“Someone drowned in the lake on a campus 14” – Nottingham myths debunked

So you walked into your hall room for the first time armed only with a bag full of condoms and a kevlar vest. You’d heard the rumours. Nottingham’s nothing but “gash and guns”.

Well, whether you’re a fresher or final year, we thought we should set the record straight once and for all before you head off for summer only to spread Nottingham’s fallacious myths further afield.

6. SU election success is all about popularity and attractiveness

Verdict: True


A third year economist has spent the last few months investigating what really gets people voting in SU elections. 60 students were surveyed to judge the attractiveness of 45 successful and unsuccessful candidates in Nottingham’s 2011 and 2012 elections.

The study found that 76% of winners had more Facebook friends than their rivals and 71% were judged to be better looking while only 41% were judged to have better manifestos. All but one exec officers in the past two years had more Facebook friends than their rivals. On average, winners had 1078 friends and every 500 friends equated to an extra 7% of the overall vote.

Considering that there were 10,000 votes in this year’s elections, next year’s exec can now officially say they’re pretty damn hot.

5. Students can still choose their own hall

Verdict: True


Even though the uni tried to randomise room allocations there are still a couple of circumstances in which you can choose which hall you attend. The first is medical requirements, which seems pretty reasonable. What seems a little strange though is that you can request to be in a hall if you have ‘alumni connections’ i.e. if your dad went there… This might explain why a number of seemingly well connected students still end up clustering in a minority of halls.

4. Girls outnumber guys 3:1 at Nottingham

Verdict: False


Sorry guys, you may have been lured here under false pretences. The actual ratio of female:male students at the university is a slightly less impressive 55:45. But that still means around 3,000 more female students on campus. So how did the rumour escalate?

Nottingham history professor John Beckett suggests that the myth derives from the “availability of work for females in the lace industry in the Victorian era, and “Players’ Angels”, the young women who worked in the warehouses of the popular cigarette brand in the early years of the 20th century.” But, however accurate this might have once been, at the time of the 2001 census, there were just 0.7% more women than men, hardly enough to warrant the reputation.

3. ‘Shottingham’

Verdict: False

gun crime

“Mate you’re going to the gun crime capital of the country”. “Yeah, but girls outnumber guys 3:1.” If this makes for awkward reading now you’ve seen the preceding mythbust we should probably say that the Shottingham myth is just as untrue. It’s not just that Nottingham has cleaned up its act with regards to gun crime, the truth is that Nottingham never was the gun crime capital of Britain.

According to the city council and the University, misleading population demographics were used to calculate the number of violent crimes per person. In other cities, swathes of countryside were used to calculate the size of the population, whereas in Nottingham the population was based on a relatively narrow sample, disproportionately bumping up the number of crimes per person. That should make you sleep easier.

2. Sleeping with your tutor is against University rules

Verdict: False


Do you ever get hot under the collar when your lecturer starts talking about Derrida? Well now you can play out your wildest dreams because it’s not actually strictly against University regulations to sleep with your tutor. The University’s ‘Policy on Personal Relationships at Work’ states that if a relationship between a staff member and student arises and the staff member is teaching or assessing the work of the student in question, alternative arrangements may have to be made. But so long as it’s not kept secret, disciplinary action will not be taken (unless of course, that’s your kinda thing…).

However, if you’re a masters or Phd student getting down and dirty with your research supervisor that may well cause problems and you’ll almost certainly be given another, less attractive tutor!

1. Campus 14s were banned after a student drowned in the lake.

Verdict: False


“Utter rubbish”, says the University’s Registrar, Paul Greatrix. The legendary bar crawl was probably banned because successful completion of the course requires a potentially lethal intake of around 28 units of alcohol.

 Oscar Williams and Fiona Crosby

FeaturesLead Articles

Leave a Reply