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Durham University

St Aidan's College


“The fun never ceased throughout my time at St. Aidans. From its spectacular formals, which involve decorating the dining hall with some rather impressive themed artwork, to its jazz, rock and cocktail evenings, there's always something to do. On quieter evenings, you can grab a yummy toastie from the JCR, watch the film club's latest offering, attend a cultural forum or just hang out with your friends. ”

Helen White, BA English Literature (Graduate)

The Summer Ball

St Aidan’s College holds an annual Summer Ball in June. It is organised by the JCR and has a budget of over £30,000. The whole college is invited and over 550 students join together to celebrate the end of a great year.

In the past the night has included a three course meal in a marquee, live music, bouncy castles, reptile enclosures, circus performers, folk bands, horse drawn carriage rides, champagne receptions, break dancers, steel bands, belly dancers, fire eaters, look a likes, pick pockets, and caricaturists to name just a few!

Formal Dinners

Aidan's informal and relaxed atmosphere extends to our interpretation of formal dinners. While in some colleges they are just that (formal), at Aidan's a 'Formal' is a coming together of the JCR and SCR to celebrate the college community. Held three to four times a term, the JCR attend in fancy dress with themes ranging from, 'Aidan's College of Witchcraft and Wizardry' 'Heroes and Villains' 'Under the Sea' and many more. Our Formals get across the true meaning of "College Spirit". These complement nicely the larger events of the year including the Jingle Ball, Summer Festival and Summer Ball.

“Formal dinners at St. Aidan's are large, exciting and usually themed, except the Christmas and Summer Ball. Themed formals bring out the funny, imaginative and sometimes daring natures hidden within people when it comes to costumes! As they say, you can't judge a book by its cover. You will no doubt enjoy every minute of formals... ”
Richie Wong, BSc Natural Sciences

Sportsman’s Ball

Every year we celebrate Aidan’s awesome sporting tradition with the Sportsman’s Dinner. This is an occasion which brings together all the sports teams in one room for prize giving and a speech from a guest speaker. In the past we have welcomed John Inverdale, Emlyn Hughes and Jeff Winter as special guests.

The College puts on many events throughout the year, from picnics on the beach to a Christmas Dinner in a local hotel. But it is not just the special events that give the best memories, simply watching the football in our own bar can be just as fun.

Academic / Cultural Events

There are also numerous ways to get involved in discussing wider cultural ideas. From the 'Beliefs, Values and Cultures Forum', to the Café Scientifique and Café Politique, debate is happening across college on the wider issues. These are a great way to discuss, question and form opinion. Fora like these present a great opportunity to broaden your general education.

Our Politics café meets several times each term, bringing together undergraduates, postgraduates, staff and members of the regional communities. Sometimes it is led by an invited speaker; sometimes discussion is sparked by a film. This year's programme has included invited speakers on the Arab Spring; the genealogy and contemporary forms of Conspiracy Theories; Memory, Identity, Diaspora: Marek Szableski's personal journey.

We hold regular French, German and Spanish language evenings, which are an excellent opportunity to chat to others who speak one of these languages and enjoy some food and drink typical of these countries.