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Congratulations and Welcome to New Undergraduate Students 2023

Hi! I’m Ben. I'm the President of the Society for this year, having already been President last year as well. I graduated in 2022 with a History degree. Congratulations on getting into Durham and choosing (or ending up at) St Cuthbert’s Society!

Cuth’s is rather unique amongst Durham Colleges. We are the only one to have been founded by students, by those seeking an alternative to collegiate life, rather than the University. In 1888 we were founded as a ‘society’, and we retain not only the name of the Society, but also its fiercely independent streak. We have never shied away from being different. We cherish our traditions, but are proudly forward-thinking and committed to change. We like to consider ourselves ‘traditionally untraditional’.

This is still reflected in the way that Cuth’s operates. As the full-time elected President of the Society, I am employed by the JCR (Junior Common Room), which is a registered independent charity, rather than by College or the University. The JCR exists to provide experiences to students in Cuth’s. This ranges from over forty sports and societies, our three annual balls, a music festival (Cuth’s Day), welfare services, volunteering opportunities, charity fundraising, gyms, music rooms, and more. My job is to oversee all of these activities, and represent you to College and the wider university. The JCR is, apart from myself, entirely run by student volunteers - and we have over a hundred of them. We’re entirely democratic, so get involved! Although I’m the President, we’re a member-led organisation, so be the change that you want to see.

I’ll be living in House 8 (on the Bailey) this year. Feel free to say hi, and you can always get in touch with me if you have any questions about who we are or what we do. Cuth’s and the JCR exist to help you transition into University life, so never hesitate to reach out if you have any problems. Even if we can’t help, we’ll always be able to point you in the right direction. Coming to Durham really is unique - you’re not just going to University, but to a College (or in our case, a Society). So throw yourself into everything, try something new, meet new people, and have some fun. Our community is what makes Cuth’s so fantastic. I can’t wait to see you all in Durham come September.