Alcuin College, tucked away in a quiet corner of campus, is one of the oldest and largest colleges at York, yet has some of the newest accommodation. Fondly known as the ‘ensuite elite’, each room has its own bathroom, a serious luxury and one that ensures you can avoid awkward corridor encounters with flatmates whilst dashing half-naked from a shared shower. Some of you may even be blessed with a lift in your block, allowing you to avoid the oh so challenging task of clambering up three flights of stairs. Whilst particularly good, location wise, for students studying medicine and chemistry, the college is so big you are guaranteed a huge mix of students in your halls, and you will soon find that the popular myth of Alcuin as the gap year haven of York is just that, a myth.
The Alcuin Bar ‘B Henrys’, whilst in no way the social epicentre of campus, holds popular quiz nights, and the occasional showcase of University musical talent. The JCR is always open for an impromptu movie night with your flatmates or an exuberant game of musical chairs. However, the main selling point for Alcuin is all the outdoor grassy space, and in the summer it really comes into its own. Out come the paddling pools, and barbecues are set up where everyone from the surrounding blocks comes and joins in. The college even holds a summer fete, complete with food, bouncy castle and plenty of Pimms .
As one of the biggest colleges it’s great as you get to meet such a variety of people. Whilst the college events are often not the most popular, this is due more to limited space, and Alcuin holds a reputation as one of the most social colleges. Lizzie Bartholomew chairs the very dedicated Alcuin JCRC, who ensure that the college has some of the best welfare support on campus. They regularly hold free pizza and movie events, as well as weekly coffee, cake and condom sessions for those who like something sweet whilst stocking up on free sexual health supplies. And, to top it all off, if you are lucky enough, you will be able to watch Medieval Soc perform battles, complete with very authentic looking weaponry, on Sunday afternoons in the field behind the college.
• Ensuite bathrooms
• right next to the library- easy to sprint there for a some emergency seminar reading
• Instead of ducks, Alcuin has a contingent of rabbits who inhabit the lawns- much friendlier and quieter residents
• Annual Christmas and Summer Balls are a great celebration of the community spirit of the college
• B-Henry’s, the college Bar, is one of the quietest on campus, and is only open a few days a week
• A little further away from the centre of campus than some of the other colleges- might have to set you alarm back a precious 5 minutes
• At 600 students it can feel a little daunting to begin with
• Across campus from the gym and sports fields. However, the jog over there makes for excellent exercise
• B Henry’s, the College Bar
• JCR, with film projector, kitchen and pool table (plus giant Connect 4)
• Permanent BBQs built on the lawns
• Plenty of secure bike sheds
• 24 Hour Porters lodge, for all those times you somehow ‘misplace’ your room key
• Laundry room, with 8 washing machines and 8 dryers
Best freshers event
The Alcuin freshers bar crawl has a reputation of being particularly rowdy and a lot of fun, as the red and black clad freshers descend onto the town. During Fresher’s Week B-Henry’s also hires out a big marquee outside the bar, which makes a great and spacious venue for their extensive freshers week events, the themes of which get more imaginative/outrageous every year
“Alcuin is better than the rest for one main reason: ‘You’re Alcuin ’till you die!’ It’s the strong sense of community that really makes Alcuin special – the friends you make there will be for life. We’re never afraid to try something new, constantly striving to make Alcuin the best in every aspect.”
Alcuin Chair – Lizzie Bartholomew