Letter to Lancaster: Dear Alexandra Square

Why we should appreciate the Square we take for granted


Alexandra Square, without you I don’t think Lancaster University would be the same. You are one of those features on campus that has been a constant. The old archival photos demonstrate your never-ending presence.

You are the heart of Lancaster University, filtering students to the north or south of campus. I was struck by this on my first visit to the University, nearly four years ago now. You are the beating heart of the learning taking place in the library and the bustle in the places of administration which surround you. I think ‘heart’ is the best way to describe your presence, as you provide everything one could ever need on campus, from stationary supplies, to coffee, to binding for third-year dissertations.

You are the great cross-roads for campus traffic, the meeting place for many friends, the pit-stop for lunch, and the place where the University comes together. I think it is fair to say you are where I come to understand the University. If one is a people-watcher, like myself, one will appreciate how diverse and community driven you are, just from watching the events that happen in your midst. From markets to remembrance events, your space allows the people of Lancaster to come together and that is something quite unique.

From your four-sided space, one can judge what time of year it is, whether it be due to your Christmas lights at the end of the first term, or the hundreds of students sat on your steps in the summer. This is your magic: you are a constant in the endless swirling of stress and calm that is being a student. The number of times I have been in your square, coming back from a night out or a panic-stricken session in the library, or during a first date, you always offer a comforting constant.

But my time at Lancaster is coming to an end, and I do feel a sense of sadness at leaving you behind. I think nearly every day I have been a student at Lancaster I have had to walk across your paved floor: either getting soaked in the Lancaster rain or absorbing a brief warm spell. So, on behalf of all students past, present and those still to come, thank you for being our symbol of university life.