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College stereotypes by the numbers

Nouse research puts the long-standing college stereotypes to the test

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From the 'boring' and ‘studious’ colleges such as Alcuin, to the ‘fun’ and ‘wild’ colleges such as Derwent, York students have always been infatuated with placing a stereotype on their colleges. Nouse research from freedom of information requests has shed some light on the validity of such stereotypes.

A long-lasting measure of how ‘fun’ or ‘boring’ a college is has often been determined by how loud they are, and how often the inhabitants of such colleges engage with drugs. To try and examine which colleges were the loudest, we asked the University to provide us with the number of noise complaints that were filed for each college over the past five years. We also requested information on how many instances drugs were confiscated over the past five years in each college.

It perhaps may not be a surprise to many York students that Derwent College boasts the highest number of instances in which drugs have been confiscated, as drugs were confiscated eight times from Derwent College in 2019, and seven times in 2018. The college with the second highest instances of drug confiscation in 2019 was Alcuin with two recorded instances of confiscation. Alcuin has often been regarded as the most ‘boring’ and ‘academic’ college; however, some could argue that this number could suggest that these stereotypes are not fully accurate. The other colleges on campus had no recorded instances of drug confiscation in 2019, and shockingly, Constantine, Goodricke, James and Langwith have never had any recorded instances of drugs having been confiscated at all in the past five years. This is not to say, however, that drugs have not been used in these colleges over the years.

Contrastingly, all colleges have recorded varying numbers of noise complaints over the past five years. Colleges such as Constantine and, surprisingly, Derwent received the least amount of noise complaints with 10 and 11 respectively recorded. The college with the highest number of noise complaints in the academic year of 2018/19 was Halifax with 35, and coming in joint second is Vanbrugh and, again, Alcuin with 29.

This collective data could suggest that perhaps college stereotypes are not fully accurate, with the most ‘boring’ college of Alcuin receiving the second highest in both the amount of noise complaints and instances of drugs being confiscated in 2019.

However, this analysis of the data could be disputed, as high numbers of noise complaints could suggest that instead of being loud, and perhaps therefore ‘fun’, Alcuin, as reinforced by their stereotype, is less tolerant to noise than other colleges. Colleges such as Derwent are therefore perhaps more tolerant to noise as their low number of recorded noise complaints may suggest.

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