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Save Dave the Porter! A campaign to stop the “shifting” of St Aidan’s porter, Dave, to Van Mildert

#SaveDave the ‘legend’ porter who is ‘the lifeblood of Aidan’s’

Students at St Aidan’s are banding together in a campaign to ‘Save Dave’, the “legend” porter at Aidan’s, who is facing the fate of being transferred two minutes away to Mildert.

Dave is described by the official campaign page as, “one of our best porters”, who, “always has a listening ear, is up for a game of pool and is very approachable”.

The students’ concerns have been growing ever further as Dave’s move was originally planned for January 2023, though now it has been postponed to March 2023.

Action, however, is currently being taken in the form of JCR democracy, with a motion put forward for the next JCR meeting at St Aidan’s, proposing to quite simply “Save Dave the Porter”.

The motion put forward by a group of second year students recognises Dave’s contributions to students’ mental health, with many Aidanites crediting his willingness to talk to students at any hour about anything. The motion itself states that losing Dave as a porter to Van Mildert, would be “equivalent to Aidan’s losing a part of itself”.

The campaign highlights Dave’s particular connection to the international study community, saying “he takes an extra step in making all of us feel welcomed into Aidan’s’ tight-knit community” and that he takes interest in other cultures, compliments fashion styles and gives advice for living in Durham.

One international student said:

“He has honestly made my experience of moving to a new country much easier: I felt accepted for who I am. Dave truly is a beautiful part of Aidan’s”. 

Tom Chapman, Aidan’s’ JCR President has called the planned move to Mildert a “senseless act of cruelty to the college community”, saying he urges “the ops directorate to reconsider”.

Even the college’s resident travelling house plant Sian (@sianatdurham) is “truly bereft”, by the potential loss of this clearly loved member of St Aidan’s staff.

The Save Dave campaign has given a statement to The Tab Durham, stating they believe:

“porters are a vital part of college life and can have a great effect on the culture of a college. Dave is the lifeblood of Aidan’s and helps to make it a more inclusive place, we cannot afford to lose him”.

The organisers of “Save Dave”, aims for their JCR to “issue a statement to the University saying the JCR strongly wants Dave to remain at Aidan’s and to ask the University to consider student’s interests before shifting any porters”, and they also want principal “Susan” to “include the motion as part of evidence of student’s opinion”.

The campaign also has a growing social media presence with an Instagram page dedicated to the cause (@savedavecampaign) , where the campaigners ask all Aidanites to come forwards and support, “one of Aidan’s best porters”, promoting a Google Form where JCR levy-payers may put their names down to officially second the motion, and gather momentum in the exciting world of college democracy. The form can be found here.

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