Columtreal University
by: Daiyu Tang

I Heart CU

Readers, I should be honest with you before you delve in here. My first impressions of Columtreal hadn't been good. I'd arrived in this City with a prospectus in hand (and a very glossy one at that) and I thought I'd found a place that when combined with a scholarship was fairly cheap and would be able to sate my interest in writing and journalism. Afterall, the University proudly proclaimed the journalism course as well as a wide variety of other activities

Sadly, on arrival four or so months ago, the place was a building site. The University building was a tip and although there were signs of good intent everywhere, there were precious few students, few working amenities and parts of the general area were run down and unsafe. Would it surprise your reader that I have no writing courses to my name and somehow I've ended up at the Observer anyway? Higher Education... is it worth it? Let's find out.

So today, on the instruction of our editors and the request of the University Press Office, I'm here to write about what I've found now as I explored the grounds of the University. The majority of the building work has been completed and events are advertised around Hathian for the start of the new term at CU. It's fair to say that my feelings have substantially changed and I hope as you explore with me through this article it might tip your interest enough so that you swing by and visit, or even sign-up to teach or study.

So, breaking down the campus, let's start with where you might choose to live before you enrol on your course.

Student Accommodation

While Hathian has plenty of real-estate, it is important that potential new students and faculty alike are aware of the various options. While this list is probably by no means exhaustive and I was assured by the Press Office that new building continues, here are some of the highlights.

The CU Dorms

CU Dorms Outside

The Dorms contains twelve student rooms available on a part furnished basis that prospective Looters can rent at a reasonable price. Coming with a relatively modest space, restricting somewhat furniture and other items, never-the-less with some effort, you can make your place feel reasonably cosy.

While the dorms don't benefit from en-suite facilities, showers and washing facilities can be found in the main Columtreal building.

CU Dorms Inside

The local long stay motel


The motel is in the corner of the CU campus, near to the bottom of the sports facilities. There are plenty of rooms available to rent on both a long and short stay basis. We weren't able to interview the property owner, but from the outside the building looks in a good state of repair.

The Block Houses

These houses can be found around the University and seem designed for sharing with other students. Some, in the colours of the Looters can be found near the water tower. Peeking through the windows I saw a good mix of eclectic styles and ideas, so if you move in around here you could find yourself next to a Police Officer, or a Student.

Block Housing

The posh and the poor

At one side of the campus, the Press Office showed me these fine multi-level buildings suitable for perhaps the well-endowed student to rent on their own or with friends. For any enterprising business major, then it might even be possible to run your own business from the ground floor. In addition to these posher dwellings, I also saw a seedy small motel or capsule style hotel with some rather rude graffiti in the background. I'm sure if any student was desperate rent in these would likely be quite small.

Posh & Poor Housing

The Frat & Sorority Houses

As well as the "BIX mansion", which I wasn't allowed to ask about, but did seem to include a huge range of expensive looking cars and so on, there are some houses for University groups. The press office was coy about how to join, but they assured me that this would be possible in the future. For their sake, considering the ETA house had the word "Rapists" scrawled on it, I hope they redecorate a bit first... Not a great tag to have associated with you!

ETA Frat

The campus facilities

The press office next took us around a tour of the facilities outside the main building. These were many and varied and included a range of Cafés branded in different ways, an Irish Pub and a few other buildings the Press Office assured me would be ready soon such as an indoor sports hall and a campus shop. In addition to the drinking establishments, I was also taken around some of the sports facilities, including the basketball court and the main soccer pitch as well as some of the social spaces, including the Student Union and the outdoor and indoor event stages. Have a look over my snaps of these below and let me (and probably the CU Press Office) know what you think!

The CU Library

I explored the library and found it to be very well stocked and surprisingly for Hathian, in good order and modern. I wonder if some funding or donations made it so, but wasn't able to get a very comprehensive answer from the University. Never-the-less, if reading is your thing, this is highly recommended with books galore, soft seating and more.

The Library


Murphy's Outside

This pub was visited and your reporter approves of the well stocked bar, karaoke machine, lots of seating and the possibility for some bar games. I'm told that recruitment for staff may be needed soon, so anyone with some bar or serving experience is probably welcome to apply. Take a look at this inside picture, really smart right reader?

Murphy's Inside

The Sport's facilities

We toured the basketball court, the nearby changing rooms and then the massive soccer field with raised seating for any big game days. The University was at pains to point out how much sporting success they had had in the past, drawing my eye to the large banners in the main building's foyer.


Soccer Field

The entertaining spaces

Around the campus there are a number of spaces for students and faculty to relax, these include an indoor and an outdoor stage and music area as well as smaller rooms and buildings for quiet contemplation, yoga and so on.

Live Stage

Performance Hall

The food and drink spaces

Other than Murphy's the campus is blessed with at least two coffee shops and a Asian fusion restaurant. While the coffee shops are up-to-date and look ready for the start of term, the restaurant, 'Super Chop Sticks' needs a refresh. Reader, I'm not just saying that because somehow my name is down as Manager, it's because I'd be worried you'd get an upset tummy if you ate the sushi there! Hopefully we'll get to see some updates to the food offering soon, but in the meantime, cakes, treats and more are served in the cafés and within the Student Union (see below) itself. There is also a campus shop, but at the time we visited, this was not yet stacked with goods. The clinic and the small gym round off the campus facilities.

Coffee Shop 1

Coffee Shop 2

Super Chop Sticks

Campus Store

Clinic & Fitness Centre

Student Union

The Student Union, or SU has a kitchen, seating areas and downstairs a bowling alley and sound system. I can see lots of fun for everyone there, with early indications that the CU faculty are pretty good at bowling!


The educational space

So now we come to the main part. What does the University offer prospective students? Are the classrooms up-to-scratch and what would living there be like?

Well reader, I can say that the new classrooms (Music / General Business Studies, Anatomy Studies) are all shaping up well and in some cases, the money invested in e.g. new medical equipment must have been a pretty penny. I can be honest with you and say I'm looking forward to getting taught there... just look at the main lecture theatre with seating for 30+ students!

Clas 101

General Class

Music Class


There are even showers... a real result when the dorms don't have their own cleaning area.

In conclusion

Overall, the University is looking in a far stronger shape than it was and this reporter is keen that you try it for yourself. Go visit, meet with some of the instructors and other students and see if anything on offer is on fancy in terms of food, entertainment and sports. I'd like to thank the University for hosting me and hope to see some of you in Journalism classes in due course...

Wishing you the best... Daiyu Tang - GBTL

((Nb. Photos here were taken for speed and time to load - apologies they are not always that large or edited. Nadir, Lara and others involved with CU have done a fantastic job that these photos can't replicate, so do check out CU and see if you can find some RP that works for you. Also apologies if this post misformats, there's no preview option!!!))