Seun Twins (she/her)

I am under no illusion that my personal experience as a Durham Student is the inevitable experience for all Durham students. However, if there is something I know for sure, is that there are varying points of access that can shape one’s time here. In Durham University, there are different spaces, communities and challenges that students are confronted with and it is no one's job to deny the realities of another. The Culture Commission has been an idea in my head for quite some time now. Online conduct, the social justice movements of 2020 and a global pandemic have made this work more important than ever. I wanted to create something that speaks to the cultural phenomena that is the “Durham student experience”. If I may refer to my launch article, I mentioned a self-referential ‘Durhamness' that we can all identify but most of us cannot seem to define. I want us to explore and investigate the heterogeneity of the Durham student experience so that we can promote best practice over toxicity and ultimately to reclaim our university. My role and the role of the commissioners is to facilitate and host this enormous and extended conversation with our fellow students. It is not to project or misdirect but to give any and every student the opportunity to articulate what Durham’s culture is, so we can begin to reshape it for the future student. I am so excited for this work and the overwhelming positive response demonstrates that many students have been waiting for an opportunity like this to arise. So here it is: the Culture Commission. After the research, report and recommendations, hopefully our questions will mature from “What is Durham’s Culture” to “Where do we go from here”