Freshers’ Week

A review of the Butler Games Freshers’ week that held more surprises than any Frep Team could have anticipated.

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Just over two weeks ago the new Butlerites arrived at Butler College to a sea of enthusiastic Freps in yellow t-shirts, facepainted with red and yellow stripes, dots and other miscellaneous shapes. Many drivers on route up to the Butler roundabout indulged the mole who asked them to ‘beep for Butler.’ The new Butlerites made their way up the drive to be greeted by pounding music, which Des O’Neill bobbed his head to. Freshers went through the standard registration procedure, acquiring campus card, gown, different booklets and some Butler Games stash. Friendly freps moved the anxious Freshers into their new rooms for the year.

The Butler Games were officially kick-started by Anisha and Laurie, this year’s Head Freps. Following dinner in flats, the Butler Colours Rave started with Matt Ricketts, our facepaint guru, revealing the design of the Butler Crest, on his face. DJ Dejavu graced Butler stage to deliver an amazing set that made the bar come alive and Freshers take to the makeshift dancefloor of JB’s. Chilled made sure the red and yellow dress code extended to the meeting room, whilst the welfare team provided tea and toast expertly.

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After a somewhat refreshing sleep, depending on the Fresher you asked, the academic commitments began. The normal questions surrounding connecting to the wifi, where post is delivered and how to use the PR2 were asked. The day occurred with little to report.

However, plans of Milfield cooking pizzas and Dilston attending their first ever Butler formal were delayed by a power cut in all three accommodation blocks, Butler Bar and the Howlands building. The poor Freshers believed that the Butler Games theme was being taken slightly too seriously. I can reveal the power cut was not planned in the timetable. The Freshers and Freps gathered in the staircases under the emergency lighting, some with guitars, to pass the time in the dark. The worst of the power cut (with all of Butler being affected) lasted about an hour and a half.

As power returned to the Bar, Howlands, Kirknewton and Milfield cooking was resumed. The formal began with a reduced high table entering the Howlands Hall, greeted by rumbling stomachs. The atmosphere in the Hall returned calm, as people were fed. Unfortunately this atmosphere could not last, as Dilston’s power could not be turned back on. Dilstoners were to be rehoused around Butler or in the Viaduct.Blissfully unaware, Milfielders danced away in the bar to The Invitations.

Dilstoners returned to their rooms to pick up some overnight clothes and essentials. The lucky few rehoused in Butler joined the Milfielders in the bar. Even though Dilston had no power Butler spirit could not be turned off, with all Freshers being very cooperative in moving.

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Luckily, on Tuesday the Dilston students were able to move back into their rooms, power included. The events of the night before inspired some chants that were debuted on the Butler Stroll including: “If your food is defrosted clap your hands etc.” The first years made the most of the Stroll night as the matriculation photo could not take place on the Wednesday morning before University matriculation, due to Milfield Field resembling more of a swamp than a football pitch. This did not stop Freps waking up the Freshers with pots, pans and chanting. The procession down to the Cathedral was slightly dampened by more rain than Durham has ever seen. The soggy first years were welcomed, by the new Vice-Chancellor, into Durham University. If the Freshers did not feel the excitement of matriculation, or did not understand it, the balloon bridge and a dancing mole on Pre-bends Bridge cleared things up. The rest of the day was taken up by College Matriculation, Milfield’s formal (no power cuts but GBBO was missed) and a recharge night, where Freps and one talented Fresher took to the stage to offer music sets.

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The Matriculation photo was rescheduled to the Thursday morning, taking place on Butler drive. The Freps took the chance once more to wake the Freshers with pots and pans. After Freps joined in for the final photo the rest of the day carried on as normal with academic commitments. Another stroll took place on Thursday night ending in the infamous Klute. Freshers did not quite know what to think as they were greeted by brick exterior. However, all seemed to enjoy their night out.

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The Friday night bar event was the UV silent disco, which was a resounding success with all Freshers. One even returned in his pyjamas after making the rookie decision of heading to bed early. All Freps and Freshers sang with the music in their headphones until 2am.

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The Butler Fair on Saturday attracted Freshers and Returners toign up for societies, sports and committees. Returners stayed on for the 90s’ Throwback Night as Spice Girls music dominated the bar. The night ended and the Freshers’ sadness, that the week was coming to an end, was felt by all Freps. However there was one more day before the yellow t-shirts were thrown to the back of wardrobes.

Sunday welfare took over. Giving out survival packs for Freshers to avoid Freshers Flu that most Freps were already experiencing. The week concluded with a JCR meeting that filled important positions whilst also putting forward an interesting mock motion  of changing the name of Treasurer to the Wolf of South Road, to reflect Sam Strading’s Leonardo DiCaprio esque lifestyle.

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Thank you to the incredible frep team, with whom the week would not have been possible. Thank you to Anisha and Laurie for organising a great week. Thank you to Hattie for her constant enthusiasm. Finally, thank you to the Freshers who made the week enjoyable and worthwhile. Here is to a great year where at Butler the odds will always be in your favour.

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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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