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Here are 11 things that York students would do to improve the Uni of York campus

Someone give Campus West the Greggs it deserves


The Uni of York campus is central to the university experience of any York student. We work there, we socialise there, a lot of us live there, or at least have done at some point during our degree. Because of that, having a good campus is pretty important to having a good time at uni, especially since we spend SO much of our time there.

Considering most of the buildings on West Campus were built in the 1960s, and are therefore bursting to the SEAMS with brutalism, campus is probably long overdue a decent modern revamp. And who better is there to come up with new plans for York’s campus than the students who use it?

So we asked you, the students, through our Instagram (which you should all be following) what you would do to improve the Uni of York’s campus, and this is what you said.

Demolish Derwent

Very shortly after putting this question out, the Derwent slander came flooding in. Sorry to all the Derwenters out there but your college is a particularly stand-out eye sore on campus. That’s not just my personal opinion, you voted Derwent as the ugliest building on campus last year so maybe, in the name of improving aesthetics, it’s time for this concrete wonderland to go.

You have to give credit where it’s due, the college life inside the building is good, and what would we tell Long Boi if his home got demolished? That said, when put to you in an Instagram poll, 74 per cent of you agreed that destroying Derwent would improve York’s campus. May it rest in (concrete) pieces x

Give it some colour

No more grey!

On a similar note, LOADS of you wanted to see more colour on campus. I have no idea why the 60s were so aggressively obsessed with grey concrete but why should we continue to suffer because of that? Especially when the weather’s poor (which it often is), it really doesn’t help boost student morale to make them exist in a greyscale-hellscape.

Some of the suggestions included putting more art on the walls, improving the old concrete buildings on West to match the more modern vibe of East Campus, and covering up the concrete with moss and climbing plants (points for being eco-friendly). Whatever can be done to inject more life into campus, I’ll support it.

Make the lake swimmable in summer term

Some of the suggestions included putting more art on the walls, improving the old concrete buildings on West to match the more modern vibe of East Campus, and covering up the concrete with moss and climbing plants (points for being eco-friendly). Whatever can be done to inject more life into campus, I’ll support it.

Make the lake swimmable in summer term

I will quickly say that I’m not encouraging anyone to go swimming in the lake, please don’t do that. That said, were the Uni to green-light summer lake swimming, I’d be on board. They could even go full-on seaside amusements and bring out some pedalos to really let us get the most out of that Yorkshire sun after exam season.

Build a theme park

This one’s ambitious, and I respect that. I don’t know where this could go, though Greg’s Place could be a contender, or maybe it could take over one of the car parks.

Let students use Heslington Hall

I really mean it when I say that I am desperate to know what goes on in there, and I need details. Voted by you as one of the prettiest buildings on campus, keeping students out of Heslington Hall feels wrong. Surely there’s space for a couple seminar rooms? Let us in, it’s only fair.

Add more study spaces

In a poll on our story, 93 per cent of you agreed that we need more study spaces on campus, and when I think back to the laps of the Morrell I had to do in January exam season to try and find just one free seat, I completely agree. Once you’ve cycled through the library, Spring Lane Building and the campus cafes, there’s not really anywhere obvious to go. I know some subjects have specific study areas but for departments that don’t (like mine) what are we meant to do?

If you do find yourself stuck for places to go, however, here are some alternatives to the Morrell (you’re welcome x).

Give campus West the Greggs it deserves

This is an injustice that needs to be addressed. East Campus already has newer buildings, a Starbucks in the Piazza, and instead of hoards of Geese chasing you around, it has cute rabbits. Giving West Campus a Greggs would help balance out the two a bit more, so someone should really get on this.

Add ‘swap and drop’ bookshelves to communal areas

Someone suggested we should add swap-and-drop style bookshelves in communal spaces (maybe the new study areas we’ve established we need), and I quite like it. Adding a bit more of a community vibe to campus, whilst encouraging students to take time to read outside of their degree, plus it would save us all a bit of money. As far as I’m aware this wouldn’t even cost anything to implement, I’m all for it.

Student Union club

I didn’t realise how fancy other uni’s student unions were for a long time, but now it’s been brought to my attention I agree something should be done to bring York up to standard. I guess we do have bars, pubs, and cafes spread across campus, but a proper club on campus would really take us to the next level.

Campus Chickens?

There was no context provided with this, I assume the chickens would either be for eggs or as a kind of wellbeing animal (or both). With all the geese and ducks already running around, adding chickens may lead to TOO many birds roaming on campus, if there is such a thing. Maybe having campus birds is something we should just lean fully into, gotta have a brand.

Designated nap rooms

This I can get behind.

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