Over the past twelve months we have witnessed one of the most competitive inter hall competitions in recent years. Compared to the success of Towers Hall in 2011, during which they excelled in the majority of Union sections and events; the last year saw a number of Halls all fighting for The Andrew Gibson Hall of The Year Award right up until the very last point.
Every year, five halls are shortlisted for the accolade, of which one hall is deemed the winner. Selected by an independent University board, the winner of The Andrew Gibson Hall of the year is entitled to complete bragging rights around campus and the knowing that they have excelled the most in all areas of the Union.
The shortlisting is done via a ‘points system’ in which Halls are awarded points based on the position they have come in throughout the year within sections of the Union. However, this system consisting of around 12 different headings, acknowledges sections that can only be judged via subjective opinion and that are unable to be accurately measured. As well as this, some sections of the Union are awarded more weight than others; this I can only see as unfair and discrediting sections that, in my opinion, deserve more recognition than they get.
Additionally, I have to argue that if a Hall isn’t shortlisted due to a ‘points system’, which hasn’t even been explained clearly by the Executive, are these Halls deemed unsuccessful? I think not.
The Executive, as well as the board that decide on the overall winner, are unable to see the unique atmospheres created within each Hall and the effect that these atmospheres have on every students’ unique ‘Loughborough Experience’.
Josh Hurrell, Elvyn Richards Hall Chair, shares the same opinion as I do; stating that “only a small minority of the hall knows about hall of the year” and that with its “shaky points structure’” the success of a hall should be based on “student enjoyment of life within the hall”.
So, with halls providing students with summer weekends of ‘pool parties’, outdoor cinema viewing, days on inflatables and food as well as endless amounts of other activities, the question is whether we spend too much time focusing on achieving Union accredited accolades and not looking at how the students within our Halls are experiencing life in Loughborough.