Ten things you need to know about South College

The low down on all things South since it’s the closest thing to a college bar crawl we’ll get this year

With college bar crawls being a no go this year, South college remains a mystery to most of us. Whether you’re a fresher who was clueless on college choices or a returning student who remembers their days in a box room that was built in the 60s, it’s fair to say we are all a tad jealous of the brand new South College campus. So here are the top ten things you need to know about Durham’s newest college, as told by their principle Timothy Luckhurst.

1.) South is a gowned college

New it may be but tradition will be at the core of South with it being a gowned college.

2.) It’s a self-catered college

South students will live in flats with kitchens, although food is available to purchase from the dining area in The Hub which is shared with John Snow.

3.) Formals will be a weekly occurrence (after coronavirus)

They will be hosted in the Dining Hall of The Hub and will be an important aspect of the South College community. “Oswald, our owl, will join us – though we are not yet sure about his dietary habits”, Luckhurst tells us.

4.) College rowers should definitely be watching out for South College Boat Club

Not only have they invested in boats for SCBC, the college is also fully equipped with musical instruments for budding musicians and a cosy college library stocked with everyone’s favourite novels. There are also “sufficient funds to provide a start-up budget” should students want to form new societies. “We have sport, theatre, music and volunteering [with] a wonderful theatre in the Hub [including] music, drama and dance studios”, we are told.

5.) There are around 490 students living in college

In addition, there are also some students have chosen to live out this year.

6.) There is a diverse group of 50 second and third year students at South

All of these took the Pioneer Scholarship to move to South from another college. They are highly engaged with college life, bringing a real community feel to South.

7.) The college colours are purple and cedar

South are sticking true to Durham’s purple roots; get ready to see a lot more purple on the sports field.

8.) Their college mascot is an owl and their matriculation ceremony includes making a promise to it

Represented in South College’s logo and also in a statue on site, “Oswald, the owl, is five feet tall and carved from a single trunk of solid wood [and] will take pride of place at South College formals and other ceremonies”.

9.) They are committed to creating an inclusive and diverse community where all students feel safe

South’s Principal notes: “As our motto declares, South is committed to equality”. We understand that these ambitions can only be reached if South is a tolerant, welcoming and supportive community in which our students feel safe. Consent and respect are central to building such a culture. In all that we say and do we, students and staff,  will do everything in our power to establish, maintain and promote safety, tolerance and respect.

10.) The college is built on the grounds of a former country house

South College takes its name from its location at Mount Oswald. The site on which it is built was originally part of the estate of the Mount Oswald country house, built in 1800.

The Durham colleges are renowned for their stereotypes. In conversation with The Tab Durham, Principal Luckhurst told us that he hopes South’s reputation will reflect the college’s “founding commitment to freedom of thought, speech and debate”.

Principal Luckhurst’s lifelong work as a journalist and campaigner for freedom of speech has ensured his understanding in the need for democracy and justice in Durham. Luckhurst wants South “to be a place where ideas are never shouted down or dismissed [and he intends] to sponsor genuine debate and a truly wide range of ideas.”