‘Constantine has gone from strength-to-strength!’

‘Connie’ College celebrated its 10th anniversary last weekend

(Image: O’HARA PHOTOGRAPHY )

Constantine College celebrated its 10th anniversary with a student-run summer party at the college’s Forum last Saturday.

Soundtracked with music by University Radio York (URY), hundreds of students attended to soak up some much-needed end-of-semester sun, stopping at the open bar for a free drink and buying Sicilian food from Tiro’s, a small food business based in Spark.

The Swap Don’t Shop student group attracted a strong crowd, letting students swap clothes for new ones sustainably, while Constantine’s STYC program had a stand for recruiting students to volunteer to help Freshers this autumn. 

The event was organised by Constantine’s student committee, following a smaller-scale formal drinks reception organised by staff the previous evening.  

“We’ve had a great turn-out. The food truck’s gone down a great success and the weather’s been absolutely amazing,” remarked James King, Vice-President for Events and Activities. He added that it had taken two months to plan the event: “the day’s the easiest bit, it’s all the stuff that comes before that’s the challenge.”

Constantine President Emily Eurus-Jones squeezed in a few minutes to speak to Vision about what it was like to lead a college committee. 

“It’s the most stressful job you’ll ever do,” she confessed. “It’s when you see the things pay off – it’s so many emails and meetings and you don’t feel like you’re getting anything out of it and it’s going nowhere, and then things just all click into place before an event and you’re like ‘I love this job’.” 

(Image: O’HARA PHOTOGRAPHY)

Many within YUSU and the University have pushed for changes to college committees in recent years, with lots seeing them as not receiving enough recognition for the effort they put into student life. This celebration proved the value of college student-led events in bringing the community together. 

Grace Hodge, a Constantine third-year, explained, “I feel like Constantine has gone from strength-to-strength! The committee does so many events where everyone is involved.”

Eurus-Jones, who aspires to become a barrister after doing a law conversion, also spoke about some of the sponsorships and collaborations that her team has been involved with. 

“It’s about accessibility. If we can make things cheaper for the students, it means they get to engage more”. She later added, “we’ve got people on maximum loan, people on minimum loan, […], we try to cater it so everyone gets the same experience, we want it to be a level field for everyone, and by putting these events on for free it means everyone gets the same opportunity.”

Constantine’s committee is also keen on “leaning into” college stereotypes, and Eurus-Jones expressed that this was the intention behind the collaboration with Tom’s Trunks, joggers which were embroidered with Constantine branding.

Many committee members talked about building momentum and identity within the college, with Secretary Sofia Antunes Trabuco saying she was “really proud, really excited for Freshers”. 

In attendance were former Constantine Presidents Tim Woodford and Kyle Siwek, who talked about building up the college over the years to become closer to the more established giants like Derwent and James. 

“Hopefully year-on-year engagement will grow, and we’ll start to really build an identity,” Woodford said, adding “how can we make people feel like this is more than where they live?”

“Before Covid, lots of the committees of other colleges had yearly, regular events, but when you had that dropoff in Covid, you lost that cohort that had the memory of how good it is,” explained Siwek, now a college fellow and studying for a Masters in History at Oxford. He added, “it was a lot of effort that had to be done to rebuild that.”

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