As many of you may know, the University will be voting to create a business proposal on moving Ustinov College from its home at Howlands Farm to an inadequate development at Sheraton Park, Neville’s Cross. 86% of Ustinov Students strongly oppose this move, and both current and previous members of Ustinov College are mobilising to prevent this relocation. This upcoming vote is most likely a fig leaf for a decision the University already plans to execute, especially given the speed with which QC students will have to be absorbed by Durham. This page will provide updates, along with examples of what you can do to stop this happening. First though, here are some of the key issues.
- The news was leaked, with no consultation occurring with Ustinov students about whether they wanted to move from Howlands
- Consultation was only held with QC students, even though Ustinovians would be the ones to move
- The University’s consultation, when it did occur following the leak, appeared to point to a fait accompli, where Ustinov students weren’t actually being offered a discussion on whether they wanted to move, but a discussion on how the move could be made palatable
- The consultation yielded little encouraging information. Ustinov students were told that only three options were ever considered, which were;
- Moving Jon Snow and Stevenson Students into Sheraton Park
- Moving Ustinov into Sheraton Park
- Use existing Durham Colleges
- These three options are problematic, not least because they do not state why Ustinov was the only Durham-based college to be considered for relocation when there are 14 other colleges in the city. The University argued that they could not entertain moving Queen’s Campus students into Sheraton Park as the contract with the develop stipulates that no more than 60% of the occupants should be undergrads. If this is the case, then why was the prospect of the QC colleges moving into Sheraton Park even considered? Furthermore, if the prospect of moving JS and Stevenson into Sheraton Park was on the table, why then were other undergraduate colleges not considered. This is particularly strange considering Ustinov is the largest college.
- Postgraduates have moved once already in the past ten years, so why should they have to do it again?
- The move to Sheraton Park would, without equivocation, be a downgrade. There are less facilities; no bar, no cafe, no MUGA, no sports hall, no mound, less open space, no allotment, no GCR common room.
- The move, and the lack of facilities, would render it difficult for the GCR to carry out its charitable objectives.
- Events held by the GCR such as the summer BBQ would not be able to happen
- The GCR have contributed significantly to the develop of the facilities at Howlands, both in terms of time, money, and emotion.
- The College experience also involves a sense of history, which is intimately tied to place, why should Ustinovians be denied this?
- The University are unable to guarantee similar facilities, and it would seem that the local residents association are in opposition to establishments such as a bar.
- Staff are part of the community at Ustinov, and there appears to be no facilities for porters or other staff at the new premises
You can view the Town Hall-style meeting that Ustinov had with members of the University administration.
- Create alternate, student-led business plan suggesting a different option [Underway]
- Creation an online petition [Complete]
- Create email campaign for people to contact university decision makers [See below!]
- Contact national and regional press to generate interest in treatment of PG students in Durham and the UK [Underway]
- Create a fuss on social media, using the hashtag #FisherHouseForever [Do it!]
What can you do?
- Please sign this petition, which will be submitted to the Vice Chancellor.
- Email your local MP to complain about the move
- Email the following people to explain why Ustinov should move, and what you value about Ustinov.
The Chancellor, email@example.com
The Vice Chancellor, Vice.firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Claire Warwick, Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) email@example.com
Professor David Cowling https://www.dur.ac.uk/contactperson/?lid=2056
Professor Hussey, Pro Vice Chancellor (Science) firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Tim Clark, Pro Vice Chancellor (Social Sciences and Health) email@example.com
Professor Graham Towl, Pro Vice Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience), firstname.lastname@example.org
Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett email@example.com
Ms. Jennifer Sewel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Durham Student Union Officers:, email@example.com
Chair of Remuneration Committee firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair of the Council Students Appeal Committee email@example.com
Ustinov College Council Chairman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice-Chair of Council, Chair of the University College Council, Chair of the Audit Committee, a member of Remuneration Committee and a member the Governance Review Project Board, email@example.com
Member of the Ethics Advisory Committee and is Chair of St Cuthbert’s Society College Council, firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the Ustinov Song, espousing the values of the college housing the largest PG community in Britain!
The Ustinov GCR Video of 2014-15!
The latest video made by the Ustinov Global Citizenship Program
Another explanation of Ustinov, starring Tricky Colon!