St Aidan's News

Michaelmas term at St Aidan's

As we near the end of the Michaelmas term, we look back over several weeks of intense activity….

The huge effort of the Frep team leading up to and throughout Induction Week can be seen in these photos [#3 and #4 in attachment]. The energy and commitment of students who voluntarily make time to sustain a range of activities across college continues to elicit creative responses, evoked here in one table’s costumes for the ‘Spooky Hallowe’en Formal. ‘Velvet Riverside’ represented some of Aidan’s musical talent at the Recent Graduates Formal which takes place as part of a broader reunion weekend in November, coinciding biannually with the Lumiere festival. The Alumni Association now runs the AGM on the Saturday afternoon, to encourage more participation from recent cohorts. They will be organising an informal event in London in 2019 which we hope will bring together many of the Aidan’s diaspora, especially those who can’t make it to Durham. However, we have enjoyed visits from three small groups of alumni staying in town and hope there will be many more.

The JCR introduced a new “christmas tree, mulled wine and mince pies” event this year to decorate the Christmas tree in the dining hall, which was a huge success. The range of active societies increased further with the ratification at the last JCR meeting of a “gingerbread society’’ and an “Aidan’s Ripped Off” Society which aims to fight the rising cost of accommodation fees. Aidan’s Student Tom Chapman has just been elected NUS delegate and will represent Durham at the NUS conference in April and championing affordable accommodation. 

The SCR is renewing its energies this year, following the election of a multinational and enthusiastic Executive. They began with an evening offering one to one and small group discussion to undergraduates on postgraduate study and experience. Over the next two weeks, they have both an informal Christmas event and a more formal dinner and next term will run a series of scholarly events, in addition to Burns Night and Chinese New Year. We have lost some active academic members who have moved to posts in other Universities, so we will undertake a drive to recruit new ones this year.

November brought a series of well attended events in our Pathways to Enterprise series, beginning with a talk and q & a on The cost and implications of inequity in the workplace and broader economic environment by Dr Margo Thomas, Associate Fellow at Chatham House. Margo led the independent secretariat of the High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment established by the UN Secretary-General and is the founder of Di Gates, founder of Stick Theory Enterprise, followed up with a small scale event in the Garden Room for 18 students, to provide a more personalised opportunity to discuss the benefits and challenges of entrepreneurship. The launch of a book exploring new ground in business and leadership, Kindness in Leadership , was hosted in the Lindisfarne Centre, with round table discussions of the main themes led by contributing authors, including two of the editors, Gay Haskins and Mike Thomas. The Creative Writing Course is now in its ninth year, so Fadia Faqir is leading plans to celebrate its first decade next year. We are in touch with some alumni who took the course but would welcome the opportunity to set up a comprehensive network as part of the anniversary, so please get in touch! We continue our regional collaborations with Durham Pride and Durham City of Sanctuary and were pleased to host the learning day for the North East Sex Work Forum, one of our CSGS partners, whose dual focus this year was the impact of Austerity and raising awareness around Human Trafficking.

Having celebrated Diwali in college this year, we also wish everyone a Happy Hannukah and Happy Christmas to come.

See what else has been happening at St Aidan's

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