The Alternative Guide to Halls

This week, the Informer lets you know what your hall is really known for, and how to survive a year there. Enter Clan Warfare with full knowledge of what you represent…


Andrew Melville Hall

Closest to: a meadow with a hidden lake
Most known for: designed to resemble passing ships, the building is slowly sinking into the ground… bring a lifejacket.
Most infamous for: it was featured in the film Never Let Me Go, as a patient recovery centre. Great…
Upside: great sense of community spirit
Down side: out of town location
Rivalries: jealousy of New Hall and their ‘in-house’ café and shop, vs. Melville’s two ancient vending machines
Survival tip: try to make friends from class and societies too

New Hall/ Agnes Forbes Blackadder Hall

Closest to: lawns of gamboling rabbits
Most known for: labyrinthine corridors
Most infamous for: supposedly based on the structure of a Swedish womens’ prison
Upside: a big socials budget
Down side: no common room..
Rivalries and alliances: the main division this year will be between the old and new names… will Blackadder win out?
Survival tip: record your thoughts on wildlife in the ‘nature journal’ to earn brownie points with the Warden


University Hall
Closest to: the Sports Centre
Most known for: numerous free vodka bars
Most infamous for: ask any ex Uni-Haller about what happened to the B Floor oven…
Upside: a panelled parlour with a grand piano to mess around on
Down side: girls might be placed unawares in the all-girls Wardlaw building (affectionately nicknamed ‘Virgin Megastores’)
Rivalries and alliances: John Burnet residents have been known to steal the Christmas tree during the holiday season
Survival tip: be ready to pounce when the gong sounds for second helpings at dinner

Mcintosh Hall
Closest to: the Union
Most known for: the mysterious and elusive E floor
Most infamous for: rumoured to be the location of Hugh Grant’s student-related exploits
Upside: only a short stumble home post-Bop
Down side: the proliferation of shared rooms
Rivalries and alliances: Sallies – not the only hall in town!
Survival tip: don’t leave your clothes in the dryer – nobody will thank you for it

John Burnet Hall

Closest to: the Old Course
Most known for: being the smallest undergrad residence
Most infamous for: the whiffs of cooked meat you might catch around the building
Upside: characterful rooms and lots of traditions
Down side: many rooms are shared and can vary in size
Rivalries and alliances: just don’t mention Uni Hall
Survival tip: go down Front Hall to meet people if you feel stuck in your room


David Russel Apartments

Closest to: Lade Braes footpath           
Most known for: the bus rides to Liquid on Tuesday nights
Most infamous for: uncomfortably thin walls
Upside: floor heating… gives getting out of the shower in winter a whole new dimension
Down side: the walk on rainy days
Rivalries and alliances: that awkward moment when you complain about DRA to someone living in Fife Park           
Survival tip: don’t do laundry on a Sunday

Fife Park

Closest to: Craigtoun Country Park
Most known for: being the most enthusiastic sculptors when snow days come around
Most infamous for: being closer to farms than lectures
Upside: lots of lawns and gardens for the summer
Down side: houses with no common rooms
Rivalries: its neighbour DRA, which houses the laundry, bar, etc
Survival tip: buy a bike

Albany Park

Closest to: East Sands
Most known for: the strangely appropriate nickname ‘Albania’
Most infamous for: the grassy areas being a favoured battle-ground of the Medieval Re-enactment Society
Upside:  cheap and somewhat cheerful, and there’s the off-chance of an uninterrupted sea view
Down side: Sharing a tiny fridge between 6
Rivalries and alliances: it’s a fight to the death with the 5am seagulls
Survival tip: do your laundry on a Monday morning


St Regulus Hall

Closest to: St Mary’s Quad
Most known for: all night parties in the Annexe kitchen
Most infamous for: the most ridiculous Raisin receipts
Upside: a quiet garden that usually remains undiscovered until the final weeks of second semester
Down side: so far from the Sports Centre you can work out just by walking there
Rivalries and alliances: Regs’ intimidating location just a Travelator away from the Badlands would keep any rival at bay
Survival tip: make friends with the cleaners and you’ll get away with all sorts

St Salvator’s Hall

Closest to: the library
Most known for: the royal connection
Most infamous for: D block: the closest you can get to solitary confinement outside of prison.
Upside: central location makes getting to lectures on time, late night takeaway trips and the May Dip a doddle
Down side: super sensitive alarms – develop the art of polite nodding with the fire department
Rivalries and alliances: McIntosh as one of the  other ‘town’ halls
Survival tip: try to socialise with other halls to avoide the predatory insularity of the Sallies elders..


With thanks to Katie Marston, Francesca Vaghi, Elsa McBride, Laura Francis, Dani Berrow, Juliana Cusack, Myles Cook, Alison Adams, Claire Oxenham, Juan Pablo Sarmiento Barletti, Megan Kinsey

Images sourced from Adrian Welch, St Andrews Post,, aalxix, st-regs and hellomagazine,