I’ll be sad to leave Stockton, but moving to Durham may lead to a brighter future

I’ll always have a place in my heart for Queen’s Campus


With the extensive review of Queen’s Campus drawing to a close and the long deliberated Stockton question reaching a conclusion, the future of John Snow and Stephenson colleges look set for Durham City. It’s fair to say we have lived somewhat separate lives, with us being more than happy to visit you and not much in the way of reciprocity.

Durham culture is a strange thing to pin down, and whether there is any ‘real’ as opposed to ‘perceived’ differences in the cultures that make up City campus and Queen’s campus is not something I’m interested in or have a strong view on.

I best heard Durham summed up while working over summer at the “Life Centre” in Newcastle. While working with a researcher from Argentina, she told me she got her PHD from Durham. Overhearing this her new colleague from the Czech Republic said “Oo Durham that is very old. It’s similar Oxford and Cambridge right?” To this comment Ana shrugged and said “Meh, I suppose it’s got some nice buildings but…” and trailed off; which made me laugh.

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The relationship between QC and main campus and between the students living there has had a sort of mythology to it, and whether this actually flows both ways I have not the slightest idea. Some people say some look down their nose at QC, but maybe this is just a chip on the shoulder without any actual substance. Anyway it’s not like it matters (some medics look down on everyone). There are of course angels and arseholes everywhere, whether that be a university, a business or even a family.

Personally I have never experienced any bad feeling for QC. People ask what it’s like and what I study and where you go out. But it’s true to say our campuses are different and our student experience has day to day differences. Being from the North myself, one thing that always makes me smile is students at QC saying they didn’t know where Stockton was, didn’t visit, and thought it was ‘much closer to main campus than I realised.’

Somewhere between realising Durham was actually quite far away and now, we have made friends for life, partied hard in Ku, and ended many a night having a heart to heart with Gino or Paul (Snow only.) QC has been unique for many reasons, and its main strength is a quality of juxtaposition: experiencing a good education while never being shut away in the ivory tower.

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Queen’s Campus is small; but size can have advantages and disadvantages. QC has a really strong bond and while cliché to say: really feels like a family. It’s always easy to find someone if you get lost in a club (or even in the street). You really get to know everyone. But one thing that is so valuable about university is exposure to all different people, studying different things and almost certainly with different views. I value that, and it’s why I really do support the decision and move – which not everyone at QC did.

There’s a big view saying we built something here; something that is coming to an end. Only knowing the daily lives of medics myself, I can’t help but think about charities we have helped on our placements and how experiences here in Stockton will feed into my future and the future of every student that was here.

Being a part time progressive and part time conservative, I hope we preserve our Snow-Stevo rivalry, our chants about burning Hatfielders and remember the history of the colleges, but also gain from the new life in Durham City.