My expectation when I came to Durham was that I would be heavily involved in music and drama. I loved Freshers and soon felt at home in Hatfield and Durham. However, Freshers Flu hit me hard and I could barely speak let alone sing for my auditions. Suddenly I no longer had the anchor which had formed such a large part of my life and identity at School. Unfortunately, my bad luck didn’t end there as I fell down some stairs and ended up in A&E a week before my rowing trial for the DU Development Squad. Though this was all a big knock for me, to my surprise what seemed like bad luck ended up leading me to something that I really love.

One of my reasons for choosing Hatfield was because I love the traditional aspect. So I went to almost every formal, which I quickly learnt have a lot more to them than just food, gowns and latin grace, and they soon became a highlight of my week! Through this I met and became friends with a lot of people who were(/are) really involved in College, including members of last year’s Exec. Through the Junior Ents roles I took on and becoming Social Media Rep I soon found an ever growing love of Hatfield and a real passion for planning events and being in an organisational role. 

This inspired me to apply for JCR Secretary. Out of the 10 roles on Exec, Secretary seemed to fit me the best as the main roles are Formals (which I love), Social Media (which I had already been working on) and Stash (which forms the majority of my wardrobe). The application process was challenging, but totally worth it. First you have to submit a manifesto, then you have Formal Hustings, where you are questioned by the previous exec and members of the JCR on how you would approach the role. Finally you have Informal Husts, which are a bit of a laugh and take place in the bar with some challenges and games. I was shocked and ecstatic to be elected, especially as I had an extremely tough and worthy opponent. So far, I have truly loved the role and have enjoyed working with the rest of the team to help improve Hatfield.

The Executive Committee (Exec) is group of 10 students who are elected in the Epiphany term and oversee the day-to-day activities of the JCR. The Exec is there for you, so make use of us. Though we have our individual roles, one of our main jobs is to represent you! So, please come to OGMs (and get free pizza) as the more engaged everyone is the better we can make Hatfield. If you have any suggestions or concerns, please get in touch. You will see us a lot around college so come over and have a chat. If you want/need to contact us you can message, email (hatfield.jcr@durham.ac.uk) or you can pop over to the Exec room which is at the bottom of C Stairs next to the ISM room. Below is a list of this years Exec (2017/18) and their email addresses, they are all lovely approachable people who would be happy hear from you!

Senior Man | Harry Dow | hatfield.seniorman@durham.ac.uk
Vice President (Discipline) | Emma Price | hatfield.jcrdiscipline@durham.ac.uk
Welfare Officer | Laura Swinton | hatfield.jcrwelfare@durham.ac.uk
JCR Treasurer | Dominic Berry | hatfield.jcrtreasurer@durham.ac.uk
Facilities Officer | Isaac Rudden | hatfield.jcrfacilities@durham.ac.uk
Communities Officer | Rory Flynn | hatfield.jcrcommunities@durham.ac.uk
Sports and Societies Officer | Joe Norbury | hatfield.jcrsportssocieties@durham.ac.uk
Social Secretary | Jadwiga Slomka | hatfield.jcrsocial@durham.ac.uk
JCR Secretary | Chloe Sweetland | hatfield.jcrsecretary@durham.ac.uk
JCR Chair | Georgina Burford-Taylor | hatfield.jcrchair@durham.ac.uk

When you arrive at Durham you will no doubt have some expectations, just as I did. It’s important to try not to worry too much if it seems like things aren’t quite how you imagined or if you aren’t having the “perfect freshers”, which quite honestly just doesn’t exist. In regards to my story, my love of music hasn’t completely disappeared. After learning more about the JCR and specifically the opportunity to set up your own society, I formed a non-auditioned Choir, which leads me to give a shameless shout out to Hatfield College Voices! Things rarely turn out exactly how you planned, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, you may find something special you never expected.

Chloe Sweetland, Natural Sciences

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