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Durham SU exists for a purpose: we’re the champion of every Durham student. We’re interested in the things that matter to you and in helping make them possible.
Whether you’re looking for a study buddy, a fellow hummus-appreciator, a community who share your culture, or a support network of like-minded people, your students’ union is here to bring you together. We are home to over 250 student groups, including everything from the Hummus Society to student media. And if you need a helping hand while at Durham, our Advice Service is there for you, offering independent support and resources across a variety of issues.
Every year, students throughout Durham vote for the next Durham SU Officer team. The elected Officers represent the interests of Durham students, making change for the better. The five faces below are this year’s Officers. Throughout the next year they'll be working on their chosen objectives, and making sure your rights are represented through Covid-19.
Download our welcome booklet to read more here.
Honestly, the best of luck to all freshers and returning students. This undoubtedly will be a strange year for all of us but just remember to stay focused on getting your degree and making the best memories. My top tip for surviving Durham has and will always be the same. Hot water bottles are a necessity! Hot water bottles are good for both your physical and mental wellbeing, so make sure you pack at least one. It gets cold up north, so it will keep you warm in the winter. Also, hot water bottles have been known to help with anxiety and homesickness. Buy at least one, and thank me later. For many of you this will be the first time you have left home so a good hot water bottle, a weighted blanket or even a stuffed toy will give you the comfort and security you will need to make it through the year. University is about trying new things, but we also must remember that new experiences can be unsettling for some, so get that hot water bottle!
Got more questions for Seun? Email her on firstname.lastname@example.org
You’ll get told a lot when you start university to jump in and get involved in as much as possible. This is a great way to make friends and find new interests. However, don’t worry if you don’t find a favourite society or activity straight away. In my first year I spent time finding my feet at university, got involved in some things (my favourite being Cuth’s Art Society), but it wasn’t until second year that I really got involved in Cuth’s JCR and Durham University Art Society. So, my advice is try to get involved with things now, but it’s certainly never too late to get involved in something new later on!
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Firstly, a huge congratulations for getting into Durham! Freshers' Week can be an absolute whirlwind of meeting new people, signing up for new sports and hobbies and diving into the academic side of things. Definitely take time to gather your bearings and try not to put pressure on yourself to be having the best time if you’re not. Remember, it’s your first week in a whole new place with new-found responsibilities, and everyone will adjust at different speeds.
For me, the best thing about Freshers’ Week was bumping into people who were also from “the North” and having a mutual thing to bond over. You don’t need to force friendships with new people, they will happen naturally, so just throw yourself into getting involved in the tons of student groups we have, and you will soon find your feet.
Got more questions for Ewan? Email him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to Durham! As your Opportunities Officer, all I can say is take every opportunity. I’ll be working hard to make sure 2020 has the maximum opportunities possible, so you can experience the Durham Difference as well as ever. During my first couple of years, I took part in photography, caving, student journalism, orienteering, college football, college choir, hillwalking, my subject society, politics and activism – and I ended up being on six different committees. Try everything and then don’t be afraid to boil it down to what you enjoy.
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I just want to wish all the incoming freshers good luck! I know entering university can feel super daunting and isolating at times but the great thing about Durham is that you will definitely find a community for you! The one piece of advice I would give you is to bring snow boots, otherwise you will be slip-sliding all over the hills of Durham. You should also join Associations or societies that you feel represent your interests – it’s a great way to meet new people outside of college/lectures and make friends! My favourite thing about my own freshers was being in such a new space and being able to meet new people who I otherwise would not meet.
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We have a dedicated staff team who support our Officers with their various projects and organise the day-to-day running of the SU. Get to know them better here.
Our Student Staff are the front of Durham SU – they’ll be the friendly faces that welcome you in. Look out for opportunities to join our Student Staff here.