Welcome Fresher of 2015! Congratulations on getting in to Southampton, it’s going to be an amazing few years here.
If you haven’t already, in the next few weeks you’ll be getting your Halls offer. Everyone will claim their JCR is the best. In reality, you’re gonna have fun wherever you live – but there are pros and cons of each halls of residence.
Every year, a committee of students from each halls is elected to Junior Common Room (JCR) committee who organise social events, intramural sports teams, look after your welfare, and more. They’re also the people who may teach you chants about your halls (or other halls), and ensure you’re having a great time in Freshers week (whether you’re a party animal or prefer to stay in).
We’ve broken down the pros and cons of every halls for you, ’cause we’re nice like that.
Chamberlain (Hartley Grove and South Hill)
If your offer says: Glen Eyre, followed by Hartley Grove or South Hill, you’re actually not in Glen Eyre at all, but Chamberlain. Disclaimer: I was in Chamberlain JCR committee, so I may be a little biased here – but Chamberlain are certainly one of the best halls. They’re the closest to Highfield campus, so you really can wake up 10 minutes before your lecture and still make it (trust me, I’ve done it a few times). It’s proximity to campus means it’s not far from a row of local shops and takeaways too. There’s also a bus stop right outside that runs every 10 minutes to the Avenue campus and the city centre. It’s not known as a ‘party halls’ but it’s not a quiet one either. Despite being a relatively small halls, there’s more common room space than Glen Eyre, the biggest halls on campus, and Chamberlain residents share a lot of facilities with Glen Eyre. The biggest down side of Chamberlain is the price, it’s one of the most expensive non-catered halls on campus – but it has the largest and nicest rooms. Benedict Landauer, Chamberlain JCR President describes Hartley Grove and South Hill as ‘a perfect place to spend your first year, which will definitely be a memorable one.’ If you’re in these halls, you can join the Facebook group here.
Glen Eyre is huge, and the rooms differ a lot in price, size and quality. It has its own bar, and is surrounded by gorgeous green scenery. After Chamberlain, it’s the second closest to campus, and shares the bus stop with Chamberlain, meaning you can walk to campus in 15 minutes. Due to its massive size, Glen Eyre residents tend to socialise with others in their ‘block’ (which are Chancellors’ Courts, Brunei House, Richard Newitt, J Block, Old Terrace, New Terrace and Beechmount House). Glen Eyre also boasts a gym, and a lot of greenery, which is often used by students in the summer to sunbathe, study, eat and play games. Liibaan Mohamed, Glen Eyre JCR President says ‘If you want to be part of history and have the most memorable experience, Glen Eyre halls is definitely the hall for you. Our lovely Glen Eyre JCR committee are eager to meet you and cater to your needs. See you soon!’. If you’re in these halls, you can join the Facebook group here.
Connaught (Wessex Lane)
Monte’s smaller sibling, Connaught is part of the Wessex Lane complex. Due to its small size, it’s easy to get to know all the residents, and it’s close to many small shops and a McDonalds for
easy snacks. It’s one of the only halls that is completely catered. Catered halls are a great way to socialise at breakfast and dinner, and you’re guaranteed a roast every Sunday. The biggest downside is its location, it’s a good 20 minute walk to campus, and isn’t near clubs – but the bus routes in Southampton are great, and you get a free bus pass in halls! There are bus stops minutes walk from Connaught that go every 5-10 mintues to campus, Portswood, the City Centre and the Airport (which is also a train station). Harriet Averill, Connaught JCR President says ‘You will have a reliable JCR to support and listen to you as you get to grips with university life. Quite simply, you will have the time of your life and I cannot wait to meet you all!’ If you’re in these halls, you can join the Facebook group here.
Monte (Wessex Lane)
Montefiore House, more affectionately known as ‘Monte’ is the other part of Wessex Lane, and is just across the road from Connaught. Monte Bar (also known as Boiler House) is always busy with good drink deals and sky sports showing most major sporting events. Wessex Lane is one of the biggest halls complexes in Europe, and the rooms differ a lot in price, size
and quality. Some are catered, some aren’t – some are en suites and some have shared bathrooms. Monte JCR President Greg Williams says ‘don’t stress, it’s natural to feel a bit nervous before coming to University, but your JCR can’t wait to welcome you to the greatest halls this city has to offer! Monte Love!’ You can join the official group here.
Mayflower halls are only a year old, and are right in the city centre, great if you’re based at the NOC, or love clubbing and shopping. Unfortunately, traffic in Southampton can be bad, and it can be up to an hour on the bus to Highfield campus. It’s only a few minutes walk from Southampton’s main train station, and not too far to the Avenue campus. It also has the nicest gym of any halls complex, and certainly the most impressive architecture! Mayflower President Jordan Mac Phee-Torres says ‘Because Mayflower is so big, the variety of people you meet is tremendous and it truly adds to the experience of starting university and being immersed in a brand new setting! Living at Mayflower truly is an experience and would make any first year memorable.’. If you’re in these halls, you can join the Facebook group here.
Bencraft courts biggest benefit is that it’s the cheapest halls! It’s location isn’t great, about a 20 minute walk from campus and not near the City Centre or shops. But the bus that goes to both campus and town is every 5-10 minutes. It’s one of the smallest and most tightly-knitted halls, so everyone knows everyone. The common has recently been refurbished and often is used for pre-drinks and film night. Task Skinner, Bencraft JCR President says ‘Not only is Bencraft Court the cheapest halls but it is also
brilliant! With a bus stop just outside the halls the whole of Southampton is on your doorstep’. Join the official Facebook group here.
Erasmus Park is the halls for all the artist studying up in Winchester. Luckily, these halls are only a 10-minute walk to Winchester School of Art and to Winchester City Centre. Mark Jerrom Erasmus Park JCR President says ‘One of the best parts of Erasmus Park is that it is all WSA Students. There’s always a creative buzz as you will be constantly around other art students all studying various courses at the WSA. This works out great if you want to bounce ideas and gain feedback about your project work from people who are not your course mates. Although we only have one Club in Winchester and I have spent many nights out in Vodka, it’s not your only option for a night out. With a plethora of pubs at your disposal, you have a lot of options for where you want to start/end your nights out….With all this being said, you have a lot to look forward to starting freshers at EP and the JCR will ensure that you remember it! Hope to see you all in September!’ The halls themselves are one longline of houses, housing around 380 students – if you’re studying at Winchester, days or nights out in Southampton are quick taxi or train journey away. Join the official Facebook group here.
Highfield Halls are one of the quietest and smallest halls, and has a fair few second and third years living in there. There’s a mixture of ensuites and shared bathrooms, the room sized vary dramatically too. Highfield is another catered halls, so the kitchens are quite small – but big enough for the amount of use. Highfield is best for humanities students based on the Avenue campus, as it’s just across the road! It’s only around 10 minutes walk to the Highfield campus, and about 30 minutes on for to the clubs of Portswood. Kelechi Nze, Highfiled JCR President says ‘Being the smallest and therefore most exclusive halls means that we form a halls community like no other. Everybody knows each other. It sometimes feels like you joined the biggest (and longest) sleepover and all your friends were invited. The building itself is an ex country house which gives the entire halls a classy Downton abbey feeling especially considering we’re part catered…. On Sundays we run free tea and cake with board games which at times have been known to get perhaps more competitive than any sane individual would warrant.” Here is the official Highfield Facebook group.
Near the nightclubs of Bedford place, and a quick walk to the City Centre Archers Road is great for socialites. It’s not too close to the Highfield campus, but it only takes about 10 minutes on the bus. The kitchens in Archers Road are one of the biggest, although they tend to be shared with more people, usually around 7-9. The bedrooms are nice too, mostly with en suites. James Littlefair, President of Archers Road says ‘The real selling point of the halls is the feeling of community you get as soon as you walk in. Being condensed into 3 smaller buildings, you really find yourself knowing and getting on with everyone living with you. Even though I didn’t apply for it, I wouldn’t think twice about staying there again, and I couldn’t recommend it more.’ You can join the official Facebook group here.
Liberty Point halls are right in the City Centre, and are the only halls with a JCR that aren’t owned by the University. It’s location means it’s quick to Portswood and the City Centre, but a reasonable distance from the Highfield campus. 2015 Freshers are particularly lucky as the halls are being renovated for September 2015 – making the communal areas bigger. Arun Aggarwal, Liberty Point President says ‘Our staff are amongst the most friendliest of any Halls in Southampton, and any problem you have they will fix immediately! The fact that we’re a relatively small Halls means that you get to know everyone here, which never happens in the bigger Halls!’ This is the official Facebook group for Liberty Point.
City Gateway are a brand new halls, so the residents will be the first to ever live there. It’s location is good, only about a 15 minute walk from Highfield campus, and is near Wessex Lane so it shares it’s great transport links. There’s a Morrison in the halls complex, and a pharmacy, Subway and McDonald’s just around the corner, and an easy bus ride to the City Centre. Tom Cross, City Gateway Presidents says: ‘We’ve got an experienced JCR this year who have helped run other halls before, so if you ever need any advice, help or a friendly bunch to head to the infamous Jesters with, we are the guys and girls to call on! See you in September for an incredible Freshers experience!’ Join the Facebook group here.
Okay, so technically ‘Private Rented’ isn’t a Halls. However, SUSU put together a JCR to look after all you living at home, in Private rented houses, private halls or otherwise! There are loads of advantages to not being in halls – typically it’s cheaper and the bedrooms are bigger. Daniel Browning, Private Rented President says ‘Living in Private Rented accommodation or at home for your first year in university can be a big jump towards independence, don’t worry! We have an awesome line up of fresher events to allow you to meet other students in Private Rented accomodation as well as those who are in halls.’ Join the Facebook group here.