[Shelby Loasby | News Sub Editor]
With the new, shiny accommodation, gym facilities, Hutton Hall, and The Forum Hertfordshire, all eyes seem to be on College Lane campus these days. So what about de Hav?
In previous years, de Hav was a hub for activities, especially with the en suite accommodation and the fact that the Sports Village was the only place for sports events. However, with the development of the new facilities on College Lane, de Hav has grown less desirable, and it often appears to be left out in terms of activities and events.
On observing the different events at each campus, it is clear that some of the major activities were solely held on College Lane. Even though the Christmas market was held on both campuses this year, College Lane’s outshone de Havilland’s with more things to do and see, including Reindeers, and a larger collection of stalls.
Even the Fresher’s/Refresher’s fairs were exclusive to College Lane. These events are important for students as it gives them opportunities to sign up for societies and to get more involved with the university. It is no secret that travelling between campuses can be time-consuming or difficult, especially with the disputed Uno Bus timetables; so holding these events only at College Lane can mean that hundreds of students miss out.
The uneven distribution of activities can even be seen in the ‘freebies’ that are handed out by external companies at The Forum. Whilst this seems to be a menial and tedious observation, it still seems unfair that the majority of College Lane students are able to try products for free like; Galaxy chocolate bars, Coke Zero and Innocent Smoothies, to name a few.
The Forum itself is a huge draw for student nightlife, but this is mainly due to the fact that it is the only venue on campus that offers a night out. Whilst Club de Hav is available for students, many feel that it is not a great alternative.
Hattie Price, a second year history student, explained: “Club De Hav is there, but it’s not student-owned or cheap, so is full of old men. De Hav needs a better presence of the Students’ Union.”
Price also suggested that Club de Hav could hold the Coffee Sessions and comedy nights like the Elehouse, to draw more people in.
De Havilland is also definitely more community based than College Lane, which can have a negative effect on student life. Third year law and psychology student, Matey Avgustinov, said that “College Lane feels more student centered, whilst de Hav is more community based due to the Western Auditorium showing films and the Atrium being used as an activity space for primary school children to come and visit.”
Whilst Avgustinov expressed that it was not an issue having the community come into the university, he did make it clear that students get a better experience on College Lane.
Trident Media reached out to Shannen Rock, Vice President Communications and Media, to find out how the elected officers felt about the two campuses. She said: “The Students’ Union does recognise that there are sometimes less activities on de Hav than on College Lane and particularly in the past two years I have seen an increase to try to accomodate de Havilland based students better.”
She went on to say: “It’s like a catch 22 because we want to accommodate for both campuses and give all students the same opportunities but we also want to encourage students to use both campuses.”
De Havilland Campus officer, Grainne O’Monghain, agreed with Rock’s comments and assured Trident Media that she has been working hard with the full time elected officers to increase activity on the campus.
“This year I set out to increase the amount of SU activities and services on de Havilliand,” O’Monghain said. “We did see an increase on activities not only during Freshers but throughout the year so far.”
O’Monghain agreed that “de Havilland can sometimes feel like a satellite campus, as the main hub of the SU is based on college lane, and the SU bars are also based there. It is difficult at times to arrange large social sessions.”
However, she explained that “there is still much work to be done” and hope that this will continue in the coming years, making deHav a “fully fledged campus”.
Whilst it appears that College Lane is better for the student experience, it is clear to see that more work is being put into integrating de Havilland campus more into university life. So the question is, will de Hav become a more active campus soon?
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