A list of interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Sussex

How much do you really know about our uni?


We’ve all been to East slope or Falmer bar at least once. Whether we are taking advantage of the cheapest drinks in Brighton on Skint Tuesday, eating the amazing food, or want to play a quick game of pool our on campus watering holes are what makes Sussex University so great.

East Slope: the typical student bar that sacrifices sophistication and style for good times and sore heads. A place that holds a whole host of different events and fights off any rumours its going to be demolished by standing strong and looking after the many Sussex students needing to de-stress.

Falmer bar: the place to come if you want a bit of class in your life. Hosting bands, cocktail nights and a wider selection of food, Falmer bar is the place for the student of taste on a budget.

For me, I will remember the times I had at these bars when I leave University and I will miss being opposite the road to east slope bar when I need a 1am double beef burger to get me through my late night reading. It was then I thought ‘How much has East slope and Falmer bar changed over the years?’

So I did some digging, trying to find the hidden truth behind the history of the two bars and what it was like way back when. As well as some other interesting things I found out about the university whilst doing my research!

East slope bar was set up in 1979, April 5th

East slope circa 1985

Sussex University was opened in 1961, so for 18 years they had to make do without the cult classic that is East Slope Bar.

East Slope bar used to pay students in booze

The view looking out the bar at east slope

During the 80s, accounts have said that student workers were paid in alcohol rather than cash. Not bad, considering many were already drinking on the job.

East slope has had many famous acts play there

East slope have been host to Fatboy Slim and the Kooks in the noughties. As well as that, Pulp (who were the band behind the popular song ‘ Common people’) were said to have absolutely rocked East Slope when they played there. Other famous music artists who have played at Sussex have included: Radiohead, Amy Winehouse, Bombay Bicycle Club, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and Blur.

Falmer bar had a club attached called ‘Hot House’ which is now Room 76

Alumni were shocked when re-visiting Sussex how stylish the club ‘Hot House’ could have been when it has now transformed into the cool cafe, Room 76. Hothouse was known for its £1 Smirnoff ices and Reefs. Fancy.

Sussex has always been a vibrant political place

During the 70s, many political marches and organisations had origins in Sussex. These included the protest against free milk being removed from schools (known with the popular front page title of ‘Maggie Thatcher ‘Milk Snatcher” in the media) and nuclear disarmament.

Sussex students prevented Samuel Huntington, an adviser for the United States, from speaking at Sussex for his involvement in the vietnam war in 1973.

For those doing international relations at Sussex, he is the guy who came up with the ‘clash of civilisations’ in week 4, first year ‘classical political theory and international relations’. Samuel Huntington had to face 500 students physically preventing him from coming on campus.

The meeting house is very popular for weddings

Previous students of the University have tied the knot in the unique ‘meeting house’ next to Falmer House, some as far back as 1969.

Sussex started enrolling in 1960 and took on 52 students

Originally, there was no accommodation on campus and Falmer House has stood firm since the opening of the University being the first building built. Its a far cry from the 13,000 students who attend today. Park Village and the Park Houses were one of the first accommodations built with Norwich house and York house built first in 1964 for single sex men and women respectively.

The university has an incredible line up of entertaining alumni

Beardyman, Bob Mortimer, Frankie Boyle, Just a few of the famous alumni who have graced Sussex University.

The university has grown massively from the original plan

As seen from the photo, there was originally nothing beyond the Arts building. No Fulton building, no Swanborough, no East Slope.

Vacate et scire

The University motto means ‘be still and know’ which is a posh way of saying ‘sit down, shut up’. The Sussex University logo also changed the crest in 2004 from the picture above to the more modern one we have today.

>East Slope have their own ale

Brewed locally in Goldstone Brewery, East Slope Bar have a 4.5 per cent ale which is smooth and incredibly cheap at £2.75 a pint.

The queen opened the library in 1963

The student union was taken to court in 1971 by a student, now Sir Tony Baldry

Sir Tony Baldry, who was elected as the MP for Banbury in 1983, whilst studying at Sussex took the student union to court for Ultra-Vires payments (meaning beyond the SU’s power) to political organisations. Sir Tony visited on the 17th febuary 2016 to debate with the student union.

The university had a butchers, farm shop, a travel agency and many other services in the Refectory

For those who don’t know, the Refectory is behind the pharmacy on campus. Its the big area that has a park and a even bigger car park now.  There was even talks of putting in a wine and cheese bar there.