Room and outdoor space policy, Trinity Term 2021

Protocols for booking and using communal rooms and outdoor spaces

Note: All protocols, timings, etc listed below are subject to revision depending on changing public health and University guidance, as well as whether Junior Members (both individually and in groups) adhere to the protocols. We expect that this policy will be reviewed on or after 17th May 2021, when a government update is expected.

General protocols

A review of rooms which can be used for purposes including teaching and meetings has been carried out based on Government guidelines on social distancing and University advice. The list of College meeting rooms and their revised capacities (i.e. all assuming socially-distanced layouts and based on two-metre social distancing) are listed on the College website.

General protocols are as follows:

  • A two-metre distance must be in place between all participants at all times
  • Face coverings must be worn in all indoor areas at all times including all teaching situations and offices
  • No bookings can be made for parties or University societies
  • All bookings, excluding Library space (for which separate guidelines exist), and for the use of the marquee, JCR and GCR for individual study spaces (see below), must be made using the College’s event booking system.
  • Booking requests must be made at least four working days before the event is due to take place and organisers must provide the following information:
    • Title of session
    • Name of responsible person / organizer
    • The maximum number of attendees (this cannot exceed the maximum capacity for the room / area listed on the College website)
    • Length of session
  • Track and trace will not be in place given that students will be regularly tested, but organisers must provide their name when making a booking.

Protocols for face-to-face teaching and meetings in communal rooms

Face-to-face teaching should only take place in subjects where University approval has been given. For other subjects, teaching should be carried out online until government guidance changes (at earliest 17th May).

  • In light of public health protocols detailed below, some rebalancing in f2f teaching may need to be considered by tutors, e.g. reducing the duration or number of tutorials, some of which could be blended into longer online group teaching sessions if necessary.
  • Face coverings must be worn in all f2f teaching situations, in meetings and in common areas.
  • A capacity audit has been undertaken of most teaching and meeting rooms to show capacities which allow for a 2-metre distance between participants. This has been provided to Senior Subject Tutors for discussion with other tutors and lecturers in their subjects. It is intended to be used as a guide for teaching staff to assess whether it is feasible for them to provide face-to-face (f2f) teaching in their own offices, or whether they will need to carry out online teaching and/or book meeting rooms. A guide to meeting rooms and their capacities can be found on the College website: https://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/current-students/room-capacities
  • Teaching staff should be aware of the teaching capacity of their office or booked meeting room and must ensure that teaching groups do not exceed this capacity.
  • Room bookings may be made via the College’s event booking system, accessible with SSO username and password. Queries about bookings should be made to the Censors’ Administrator, Jackie Webber.
  • Teaching sessions should be timetabled to avoid students having to wait outside offices or meetings rooms where they might encounter other students leaving. Academic staff will need to allow time to clean their own offices and for Housekeeping staff to clean communal meeting rooms between sessions. It is therefore recommended to allow at least 15 minutes between each commitment for cleaning and for students to depart and arrive safely.
  • There are clear cleaning protocols in place for spaces used for teaching. For added peace of mind, it is recommended that staff and students clean their immediate personal areas in communal meeting rooms upon arrival with the wipes provided.
  • Housekeeping staff will be cleaning hard surfaces in communal teaching rooms between bookings, which makes it essential for tutors/organisers to adhere to designated timeslots and to discourage students from arriving early or lingering afterwards in stairways or classrooms. For additional peace of mind, we recommend that tutors and students clean hard surfaces (seats, desks, chair arms, etc) in their immediate vicinity in communal teaching rooms upon arrival with the wipes provided.
  • All rooms must be well ventilated with windows open where possible when in use.
  • Students should avoid sharing items (such as fobs, pens, stationery, etc) with others (including their tutors and fellow students) and documents should be shared only when necessary.
  • Papers, essays, problem sets, etc should be shared between tutors and students as attachments sent to/from their laptops (as necessary using a scanner or phone camera to produce an image of the work in question), rather than shared in hard copy.
  • Academic staff may be asked to keep records of non-Christ Church visitors, including external tutors/lecturers and students from other colleges, for public health reasons (e.g., contact tracing).
  • Meeting rooms will be arranged in socially-distanced configurations either in theatre-style or as a horseshoe. This is to minimise face-to-face contact.
  • Students should not bring beverages to tutors’ offices or communal meeting rooms in order to avoid removing face coverings to consume them. Academic staff should avoid consuming beverages while teaching or in meetings for the same reason. If beverages are brought by staff to their own offices or to meeting rooms, they will be responsible for removing or disposing the containers afterwards.

Outdoor Spaces

Junior Members are not permitted to play games of any sort on the grass in Tom, Blue Boar, or Peckwater Quads or at the Liddell Building. As elsewhere, Liddell lawns should not be used as pathways.

In normal circumstances, Junior Members are not permitted on the grass in Tom Quad except during Trinity Term if they have dined at Formal Hall and are wearing their gowns. They are permitted, during Trinity Term only, to sit on the grass in Peckwater Quad, but may not use the grassed areas as pathways across the Quad. However, picnics are permitted at Liddell along with croquet and garden bowls. During the pandemic, however, the protocols for using outdoor spaces have been modified, as detailed below.

College gardens

(available 09:00 – 16:30)

Academic staff can book the Cathedral Garden, the Deanery Garden and the SCR Garden for academic purposes.

Marquee in the Masters’ Garden

Meetings (academic, welfare, registered student societies and clubs) (available only with advance booking between 09.00 - 17.00, every day)

The marquee can be booked via the event booking system for the purposes of teaching by academic staff, for welfare meetings (including Brain Strain Teas) by the Welfare Coordinator/Chaplain, Wardens or Welfare reps, and by registered Christ Church student societies and clubs (from 17th May onwards). The marquee cannot be used unless the organiser has received confirmation via the event booking system.

When the marquee is not booked out for event, students may use it for study space. Bookings are not required for this usage but the capacity of 30 must not be exceeded at any time.

The capacity of the Masters’ Garden including the marquee is 30 for teaching and welfare purposes and this should not be exceeded at any time—note that tables and 30 chairs will be set up in socially-distanced configurations in the marquee. The event organiser, when applicable, is responsible for ensuring that numbers do not exceed 30. When being used for individual study space, students are responsible for monitoring this, and, if numbers are exceeded at any time, the facility will no longer be available.

In the case of student societies and clubs, only those groups with a clear educational purpose can have up to 30 participants under the exemption for educational activities. Junior Members organizing society or club events will be told the maximum that is allowed on a case-by-case basis when booking the marquee. Please also note that for the time being, student societies and clubs are not allowed to book communal indoor rooms for meetings.

Everyone entering the Masters’ Garden must sign in on the sheets provided on a table in marquee, and sign out again on leaving. Please bring your own pen as these cannot be provided or shared. Sanitizing stations will be set up at the entrance of the gardens which should be used by all participants.

Face coverings inside the marquee are not necessary, but a two-metre distance must be maintained between attendees at all times and the tables set out should be used by all participants. Chairs should not be moved.

Each participant is responsible for cleaning their seats and table area when they arrive and leave with the materials provided.

Everyone must leave the Masters’ Garden by 17:00 at the very latest to give the bar staff time to clean tables and chairs before the bar opens.

Marquee bar

(open 17:30 – 22:00 (last orders 21:30, Monday–Friday) from 10th May)

A bar serving non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages will be open for students (JCR and GCR) at the above times, organized by the Wine Cellar & Buttery Manager. A maximum of 30 students at one time can use the marquee and Masters’ Garden when the bar is open. Depending on demand, the duration that individual students will be able to spend in the marquee and garden may be time-limited. All attendees must provide their names and contact details on the sign-up list (to be managed by the bar staff) when they arrive and leave. Only one person can visit the bar itself at any one time. Tables and chairs are set out to allow social distancing to be maintained and must not be moved. Numbers will be monitored by a member of custodial staff and/or bar staff.

Students must leave the marquee and Masters’ Garden promptly and without being reminded by 22:00.

Other outdoor spaces on the main site

(all to be cleared by 22:00)

Students may use outdoor spaces in College including the lawns on Tom Quad and the outside area at Blue Boar for social purposes; in the case of Peck Quad, please keep to the tarmacked areas, but do not use the lawn in Michaelmas or Hilary Term since it is easily damaged.

Walkways must be kept clear at all times. Particular attention must be paid in Tom Quad to keep walkways clear on weekdays 17:30-18:00 and on Sundays 10:30-11:00 due to services in the Cathedral. Please note there may also be funerals or weddings taking place in the Cathedral at other times.

Groups must be no larger than 6 individuals and 2m social distancing must be maintained at all times, although face coverings do not have to be worn outdoors. Groups must be courteous to others and mindful of the proximity to student bedrooms, offices, and Senior Members’ residences.

JCR Rooms

The JCR rooms (except for the front café area, which can be used by all Christ Church undergraduates for study purposes) may only be booked by undergraduates who live on the main College site and in St Aldate’s accommodation.

Front café area

(available 08.00 - 22.00 daily)

This area may be used as study space only with a maximum of 10 undergraduates at any one time, with social distancing in place. Face coverings must be worn at all times. This space does not require booking and can be accessed on a first-come first-served basis. Tables cannot be reserved while a student is not present and all belongings must be removed each time a student vacates the room. It is the responsibility of students to clean their workspaces before and after use with the wipes provided. Depending on demand, the length of time that can be spent in this space may be limited.

JCR TV Room

(available only with advance booking 18.00 - 22.00 daily)

This area may be used by a single household (i.e. a maximum of 6) in any one evening. Entrance is via the main JCR and Pool room, and therefore masks need to be worn while walking through these rooms, with students in the Pool room having to put on their masks when other students come through to access the JCR TV Room. The JCR TV room must be booked in advance by the event booking system, and fobs collected from the Lodge. The number of bookings per household over the term may be limited if there is high demand for this space.

JCR Pool Room

(available only with advance booking 18.00 - 22.00 daily)

This area may be used by a single household (i.e. a maximum of 6) in any one evening. Entrance is via the main JCR room, and therefore masks need to be worn while walking through this room to the Pool Room and when other students are walking through to the JCR TV Room. This room must be booked in advance by the event booking system, and fobs collected from the Lodge. The number of bookings per household over the term may be limited if there is high demand for this space.

GCR Rooms

The GCR rooms are only to be used by Christ Church postgraduate students, whether living in or out of College accommodation). The GCR kitchen will be closed until further notice. Storage areas are to be accessed only by one GCR officer at a time for maintenance of the GCR.

Main GCR Space/Sofa room

(available only with advance booking 18.00 - 22.00 daily)

This room can be used by a maximum of 6 (not more than one household at any one time). Bookings must be made via the event booking system. It is the responsibility of attendees to clean the seating and all equipment after use with the wipes provided. Entrance and exit should be via the corridor only, and not the kitchen (which will remain closed until further notice). Face coverings will not need to be worn while in this space. The number of bookings per household over the term may be limited if there is high demand for this space.

For all other GCR rooms below, the following arrangements will apply:

Face coverings should be worn at all times. These spaces do not require booking and can be accessed on a first-come first-served basis. Tables cannot be reserved while a student is not present and all belongings must be removed each time a student vacates the room. It is the

responsibility of all students to clean their workspaces before and after use with the wipes provided. Depending on demand, the length of time that can be spent in these spaces may be limited.

Les Jones Room

(available 18.00 – 22.00 daily)

This room can be used as a study space by a maximum of 6 people with social distancing in place at all times.

GCR Study room

(available 08.00 - 22.00 daily)

This room can be used as a study space only with a maximum of 8 students at any one time, with social distancing in place.

GCR Seminar room

(available 08.00 - 22.00 daily)

This room can be used as a study space by a maximum of 2 people with social distancing in place at all times.

GCR Computer Room

(available 08.00am - 22.00 daily)

This room can be used as a study space by a maximum of 4 students with social distancing in place at all times.

Communal Room and Outdoor Spaces at Liddell

Handel Davies Room

(available only with advance booking 18:00–22:00 daily)

This room is accessible to students living at Liddell only. Only one booking per household can be taken per evening and must be made via the Liddell Lodge Manager. Depending on demand, the number of bookings per household over the term may be limited.

Gazebo at Liddell

(available only with advance booking 17:00– 20:00pm daily)

Once household can access the gazebo at any one time, and bookings must be made at least four working days in advance with the Liddell Lodge Manager. All bookings are weather-dependent.

Lawn at Liddell

(to be cleared by 22:00 daily)

The Christ Church section of the lawn at Liddell can be used for social purposes. A 2 m distance from other students must be kept at all times and there can be no groups of more than 6. However, face covering do not need to be worn. Walkways should be kept clear at all times and groups must be courteous to others and mindful of the proximity to other students’ bedrooms.