This year's freshers appear to have had a terrific start to their time at Imperial, despite a number of problems throughout the week.
It seems the problems at Southside were not the only ones to befall halls of residence at the weekend. The team at Fisher Hall had a number of problems following its light refurbishment over the summer, including missing beds and wardrobes. Unlike at Southside no assistance was available from residences or the contractors responsible for the refurbishment, leaving the wardening team and re-apps to shift furniture themselves. Due to work finishing late the hall smelt strongly of paint fumes and certain showers were pouring water into the rooms below.
Freshers moving into Southside seemed pleased with their accomodation, although the parents seemed considerably more excited!
Students poured into the Union on Saturday evening by foot, coach, minibus and fire engine for The Mingle, with a variety of entertainments within the building and on the marquee outside. The event seemed a little quieter than in previous years, however this may have been a result of the extra space created by the marquee. The only criticism seemed to be of the music volume in the bars, which prevented 'mingling' in any form other than rubbing against each other, with conversations apparently banned except for those with megaphones in their handbags.
Despite the threat of rain, freshers' fair was a huge success and stayed mostly dry. Imperial's 260+ clubs seemed to receive a huge amount of interest, with reams of paper full of email addresses being clutched by club chairs and secretaries. Queen's Tower tours raised money for RAG, while the fair went out live at lunchtime on BBC One.
Beit Quad was full on most evenings throughout freshers week, with an intense schedule of events making full use of the marquee. The frightening sight of Imperial students dancing to popular music at 1am was a common one, with Friday's "Freshers' Ball" especially packed. The bars were doing a roaring trade, however the event highlighted the need for the redesign of bars and catering in the final phase of the masterplan: queues were 2 or 3 people deep along the length of every bar, with half of the space in da Vinci's shuttered as a result of catering being closed.
The marquee disappeared in the early hours of Saturday morning, however it looks like another re-turfing may be required.