Halifax College

Big, bright and bold, despite not being in the middle of campus, Halifax college certainly doesn’t go unnoticed. As you may have seen on the campus map, Halifax is just south of campus, a fairly easy 5 to 10 minute walk past the sports pitches (or through scenic woods, not to be attempted after dark!) It’s a bit different to the other colleges, as students live in courts that are made up of houses rather than flats, which share kitchen and bathroom facilities if you’re not en-suite. This is one of the best things about Halifax, as by living in a house you’ll get to know all your housemates fairly quickly and build a real sense of community. The houses surround a courtyard with grass and benches, great for impromptu Frisbee matches or just sitting around chatting. Halifax has an easy-going, friendly vibe to it and as you leave campus after lectures, you’ll feel like you’re coming home.

While the community style of living is unique on campus, one thing people often comment upon is the fact we have no college bar. In fact this is a fairly minor issue, as the village of Heslington is 2 minutes’ walk away, which has 2 excellent pubs that are similar in prices to college bars and have a great student atmosphere.

You’ll find that you’ll spend a lot of time hanging about in the kitchen areas or the courtyards, but if you miss sitting on sofas then the common room, JJ’s, is open 24 hours. The pubs in Heslington, Charles VII and The Deramore, while not technically part of the college, are the local for many students from Halifax and other colleges alike.

• JJ’s, the common room, has got widescreen TVs, videos and a pool table that you can use whenever you want. Nintendo Wiis and Xbox 360s can be rented for use there from the porters’ lodge. It’s also the only common room on campus at the moment where the Christian Union offers free tea and toasties to anyone for free, every week.
• A 24 hour computer room with 30 PC’s and a black and white printer, perfect for printing off essays or for emergencies if your laptop breaks.
• The college’s very own Costcutter, which is open 7 days a week from 7am until 7pm, stocking necessities of food and drink for any last minute parties.
• A 24 hour porter service at the porter’s lodge, which can be called upon day or night if there is a problem with anyone or anything in the college.
• Bike sheds are situated throughout the college, though make sure you bring a secure lock. There’s also space for you to bring your own car, but make sure you apply for a permit from the college first.
• Heslington village has branches of Lloyds TSB, HSBC, RBS and Barclays banks, which all have cash machines outside, along with a post office and Brown’s that is known university-wide for selling excellent sandwiches.

Student Stereotype: Halifax has a reputation for being good at sport, so some people assume that the college is filled with sport fanatics, dressed for a match of hockey/rugby/lacrosse etc, thrilled at living so close to the sports pitches. In fact, many in Halifax aren’t involved with sport and most of those who are enjoy it as a fun pastime and way to get involved with college life rather than as a serious pursuit.

Events: One of the favourite events in our house from Freshers’ Week was the STYC bar crawl, where are second and third year helpers showed us all the best bars to go in York that ended in a memorable trip to the club Ziggy’s.

As for the rest of the year, highlights included the Halifax Snowball at Christmas, which had fabulous food and partying all in posh frocks, and Faxival, a festival type event taking place all over the college with live bands, bbqs, bouncy castle and face painting for a summer day of fun.

What the prospectus didn’t tell you: That there’s two different sides to the college. One is a chilled, friendly feel by day, surrounded by beautiful countryside. The other is a more lively and a vibrant vibe by night.

Student opinions:

Kat Robinson 1st year, : Pros are that “the Halifax sporting community is really welcoming and fun” but a con is that there’s “no bar, so it’s harder to meet other college people.”
Eve Stokoe, 3rd year: Thinks that “being in houses rather than colleges, the college has a fantastic atmosphere” but that it can be “too lively/noisy, so you can end up a bit sleep deprived in the first year.”

James Smith, 1st year: Liked “the convenience of having a Costcutter in Halifax” but noted that “there’s no cash machine actually in the college, but there is one 5 minutes’ walk away.”

Halifax is a great college in terms of college spirit and atmosphere. If you are living in Halifax this coming academic year, you will definitely have a fantastic year; make sure you get to know your neighbours and people from all courts (as well as your housemates of course!)

Halifax Chair – Davedass Mootanah

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