitive at best.

To the student posing this honest and vulnerable question - I'm sorry you have to ask it and I'm sorry you get s#*+ responses like this. I'm sorry the reality of the world is that women have to worry about being assaulted. I'm sorry that POC have to continue to question their safety. There's definitely a stigma with Durham and your concerns are valid. However sad, I do think they'd be concerns at any university and it's just that Durham's have been called out. It seems the uni is addressing the issue head on. Here are some links to check out:
https://www.dur.ac.uk/equality.diversity/
https://www.dur.ac.uk/equality.diver...equalityfirst/
https://www.dur.ac.uk/equality.diver...cklivesmatter/
I've seen several posts from POC looking to connect in the Durham forums, including a POC responding to a question who's from castle so if you search the Durham Forum for diversity, racism, POC - words like that - you'll see you're not alone and there are plenty of students to connect with.
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M4 Enigma
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(Original post by Anonymous)
so i have an offer from durham and honestly it wasn’t my top choice but is my only offer so i am considering going as i don’t want to take a gap year and there are things about it that i like. however the things i’ve heard about the atmosphere there are really stressing me out. most significantly, the sexual assault scandal that it was involved in. we had a talk at school that mentioned durham as being one of the most significant unis when it comes to SA and as a girl that terrifies me. i’m also a poc and it’s known for being predominantly white so idk how comfortable i would be.
what have peoples’ experiences been like?
Hello. I'm a current Castle student studying History. I'm also mixed-race, so should be able to answer your question with some perspective. Personally, my experiences have been positive. Castle has a mix of people from many different backgrounds. There are also plenty of opportunities to meet new people both in College and across the uni (such as sports and societies). There is plenty of support as well. As with any of the colleges, we have a good student-run welfare team and there is a uni-wide POC association (DPOCA). Honestly, I feel that there are a lot of unhelpful stereotypes and rumours floating around online that make decisions about university difficult, especially with you not being able to visit in-person currently. Hope this helps! (Please ignore the trolls on this thread).
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Anonymous #1
#10
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#10
(Original post by M4 Enigma)
Hello. I'm a current Castle student studying History. I'm also mixed-race, so should be able to answer your question with some perspective. Personally, my experiences have been positive. Castle has a mix of people from many different backgrounds. There are also plenty of opportunities to meet new people both in College and across the uni (such as sports and societies). There is plenty of support as well. As with any of the colleges, we have a good student-run welfare team and there is a uni-wide POC association (DPOCA). Honestly, I feel that there are a lot of unhelpful stereotypes and rumours floating around online that make decisions about university difficult, especially with you not being able to visit in-person currently. Hope this helps! (Please ignore the trolls on this thread).
thank you so much for a decent reply! this was very reassuring x
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Anonymous #7
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I'm a second generation immigrant and I honestly wouldn't recommend any of my friends to choose Durham unless they're ready to hear some ignorant views. You may not experience straight up racism (or classism) but my god some of the stuff you do hear

That being said, it definitely depends on who you meet and what you talk about. Though, personally I have seen people I consider to be 'friends' fail to stand up against blatant racism and xenophobia despite knowing that the views were wrong, and it does create an atmosphere of uncertainty
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JMo03
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I know this is a few days old but I'll be going to castle at the same time and I'm in contact with a lot of people who will be also (tsr rules mean I can't elaborate on how) and everyone seems lovely. You certainly won't be the only POC going and broadly, it's a good mix. I don't think Durham will be any better or worse than anywhere else you might go, everyone seems lovely and nobody seems super posh or anything like that. If you were allocated Hatfield, it might be different but castle (from the stats) is a more inclusive college socially. At any good uni, you're unfortunately going to get a bunch of twatty rahs but ultimately, everyone is going to hate them and the atmosphere as a whole will be absolutely fine.

If you're still worried, look up "Durham unibuddy" and talk to some current students. The students on there tend to be overseas students so if you're looking for the opinion of a female POC then that's a good shout. Hope this helped
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Anonymous #8
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My sister always says don’t commit to something unless you’re 100% certain you want it, she dropped out of uni after just a couple of months due to SA and ended up £10,000 in debt with no degree to show for it.
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Durham University
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(Original post by Anonymous)
so i have an offer from durham and honestly it wasn’t my top choice but is my only offer so i am considering going as i don’t want to take a gap year and there are things about it that i like. however the things i’ve heard about the atmosphere there are really stressing me out. most significantly, the sexual assault scandal that it was involved in. we had a talk at school that mentioned durham as being one of the most significant unis when it comes to SA and as a girl that terrifies me. i’m also a poc and it’s known for being predominantly white so idk how comfortable i would be.
what have peoples’ experiences been like?
It's great to see some positive stories here from current students and we would certainly encourage you to connect with other new and current students (particularly those allocated to Castle and other POCs) as this is a brilliant way to get a real insight into student life at Durham and hopefully offer you some reassurance.

I just wanted to add to this that there is a wide range of support available at Durham both at a college level and University wide as well as from the Students' Union (who are very hot on the topic of the experience of POC students). The collegiate system is designed to help create a community for you within the University and offers a great deal of support to all students. Getting involved in college and SU activities is a great way to meet people and make friends who share your same interests or that have had similar experiences to you. Our colleges all have their own unique personalities, but all offer the same excellent level of support and care for their students.

As a University we work really hard to ensure that all our students are safe (and that they feel safe) and operate a strict sexual violence and misconduct policy (you can see more on this here: https://www.dur.ac.uk/sexualviolence/policies/). Durham is a very safe city - have you had the opportunity to visit and have an explore yourself? If you are able to do this I would highly recommend it as it may ease your concerns to be able to have a walk around and see what it's really like.

I really hope this offers you some reassurance - if you have questions or concerns you can always get in touch with us and we can offer further advice. It's always great to be able to hear about the real lived experience of students so I'd also recommend you visit the student blog site which is filled with student stories in their own words about all aspects of student life. You can find the blog site here: https://sites.durham.ac.uk/studentblog/

Here are a few blogs you may specifically be interested in:
Celebrating Diversity at Durham: Castle's 'Unique Week': https://sites.durham.ac.uk/studentbl...s-unique-week/
A Magical Christmas in Durham Castle: https://sites.durham.ac.uk/studentbl...durham-castle/
Student Support at Durham: https://sites.durham.ac.uk/studentbl...ort-at-durham/

Really hope this info helps - everyone deserves to feel excited about coming to University and we really look forward to welcoming you here soon!
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Anonymous #1
#15
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
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thank you for all the help! i’ve actually decided to firm queen mary’s instead (not because of anything i was worried about but just because i decided i would want to be in london) but it was greatly appreciated
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Durham University
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(Original post by Anonymous)
thank you for all the help! i’ve actually decided to firm queen mary’s instead (not because of anything i was worried about but just because i decided i would want to be in london) but it was greatly appreciated
No problem - good luck!
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