living and learning

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

That 'sense of community'

Weston Park at sunset, 21.3.2010

Everyone loves Endcliffe. Everyone adores Tapton. Ranmoor didn't have any residents last year but if they did I bet they they'd be pledging their unwavering allegiance too. A quote from the uni's accommodation page:
I love it! The sense of community and friendliness is immense and I never have to worry about security.
City, on the other hand, is a different matter. I was on the City Community Development Committee last year, and one thing we were always trying to deal with was the lack of a sense of community. Is it because City is larger? Not true. Is it because City people are less sociable? Judging from the frequency of block parties and loud music emitting from halls: hardly. Or is there a better explanation?

We tried really hard at organising fun community events, probably more so than all the other communities put together, according to the uni's communities coordinator. Few of them were successful - while Endcliffers flocked to their events at the tiniest hints, City residents routinely ignored theirs. Excuses?
  • 'It's too far away.' (City consists of many halls scattered across a large area, unlike the other communities)
  • 'I'm not sure where it is.' (The only common room available for events is located deep in one of the many complexes, and normally only open to residents)
  • 'Can't be bothered.' (Would rather socialise within halls with familiar faces rather than go to City events where you don't know anyone.)
Proximity is the key word here. Student residential communities rely solely on proximity to bring their members together, take that away and you have no binding agent left. Hence 'the lack of a sense of community' among City members - the reason is, there isn't a natural community to speak of.


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