This September, 3,200 new freshers will be descending onto the twelve Halls of University Park, with one big difference. This year, for the first time, the accommodation office has succumbed to the constant pressure of people requesting where they want to live and allowed people to choose not only their room type but also which hall they want to stay in. This means people have actually chosen to stay in Rutland! Or, they were just late in applying for accommodation.
If I had been given a choice of hall before I came to Nottingham I would have no idea which was the best hall. All the web links from the Nottingham website and groups on Facebook say the same about each hall – it is by far the best, and you’ll have an amazing time there.
There are, however, stories and myths about each hall which may have influenced your decision. Rutland Hall, for example, has been insulted for over 20 years, largely consisting of the long-standing accusation that Rutland takes it up the arse. For this reason, the website notes that Rutland Hall is known for its passion, camaraderie and hall spirit. And boy does it need it! During freshers’ week, we were given various justifications for our merciless abuse of Rutlanders. Apparently, one Rutland girl directly and indirectly spread chlamydia to 34 other students, and there are also rumours that two male residents were interrupted while getting up close and personal in the shower. Many students mistakenly believe that Rutland was the last all-male hall (clearly showing that all the residents enjoyed a bit of buggery). This was in fact Hugh Stewart, which remained a testosterone-only zone until 2000.
Hu Stu is the biggest hall on campus, with 338 rooms. This somewhat elitist hall has relatively well-grounded snobbiness, having received a royal visit from the Queen in 1981. Although they may have been graced by blue blood, we have heard from ex-Hustuligans of the ‘Notorious’ N-Block that, despite being plagued by highly irritating biscuit-devouring mice, they were not allowed a change of room.
Florence Boot was the first hall opened on campus in 1928 and is one of the smaller halls with only 200 people. Famous old Booters include the inventor of Doritos (a former theology student, who clearly found his path to enlightenment through those cheesy tortilla chips of joy). Nightingale is the smallest hall on campus with only 151 people. A smug Nightingale resident informed me that all the rooms have double beds, which I was quite annoyed about.
It may not be the case that Willoughby is more alcohol-oriented than other halls, but it is said that one legendary Week One Rep out-drank 9 freshers consecutively before passing out himself. Though apparently he then spent 2 days in hospital, it still gives the new Willobytes a hard record to break!
Apparently, Cavendish is haunted by the ghost of a monk. This rumour was strengthened when graves were exhumed on what had once been the site of a monastery nearby. The remains of the monks were riddled with the scars of syphilis; perhaps the ghostly Cavendish Monk is not as holy as he seems! Cavendish is the only completely en-suite hall on campus and claims to be the best (and priciest) for this reason. There is even a facebook group called Cavendish – Posh and Proud! Perhaps some would be glad to count themselves among this crowd – as they say, the cream rises to the top. Others might point out that scum floats on the surface…
The impressive Cripps Hall is a Grade 2 listed building, with its own clock tower. It’s also the only hall with its own gym, which residents can use at discounted prices. We have heard that an important benefactor to Cripps stipulated that unless at least 50% of the residents were privately educated he would withdraw his contribution. I don’t think we can print the state-educated Cripps residents opinions of this.
Sherwood lays claim to one of the most startling hall stories. While the foundations of the hall were being laid, builders were amazed to uncover the nearly complete skeleton of a 20-foot iguanadon, preserved for 56 million years. The skeleton, now on display in London’s Natural History Museum, is one of the best specimens ever recovered in the UK.
Ancasterians may not seem as though they’re going through complicated personal dilemmas, but statistics say otherwise. Ancaster has by far the highest number of ex-residents to have had sex-change operations within 15 years of graduating, a massive 64% higher than the next contestants, Derby Hall.
The most bizarre rumour we came across was that there are in fact other halls, which are not located on University Park. We at Impact are shocked and disgusted that anyone would put forward such a blatant fallacy.
Stephanie Hind and Lucy Hayes