Okay so if you’re a prospective student, you may think you know the campus inside and out. You’ve read the prospectus from cover to cover and had the open day experience. However that only covers the basics. What you don’t discover is all of the secrets of campus, which you only find out through being a student here.
But as I’m nice, I’m going to share a few of them to you…
We actually have a celebrity on campus among our students and staff. Her name is Pebbles, or more commonly known as the Campus Cat. This little feline chose the Tony Rich Teaching Centre as its home, after leaving her home in nearby Greenstead! She has gone on to amass over 5000 likes on Facebook and has even been featured in the Times Higher Education guide. Students love to pet her in between lectures and get selfies with her…
At the Albert Sloman library we have an extraordinary way to travel between floors. The library is home to one of only three surviving Paternoster lifts in the country! It’s basically an elevator which continually moves really slowly, meaning that you have to jump on and off of the lift. It’s quite hard to explain really, so just look at the below video! It’s a really cool thing, despite it being a bit weird to get used to at first.
Whilst the vast majority of students prefer to go to our Starbucks outlet in the SU bar to get their Coffee fix, I think the Lakeside Café is much better! Hot drinks here are among the cheapest and best tasting on campus, plus if you visit between 8 am and 11 am during the week, you can get a hot drink and a pastry for £1.75! Brilliant for if you’re just popping to the Library next door, or if you’re just heading off to a lecture in the nearby Ivor Crewe Lecture hall!
Located behind Square 3, the Secret Garden is a relaxed oasis behind the hustle and bustle of campus. In the summer, there are outdoor movie screenings here, as well as visiting dogs to relieve stress during the summer exam period. If nobody had told you it was there, you could walk right past it easily every day for years on your way to lectures. If you want a peak at where it is, then take a look at from the viewing platform to the left of Happy Days.
Secret entrance to SU bar
The majority of the University is constructed around 5 main squares, which are all linked together. This often means that you can get lost quite easily trying to find your teaching rooms at first! You can also start off looking for a room on one side of campus and end up on the entirely opposite side! However, this does mean that among this maze, there are some pretty cool shortcuts to be found!
One of my personal favourites is the secret entrance to the SU bar, which is located down the Law corridor, past Lab J. It is also just down the corridor from one of my teaching rooms, so it’s easy to nip off to the bar after class! This completely blew my mind when I first found out that this door existed, as there are no signs saying that the entrance is there or what is beyond the door! It felt a lot like the moment when the children enter the room with the chocolate river in the film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”!
As well as the secret SU bar entrance, another secret of the University amongst the maze of corridors is the piano rooms. These are rooms that cannot be booked and are available for students to practise in whenever they like. Now, if only I could play the piano…
Frisbee golf course
The University is also home to 18 of these funny metal structures, which are dotted all over campus. On campus tours in the past, I’ve heard people calling them bike racks and bins, however they are in fact all holes on a Frisbee golf course! The course is one of only a handful in the country and takes in the green areas of campus, including a hole which players have to throw the disc over a lake. As a result, the University regularly holds the European and World Championships in disc golf. The photo below is of Danish player Jens Bak at the 2012 European championships playing a hole next to the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall!
Although I haven’t got round to having a go at the course yet, I look forward to having a go in the summer when the weather is that bit nicer! Discs and maps of the course are available to hire from the University Sports centre reception.
So now you know all these secrets, go explore and check them all out! However, don’t tell anyone I told you 😉