Blue Book Section VI: Life at Christ Church

Information about living in College during the pandemic
Key provisions and general protocols
Face coverings
Student Households
Socialising safely in college
Accommodation in the vacations
Quarantine during term-time
Accommodation contracts
Visitor protocols
College rooms –‘living in’
  Allocation and Occupation
  Maintenance, Decoration and Servicing
  Smoking, vaping and Illegal Drugs in College-owned buildings
  Student Possessions Insurance
  Vacation Conferences
  Overnight Guests in College
  Health and Safety
  Electrical Safety
  Fuel Economy and the ‘60% House’
Health and safety and security
  Security and Safety
  Fire Safety
  First Aid
  Snow and Ice Clearance
Living Out
The Junior Common Room(JCR)
The Graduate Common Room (GCR)
The JCR and GCR: Code of Practice


Information about living in College during the pandemic

Students will be sent supplementary information about living at Christ Church, including Freshers’ Week and teaching information for undergraduates; for graduates this will be provided by departments. We will be following Public Health England (or the relevant government agency), Government and University guidelines as we put arrangements in place; these guidelines are constantly changing.

Key provisions and general protocols

  • Students should bring their own personal supplies of tissues, wipes, hand sanitisers, and their own masks or face coverings, which should ideally be washable on environmental grounds, although this is not required.
  • Whenever they arrive at Christ Church, students must ensure they have a mask or face covering with them and be ready to show their University card since Covid restrictions mean that identification will be checked regularly upon arrival.
  • Signage will be provided in areas where physical distancing is not possible (e.g. listed buildings with 1m wide staircases).
  • Signage will be provided about use of entrances and exits.
  • Two metre distance (or other distance, depending on current government advice) is to be maintained between students of different households at all time. Where this cannot be maintained, and in all communal areas, masks or face coverings must be worn.
  • All non-essential travel around and within the College site should be avoided.
  • Students should avoid sharing items (such as fobs, stationery, etc) and passing documents to anyone outside their household. This means that work submitted to tutors should be done electronically, with specific arrangements to be agreed with individual tutors.
  • Students must not visit rooms belonging to other households, nor have visitors from outside College visit their rooms or come to Christ Church for social reasons.

The protocols detailed in this document are in place to keep all members of College, and their families and the wider Oxford community, safe. They must therefore be adhered to at all times, and failure to do so may result in disciplinary measures.


This is the single most important area where individuals can make a real difference:

  • After washing your hands, turn off the tap with a paper towel or tissue – not your hands. They will pick up any residual virus on the tap.
  • Everyone should wash their hands after touching shared items such as kettles, telephones, office equipment etc, and also at regular intervals during the day. Remember to wash hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • See the NHS handwashing guidelines.
  • Place used wipes and tissues into bins immediately after use.

Face coverings

The common framework on health and protection during the COVID-19 pandemic, published on July 8, states that, ‘From the start of the new academic year, face coverings will be required during face-to-face teaching and in indoor shared spaces, with exceptions for both individuals and settings where they are not appropriate (for example on grounds of disability). Details on how this will operate will be consulted on.’

If you are unable to wear a face covering, we recommend that you contact tutors or other members of staff you may be meeting in person in advance to discuss in confidence whether teaching or other meetings should take place face-to-face or whether an online alternative may be more appropriate. There is no need to provide a reason or explanation as to why you are unable to wear a face covering when discussing such arrangements.

Further guidance for students and staff unable to wear a face covering has recently been issued and will be incorporated as appropriate into the Blue Book.

Note that face coverings are not a form of personal protective equipment (PPE) and are typically cloth coverings for the nose and mouth.  See: 

Face coverings are not a substitute for hygiene and safety measures such as self-isolating when unwell, social distancing, enhanced cleaning regimes, and regular hand-washing, and these primary mitigation measures should always be followed.

However, there is increasing evidence that wearing face coverings can reduce transmission of coronavirus from an infected person to others. Therefore, the wearing of face coverings is to be considered a social responsibility for members of the collegiate University, with the aim of providing increased reassurance to all members, including those most vulnerable to serious illness.

General guidance on face coverings

  • Face coverings are required in all communal spaces, including but not limited to communal staircases, entry to all catering areas, administration and academics’ offices, the Library, when collecting meals, and all meeting and lecture rooms. Face coverings must be worn in all face-to-face teaching situations. Staff should therefore ensure that they bring a clean face covering to work each day.
  • Visors are not recommended as effective.
  • Face coverings do not offer the standard of protection required to reduce the distance for face-to-face teaching or meetings below two metres.
  • University guidance on face coverings includes some exceptions, for example on disability grounds.

Exemptions from face coverings

  • Not being able to put on, wear, or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • If putting on, wearing, or removing a face covering will cause severe distress
  • Where interacting with someone who uses lip reading to communicate, or who has social communication impairments
  • Children aged under 11 years (e.g. when in public spaces such as museums)

Required settings for wearing face coverings

  • In-person teaching settings (tutorials, seminars, classes, viva examinations)
  • Shared spaces and and
  • Office spaces (except when occupants are alone in single occupancy offices, or when seated at a desk in shared space if f2f interaction is minimised and 2m social distancing is consistently maintained).
  • Meeting rooms and spaces
  • Common indoor areas (such as toilets, kitchens, post rooms, social areas, etc) and circulation space (such as corridors, hallways, lifts, stairwells, etc) (individuals should still wear face coverings in these spaces if appropriate)
  • Public and circulation spaces (including bookstacks) inside
  • University or college-owned (or hired) with more than one occupant
  • In any other settings required by current legislation

Face covering provision

Staff, students, and visitors are responsible for providing their own face coverings. Individuals should have backup face covering(s) available.  A face covering should:

  • cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
  • fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
  • be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
  • be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
  • ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)
  • Unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged.

Care and Maintenance

Proper use, care, and maintenance of face coverings are the responsibility of each member of staff. When wearing a face covering you should:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
  • avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
  • avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could become contaminated with the virus
  • change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
  • only handle the straps, ties or clips
  • do not share with someone else to use
  • if single-use (commercial single-use masks should not be used for longer than four hours), dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle
  • if reusable, store it in a plastic bag and wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed.

Student Households

College and College-managed accommodation for students have been arranged so that, once students have completed their quarantine period, everyone will live in a small group that we are calling a ‘Household’.  A Household will be a group of people living in close proximity, for example on the same staircase, and/or with shared kitchen or bathroom facilities. Household sizes will be between two and six. First-year students will be allocated to a household in mixed subject groups; students in subsequent year groups have chosen rooms in the ballot. You will not have to socially distance from people in your Household, but if one of you has to self-isolate, that will apply to all of you. 

Although households may meet members of other households outdoors (including in the marquee in the Masters’ Garden), outside College as permitted, or in approved settings such as Covid-secure classrooms and tutors’ rooms, they are expected to socially-distance from others and observe Government/PHE/University guidelines at all times. Households should not invite outside visitors or residents from other households into their rooms/flats/self-contained areas.

Students are permitted to have a kettle in their rooms but no cooking appliances such as microwaves or toasters. If such appliances are found in student rooms it would be considered a breach of College rules.


Housekeeping staff will be cleaning all communal areas, including communal toilets and showers three times a day. However, Junior Members are responsible for cleaning their own bedroom/study area, en suite shower room and/or shared toilets and showers; cleaning materials have been left in your room and shared bathrooms/toilets for this purpose – please use them for your own health and safety.  In order to minimise contact points for housekeeping staff, Junior Members should take all toiletries with them after using shared bathrooms/showers. Junior Members will also have access to a communal vacuum cleaner, which they are responsible for sanitising before and after use. Please always wear a face covering in communal areas, including staircases – this if for your own protection and that of our staff.

Please respect the recycling scheme and separate recyclable items from non-recyclable items – this will include ALL of the packaging provided with ‘grab and go’ meals. If you are self-isolating at any point please double bag all your rubbish.  Rubbish should be left outside your room door (Monday – Saturday inclusive) for collection by housekeeping.

Socialising safely in college

Although it is inevitable that opportunities to socialise will be less frequent than in the past and there will have to be protocols in place in order to protect staff, students and the wider community, we are doing all that we can to provide students with safe ways to socialise whilst adhering to ever-changing public health guidance. For instance, for the duration of the pandemic, the rules for students accessing the lawns in Tom Quad have been temporarily suspended (see Outdoor Spaces below for further details).

We hired a large marquee for the Masters’ Garden during Michaelmas Term. Arrangements for Hilary and Trinity Term will be confirmed in due course.

Please note that we may have to modify socialising protocols as public health advice changes, but we very much hope that students will work with us to make these and other pandemic-specific solutions as safe and successful as possible.

Accommodation in the vacations

We hope that many of our students will be able to take a break and return home to spend some time with friends and family during vacations. However, if you do need to stay on in college accommodation for Covid-19 related reasons in the Christmas or Easter vacations after the end of the standard term because you are unable to travel home, the College expects to be able to assist in providing accommodation. This will need to be arranged in advance and information will be sent during the term about booking vacation residence. Vacation residence grants can be used, but otherwise charges will apply for accommodation arranged for the vacation at the usual nightly rate. The College will be keeping the annual vacation residence grant under review, as the ongoing pandemic situation becomes clearer. 

Quarantine during term-time

If you need to self-isolate during term-time, because you have arrived late or as a precautionary measure with your household, your tutor/course convenor/supervisor will be able to facilitate the continuation of your teaching or research remotely, if you feel fit to do so.

You and the students living with you in your Household will be able to access the University’s own Early Alert Service [] which aims to provide Covid-19 test results in 24 hours.  If you and the rest of your Household need to self-isolate for a period due to a positive test results the College will support the whole group.

Accommodation contracts

All the standard notice periods, deposit rules and termination arrangements usually included in your College accommodation contract will apply.  These details vary.  You will be able to change your mind but there may be notice periods; refunds of deposits or rent are not guaranteed.  Accommodation contract will include precise details of arrangements.

However, in the event that it is not possible for students to take up or continue residence due to a local or national lockdown or equivalent, a cancellation option will be provided to those students affected. 

We will manage accommodation and services using reasonable endeavours but following local and national guidance.  Managing safe and secure accommodation is not straightforward: changes to service levels due to outbreaks or lockdowns will not be reflected in changes in charges.

Visitor protocols

All Junior Members must show their University card whenever they arrive at Christ Church to avoid any confusion about who may enter the College and to ensure that Covid protocols in relation to visitors can be enforced.

Junior Members may not have visitors from other colleges or anyone from outside Christ Church. They should also not visit one another’s households indoors. They will be able to socialise outside their households in outdoor areas of the College, including on the lawns of Tom Quad and at designated times in the Masters’ Garden marquee, as well as in the Meadow when it is open.  However, they must maintain social distancing of 2 m from anyone not in their household at all times. Note that we are currently exploring whether student clubs and societies will be able to meet in the Masters’ Garden marquee or in indoor meeting rooms under the exemptions allowed for educational activities, assuming mitigations such as the wearing of masks and maintaining a social distance of 2 metres is adopted, but this has yet to be confirmed.

Academic and non-academic staff, as well as Senior Members and other College staff and their families who live on site, have been told that they should minimise visitors from outside Christ Church. They have been provided with protocols to make necessary visits from outside the College as safe as possible. Teaching and other staff have been told that meetings, tutorials and classes should be scheduled so as to avoid students or other visitors having to wait outside rooms (and thus risk unnecessarily running into other people) and to allow time for any necessary cleaning to take place between meetings, tutorials or classes.

College rooms – ‘living in’

Allocation and Occupation 

The College complies with the Universities UK Code of Practice for Student Accommodation. All Junior Members occupying College rooms must sign a room licence agreement before they take occupation of their rooms. The licence agreement is sent out electronically to all students, with a deadline for submission. Freshers are assigned rooms in College before they come into residence. Any special needs should be communicated to the Steward’s Assistant and Accommodation Officer well before arrival (

All undergraduates are also normally eligible for College rooms in their second, third, and (where relevant) fourth years. Rooms are allocated at the end of Hilary Term and the beginning of Trinity Term through a ballot organised by the JCR, and with the Steward’s Assistant and Accommodation Officer. Some rooms are reserved for musicians, for whom a separate ballot is organised. In the main ballot, Scholars, Exhibitioners and Academical Clerks take precedence in the selection of rooms, and then rooms are allocated to Commoners through the ballot. In the interests of fairness, no deviation from the system of room allocation may be made, unless a strong medical reason, with supporting evidence, is presented to the Academic Office well in advance of the ballot. The Senior Censor’s decision on room allocation is final.

Undergraduates studying Music will be allocated a room with a piano or clavinova. Any problems experienced with instruments or piano stools should be reported to the Academic Office.

Anyone who wishes to move out of College during the course of an academic year must give at least one term’s notice. Failure to do so will make them liable to pay the lodging charge for a term in lieu of notice. Freshers are required to live in College during their first year.

Permission to reside in College during the vacation must be obtained well in advance: the procedure is described above. Organ Scholars and Academical Clerks, as well as all other undergraduates, should follow this procedure. Undergraduates are reminded that their rooms are likely to be required for conferences during the vacation. Graduates may normally remain in their rooms during the vacations.

Junior Members who reside on the main College site, in St Aldate’s Quad, and 117 St Aldate’s are considered to be ‘living in’. Those living elsewhere, including those living in the Liddell Building, 12 Abbey Road, and houses leased from the Treasury, are considered to be ‘living out’. However, all those living in college-owned accommodation whether ‘living in’ or ‘living out’ are expected to comply with the regulations contained herewith including those relating to smoking and vaping, alcohol abuse, illegal drugs, and vehicles (including bicycles). 

While College Officers reserve the right to access all areas if necessary, residents’ rights to privacy in their own rooms is recognised. Thus, residents will normally receive 7 days’ notice from the Steward’s Office to their Christ Church email address for planned maintenance such as window cleaning, significant maintenance work (such as electrical testing), and conference show-rounds (designated rooms only), although non-urgent maintenance work or conference show-rounds may be undertaken at shorter notice with the resident’s agreement. Please note that it will not be possible to give 7 days’ notice for unplanned (reactive) maintenance which may be done within 48 hours’ notice. Any maintenance work considered, in the opinion of the House Surveyor and/or Clerk of Works, to be urgent or an emergency will be undertaken within 24 hours; where required, alternative accommodation will be provided for the duration of any works to minimise disruption to the resident.

In usual circumstances, daily access to rooms during the working week is required by the Scout, for cleaning, and (occasionally) by the House Manager and Assistants (or the Manager at the Liddell Building) and by Lodge Porters in the course of their management duties including inventory, safety, security, and staff supervision. Other than for health and safety reasons and/or where there are reasonable grounds to suspect contraventions of the licensing agreement (where no notice will be given), access by management staff to check on staff performance and general standards of room cleanliness and repair is required, and unannounced spot checks will be carried out to ensure that rooms are being kept in good order that there are no health and safety breaches. Such visits will not normally be pre-notified, though residents’ immediate convenience will be respected. This understanding includes essential Legionellosis-related routine health and safety checks by the Compliance Officer (a member of the Clerk of Works’ staff).

The registered occupant of a College room is responsible for any breach of College rules which takes place in that room (in the case of a shared set, the occupants are jointly responsible). Please note that rooms, other than guest rooms, are not cleaned at the weekends, that there is a reduced cleaning service outside of Full Term and no service is provided during College closed periods. During these periods Junior Members are expected to keep their rooms clean and tidy and to dispose of rubbish in the main refuse bins located in the Meadow/St Aldate’s; the same procedure applies at Liddell and the outside properties.

Maintenance, Decoration and Servicing

The House and Deputy House Managers are the Senior Members of the Steward’s staff responsible for the management of College accommodation (except for the Liddell Building - see below). Scouts work under the House Managers’ direction. Scouts’ usual duties during Full Term Monday-Friday include the cleaning of rooms, comprising dusting and vacuuming carpets, together with the regular cleaning of washbasins and emptying of waste bins. (note that different arrangements are in place during the pandemic, listed above). Scouts are also responsible for cleaning toilets, bathrooms, and public areas.

When it is possible for Scouts to clean rooms, all residents are expected to be cooperative in keeping rooms tidy enough to permit cleaning. Regular daily access (Monday – Friday inclusive) is required by the Scout for the emptying of bins and to clean the washbasin. Residents may expect their rooms to be cleaned comprehensively once a week during Full Term. A reduced service is provided out of Full Term and no scouting service is provided during the closed periods at Christmas and Easter. During these periods Junior Members are expected to keep their rooms clean and tidy and to dispose of rubbish in the main refuse bins located in the Meadow and St Aldate’s; the same procedure applies at Liddell and the outside properties.

The need for civilised standards of personal hygiene and behaviour is obvious; therefore, pets (including fish) may not be kept in College. Rooms must be left in especially good order at the end of term, since conference delegates and Open Day visitors are accommodated during the Easter, Christmas and Long Vacations; Admissions candidates are also accommodated during the Christmas Vacation.

At the end of every term, rooms must be completely cleared for use by conference delegates, open day visitors and/or Admissions candidates. Lockable cupboards are provided in some rooms and may be used to secure any bulky, non-valuable or personally precious items which are not being taken home or put into storage during the Christmas and Easter Vacations. Members are expected to provide their own padlocks. Items may not be left under beds, on top of wardrobes or in chests of drawers. If rooms are not completely emptied and are therefore not available for use, the resident will be charged for the room throughout the vacation.

Very limited on-site storage is provided during the vacations, however, the College, along with other UK Universities and Oxford Colleges, has an arrangement with a national company, ‘Love Space’ ( Junior Members may arrange to store items with this company for the vacation(s) at a modest cost and/or ship their belongings to any address in the UK.

Responsibility for personal effects cannot be accepted at any time by the College or its staff.  Occupants will be charged on battels for any additional cleaning which is necessary and for the cost of removing property left behind.

It is an express condition of the occupation of a room that alterations are not undertaken to the structure, fabric, furnishings, fittings, fixtures or any equipment under any circumstances.  It is also an express condition - on grounds of good practice and to support the College in its exercise of statutory and other responsibilities including health and safety compliance - that occupants do not introduce items of furniture, or fabric or other materials. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, partitions, panels, screens, drapes, curtains, carpets, rugs, chairs and beds. In cases of doubt please consult the House Manager, the Liddell Manager and/or the Steward.

Occupants are furthermore not permitted to move items of furniture or (on fire and safety grounds) to place upholstered furniture in kitchens or pantries, or to introduce their own upholstered furniture to College rooms. Bicycles may not be kept in any College room under any circumstances.

The House Managers are the principal channel for reporting faults and defects for residents. Faults and defects may be reported directly to the Staircase Scout or to the Porters’ Lodge. Other members of staff such as the Scouts, other members of the House Manager’s team and the Clerk of Works are also responsible for reporting any damage and for monitoring safety and compliance. Any faults reported will be forwarded, as required, to the Clerk of Works and copied to the resident’s Christ Church email address. If a resident reports a maintenance matter to the House Managers directly, consent to access the room to rectify the matter is deemed to have been granted and no further notice to access the room will be given. Notice of a maintenance matter generated by other means will be deemed to have been given to the resident when a copy of the electronic report to the Clerk of Works is given to the resident. In cases of difficulty or urgency, faults and defects may be reported directly to the Steward. Occupants will be required to pay for any damage in rooms and the cost of repair work will be charged on battels.

Steel pins and drawing pins may be used only on the notice boards provided. Nails or screws must not be driven into walls or panelling, and ‘blu-tack’, ‘white-tack’, and other products intended for attaching objects or pictures to walls (including those advertised as not causing damage to paintwork) may not be used. Posters and flags must not be displayed from windows in College rooms unless permission has been given in advance by the Junior Censor.

Rooms are redecorated in rotation: particular requests and enquiries may be directed to the Steward.

The nightly room charge includes the upkeep of rooms and furniture, and cleaning. It also includes a share of all communal services and supplies in College. The cost of basic utilities (heat and light) are included in the daily charge, however, if utilities are not used economically, the College reserves the right to make an additional charge for utilities. If rooms need additional cleaning or redecoration for any reason, occupants will be charged accordingly. If the charges are not paid by the date indicated, occupants may be asked to vacate their rooms. 

St Aldate’s Quad and 117 St Aldate’s: the only variation in the occupancy arrangements concerns the shared kitchens. Occupants are personally responsible for washing up and for maintaining standards of cleanliness and good order of cupboards, refrigerators, worktops, cooking equipment and sinks. Scouts will remove bagged rubbish and undertake general kitchen cleaning only. Any foodstuffs left in refrigerators at the end of Full Term will be removed and disposed of by the Scout. All Junior members are asked to ensure that they use the recycling bins provided correctly.

The Liddell Building: designed as a single quad, the building is a joint development between the House and Corpus Christi College. It is operated under the day-to-day control of the Liddell Manager, and has its own Lodge which is staffed at all times unless the Porter is on patrol. The Liddell main gate is operated by digital keypad/proximity reader; the gate code is changed from time to time.

The cleaning responsibilities of Scouts are similar to those at the main site. Liddell residents are allocated a pigeonhole at the Liddell Building, in addition to their pigeonhole at Tom Gate. There is a daily mail delivery/collection between the two lodges, but mail will be transferred from one site to the other only if so addressed.

Other properties (e.g., 12 Abbey Road): occupancy rules are substantially the same as for main-site rooms including a prohibition on bicycles inside the dwelling (whether or not cycle racks are provided), a ban on installing non-College furniture and fabrics, rules about nails, screws, pins, and ‘blu-tack’, and the need for individuals to have a television licence if they wish to use a television. Washing must not be dried in rooms; an outside washing line is provided. Staff will remove rubbish regularly, although the occupants of the aforementioned properties (other than the Liddell Building) are requested to ensure that the house waste bins are put out on the appropriate collection day and that recycling is correctly carried out. College staff or contractors will maintain gardens and grounds. Reduced scouting is provided outside Full Term and no scouting is provided during College closed periods; occupants are expected to keep their rooms and public spaces clean and tidy and to remove and dispose of rubbish on a regular basis outside of Full Term.

Junior Members are also requested to separate out clothes and other materials such as books, CDs etc. rather than disposing of them in household waste, as these can be donated to the British Heart Foundation’s ‘Pack for Good’ scheme. All personal belongings must be removed on going down as storage is not available, however, Junior Members may wish to use the services of Love Space (, who will store belongings for a modest fee and/or ship to any address in the UK.

A pigeonhole is provided at the Tom Gate Lodge. There is no internal mail/message service to these properties.

In case of emergency, occupants should notify the emergency services directly and inform the Porters’ Lodge as soon as possible thereafter on (2)76150.

The main contact for domestic requirements is the Scout. The House or Deputy House Manager may be contacted during office hours by email at or by telephone (2)76499 / (2)76268.  Normally, rooms will be available from 1 September and must be vacated by 31 July (unless permission is granted to retain the room for the following academic year).

Occupants will be charged on battels for any damage, for any necessary additional cleaning and for the cost of removing property left behind. Warnings and fines will be issued for violating regulations governing the occupancy of College-owned property and occupants may be asked to vacate their rooms at short notice for repeated violations. 

Smoking, vaping and Illegal Drugs in College-owned buildings

Smoking and vaping are not permitted inside any College-owned building including housing outside the main curtilage located in St Aldate’s Quad, 117 St Aldate’s, Abbey Road (including 12 Abbey Road), Botley Road, Cripley Road, and the Liddell Building. Occupants of College-owned buildings are responsible for adhering to the smoking and vaping policy, including in regards to visitors to and during parties in their premises, including in communal areas. If there is evidence of smoking or vaping, occupants will be given a Formal Warning. After a second Formal Warning, a fine will be issued. If further infractions are reported, the occupants may be asked to vacate their rooms at short notice.

Junior Members are only permitted to smoke in two designated outdoor areas: outside the Undercroft and in the designated outdoor smoking/vaping area at Liddell.

Illegal drugs (e.g. cannabis, ecstasy, heroin, amphetamine sulphate, LSD, cocaine, crack, etc.) must in no circumstances be brought within the College or any College-owned premises, including in housing outside the main curtilage, and any infringement of this rule will result in severe penalties. The disciplinary framework for dealing with infractions of the College’s smoking and vaping, drugs and alcohol policies in any College-owned building, including housing outside the main curtilage, is detailed in Section I. Sanctions may include asking occupants to vacate their College rooms at short notice.

Student Possessions Insurance

All Junior Members who are ‘living in’ are covered by a Student Possessions Insurance Policy which is administered through Endsleigh Insurance Services. The annual premium of £6.78 will be charged to the first battels bill of each Michaelmas term. Junior Members will already have received details of the insurance cover - another copy is available from the Steward’s Office, if required.

Vacation Conferences

Residential conferences in vacations make a substantial contribution to College finances, and help to keep charges to students reasonable. The Steward and her staff endeavour to ensure that conferences take place with the least possible inconvenience to members of the House. Conference bookings are not normally taken for 0th or 9th Weeks (though in 9th Week of Michaelmas term and 10th Week of Trinity term most rooms are required for Admissions candidates/Open Day visitors), and during the Easter Vacation the number of conference delegates is restricted so as to leave a limited number of rooms free for students; these may be located off-site.

Lockable cupboards are provided in many rooms and may be used to secure any bulky, non-valuable or personally precious items which are not being taken home or being sent to ‘Love Space’ storage during the Christmas and Easter Vacations. Members are expected to provide their own padlocks. Items may not be left under beds, on top of wardrobes or in chests of drawers. Details on how to contact Love Space will be circulated at the end of each term.

Overnight Guests in College

Covid regulations mean that students are not permitted to visit different households or to have guests from outside their own households at any time, including overnight.


Radios, televisions, audio equipment, and pianos and other musical instruments may be installed and played in College or in College-owned accommodation outside the main curtilage, but the work and peace of others must not be disturbed. The doors and windows of a room in which music of any sort is being played should be kept shut and all loud playing must be avoided; disruptive noise of all other kinds is also forbidden.

Students who persist in lacking consideration for others in this matter may be fined and/or required to forfeit their rooms in College or in College-owned accommodation outside the main curtilage.

A measure of excessive loudness is whether or not music can be heard outside the room within which it is being played.  The surest way of not disturbing neighbours is to use headphonesMusic and other noise of this kind without the use of headphones is strictly forbidden after 23:00 on weekdays or 00:00 on Friday and Saturdays.

Health and Safety

All students are expected to maintain a safe environment in their own accommodation for staff who enter their rooms (e.g., by ensuring that cables to personal electrical equipment are in good condition and do not pose a trip hazard). 

If any student has concerns about any matter that could represent a health and safety concern, they should contact the Steward immediately, and in cases of concern for welfare the Junior Censor. If a Junior Member has an infestation of any kind in their room they should report this immediately to their Scout or directly to the House Manager and/or the Steward.

Electrical Safety

Radios, television sets, computers, printers, audio equipment, and hair dryers are permitted in rooms, but it is the responsibility of individual members to ensure that all items of electrical equipment brought for use in College accommodation are safe. The accepted method of demonstrating electrical safety of electrical equipment, irrespective of age, is for it to be PAT (Portable Appliance Tested) by a qualified electrician and labelled stating ‘tested for electrical safety – PASSED’, with the date of the test and the name and contact details of the tester. Christ Church carries out PAT tests biannually on its own appliances and expects equipment brought in to be tested at similar intervals.

The College electrician will be available for two half days at the beginning of each term in the JCR or other location (details and dates to be advised) to check and PAT test the occasional electrical appliance where testing and labelling may have been overlooked. Simple remedial work to enable an appliance to pass, such as replacing fuses, but not replacing power plugs, will be carried out.  However, any items which comprehensively fail will, at the College electrician’s discretion, be rendered unusable, confiscated or labelled as ‘failed’ and the owner will be informed in person at the time. In some cases, it may be appropriate for the College electrician to replace a power plug but this would first be agreed with the owner of the appliance. Similar action will be taken for any other electrical equipment deemed to be unsafe discovered in rooms. In these cases, notification of all items confiscated will be given to the Junior Member by way of a note left in the room or by email from the House Manager or a member of Accommodation staff.

Electricity supplies worldwide can vary between 100 volts and 240 volts. The normal voltage and frequency of the electrical supply in the United Kingdom is 230v/50Hz and only equipment designed for the standard UK electrical supply may be connected to the College’s electrical system. All electrical equipment should display the British Standard Kite-mark or a genuine CE mark (European Certificate of Conformity). Furthermore, please note that adaptors may not be used: the connection of more than one portable electrical appliance must be effected by the use of a multi-way extension lead, and the loading must not exceed 13 amps.

It is strictly forbidden to tamper with electrical circuits and the College’s fixed wiring on obvious grounds of personal safety. No repairs or alteration to the standard electric fittings may be carried out except by the order of the Steward.

Please follow these simple rules:

  • Never touch electrical equipment with wet hands.
  • Never touch light switches if they are cracked or show signs of damage and report this immediately to the Scout and/or the Porters’ Lodge.
  • Never plug electrical equipment into sockets that show signs of damage, are cracked, or have part or all of the cover missing, and report damage of this kind immediately to the Scout and/or the Porters’ Lodge.
  • Never force plugs into sockets if they do not easily fit.
  • Never use mains-powered electrical equipment in a bathroom.
  • Always check that cables are securely attached to appliances and are not cut, nicked or damaged in any way. There should be no joints in cables and certainly no repairs with insulation tape. Cables should be checked for overheating or discolouration.

The introduction into rooms of decorative lighting arrangements including Christmas fairy lights is permitted subject to them being battery-operated only and that room occupants ensure that these lights are turned off whenever the room is unoccupied.

Cooking is not permitted in rooms. The only cooking appliance permitted in rooms is an automatic electric kettle or coffee maker. In the Liddell Building, St Aldate’s Quad, 117 St Aldate’s, and 12 Abbey Road, all cooking appliances must be kept in kitchens. Any electric iron, electric heater, electric, open flame cooking appliances or toasters (see above the exception to the rule on toasters) will be confiscated and the occupant of the room in which they are found fined.

Television Licence: It is the personal responsibility of residents to have a television licence if they wish to use a television in College.  Please note that live television viewed on a PC is also licensable and that the TV Licensing authority may seek to ‘visit students at selected Colleges’ by advance arrangement to confirm compliance. This is a significant individual responsibility. Helpful information is available online at


When preparing food in the kitchens in the Liddell Building or St Aldate’s Quad, Junior Members must ensure that extraction fans are turned on before they commence cooking, that grease is not allowed to build up in grills and ovens, and that items are never left unattended during the cooking process when using hobs and grills. On-site kitchenettes are closed to Junior Members during the pandemic.


Larder refrigerators are provided. The cleanliness and safe operation of the refrigerator and the wholesomeness of the food stored therein are the responsibility of the room occupant(s) or in the case of Liddell the responsibility of the flat occupant(s). Members are not permitted to provide their own refrigerators.

Fuel Economy and the ‘60% House’

All members are strongly advised to be economical in the use of utilities. Although the cost of heat and light in rooms is included in the daily room rate, the College reserves the right to levy an additional charge if utilities are not used economically.

Christ Church spends a six-figure sum each year on utilities, in addition to what individual members pay, and emits 2467 tons of CO2. The institution is aware of its own corporate social responsibility and has introduced an energy reduction policy and aims to be carbon neutral by 2025. Christ Church is aware of the significance of this challenge, and its own responsibility in achieving it.  The community has also committed itself to sensible good-practice fuel economy measures by all its members with the mantra Switch It Off – Turn it Down.

The following recommendations are an indication of the good-practice, practical and collaborative approach that all members of our collegiate community are invited to adopt:

  • Switch off all lighting and equipment, including all IT equipment, whenever not required, during the day and overnight and even for short periods. This includes fluorescent and low-energy lamps. Do not leave equipment on standby - lights and equipment use least energy when switched off.
  • Do not switch on all lights when none or only a few are needed; if possible, use local task lighting whenever possible.
  • Turn the heating off or down when leaving the room.Close windows and curtains to retain heat (although remember to periodically ventilate the room to avoid the development of mould).Learn to operate any storage heaters efficiently. Heating will be turned off in College from May until September inclusive.
  • Buy energy-efficient equipment – as close to ‘A’ rating as possible.
  • Put just enough water in the kettle – don’t boil more than needed.
  • Help widen good practice through setting a good example.

Safety point: tungsten bulbs have widely been replaced with CFLs, which save a significant amount of electricity for the same light output. In the unlikely event of an accidental breakage of a CFL, which contain a minute amount of mercury, open the windows and contact the Porters’ Lodge without delay. Arrangements will be made to clear the breakage – do not attempt to clear this without assistance. The House Manager can provide further information about this and other precautionary measures.

In rooms where heating is by fixed electrical heaters or appliances, simple and precise instructions for their safe and efficient use will be provided.


It is possible, with members’ cooperation, to recycle a significant proportion of the waste that the College community produces. This is achieved through segregated recycling. Each member is responsible for ensuring that waste is segregated as follows: clean plastic bottles and containers, tin cans, cardboard, paper (including magazines and newspapers) is placed in the Blue bin; food waste is placed in the clear plastic bag provided; and all other waste is placed in the grey bin, this includes cling film, aluminium foil (clean and dirty), Pringles containers and non-recyclable carrier bags. Glass bottles must be placed next to waste bins and broken glass needs to be wrapped with a note stating ‘broken glass’ so that the housekeeping staff are aware to take care. Both bins and the food waste bag will be emptied daily on weekdays by housekeeping staff. Waste bins for the recycling of food are also provided in College kitchenettes and in the main refuse areas in St Aldate’s, Meadows, Blue Boar, and at Liddell. Junior Members are also requested to separate out any unwanted clothes and other materials such as books, CDs, etc. which are donated to the British Heart Foundation. The cooperation of all Junior Members is expected and is appreciated.

Health and safety and security

Security and Safety

Christ Church takes safety and security matters seriously, and all members are expected to cooperate with necessary precautions. There are fire alarms throughout the College, and a CCTV surveillance system is in operation. Members are asked to report immediately to the Lodge suspicious behaviour, intruders, strangers outside visitors’ hours, and suspect packages.

The custodial team are responsible for ensuring the safety of visitors to the College and for general security. They are also responsible for implementing the policies and rules in relation to visitors. It is not possible for Custodians to recognise every member of Christ Church; all members should therefore be patient, courteous and cooperative.

Fob entry locks are fitted at the entrance doors of most staircases, and many also have key-code entry pads: do not undermine security by propping a door open or by divulging the entry code to anyone. Please be vigilant and do not allow anyone to tail-gate at main entrances. If a member loses their room fob, it needs to be reported to the Lodge Porter immediately so that the fob can be cancelled in order not to compromise security.  The Lodge Porter will issue a replacement fob for which there is a charge of £10. However, if the original fob is found and returned to the Lodge within 24 hours the charge will be waived.

All residents are strongly advised to lock their doors when absent from their rooms, however briefly. The loss of any article from rooms in College should be reported immediately to the Porters’ Lodge. The College accepts no responsibility for the loss of, or damage to, personal possessions.  Insurance arrangements are described in Section 5.1.f.

Windows in many rooms in College, including those in Blue Boar quadrangle, can be partially opened to provide natural ventilation; window restrictors are in place for safety reasons. To avoid any risk of falling, do not lean out of the window or sit on the window sill. Ground floor windows should not be left open if the room is empty; ensure they are secured to prevent theft and intrusion.

It is strictly forbidden to go on the roofs of any part of the College, to climb any walls or to be on the window ledges above the ground storey of any College building. It is also forbidden to be in the pond (‘Mercury’) in Tom Quad, or to cause any other person to be in the pond. Any contravention of these rules will be treated by the Censors as a disciplinary offence. Maintenance of the buildings means that there will inevitably be scaffolding in position at various times. Climbing of the scaffolds or other access to contractors' compounds or other site accommodation is strictly prohibited and will be treated by the Censors as a disciplinary offence.

During vacations, rooms may be entered for cleaning and repair by College staff, and used for occupation by conference delegates: it is important that nothing of value is left unprotected. Safety deposit boxes are available in most rooms for use during term; please ensure when vacating rooms at the end of each term that the safety deposit box is emptied.

Personal ‘attack alarms’ are provided, free of charge, from the Porters’ Lodge. If members expect to be out of College late at night, they are advised to carry one of these alarms.

Fire Safety

In accordance with its obligations, Christ Church routinely tests fire alarms throughout College normally on a Tuesday each week, between 10:00 - 11:30. The alarm will sound for up to 5 seconds only and the building should not be evacuated. This is the only circumstance in which members should not respond to the alarm - in all other circumstances, the building must be evacuated as quickly as possible in accordance with the fire notice found in each room. 

A compulsory Fire Awareness video is issued to all freshers; viewing of the short film on fire safety sent as a link with the room contract is mandatory. There is a fire safety notice in each room and residents should familiarise themselves with the procedures, means of escape and location of appliances. Fire drills are held each term.

It is a criminal offence, as well as a life-threatening action, to block or limit access or egress, or to interfere unnecessarily with fire escapes, fire alarms, detection devices and the fire-fighting appliances distributed throughout the College.

Because of fire risks, no inflammable items (including candles) may be used in Junior Members’ rooms and smoking and vaping is not allowed inside any of the buildings.

Other than in an emergency, it is a criminal offence to wilfully set off, to damage or to misuse any fire alarm bell, smoke or heat detector, fire extinguisher or any other emergency appliance. Such offences will attract a substantial fine and the Junior Censor will also take such action as is deemed appropriate to recover the cost of repair and refilling.


In case of emergency, contact the Porters’ Lodge at Tom Gate and alert other occupants of a staircase if possible. If there is a bomb alert or other emergency, it may be necessary to evacuate the College. An evacuation will be organised by the Lodge Porters, who will use whistles to alert residents and will check that rooms have been vacated. All Junior Members are asked to follow the instructions of College Officers and Porters. During the period of an evacuation, hospitality and meals will be provided on a reciprocal basis by St John’s College. In the case of evacuation of the Liddell Building, residents should proceed to the Great Hall.

Junior Members should remain alert to the danger of terrorism but should not let the fear of terrorism stop them from going about their day-to-day life as normal. In the event of an incident, quickly determine the best way to protect yourself and follow the national guidelines of ‘Run, Hide, Tell’; further information is posted on staircase notice boards. See also the following video: 

First Aid

The Lodge is staffed 24/7 and staff are trained in basic first aid—the phone number is 01865 (2)76150.. There is also a part-time College Nurse on site.

Snow and Ice Clearance

In the case of a snowfall, or freezing temperatures after rain, main traffic routes, entrances, and exits will be cleared and/or salted/gritted. This will be undertaken by staff and or external contractors reporting to the Clerk of Works and will take place as a first priority as soon as staff are available. Stocks of salt and/or grit will be kept accordingly. At Liddell this will be the responsibility of the Manager. The Boatman will retain stocks of salt in order to treat the hump-back bridge to the Boat House.

The routes initially to be cleared are the Tom Gate entrance, Tom Quad (upper level only), a pedestrian access route through Schools Quad, the route from Hall to the Meadow Building, to Meadow Gate and to Meadow Quad staircase entrances, the steps to Meadow Quad to the south of the Bell Tower, routes to Blue Boar, Peckwater Quad, the Library and Picture Gallery and the Canterbury Gate exit. The stone path in the War Memorial Garden will be cleared and, if possible, a car parking area on the Broad Walk. The aim will be to keep these routes clear of snow and ice during periods of prolonged cold, though it may be reasonable to place some practical limits if conditions become severe. The Treasurer will advise when Tom Quad central paths are to be cleared. While these paths remain uncleared, the Visitor Manager will arrange for prominent notices preventing members, staff and visitors from using these untreated routes.  Paths in the Meadow will not be salted, gritted, or cleared of snow.


No weapons may be brought into College. Junior Members with sporting equipment which comes under this category (e.g. fencing foils) must obtain a specific exemption. Contact the Censors’ Office to arrange for such weapons to be approved by the Junior Censor.



The following are contact details for the Domestic Team:



Lodge:; Tel: 00-44(0)1865-276150

Living Out

Students living out of College are required to complete and return a Living Out Form at the beginning of each term to give notice of addresses and confirm University residence. The Lodge Manager and Academic Office should be notified immediately of any change of address, and all students must ensure that the information on the Student Self Service, including their address and phone number, is kept up to date.

Students are responsible for the regular and punctual delivery of Living Out Forms to the Porters’ Lodge at Tom Gate. Failure to do so may result in forfeiture of a term’s residence.

The University Accommodation Office keeps a list of inspected and approved lodgings and a list of flats for married students: The College also has a limited number of furnished flats for graduates. The Accommodation Office will send out application forms in late February for College flats available in the following year.

By University regulation, no undergraduate may reside outside a six-mile limit. This rule will only be relaxed in exceptional circumstances (see above) and at the particular request of the College; any undergraduate who has good reason to wish to reside outside the limit should give early notice to the Senior Censor. Graduates may reside up to 25 miles from the centre of the city. Further details can be found in the University Student Handbook

The Junior Common Room (JCR)

Use of JCR facilities for the 2020/21 academic year have been modified because of the pandemic (see Protocols for Booking and Using Communal Rooms, below).

a. Levies

In accordance with its constitution, the JCR has agreed certain modest termly levies on its members.  There are currently the following termly levies:

  • Entertainments Levy of £7.00

  • JCR Appeals Levy of £2.00

  • Arts Levy of £1.00

In addition, there is an annual Staff Appreciation Levy of £4.00. These levies are charged to termly battels. If an undergraduate wishes to opt out of any of the levies, they may do so by resigning membership of the JCR, thus losing the right to stand for election to office, to vote in elections of JCR officers, and to attend JCR meetings. Anyone who resigns from the JCR still has the right to use the facilities of the JCR.

b. Sanctions

The JCR has a range of sanctions which may be considered necessary instead of, or in addition to, fines to deal with student disciplinary issues. A monetary fine would still be an option (and charges to pay for damages would still be issued separately), although Junior Members should also be aware that disciplinary violations could be sanctioned by fines and/or some of the following options, depending on the situation:

  • being barred from getting event/club tickets from JCR Entz Reps;
  • removal of Guest Dinner priority pass;
  • being banned from a Guest Dinner (on one occasion or for an extended period of time);
  • being banned from social events (can be on one occasion or for an extended period of time); and/or
  • being dropped 10 places down the room ballot.

The Graduate Common Room (GCR)

The arrangements for the GCR common room have been modified for the 2020/21 academic year because of the pandemic (see Protocols for Booking and Using Communal Rooms, below). The Common Room is on the First Floor of Tom 7. To gain access to the GCR, a fob can be obtained from the Porters’ Lodge.

The facilities provided by the College include computers, laser printers and a photocopier, and a study room for graduates living out of College. In Hall, there is a graduates’ table, and special dinners and guest nights are held regularly (note that dining arrangements for the 2020/21 year have been modified because of the pandemic and separate arrangements have been communicated. During the vacations, special arrangements are made for graduate dining.


In accordance with its constitution, the GCR has agreed that there will be an annual levy charge by the GCR of £21.00. This will cover tea, coffee, GCR fob, and contribution to the Staff Appreciation picnic. This will be batteled in Michaelmas Term and is non-refundable.     

The JCR and GCR: Code of Practice

The Education Act 1994 requires the College to have a Code of Practice for the JCR and GCR. The Christ Church code is as follows:

  • The JCR is an association open to all undergraduates of the House. The GCR is a similar association open to all graduates. Their main objectives are to provide social activities, promote the interests and welfare of their members, and to represent the interests of Junior Members to the Governing Body of the House.
  • The JCR and GCR have written constitutions, elect officers, and hold regular meetings. Membership of the JCR and GCR is automatically granted to all students who qualify for membership. Anyone who does not wish to take up membership should notify the Secretary of the JCR or GCR respectively not later than Sunday beginning 3rd Week of Michaelmas Term.
  • Membership is free of charge.
  • Withdrawal from membership will disqualify students from standing for office, voting at, or attending meetings of the JCR or GCR.
  • The written constitutions of the JCR and GCR contain detailed arrangements for the conduct of elections, the conduct of officers, financial management and reporting, the funding of groups and clubs, affiliation to external organisations (including Oxford Student Union), and the handling of complaints. The implementation of these arrangements is supervised on behalf of the Governing Body by the Dean and Censors.
  • The House provides certain social, recreational and welfare facilities for all its Junior Members, including the use of common rooms and the Undercroft bar. It allows the JCR and GCR as associations to participate in the management and provision of these services and from time to time provides the JCR and GCR with funds to enable them to maintain these services on behalf of the House. The services provided by the House are available to all undergraduates or graduates (as the case may be) on equal terms whether or not they are members of their respective association.
  • Complaints about the management of the JCR and GCR should in the first place be made to the President in question. If anyone is dissatisfied with the handling of any complaint it may be referred to the Dean and Censors.
  • A copy of the constitutions of the JCR and GCR may be inspected in the Academic Office.


Section VII: Facilities >

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