Goodricke College will be moved into new buildings on the Heslington East campus as part of the first phase of the development, amid concerns that such a move would do irreparable damage to the college’s spirit.
Jane Clarbour, the Provost of Goodricke College, called an emergency meeting to allow representatives from the College JCR and SCR, as well as residential block tutors and the College Administrator, to vote on the move, which would make Goodricke the first college to open on the new campus in 2009.
The new Goodricke, which will increase in population from around 350 to 600 students, will feature a mix of flats, corridor-style and en-suite accommodation, but designs have not been finalised. Clarbour said in the meeting that she was “a fervent supporter” of a new McQ’s bar and college social space, but it was “too soon” to tell exactly what the new college would consist of, and a shared bar and social space was a possibility. She said she was confident that this would be a good move for the college, calling it “an opportunity to take a very successful college into the new site and expand upon the success that we’ve got here”.
Concerns have been expressed over the plan. Matt Burton, former chair of Goodricke College JCRC and YUSU Services and Finance Officer-elect, said, “I think Goodricke is the wrong choice to be moving because of our unique set-up. If we were to abandon Goodricke, what’s going to happen? It’s probably going to get knocked down.”
He continued: “We are a kind of beacon of best practice across campus and that can be copied, but I think that shifting from 350 people in college to 600 is a big step. We also have no experience of working with an en-suite college.”
Ben Wardle, Chair of Goodricke JCRC, said, “It’s a good thing that we can take it forward. But I’m a bit concerned about the initial step. I mean, 2009 is only just around the corner – we’d be moving into a building site.”
Petra Nordquist is the tutor for A block, which is currently the largest accommodation block in Goodricke. She expressed concern that the administrative and communication problems encountered when kitchens were added to A-block “where we had very little influence with what happened” would “not be repeated when it comes to Heslington East.”
However, Clarbour said, “We have the opportunity to be involved in the design of the blocks, so considerations of what we want would be taken on board. I think that is a particularly attractive part of the proposal.”
Clarbour, who will be on the steering group that will liaise with the architects over design questions for the new colleges, said she would be able to represent the views of the students. “It’s a question of you informing me about what you want for the college and those views are then represented at the meeting,” she said.
A representative from a University working group called 21st Century Colleges reassured students that colleges and college organisations would still be a vital part of University life on the new campus, saying the principle of colleges was enshrined as University policy.