Your Forum: A guide to making the most of it

Your Forum: A guide to making the most of it

The University of Exeter has one of the best
student experiences in the country and at the heart of it is the magnificent Forum. And today we’re going to show you around so you can see
exactly what this fantastic space is all about. So what is the Forum?
Well, the Forum is all about convenience. It brings every service you can use while at university
to one place you can access anytime. The Forum mixes together fresh modern architecture
with awesome landscaped outdoor spaces. It can essentially be broken down
into a number of key areas: learning spaces and social study spaces, the huge library, retail outlets and shops and the student services centre and student information desk. As your studies are such a large part of uni life,
the Forum has some of the best learning spaces in the country – like this 400 seat auditorium. This auditorium has some great features,
like these chairs that can be turned so then lectures can become discussion groups. The sound system here is as good as a cinema
and the way it’s been set up means music and speech can be heard
clearly from any of the 400 seats. As well as the auditorium, there are two exploration labs
which are ideal for group based study. The first lab has 60 touch screen pcs then room two has 10 six person
butterfly touch screen tables. The bespoke design is a world first and means you can collaborate
with all your friends on projects and presentations. The surface tables are then linked to more multi
screens so you can share your ideas with your mates. The Forum library has all the resources you need
to help you with your studies. The library itself is huge with up to
850 seating capacity, 115 computers, over 9 kilometres of shelving, a dedicated law library as well as a vast collection of journals. There are now more study spaces than
ever before as well as more spaces where you can use your
laptop or tablet. There are also a total of 12 separate seminar rooms with
sound and projection facilities as well as movable walls. Here in the Forum, we also have
these laptop storage lockers; you store and charge your laptop and it
saves you lugging it around campus. When it comes to shops, retail outlets and cafes,
there’s plenty on offer. The Forum is home to the largest retail outlet at
the university, the Market Place. This huge 400 square metre space
in the heart of the Forum sells everything you’d expect, plus a few
things you might not. You can collect packages, your dry cleaning and also order books through the online collection service. There’s a real emphasis on fair-trade and ethically sourced
goods, while also championing local suppliers. The focus is on quality, freshness
and value for money. There’s a Costa coffee here too where you can grab a coffee
and enjoy, while taking in the awesome views of campus. The Terrace restaurant, located in Devonshire
House has got food covered. A large open plan service area has loads on offer so you’re
never struggling to find something you want. It’s not all just food and drink, there’s
also a bank in the Forum so you can sort out your money matters
without even having to leave campus. And when it’s that time of year
when you need to get stuff printed and bound, the Forum has that covered too with a print unit. The Guild links the Forum with Devonshire House, with various
parts of it spread between the two buildings. In Devonshire House you can find
a Santander, volunteering services as well as the extremely popular
RAM student bar. While here in the Forum itself we have
the independent advice unit as well as the ‘have your say’ space where
student reps can get their voices heard. There is also the Guild lounge which is open
to all students to meet their sabbatical officer as well as the guild info point for help and info
about all things student guild. This is the student services centre, one of the
most important elements of the Forum. Its main purpose is to improve your experience and give you a
single gateway for all non-academic questions. There are 12 consulting rooms
as well as flexible meeting pods where you can talk face to face with
someone from the university, as well as loads of seating with IT
touchdown points. The new career zone is a great place to find out about graduate
opportunities, work experience and apply for jobs. As well as the desk, there is an online system called My Career Zone where you can book onto events, find jobs and apply for internships. Each part of the idea behind the Student Services Centre
is an excellent customer service and being able to efficiently deal
with any problems you have. To achieve this, the Forum has SID
or the Student Information Desk. The Student Information Desk acts as the first
point of call whenever you have a problem. All you need to do is speak to one of the Student Information
Assistants who can either give you an answer or get you to speak to one of the advisors, who will
then be able to find the answer you need. As well as the Student Information Desk, you
can also use the Student Information Desk online. This system allows you to quickly find information
about non-academic student support by connecting you directly with the student
support advisors. It’s a great mix of informal and formal
performance spaces here meaning there’s lots of opportunities
for performances, art and film. Baskin’s images appear here alongside student work
to show the artistic journey underway. The Forum’s a great space to showcase student
work in a high profile setting and where hundreds of people
stop by every day. So there you have it,
that’s the Forum. There are loads of students working here, helping
to make this place unlike any other in the UK. It’s your building and everything’s there for you
so make sure you make the most of it.

Danny Hutson

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