Let’s play a game of word association. When you hear the name Warwick University, what springs to mind? Middle-of-nowhere, Russell Group, geese? These are only a few of the many things we can associate with our beloved university, and it barely scratches the surface. Warwick is far more than the stereotypes you’ve heard from your friends at home or the vague statements you’ve been told on open days. So here’s a real lowdown on the university—quirks and all.
Prominent News Stories
Get ready to hear more and more about the U1 and Stagecoach in particular. The mere mention of the travel provider is bound to get many second, third and fourth years rolling their eyes and gnashing their teeth. Due to Stagecoach’s failure to provide students with a consistent and reliable service by increasing bus fares; its reluctance to offer replacement bus passes for those who have lost theirs; and, in recent months, its closure of a route to Sydenham that many students heavily relied upon, things aren’t looking very bright for the company and their relationship with the university. Regardless, the U1’s service is indispensable and will provide many a fresher with their first journey out of the confines of our bubble-like campus.
In other news, several famous faces were spotted in and around the university last year. In February, Game of Throne’s TV star Sophie Turner took her beau, Joe Jonas, on a night out in Leamington Spa (one of the more popular student towns), as it is close to her childhood home of Chesterton. Also in February, Jeremy Corbyn made an unannounced appearance at Warwick to speak at an annual Local Labour Government Conference.
In addition, Warwick is currently planning to introduce a lecture-free Week 0 in the academic year 2018-2019. For the first term back of 2017 however, look out for interim and pilot processes being put in place in preparation for next year, which comes after much campaigning from Sabbatical Officers and strong student support.
If you were setting yourself up to be a BNOC (Big Name on Campus) then there are a few societies that will start you off on the right foot. The Boar is undoubtedly one of them. However, aside from ourselves, you will also find Warwick RAG (Raising and Giving) to be a large presence on society. With their annual recruitment of willing Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu-trekkers and their all-out Freshers’ Week festivities, the sheer size and reach of RAG is undoubtable.
Additionally, the three largest and most prominent sport societies would have to be hockey, lacrosse, and rowing. It is guaranteed that during your time here at Warwick, you will befriend or know of a hockey or lacrosse player, even if they’re just in it for the wild circling sessions (circling is when a society gathers together to play drinking games). But it’s the Warwick Rowers that really take the ticket for the most prominent society at Warwick. In true Brit fashion, they publish an annual nude calendar and sell it on for charity. Many an eager fresher’s flat will buy or find one of these calendars to hang on their kitchen wall.
Save the Dates
Every university will have annual events and key dates; it’s part of what makes each one unique. At Warwick, one such event is the SU exec elections. There are several SU execs, each covering a range of issues such as sports and welfare. However, be quick, as nominations close Friday of Week 2. If you’re not as keen-a-bean as this, then the next annual event would be the society tours. The Warwick Snow ski tour in December is a big one, even if you’re not an active part of the society. Other tours generally happen during the reading week of Term 2, or in the Easter holidays.
One another note, don’t forget that you’ll be looking for houses for next year much sooner than you think! House searches start as early as December.
Finally, the biggest elections of the year, the elections for your SU sabbatical officers, happen towards the end of Term 2. The Sabbs have a lot of say over what the SU will campaign for over the next academic year, so make sure your voice is heard by getting your vote in.
This article has already mentioned one Warwick-specific term, but there are a whole host of others to learn, and you might as well start here. If you hear purple, we’re referring to a drink of cider and blackcurrant squash mixed together, which is commonly drunk at a circling session. A handy little tip for first timers – grab yourself a separate, empty cup so you can transfer your juicy cup of purple from cup to cup, to get rid of some of the gas that will inevitably bloat you out.
POP! might sound like a bad Now That’s What I Call Music CD but it’s actually a recurring club night held in Warwick SU’s Copper Rooms. Wednesday’s at Warwick go a little something like this: attend a sport session (if you’re into that), get ready for circling (which normally involves dressing up according to a set theme), finish circling and go down to POP! in your group. Alternatively, go and experience POP without the pre-games. With its cheesy bangers and even cheesier DJ (the beloved Disco Dave), you’ll shamefully find yourself enjoying it immensely.
The geese also gain a mention in this introduction, and rightfully so. As you’ll soon realise, the wildlife on campus is brilliant. With several little ponds and lakes, we share our intellectual spaces with some of the zaniest geese, ducks and swans the UK has to offer. You’ll soon notice how temperamental these fellows are when it’s mating season, but will return to oo-ing and ahh-ing when the eggs are all hatched.
While we might not have the brightest and biggest nightlife, or, for that matter, that much to do beyond campus, Warwick is it’s own little world and everyone who comes here falls in love with the sense of community and closeness we have. It will not disappoint.