Freshers’ Week 2014, aka #ButlerMoments

After weeks of meticulous planning by Head Freps Rupert Maspero and Sally Crawford, and after days of set-up from this year’s fantastic Frep team, on Sunday the 28th September over 200 new Butlerites arrived at the College!

Day 1: Arrivals and Colours Rave

The day kicked off with the first arrival at 8:37 am exactly, even though it was specified not to arrive before 10am, these new Freshers were just too keen! Like every other year the new arrivals were piled upon with gowns, T-shirts, wristbands, lanyards, guides to the week, welfare guides and goodies and countless smiles. By 10am the bar was jammed packed full of people eager to receive their keys and get moved into the room which they will call home for the next 9 months. A few parents seemed tearful whilst others looked simply ecstatic that they were finally getting their homes back to themselves! By about 2pm most of the crowds had dissipated, surely this is the most eager to move in year so far.

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The evening kicked off with a huge turnout in the bar for the first event of the week, Bushtucker trials. The game consisted of questions to the audience who could then pick which Freps had to do a series of forfeits. These included having to eat/drink/somehow consume what can only be called revolting concoctions, a game called “boiled egg roulette” which involved cracking (hopefully) boiled eggs over Freps heads and letting the Freps try to shave a water balloon. It is safe to say that most forfeits did not end well for the Freps, much to the amusement of the Freshers. After the Bushtucker trials the Freps went back with their flats to cook up some standard Butler fajitas and then it was on to the Butler Colours Rave.

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Day 2: Beach Party

Monday began with a well-timed Welcome Talk at 9am. There were many a tired looking face in the crowds as Adrian, Karen, Des and Siri gave their respective talks on College life. Afterwards most students had academic commitments, but for those that had free time there were plenty of chilled activities on offer during the afternoon, including table tennis, croquet and films in the JCR lounge. The evenings consisted of the first Formal for Milfield whilst the other 2 blocks had a chilli con carne cooked for them. It is always a great sight when a flat of Freshers walk out in their gowns for the first time and you see one of them pretending to be Harry Potter. After the formal the Beach Party kicked off. This consisted of a live performance from the ever popular Quays, some excellent Beach tunes (bring on the Nicki Minaj’s Starships), a coconut shy, a great selection of shorts/sunglasses/garlands and of course many life loving Freshers!

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Day 3: Stroll

Like the day before many new students had academic commitments during the day, so similar chilled activities to Monday were planned to run all week, including Town Tours and Coffee Shop crawls. Whilst half of the Freshers had their first Mentor Night the other half were invited down to the Indoor Market for tasters of a multitude of food stalls. Afterwards the annual Butler Stroll began with Stroll T-shirts becoming blank canvases for the Freshers to let their creative juices flow. On the Stroll the Freshers were taught the classic Butler chants, which led to a victorious “chant off” with Mildert on the Bailey. The end destination was Loveshack which became packed with Butler students for the majority of the night!

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Day 4: Matriculation, UV Silent Disco

Matriculation means early morning wake-up call! The Freps utilised pots, pans, giant jenga blocks, car horns and those croaky tired voices to raise all the hungover and sleepy Freshers from their beds. The College photo ran very smoothly with only a few stranglers having to run down to Milfield field. After the photo Freshers grabbed some brunch bags before heading to the Cathedral. The ceremony was very short this year meaning that there were very few casualties in the Cathedral! On the way back to College the Freshers were greeted by the balloon arch and enthusiastic Freps on Prebends Bridge. College Matriculation took place straight after, running very smoothly and allowing the bleary eyed Freshers to grab a couple of hours sleep before the evening entertainment kicked in.

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Wednesday night was a mirror of Monday with the Formal for Dilston and Kirknewton blocks whilst Milfield were cooked for by Freps. After this the bar was cleared in time for the Silent Disco. Each year it is claimed this is the best night of Freshers, and this year was no different, with a great turnout of UV clad Freshers singing their hearts out. The choice of 2 different channels for song selection hilariously led to groups having several members singing and raving to one song whilst the others were singing along to a completely different song. Of course when headsets were removed it became evident that the majority of the Freshers were not even singing the correct lyrics at all! Overall it was a fantastic night and hopefully not one to be forgotten by the Freshers!

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Day 5: All American Night Out

Thursday began with very few students rising early, a testimony of the night before! This day saw the second Mentor night, whilst the other Freshers who had mentor night on the Tuesday were invited down to the Indoor Market. The night then consisted of another stroll but this time ending in the rising favourite club of Lloyds.

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Day 6: Speed Meeting, Boys vs Girls, Butler Live

Friday saw more chilled events in the evening as the DSU Ball attracted some of our students out of College. This did not make the evening any less special though as those that stayed learnt some valuable (and sometimes disturbing) information about one another through speed meeting. The highlight was finding out just how many claims to fame Head Frep Rupert Maspero really has. Afterwards began the ultimate battle of the sexes in a Boys vs Girls competition. This consisted of the two sexes splitting into separate groups and then partaking in a series of challenges such as racing to eat a 3 course meal with one person eating and one person feeding, coming up with a new Butler chant, and creating several new iconic fashion outfits using toilet roll and cling film. The end result saw the girls come out on top with a staggering 18 points – 9 points victory. To lighten the tension in the air after such a vicious competition, Butler Live began with an external band called BluePrint taking to the stage. There was a warm reception for the band and they played a fantastic 1 hour set. We then saw our very own Freps Rosie Bawn, followed by Becky Teece and Alex Naylor, crack out some wonderful tunes. Overall the night was pretty fantastic and provided a great alternative to the previous nights of partying.

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Day 7: Butler Fair and Noah’s Ark Party

Saturday kicked off at midday with the Butler Fair, where societies, sport and committees all had stands for sign-ups. This year saw an incredible number of sign-ups for all clubs, with a special mention to croquet who had over three sheets full of names! Whilst the Fair was going on inside the Bar and Howlands, there were inflatables outside to use throughout the day. The popular “Demolition Ball” made an appearance, as well as an incredibly fun assault course.

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As Saturday marked the day when returners came back to College the night’s event was extra special. The theme for this was Noahs’ Ark, so we expected pairs of animals galore. There were many a funny costume, including a crocodile hunter, a penguin, and Noah himself. The night raved on until 2am to a special playlist of “animal” tunes. All in all it was a great end to the week!

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Day 8: Chill Out Day and JCR Meeting

Sunday was the last day of Freshers and as such was a much needed day of rest. There were copious amounts of cake all day and the big screen displayed all the major sporting events for those that came down to the Bar. The evening finished off with the first JCR Meeting of the year, which saw the husts of Bar Stewards and Tour Rep (both of which results will be announced on Wednesday later in the week), the elections of DSU Rep, Careers Rep, Green Comm Rep, Year Abroad Rep, Quizmaster and Mole Master. Three positions were taken over by Freshers’ which is a great sign of the amount of involvement to come throughout the year. Overall it has been an outstanding week. A big shout out to Rupert Maspero and Sally Crawford for organising it, with the help of their lovely Frep team. Lets hope the year ahead is just as good!

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About butleralumni

The Butler Alumni blog is aimed at all alumni of Josephine Butler College, Durham University. We aim to keep you in the loop with interesting interviews with alumni and current Butler students, reviews of Butler events and updates on what is going on in both the College and alumni communities. The blog is edited and managed by the Alumni Relations Assistant, Sally Crawford, but she is always looking for ideas or volunteer writers to help make the posts more interesting and interactive! If you're interested in contributing to the blog, Sally would be thrilled to hear from you at jbalumni.association@durham.ac.uk.
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