Freshers' Guides 2022

On this page, you will find the Freshers' Guide for Undergraduates, and the Freshers' Guide for Graduates. Both guides are attached as PDFs and included as accessible versions below.

Freshers' Guides 2022

Undergraduate Freshers' Guide 2022

Contents

Letter from the JCR President

Hi everyone,

Congratulations on your offers and welcome to Christ Church!

My name is Tia, I’m a second-year student studying French and Spanish, and I’m also the JCR President for this year. My job is to act as a representative for all of the undergraduate students, and so I’m really looking forward to getting to know you all. :)

The term ‘JCR’ is one of those weird bits of Oxford slang, so don’t worry if you’re not familiar with it. It stands for ‘Junior Common Room’ and refers not only to the physical common room itself, but the whole undergraduate student body. Our JCR is among one of the largest in Oxford, with students coming from a variety of backgrounds to form a diverse and inclusive community, and I really hope you find Christ Church to be a welcoming place. Don’t worry if you feel daunted by the prospect of starting university; everyone will feel the same but no matter who you are, where you’re from or what you’re interested in, you will have a fantastic time here.

The JCR Committee is made up of lots of different representatives (reps) with a huge variety of roles – covering everything from welfare to student access and entertainment (entz). While you are here, it is likely that the JCR will form the basis of your social life, and the committee tries their very best to make you feel supported in college and put on a social calendar for you to enjoy. As well as maintaining the JCR (the physical common room), we organise a variety of activities throughout the year, including your Freshers’ Week, welfare events, Arts Week and bops (big, free college parties). Making sure people are happy is extremely important to us, so the welfare of our students is a top priority in college. We have JCR reps who are peer-support trained (both generally and for specific minority groups), so that you always have someone you can turn to.

Most JCR-related stuff will be sent to your Oxford email address, and we also share information more informally to the Christ Church JCR Facebook group, which you should all join before you arrive.

If I have any advice, it would probably be to get started on any preparatory work sent to you sooner rather than later. But, more importantly, do remember if the work is hard that the tutors gave you an offer for a reason and know that you’re capable. I’m sure that some of you will be feeling slightly nervous, but everyone quickly finds their people, and you have your college family too as an added support network. Coming to uni is not only an opportunity for you to explore your academic interests, but also just so much fun.

Finally, I think one of the most important parts of my role is to be available to all undergraduates at Christ Church, whatever their needs. This now includes all of you so please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and I’ll do my best to help out. You can all add me on Facebook and message me or drop me an email.

I’m so excited to meet you all, as are the JCR Committee and Christ Church as a whole. My first year at Oxford was so much fun, and you all have so much to look forward to – so get ready and I’ll see you all soon!

MuChCh Love,

Tia xx

Welcome to Christ Church

Dear incoming freshers,

First of all, a massive congratulations and well done for meeting your offer! You should all be very proud of yourselves and we hope you are looking forward to starting at Christ Church in October.

We are Sam and Leeya, your Freshers’ Representatives, who will be organising Freshers’ Week and ensuring that everything runs smoothly. We know from personal experience that starting university is a daunting task, even more so at Oxford, which may seem alienating with all its strange traditions, impressive architecture and long history. Christ Church, though one of the biggest colleges at Oxford, will quickly feel like home to all of you, and we hope that we can ease this transition through the fun and informative activities we have planned. We hope that by the end of Freshers’ Week, you will become more familiar with the college system, the town and with the friendly, open community at Christ Church!

Sam and Leeya

Sam's Letter

Hi, I’m Sam and I am a second year Chemist! I remember feeling apprehensive about the shift from school to university. Moving out for the first time and leaving behind family and friends can be really daunting but you very quickly settle in and make friends. Especially in the first few weeks, everyone wants to meet new people so my biggest piece of advice is to try and talk to as many people as you can - you never know who might be your best friend or even your future spouse! Oxford is famous for working its students hard, and it’s true that you’ll spend more time in the library than with your friends at other universities, but you’ll quickly learn that there are many more hours in the day than you once thought! There are a huge number of activities to get involved with both inside and outside of college. I myself am co-captain of the college rugby team, musical director of ‘The Oxford Alternotives’ (see pitch perfect!), an ambassador for ‘Movember’ and of course your Freshers’ Rep this year - all while keeping up my studies and going out with friends! The terms are only 8 weeks long so make the most of every second while you’re here and then rest when you get home. You are all in for an amazing time and I cannot wait to meet you all and show you the ropes! If you have any questions, please get in touch!

Leeya's Letter

Hi, my name is Leeya and I am a second year historian. As well as being one of the two Freshers’ Reps, I am also History subject representative, so I am really happy to answer questions about anything to do with university life and specific History questions. When I was in your position, I felt especially worried about joining such a grand and rich college like Christ Church and being able to find friends from a similar background to me. Despite whatever you may have heard about Christ Church, it is a welcoming and friendly community with large enough year groups to find a good group of friends, while still feeling like you know most people. Though there is much work to be done, (which is why I encourage you to take up some access volunteering once you get here!) I was pleasantly surprised to be faced with a diverse community with people from all sorts of backgrounds. At Christ Church, it is next to impossible to not make any friends, with all the freshers living and eating together everyday, the social and welcoming atmosphere this creates is one of my favourite things about Christ Church. I really hope that you are all looking forward to joining and any anxiety about starting this new chapter of your lives is completely normal, but I hope we can facilitate this transition in Freshers’ Week and highlight what a lovely and welcoming college Christ Church is. I am always happy to stop for a chat or answer any questions you may have at any point, and I am so excited to meet you all!

Why Christ Church?

'I am a shy person so I was worried about making friends. But I quickly found out that ChCh is such a friendly college, the people around me who were strangers a few days ago quickly felt like family!' - Jen Egan

'Christ Church is right in the centre of Oxford, opposite supermarkets and a short walk away from many libraries.' - Rohini Gupte

'Christ Church has very generous financial grants for every reason you could possibly imagine. From book and language studying grants, to travel grants so you can visit anywhere in the world, Christ Church ensures that opportunities are not limited by your financial situation. This generosity is echoed in the affordable meals at hall and cheaper accommodation.' - James Rafferty

'One of the most important things for me was the size. At around 120 freshers per year, Christ Church feels small enough to know, or at least recognise, most people in the year, but large enough so asnot to feel insular or claustrophobic. Despite being one of the larger colleges, Christ Church has a great community feel.' - James Macnab

'Accommodation at Christ Church is really great, the eight week terms meaning you only pay for the time you're actually staying there. You are guaranteed college-owned accommodation for the whole duration of your degree, which really reduces the stress of hunting for a house or flat.' - Jack Cobb

'Christ Church is just the best college by far! It's incredibly beautiful and is home to a thriving and diverse student body. I was quite nervous about joining, but everyone here is really friendly and you'll quickly make friends across all years. You have a solid support network from both your tutors and your peers who you can turn to for help at any point.' - Sam Prosser

The JCR (Junior Common Room)

The JCR is located in Tom Quad and contains a common area with table tennis and pool tables, a kitchenette to make tea or coffee and a TV room which you can book to watch something with your friends.The room is the main location for welfare events, such as Late Night Tea Break organised by the welfare team, where you can chat with friends and eat lots of free food. There have also been events such as cupcake decorating and movie nights.

The JCR also has regular meetings and serves as the hub for student politics at Christ Church. These are relaxed and informal. Students get together over pizza to discuss how to spend the JCR budget, discuss policy motions which are brought forward by students on a range of issues, and to elect student representatives. ‘The JCR’ is also the undergraduate student body at Chirst Church, and the elected representatives form a committee who provide leadership and take responsibility for representing the views of the students. Beyond representation, they also provide entertainment, social events, and welfare provision so everyone can have as good a time at Christ Church as possible. JCR representatives are drawn from the student body, and candidates for positions submit a manifesto, and defend their positions at a relaxed, informal and often amusing hustings. Elections for different positions take place at various points throughout the year.

Welfare is a big part of the JCR, and we have a team of elected Welfare Officers to champion student welfare, as well as peer supporters and liberation reps to champion underrepresented communities within the JCR. The JCR is a big part of making Christ Church as friendly and inclusive as possible, and provides ways for people to get involved in different roles which range from a very small commitment that still has a big impact through to larger commitment roles on the executive committee.

You can find a full list of the current JCR representatives on the Christ Church JCR website, so if you ever want to discuss any ideas or problems with them, their contact details are accessible.

Accommodation

In first year, all students live together on site in college, which makes it very easy to make friends as you will get to know your neighbours and those living in the same building very quickly. Although you won't have kitchen access in first year, you eat all your meals together in hall. We will speak more about this later, but the social aspect this provides is very valued amongst all years at Christ Church. Unlike lots of other universities, all accommodation for first years is randomly allocated, with Freshers living in rooms in either Meadows Building, Tom Quad or Blue Boar Quad. You won't find out where you're staying until you arrive, but almost all rooms are en-suite, while all rooms have a bed, desk with a lamp and chair, a fridge and a sink. All rooms also have access to a 'tea point' which has a kettle, toaster and sink.

What to Bring

We’ve compiled a list of the absolute essentials and commonly used objects that will be good to bring with you – panic not! Your room will already contain a sink, fridge, pin board and desk lamp, as well as all the usual pieces of furniture.

  • Duvet and covers
  • Pillows and cases
  • Sheets
  • A set of towels
  • Mugs and glasses
  • Plates and cutlery
  • Washing up liquid, sponges and a tea towel
  • Kettle
  • Tea, coffee, snacks
  • Bottle opener/corkscrew
  • Laundry basket
  • Washing powder
  • Laptop
  • Extension lead/multi-socket
  • Stationery – pens, pencils, highlighters, paper, hole punch, staplers, calculator. Drawing pins are useful as the only place you can put up posters is on your pin board!
  • Files/notebooks
  • Stuff to decorate your room – photos, pictures, posters, cushions, throws, you want it to be homely!
  • Textbooks/set texts

Academic

At Christ Church, like the rest of Oxford, teaching is done through the tutorial system which is based on small group teaching sessions with a tutor discussing an essay or a problem sheet you have completed during the week. Tutorials work alongside lectures, classes, as well as labs for science subjects.

Something else that makes academic life at Christ Church special is our amazing and well equipped library. If the book you are looking for is not available, the friendly ChCh librarians will be more than happy to purchase a copy for you, or you can use the generous book grant to purchase a copy at no personal cost. The library is a great and spacious study place open from 8am-1am on most days, suitable for people with all types of working schedules. Furthermore, if you are a Law student there is the added benefit of a 24 hour library in Christ Church with access only for Law students!

Testimony from a History Student: 'This year, there are around 12 of us studying History as a single or joint honours, making the college cohort one of the biggest in the university. In my first year, I studied a wide range of topics, from the French Revolution to the Crusades, and I really appreciated the wide range of options we could choose from. With History and other humanities subjects, it can be difficult at the beginning as you have fewer contact hours than science students, and can thus be tricky to organise your time well. You will get used to it quickly though! I spend the majority of my time reading and writing essays, which I get set three of every fortnight, before discussing them in tutorials. Christ Church is a great college for humanities students, and our history society is particularly active!'

Testimony from a Chemistry Student: 'Chemistry is one of the degrees with quite a lot of contact hours at Oxford. On average, there are 10 lectures a week, with labs two days a week, three classes a week and a tutorial at college. Although this may seem like a lot, it quickly becomes manageable and I find that having lots of contact hours gives structure to my week. Labs give you the opportunity to make friends with Chemists outside your college, whereas with subjects that are just lecture based, your interaction with students outside of your college are limited. After a lab, you are expected to write a lab report, which your tutor will give you feedback for. The science area is a little bit further from the centre, but I appreciate the walk can be quite peaceful and calming after some difficult lab days or classes. Though the Science Library is currently being refurbished, the science area is close to the Vere Harmsworth, a history library with a surprisingly sciencey feel! If I don't feel like working in my room or going back to the college library, the VH is a very convenient alternative.'

Food

At university it’s important to take care of yourself so that you’re able to keep up with the pace at Oxford, and Christ Church is aware of the importance food plays as a part of that. Although us first years don’t have kitchens ourselves, we have a very skilled team of chefs that keep the college going! The College provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner every days. Breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays is pushed back to the much-beloved brunch, a real favourite of students. Having meals in Hall is both convenient and it is lovely to catch up with friends at the end of the day. Christ Church offer generous food subsidies if your household income is below a certain level, you can get up to 50% off your season meal ticket! Even if you are not accorded a subsidy, the food in hall is among the cheapest out of all the Oxford colleges.

Christ Church is one of the few fortunate colleges to have a formal dinner every day; they can be quite rare elsewhere! These consist of a starter, main, and dessert for the same price as an informal sitting, and it can be really lovely to dress up and enjoy yourselves on 'Formal Fridays'. They are particularly popular for celebrating birthdays or events, but the new introduction of ‘family formal’ often gets a full hall and provides a great opportunity to talk to your college parents. Christ Church also offers a 'Guest Dinner' twice a term, where the food becomes Michelin standard and you can invite one of your friends or family-members for a stunning four course meal in hall!

As JCR ‘Special Diets Rep’, I understand that people with food and dietary requirements may feel some anxiety about eating at Christ Church, as there are limited catering facilities in first year. However, the kitchen is most reassuringly helpful with dealing with allergies and dietary requirements. There is always a vegan and vegetarian option available, and if you are vegan, or have any other dietary requirement (including but not limited to Halal, Kosher, pescatarian, allergies) the kitchen always accommodates these needs and ensures that the food is prepared safely.

Having dinner in Hall makes for a lovely excuse for a natter and a catch up with friends, and the choice provided by the College tends to keep everyone happy. There is also a feedback form sent at the end of every week, and college will always take constructive criticism and recommendations on board.

Financial Support

Christ Church is among the most generous of Oxford colleges for financial support. The accommodation is well priced, and the fact that you only have to pay for the nights you are actually in residence helps greatly with the costs. Furthermore, depending on your household income, you could benefit from either 25% or 50% off the price of accommodation and the season meal ticket, and you may be eligible for a Crankstart or Oxford bursary from the university. Some students may also be eligible for college grants or hardship funds. Christ Church ensures that money will never be an obstacle to pursuing academic and research goals, with generous travel grants, study grants and year abroad grants. Everyone is also eligible for a £330 book grant for the duration of their degree, and the college offers reimbursement of courses taken at the language centre, if you would like to solidify your language skills or even take up a new one!

For more information about fees and charges, please visit this webpage: https://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/current-students/stewards-office-information-undergraduates-fees-and-charges

The Financial Guide for Undergraduates contains lots of useful information, including information about banks. The document can be found on this webpage: https://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/current-students/you-arrive

For more information about the support and assistance that is in place to help you manage your finances during your studies at Christ Church, please visit this webpage: https://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/current-students/financial-support-and-assistance

Welfare

Christ Church is a supportive college with a great sense of community - partly because of its size, and partly because everyone knows and supports each other! But for the moments when you maybe don’t want to talk to someone in your year group or friend circle, the welfare team are here to help. There are many welfare provisions available to you. Oxford can be overwhelming at times, but there is plenty of support available, and no problem is too small.

The welfare of students is taken seriously at Christ Church and there are many different people who are available for advice and support. There is health and welfare information on our webpages for freshers and also on our dedicated page for welfare support in Christ Church. Please visit the website to find out more: https://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/welfare-support-christ-church

The JCR Welfare Rep is Yan (Jingyan) Yu: jingyan.yu@chch.ox.ac.uk

One of the most important members of the Welfare Team is Layla the Cockapoo! Layla lives on campus and enjoys being walked every day by students! There is even a ‘dog-walking rota’ that gets sent out every week in term time and so if you like dogs, you’re coming to the right place!

Diversity

Diversity at Christ Church is certainly a priority: within the JCR there are designated ethnic and religious minority reps, gender reps and LGBTQ+ reps who are all there to help anyone who needs it! As well as this, the entertainment reps also host events such as cultural formal dinners.

'Hiya! I’m Benjamin, one of the two LGBTQ+ reps for Christ Church. Christ Church is a large college and so there is a sizeable LGBTQ+ community here, which is great because there is always someone to go to if you need anything. As one of the LGBTQ+ reps, it is my job to ensure that fun events are happening for the community. I am a friendly face around college and offer support (and/or direct you to relevant support) if needed. Under my term as rep, we have done weekly Tea and Coffee (and snacks!!) breaks, have hosted a Eurovision screening and did a walk to Oxford Pride. Very excitingly, each year there is a Unity Dinner where LGBTQ+ members of the college are invited to a fancy meal (Dress Code: Gay). We also signpost events happening across the University, such as the ever-popular TuesGays with the LGBTQ+ Society. Above all, we are here if you ever need anything and are always open to suggestions for things to do!'

Sports and Societies

As one of the largest colleges, there are plenty of clubs and societies that happen within college in addition to all of the university-wide societies. Christ Church is famous for its Rowing Club but there are also Netball, Football, Hockey, Rugby, Pool, and Chess Clubs!

There are a number of different student societies at Christ Church, which cater for all sorts of interests. Please visit our College Sports and Societies page for more information:

https://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/sports

If you are interested in choral singing, please read this letter from the Choir Director and Choir Manager: https://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/current-students/christ-church-college-choir

Entertainment

One of Christ Church's most beloved institutions is the Undercroft, affectionately known as 'The Undie', which is our college bar. The JCR 'Undie Rep' puts on many lively events in the bar throughout the term, such as karaoke and acapella concerts. After every Guest Dinner, the Undie is packed, with everyone migrating from hall for post-dinner drinks, which can be both alcoholic and non-alcoholic!

Another amazing thing about Christ Church are our fabulous Entz (entertainment) reps who put on loads and loads of events throughout term, from bops (themed college parties), quizzes, , bar crawls, pumpkin carving, karaoke nights and of course help to organise all of the freshers week events for when students first arrive in October!

There are a range of activities for everyone: both drinking and non-drinking, so no matter who you are or what you want to do, there is something for everyone at Christ Church – it is definitely never boring!

Every three years, the college throws a Ball which is an amazing opportunity to get dressed up and enjoy a night of great entertainment, put together by a dedicated ball committee!

Glossary

Oxford has its own obscure and at times, silly language. Hopefully this glossary will make sure that you don’t spend the first week wandering around in total bemusement, and have you spouting Ox-speak like a pro...

Battels

The bill you receive from College consisting of rent, hall charges, heating and electricity bills, JCR levies and many other weird and wonderful expenses. Although it can feel like some fantastic free credit card (especially when batteling wine from the Buttery), it’s always best to err on the side of caution, unless you want to be hit with a staggeringly huge bill next term.

Blackwell’s

Oxford’s largest bookshop located in Broad Street opposite the Sheldonian Theatre – it looks tiny from the outside, but in fact it’s huge, and can be relied upon to be pretty comprehensive.

Blue

Sporting accolade won when you play against Cambridge in the Varsity match for the University 1st team in any of the major sports. Some sports award Half Blues instead.

Bodleian

The University’s principal library, called the ‘Bod’ for short. Operates as a copyright library which means it automatically receives a copy of every book published in the UK. Also, as it is a mainly a non-borrowing library, you can pretty much guarantee that what you need will be there.

Bod Card

Your own little “Passport to Paradise” – gets you into colleges, libraries and even clubs. Best to carry it with you at all times, either in a wallet or phone case. You can’t even eat in Hall without it.

Bop

A massive college party held in the JCR, which is like a school disco but so much more fun.

Buttery

The bar located outside of the Hall (in the Ante-Hall), where you can buy bottles of wine and other drinks before and after meals.

Cherwell

A river running through Oxford; also one of the main student newspapers.

Collections

These come in two types:

  1. The test your tutor sets you to be taken when you arrive back at College, usually on the Thursday or Friday of 0th Week. You must wear your gowns.
  2. End-of-term Collections take place at the end of term for the majority of students. You are called in front of the Senior Censor, wearing your gown, where your tutors report to them on your term’s work. There are also the more informal Tutor’s Collections, which is exactly the same thing, minus the gown, and the Senior Censor.

‘Come up’, ‘Go down’

These are expressions still widely used in Oxford to mean arriving at the beginning of term and leaving at the end of it. No matter how far north of Oxford you live, you will always ‘come up’ when term starts, and ‘go down’ when it ends.

Commoners

All Freshers (except choral and organ scholars) are commoners and wear a short gown. You can be promoted to a Scholar or Exhibitioner, usually after a good performance in your first exams (Moderations or Preliminaries). Perks include a longer gown and money deducted from your battels. Plus, the unusual experience of reading the Latin grace for formal Hall.

Crew Date

Exactly what it says on the tin; societies, teams and clubs (or ‘crews’) of one college or sports club, meet up with the ‘crew’ of another for dinner, drinks and general social hilarity.

Cuppers

Intercollegiate competitions, usually in sports, but also take place in things like dance and drama. Always fun for promoting college spirit and rekindling ancient college rivalries.

GCR

The Graduate Common Room – located just above the JCR in Tom Quad, but kitted out in much nicer furniture. It is known as the MCR in other colleges (M for Middle).

Gowns

You’ll be required to wear one of these on several occasions, especially in the first few weeks and also during exams.Unless you’re a choral or organ scholar, you’ll wear a commoner’s gown, which costs in the region of £20. You’ll also require a mortarboard, which is never worn until you graduate, but is great for a substitute pencil case in exams.

Hilary

The second term of the year. Unvaryingly cold and wet.

The House

This is Christ Church’s traditional colloquial name, derived from the Latin name Aedes Christi which means “House of Christ”. Often used when cheering on our sports teams or just to be ironic!

The Isis

The name for the section of the Thames that runs through Oxford; also a termly student magazine.

JCR

The Junior Common Room, consisting of all the Undergraduates in college.

Junior Member

The term used to describe students at Christ Church.

Liddell (pronounced to rhyme with middle!)

Self-catering shared flats in the Iffley Road.

Matriculation

University matriculation is where you formally join the University in an early morning ceremony at the Sheldonian on the Saturday of 1st week. You have a photo with your whole year in sub fusc and then a lazy afternoon spent having a picnic/in the pub in ridiculously formal attire.

Michaelmas

The first term of the year, and over before you know it.

Mods, Prelims

These are the first official exams you take. For psychologists, lawyers and theologians they are at the end of Hilary; for others they will be towards the end of Trinity of your first year (except classicists, who take them in Hilary of their second year). In some subjects they are called Honour Moderations, in others they are called Preliminary Examinations.

Oxford Time

In Oxford, everything runs 5 minutes behind (according to the city’s exact location compared to the Greenwich Meridian). For example, 6pm Evensong in the Cathedral is actually at 6.05pm, and the same applies to lectures. Be warned – not many tutors accept ‘Oxford Time’ as an excuse for lateness to tutes.

OxStu

Short for The Oxford Student, the other student newspaper.

Peck

Short for Peckwater Quad, home of the coveted Peck Sets.

Pidge

Short for pigeonhole – where all your post arrives in the plodge. College and tutors will also use it to hand out notices and return work so you should check it at least once a day. Your name label is above your pidge, and you may have to share with another person – you just have to hope they pick up their mail regularly.

Plodge

Short for the Porters’ Lodge, your first port of call in many circumstances.

RAG

The University’s principal charity fundraising organisation, which stands for Raising and Giving. They run all sorts of great activities throughout the year, on a University and a college level through the RAG Reps.

SCR

The Senior Common Room - all of the Christ Church teaching staff are members.

Scout

The lovely people who empty your bins and clean your rooms. Always willing to have a friendly chat and a cup of tea – they really have seen it all before.

Sheldonian

A concert hall next to the Bodleian – used for official ceremonies including Matriculation and major concerts.

Students

For historical and pretty confusing reasons the Fellows are known as Students at Christ Church. We, on the other hand, are called Junior Members.

Sub Fusc

This is ceremonial dress, worn for matriculation, exams and graduation. See the University website https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic/dress?wssl=1 for full details. Great for impressing tourists, some of whom are under the impression that we wear this every day! It is tradition during exams to wear coloured carnations (delivered to your pidge by your college parents); white for your first exam, red for the last, and pink for the ones in the middle.

Tabs

Students from Cambridge.

Tom

Can refer to the gate or the bell on top of it, ‘Great Tom’. It rings 101 times at 9.05pm (once for each of the original college scholars) to mark the curfew in times gone by...

Trinity

The last term of the year; filled with punting, Pimm’s and exams.

Trinity Exchange

Sporting competition with our sister, Trinity College, Cambridge.

Tute

Short for tutorial – attendance is compulsory.

Undercroft

The college bar, also known as the ‘Undie’.

Weeks

Terms in Oxford are split into numbered weeks. ‘Full Term’ (which is when teaching takes place) runs from 1st-8th week, but there are also 0th week, 9th week and even -1st week! Weeks start on Sundays (confusingly) and Freshers’ Week will start on the Sunday of 0th week.

Graduate Freshers' Guide 2022

Contents

Foreword from the GCR President

Dear Graduate Fresher,

Congratulations on your acceptance to study at the University of Oxford, and welcome to Christ Church.

You are now a member of Christ Church’s Graduate Common Room (GCR). This is a diverse, collegial group that is comprised of around 300 graduate students. The GCR is now your home at Oxford; offering support, friendship, and no shortage of entertainment. While the committee organises a variety of social and welfare events, dinners and sports outings, the GCR itself is your physical space to use, work, and relax in as you wish.

Our college is a unique place, where you will be adding to the countless stories that have been written here. For example our GCR was once occupied by Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) while writing about Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, and by Albert Einstein while he was a research fellow at the college. On top of this, you can also enjoy three meals a day in the Hogwarts dining hall.

Enclosed is our Freshers’ Guide, which will give you an idea of the facilities available in college, and in our GCR; while explaining some of the more mysterious aspects of life at Christ Church. Please join our Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/3201307470126745/), and do not hesitate to contact me via email (gcr.president@chch.ox.ac.uk) with any questions you may have.

In the week before term begins, informally referred to as “0th week” there will be a number of GCR and College events, as well as those organised by your department or faculty, which will give you a chance to meet new people, be introduced to life at Christ Church and life at the wider University. Details regarding the schedule of this Freshers’ Week will be sent out before your arrival, and events will be announced on Facebook, as well as on the GCR mailing list to which you will automatically be subscribed with your new Oxford email address.

I look forwards to welcoming you to Oxford and hosting you at Christ Church as we emerge into the post-pandemic era. Each chapter we experience is different, and I’m certain that the next will be a rollercoaster that has the power to completely change your life; no matter what, I am sure you will very much enjoy this one!

Best wishes and kind regards,

Delaney Charles Conleth Dominey-Foy
Christ Church, GCR President

Letter from the Freshers' Reps

Dear Freshers,

Welcome to the Christ Church Graduate Common Room! We (Ayman and Sanskriti; both 5th year medical students) are your Freshers’ Reps this year. This means we’ll be your first point of contact across Michaelmas term, so come to us with any and all questions you might have. We’ll also be co-ordinating a programme of fun events to help you settle in and meet other people in Freshers’ Week, and will meet as many of you as we can in the weeks before term starts!

The Graduate Common Room, aka the GCR, refers to both a physical room (in Tom Quad - ask for directions from the Porter’s Lodge if you can’t find it!) and to the whole graduate community at Christ Church, of which you will be a member. We come together across the year for sports (rowing and football are very popular at Christ Church), socials (“BOPs”, pub quizzes, games nights), dinners (exchanges with other colleges, formals in Hall), entertainment (film nights, video games) and much, much more! You’ll find people are very welcoming, and always happy to meet new people - so get stuck in! Make sure you join the GCR WhatsApp and Facebook groups to stay up to date (we’ll email about these), as these are where people tend to organise and advertise events.

We’ve paired you all with college “parents” - these are returning GCR members who will help show you around Oxford. We’ve tried to match up interests and/or study areas where possible, but you can ask them about anything - your college parents are a great first port of call to ask all the little questions you have. They just want to help you settle in! If you’re arriving in Oxford early, some great places to check out are the Ashmolean Museum, the Museum of Natural History and Pitt Rivers, and the Botanical Gardens - all of these are free to access for Oxford students - make sure to take your university card, aka the Bod Card.

We know packing can be quite stressful, especially for those coming from abroad. Whilst you can buy most essentials like toothbrushes, pillows, or socks in Oxford, we’d recommend you also bring some things you can’t get here. Whether that’s photos of family and friends, decoration which reminds you of home, or snacks from abroad, these can all really help to make you feel at home in Oxford.

Coming to a new city and starting fresh can often seem quite daunting, and whilst most people end up loving their first few weeks and time at Oxford, we have plenty of welfare support available if things get a bit rocky. We have the lovely Welfare Coordinator Clare, as well as our College Counsellor, GCR Welfare reps, peer supporters, and out-of-hours Wardens - to name a few. There’s more info on each of these and how to contact them in the Fresher’s guide and on the Christ Church website. 

We’ve got a lot more to share, but hopefully this brief introduction can help you feel more prepared ahead of starting in September/October; check out our Freshers’ pack for lots more info. We can’t wait to meet you all!

Best wishes,

Ayman and Sanskriti

Getting Started at Christ Church

The Graduate Common Room (GCR) refers to both the community of graduates at Christ Church, and its rooms. These are found at the top of the staircase in Tom 7 (see the map at the back of this guide). Most colleges use the term Middle Common Room (MCR) instead of Graduate Common Room but, as with many things, Christ Church does things differently! And awesomely. Hence, GCR it is.

Membership of the GCR is automatically given to anyone who has completed an undergraduate degree and is studying at Christ Church towards another degree. Associate membership can be granted to other individuals who may then make use of some of the GCR facilities. Partners of GCR Members are often made Associate Members, as are visiting graduates. Guests and visitors of GCR Members are also welcome to make use of the Common Room.

The GCR Mailing List and Social Media

Most communication within the GCR is done by email. You will be automatically subscribed to the two GCR mailing lists when you arrive. The main list (chchgcr@maillist.ox.ac.uk) is used by the GCR Committee and College staff to announce social events, GCR meetings, and the like. If you find that you haven’t been added to the list, or if you’d like to subscribe on another email address, please contact the Academic Office.

Arriving in Christ Church

The first place you should visit when you arrive at Christ Church is the Porters' Lodge. You'll find the Lodge in the arch of Tom Gate, which is the main entrance to Christ Church, on St. Aldate’s. From the Lodge, you should obtain a Tom Gate electronic fob, which opens all external and many internal doors and gates, as well as your bedroom if you live in College accommodation. Some older rooms may still require a conventional key, which the porters will also provide upon your arrival.

Finally, you should collect your University Card (“Bod Card”) from the Academic Office on the first floor of Tom 8. This will only be delivered to College once you have completed and returned your University Card Form. You may contact the Academic Office team by email at academic.office@chch.ox.ac.uk.

Connecting to the Internet

Internet connections in College are made through the university wireless networks. There are two networks you can connect to: CHCH and eduroam. Both of these require that you have a remote access account setup with the Oxford University Computing Service. It is advised that you set these up before your arrival in Oxford to make connecting to the network easier. In depth information on how to connect can be found on their website here: https://help.it.ox.ac.uk/wireless-access-university

College Parents

Before you arrive at Christ Church, you will receive an email introducing you to your college parents. This programme pairs Freshers up with existing members of the GCR who are there to try and make new members feel at home, helping to integrate them into the Common Room's lively social environment. Your parents will be there to answer even the smallest of questions.

GCR Life

The Common Room

The physical GCR consists of a suite of rooms situated in one corner of Tom Quad. The main room of this is where most GCR activities take place. It is steeped in history, having been previously occupied both by Charles Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll) and Albert Einstein. It sports some very comfortable leather sofas and, since recently, a baby grand.

The Common Room contains everything you need to relax after a hard day’s work: tea and coffee, the occasional pop up bar, a widescreen television with a PS4 and FIFA20 if you must... The GCR also subscribes to a few newspapers and magazines for you to enjoy.

Social Events

The social life of the GCR is always active, with plenty going on to maintain that important work-life balance. Social Secretaries are elected once a term and are in charge of organising events like bops, pub-crawls, garden parties, and social exchanges with other colleges, and again, bops. We have regular welfare teas, food and drink tastings, movie nights, and board game nights throughout the year. These and many other events are organised for you by the GCR Committee.

Of course, there are always plenty of unofficial/impromptu events hosted by GCR Members. This space is yours to use as you wish. You can invite friends to the GCR and even book the Les Jones dining room for private events and dinners. If you prefer a quiet night in, then you should have no difficulty in finding somebody with whom to watch a movie in the Common Room.

Sports

GCR sports tend to be mainly on the informal side, although football cuppers against other colleges is pretty hard-fought - one year we suffered four broken legs in our first four games! On top of this, it is impossible to forget the more stereotypical of Oxford sports. Disclaimer: I am not impartial now. Rowing plays an important part in College and goes back a long way. Christ Church is one of the top boat clubs in Oxford, and at that, one of the best equipped. Every year, apart from flooding and COVID-19, we participate with numerous boats in university-wide regattas such as our Novice Regatta, Torpids, and Summer Eights. This, some might say insane, activity is something that has to be tried at least once, if you haven’t before. There will be a novice BBQ not to be missed, races in the first term, and plenty of fun to be had in the spring and summer bumps.

In the summer months, croquet becomes something of an obsession for some members of the GCR, where I witnessed good friends go tilt. The Masters’ Garden is available for croquet in Trinity Term, and is a lovely place to while away the hours after dinner.

If you are interested in playing sport in the GCR, or indeed setting up a new team, then let one of the Sports Officers/Committee Members know and they should be able to point you in the right direction. Tennis courts, football or rugby pitches, squash courts in St. Aldate’s, or any other part of the Sports Ground may be booked by using the Christ Church online system (https://chchoxford.sports-booker.com/home.php).

Music

There is an active music-making scene at Christ Church, in which many GCR Members are involved. The Christ Church orchestra gives concerts once a term, and there are numerous choirs, orchestras, and other music groups that one can join throughout the University. The College Choir is highly recommended; open to all Members of the House, it is a great way to get involved with the College and Cathedral without having to commit a large amount of time.

GCR Meetings and Elections

GCR Ordinary General Meetings (OGMs) are held once or twice a term. They provide an opportunity for you to express your opinions about how the GCR should be run, to vote in Associate GCR Members, and to make sure that your elected representatives on the GCR Committee are doing their jobs well. Come along to these meetings and have your say on some important issues and vote on changes in the GCR. As an extra incentive, there usually are snacks and sometimes even more! Elections to the GCR Committee are held towards the end of each term. The GCR Committee is there to make sure that the Common Room runs smoothly, and that members of the Common Room get the most out of its facilities. Most committee positions are open for nomination at the end of each term and it can be good fun and fulfilling to get involved: you are strongly encouraged!

GCR Facilities

The Kitchens

The GCR has two kitchens: one situated in the turret adjacent to the main Common Room and the other in the passage between the main Common Room and Les Jones Dining Room. The kitchens contain various cooking equipment for the use of GCR Members including refrigerators, a stove with cooking hobs, grill and fan-assisted oven, and a microwave oven. Items placed in the refrigerator must be clearly labelled with your name and an expiry date, otherwise they will be thrown out. The turret kitchen is also home to the tea and coffee facilities of the GCR. These include teapots, cafetières, and a wide selection of teas and biscuits.

While we have a scout, who is responsible for the overall maintenance of the Common Room, maintaining general levels of tidiness, particularly in the kitchens, is everybody’s responsibility. Fortunately, both kitchens are equipped with a dishwasher to make this easier for everyone.

The Les Jones Dining Room

This dining room is named after a fondly remembered GCR butler, now retired. It contains a large and magnificent dining table, and is used by members of the Common Room for a variety of events ranging from teaching to dinner parties. Any GCR Member can book the dining room for such an occasion, by emailing the GCR Vice President.

The Study Room

The study room can be found to your left as you come to the top of the stairs in Tom 7. It is set aside for people wishing to read and work. The room contains several desks, and some comfy chairs. There are ample power sockets for laptops and the room has Wi-Fi (Network: CHCH Password: aedeschristi1). The room can become quite busy, particularly in Trinity term when exams and thesis deadlines are looming, so there are plenty of shelves on which to keep personal libraries/work. As it is a shared space, it is important to keep the room as clutter-free as possible for everyone to use.

The Computer Room

The Computer Room is on the second floor of Tom 7, above the Les Jones Dining Room. It currently contains PCs, a colour and a black-and-white printer, and a scanner. To use the GCR computers you will need login details, which will be given to you when you arrive. Those wishing to use the College network, either over Wi-Fi in the GCR or over wired connections in St. Aldate’s, will need to register their machines with the Computing Office.

The Tutorial Room

The GCR provides space for those members with teaching responsibilities. The room is situated next to the Computer Room and can be booked using the sheet on the door.

The Noticeboard

The hallway leading to the main Common Room contains the GCR noticeboard. Here you will find details of some forthcoming events from around the university, and other useful things like Hall menus and information on College and University matters.

Lockers

Lockers are in the hallway next to the study room. Keys can be obtained from the Academic Office at the end of 0th week. Details will be sent by email about the procedure.

College Facilities

In addition to the facilities provided by the GCR, you can use all the regular College amenities.

The Library

The library is in Peckwater Quad and you’ll need your Oxford University Student Card (“Bod Card”) to use it. Even if you don’t use the library much, go in to look at the Upper Library (ask the librarian at the desk to let you upstairs). It is a beautiful room containing many old and rare books, and a set of very comfortable Chippendale stools. Cardinal Wolsey’s hat or galero (which can be seen in the College crest) is also on display. Graduate students may apply to be library clerks in the evenings and on weekends.

The Picture Gallery

The Picture Gallery is in Canterbury Quad. It contains an extensive art collection, and frequently changing exhibitions. It is one of the finest collections of its kind in the country and should not be missed. Members of Christ Church and guests can enter for free.

The Music Room

The Music Room is on the ground floor of Tom 4. You’ll need to obtain permission from the Music Tutor in order to use it. The music room contains a grand piano, and can be booked at the Porters’ Lodge.

The Art Room

The Art Room is in Blue Boar. It is an open access studio, seminar, exhibition, and social space welcoming anyone connected to the College with an interest in the visual arts. One GCR Member recently displayed an exhibition of their art there.

Sports Facilities

The Squash Courts

There are two squash courts located in St. Aldate’s Quad. You can book them via https://chchoxford.sports-booker.com/home.php and pick up the key (fob) at the Porters’ Lodge.

The Gym

While the College does not have its own gym, the University has an excellent gym and pool, situated on Iffley Road (15 minutes away). College is providing free membership for all Christ Church Members this year. The University Club on Mansfield Road also contains a small gym, which costs £55 per year to join. The club itself offers a host of useful facilities, and should not be missed (membership to the club itself is free) - https://www.club.ox.ac.uk/gym-and-sports.

Punts

The College owns three punts and a rowboat that are available for all members to hire out at a cheaper rate than commercial punts. Punts can be booked online via https://chchoxford.sports-booker.com/home.php, using your College username and password. They are available during Trinity Term and provide an excellent way to spend a lazy afternoon.

The Undercroft

The “Undie” is the College bar. It can be found in the cellar of the Lee Building. It is open most nights of the week, from 7.30 pm -11 pm. Drinks are cheap and there is a jukebox. As with all pubs and other “enclosed spaces” in the UK, smoking is prohibited. This is a thoroughly cheap and cheerful place to have a drink or two, as well as mix with undergraduates… if you so wish.

The Buttery

The Buttery is the other College bar, situated in the Ante-Hall, just outside the main dining hall. It’s open before dinner in the evening until 8pm. You can buy bottles of the House wine, sherry and port there, as well as beer, spirits, and wine from the College cellars. Each member may battel up to £60 of wine per term.

The Masters’ Garden

This garden next to Meadows Building is open during Trinity Term, and is a pleasant place to play croquet, to stroll, or just to sit. It is one of the few places in College where we are allowed to sit on the grass. Legend has it that we won the garden from Corpus Christi College in a game of poker.

Accommodation

About half of the graduates at Christ Church live in accommodation provided by College.

Steward’s Accommodation

St. Aldate’s Quad and 12 Abbey Road, are administered by the Steward of Christ Church and maintained by the House Manager. St. Aldate’s Quad is mainly inhabited by first-year graduates.

All Steward's accommodation is charged on a termly basis in advance. Although water is included in this charge, electricity and heating are metered quarterly and the cost divided equally between the occupants of the flat or house. All charges are made to battels – your first bill will be for accommodation charged in advance.

Steward's accommodation is serviced by a College scout who will clean your room and kitchen, and empty the bins either daily or weekly.

St. Aldate’s Quad

St. Aldate’s Quad is just across the road from Christ Church (look for the big wooden gate with a round hole). You will need a fob to get in, available from the Porters. Inside the quad there are seven staircases designated in Roman numerals.

Rooms in St. Aldate’s are split into flats with shared kitchens and bathrooms. The previous occupant may have left the kitchen partially equipped, but you will need to supply your own mugs, crockery, cooking equipment etc. Sainsbury’s (in the Westgate Centre) and Marks and Spencer supermarkets are both nearby, located off Queen Street. There is also a small Tesco situated further down St. Aldate’s.

As the main gate to the quad is on the main road, and unlike the main site there is not a lodge, it is very important to make sure that the main gate is closed behind you when entering or leaving the quad, and that the code is not given out to others. Additionally, doors to individual rooms and flats should be locked behind you, and you should not leave your window open while you are out.

Staircase V of St. Aldate’s contains a laundry for the use of all St. Aldate’s residents with three washers and three driers. Laundry cards can be obtained from a machine located in the Junior Common Room (JCR) in Tom 7. There is also an iron and ironing board.

12 Abbey Road

This graduate accommodation is about ten minutes from Christ Church by bike. It is a large shared house with a communal kitchen, a garden, and plenty of bathrooms.

Scouts

Scouts keep flats and individual rooms clean and habitable. If you live in St. Aldate’s Quad, you will find that a scout cleans the common areas in your staircase every day and that your room is vacuumed and cleaned once a week. Leave your bin out overnight so that it can be emptied in the morning (this is also the unofficial signal that you do not wish to be disturbed the next morning).

Treasury Accommodation

Treasury accommodation is administered by the Treasurer of Christ Church. It is mainly for second-, and subsequent, year graduates, but some first-year students may be allocated Treasury accommodation. Most of this housing is located near the railway station, on Botley, Cripley, or Abbey Road. This accommodation is provided on a lease basis (contracts are for 11 months), and is self-servicing (i.e. no scout). Please check with the Treasury office for the most current rent rates, which vary from property to property.

Guest Accommodation

The College has a limited supply of guest accommodation that can be booked through the Conference Office. It is advisable to book well in advance, as demand is often high. The nightly charge is made to battels. Breakfast is usually included.

Private Accommodation

Many graduates choose to live in private-sector flats and this can often work out cheaper. If you are looking for a flat in Oxford, you may find the following websites useful:

https://gradaccommodation.admin.ox.ac.uk/

www.dailyinfo.co.uk/

www.ox.ac.uk/gazette/

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/

https://www.gumtree.com/flats-houses/oxford

http://www.facebook.com/groups/160632823948859/?fref=ts

Food

Christ Church Hall offers a grand venue for dining. From Monday to Friday, breakfast and lunch are served in Hall from 8.00 am to 9.00 am and 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm, respectively. On weekends brunch is served from 11.00 am to 1.30 pm on Saturday and until 2.00 pm on Sunday. Breakfast, lunch, and brunch are served cafeteria style and are paid for using your Bod Card (which you can top up using an online system, http://topup.chch.ox.ac.uk) or in cash. Payment by Bod Card allows you to take advantage of the cheaper rate for members of the College, whereas food will be charged at guest rates for payment by cash. A wide selection of reasonably priced food is available, and you can bring guests to lunch.

Three-course dinners are served in the Hall throughout term time (0th Week – 9th Week). There are two sittings: informal, at 6.20pm, and formal, at 7.20pm where the same food is served. Most graduates tend to go to the formal sitting, but the choice is entirely up to you. There is usually one table reserved for graduate members. At the formal dinner, everyone must wear gowns and, in general, "smarter" attire is expected (but not officially required). Before dinner begins, everyone stands for the reading of Grace (in Latin). Make sure that you bring your Bod Card to dinner, as it will be scanned when you enter the Hall.

A dinner in Hall will cost around £4.17, but you can also purchase a Season Ticket from the Steward’s Office. This will mean that you pay around £2.82 per dinner if you attend every dinner. If you live in St. Aldate’s, you will be automatically signed in for dinner during term (which starts on Monday of 0th week). If you live in St. Aldate’s and do not wish to be on the Season Ticket, this can be arranged at the start of term and you will then be granted the ability to sign out of Hall on a weekly basis but will be charged the higher food rate of around £4.17 per dinner. Please note you will still need to email the Hall (hallmanager@chch.ox.ac.uk) on a weekly basis to sign out for those days you will not be dining, as by default you are still signed in for all of them but at a higher rate. If you fail to sign out, you will be charged as if you were there. People living out (i.e. not in College or in St. Aldate’s) must sign in for dinner by 10.00 am on the day before they wish to dine (Friday 10.00 am for Sunday) by putting their name on the signing-in sheets just inside the entrance to Hall or by email: hallmanager@chch.ox.ac.uk. Signing in or out of dinner can be done several days in advance, and if necessary, for longer periods by arrangement with one of the Hall Managers.

If you are a vegetarian, vegan, or have any other dietary requirements, then you should collect the appropriate card from the Steward’s Office as soon as possible upon arrival. Take a passport photograph with you when you go to collect your card. You will have to present this card during all dinners in Hall to make sure that you get the correct food.

Guests can be accommodated at Hall dinners for a charge of around £9.62. Send an email before 10.00 am on the day you’d like to bring guests (Saturday 10.00 am for Sunday) to Andy Hedges, the hall manager, and his team (hallmanager@chch.ox.ac.uk). Make sure you note the number of guests you are bringing (up to two), which sitting you would like to attend, and any dietary requirements.

During the vacations, a dinner service is provided for graduates. This happens on average about twice or three times a week. Vacation dinners are usually served in the Freind Room in the Lee Building.

In addition to the ordinary provision of food, the GCR regularly arranges special dinners. GCR guest dinners happen on Wednesday evenings during term. At these dinners High Table food is served and (up to one) guests can be invited. Our amazing Executive Head Chef Chris Simms and his fantastic team provide a menu of extraordinary quality for a very reasonable price. Tickets are allocated by ballot and the GCR Food & Dining Officers are responsible for organising both the dinners and the ballot. After dinner, there will be drinks and snacks in the GCR (typically port & cheese). These dinners are a good way to entertain friends by showing off the fine cuisine and splendid surroundings!

In addition to this, a special GCR Black Tie dinner is typically held at the end of each term in 8th week (usually each member can bring up to one guest). The GCR Food & Dining Officers also try to organise three exchange dinners with other colleges during term time. Furthermore, port & cheese exchanges, Afternoon Tea and wine/whiskey/gin tastings are organised together with the social secretaries.

Welfare

There are a number of people in Christ Church to whom you can talk if you are having personal or work -related problems. Your College Adviser should provide pastoral support and academic advice as a complement to your supervisor. Dr Katherine Lebow (katherine.lebow@chch.ox.ac.uk) and Professor Alex Vasudevan (alexander.vasudevan@chch.ox.ac.uk) are the two College Welfare Officers, who are tutors within College, and are happy to see any member of the College about problems they might be having. They may be contacted by telephone or by email.

Rev'd Clare Hayns is the College Chaplain and Welfare Co -Ordinator. She will offer counsel and pastoral support to all members of Christ Church, whatever their religious beliefs. She will also oversee the welfare resources available in college and will work with the GCR and JCR Welfare Officers to do this.

The College nurse is also available to all members of the College each day in Killcanon 2. Email christchurchnurse@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk. Office hours will be circulated at the start of term and made available on the College website.

In addition, the GCR has its own Welfare Officers (see committee members below). They can be consulted at any time and are always happy to have a friendly (and confidential) chat about whatever might be on your mind. They will organise welfare events and will provide additional information about the welfare resources available to you.

Grants and Hardship Funding

The College can offer grants to assist with academic travel and with the purchase of textbooks. Facilities also exist to help with unexpected financial difficulties. If you are experiencing financial problems, the College may be able to help, if not with a hardship grant, then with a short-term loan, or with a deferment of your battels bill. More information is contained in the Blue Book.

GCR Committee

Committee members usually can be contacted via the standard Christ Church email address, firstname.lastname@chch.ox.ac.uk. The committee positions are listed below:

The GCR Executive (Elected Annually):

President: Delaney Charles Conleth Dominey-Foy

The President makes sure that all is well in the Common Room and also represents the graduate community at Christ Church to the College.

Vice President: Andrew Paulley

The Vice President helps keep the committee in check, writes agendas for meetings, takes minutes, and generally makes life easier for everybody at Christ Church.

Treasurer: Arthur Wotton

The Treasurer looks after the GCR accounts and budgets, and makes sure our bills are paid on time. She has the power to battel you for huge amounts of money, so treat her nicely.

The GCR Committee (Elected Termly):

Arts Officers

The Arts Officer, Judith Valerie Engel organises and informs us about all things cultural; from art exhibitions and trips to concerts and festivals.

Disabilities Officer

Our Disabilities Officer, James Cullis, provides student representation for disabilities within the GCR.

Environment & Ethics Officer

The interim Environment & Ethics Officer, Maximilian Pflueger, keeps everyone informed about all issues green and ethical.

Food & Dining Officers

The Food & Dining Officers, Ben Nabnian and Samantha Sharkoff, organise the guest dinners as well as exchange and black-tie dinners. They also have a say in what goes on the menu for Hall.

LGBTQ+ Officer

Our interim LGBTQ+ Officer, Alexander Illsley, works with other welfare officers and is especially concerned with the LGBTQ+ issues of members of the college. This also involves liaising with their counterparts in the JCR to organise LGBTQ+ social events together, as well as coordinating upon health and security of the community.

Photography Officer

The in-House Photographer is Pramit Saha. He will be on hand at our GCR events to take pictures of you at your best.

Gender Representative

The GCR’s Gender Representative is Samantha Sharkoff. She acts to support women, men, non-binary individuals, and those who are gender non-conforming to ensure the college environment is a comfortable space for all. This role works to raise awareness for men’s mental health, promote discussions on gender in college and support all individuals experiencing hardships associated with gender expression; whilst providing members with free sexual health supplies and free sanitary products.

Social Secretaries

Our interim Social Secs Linnea Zoe Drexhage and Milena Vuletic are here to organise outstanding bops and pub trips, and make sure that we are kept happy and entertained.

Sports Officer

The interim Sports Officer, Maximillian Crane, is in charge of organising GCR sporting events and letting us know about sporting opportunities.

Welfare Officers

Kate Friesen and Aoife Miralles are our Welfare Officers and can be spoken to, in confidence, about anything that is troubling you. Also, a large part of the magic behind the scenes can be attributed to them!

Computing Officer

Nasma Dasser is responsible for producing and maintaing the GCRs website; here you can find everything related to the GCR including events timetables, social sign-ups and room bookings.

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Officer

The interim GCR Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Officer (BAME) Officer, Ayman D’Souza,  provides representation to all people that identify as BAME, and promotes the views and interests of the community.

Contact Information

You will probably need to contact at least some of these people during your time at Christ Church. The telephone extension numbers shown are for the Oxford University internal network (add 01865 first externally). Christ Church Members can be contacted via the standard email address: firstname.lastname@chch.ox.ac.u k . The information here is correct at the time of writing, but is subject to change.

The Academic Office

The Academic Office, headed by the Senior and Junior Censors, is responsible for providing administrative support for all areas of the College’s academic functions : e.g. examinations, monitoring of student progress, awards, prizes and scholarships, book and travel grants, and financial assistance. It should be the first port of call for on-course student queries: academic.office@chch.ox.ac.uk. The office is on the first floor of Tom 8 and is usually open 9am - 1pm and 2pm - 5 pm from Monday to Friday. Further information about the team and FAQs can be found on the College website: https://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/academic-office-0

The Tutor for Graduates is especially concerned with graduate affairs, and they are always happy to hear from Christ Church graduate students. Contact the Tutor for Graduates with any serious academic problems or concerns that cannot be resolved by your College Advisor. The Junior Censor deals with permission for parties and general disciplinary matters.

The Tutor for Graduates

Dr Anna Clark: (2)76158

The Senior Censor

Professor Dirk Aarts: (2)76157

The Junior Censor

Professor Kevin McGerty: (2)76182

The Academic Registrar

Ms Helen Etty: (2)76157

Welfare Contacts

For full details about the extensive welfare support available at Christ Church, and lots more contact information, visit the college website: https://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/welfare-support-christ-church

College Welfare Coordinator & Chaplain

Rev'd Clare Hayns

(2)76236 clare.hayns@chch.ox.ac.uk

Surgery

The College Doctors have a surgery at 27 Beaumont Street

01865 311500 – external number https://www.27beaumontstreet.co.uk/

College Nurse

(2)76176 chchnurse@nhs.net

Porters’ Lodge

(2)76150 porters@chch.ox.ac.uk

Liddell Porters’ Lodge

(2)31100

Steward's Office

The Steward’s Office is on the ground floor of Tom 9 and is usually open from 9am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm from Monday to Friday. This office deals with most of the arrangements for College accommodation, food, and bills. All enquiries about charging and fees should be directed in the first instance to the Steward’s staff in the main office: battels@chch.ox.ac.uk for queries about college charges and fees@chch.ox.ac.uk regarding course fees.

The Steward

Pauline Linières-Hartley

Contact for College/Steward’s accommodation queries: jacqueline.folliard@chch.ox.ac.uk

The Treasury

The Treasurer

Mr James Lawrie

Contact for Treasury accommodation queries: sally.gillard@chch.ox.ac.uk

Additional Information

Post

All incoming mail will be placed in your pigeonhole, including internal (i.e. University) mail. If you wish to send a message via pigeon-post (internal) to someone in an Oxford University college, department, or office, place it in the letter box in the door to the Porters’ office. If you receive mail that must be signed for, the Porters will sign on your behalf (very handy for those frequent Amazon packages!) and notify you that you have a package via email. Important information may appear in your pidge at any time so we encourage you to check it regularly.

During the Christmas, Easter, and summer vacations, mail is still placed in your pigeonhole. If you want post to be redirected elsewhere inform the Steward’s Office before you leave Oxford.

The phone number of the Porters’ Lodge is (2)76150. The porter on duty will be able to take messages and leave them in your pigeonhole.

A Note on Telephone Numbers

Telephone numbers in this guide are given as a six-digit number with the first in brackets, e.g. (2)76150 is the number for the Porter’s Lodge. If you are dialling from a University internal phone line, simply dial 76150 (i.e. without the initial 2). If calling from an outside line in Oxford, dial 276150. If the call is from outside Oxford, you will need the area code, so dial 01865 276150.

Websites

You may find useful information on these websites.

University of Oxford: www.ox.ac.uk

Christ Church: www.chch.ox.ac.uk

Student Funding: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/fees-and-funding/oxford-funding

Oxford University Student Union: https://www.oxfordsu.org

Immigration and Nationality Directorate: www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk

Council for International Education: www.ukcosa.org.uk

Study UK: https://study-uk.britishcouncil.org/

Oxford City Council: www.oxford.gov.uk

National Rail Inquiries: www.nationalrail.co.uk

National Express: www.nationalexpress.com

Megabus (low cost inter city bus travel): https://uk.megabus.com

Guide to Oxford English

This glossary, lovingly compiled over many years, should help explain some of the confusing jargon used at Christ Church and Oxford.

Battels

The huge bill from College that arrives by email every term when you least expect it.

Blades

A boat that bumps on every day of the Trinity Term races is awarded blades. See Bumps, Spoons.

Bod

Short for the Bodleian Library.

Bod Card

An Oxford University Card. Essential for accessing most services offered by the University and, more importantly, for getting into dinner.

Bop

Where we get to put on our dancing shoes and show the younger generation how to really get down. Or not. Good fun regardless.

Boatie

Rower. Will talk only about rowing, mostly with his/her rowing friends.

Bumps

Boatie-speak, imported from the Other Place; type of race rowed on the river where each boat tries to hit the one in front. See Eights, Torpids.

Buttery

College bar in the Ante-Hall (just outside Hall). You can battel wine/sherry/port or buy pre-dinner drinks.

ChCh

Abbreviation for Christ Church.

CCC

Not the abbreviation for Christ Church, but for Corpus Christi College, our little neighbour to the east.

Collections

When graduates go and have a chat with the Dean and Tutor for Graduates to explain what you’ve been up to this year.

Coming up/Going down

Coming up is when you return, or arrive, in Oxford, and going down is when you leave, be it for a vacation or for good.

Custodians

The often imaginative people in bowler hats that can be seen wandering around the College confusing tourists. They are highly skilled at telling the difference between Members of the House and tourists who want to avoid paying the entrance fee. The Custodians are not to be confused with the Porters.

Dean

The Very Reverend Professor Martyn Percy is both Dean of the cathedral and of College.

D.Phil.

What Oxford people call a Ph.D.

Eights

Bumps race in Trinity term. Usually involves a lot of Pimms. See Bumps.

Freshers

All new members of the College.

Gaudy

A reunion party for old Members of the House. Some of them are very distinguished.

GCR Scout

Our GCR scout steps in where angels fear to tread. They are responsible for the overall maintenance of the GCR (but not the mess we leave behind)!

Hall

Christ Church Great Hall is the largest Tudor Hall in Oxford. It is where we eat all that lovely food College provides for us.

Harry Potter

Since they filmed portions of the first two Harry Potter films here and based the Hogwarts Hall on ours, we get plenty of tourists who want to bathe in the glory of the place. Sometimes they wear costumes… Wands may be purchased from the cathedral shop.

High Table

Where the fellows and academics of Christ Church eat dinner, at the far end of Hall. Their food is superior to our own. Every graduate should get the chance to go once a year.

The House

Christ Church’s nickname. Comes from Christ Church’s Latin name Aedes Christi. Find a classicist to explain.

Houseman

Or, indeed, Housewoman. A Member of the House.

JCR

The Junior Common Room, name for all the undergraduates at Christ Church and the rooms below the GCR in Tom 7.

Junior Censor

The College Officer in charge of discipline of Junior Members.

Junior Members

The collective name for all students at Christ Church, undergraduate and graduate alike.

Les Jones

Formerly the GCR butler. Now a dining room.

Matriculation

The ceremony by which you are formally admitted to the University.

Meadows

Green meadows, cows grazing, harmony with nature, peace – a wonderful place for a stroll.

Mercury

The statue in the middle of the pond in Tom Quad, guarded by George, the ‘great white’ koi carp (a gift from the Empress of Japan). Mentioned by Evelyn Waugh in Brideshead Revisited. Also used to refer to the surrounding pond, dips into which are against the College rules.

Other Place

The University of Cambridge. See Tabs.

Oxford Union

Debating society / private club – not a student union (see OUSU). The Oxford Union hold many interesting talks and debates, plus a termly ball, and have handsome rooms for the use of members and one of the latest-opening (but most degenerate) bars in Oxford. If you want to get actively involved in Oxford Union politics, then steel yourself for some truly ruthless greasy-pole-climbing…

OUSU

Oxford University Student Union. If you’ve been to other British universities, you might expect a large organisation, but OUSU is a very small union, and there is no “union building” as such. They offer a range of services to students (see https://www.oxfordsu.org), which are mostly already offered to you by Christ Church. If you know your Marx and Engels from your Miners Strike and Scargill, then you’ll no doubt be welcome to get actively involved, comrade!

Pidge

Verb: to put something in a pigeonhole. Noun: short for pigeonhole. See plodge.

Pigeonhole

Where the post comes in College. See plodge.

Plodge

Short for Porters’ Lodge, where the pigeonholes and the Porters are.

Porters

Guardians of the keys, protectors of Christ Church. They are around 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Make friends with them. They are very helpful if you make an effort to get to know them. The Porters are not to be confused with the Custodians.

PRS

Probationary Research Student, which is what you’ll initially be if you are reading for a D.Phil.

Quad

Square things, occasionally with grass. Known as a ‘Court’ at the Other Place.

Senior Censor

The College Officer in charge of academic matters.

Scouts

Chatty cleaners who come and empty your bin as well as look after you. Make friends with them! They are useful allies.

Spoons

A boat that is bumped on every day of the Trinity Term races is awarded spoons. See blades.

Staircase

Rooms in Oxford colleges are located via their staircase. For instance, St. Aldate’s 3:9 is room number 9 in Staircase 3 of St. Aldate’s Quad.

Tabs

People from the Other Place (see above). From the Latin name Cantabrigia.

Terms

There are three terms and each is eight weeks long: Michaelmas (October to December), Hilary (January to March) and Trinity (April to June). Time is kept through the use of weeks, starting with 0th week (the week before term starts), through to 9th week (the week after it ends).

Transfer

What you do when you stop being a PRS, and become a proper D.Phil. student. It involves submitting some work and doing a viva.

Tutor for Graduates

The Tutor for Graduates oversees all graduate issues in the College, including funding, travel grants, academic and other matters.

Undergraduates

Young people who listen to ghastly music and use too many profanities. They go home during the vacations, at which point the College fills up with conference guests instead.

Undie

Charming slang term for the College bar, the Undercroft. Formerly a crypt...

Viva

Known as a thesis defence in other places. You spend three hours explaining your thesis to a bunch of examiners, and at the end of it, they make you a Doctor (touch wood). Time to party!