Harriet Axbey
Culture Commissioner

This is my sixth year at Durham University, and I have seen it from many different angles over my time here: as an undergraduate on Stockton’s Queen’s Campus, as a master’s student on a taught programme, as a postgraduate research student, and of course, in volunteer roles at my college, Stephenson, where I am currently representing the Middle Common Room.

Over this time, I have seen several sides to our university, many very positive, others less encouraging. I understand many students feel frustrations towards the attitudes and behaviours of others, and that this dissatisfaction is not always expressed in a healthy or constructive way. I am also aware that at Durham, as in all parts of society, there exist those beliefs and behaviours that threaten or harm individuals and make them feel unsafe on our campus.

It is my aim to gather feedback from students and staff on what aspects of the university they would term Durham’s ‘culture’, and whether any of these are seen in a negative or challenging light. Through discussion and recommendations, I hope the commission can develop strategies for dealing with any adverse perceptions of Durham University student life. I believe everyone has the right to an inclusive educational experience, and, by exposing any barriers to this, I hope we can build a safer, more sustainable, student experience for all.