Sam Riley, JCR President 2021
Why did you want to be JCR President?
Joining the JCR Committee as Vice-President last year, at a time that was difficult for lots of Trinity Hall students, I found being able to represent my peers — in a way that perceivably affects and improves our everyday lives — a really rewarding responsibility. At such a strange and polarising time, as well as being a (hopefully) familiar and friendly face, I felt that continuity and experience on the JCR would be valuable in driving home the great work of students over the last year. That’s why I decided to stay on and take up the mantle of JCR President for the year to come!
Why did you choose to study English Literature?
This was always up in the air for me, up until the moment of submitting my application. Being a self-professed Jack-of-All-Trades made the decision very difficult! I finally landed on English Literature partly because of its interdisciplinary possibilities, knowing that I could incorporate my love for (among many things) history, music, drama, and architecture into my study. They are all essentially part of the same human experience that literature so often claims to capture, so I see their division only as a barrier to genuine comprehensive understanding.
What do you hope to do when you leave Trinity Hall?
If only I could tell you! I have the intention of apply for a Masters that will hopefully lead me on to working in heritage and sustainable conservation. After that, who knows? I like to think I’ll dip into lots of different sectors during my life journey.
What does Trinity Hall mean to you?
Trinity Hall has already been the backdrop to so many incredible memories, despite being away from it for so much of the last year. As much as the buildings and situation still enchant me — nestled between our overshadowing neighbours — it’s the close friends that I’ve made in such a tight-knit community that mean the world to me. Trinity Hall will always be the place that I associate with a growing world of possibilities and experiences, and I’ll always be grateful for that.
Now for some not so serious questions.
Favourite RomCom (or, if you hate RomComs, defend your position)?
Honestly, put any RomCom on and I’ll probably claim to hate it… but I’ll still be there two hours later, watching it ’till the bitterly clichéd end. I think it may be a need for mindlessness; it’s an inner conflict I’m yet to resolve.
Best TV show to lockdown binge-watch?
It’s a tough one, but I’ve been enjoying reality TV competitions/shows recently, probably as a reminder of normal life. It’s close between Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and RuPaul’s Drag Race. They’re very different, so it very much depends where my mood takes me.
Best place in Cambridge (for any reason)?
G David Bookseller. By far. It’s a goldmine that any humanities student can’t help getting lost in. I quite often wander in there aimlessly, coffee in hand, just to see what gem I may find: archaic maps, first editions, cheap second-hands. They have it all.