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Alternative Prospectus - Exeter College

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Contents…<br />

Introduction 2<br />

3 A Magical Tour<br />

The Serious Stuff 10<br />

12 Accommodation<br />

Things to Make and Do 14<br />

19 Arts vs. Sciences<br />

People 20<br />

22 Contacts<br />

This production is brought to you by members of the<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> <strong>College</strong> JCR.<br />

1


Choices<br />

Introduction…<br />

So you're choosing a university, and choosing a course. But there's another<br />

choice to make if you want to come to Oxford - which college? (Hint: <strong>Exeter</strong>)<br />

This alternative prospectus is written to help you make that decision. It is,<br />

importantly, written by us, current undergraduates, for you, potential<br />

undergraduates. It is a magical, kaleidoscopic guide of the ups, downs, ins &<br />

outs of college life and helps you decide whether or not <strong>Exeter</strong>’s going to suit<br />

you. What’s more, we were hopped up on truth serum whilst writing it. If<br />

there’s something that is likely to affect your time here, we’ll have covered it<br />

truthfully.<br />

Choosing a college to apply to may seem like an unnecessary chore and, in<br />

truth, wherever you are offered a place in this fine University you will<br />

probably have a good time and a bit of a larf. But it is a mistake to think that<br />

the choice is irrelevant and there can be real differences in a college’s ethos,<br />

facilities and focus. Some rival colleges, for example, were founded for the<br />

specific purpose of killing puppies in order to feed wealthy ogres. Not us,<br />

though. We’re special. Anyway, a discerning matching up of a college and<br />

your personality, interests and abilities can turn a good time into a truly great<br />

one.<br />

2<br />

As is evidenced quite quickly upon a visit, <strong>Exeter</strong> is a small and welcoming<br />

college. In fact, it is fair to say that <strong>Exeter</strong> has a university-wide reputation for<br />

friendliness that extends from the students through (the bulk of) the<br />

administrative staff to the tutors. Combined with the substantial opportunities<br />

that <strong>Exeter</strong> offers, the laid-back, friendly nature of this college ensures that if<br />

there’s anything specific that turns you on, then that’s great; you’re<br />

encouraged to pursue it. If not, or if you’re not sure, then that’s OK too. We’re<br />

all about tolerance, diversity and opportunity.<br />

The best way to get to know what <strong>Exeter</strong> is really like is to combine this<br />

alternative prospectus with an Open Day visit (details of which can be found<br />

at the back of the University <strong>Prospectus</strong> or on the website<br />

www.exeter.ox.ac.uk) and see it for yourselves. Please also look at the<br />

official <strong>Exeter</strong> <strong>College</strong> <strong>Prospectus</strong>. On Open Days you will be taken on a tour<br />

around some of our beautiful buildings by our beautiful undergraduates,<br />

who’ll show you all the major parts of the college and will answer any<br />

questions you may have. You’ll also have discussions with tutors teaching<br />

the subject you’re interested in as well as with an undergraduate studying it.<br />

In the meantime, read and reread this guide and see if the college appeals to<br />

you.


A magical tour…<br />

Let’s kick off in rip-roaring fashion by showing you the physical attributes<br />

on offer. Bear in mind while you read this section that <strong>Exeter</strong> is pretty<br />

much at the exact centre of student Oxford. Our placing as the fourth<br />

oldest college means we bagged a good spot centuries before most<br />

others. You’re not more than 5 minutes from anywhere on a bike, in fact<br />

you could even walk if you’re feeling particularly wild. Location is key,<br />

and ours can’t be topped.<br />

The Porters’ Lodge<br />

Any trip through college starts at<br />

the Lodge. This is the main<br />

entrance to <strong>Exeter</strong>, and plays host<br />

to your mail and your very own<br />

pigeon hole. The Lodge is also<br />

where the Porters are found – a<br />

bunch of lovely guys and gals<br />

who know how to smile and<br />

(unlike my mum at least) don’t<br />

mind getting up at 3am to give you<br />

the key to your room if you lose<br />

yours. Their position at the<br />

forefront of college means they<br />

know anything and everything<br />

that’s going on, and they’re more<br />

than happy to help when they can.<br />

Whether it’s for washing tokens,<br />

the music room key or postage<br />

stamps, the Porters’ Lodge is the<br />

place to go. Hurray for the Porters!<br />

The Quad<br />

The Quad is a large old square<br />

piece of grass surrounded by a<br />

path and the rest of college. You<br />

are not allowed to step on the<br />

grass, because if you do the sky<br />

will fall in. Well, maybe not, but<br />

you can be fined – on the upside<br />

the money will go to <strong>Exeter</strong>’s own<br />

charity, ExVac, so even the<br />

naughtiest Exonians are really<br />

quite nice!<br />

The Quad, like the Lodge, is the<br />

main thoroughfare in college – you<br />

have to walk around it to get to<br />

and from anywhere. For this<br />

reason you’ll always find groups of<br />

students hanging around gathering<br />

the numbers and energy to go to<br />

the library or (more likely) for a<br />

coffee. The Quad is thus a very<br />

sociable place indeed, particularly<br />

in the summer. <strong>Exeter</strong>’s Quad is<br />

the coolest of all the Oxford Quads<br />

because Inspector Morse<br />

collapsed just outside Staircase<br />

Eight, and it is also a replica of<br />

Jordan <strong>College</strong>’s Quad in ‘His<br />

Dark Materials’ (I say ‘replica’, but<br />

we had it first).<br />

3


Gemma Slater<br />

Course<br />

Hometown<br />

School<br />

A-Levels<br />

Medicine<br />

Brommers, London<br />

Grammar<br />

Biology, Chemistry, Maths & Spanish<br />

Why did you choose <strong>Exeter</strong>? Its location right in the centre of town<br />

was a huge draw, and it's one of the prettiest colleges with a reputation<br />

for being laid-back & friendly.<br />

What was your interview like? The interviews were nothing like as<br />

scary as I'd expected. For medicine you have two interviews in two<br />

different colleges, which were mostly science based with a couple of<br />

ethics questions. It was challenging but the emphasis is more on how<br />

you can work through the problems than simply grilling you on facts and<br />

figures.<br />

4<br />

Chapel<br />

The chapel is spectacular and<br />

arguably the most beautiful in<br />

Oxford, its Gothic spire forming<br />

part of the city’s skyline.<br />

Compared to the relatively small<br />

size of <strong>Exeter</strong>, the chapel is huge<br />

and its striking architecture<br />

dominates the Quad. It has<br />

recently been renovated and on a<br />

summer evening with the sun<br />

shining through the stained glass<br />

there is a very special atmosphere<br />

inside. Housed within are Edward<br />

Burne-Jones’ ‘Adoration of the<br />

Magi’ tapestry and the head of old<br />

Exonian J.R.R.Tolkien (disclaimer:<br />

may be a stone replica).<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> has its own resident<br />

Chaplain, who runs frequent<br />

services with the involvement of<br />

members of the student body.<br />

All students are welcome to come<br />

along and listen to <strong>Exeter</strong>’s organ<br />

scholar and its exceptional choir,<br />

who are proper angelic and<br />

everything (disclaimer: the choir<br />

aren’t actually angels).<br />

The Chapel is frequently ‘hired’ by<br />

Oxford music and drama groups<br />

and subsequently achieves the<br />

status of a respected arts venue<br />

on our own doorstep. Big events<br />

such as the Carol Service early in<br />

December are usually packed out<br />

with students and tutors, and<br />

provide a chance to take in the<br />

awing atmosphere in its full glory.<br />

Just a quick note: <strong>Exeter</strong><br />

welcomes people of all<br />

backgrounds, faiths, beliefs,<br />

persuasions etc. we’ll even take<br />

you if you’re a crazy person who<br />

likes to work, heaven forbid.


Hall<br />

Opposite the Chapel is Hall. This<br />

is where Exonians congregate to<br />

make of the feast. Hall food at<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> is good, cheap and<br />

convenient. Hall is well-loved for<br />

both its scrumptious food and<br />

its friendly staff. Lunch and<br />

dinner both have a canteen style<br />

format, where you pay for what<br />

you eat using a swipe card<br />

system, with an average lunch<br />

from £1.30 and dinner at £2.55 for<br />

two courses or £3.10 for the whole<br />

hog. There is usually a tasty<br />

choice of food covering all five<br />

major food groups: Protein,<br />

Carbohydrates, Vegetables, Mr<br />

Juicy Orange Cartons and Quorn.<br />

At 7.15 a few times a week there<br />

is also ‘second hall’ which is like<br />

normal dinner but posh. You have<br />

to wear a gown and you can bring<br />

your own alcohol. You are also<br />

rewarded with table service, and<br />

it’s a great way to celebrate a<br />

birthday or special occasion.<br />

Breakfast occurs before midday<br />

and is therefore unfrequented by a<br />

large section of the college, which<br />

is a shame as it affords a<br />

wholesome mix of cereals, toast<br />

and bacon butties for a very<br />

affordable price. On weekends<br />

there is a late brunch where you<br />

can get a full English, only costing<br />

about £1.50 for a decent sized<br />

portion.<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> is a medium-sized college,<br />

but it is a very sociable and close<br />

knit one and there is always a<br />

……<br />

welcoming hum at mealtimes. In<br />

fact, Hall is one of <strong>College</strong>’s<br />

biggest unsung heroes. It lays host<br />

to lavish occasions like the<br />

Freshers’ Dinner and the infamous<br />

termly Boat Club Dinner, thus<br />

enshrining itself in awesome yet<br />

sometimes booze-harrowed<br />

memories. More importantly, Hall<br />

is also where you meet and eat<br />

with your friends and the rest of<br />

college on a daily basis. For this<br />

reason, Hall is a real social hub in<br />

college.<br />

In addition, Hall is where new<br />

students find themselves sorted<br />

into one of one of <strong>Exeter</strong>’s four<br />

houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff,<br />

Ravenclaw or Slytherin. This<br />

process determines whether you<br />

are destined to become a good or<br />

evil undergraduate.<br />

The Bar<br />

Underneath Hall is the college bar,<br />

technically (though rarely in<br />

reality) called the ‘Undercroft.’ The<br />

bar is a place where it is<br />

possible to buy intoxicating<br />

liquor. This means that on many<br />

occasions throughout the term the<br />

bar is a site of merriment.<br />

5


6<br />

The bar prices are reassuringly<br />

cheap: a pint of lager comes to<br />

£1.60. Soft drinks and food are<br />

also sold, with good lunch and<br />

dinner-time paninis at only £1.70<br />

and a fabulous baguette bar<br />

serving up lunch for less than £2.<br />

The bar has a foosball table, pool<br />

table, dart board, pinball machine<br />

and board games – it would not be<br />

an exaggeration to say that <strong>Exeter</strong><br />

rock the boat at bar sports: quite<br />

simply, we reign supreme<br />

among the other colleges (we<br />

even have our very own Bar<br />

Sports trophy). For the more<br />

discerning patron there is the IT<br />

box, around which college’s<br />

mightiest brains are often gathered<br />

in the quest for that elusive £20<br />

top prize.<br />

Three times a term throughout<br />

Michaelmas and Hilary the bar<br />

throws open its doors to a night of<br />

costumed debauchery known<br />

as a bop, a themed disco-type<br />

party providing an opportunity for<br />

the whole college to dress up and<br />

regress to a childhood bliss free<br />

from essays, problem sheets and<br />

exams. These are always<br />

awesome occasions and a great<br />

way for college to come together<br />

..<br />

to unwind (see the Entz section for<br />

more info). The bar also has a<br />

jukebox which operates all year<br />

round where students can enjoy<br />

such recording artists as Cher.<br />

That’s right - Cher.<br />

The JCR<br />

The JCR stands for Junior<br />

Common Room, though this is no<br />

mere run-of-the-mill room: it is<br />

also the college’s undergraduate<br />

representative body. The room<br />

itself, along with the bar, is at<br />

the centre of the college’s hip<br />

and happenin’ social scene. It<br />

has recently been lovingly<br />

refurbished, and comes complete<br />

with squishy red sofas, tables and,<br />

most importantly, a widescreen TV<br />

with Sky and DVD player. The<br />

JCR is at its busiest when the best<br />

TV shows are on: Neighbours, the<br />

footie, Neighbours repeat, Match<br />

of the Day… Okay, sometimes we<br />

branch out, but let’s not get too<br />

radical here. The college also<br />

buys copies of all the major<br />

national newspapers and Oxford<br />

student papers, though get to the<br />

JCR any later than lunchtime and<br />

you’ll be lucky to find a single<br />

…….


crossword undone, let alone in<br />

one piece. Every other Sunday the<br />

JCR also plays host to (surprise,<br />

surprise) the JCR meetings.<br />

After a hard day’s toil checking<br />

yourself out on Facebook (no, they<br />

didn’t pay us for that shameless<br />

plugging), you might find yourself<br />

feeling a bit peckish, and here too<br />

the JCR leaps to your rescue. As<br />

well as a small army of vending<br />

machines, there is also a<br />

sparkling, recently refurbished<br />

JCR kitchen. This is well<br />

equipped with two hobs, an oven,<br />

a microwave, a fridge, a shiny sink<br />

and enough free pasta to feed a<br />

yeti.<br />

The Library<br />

Ahh, the Library. The only place in<br />

college where I can truly indulge<br />

my inner geek, where my nose<br />

can really bury itself in a good<br />

textbook, where my thirst for<br />

knowledge can bound unshackled<br />

through centuries of learning!<br />

Or not. The Library is the best<br />

place in college to satisfy your<br />

educational desires, although out<br />

of exam time it is rarely packed to<br />

the brim. It comes pretty well<br />

……..<br />

stocked with all the standard<br />

books for most subjects, though<br />

the ‘Pets and Hobbies’ section has<br />

seen better days. If ancient Fijian<br />

sewing techniques are your thing,<br />

however, don’t despair. Most<br />

students forget that if there is a<br />

book they need, they can request<br />

that the library buys it. More often<br />

than not, the Librarian is happy to<br />

oblige. Though good luck in<br />

convincing them that Fiji has<br />

anything to do with an English<br />

Literature degree.<br />

For most of the year, the library<br />

acts as a college social club,<br />

complete with hushed flirting over<br />

problem sheets. To aid<br />

procrastination, it’s kitted out with<br />

three computers and Ethernet<br />

points to connect your laptop to. It<br />

also has the added bonus of being<br />

open 24 hours a day, which is not<br />

always the case for libraries in<br />

other colleges. This generally<br />

serves to facilitate the infamous<br />

all-nighter, as some students<br />

settle down to work at 3am with<br />

a pile of books and an even bigger<br />

pile of coffee cups and kebab van<br />

treats.<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> students are also lucky<br />

enough to have the Bodleian<br />

Library literally fused to the<br />

college’s buildings. The Bod<br />

stocks every book ever printed in<br />

the English language, ever (even<br />

those you’d hide under your bed to<br />

keep your mother from seeing…)!<br />

Books, glorious books…<br />

what would we do without them?<br />

7


8<br />

The Fellows’ Garden<br />

The Fellows’ Garden deserves a<br />

big round of applause for being<br />

just so great. Walk straight past<br />

the library, and you’re delivered<br />

unto the Eden of Oxford. The<br />

Fellows’ Garden is special in many<br />

ways, my favourite being that<br />

you’re allowed on the grass!<br />

That’s right, YOU, the lowly<br />

undergraduate, can frolic, bound,<br />

run and roll all over the sacred<br />

grass!<br />

This really is a novelty in Oxford.<br />

While on said grass, most <strong>Exeter</strong><br />

students while away Trinity term<br />

relaxing with their friends as they<br />

soak up sun and Pimms. You can<br />

even try your hand at croquet.<br />

Croquet’s brilliant because it not<br />

only tests your physical prowess,<br />

but also taxes your head, your<br />

mind and your brain. <strong>Exeter</strong> may<br />

not have a meadow, a lake or a<br />

deer park, but the Fellows’ Garden<br />

is generally accepted as one of the<br />

most beautiful spaces in Oxford.<br />

Climb up the stairs at the back and<br />

you will find a romantic little<br />

hideaway with a truly breathtaking<br />

view over Radcliffe Square – and<br />

you can even wave to the tourists!<br />

A few hidden secrets<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> also comes complete with<br />

its contingent of nice little<br />

underground rooms, which act as<br />

pit stops on our tour of <strong>College</strong>.<br />

But first, let me introduce you to<br />

the <strong>College</strong> Office. This is the<br />

place where all the nice people<br />

…..<br />

who make the world go round<br />

work and play and smile at you<br />

when you come to visit. They deal<br />

with all the admin of university life,<br />

so you don’t have to!<br />

Underneath the office, you’ll find<br />

the Computer Room (or the<br />

Balsdon Room, as it’s more<br />

formally known). <strong>Exeter</strong> has<br />

around twenty computers, which<br />

sit there waiting for you to log on<br />

24 hours a day. They’re pretty<br />

flash and everyone has their own<br />

password protected account.<br />

They’re also all connected to the<br />

Worldwide Interweb via broadband<br />

connection; there is broadband<br />

access in every room in college,<br />

and the JCR and Fellows’ Garden<br />

even have wireless. No looking at<br />

naughty sites though, otherwise<br />

the firewall comes and eats your<br />

eyes, and you might get a big fat<br />

fine. Equipped with two cheap and<br />

easy to use laser printers and a<br />

photocopier of the same sort, the<br />

Computer Room is another<br />

great spot to work in.<br />

And there is always a team of<br />

helpful computer whiz-kids on<br />

hand to fix any problems.


Let’s move on to the Laundry<br />

Room. Not much to say here; this<br />

is the place where everyone who<br />

lives in college does their laundry.<br />

Easy peasy. There are a whole<br />

bunch of washing machines,<br />

driers, and even an iron for your<br />

clean-clothed enjoyment. Just<br />

pay up, and you’re off!<br />

Now we come to the Gym. When I<br />

say Gym, I don’t mean a huge<br />

complex with an on-call masseuse<br />

– the <strong>Exeter</strong> Gym is more of an,<br />

ahem, understated affair. As with<br />

most things in college, when it’s<br />

time for an update the forces that<br />

be are willing to fund a little<br />

restoration, so we’re expecting the<br />

transformation from a windowless<br />

cavern (kitted out with some<br />

weights, ergometers and bike<br />

machines) to a female-friendly<br />

……<br />

fitness haven anytime soon. Either<br />

way, whilst it’s not much to shout<br />

about, if you want to gain a bit of<br />

muscle before dinner the Gym<br />

does its job pretty well.<br />

Off-site Bonus!<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> is also lucky enough to<br />

have its very own Sports<br />

Ground. Well, one we share with<br />

some college called Hertford. It’s a<br />

ten minute bike ride away, and has<br />

a pavilion with changing rooms, a<br />

football pitch, rugby pitch, cricket<br />

pitch, grass tennis courts and<br />

squash courts. All of these<br />

facilities can be booked by <strong>Exeter</strong><br />

students for fun activities like<br />

Tennis and Squash, or an<br />

appropriately silly hybrid of the<br />

two. The grounds are looked after<br />

by the groundsmen, and guarded<br />

by real live gnomes. Honest.<br />

James Johnson<br />

Course<br />

Hometown<br />

School<br />

A-Levels<br />

Modern Languages (French & Spanish)<br />

Hull<br />

State Comprehensive<br />

English Language, French, Spanish &<br />

General Studies<br />

Why did you choose <strong>Exeter</strong>? Well, technically I did an open<br />

application! That said, I can't believe my luck; I very much landed on<br />

my feet here at <strong>Exeter</strong>, and couldn't imagine being anywhere else.<br />

What’s your most embarrassing first-year memory? It has to be<br />

rapping like an eejit at a glorified karaoke competition; it all got blown<br />

out of context very quickly, and I can no longer listen to the song 'Gold<br />

Digger' without cringing!<br />

9


The serious stuff…<br />

In addition to providing all the fabulous facilities described over the last<br />

few pages, <strong>Exeter</strong> also offers you an education. To help you do the best<br />

you can in that education, the college is always on hand trying to<br />

maximise the support and assistance that it can give you. Whether it’s by<br />

attracting world-expert Fellows and Tutors or by giving financial aid to<br />

those in need of it, <strong>Exeter</strong> <strong>College</strong> works hard to help its students get the<br />

most out of their time at Oxford.<br />

10<br />

Academia<br />

If you’re considering Oxford, it’s<br />

probable that you’re not looking to<br />

do a GNVQ in surf studies. Getting<br />

a degree at this University is hard<br />

work – there’s no point in denying<br />

that – but at <strong>Exeter</strong> we take a<br />

more laid-back approach that still<br />

leads to results. At <strong>Exeter</strong> you’ll<br />

probably spend as much time in<br />

the library as students from other<br />

colleges, but unlike those<br />

unfortunate people you’ll probably<br />

stop in the Fellows’ Garden on the<br />

way for a glass of Pimms and a<br />

game of croquet (if you ever work<br />

out the rules). Exonians are<br />

relaxed without being lazy, and<br />

hard-working without missing<br />

out on the social scene that is<br />

so integral to University life.<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> also has a policy which<br />

ensures that every subject we<br />

offer has a Fellow (a resident<br />

tutor) to teach it. This means that<br />

while some students from other<br />

colleges have to trek across town<br />

to see their tutor, at <strong>Exeter</strong> they’re<br />

generally just across the quad,<br />

and if you’re really lucky (or<br />

unlucky, depending on how you<br />

look at it) right across the hall.<br />

Fellows at <strong>Exeter</strong> are friendly and<br />

encouraging, each with their own<br />

teaching techniques which support<br />

the work you’ll learn in lectures<br />

and through independent study.<br />

It’s impossible to generalise about<br />

the student experience here<br />

because of the wide variety of<br />

subjects; but everyone, regardless<br />

of their subject, has tutorials –<br />

usually an hour or two a week<br />

which you will spend with your<br />

tutor discussing essays, your<br />

week’s progress and eliminating<br />

any confusion. You’ll also have<br />

Collections, termly papers set by<br />

your college tutors designed to<br />

check how you’re doing, and tutors<br />

will suggest methods of<br />

……………


improvement where needed. And<br />

if you do pretty well, you get free<br />

money. Really.<br />

Money<br />

Oxford’s close proximity to London<br />

is great for the odd daytrip, but it<br />

also means that things are<br />

sometimes more expensive than<br />

you may be used to (Fifty pence<br />

for a Mars bar? It’s less in<br />

Aberystwyth). Spending money is<br />

inevitable, whether your passion is<br />

music, clubbing, films or keeping<br />

yourself pretty. But worry not,<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> is here to save the day<br />

(well, more like three or four<br />

academic years, but you get the<br />

picture).<br />

Exonians are only allowed to work<br />

five hours a week in term-time, a<br />

rule which may sound a bit mean,<br />

but applies to every other college<br />

in the University. Oxford is a great<br />

place to be; but essentially you’re<br />

here for an education and a<br />

degree. It is part of any student’s<br />

life to be penniless, but thankfully<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong>’s efficient system of<br />

support means that you’ll never<br />

..<br />

see finances as a struggle. As<br />

well as a number of loans that are<br />

available through your local<br />

education authority, the college<br />

has several grants and loans<br />

available for anyone to get their<br />

hands on.<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> is one of the most<br />

generous colleges, offering a<br />

hardship bursary scheme, which<br />

distributes cash to those whose<br />

parents’ income falls below a<br />

certain level. Depending on this,<br />

those eligible could receive<br />

anything up to ten thousand<br />

pounds. And a speedboat. There’s<br />

even a recently established kitty to<br />

provide eligible students with<br />

financial support for buying books.<br />

There are also several special<br />

scholarships available for people<br />

from certain areas, and if there’s<br />

somewhere you’ve always wanted<br />

to go, whether it’s Berlin or<br />

Balamory (yes, it exists) you can<br />

apply for a travel bursary.<br />

At <strong>Exeter</strong>, you’ll quickly learn how<br />

to save money by buying your<br />

drinks, food and even stationery<br />

from the college’s own subsidised<br />

stocks. You’ll also be able to punt<br />

at a reduced rate, and there are<br />

free condoms for everyone (how<br />

romantic!). It’s really all about<br />

learning to live independently,<br />

getting used to budgeting, and<br />

discovering that the ‘buy one get<br />

one free’ deal is the most<br />

wonderful invention in the history<br />

of humankind.<br />

11


Accommodation…<br />

Exonians live all over Oxford. While many colleges regard guaranteed<br />

accommodation for three years as a selling point, we at <strong>Exeter</strong> have<br />

learnt through experience that there’s definitely a lot to be said for living<br />

out, for the house parties if nothing else..!<br />

12<br />

A first year student at <strong>Exeter</strong> is<br />

guaranteed a room in college,<br />

perfect for building friendships on<br />

the staircases shared by several<br />

others. The sizes and facilities of<br />

rooms vary substantially, but even<br />

the least spectacular get the job<br />

done well. Each room has as<br />

standard a bed, cupboard, desk,<br />

lamp, and notice boards.<br />

Everything except the kitchen sink,<br />

I hear you say? Nope, you even<br />

have that, and the charge for<br />

rooms, to keep things fair, differs if<br />

you have a bigger/smaller room or<br />

a bathroom to yourself (most will<br />

share with three to four other<br />

people).<br />

Some first years have shared<br />

rooms, with a bedroom each and a<br />

bathroom and lounge area<br />

between them, but these rooms<br />

….<br />

are allocated to those who say in<br />

advance that they’re happy to<br />

share for the social experience<br />

and added benefit of a large living<br />

room and en-suite.<br />

University is obviously about<br />

getting educated and growing up,<br />

but at <strong>Exeter</strong> we’re still willing to<br />

give you a helping hand. You are<br />

of course responsible for your own<br />

personal hygiene, but every day<br />

scouts (not of the knots variety)<br />

come and empty your bins; they<br />

clean your sink, polish your<br />

mirrors and vacuum once a week.<br />

Scouts quickly build an<br />

excellent rapport with the<br />

students on their staircases,<br />

ensuring that, unlike our friends in<br />

other places, our pieces of toast<br />

under the bed won’t grow new life.<br />

Musicians at <strong>Exeter</strong> get a piano in<br />

their rooms (but you have to be<br />

studying it as a degree – don’t turn


up with your recorder expecting a<br />

Steinway), and there are only a<br />

few restrictive rules in place, which<br />

ensure your safety and that of<br />

others. No open flames, such as<br />

candles - even the scented variety<br />

(sorry everyone, however will you<br />

cope?). Toasters must be put on<br />

metal trays, and use of blue-tack<br />

is tantamount to murder. You<br />

won’t have kitchen facilities in your<br />

room, but Hall provides<br />

subsidised breakfast, lunch and<br />

dinner, and there’s the recently<br />

refurbished JCR kitchen to use if<br />

you want to cook or if you’re not<br />

too keen on that day’s option.<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> offers all first years and a<br />

sizeable chunk of finalists rooms<br />

in college. The second year is up<br />

to you; you can either get together<br />

with friends and find a house to<br />

live in together, or you can go to<br />

Stapeldon House (called ‘Stapes’<br />

by all the cool kids) a privately<br />

owned college house with kitchen<br />

facilities and living rooms (as well<br />

as rooms) for those who choose to<br />

go there. It’s recently been<br />

refurbished, too; we’ve binned the<br />

beige and done up the garden. It<br />

may not be Laurence Llewelyn-<br />

Bowen, but we think that’s a good<br />

thing.<br />

Robin Andrews<br />

Course<br />

Hometown<br />

School<br />

AP Tests<br />

French & Linguistics<br />

Washington (USA)<br />

Independent<br />

French, French Lit & English Lit<br />

Why did you choose <strong>Exeter</strong>? I didn't actually choose <strong>Exeter</strong>, I did an<br />

open application. But as far as I'm concerned, I got pretty lucky! <strong>Exeter</strong><br />

has a prime central location; a warm, welcoming, not ridiculously<br />

competitive atmosphere; and a really lovely Fellows’ garden.<br />

What does <strong>Exeter</strong> offer you as an International Student? Again, the<br />

central location means a continual visual reminder of thriving student<br />

life. Also, close proximity to almost everything means you quickly get<br />

to know the city by foot. The medium-sized student body makes getting<br />

to know other students in college less daunting in the first weeks, while<br />

it still offers a relatively large diversity of people. Our Rector also does<br />

a great job attracting interesting speakers, many of whom come to<br />

discuss worldwide topics like issues of migration, human rights and law,<br />

and international politics, and attending nearly always helps to<br />

put in perspective your experience as a student abroad.<br />

13


Things to make & do…<br />

A great way to envision your time at <strong>Exeter</strong> <strong>College</strong> is to think of it like a<br />

Butlins Holiday Camp, only with weekly essays. Like Butlins (or any of its<br />

many competitors who also provide chalet holidays) <strong>Exeter</strong> has a wide<br />

range of activities available for you to try, but what you try is completely<br />

up to you. No one is going to drag you kicking and screaming out of the<br />

comfort and/or squalor of your bedroom, but should you choose to<br />

venture into the open, you’ll find a magical world of wonder just waiting<br />

for you to explore…<br />

14<br />

The JCR Exec & JCR Meetings<br />

The JCR, as mentioned earlier, is<br />

not only the common room, but is<br />

also the name for the<br />

undergraduate body of <strong>Exeter</strong><br />

<strong>College</strong>, otherwise known as (but<br />

never called) the Stapeldon<br />

Society. The powerhouse of<br />

college life; it lays down the laws,<br />

hands out the money and<br />

addresses the issues. The best<br />

thing about it is that every<br />

undergraduate is automatically a<br />

member! Known for its funloving,<br />

apolitical culture,<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong>’s JCR concentrates on<br />

organising fun things (like bops<br />

and a free DVD library) useful<br />

things (like free newspapers, the<br />

welfare system and cheap<br />

stationery) and negotiating with<br />

college authorities to reduce the<br />

presence of not-so-fun things (like<br />

rent increases and 2-in-1<br />

shampoo). Thanks to our JCR’s<br />

warm relationship with the college<br />

authorities these ‘battles’ with the<br />

powers-that-be are usually about<br />

as serious as Colin Farrell’s dyejob<br />

in the hit movie Alexander.<br />

To carry out these important tasks<br />

the JCR elects a bunch of its<br />

members to serve as Executive<br />

Officers; together they’re<br />

commonly referred to as the Exec.<br />

Each Officer has a specific role<br />

(Welfare, Women, Academic and<br />

Admissions, Treasurer etc.) and<br />

all are led by the JCR President<br />

(think The OC’s ‘Social Chair’<br />

Marissa Cooper before the drugs<br />

and untimely death). Moreover,<br />

there are a few lower-key places<br />

on offer such as Environment<br />

Officer and Admiral of the <strong>College</strong><br />

Punt (that’s what it’s actually<br />

called!). Joining the Exec is a<br />

good way to take an active role<br />

in college life and get to know<br />

people.


A way to get involved that requires<br />

even less effort is to attend JCR<br />

meetings, held in the JCR<br />

fortnightly. Lasting for about half<br />

an hour, the JCR discusses and<br />

votes on motions proposing ways<br />

to improve college life. Whilst this<br />

can have immediate relevance to<br />

your life as a student, it isn’t<br />

always the most exciting thing, but<br />

thankfully the loving Exec<br />

provide you with free food to<br />

keep you going, and there is<br />

generally at least one “comedy”<br />

motion at each meeting.<br />

If the laid-back college orchestra is<br />

too much of a commitment, the<br />

freshly renovated and updated<br />

college music room is available<br />

for bookings, so there’s always<br />

somewhere to practice just for the<br />

fun of it. There is no end to the<br />

possibilities; with band nights and<br />

rector’s evenings aplenty, your<br />

ambitions to play Chopin to a full<br />

drawing room or rock out to a<br />

drunken bar can be fulfilled.<br />

Music, Art and Drama<br />

We’re MAD we are. Honest.<br />

A long, long time ago (I can still<br />

remember), some clever so-andso<br />

realised that music, art and<br />

drama can be abbreviated to<br />

MAD. He now works at TV Guide.<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> <strong>College</strong> is the perfect<br />

place to find your creative side,<br />

where students pursue everything<br />

from the traditional to the slightly<br />

more unexpected. If music is your<br />

cup of tea, then you may want to<br />

get involved in the chapel choir,<br />

which is like, totally the best in the<br />

University. If this sounds a bit dull,<br />

the secular vocal group The<br />

Etceteras are a newly established<br />

way of singing without the<br />

traditional religious connotations.<br />

Drama also flourishes at <strong>Exeter</strong><br />

<strong>College</strong>, with many students<br />

treading the boards or, depending<br />

on their preferences, working<br />

behind the scenes. The best way<br />

to get into the drama scene is with<br />

Cuppers, a university-wide<br />

competition inviting actors,<br />

directors, technicians and all that<br />

jazz to put on a short play. One<br />

illustrious year, <strong>Exeter</strong> led the way<br />

with four (yes, four!) entries,<br />

including the award-winning<br />

‘Theiae Doggue’, a piece of postpost-sub-post-post<br />

modernist<br />

theatre involving a sombrero and a<br />

life-size cardboard camel. If this<br />

isn’t for you, it’s not difficult to find<br />

a play you want to be involved<br />

with, and you can be sure that the<br />

MAD rep (a member of the JCR<br />

Exec) will find a way to give you<br />

advice and, if you ask really nicely,<br />

money.<br />

15


16<br />

Of course, you don’t really have to<br />

do anything creative whatsoever,<br />

in which case you’ve just wasted<br />

thirty odd seconds of your life. If<br />

you’re up for it though, <strong>Exeter</strong> is<br />

the place for you; unless you’re<br />

Hilary Duff, whose ‘acting’ and<br />

‘singing’ abilities are not welcome.<br />

Sorry Hilary.<br />

Charities<br />

Taking part in the <strong>Exeter</strong> <strong>College</strong><br />

Vacation Project, or EXVAC as it’s<br />

known, is one of the most fun,<br />

worthwhile and rewarding ways<br />

to get involved with college life.<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> is one of only two colleges<br />

that are home to such a charity.<br />

EXVAC is a charity entirely run by<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> students, set up to provide<br />

disadvantaged children within the<br />

Oxford area with the chance to go<br />

on holiday and experience things<br />

they wouldn’t otherwise.<br />

Immensely popular, you’re unlikely<br />

to undergo the course of your time<br />

here without encountering the<br />

awkward, much-loved acronym.<br />

You could find yourself singing<br />

and dancing to the powerful social<br />

messages of ‘Goldigga’ for<br />

‘ExVactor’ (see what we did there)<br />

or bidding for the men’s rugby side<br />

to clean your room dressed as<br />

French maids in a fundraising<br />

auction.<br />

In addition, as a registered<br />

‘charitable organisation’ the JCR<br />

has thousands of pounds of<br />

money to give to charities every<br />

year. If you know of, or are<br />

………..<br />

yourself involved in a just cause,<br />

why not get the JCR to give it a<br />

few hundred quid?<br />

Travel<br />

As well as the travel scholarships<br />

mentioned in the finances section,<br />

which are for general use (if you’re<br />

travelling for academic reasons<br />

then there is a separate academic<br />

grant available), there are two<br />

prestigious annual travel<br />

scholarships available to current<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> students for travel in North<br />

America and Australasia. They are<br />

fully funded by the generosity of<br />

past students, and travelling<br />

usually takes place sometime in<br />

the 14-week long summer<br />

vacation, giving students the<br />

opportunity to meet with <strong>Exeter</strong>’s<br />

alumni residents in various<br />

different parts of the world and to<br />

pursue their own interests.<br />

Successful candidates act as<br />

ambassadors for the college and<br />

invariably have life-changing<br />

experiences.


Sheena Sodha<br />

Course<br />

Hometown<br />

School<br />

A-Levels<br />

PPE<br />

North West London<br />

Independent<br />

Maths, Economics, French & Chemistry<br />

Why did you choose <strong>Exeter</strong>? The atmosphere. Oxford can be<br />

stressful, so finding somewhere with friendly people who have a<br />

balance between work and play was important to me. Plus there are so<br />

many opportunities to get involved in college life.<br />

How is your workload? As an arts student the flexibility of my degree<br />

is great. There's always work to be done, but it's manageable and<br />

there's enough time to do other things and relax. I appreciate the<br />

friendly, supportive attitude between course mates that is rarer in more<br />

competitive colleges.<br />

Entz<br />

<strong>College</strong> entertainments can seem<br />

slightly odd to outsiders.<br />

Undoubtedly it’s all lots of fun, but<br />

at some point during your time at<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> you will find yourself in an<br />

underground chamber holding a<br />

cup of a strange, brightly coloured<br />

fluid. No, you haven’t joined a cult<br />

with a mass suicide pact – you’re<br />

just at a college bop. Yes, ‘bop’ is<br />

a ridiculous name which implies<br />

one must dance in a way that is<br />

not only geeky but actually<br />

excruciating for any onlooker from<br />

the sane world.<br />

In reality, bops are a much-loved<br />

part of college life, providing both<br />

a great opportunity for the whole<br />

college to get together in the bar in<br />

outfits varying from the awesome<br />

to the ridiculous and a good<br />

……………… …<br />

counterweight to everyday<br />

academia. Dressing as a pirate is<br />

a good way to balance out the<br />

obligation to wear subfusc. Bops<br />

are organised by the college ‘Entz<br />

rep’, another member of the<br />

Exec, whose main job is to work<br />

towards guaranteeing your fun<br />

and entertainment, and the only<br />

thing the average bop-goer has to<br />

worry about is erring between<br />

being too self-conscious/narcisstic<br />

to dress up at all or being the one<br />

who gets ‘a bit carried away’.<br />

17


18<br />

Music is provided by very keen<br />

and sometimes very good DJ’s<br />

from within college, who aim to<br />

provide for all tastes. By the end of<br />

the evening hordes of people pack<br />

themselves onto the dance-floor<br />

(which, as an indicator of size, is<br />

earlier created by pushing a<br />

snugly-fitting pool table to one<br />

side) for some good old boogie<br />

time.<br />

Sport<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> <strong>College</strong> upholds a fine<br />

sporting tradition with lots of<br />

active participation, as there are<br />

few tastes that aren’t catered to in<br />

some way through the many<br />

sporting teams of different levels.<br />

All colleges at Oxford compete<br />

against each other, so joining a<br />

team is a great way to meet other<br />

people from across the University.<br />

Sports at Oxford and <strong>Exeter</strong> vary<br />

from the traditional to the<br />

downright strange, beginning with<br />

our successful rugby, football and<br />

cricket teams. <strong>Exeter</strong> also has an<br />

admirable reputation for rowing,<br />

Oxford’s most famous sport, and<br />

the wide range of crews (from the<br />

Novice As for the hardcore<br />

enthusiasts to the Novice Ds for<br />

those who were always picked last<br />

for PE) means that if you want to<br />

get involved, you can.<br />

The annual Cuppers competitions<br />

in sports such as football and<br />

rugby are a great way to get into<br />

the games, but if there’s<br />

something you really want to do<br />

that isn’t provided (although with<br />

University societies in ultimate<br />

Frisbee, paragliding and rock<br />

climbing, this seems unlikely) then<br />

there’s a fund available to start<br />

up new college teams. The<br />

possibilities are endless, and even<br />

if your forte is darts or pool, at<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> there’s always a way of<br />

getting involved.<br />

And, if you just don’t want to play<br />

sport, and there’s a pesky second<br />

year hounding you to join the<br />

Novice B rowing crew, just tell<br />

them you can’t swim. Works every<br />

time.<br />

No pressure<br />

If you’re worrying that you have to<br />

get involved in one of these<br />

organised areas at the college<br />

level (or indeed at any level) to<br />

meet people and make friends,<br />

don’t. <strong>Exeter</strong> is a friendly college,<br />

and you’ll meet people just by<br />

going to the bar, sitting in the JCR,<br />

or walking round the front quad. It<br />

is also an easy-going place and<br />

there is the opportunity to do or<br />

not do almost anything you want at<br />

any standard without being judged<br />

for it. <strong>Exeter</strong>’s not a<br />

claustrophobic place – you’re<br />

encouraged to go out and do<br />

what interests you.


Arts vs. Sciences…<br />

Work is, inevitably, a big feature at Oxford and short, intense terms<br />

mean weeks are jam-packed and pumped full of fruity goodness.<br />

However, how and where this working time is spent depends a lot on the<br />

degree course chosen. So, read on to learn what your existence will be<br />

like. You do so at your own peril.<br />

The Arts student’s life is not a<br />

traumatic one (which is just as well<br />

for these delicate creatures).<br />

Expected to channel their own<br />

desires and soulful explorations, it<br />

is a rare occasion when the Arts<br />

student is awake before a human<br />

hour in the morning or when<br />

lectures exceed about 8 hours in a<br />

week. Most of the working week is<br />

instead spent hidden in musty<br />

libraries reading various books<br />

and articles for the 1 or 2 essays<br />

that are typically written in a week,<br />

or spent in tutorials (really quite<br />

relaxed) and classes. Although<br />

flexible, a fair amount of work (and<br />

preparatory work) is expected and<br />

responsibility is at the mercy of the<br />

individual.<br />

A coffee-fuelled all-nighter is not a<br />

rare occurrence among Arts<br />

students (usually in the frantic<br />

session immediately before the<br />

tutorial) so if you want to keep<br />

your beauty sleep, planning is<br />

essential. But that said, generally<br />

an organised artist has time for<br />

any extracurricular activity they<br />

wish to undertake. Amidst the joys<br />

of learning and intellectual pursuit<br />

there are still many hours to fill (in<br />

the day or night) - allowing time for<br />

necessary coffee breaks, lunch<br />

trips, dinner dates, hangovers,<br />

emergency picnics …<br />

The Sciences student’s life,<br />

however, is a very different story.<br />

Early mornings are a regular<br />

occurrence and a lot of the day will<br />

be spent in lecture halls and<br />

underground labs, soaking up<br />

equations and blowing up<br />

machines.<br />

There is scope for scheduling your<br />

‘personal study’ around other<br />

commitments but it is certainly true<br />

that there is more of an organised<br />

framework imposed on scientists.<br />

But structure means (unavoidable)<br />

organisation and organisation<br />

means party nights. Whilst the<br />

Arts student may appear to do<br />

whatever they damn well please in<br />

the day, come evening it is the<br />

scientists who have achieved a full<br />

day’s work and have the luxury of<br />

doing whatever they choose. Add<br />

in the fact that lab work is intercollege<br />

based and will result in<br />

many friends from around the<br />

wider university and the scientist’s<br />

life looks pretty damn peachy.<br />

‘Work hard, play hard’ seems to<br />

be the general Oxford motto.<br />

19


We’ve saved the most important bit till last – people. At the end of the<br />

day, it’s the fantastic people that make up <strong>Exeter</strong> college that make it so<br />

great. From the supportive staff to our very own welfare reps, there’s<br />

always someone there for you if you need them.<br />

Welfare<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> pays a great deal of<br />

attention to welfare, placing a high<br />

value on the well-being of its<br />

students. At the undergraduate<br />

level there are male and female<br />

welfare officers, a women’s officer,<br />

an LGBT rep and an international<br />

student rep. These people, as well<br />

as the <strong>College</strong>’s ten peersupporters,<br />

provide friendly,<br />

unbiased listening and support to<br />

anyone who needs it.<br />

People…<br />

David Lee<br />

Course<br />

Hometown<br />

School<br />

A-Levels<br />

Maths & Philosophy<br />

Loughborough<br />

State Comprehensive<br />

Maths, Chemistry, French & English Lit.<br />

20<br />

Why did you choose <strong>Exeter</strong>? I had a vague set of criteria for what I<br />

wanted from a college such as an older one with a central location,<br />

smallish size and reasonable applicant to place ratio. Everything and<br />

everyone I saw on the open day was good and that was it.<br />

How is your workload? With two or three problem sheets and an<br />

essay most weeks the workload can get pretty difficult. However, the<br />

work doesn't stop you doing things you enjoy. I somehow found the<br />

time to play four football matches in one week, go out and get all the<br />

work done. You'll sleep for a week when you get home at the end<br />

of term.


As well as the JCR<br />

representatives, there are many<br />

other welfare contacts to be aware<br />

of in <strong>Exeter</strong>. The <strong>College</strong> Nurse is<br />

a fully qualified counsellor, and the<br />

Chaplain provides pastoral care<br />

and support for students<br />

(regardless of their religious<br />

persuasions). There are also<br />

Tutors and Advisers, a Senior<br />

Tutor, the Junior Dean, and<br />

several Fellows specifically<br />

responsible for international<br />

students, women, harassment and<br />

other specific welfare-related<br />

issues. Rest assured the list of<br />

college welfare representatives is<br />

extensive.<br />

These various welfare reps also<br />

have extensive links with<br />

university and nationwide<br />

organisations. This means help<br />

can be found for any<br />

conceivable situation. Needless<br />

to say, throughout the entirety of<br />

this immense support network –<br />

which is available for anything, big<br />

or small – confidentiality and<br />

professionalism are paramount.<br />

The MCR<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> is rare among Oxford<br />

colleges in having a graduate<br />

community (formally referred to as<br />

the Middle Common Room) that<br />

really forms an integrated part of<br />

undergraduate college life.<br />

Somewhat antagonistically<br />

positioned on opposite sides of the<br />

main quad, the inter-common<br />

room atmosphere in fact belies the<br />

geographical separation.<br />

Many a friendship has been born<br />

over the sharing of what is a fairly<br />

concentrated main site, and the<br />

joint consumption of hall food. In<br />

the past, the MCR and the bar<br />

have played host to joint bops.<br />

Grads and undergrads take part<br />

in many extra-curricular aspects<br />

of college life together, from<br />

rowing to the choir, as well as<br />

living together in the offsite<br />

accommodation.<br />

Fourth year undergraduates and<br />

students reading for a second BA<br />

can apply for MCR membership.<br />

They then benefit from the free<br />

tea, coffee and cakes for which<br />

they otherwise have to beg,<br />

borrow or steal from their MCR<br />

friends. Every year, several<br />

undergraduate finalists choose to<br />

remain at <strong>Exeter</strong> to continue with<br />

graduate studies. To encourage<br />

this, the college provides<br />

guaranteed accommodation as<br />

well as various grants and<br />

scholarships. It is in fact a great<br />

testimony to the legendary nature<br />

of <strong>Exeter</strong> that there is such a high<br />

number of satisfied undergraduate<br />

customers that choose to stay on<br />

for graduate studies.<br />

21


Contacts…<br />

Remember what we said, right at the beginning? About how finding the<br />

right college for you can turn a good time into a great one? Good. Do you<br />

now remember all the cool stuff you then read about this lovely college?<br />

About how it’s better than ice-cream? Good. Do you have your mother’s<br />

(or father’s) red lipstick? Good. As a reminder, please write in large block<br />

capitals on all the mirrors in your house and cars in your street: APPLY<br />

TO EXETER COLLEGE. Good.<br />

We wish you the best of luck in your application and hope to see<br />

you some time in the future.<br />

Who to Call…<br />

22<br />

If you have any questions on any of the many interesting, thoughtprovoking<br />

and downright inspiring things you’ve read, then please don’t<br />

hesitate to get in touch. Most worthy people can be contacted through<br />

www.exeter.ox.ac.uk.<br />

For Open Day enquiries, or indeed any questions about undergraduate<br />

admissions, please refer to the <strong>Exeter</strong> <strong>College</strong> prospectus, the <strong>College</strong><br />

website or get in contact with the Academic Administrator by e-mailing<br />

admissions@exeter.ox.ac.uk<br />

To give all your money to this wonderful college, please email us at<br />

development@exeter.ox.ac.uk. For more general enquiries about<br />

Oxford we recommend visiting www.ox.ac.uk and www.ousu.org.uk. If<br />

you want to sue us for any of the contents of this publication, please<br />

don’t.<br />

Credits<br />

Producer<br />

<strong>Exeter</strong> <strong>College</strong><br />

Director<br />

Sheena Sodha<br />

Script Editors<br />

Sean Faye & Guy Pewsey<br />

Writers<br />

Craig Bruce, Louise Collins, Maya Ross<br />

& Josie Thaddeus-Johns<br />

Cameraman<br />

Kitty Jansz<br />

With many thanks to…<br />

Simon Heawood<br />

Cathy Johns & Oxford University Press


Notes…

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