If you have a question or concern that is not answered here, please reach out to a member of our committee.
Important Documents & Links
- MCR Constitution
- Worcester College Handbook
- Worcester College Support (including IT, maintenance, accommodation, & security)
MCR & Settling In
How does communications work in the MCR? The MCR mainly communicates via email and Facebook. You should also automatically start receiving emails from the MCR. If after arriving and activating your email you are not receiving communications from us, please contact College IT. Do make sure to join the Facebook groups, there is a group for the whole MCR and usually a group for freshers.
Can I book the MCR TV room / games area / etc? If there is not an event on the term card, you can usually use the MCR rooms with a group. It is customary to post on the Facebook to avoid conflicts, and guests must be signed in at the lodge. Approval must be given by the MCR president and Dean Team for larger events or events featuring large numbers of people from outside college.
Where do I go when I first arrive? Your first port of call is the lodge, who will check you in and give you your key. The lodge is located at the front of college at the main gate.
What if I have a problem settling in? If there is any immediate issue, the lodge are best equipped to help right away. For other issues, submit a request to support.worc.ox.ac.uk
How do I find food / kitchen items / power adaptors etc. We recommend waiting until arriving to assess what will you need r.e. kitchen supplies. The college does not supply kitchen items but prior occupants will often have left some of their stuff behind. The closest food markets are the Co-Op on Walton Street, the Tesco in City Centre, or the Sainsburys in WestGate. There are department stores on Cornmarket Street or WestGate. There are also large Facebook swap groups for furniture and supplies.
Bod Card? Your bod card is not just a library card, but it is also how you unlock doors around the university and pay for meals. You should receive ample communication before you arrive about applying for it, and you will receive your bod card from college as part of check in and orientation. If you lose it, make sure you tell the lodge as soon as possible, and a new one can be provided.
Email / Why do I have 3 emails? To access your email, follow this help page. You actually have one mailbox, but 3 email addresses. We recommend picking one (either worcester or your department) and sticking with it. Note to use printing in college, it needs to be set to your worcester email. For example, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com will go to the same inbox for a worcester student at the OUCE (oxford university center for the environment).
How does Wifi work? Worcester uses eduroam, the same network across the university. Eduroam works on both smartphones / tablets and laptops. It is accessed via your Oxford SSO username (e.x. worc1234). You can set it up by following the IT page’s advice. Our friendly computer rep will post helpful tips during arrival week, and the College IT staff is always super helpful (they can be reached by drop-in or by submitting a ticket online @ support.worc.ox.ac.uk).
Bikes? The college has several places to store bikes, ask the lodge for the best storage location based on your accommodation. For acquiring a bike, you can ask on the MCR Freshers Facebook page, older students will be happy to point you in the direction of legitimate selling groups or their favorite bike shops. Beware of scams and hugely overpriced bikes. After you acquire a bike, invest in a strong bike lock and make sure you have a helmet and bike light (you can be ticketed for not having safety equipment). Oxford is low crime generally but does have issues with bike theft. You can buy subsidised lights and locks from the university security services. For road safety, some of the bike shops offer safety classes to learn on British roads.
Does the college have a gym? Yes. It is quite small, but is free to use and has a few treadmills, a bench / bar, dumbbells, and a few machines (cross trainer, leg machine, pull up bar, etc). Gym inductions will be run a few weeks into term. Depending on your needs, you might also want to look into the Iffley Road Sports Complex (university gym), or the two gyms in city centre (Buzz Gym & Pure Gym).
Can the college accommodate events / conferences I want to put on? Usually. Graduate students have hosted speakers and short conferences in some of the college’s lovely buildings. Speak with the academic support staff in the Besse Building to find out who you need to speak with.
Can the college accommodate dietary restrictions in Hall? Yes. Hall automatically offers common dietary requirements when booking meals. If you have more complex dietary needs, individual arrangements can be discussed by contacting the catering staff before or shortly after you arrive.
What is a porter? The college lodge (located at the main gate) is staffed by a rotating crew of friendly porters. They will likely be the first faces you see in college when you stop to check in and get your room key. They have a range of responsibilities, but above all they are here to help students! If you have a question (where do I buy X, what does Y mean, etc.) the porters are a great resource to turn to.
Is it customary to give your scout a gift? Yes. Typically students will get their scout a present at the end of Michaelmas Term before leaving for the Christmas vacation.
What kind of dress is typical at college events? Most MCR and college events are casual, where students where a wide range of clothing. For Formal Hall, a suit or equivalent is worn, plus gown. Some special special college dinners or events are black tie. Some MCR events, such as the summer garden party, also have a dress code. Dress codes are communicated in event notifications, and are also specified for Hall when you make a booking online. You can buy anything you need in Oxford city centre, but do note that it may be cheaper to buy items like suits at home before you arrive.
What is my mailing address? Your mailbox is located in the Pidge, near the college bar in the Pump Quad. If you receive a larger package, the lodge will hold it and email you to come collect it. Do check your pidge regularly. For instance, the NHS primarily communicates via letters sent to your pidge.
1 Walton Street, Oxford OX1 2HB
I’m obsessed by the gardens and the 80+ snow drop varieties (or insert other seasonal flower here). How can I find out more? The Worcester gardeners are lovely, do feel free to stop any of them for a chat. The gardeners also occasionally run tours of the gardens, which you are usually welcome to join. For specific questions, you can email Simon Bagnall, head gardener. Until recently the gardeners also ran a blog, which has lots of lovely photos and information. – http://wocogaga.blogspot.com/
What is sub fusc? Sub fusc is the academic dress you are required to wear during formal events, such as your matriculation, graduation, and sitting exams. The university has an online guide for what’s required: https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic/dress. Note that you should not rent the gown / cap, but buy it as you will wear it multiple times. Also note that you can request some flexibility in sub fusc, such as between mortar board / soft cap, or between ties. For example, if you already have a black bow tie, for a nominal fee you can request to swap a white bow tie if you buy a package at one of the high street stores. Sub fusc is gender neutral, meaning requirements for all sex / genders are equivalent.
What is Oxford’s term system? Oxford runs 3 academic terms a year Michaelmas, Hilary, & Trinity. They are separated by breaks of several weeks. Undergraduates and masters students follow the terms more closely than DPhils, who typically work year round. For more see the university webpage.
Myths & Misc.
Am I allowed to pick fruit from the gardens? Usually, but not in large quantities. Ask any of the gardeners, who often will be happy to help you pick a few if they are out of reach! The gardeners pick the apples and pears to sell as as a special blended juice, which is delicious and highly recommended. Watch your email to grab some.
Is it true that J Sainsbury’s gives money to Worcester hall to improve their food? No. There is indeed a generous donor who gave an endowment specifically to the hall, but it is not J Sainsbury’s. The benefactor is in fact a former student at Worcester (who chooses to remain anonymous) whose daughter subsequently attended Worcester during the 80s. The food quality at this time in hall was rather poor, and thus he decided to donate to the college specifically to hire a chef that would otherwise be outside their price range. Another popular misconception is that the money is used to subsidise the food. This is not true; the pricing is under the full jurisdiction of the college. The Provost has expressed his motivation behind the low prices; that it makes hall a popular social focal point by encouraging people to eat together. Hopefully this will continue.
Is it true that the Head Chef from The Randolph Hotel cooks for formal hall on Wednesday? This is one of the more bizarre myths that manages to propagate year upon year. It is not the case, neither has it ever been the case, that the Head Chef from The Randolph cooks for Worcester. It is true that Wednesday formals tend to be of better quality, but this is merely tradition.