Take these comments for what they're worth. They're all authentic utterances, and they hopefully do not mislead in any way; but we've obviously not gone out of our way to solicit any negative comments!
If you're a prospective student, there's every chance that there's a college in Durham that will be just right for you: it may or may not be Chad's. The comments below were selected from letters, emails and surveys, and they should give you a sense of what we're about, what we're most proud of. They're included not just because they're positive (they're actually quite humbling and challenging), but because they highlight aspects of the College that we yet hope to live up to.
'The second I entered the front door, I had a déjà vu kind of experience. I knew I was home.'
'I wanted a smaller college where I'd have a chance to know people's names. I can't imagine living with over a thousand people!'
'I can't believe I'm graduating and leaving Durham . . . in three years I've made so many friends without really working at it. I'm glad to be leaving: I know it's time to move on, but this place is part of me.'
A Senior Man
'Chad's is great. The new Fenton Library has made a huge difference to me: I can hide up there and study away without feeling like I'm missing anything....'
2nd year English student
'The staff are fantastic. The catering manager is so cool -- you come up with a menu idea and, wow, in a day or two it's out there. Scampi rules!'
1st year engineering student
'Ever since I arrived, I've appreciated the college traditions, though I've been here long enough to realise that a tradition is anything we've done two years in a row: that's the great thing, we talk about tradition, but we make up the college as we go along....'
I couldn't believe students would call the Principal 'Papa Joe' to his face. All the staff have nicknames, and half the students also seem to have nicknames. In fact, I'm not even sure whose name is real and whose is made-up. It's a sign of people being comfortable with themselves. I like it.'
1st year Combined Arts student
If anyone wants to know what Chad's is about, just go to a match and ask yourself why the smallest college has the most supporters (and staff) out there. Hell, that says it all.'
Captain of the Rugby Team
'I think we're spoiled here and we don't know it.'
JCR Welfare Officer
'I worried that I'd feel out of place in a college. I knew that a third or so of the students would come from private schools, and I thought they'd make the rest of us feel second class or something. That feeling lasted about an hour -- max. At Chad's, you're all in it together.'
'The Chaplain's so cool. If he dies, can I have his hat?'
2nd year student / Hat fetishist
'As a postgrad, Chad's was an obvious choice. I wanted an academic community where you can actually talk about what you're studying without apologising. I wanted other postgrads around, but I also wanted to get to know academics who had research in their blood: that way, if all else failed, I could ask for a transfusion to finish the PhD.'
'I still can 't believe my luck. I'm doing a PhD, and I'm in a college that has a Resident Fellow, who just happens to be the world's best authority on what I'm studying. If I'd been anywhere else in the world, I'd have to study his work. And he's here. And he's co-supervising me. And I'm having a beer with him -- again. Wow.'
PhD student in Music (paraphrase, with expletives modified)
'The Northern Exposure Trips blew me away (literally, it was that windy at Hadrian's Wall). After two terms, I already know more about the North than I know about my own home down South. What a bonus!'
First year student
'This was simply the very best course I have ever been on. The constant feedback made all the difference.'
Feedback from the Durham Media Academy (2007)
'You have the most wonderful kitchen staff in the world. I can't believe how friendly and helpful they always are. Please thank them for me -- again'
'Working at Chad's was the best career choice I've ever made. You always know that your work matters here, that you're valued not just for who you are (everyone says that), not just for how much money you can bring in (no one says that, but they all should admit it), but because you're a real part of a community that cares about things that matter. I joined 'them', but 'them' is 'us' now.'
'Great news -- Chad's taking a lead and being socially aware, re-defining what being "within the college community" means. This is a vision we all believed was possible, and I am thrilled that . . . this is coming true.'