On behalf of my colleagues and my own I would like to warmly welcome you to the College. Congratulations on your choice both of Lancaster and of Furness College. You will soon see that you could not have made a better choice.
You will build new friendships here at Lancaster, join the networks that will very likely last you a lifetime, you will develop your careers; expand your skills and knowledge, build up the confidence that will take you further in life. You will also see for yourselves why so many Lancaster graduates have a stronger affiliation with their colleges than with their departments.
College life is not run by the accommodation service, we are run by yourselves with support from very minimal administrative staff and from dedicated, often volunteer team of University colleagues. This is what the Colleges are, and this is how they differ from halls of residence. There are only five collegiate universities in the UK: Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, York and Lancaster, and only one of them – Lancaster – is a campus university, placed outside the town. This allows us to do more for you, make feel more at home which is striving to be your own.
So, what is our role? In brief: College staff and its senior members are here to make this place your home-from-home, where you should feel secure, happy and looked after; we will be working to help you find yourselves in this new situation. We will help you to build your confidence and initiative, support you in becoming active, creative, productive and whatever else you want to be.
While all the Lancaster Colleges share the same principles and values, Furness is the smallest of the eight. And what comes with that is the family feel, the home-from-home, the familiarity that stays with you. We also lead many of social and support initiatives, such as the year-long First Year College Reps who look after the First Years in small groups, somewhat like the Cambridge and Oxford student families, but more closely linked with the Furness College Advisory Team, also known as FurCAT, a professional group supporting you in any way you need – your welfare and health area priority.
The spirit of Furness College is about the true close community which we built here over the years and which is very close to my own ideals of social cohesion and cooperation. It is not about being heroes or about winning prizes (which we do!), it is much more about working together as a community. It is the combination of small things and the bigger, more visible achievements that makes us what we are. It is also the warm welcoming of new Furnessians in October, it is looking after each other in the first year and beyond, it is also about enjoying life, music and everything else you enjoy (as long as it safe, legal and does not hurt anyone) – this is the Furness I know and which I am proud to be a part of.
Welcome to Furness!
Dr Wlodek Tych