The Time and the Place: Student Experience

I’m Molly, I’m a third-year historian. I’m
the Access Officer for the Junior Parlour Committee, or the JPC, in Pembroke and
that means trying to encourage under-represented backgrounds to apply to
Cambridge, and more specifically, Pembroke. I think from an undergraduate
perspective, the strengths of Pembroke definitely comes from its people.
I think the community in College is vital and I think that comes from both
the staff and the students the minute you walk through the doors of
your college and you’re welcomed by the people here, you realise
that your college community is completely the most important aspect of
being at university. What I really love about Pembroke is the
the warm and welcoming environment that everyone works so hard to foster. You can
really tell that people honestly and genuinely care about making sure
everyone feels included and has a good experience in their time at Pembroke. What’s really exciting about the Mill Lane development is the kind of opportunities it presents, in terms of
both educational facilities but also more social spaces. Societies,
activities, there’s a lot of performances, there’s a real buzz around Pembroke and
there’s always things going on. But we often come up against the confines of
space. If you ask anyone we’re bursting at the seams a little bit here. So having
this extra space, it’s going to really benefit the students. In a college I
think we have this ideal, which I’d love to see, of diverse people meeting people
from different backgrounds and different subjects. This is going to give students
the opportunity to collaborate more on academic projects, which at the moment
College don’t have the facilities to give. One of the best things about the
new Mill Lane site is the new auditorium. We hold a weekly graduate
student event called Pembroke Papers, where graduate students talk about their
work. Pembroke typically has to hold lectures in other colleges. The Mill Lane
site will have a great impact on graduate students, as they’ll be able to
present their work to a much larger audience, beyond the current facilities.
The new accommodation in Dolby Court is meant to be some of the best graduate
accommodation in the whole of Cambridge. We have many students living in either
hostels far away, or in private accommodation, which means they’re less
likely to engage in College life. We want them to contribute as much as
possible towards the graduate community and life at Pembroke in general. Having a
place in the new site which completely recognises that students aren’t only
here to learn, they are here to make friends, they are here to socialise, is
really, really important. There needs to be an emphasis on balance between
wellness and academics. If you balance the both, the students will thrive. Pembroke is like a home away from home,
which you couldn’t particularly say about the University itself, but you can
definitely say about your own college. The Mill Lane development is a really exciting
opportunity to expand on what we already do so well and to continue to foster the
community environment in a very positive way. What I really like about the design, is
that there’s a real sense of openness . It sends out the right message, really, to
everybody. To the students, to all the staff that come through and to
Cambridge in the world at large.

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