, We've got squirrels in our quad! - St Peter's College

spc.ox.ac.uk

, We've got squirrels in our quad! - St Peter's College

Dear Peterite,First of all, congratulations and welcome to St Peter’s College and Oxford University.St Peter’s is a great place to live and study, and Freshers’ week is a fantastic way to start livingOxford life for the first time; it will be all about having fun, trying new things and making newfriends—some of whom you will keep for the rest of your life.I think back to my Freshers’ week, almost a year ago, and remember reading this guide’s predecessorcover to cover in the hope of gleaning all the information I could about what Universitylife would be like. Now, I liken it to a first day at a new school—although definitely more nervewracking!Not to worry, as I’m sure you will all agree, that with hindsight those first days are notas scary as first imagined—at St Peter’s this is no different. In fact, these days will become someof your strongest memories of university life. So get stuck in, try new things and in the years tocome you will be able to look back on your memories without regret.The Freshers’ committee have worked hard to put on a week of exciting and diverse events,open to all, and it promises to be a fun and enjoyable week. You will be expected to work hardat St Peter’s, although with plenty of occasions to ‘let your hair down’ - Freshers’ week is agreat opportunity to play hard!St Peter’s is a friendly and welcoming college—you will soon become proud to call yourself aPeterite. I would like to say a huge thank you to Amy, your Vice-President, for putting togetherthis guide - it contains information on many of the benefits you will experience as a member ofthe Peter’s family and answers a lot of your questions. If you have anything that isn’t answered,please get in touch with one of the committee members—drop us an email or find us on facebook!If you aren’t already, start getting excited—Freshers’ week promises to be a great laugh. Remembereveryone is in the same position so don’t be afraid to start conversations and getstuck in!Enjoy your holiday and come say hi when you arrive at Peter’s!Much LoveXRob CollierJCR President 20102


The JCR & JCR Committee…………………..…………..page 4Arriving at college……….........……………………………….page 9Freshers’ Committee..……………………………………...page 10Freshers’ week timetable.......................................page 12Matriculation…………………………………………………page 14Accommodation…………………………………………..page 15Practicalities of living in college.........................page 18Food…………………………………………………………..page 20IT…………………………………………………………..….page 21Banks and Budgeting………………………………..page 23College Facilities……………………………………………page 26Oxford: the City………………………………………………page 28The different Unions........................................page 31Welfare……………………………………….page 32Sports and Societies at SPC…………………………page 34Academic…………………………………………………….page 36Glossary……………………………………………………...page 49Photo courtesy of Tara Mulholland


What is the JCR?Something that seems confusing now but will soon be part of your everyday language, the JCR(Junior Common Room) refers to not only the actual common room but the collective body ofundergraduates themselves. You are all now members of SPC JCR.What is the JCR committee?Some of the greatest people you will ever meet (your JCR committee) are a small group of fellowundergraduates (mainly second years) who have been voted into their positions by the entireJCR. It is our job to look after the welfare of our JCR members and represent your interestsand opinions, providing a link between all undergraduates and the governing body of college.You will, of course, not want to miss JCR General meetings! Although the name makes themsound about as fun as doing an essay at 4am, they are actually very interesting and often featureentertaining debates, leading to decisions made by JCR members voting. In our last meetingof term ‘beer’ was made an honorary member of the JCR.The meetings are every other Monday at 7pm in the JCR, and give you an input into how collegeis run. (The free cocktails are also a major reason to attend!) There is also a chance to getinvolved from your first term here as First Year rep or First year Entz (entertainment) reps. Untilthen, we look forward to seeing you in meetings, which depend on participation from JCRmembers.Say hello to your stunning new JCR Committee ...Representing the undergraduates at various different levels- come find me if you want to know moreand how you can get involved!Rob CollierSubject : MathsBest memory of time at Peter’s: Rugby Dinner 2010- eating dessert.Best bop outfit: Superhero at SPC Bop during my own Freshers’week.Job Description: Representing the undergraduates at various differentlevels- come find me if you want to know more and how you canget involved! rob.collier@spc.ox.ac.ukSubject: EnglishBest memory of time at Peter’s: Ripping Alex Worth’s clothes off ata foam party/ Epic snowball fights/ touching Chesney Hawkes!Best Bop Outfit: Just wearing a soggy poster that didn’t last long.Job description: Poke my nose into everything, be Rob’s right-handman, attend various meetings, create this guide, help run Freshers’week and generally listen to what the JCR has to say.4Amy Ellis-Thompson


Alex YudinSubject: PhysicsBest memory of time at Peter’s: Throwing waterbombs in Chavassequad and outside Matthews. And inside Matthews. And inside NewBlock.Best Bop Outfit: Any cross-dressing outfits...Outline Of The Job: Making sure the JCR finances run smoothly.Disha GulatiSubject: LawBest memory of time at Peter’s: All the boys turning up to theJCR photo with Eliot’s face plastered across their private parts.Best Bop Outfit: Definitely the ship. Or the cow outfit. Or theship and cow put together.Job description: Dress up in a secretaries outfit every twoweeks and pretend to type.Florence BarnesSubject: Physics.Best memory of Peters: Any time spent in the bar.......Best bop outfit: Maddie's hilarious 'Mole' costumeJob description: I attend OUSU council meetings along with Rob, ourJCR president, and represent the interests of St Peters students.Pip DoyleSubject: Biological sciences.Best memory of time at Peter’s: Being in the JCR, dressed as a chav,dancing like a fool and having the best time ever with the most amazingpeople you could meet :)Best Bop Outfit: A purple turtle—the name of Peter’s post-bop club.Job description: I organise the entertainment events in and around college,from bops to quiz nights.


Emily ClarkeSubject: HistoryBest memory of Peter’s: the chest-licking and general debaucheryof Ladies Night—hello naked rugby boys!Best Bop outfit: none of mine, but Will Scargill’s speedos-andnothing-elseswimmer at the SPC bop should have mention.. It wasOctober—brrr...Job description: to receive nominations for our chosen charity and toorganise/receive suggestions for all the events we can do in order tocajole a bit of money out of unwilling, poor students :)Catherine Brinkworthsubject: Arch and Anth.Best memory of Peter's: Arriving on the first day of Freshers' week andimmediately being hugged by a giant squirrel.Best bop outfit: I make a scarily good chav...Job description: I look after the ladies' welfare, so I'm always around fortea and sympathy, between organising welfare teas on Wednesdays andSundays, running the Peer Support system, and supplying all the welfarebasics - we have more attack alarms than you could ever need!Taz SubramanianSubject: MedicineBest memory of Peter’s: .It’s all been amazing!Best Bop outfit: I could look good in a bin bag.Job description: I look afte r male welfare, working alongside Catherineto provide advice, sympathy, a friendly listening ear and basicessentials such as condoms, to look after members of the JCR.Johnny ’El Greco’ SpyrouSubject: Biochemistry.Best memory of Peter’s: The quad in Trinity.Best Bop outfit: Sailor. Very short shorts. Standard.Job Description: I'm here for you to talk privately about any sexualityissues that you may have. Whether you're lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgenderor straight, I'm here to help!6


Theo Barry-BornNick FultonSubject: PhysiologyBest memory of Peter’s: Rowing.Best Bop outfit: Chav.Job description: I represent SPC sports teams and help members of the collegewho play sport at a high level for the university.Subject: PPEBest memory: Jamming, monging out, eating, singing.Best bop outfit: Bop? Nah.Job description in a sentence: Get people to write things down, encouragepacifism, wear straw hats , bike rides, legalize it, get into graffiti, open micnights, jazz, reggae, and run St Peter's drama society... that kind of stuffAbi EnochSubject: Biological sciencesBest memory of Peter’s: It’s all been amazing, but union debates are definitelya highlight, along with the Biology fieldtrip to Orielton.Best Bop outfit: Part of a caterpillarOutline of job: I look after and represent all the overseas students .Adam RobinsonSubject: Earth SciencesBest memory of Peter’s: It would probably be my highly emotional (see:drunk) speech at the college play cast after-party, however since I can'tremember that...Best Bop outfit: Peaked with the giant postage stamp right back inFreshers week. It's going to have to make a comeback.Job description: if you're having problems with your tutor, the library, oran essay crisis, just drop me a line and I'll provide a friendly listening ear.Josh HopgoodSubject: Physics.Best memory of St Peter’s: Water fights in Matthews.Best bop outfit: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.Job description: I fix broken things.


(Environment and Ethics) Sinead LaneSubject: GeographyBest memory of time at Peter’s: Boat club dinner.Best bop outfit: Vicky Pollard at Chav Bop, embarrassingly, the easiestcostume to put together.Job description in a sentence: Making sure college is doing everythingpossible to be green!(Food, housing & amenities) Zahava Lever8Subject: Music.Best memory of Peter’s: Tutorial partner's uncannily accurate imitationof our (un-named) tutor.Best Bop Outfit: SPC (Siamese Pussy Cat.)Job description: Dealing with any problems/requests the JCR mighthave about food, housing or amenities! (Does what it says on the tin)Alex ‘sexy’ WorthSubject: PPEBest memory of Peter’s: Boat Club dinner after failing hugely at rowingin Michaelmas .Best Bop Outfit: Metro newspaper distributor.Job description: Helping to organise college & student events to increaseapplications to St. Peter's College from state schools .Subject: History.Best memory of Peter’s: History dinner.Best Bop Outfit: Ladybird.Job description: Making sure the bar runs smoothly.Peter O’ ConnorSubject: TheologyBest memory of Peter’s: A toss up between pyromaniac experiencesin clubs, pranks with crabs or drunken dares involving porridge.Best Bop Outfit: One of my many disturbing cross dresses.Job description: Aside from treasuring the bar in quasi-sexual alcoholiclove, I look after finances and make sure your drink is cheapand that we make money.Jonny Torrance


Hello Peterite,Firstly, congratulations on gaining a place at Oxford University and for choosingthe friendliest Oxford college of them all, St Peter’s! Your JCR and Freshers’committee will all be here on the 3rd October to welcome you to St Peter’s andshow you to your room, and you will see plenty more of us throughout Freshers’week and then the entire year. And don’t worry if you feel nervous: beinggreeted by a sweaty second year in a squirrel suit will soon make you feel athome.A few practicalities on arriving:You, your harassed parents and a car laden with everything you’ve ever ownedwill be driving around Oxford before eventually negotiating the one-way system and making it intoNew Inn Hall street. One drawback of such a centrally-located college is the difficulty of access by car.When you arrive, the porters will be there to distribute parking permits for your car for up to twentyminutes, which gives you plenty of time to move your stuff, with the help of the Freshers’ committeemembers who will be there by the open gates.By the large gates will be tables where you will be allocated your room, and once you’ve signed in,given your room key for you actual door, and fob for the electric external locks. There are only twoblocks of first-year student accommodation (which you can read more about later) so it will not takeyou long to find your room. There will be committee members present to show you the way and helpyou carry your things too—grab any of these and ask them to help at anytime. Locate and unlock yourroom first before you start moving suitcases to save carrying things up unnecessary flights of stairs(unlucky top floor Matthews block people!)Whenever you are ready and moved in, head down to the bar and JCR area, where cake and tea(necessary and staple fuel for Freshers’ week) will be available; feel free to bring your parents and reassurethem you will be well looked after at St Peter’s. Then its time to begin the endless round of introductionswhich will become second nature throughout Freshers’ week (or time to don a snazzyname label.) There will be plenty of second years and committee members about to chat to, or resolveany issues, as well as all the other Freshers, who you will get to know very well, very quickly.Early arrivals:If you turn up before Sunday then just head straight to the porters’ lodge which will provide you withyour parking permit and room details. There should be a few SPC members hanging around so hopefullyyou’ll still be able to find someone to help you move in!International Students:If you are an international student, OUSU has just launched a Meet & Greet service to meet studentsarriving at Heathrow Airport or at Gloucester Green bus stationon certain dates – details should be sent to you or available ontheir website.Please email any questions to rob.collier@spc.ox.ac.uk oramy.ellis-thompson@spc.ox.ac.uk and we will do our best tosort out any issues with arriving at St Peter’s. Until then, enjoyyour summer and we will see you in October!St Peter’s love,Freshers’ Committee 2010.


-As well as the Executive Committee (President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary),Entz and Welfare Reps, the Freshers’ Committee is made up of a further seven second yearundergraduates who were chosen from many volunteers to help run events, settle you inand get the party started. Freshers’ committee members will be running events in pairsthroughout the week, and also dividing into two teams to take it in turns to lead nights out.The committee is a mix of people who take different subjects, drink, don’t drink and enjoydifferent things. If you need anything in Freshers’ week, or even throughout the year, don’thesitate to ask these guys.Stephen DunneHighlight of Freshers’ week ‘09: not rememberinganything..Best memory of St Peter’s: Pollyanna roaring at memoments before one of my classic stripteases.What I will bring to Freshers’ week 2010: Debauchery!!!Alex ‘I’m on both committees’ WorthHighlight of Freshers’ Week ‘09: Having my clothesripped off at the foam party by Amy and Pip.Best memory of St Peter’s: Wearing women’s clothes.What I will bring to Freshers’ week 2010: Fun! And anamazing SPC Freshers’ Fair.Highlight of Freshers’ week ‘09: Foam Party! Freshers t-shirt was put to good use.Best memory of time at St Peter’s: Going to St. Hugh’sBall. Although not strictly at St Peters, having such agood crowd of us that went really made it.What I will bring to Freshers’ week 2010: Sweets.Hmm... Sweets.10Bethan Westcott


Helen ‘H’ MillerHighlight of Freshers’ Week ‘09: The first bop!Best memory of St Peter’s: The massive snowballfight after Christmas.What I will bring to Freshers’ Week 2010: As muchfun as possible!Zoe ‘Cheek-bandit’ ApostolidesHighlight of Freshers’ Week ‘09: First night on thePole. And having to ask Ben Conroy how to open thedoor to the JCR on the first day ("just push it...")Best memory of St Peter’s: the Christmas bop and theensuing Bodily Fluids Kit.What you'll bring to Freshers’ week 2010: unadulteredmashup, and Boat Club grooming.Tash ‘Cheek-bandit no 2’ MoakesHighlight of Freshers’ Week ‘09: pub crawl mania—going to the boys toilet, whilst duct taped to Adam.Best memory of St Peter's: Hannah Bowers falling offa bench on to the junior dean's feet while I was tryingto tell him everything was under control, also hennight and the girls getting done for bringing a 'malestripper' into the bar...turned out he was just your averagebuff man...whoops!What I’ll bring to Freshers’ Week 2010: Ensuring Peter’s own the pole atthe Bridge.Adam PatrickHighlight of Freshers’ week ‘09: Pub crawl antics.Best memory of St Peter’s: Being free to party post-modsWhat I’ll bring to Freshers’ week 2010: The best nightsout you’ve ever had.


Here’s the programme for Freshers’ week! We’ve tried to make sure that there is something for everybody,and that you’ll never need to be sitting alone in your rooms, twiddling your thumbs (unless you want to, inwhich case that’s perfectly fine!). We hope you enjoy what we’ve planned and find it a fun introduction to Peter’s,Oxford & your fellow first years. Freshers’ week is invariably hyped up nationwide, and for good reason; itis a lot of fun and can be a very action-packed week, but if you’re more of a mellow type, don’t fear that youwill be dragged kicking & screaming to club nights and forced to stay until the early hours—your Freshers’ weekis what you make of it. (On arrival you will also be given a programme of official College events, including registration,medical briefing, library tours, departmental introductory sessions etc)SUNDAY12 noon—4pm7pm7.30pmMONDAY8am2pm4pm7pm11pmTUESDAY1Oam (hourly)11amMorn1.45pm4.00? tbc6.45pm7:30pm9-11pm12Where?St Peter’s College! JCR/BarJCRMarqueeDining HallHallMarqueeMarqueeMarqueeOxford nightclub.JCRMeet in the lodgeHallJCRChapel then JCR.Meet in LodgeHallMarqueeJCR/MarqueeWhat?Arrivals - Refreshments/Games/Freshers Committee tochat to.JCR Welcome - your JCR and Freshers’ committee properlyintroduce themselves.Pre-drinks before Formal Hall - drink some champagne/wine before a sit down meal.Informal Formal Hall - experience SPC dining Hall for thefirst time, being waited on at your table!Freshers’ Breakfast and Welfare Welcome — eat brunchto recover, followed by College RegistrationWelfare Event.Games—silly games to get to know people.Fun or Forfeit—friendly competition in teams involvingsilly forfeits.Club Night - Experience Oxford's finest nightclubs, alongwith other colleges, at Varsity events. There will be atheme...Post-Club Rehab - chillout with snacks, drinks and earlymorning post-club banter.Tourist Stuff (hourly) - See some of the proper postcardtypeimages of the city of Dreaming Spires.Visiting Students’ brunch.Welfare - drop in for cake, tea, a chat, a nap.... Whatever!Medical Briefing and Registration—compulsoryScavenger Hunt—see more of the city armed with a disposablecamera and cryptic clues!Drinks with tutors - meet your tutors in an informal setting(some drinks may be in tutors’ studies.)Freshers’ Dinner - free wine and good chat with your tutors,plus another 3- course meal.Pub Quiz/ Film in JCR - show off your knowledge or experienceSPC college drinks such as a Cross-Keys. Or chillwith a film in the JCR.


WEDNESDAY9.30am2pm4pm7pm-THURSDAY11amAll day4pm5pm (ish)5-6:30pm7pm-10pm (ish)Meet in LodgeMeet in LodgeMeet in LodgeAssemble in JCROxford nightclub.JCRMeet in LodgeChavasse quad.Hall.Cinema (tbc)Mulberry quad.JCRMeet in LodgeUniversity Freshers’ Fair - lots of stalls and free stuff!A great chance to sign up/ discover all the differentUniversity societies/ choirs/ sports/ writing/ charities.Grub Crawl—visit all the different eateries near StPeter's.Ice Skating—you may be glad you registered with thedoctors now!Pub Crawl/ Ice Cream Crawl - either pub crawl in differentteams which will involve masking tape andcrawling... or eat epic amounts of ice cream!Club Night - Party in another Oxford club. (Tickets forclub nights available from your Entz Rep and Freshers’committee at start of week.)Post-club RehabGym Trip - fitness fanatics will be shown where thefree gym on Iffley Road is.Bouncy Castle - BOUNCE ON IT! ALL DAY!Family Teas - yet more cake, tea and your first opportunityto meet and chat with your college parents.Film? (tbc )BBQ - yet more free food.Open Mic Night - listen to SPC musical geniuses orafter a few drinks have a go yourself!Alternative ice hockey (tbc)FRIDAY10am10am-11am-2-5pm6pm-SATURDAYMorn1pm-7:30pm-Meet in LodgeMulberry quad.Mulberry quad.Uni Parks (meet in Lodge.)Meet in LodgeJCRSPC Boat ClubJCR/BarBike Ride - see more of Oxford and get used to cyclingabout on the roads.Bike Maintenance - find out how to fix inevitable bikeproblems .SPC Freshers’ Fair—find out about our college sportsteams and societies.Alternative Sports day - for EVERYONE - stress-free,fun 'sports' events like egg and spoon.Family Dinners - your college parents feed you attheir houses .House parties at college parents’ houses / Film in JCRWelfareBBQOutings - try your hand at rowing.SPC Bop— (fancy dress necessary, anything beginningwith S, P OR C!) along with 'gunge vote' (gungea committee member.) Peter's hits P.T'S club afterwards...


An Oxford University tradition that means so much more than just walking aroundthe streets in ‘sub-fusc’ being photographed by tourists, Matriculation is the daywhen you become an official member of the University, two weeks after the start ofFreshers’ week. Before this joyous occasion you will need to purchase sub-fusc: agown, hat (which you cannot wear until you graduate) neck ribbon, white shirt andblack trousers/skirt for females, or a suit and white bow tie for males. This Harry-Potteresque garb can be purchased anytime from various varsity shops or Shepherd& Woodward, although you may come across a gown in a charity shop if you’relucky.All new members of the college, including MCR post-grads who have just joined StPeter’s , are presented to the Dean of Degrees in the chapel. You then get to signyour name in a big ledger with a quill pen (something that feels truly ‘Oxford’.) Aprofessional photograph of the entire year is then taken on one of St Peter’s quads:although pricey, they are definitely worth ordering afterwards, if only for the comparisonwith the decidedly less respectable JCR photo later in the year. Also usefulas proof that you do actually attend Oxford University.Don’t worry about feeling silly as you walk through the city centre in sub-fusc, towardseither Exam Schools/ Sheldonian Theatre, you will not only entertain hordesof Japanese tourists but create plenty of iconic facebook photos with which to impresseveryone you’ve ever met. You will also not get another chance to wear fullsub-fusc (outside the privacy of your own room anyway) until end of year exams.The official ceremony itself is relatively short, the vice-chancellor of the Universitygives a speech, some of it in Latin, before you are officially matriculated into theUniversity. On the plus side, you are definitely ‘in,’ but there is now also the optionof being ‘sent down,’ should the occasion ever call for it.Once back at college, Matriculation becomes ‘Matriculash’ (the clue is in thename.) ...Pre-Matriculation brunch14Inside the Sheldonian Theatre .


It does not even take the entirety of Freshers’ week to feel like St Peter’s College ishome, cheesy as that sounds. Whether you are in the less-than-aesthetic MatthewsBlock or New Block , you will come to love your college room!Revising hard (?!) on the Chavasse quad.Reasonably priced drinks in the college bar!Contrary to many preconceptions of Oxford University as intimidating and overlyformal, St Peter’s is an extremely friendly community, something that is reinforcedby the layout of accommodation. All first years and some third years live in college.Unlike other Universities where halls are often divided into self-catered flats, themajority of Peter’s accommodation is arranged around corridors which means thateveryone has their own space, yet the proximity of everyone to each other providesa strong sense of community. Although you will have access to a fridge, on everyfloor in Matthews and one in New Block, and the facilities in the JCR kitchen, mostpeople frequent the dining hall in their first year; its easier, more accessible, and agood way to talk to different people rather than just your next door neighbours.Although other colleges may be surrounded by ominous amounts of quads andlawns, it is unlikely that you can ever walk through Peter’s without bumping intosomeone!The rest of this guide devotes itself into informing you best on what goes on in Peters,at Oxford and at Uni generally—from finance and socialising to food and sport.However if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in contact with any of us!All your JCR committee are here to help with any concerns.


The majority of all first year rooms are located in Matthews, New Block and a couple withinChavasse, yet to cover all areas, here’s a low-down of what you can expect for the next year.MatthewsMatthews could be seen as a triumph of ‘70s architecture, which unsurprisinglymakes it the ugliest of all the buildings, especially themetal exterior of the top floor. Remember, though, that living in it,you have the distinct advantage of not having to look at it too much –and it definitely makes up for its aesthetic shortcomings once you getinside. It is really friendly and communal – you’ll always bump intosomeone in the corridor to chat with, which is great when you’re justsettling in. There are also plenty of people to distract you when threehours straight reading starts to make you go a bit stir-crazy.The rooms boast a larger floor space than New Block rooms, and theFun in a Matthews corridor.exciting feature of a washbasin in a wardrobe/cupboard-style enclosure!The basic layout on each floor is 11 rooms with 2 toilets, 2 showers, 2 baths and a sharedfridge – but don’t take that to mean the contents of the fridge are to be shared as well!There are washing machines on all the floors apart from the top one – but the fourth floormakes up for that by being furthest away from the noise from the JCR or the bar, which youmay or may not be pleased to hear are both at the bottom of Matthews. Looking out over thebar often provides an entertaining vantage point for observing the effects of one Cross Keys toomany.New BlockNew Block is definitely the crème de la crème of St Peter’s accommodation; although everybodywill tell you that about their building. It has some of the best showers in the college, witha boost button and thermostatic temperature control (whilst all buildings are meant to haveconstant hot water, this is often a luxury of New Block). There are also baths on the top floor forthose of you who prefer a more relaxing form of personal hygiene. All but four of the first yearrooms have a red brick archway, which give the rooms a more cosy feel as well as dividing theroom into a work area and a sleeping area.The rooms have ample storage, a sink, a couple of chairs and there are laundry facilities innearby Chavasse. Situated near hall, each roomhas large windows, which either look over thecroquet lawn or the back alley. The floors areset out in male and female corridors, but thoseliving on the ground floor, be warned. This traditionallymale corridor has been home to manyslightly disturbing antics, so if you are foolishenough to leave your window open whilst outyou may find your room rearranged on the croquetlawn.16


Chavasse :Only a very select few, eight to be precise, will get the privilege of a room in Chavasse.Awaiting you, are large spacious rooms with high ceilings, an amazing power showerand in some of the rooms at least, truly massive windows looking out over New Blockand Chavasse Quad.You will spend much of the first week giving other Freshers a grand tour of the building(if they can find their way up the illogical staircases), since having read this, everyoneelse is desperate to find out just how luxurious your room is compared to theirs. Otheradvantages include a washing machine (though everyone in New Block uses it so it’s alwaysbusy) and being right next door to the dining hall.Staircase IVUnlike the uniform rooms and corridors of Matthews, which can be a bit confusing forthe first couple of weeks, Staircase IV has a pretty eclectic mix of rooms, and residentstoo. Sharing the building with tutors’ offices, the nurse’s surgery and postgraduate students,staircase IV first year residents are a rare breed – but that’s all to the good. Yourdistinctly Oxfordy rooms are likely to be the envy of your friends, and although you sacrificethe advantage of having a sink in your room, you are rewarded with spaciousbathrooms, thick stone walls (which mean that, unlike your counterparts in Matthews,you won’t be quite as aware of your neighbours returning home at 2am), and laundryfacilities close at hand. There is a shared fridge located just outside the rooms, yet oftenresults in a dumping ground for unwashed mugs and crumbs. It’s quite unlikely that youwill end up here—most rooms go to second/third yeras and visiting students, howeverif you do, you will enjoy being located near the bar but not too close to get disturbedquite as much as Matthews.The beauty that is Matthews Block. The outside of New Block and Staircase I.


You will not know which block of accommodation you will be living in until the day you arrive.However, here is a quick guide of what—and what not—to bring. Your room will quickly becomeyour bedroom, living room, mini-kitchen and study area all rolled into one. Whilst noteverything on the list is necessary, it’s often nice to have some comforts, it’s amazing what peoplemanage to bring up with them each year!- First Aid Kit (To combat the inevitable Freshers’ Flu, hangovers etc...)- Mugs, glasses, plates, cutlery, bowls etc- Kettle (with various forms of caffeine based drinks and cuppa soups. Lots and lots of TEA! Ifyou don’t drink it now, you will do after your first term, when caffeine has become a staplepart of your diet.- Duvet and pillows.- Bed Linen (Sheets and Duvet cover (x2) for when one lot is beingwashed.- Rug (not essential but helps personalise your room/ absorb dust.)- Bike, helmet and D-Lock (lock is essential if you want to keep your bike!)- Sports wear and equipment (obviously only what is practical, don’t tryand fit a boat in your room.)-Clothes (of a massive variety, formal wear such as prom dresses and suitsto any dressing up clothes you may have to hand, ready for bops.)- Towels and hand towels.- Washing powder, washing-up sponge, dish towels, fairy liquid, Vanish.You never know what youmay have occasion to wear ..- Lamps—you might want an extra one, although there is a desk lamp and bedside lamp provided.- Multi-socket adapter. Staircase IV rooms have but two sockets in the room, so essential.- A CHEQUEBOOK – you will not believe how many of these you’ll have to write over the courseof the next year!- Pictures, knick-knacks, posters to liven things up (but NB blu-tack is not allowed)- Clothes horse (keeps tumble drying costs down, and combats climate change, woop woop.)Whatever you forget, and there will, inevitably, be something, there is no better way to makefriends than the need to borrow someone else’s bottle opener on a daily basis. By the end ofyour first year, you may even struggle to remember which things were yours or yourneighbour’s in the first place.DON'T BRING A MICROWAVE, TOASTIE MAKER, DEEP FAT FRYER, RICE COOKER OR YOUR CAT'COS THEY AREN'T ALLOWED.Please note: All electrical appliances must be in good working order and fitted with a 13 ampplug (BS1363) with sleeved pins. They may be checked by the College’s electricians. Check thatyour electrical items can take UK 240V a/c supply, or buy a converter.18


BikesMost students find a bike an indispensable asset, for despite SPC's centrallocation some departments and sports facilities are located at quitesome distance away. It is particularly important if you're consideringdoing any sports or using your free gym membership which you getfrom being a member of SPC, at the University sports centre on IffleyRoad, as it is a twenty-five minute walk. If you decide to row, then apuncture kit is helpful as the path down to the boathouse is somewhatriddled with potholes. A D-lock and lights are essential items – the policeregularly fine student riders who don’t have lights, and bike theft isa lucrative business in Oxford!There is plenty of room to leave your bike in College, (next to the JCR, or in the Chavasse lock-up)which is far safer than leaving it outside. A registration system will be explained to you duringFreshers’ Week; please register your bike as this will ensure that, should your bike disappearmysteriously in the night and be re-found elsewhere in the morning, it can be safely deliveredback to your good self. Helmets are recommended, as bike related traffic accidents can be lethal.If you don’t have a bike already there are great bike sales at the Oxford Union (which is less thana minute’s walk away from college) every other Wednesday where you can get a very good qualitybike at a decent price. Also when you arrive, it is a good idea to talk to some second years tosee where they purchased their bikes: often places in Cowley will do you a good deal on a bulkpackage. Other than that, bikes are highly recommended—you can bring them up at anytimeduring the year, just head to the lodge to register it!LaundryDoing your washing can be a bit of a challenge here at St Peter's, but you will soon get the hangof it. Washing machines are scarce for New Blockers. There is one on every floor of Matthewsapart from the top floor, one in Staircase IV and one in Chavasse, along with tumble dryers. Aload of washing costs £1.20 but is paid for by a swipe card, which you can get from the lodge.Some machines are almost constantly in use, so when removing other people’s washing at theend of a cycle, please don’t just dump it on the floor. You charge your card up at the lodge, eithera £5 or £10 note, then head to the washing machine which will have instructions.As mentioned earlier, another good idea is to bring (or buy at nearby Argos) a clothes horse, orelse your delicates will be permanently damp!Other Domestic EquipmentIf you’re lucky enough to live in Matthews you’ll soon find out that at the end of the corridorthere is a little kitchenette/cupboard with a fridge, kettle and large sink for washing up.In the JCR, there is also the ‘Green & Gold’ kitchen, that was built just two years ago. Althoughrelatively new, there have been many threats of it being shut down. Irresponsible users are toblame, leaving the kitchen, particularly the microwave, as a breeding ground for bacteria.However, good news is that the kitchen has two large fridges, lockers, a microwave, toasters andeven a few hot plates; this means that if you’re peckish and not up for hall, you’re welcome tomake what ever you like (or what you actually can) in the kitchen—AS LONG AS YOU CLEAN UPAFTER YOURSELF!


Informal hallSt. Peter’s is a catered college; this means that Monday—Friday, breakfast, lunch and dinner can all be obtainedat specific times in the dining hall. On a Saturday and Sunday, brunch and dinner are available. The wayin which you pay for your food is simple: using the upay website (www.upay.co.uk), you log on with your collegeemail and password and ‘top up’ your account by entering your bank card details (a bit like online shopping).Then in hall, you simply take your bodcard (University Card) with you, which you hand over to the staff atthe cash register to be swiped and charged. Each item has a specific price that you will be able to check on themenu. A typical ‘informal hall’ dinner meal will offer two meat and two vegetarian options for mains, with accompanyingvegetables, salads, fruit, dessert, yoghurts and juices: menus are available on the JCR website(www.spcjcr.co.uk). ‘Informal hall’ refers to the usual, ‘canteen-style’ arrangement for eating.Formal hallCurrently runs twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday, slightly later in the evening than informal hall. At formalhall you wear your gown over your normal clothes and hear a Grace in Latin before you begin. It is optional butpopular, and great value for three courses. The food tends to be of better quality but there are only two options—onemeat and one vegetarian. You are served at your table by the staff and can bring wine, but not spirits,in with you. The college community seen in formal hall is great to bring guests along to. You sign up for formalhall via the upay website, usually two days in advance. Often certain events, such as Welfare Drinks orBurns Night include formal hall and are extremely popular.Meal times are as follows -Breakfast Mon - Fri: 8am-9amLunch Mon - Fri : 12pm - 1.30pmDinner (informal hall) - 5.30pm - 7.30pmDinner (formal hall) - 7.30pm promptBrunch (Sundays only) - 11.00am – 12:30pmFor the first four days of Freshers’ week you will pay a total amount upfront so will not need to worry aboutyour upay account until the Thursday. Also, times will likely to be different, however information will be providedto you on the Sunday.OTHERThe JCR kitchen is not a fully equipped kitchen, however it has the basics to keep you entertained. With ourcentral location and the wonder that is studentbeans.com eating out is easy and can often be very cheap.Whilst take-away options include the famous Kebab Kid (Peter’s easily get discount) and Noodlenation, localrestaurants such as Pizza Express, Ask, Zizzi are always offering 2 for 1. Also Wetherspoons is a cheap place toeat, whilst lunchtime snacks can be found at Mortons, La Baguette and other well-known shops near college.20Kebab Kid loves St Peter’s!


Getting connected in your room - what to bring:We recommend bringing a laptop as it’ll prevent you having to pack up your PC at the end ofevery term. Also it’ll mean you can take it to lectures and libraries with you. If you can alsobring a small printer with you, it could work out cheaper in the long run, although you can managequite easily without one. (That’s what friends are for.)All of the college rooms come with a high speed internet broadband connection. This comes from the Ethernetsocket in your room (not wireless), so you need to make sure that your PC/laptop has a socket for an Ethernetcable too. It should look like this:One thing you definitely need to bring with you is an Ethernet cable. Make sure it is a patch and not a crossovercable - ask when you buy it. We seriously recommend buying one before you arrive as last year Argos andStaples sold out in record time, leaving many students destitute and unable to check their Facebook and add alltheir splendid new friends. Some Ethernet cables were given out in the University Freshers’ Fair and there willbe a limited number for sale at St Peter’s, but don’t count on this as your sole means for obtaining one. However,if it’s not possible, don’t worry too much—stealing others’ internet is a great way to make friends (andhave a sneaky peek in their room) whilst the shops do restock!Usernames and PasswordsAt Oxford you will have a unique username and several passwords linked to it for different services.Your username will look like: spet1234 (‘spet’ is the unit name for St Peter's College). The usernameis identical for both Oxford University IT Services and St Peters College IT Services. Thereare differences between the services provided:The St Peters College’s Services include:Internet connectionsComputer Room machinesPrintingLibrary LaptopsThe Oxford University Services include:Your Oxford email servicesData backup servicesPersonal web spaceRemote Access (VPN)You will need to set a different password for your Oxford University and College services.


On activating your email account please register your Computer with St Peter’s by visitinghttp://gold.spc.ox.ac.uk. Along with the forms, there is valuable information about how to connectto the network and requirements to ensure your Laptop has been setup correctly.You must register here as soon as you activate your Oxford Email Account.College IT FacilitiesSt Peter’s College has a ‘Library Laptops’ scheme enabling you to borrow a College laptop for 3-hour sessions for use in the Library. These are kept behind the Lodge reception desk 24 hours aday. (You will be required to hand in your University Card as a deposit.)The main computer room and printing facilities are in Staircase II, Room 4. Additional printinglocations are in the main Library Entrance and Library Landing.Printing costs: Black and White on A4 is 4p; Colour on A4 is 15p. All printing charges will beadded onto your battels at the end of term.You are not permitted to bring any of your own Wireless routers or networking hubs etc.St Peter’s is part of the University Wireless Service - Information can be found at: http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/network/wireless/The network at Oxford University is for academic use. Recreational use is permitted but anybodyfound to be downloading using Peer-to-Peer (p-2-p) software such as BitTorrent,Limewire, Kazaa and other variations will be blocked and fined. You have been warned.If you are unsure please email it-support@spc.ox.ac.uk.There is a full list of network rules are detailed at: http://www.ict.ox.ac.uk/oxford/rules/http://nexus.ox.ac.uk - Your email accounthttp://gold.spc.ox.ac.uk - St Peter's IT Help Pages and Formshttp://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk - Oxford University Computing Serviceshttp://welcometoit.ox.ac.uk - A further help guideIt’s good to get your internet sorted out quickly, as other things quickly become more importantduring the excitement of Freshers’ week. Once you have set it up you’ll need to check youremail every day, as tutors tend to send numerous messages informing you of tutorial arrangements,extra lectures etc; and other facilities such as u-pay are all online.22


At Uni, you will be expected to spend money , but for many of you it will be the first time dealingwith outgoings for bills, rent and food rather than just clothes and going out! For some thestart of each term brings the eagerly-awaited deposit of student loans whilst the lucky ones ofyou will be draining your parent’s bank account with a monthly standing order. Either way,keeping an eye on your finances is as almost important as keeping an eye on your essays; time,research and organisation are key!Make a Budget and Monitor your SpendingMaking a budget can help you build up a picture of what you have coming in vs. what you arespending. Try keeping receipts and making a record at the end of each month of what you havespent to see whether you have stuck to your budget, and if you haven’t, where you can cutback.Also make sure you open all your bank and credit card statements – ignoring them doesnot mean they don’t exist! The biggest thing is to be realistic. Your budget should reflect yourfinancial situation, and not the financial situation of a wealthy Arab Sheikh (unless you are oneof course!). Internet banking is a useful thing to set up, and will become vital when you are livingout in your second year, so it is useful to get this set up.Where it is obvious that you are overspending don’t put off addressing the problem; instead,make time to sit down and reassess your finances. And don’t forget to budget for the vacationas well. Your income and expenditure will be different then, but remember you will be returningto university so don’t go crazy down Harvey Nic’s.BankingBanks love students and therefore offer a wide range of different incentives, but they are a fewthings you need to look out for:• Overdraft. Depending on your bank the size of the overdraft on their student account will differ.Most however should offer an interest free overdraft for the duration of your degree, whichyou will probably need to use at some point.• Free stuff. Most banks will offer free stuff with their student account ranging from travel cardsto music downloads. Find out what they are offering and go with the account that benefits youthe most – but don’t get sucked in by freebies only to find out that the deal on your account isn’tactually that great. Shop around.• Talk to your bank. If you are lucky enough to have some extra savings then you should discussthis with your bank and they should be able to tell where the best place is for your money. ISAsand online savings accounts are usually the highest interest.• Don’t go over your overdraft limit! Try not to cut into your overdraft too much but if it is necessarythen don’t go over the limit – bank charges can be pretty high!!It can take a couple of weeks to process a student bank account, in particular the overdraft, sowe recommend sorting it out now instead worrying about it during Freshers’ Week!


As well as student loans and parents, there are other sources of income available tostudents that often don’t need paying back! The JCR, the college itself and the Universityprovide various types of bursaries and grants for different needs, from helpingout with the general living costs to funding for trips, art projects and sportsequipment.The Oxford Opportunities Bursary is available from the University ‘for UK undergraduatestudents from low-income families who are eligible to receive both tuitionand maintenance support from the UK Government under the student supportregulations for variable fees’. Eligible students will receive their Bursary via the UniversityFinance Office. The University can see whether you are eligible for thisfrom your household income assessment in your student finance application.More information can be found out at: http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate_courses/student_funding/oxford_opportunity_bursaries/index.htmlOther sources of helpThe College can sometimes contribute towards the cost of academic projects andtrips. For students who have obligatory field trips (eg. geography, earth sciencesand Biology), the college has funds that can often pay for a part, if not the whole, ofthe costs. For personal trips, there are other grants, with deadlines often in March/April, that can go towards expenses as long as you prove you’ll be spending itwisely—these are available through the college and university.For advice on all funding matters, see the Student Finance Officer, Izzy McKeand(Monday to Thursday, 9.00—5.00).If you have any questions about receiving bursaries or eligibility, please contact JCRaccess rep Alex worth—alex.worth@spc.ox.ac.uk24


Credit and Store CardsDon’t go there! Store cards will just mean you have more things to worry about paying, and youcan get student discount in many places with your bodcard anyway. A debit card with a freeoverdraft is a better bet than a credit card, but if you do get one, make sure you pay it off everymonth.BattelsBattels are the bills that you have to pay to College by Monday of 2nd Week each term. Theycover rent, heating, electricity and hall food charges. Library fines, punt charges, boat club dinners(or similar) and photocopying can also be charged here too. If you have problems payingBattels on time, go and see the Student Finance Officer who will sort things out – please don'tkeep it to yourself. The college can often make loans if your student loan is delayed for somereason. Alternatively you can go and see the JCR welfare officers, who can give you advice too.Cutting CostsBuying Books – don’t go out and buy every book on your reading list, it will exhaust your overdraftvery quickly and you probably won’t read all of them anyway. Email your college parentsand ask them what books they’d recommend buying. Look on amazon.co.uk, where you oftenbuy copies with a large discount off the RRP. If you are buying second hand books, rememberthat for some subjects it’s only worth buying the most recent edition; older ones may be awaste of paper and money (not for English, though!) On the top floor of Blackwell’s you can getsecond hand books for 2/3rds of the cost of new books. The college library lets you borrowbooks for a month , and even then it is only a simple online renewal process to allow you toborrow them for longer.Getting a JobDue to the short terms and heavy workload, you will have very little time for a job. The collegedoes offer some paid employment, mainly, the opportunity to work in the bar; not a massivetime commitment (usually 4 nights a term) but gives you a bit more cash in the pot. There arealso thing such as staying in the Christmas vac to help with interviews. Your long vacation in thesummer is probably the best time for you seek employment, as you will probably want a breakduring the Easter and Christmas vacations as well have having to prepare for the next term.LinksA really useful site with lots of money saving tips is:http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/Oxford University Financial Informationhttp://www.admissions.ox.ac.uk/finance/Department for Education and Skills Guide to Student Financehttp://www.dfes.gov.uk/studentsupport/BBC One Life Guide to Student Fundinghttp://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onelife/education/index.shtml?fundingtopicsThe JCR


Short for the Junior Common Room, this is where you find something to do when you don’twant to work. There are newspapers galore, including the Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Mail andSun as well as the two student papers, the Cherwell and (OUSU funded) Oxford Student (Oxstufor short). If you’d rather not look at any more words, there’s a big plasma TV with Sky. This providesa great communal area for watching things such as political elections or big sports events.There are also regular film nights organised by the Entz rep.If that doesn’t keep you away from the library, there is the considerable attraction of the pooltable, the scene of much bonding and many a battle last year. It is a paltry 40p a game or 3games for a pound. There is free table football and a tennis table too. Despite injury to some ofthe little soldiers (decapitation seriously affecting the red team’s midfield), the table football isin good working order and an endless source of distraction from education. Also, for those wholike sport but prefer to play it electronically, the Wii has prime position amongst our other gamemachines.The quiz machine has a cult following, and rather like a cult leader, it takes money from worshippingmasses and offers only dubious enlightenment in return. Some will argue that it is generousto a select few but generally it only pays out after the guy before has put in his studentloan. There are many such people though, so it may one day be your lucky day…The BarThe bar was newly rebuilt and refurbished recently; unlike many other colleges, it is fully student-runand staffed (look out for jobs advertised each term which will beef up your bank balancea bit), and a great place to start a night out or just go for a quiet drink in the evening witha couple of friends. The bar has a great collection of memorabilia on the walls (look out for theinevitable nudity in JCR fun photos) which gives it a distinctive Peter’s character, and the JohnnyFraser memorial garden is a good place to sip your beer/lemonade on warmer days in Trinityterm. The bar is also home to St Peter’s college drink—Cross-Keys, which consists of five shotsand has a unique aftertaste, not unlike paint-stripper!Prices are very reasonable, and any profit goes straight back into the running of the bar, so thatthe managing team can continue to improve it, for your benefit. If you ever have any suggestionsor queries, get in touch with Jonny Torrance (bar manager) (jonny.torrance@spc.ox.ac.uk)who will be happy to take them on board. And otherwise – enjoy it, (in responsible moderation,of course!)The PuntsThe JCR hires a punt from Magdalen Bridge each Trinity Term – you’ll hear more about thisnearer the time. If you’ve paid the punt charge, you can book the punt for free as many timesas your plans allow. You shouldn’t miss this opportunity to use it as many times as possible – it’sthe perfect way to while away one of those rare work-free afternoons, or prove to your friendsthat you really are an Oxford stereotype, as you sip a glass of Pimms.26


The LibraryYou’ll soon find out that people will use the college library in varying amounts. Whilst some findit to be the perfect place to work all day, free from the distractions of their room, others use itjust for getting books, or indeed not at all. It's unlikely you'll find all the books for your coursehere (often the college may have a book, but not enough copies to go around) and you'll haveto make the odd trip to faculty libraries, but the college library is a really useful resource(complete with photocopier, computers and fancy self-issuing book machine), that is fantasticallyclose to home and open 24 hours a day. If you're fond of delaying writing your essay andpulling all nighters, you may also find the library a good place to make friends. Seats in the upperlibrary are often more contested than those in the ground floor, lower library which issomewhat deprived of natural light!The PhotocopierThis pile of plastic and metal with a mind of its own is found outside the upper library door andswallows money like there’s no tomorrow (5p per copy into JCR coffers). You buy a photocopyingcard from the Finance Office. Tell Zavvi Lever (the food, housing & amenities officer) if itneeds more paper, or if it’s urgent, ask at the lodge. You may be able to photocopy for free inyour faculty library, though, so it is worth checking there first.The Music Room (social/academic, depending on your subject!)This is definitely one of the nicest music rooms in the University. It’s a large airy room situatedabove the MCR (Middle Common Room) opposite Chavasse and next to New Block. It boasts agrand piano and an electronic drum kit. It can be booked for rehearsals/ practices as long as youfill in a booking form and send it to the music tutor about a week before hand. You may also beable to practise on the piano in the chapel, with permission – ask at the lodge for details ofboth.Then ...And now....The JCR has always been an integral part of life at St Peter’s.Photo courtesy of Rachel Chew.


SHOPS & RESTAURANTSDue to our central location, pretty much everything you need is within walking distance of college.We’re right by the high street, which is lined with shops including all the usual high streetchains and a few more unusual places too. There are two shopping malls within three minuteswalk from college: Westgate (which boasts a massive Primark) and the Clarendon Centre, andthere’s a large Debenhams too. There are also a lot of quirky boutiques in the covered market,which is also home to the Alpha Salad Bar and the rightly famous Ben’s Cookies.If you need to stock up on food, shampoo or other essentials then Westgate also has a Sainsbury’sin it. There is also a smaller late-opening Sainsbury’s Local on St Giles (just round the cornerfrom Debenhams, and only 5 mins walk from college). That branch closes at 11pm Mon-Sat,but whacks an extra 10p or so on everything for the privilege. Both Sainsbury’s branches are notoriousfor their queues, but these are often not as bad for the self-service checkouts.We’re right opposite the Castle complex, which has a range of restaurants and bars including aKrispyKreme, Pizza Express and a new Wetherspoons pub. For chicken lovers there’s a Nandosfurther down George Street. Jamie’s Italian, just opposite the end of New Inn Hall Street, is thefirst in Jamie Oliver’s new chain, designed to be accessible to the student budget. Other nearbyhighlights include La Baguette, The Mission (brilliant and very filling Mexican burritos) andother chains—our best advice, hit Studentbeans.com and see which are offering the best offers(usually 2 for 1) and availability.CLUBSWe have quite few nightclubs in Oxford which cater to a range of different music tastes. Studentnights are mainly week nights, although P.T’s is a standard post-bop haunt. Here are details onthe main ones, though there are more.KukuiKukui is one of St Peter’s most-frequented nightclubs. Situated in Park End, Kukui on a Tuesdayand Friday night is a favourite of Peterites, particularly following the mayhem that is SPC Rugbydrinks in the bar on a Tuesday. It’s a club themed around palm trees and tropical fish (yes, theyuse piranhas as lampshades). If you want a sophisticated night out, Kukui probably isn’t theplace for you. If you want to dance to cheesey pop music, have a good laugh, and don’t mindgetting a bit sweaty and crowded, join the queue!The BridgeAnother very popular, slightly larger venue. Big nights are normally Tuesday and Thursday. TheBridge plays commercial R’n’B on the ground floor, and cheese and dance on the first floor. Atthe Bridge, Peter’s own the pole as well! So when you’re there let other colleges know.28


Lava/IgniteBig nights are Wednesday nights—it’s now become THE night for Oxford sports teams. Muchlarger than The Bridge/ Kukui, with three separate rooms and bars. Plays cheese and dance onthe larger bottom floor and RnB and Hip-hop on the smaller dance floor upstairs, with dance onthe big dance floor upstairs. Lava is always a wicked night. Plus if you really like RnB, Hip-hopand dancehall and don’t mind going clubbing in Oxford on a non-student night then this is agood club to go to on a Saturday as well, although entry fee and drinks prices become very expensiveat weekends.The CellarEclectric nights run here every other Thursday (the other happens in Babylove bar) and is agood night for anyone looking for an alt/indie scene away from hip-hop and dance music.Hit’N’Run is the drum’n’bass night every other Wednesday. In the same place, Sunday Roast involveschilled funk and is often a breath of fresh air from the standard music you hear in Oxford.Often uses student bands. One big cellar next door to the Purple Turtle and the Union.Purple Turtle (PTs)Free for members of the Oxford union, and standard entry fee of a fiver to everyone else. Popularwith the college, especially for bop after-parties. Another underground venue with cheaperdrinks and low doorways. PT’s is dirty, dank and cramped, and Peter’s loves it. Post bops youcan find a sweaty mass of bodies dancing with reckless abandon, wearing remnants of costume.Clementines (Clems)Not as popular a venue as the others, probably due to its location slightly out of the centre atthe Magdalen roundabout. It plays commercial RnB, pop and cheese. A Saturday night venuewhich can be a great laugh if enough of you go, and worth heading to as an after-party if youare at an earlier event in the immediate area.Cowley/Oxford BrookesThe Pleasuredome is the Oxford Brookes union building and is huge and an amazing night. It’s achance to get away from the nights you are used to in Oxford, and enjoy seriously cheap drinks,hip hop, R&B and dance. They have live acts sometimes too.The O2 AcademyThis is in Cowley and is a venue that gets some great bands, as well as hosting some great clubnights; Fuzzy Ducks runs every Wednesday and is one of the biggest nights in Oxford and goodfor a big occasion like a birthday.Clubbing in Oxford is divided between two large Entz companies, Pulse and Rockentz, that puton different nights throughout the week at certain clubs, and charge different prices. Joiningtheir facebook groups are good ways of seeing what nights they are putting on, although themessages might get a bit annoying! Freshers’ week is our chance to show you our personal favourites,St Peter’s style.


PUBSWhere there are students, there are going to be places for them to drink. It follows logically,then, that in such an old university city there will be hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of pubs withinstaggering distance of your front door. For the discerning drinker who prefers a pint and a goodconversation to a sweaty dance floor and vomit-covered shoes, Oxford is pub paradise. Fromthe tiny back-street charms of The Bear to the busy Turf Tavern, Oxford’s worst kept secret,there are old pubs oozing with character to suit every drinker, andevery occasion. Sitting in the heart of the southern brewery territory,every pub in Oxford has at least one real ale on draught; White HorseBrewery and the excellent Wychwood range of ales are always firmfavourites. Also, there are a few pubs located out of town, such asThe Perch or The Head of the River, but similar to city centre pubs,their locations mean high prices!OTHERFilmThere’s two Odeon cinemas, located at the bottom of the road from college and near the Sainsbury'slocal, showing all the big blockbusters, whilst the Phoenix cinema, about 15 minutes’walk away in Jericho screens a wider mix including foreign language and arthouse pictures. TheUltimate Picture Palace in Cowley is an undiscovered gem which offers a cheap, slightly shabbyexperience which makes you feel as if you’ve been catapulted back a couple of decades. If youbecome a member of the Oxford Union, their library offers a wide collection of DVDs for rent.TheatreThere are lots of theatres, all very close to college, which put on some very high standard playsthroughout the year, many (if not most) of which are student productions. You’ll soon start gettinglots of flyers and emails about what’s on, and there are invariably several plays to choosefrom almost every night, aswell as many student/college drama companies to audition for if youwish to get involved yourself.MuseumsOxford is unsurprisingly littered in Museums. The University museum is located between theScience area and Uni Parks, and features skeletons, fossils and rocks collected over its history.Alongside this museum is the Pitts River Museum which looks at the anthropological side of theearth. The newly renovated Ashmolean is just a five minute walk from college, and offers a bitof everything. Best of all, museums are free!SportsThere is an ice-skating rink just past Park End Street, and an outdoor pool (Hinksey pool) off theAbingdon Road. Also, each member of the JCR is entitled to free membership at Iffley Roadgym, in the Iffley sports centre which has an indoor pool. The gym is located shortly off MagadelenBrigde on Iffley Road and has CV equipment and weights. The gym also provides otherclasses, such as circuits and houses many of Oxford sports clubs. SPC boat club is located(unsurprisingly) by the river, a ten minute walk down the canal path on the right –hand side asyou approach it from the street.30


One thing which can lead to confusion for the Oxford fresher is the question of the two ‘unions’.The two big boys on the university political block, the Oxford University Student Union and theOxford Union are two very different things, not in the least by the fact that you are automaticallya member of one and not the other. If you are not already enlightened, then let me elucidate…OUSUOxford University Student Union (OUSU for short) is the official student union, representing theviews of all students to the university and also nationally on a wider political level as part of theNational Union of Students (NUS). As well as giving voice to student views, it provides a widerange of services, including a strong welfare support network and resources to assist JCRs aswell as individual students. Many of your JCR committee members may have been trained atOUSU. It also runs the big university Freshers’ Fair at the end of Freshers’ week, and heads acampaign to widen access to Oxford. All students are automatically members of OUSU and eligibleto vote for its officers in the elections. It may lack the glamour and high profile of the OxfordUnion (see below), but it is an incredibly important body which provides a lot more in terms ofservices and support than many students realise – it’s worth looking at their website to get areal sense of what they provide. OUSU offices are on Bonn Square, about 30 seconds from college,which is also the headquarters of The Oxford Student, the official student newspaper publishedby OUSU. To gain more information please contact your JCR OUSU rep Florence Barnes—florence.barnes@spc.ox.ac.uk or see the website: http://www.ousu.org/mainThe Oxford UnionThe Oxford Union Society (usually just called ‘the Oxford Union’ or ‘the union’) is a privatemembers’ club situated on St. Michael’s Street. A prestigious debating society, the union hostscompetitions, as well as weekly debates featuring students and guest contributors. Famousspeakers appear regularly, and the society also runs numerous social events throughout theyear, including a ball every term and an annual trip to Paris. It does not represent the studentbody, and is in fact entirely separate to the university, but with a membership comprising alarge proportion of the total students, it plays a prominent role in Oxford life – or Oxford gossip,at least. The Union runs a cheap bar and The Purple Turtle nightclub – to go to either afterFreshers’ week you must be a member, after which entry to the club is free. Life membershipcosts around £190, (discount during Freshers’ week at £170) but they also offer lower ‘access’price (see website for details).The Union is not to everybody’s taste, and it’s worth deciding how much you think you woulduse your membership before buying it, but it certainly provides access to a wide range of socialopportunities as well as the chance to see celebrity speakers and engage in debating.http://www.oxford-union.org/homeYou’ll often end up reading about these two in the student newspapers, and can often findyourself mauled by people trying to coerce you to vote for them. People who do this are called‘hacks’ by University newspaper gossip columns.


Along with your male and female welfare officers, Catherine and Taz, we have a whole team ofPeer Supporters at College that are here to help out with any problems you may have, confidentiallyand for free. They have all attended training sessions and know how to cope with anysituations and their phone numbers are posted around college. They’ll be around a lot in Freshers’Week, expect to see them during Freshers’ Rehab in the JCR post-club! Don’t forget all yourJCR and Freshers committees care about your welfare and are happy to help with any problemsas best as we can. The official college Tutor for Welfare, Henrietta Leyser, is also a very reliableperson to turn to, and can help you approach your tutors if you have issues that may affect yourwork (although we hope you never do!) You can approach Henrietta at any time in Staircase IV,Room 16; she has an open door policy.Twice a week, there are Peer Support Drop-Ins ("Just Drop In!"). During these, one or more peersupporters will be in the Theberge room (although this may change, posters will be going up inFreshers’ Week) for you to come and chat about any problems you have, or anything you wantto get off your chest. Anything from problems settling in to worries with work, we'll do our bestto help and support you, and also, just to listen. We also have good links with the Universitycounselling services and can be your first point of call if you want to get in touch with them.Also if you want free contraception we'll be able to help you with that too. We are currentlyworking on replacing the Safex condoms machines with fully stocked Durex machines. At themoment, you can get durex condoms, pregnancy tests, attack alarms and earplugs from yourcollege welfare officers, completely free.As well as the drop-ins there are other welfare events each week. Sunday afternoons are famousfor men’s and women's teas. These are great chances for the guys and girls to get togetherand chat, eat and hang out and will be put on by members of the welfare team. Wednesdaysalso witness welfare tea madness with a joint session for anyone in college who fancies itand will take place in the JCR or just outside (depending on the weather). Take advantage of thefree food to unwind at the end of the week or break up those mid-week blues!As if all this welfare love wasn't enough, we've gone one step further and given you college parents!Both of your parents will be second years, one will be studying the same subject as youwhereas your other parent won't. This ensures that if you need help with your work, social lifeor anything else there will be two loving parents willing and ready to help you out!There will also be other welfare events this term which we'll let you know more about nearerthe time (look out for our welfare posters!). Recently introduced, ‘Welfare Drinks’ have beenoccurring once a term on a Thursday– before formal hall you are entitled to a few drinks on thehouse at the college bar and get to schmooze with the dean and various tutors (including HenriettaLeyser, our own college tutor for welfare, see above) and discuss any points of concern.Oxford WelfareStudent Advice Service (SAS); Telephone: (01865) 288 641; e-mail: welfare@ousu.org or drop into the OUSU Offices in Bonn Square.32


The SAS is a service run by the Oxford University Student Union. It is an impartial, confidentialadvice and information service, and can advise on a whole range of issues from pregnancy tohousing problems to academic issues.Nightline - Tel. 270 270, 16 Wellington Square.Nightline is a listening and information service run by trained student volunteers. The office isopen from 8pm until 8am. If you want to talk things over with someone, telephone or drop inpersonally. There are always two people on duty, one male, and one female. They can call youback or accept reverse charges if you’re calling from a 01865 (Oxford) number. Nightline is runby students who are not a branch of any counselling service and, though not professionals, arewell-trained and dedicated. All calls are treated sympathetically and in the strictest confidence.Nightline can help you with a wider range of things than you might imagine, and they also provideinformation on just about anything you could imagine. So if it’s the middle of the night andyou want to get a condom, but don’t know where to go, or if you’ve just finished a really difficultessay and everyone else in college is asleep, but if you want a chat, then give them a ring.Nightline volunteers need talking to at four in the morning too! Nightline is always looking fornew volunteers, look out for information at University Freshers’ Fair or posters in College. It’sone of Oxford’s most worthwhile things to do.University Counselling Service, Tel. 270 300, 11Wellington Square.Run by professionals for members of the University, they deal with a wide range of issues affectingpeople’s lives, whether social, academic or personal. You might like to use it in times ofcrisis or in a more developmental and exploratory way. The staff are a mixture of full and parttimeprofessionals who, as well as dealing with broad counselling issues, have specialist skills inareas such as study related issues and anxiety management. Help is usually offered on a one-toonebasis, but there are also groups, which cover topics such as communications skills, examanxiety and sexuality. The centre is open from 9am to 5.15pm, Monday to Friday (check vacationtimes). Appointments can be made by telephone or by a personal visit.The Samaritans, Tel. 722 122, 123 Iffley Road.You can phone 24 hours a day, or call in at the centre Monday to Friday 8am to 10pm. They willaccept local reverse charges. The Samaritans are a nation-wide organisation particularly involvedwith the despairing or suicidal, but anyone who simply wants to talk is welcome. Theyare not a religious organisation and treat all calls confidentially.Oxford Women’s Line, Tel. 726 295 Open Monday to Thursday 7pm to 9pm, Wednesday 2pm to10pm, Friday 2pm to 4pm.They provide a sympathetic ear and advice to women who have been sexually assaulted. Othersources of help may be found in the Oxford Handbook or from the JCR Welfare Officers.A final tip...Not strictly welfare, but in Oxford there are various organisations that act as a chaperone if youever find yourself lonesome on a night out. The Safety Bus is run jointly by Oxford Brookes Students’Union and OUSU. It was set up to provide a safe means of transport late at night. To usethe service simply ring 07714 445050 between 9 p.m.–3 a.m. Monday to Saturdays and 9 p.m.–1 a.m. on Sundays. The bus will pick you up and deliver you to any destination within the ringroad.


Sports and other Societies at SPCAt Oxford, extra-curricular activities occur at two levels; either through the University or with acollege. Enthusiasm and enjoyment are the key to getting involved or starting a sport at St Peter’s.University sports teams take people from all colleges, so it is harder to gain a place on aUniversity team for some of the more popular sports. Some sports, such as martial arts, shootingor watersports occur solely as University-wide sports clubs, as they cannot feasibly be runseparately within each college. The Oxford University Freshers’ fair will let you se all the differentactivities throughout the University, however Peter’s itself is a huge hub of activities,whether sport, music, art or drama!SPORT AT PETER’SPeter’s prowess in sport is renowned throughout the University...however which sport and atwhat time of the year is often left to chance. Just some of the sports available at Peter’s:Rowing Football Rugby Netball Cricket Table FootballTable Tennis Tennis Lacrosse Badminton Hockey Rounders CroquetOver the last couple of years, girls have set up their own society called the Ladies Lawn SportsSociety (LLSS for short!) for Rounders and Cricket, where basically ANYTHING GOES and wehave a dedicated sports rep to help out any new teams!Each team has their own mantra for practices and matches. In your first couple of weeks, trialsand tryouts will be occurring alongside practices and the start of season matches, get involved,get bonding and get representing—or at least keep fit! You’ll be able to meet the captains andsign up at our own Freshers’ Fair, on the Saturday of Freshers’ week.A bit more on rowing...In your first year there will be lots of opportunities for you to experience that most Oxford ofsports—rowing. In Michaelmas term there is the Christ Church Regatta, a competition solely forpeople who have not rowed previously. In Hilary term, the competition Torpids runs in a differentway; points are gained for bumping another boat. This also occurs in the Summer Eightscompetition in Trinity term. All SPC boat crews intend to work harder than ever over the courseof the next year, with the ultimate aim of ‘blades’ - though this, of course, is a goal alwaysplaced secondary to just having fun and enjoying mornings on the river.Nick Fulton (Men’s Captain)Zoe Apostolides (Women’s Captain)Tom Lewis (Boat Club President)You’ll be seeing them throughout Freshers’ week probably in some too-close fitting lycra encouragingyou all to get on a ‘erg’ and improve your ‘split’!34


ARTS AT PETER’SAs with many Oxford colleges, St. Peter’s takes the arts seriously, but at the same time has avery relaxed and open-minded attitude towards people’s ideas and involvement. Regular opportunitiesfor artistic expression include open mic nights, jazz evenings, jam sessions, andother recitals and performances hosted in college, as well as the opportunity to contribute tothe termly publications of the college arts magazine, MISC, or the satirical Peterphile. Peter’sstudents are often ‘famously’ involved in drama, both within college and the university as awhole. For freshers, the drama cuppers competition in Michaelmas term offers a great opportunityto act in and produce short plays, even if it’s your first time. This year, St Peter’s hasstarted its own drama society ’Cross Keys’ which put on its successful debut production in Trinityterm. Every Trinity all our Arts events culminate in ARTS WEEK; this year included everythingfrom painting to creative writing and even a short film competition. The most important thingfor the Arts at Peter’s is ideas and involvement, there really is something for everyone.MUSIC AT PETER’SThere are a variety of opportunities to play music at St. Peter’s, both in a formal and informalcontext. For your own personal or group practice it is possible to book the music room, or usethe chapel, both of which have pianos in them. More formal musical activities include thetwice weekly evensong performed by the Chapel Choir, with auditions taking place in 0 th week.Other classically orientated musical activity includes the fortnightly series of student recitals onTuesday lunchtimes, with additional recitals together with large scale orchestral concerts. Lessformal musical activities include open mic nights and jam sessions in the college bar, in which avariety of people often get involved. This year Peter’s alternativechoir has also delighted members of SPC with its renditions of manyDisney classics.OTHER SOCIETIES AT PETER’SAt Peter’s there is more than just sport, music, art and drama. Manyget involved in societies inside and outside of Peter’s that can oftentake up just as much time as any sport!The SPCCU, or St Peter’s College Christian Union provides a huge wealth of support and meettogether to pray, discuss and to support one another within the college, as well as meeting togetherwith Christians from other colleges once every two weeks. Most meetings are quite informal,and everyone will have a chance to contribute. For more information, their website ishttp://oiccu.org.uk/stp/.Many of Peter’s students have set up their own societies and charities, such as the Oxhub website(a website connecting students with charitable causes). The ball committee comprised ofsecond years are currently beginning to make preparations for the SPC ball at the end of Trinity2011. Let’s not forget the JCR committee as well - the time will roll round very quickly when youwill soon be able to start thinking about elections!


If you want reassurance, here it is. Real, actual members of SPC JCR telling youthat tutors are not unreasonable and the workload for any subject is manageablewith organization and efficiency. Many of you will have, by now, received yoursummer reading list and may be looking at it with horror. We hope these subjectreports prove that academic life at Peter’s is both challenging and manageable!LawWelcome to St Peter’s!! You’ve picked easily the least intimidating and friendliest college in Oxfordand one of the most interesting subjects! One of the best things about starting to studylaw is that nobody has done it before so there is no need to panic because no-one expects youto be able to do it straight away. Law is a great course because of the sheer variety within it. Youwill study two modules every term (one of these modules is taught fortnightly so stretches overtwo terms) and all the modules are totally different. If you’ve particularly enjoyed a module youmight be able to do something similar in third year and if you haven’t you only have to put upwith it for 8 weeks. There’s loads of discussion in law, it’s definitely not just a matter of learninglots of cases. You will be expected to have an opinion and to voice it, this might be intimidatingat first but you will soon get used to it and find that it gives you a lot of confidence and forcesyou to become much more involved in the subject which then makes it a lot more interesting.The main skill that you will learn in your first year is learning to think like a lawyer, it will happenwithout you even realising! Things that seemed intimidating at first like referring to cases andforming a legal argument will be second nature to you by the end of the year and will certainlytake you a lot less time than it did to start with. One of the best and worst things about studyinglaw is that you have your exams at the end of the second term, which is earlier than everyoneelse (except the theologians). Although its annoying having your exams at a different timeto everyone else it does mean that you get them out of the way early on and then you are freeto enjoy the summer term, which is easily the best 8 weeks in Oxford, without any stress. A majoradvantage of St Peter’s is that we have our very own law library. Not only is this really convenientbut it also means that the three years of law students get to know each other reallywell and so there are always plenty of people around to answer any questions you have. So enjoythe rest of your summer, don’t worry too much about any summer reading you are given todo and looking forward to meeting you in October! Katherine Parkinson.EnglishLets not lie, we’re not Chemists. We don’t have labs all day, we don’t have hours of compulsorylectures and we don’t have a million tutorials a week. Comparatively we are freeeeee! But thething is, to do well studying English at St. Peter’s you have to love it! You have to love reading,you have to love thinking about literature and you have to love talking and writing about it too,because although our schedules are not exactly packed full of compulsory activities it pervadesevery aspect of your daily life. You will find literature and art in things you never thought youwould! When you find something you love you’re going to really want to read about it, but of36


TheologyIf you’re reading this because you’re going to be studying theology, feel smug. If you’re not goingto be, feel jealous. Life as a theologian consists of swanning around, writing barely an essaya week, waking up late without consequence and generally doing very little. Whilst scientistswill be up for labs and lectures at 9 a.m everyday, the Theologian is the academic equivalent ofthe sloth. Slow, purposeful- but wise. Crafty. Ok, so maybe sloths aren't the best example.We're more like the leisurely bastard offspring of an owl and a fox. A Fowl. Errr, that isn't good.Crap. Anyway, throwing the straws of Shit metaphor aside which I'm desperately clutching,you’re going to be reading Theology at SPC. So, here are some facts.One of the most varied courses in Oxford, you'll broadly have to do some Biblical studies, historyand doctrine. If you’re doing Philosophy as well, (a PhilThe, as you'll come to be known!),you'll get the joys of logic, Mill and Descartes, among other options. The courses vary onlyslightly in the first year- if you’re a Theologian you have the daunting task of learning a dead(boring) language- either Greek or Hebrew normally (other languages are being introduced aswell, eg. Quranic Arabic!). However, the tuition is excellent- even I managed to get through itwell enough in Prelims despite my inability to even string 2 words together in French! You candrop it after 2 terms anyway, so it is a small price to pay. Of course, you may love the language,become a professional Greek scholar and argue about the meaning of obscure propositions as acareer. However, before your up, you'll get language summer work. Generally, as a rule, ignoringall summer reading lists and work is possible. However, do the language work. Do it well. Do alittle more than required. The last thing you want in freshers’ week is introductory sessionswhere you need to think and learn the morning after the night before. Trust me. O, and beforeall you PhilThes boastfully laugh at our linguistic lament, however, you'll have the joys of logicclasses and logic sheets- so things work out fairly evenly between the single and joint honoursschool!In the first year, all Theologians and PhilThe's offer 3 papers for Prelims. Both must do a paperon Mark's Gospel, usually taught at Mansfield college, with the option to do either Old Testamentor the interdisciplinary study of religions as the second paper. Theologians then offer alanguage and PhilThes a Philosophy module.The only real difference between Theology, as a single or joint school, from most subjects, is thetiming of exams. The double edged sword of examinations means that along with lawyers, wehave our preliminary exams a term earlier than any other subject. No one knows why. Some saythat is because the signs of the zodiac align better in Hilary term. Others, that early examinationsenable theologians to affirm their status as lazy, work shy cretins in Trinity. Whilst thisdoes mean that Hilary term can be a stressful time, the subsequent Trinity term in one of thefinest in Oxford- in comparison to your peers! A lack of summer exams means that the GreatBritish summer can be enjoyed in all its glory- picnics in the rain, punting in the rain, Pimm's inthe rain- what more could you possibly want? I've even managed to catch cold writing this onmy laptop, in the rain! Following the tyranny of exams, you can choose 3 broad tracks for rest ofyour degree: Biblical studies, history and doctrine, or world religions. The choice of both Theologyand Philosophy and Theology means that you get to dabble in just about every academicfield you want. Which is nice. Any further questions (don't ask me about the existence of God)e-mail peter.oconnor@spc.ox.ac.uk, or facebook stalk me. I'll happily answer anything you haveto ask! Peter O'Connor.38


Earth Sciences‘Earth sciences, is that like geology?’ Well yes... and no. Congratulations and welcome to themost fun, friendly and diverse course in Oxford. With an intake of only around 30-ish a year, theDepartment of Earth Sciences is a small and close knit community where you’ll soon get toknow everyone else in your year. This will be helped greatly by the field trips which you’ll undertakein your time here and which form the lifeblood for the study of earth sciences. Soon afteryou arrive in Oxford in fact (the end of 3 rd week) you’ll all head off to Wales for the weekend.Trips like these will continue throughout the time you’re in Oxford, and provide a greatlearning environment where you can observe the processes you’re being taught in lectures andwill allow you to visit beautiful and geologically significant places. So why’s is called ‘earth sciences’then and not geology? Well, expect in your time here to be given a rigorous education in‘classic’ geology, with subjects in the first year including igneous and sedimentary petrology,geological maps and palaeontology (Note: don’t worry if you’re coming in with no previousbackground in geology, I’d never studied it properly before coming here either). However, in additionto this you will also take a maths course, which sadly usually involves 9 o’clock lectures(but they are well worth going to, they make doing the work much easier), be taught fundamentalsof physics, chemistry and biology which are relevant to the study of the earth and alsostudy topics related to the dynamic aspects of the earth such as seismology and physical atmosphericand ocean science. Teaching principally takes place in lectures, often supplemented byproblem classes, and in lab sessions involving examination of rock specimens, fossils and the interpretationof geological maps. Supplementing this will be the tutorials, which you can probablyexpect two of per week. One will be based on the geology/earth sciences aspects of thecourse and may involve preparing an essay or presentation, completing a problem sheet ormaking careful observations on geological specimens. In addition to this will be a maths tutorial,for which preparatory work for involves completing a set of problems related to the materialcovered in the lectures that week. Now, that may all sound like a lot of work, but we earthscientists like to have a bit (a lot) of fun too. That’s where GeolSoc comes in. They’ll be organisingevents throughout the year, from guest speakers to cocktail nights and the traditional Christmasand Summer Dinners.That’s about it, so if there’re any questions please do feel free to drop me an e-mail atadam.robinson@spc.ox.ac.uk, and I look forward to seeing you in October when we have ourlovely, shiny new building – it’s going to be great. Adam Robinson.ChemistryI chose to take a degree in Chemistry, not only because I get geekily excited by it all, but becauseI knew it would be challenging. Taking Chemistry in Oxford is a gladiator short ofa gauntlet! But it's been an exciting ride so far, so don't get discouraged. First year throws youstraight into the four main divisions of Chemistry: Organic, Inorganic, Physical and Maths. Contraryto my initial hope these subjects remain fairly well divided all year and so if you ever getoverwhelmed and feel like you've taken on four degrees and not one, don't worry- we've allbeen there! As well as a pretty rigorous lecture timetable and what at first feels like mountainsof tutorial work each week you also get thrown into twelve hours of labs over two consecutivedays a week. Labs at Oxford can sometimes feel a bit like trial through fire, especially as you’renot always given the best direction, but everyone seems to get through it, and some of the experimentsare pretty fun if you get excited by pretty colours and fire like me. This basically


means that the one thing I have definitely learned this year, or at least started to do, is how toorganise myself. The work can easily run away with you so self-discipline is key; especially inconsolidating the work you've done during term time in the vacations. Although it’s quitetough going at times, I have really enjoyed my first year. There is, contrary to some of your tutors’belief, time to get involved in other activities like sports or choirs or rowing or whatevertakes your fancy- there’s so many different things going on all year so I’d definitely advise havingsome activity that takes you away from the Chemistry bubble for a while! Being in Oxford is asmuch a privilege as it can be a pressure so my best advice really is work hard for what you wantto achieve and enjoy yourself! Sarah Galloway.Arch and Anth.Congratulations freshers for getting into Peter’s to study the weird and wonderful world of archaeologyand anthropology. Firstly, this college has an epic bar. Secondly, only doing arc/anthcan you learn to justify Freshers’ Week as a rite of passage and legitimately discuss bar Olympicsin a tute. Arc/anth involves 8 essays a week for the first term then 12 each for the final twoterms. The lectures aren’t compulsory (although they do come recommended!) and there are 5a week. Most of the lectures are at the Institute, a 5 minute walk from Peter’s, so even if you’readverse to an early morning start you can still stagger over there. I found the ‘Principles of HumanEvolution’ by Lewin and Foley, and ‘Archaeology: theories, methods and practice’ by Renfrewand Bahn to be particularly helpful for the essays. Don’t worry too much about any readinglist you may get before you arrive here; reading lists pre-uni are just meant to give you a flavourof the subject so it’s up to you whether or not you pick up a book. Make sure you enjoythe summer and see you next year.And remember, only doing arc/anth can you learn about bizarre groups of people like the Naciremawhere the men lacerate their faces and the women bake their heads in small ovens! AndrewLlloyd-Harris.Physics.Physics is definitely not an easy subject, but if you commit early and keep up it's highly rewarding.The teaching staff at Peter's put as much time in to your tuition as they can spare fromtheir research (and your head tutor is the head of astrophysics). No matter how busy they are,they are only an email away and will always get back to your questions, queries or even askingfor a reference for a summer placement. The college library has recently had its physics section(upstairs, by the awesome cabinet) revamped with plenty of new first year textbooks, so youwill never need to go into the dungeons of the RSL, and the friendly atmosphere that is everywherein Peter's means that if you ever need help another physicist will always be around topoint out that your problem would be ten times easier in polar coordinates...In your first year you'll start off with a lot of maths to bring everyone up to the same mathematicalspeed, and then move on to proper physics like Electromagnetism and Normal Modesand Waves in Hilary. Trinity is largely revision with a short option that you choose from QuantumIdeas, Astrophysics and a horrible maths module that no one in their right mind shouldever do. Ok, maybe it's not that bad, but seriously - do quantum instead. The short option is interestingbut you don't need to pass it to pass the year so during Trinity remember to stay focussedon the main modules.If you let work slip then it can be easy to go under, but keep at it and you'll get used to the40


workload, learn to love differential equations and realise that physics is the best thing in the entireworld! Simon Clark.Languages (spec. Spanish and Portuguese.)Doing languages at Peter’s is great. Not only, can they certainly be considered one of the college’sstrengths, with excellent resources, but also the linguists are a really good bunch of people.In terms of Spanish, before coming up I had not read anything at all (so really don’t worry ifyou are in the same position) but in retrospect I would recommend reading a little as it is hardto do so in the term! Thankfully, doing two languages you should never have two essays in thesame week. Of course this can sometimes not be true, but the tutors do try and accommodateyour other language as much as possible.Portuguese was more of a challenge for me, starting it completely from scratch. I did not knowanything about the language before the pre-sessional course (once again I would recommendhaving a little look at the basics since this will definitely help you in the first term). However, thetutors on the course were lovely and you will definitely see yourself improve throughout theyear. Portuguese, being so small, definitely has its benefits. It is a brilliant way of integratingwith people at other colleges and in other years, since the department love putting on Portugueseevents. I hope this does not seem to be too daunting because I have had such a brillianttime doing languages and nothing was as scary as I had imagined it to be before. So enjoy thesummer and I look forward to meeting you all in Freshers’ week! Hannah Bowers.Medicine.Firstly, congratulations on getting into medicine and doubley congratulations for getting intoSPC, where all the best medics end up.I dont think you need to be told that you will work hard next year (and every year after that)and you are doing something wrong if you get a 4pm lie in like the historians, but you will havean absolute riot too. One of the best things about medicine is that we get to make loads offriends at other colleges while we are trying to stay awake looking at rat kidney down a microscopein histology classes or battling the urge to vom during a post-night-out anatomy sesh.Most of your time will be spent up at the MSTC (Medical Sciences Teaching Centre) but you'llalso have 1-3 tutorials in college per week. You'll start slowish with only one or tutorials a weekbut you will get busier as the year goes on. You will be able to manage though, and you'll haveplenty of time to relax, row, run, or whatever you want to do. Your timetable will vary a lot on aday-to-day basis but generally you have around 10-15 lectures a week, one or two practicals, aseminar every now and again, and then either a histology (microscope) class or a dissectionroom (DR) class to top off your week. DR is sort of a "here's-one-I-prepared earlier" set-upwhere you talk through prosections, but if you really want, you can set up a class where you candissect a body yourself. You'll also find yourself shipped out to visit a GP clinic in Witney andyou'll probably have some tutes at the hospital, so you definitely won't get cabin fever from beingstuck in the one lecture hall all day.Some important advice I can give is definitely DO NOT buy any textbooks, as the SPC library isreally good and whatever you can't find here will definitely be available in the science library.The only book you might wish to buy is the "Oxford Handbook of Medical Sciences", whichpretty much everyone finds to be their glorious light blue and pink bible.You probably won't be set work before you come, but during Freshers’ week you will have a


GeographyWelcome Freshers to the best subject at St. Peter’s—and ignore the others, as I’m the one writingthis guide! The people make the subject here, somehow Darek and Ken manage to pick agood group of us, and as there’s usually only 4 per year so it always balances nicely. You’re requiredto produce one essay a week for one tutorial (and it stays like this for all three years!) -each term is divided between four human and four physical tutorials. On top of this, the syllabusis split into two further units, Critical Thinking and Geographical Techniques. These unitsyou get extra lectures, classes and individual project work—it’s a good idea to get these organisedquite early on, but each really doesn’t take too much time. The course itself allows you tobuild on (and by build on, we certainly mean IN DEPTH) content you’ve probably covered in A-Level. But don’t be fooled, A-Level knowledge is not enough, and you’ll find out not always correct–reading is thus a big thing for geography. Although there are the countless colouring-injokes, you’ll find yourself reading quite a few books (there are certainly a few staple ones outthere) and journals. But don’t fear, you’ll find plenty of time on your hands—lectures don’t startbefore 11am! Both the tutors are really helpful, email away and they’ll always get back to you—there’s a lot of changes in store this year, including extra classes, seminars (across all threeyears) and presentations. Whilst this might seem a bit much, you’ll appreciate them in the end.Geographers are a sociable bunch with regular social events both in college and across thewhole university. In fact, the geography society is probably one of the most social 'subject' societiesin the whole university – and people other than geographers will tell you that as well –so you have a lot to look forward to! This is largely as a result of the amazing annual fieldtrip(the fieldtrips this year were Paris, Dublin and Fort William), where you spend a week away andare required to produce a project based on a title of your choice – it’s great because you haveso much freedom. This year also saw the introduction of Peter’s fieldtrips that you will be subjectedto in your second and third years—what is geography without the wellies and the clipboards!You’ve probably been set some summer work (a few essays?), get them done and beready...geography at SPC is one of the best choices you can make, and by the time Ken’s ChristmasParty swings around, you’ll be part of the family! Jo Wilkin (Finalists Rep on the JCR committee)History of ArtAll I can say is congratulations! Not simply for getting in but, rather, wisely picking a subject thatyou won’t grow to resent over the next three years. Also I can see you are clearly the most intelligentspecimens of the Art History elite for choosing a college that is so close to the departmentand allows for optimum sleeping time (making it to a lecture on time having woken up 3minutes beforehand is fully achievable). Although many people seem to believe that it is nothingmore than looking at pretty pictures, History of art is one of the broadest subjects on offerand delves into philosophy, psychology, sociology, politics, economics, theology, literature, classics- pretty much a little bit of everything (except maths thank God). Basically it’s about lookingat social and cultural changes throughout the course of history through art and tracing howtheories and ways of thinking that have come to be expressed both through art and its reception.Although that may sound a bit daunting, you don’t need to know very much to begin withand you’ll learn a lot very quickly so don’t get bogged down with the reading list (Emily and Imanaged to survive not having glanced at the thing before arriving) although perhaps a quick


look at some of the major titles would be very helpful.The workload is comparatively light by Oxford standards, and with usually just 1 essay a weekand probably the lowest amount of contact hours you will steadily become the envy of all yourfriends. This unfortunately can lead to prejudice in the form of ‘not even a real subject’ insultsfrom unenlightened students who foolishly chose to burden themselves with a science subjectsimplysmile politely, feeling both content and superior in the knowledge that such insults arefounded on pure jealousy.History of art is one of the smallest departments in the university, so not only do you feel specialbeing part of a rare and prestigious breed, but also you get to know both your tutors andthe rest of your year very well. This means you will instantly have friends outside of college aswell as inside (all teaching is departmental rather than college based unlike most subjects) andon an insanely dull note it’s very easy to keep track of all the books you need.Your first year will consist of four modules. The first is called ‘Introduction to the History of Art’which is pretty self-explanatory and gives you a broad ‘introduction’ to the discipline coveringvarious different periods and styles. The second is called ‘Antiquity after Antiquity’ which isabout exploring how the classical Greek and Roman art has been re-appropriated over thecourse of history. This is led by Gervase. who you will fall in love with. The third is called‘European art 1400-1800: meaning and interpretation’ which is the most theoretical of all themodules and looks at what effects/the ways in which we read images, but you only study this intrinity so don’t worry about it just yet. You also have the wonderful privilege of writing and extendedessay (kind of like course work as it counts as a module) on any object/painting/buildingin Oxford. Providing you manage your time, don’t leave it all until the very last minute and/oraccidentally delete the entire thing several days before the deadline (Emily Girkins), this is aninteresting opportunity for you to explore the bitter-sweet delights of unregulated research/study (In theory this requires self-discipline, but as I and Emily have none it’s clearly not that essential).Oxford Is an amazing place to study History of Art not only because of the amazingAshmolean Museum , which you will come to both love and hate over the next year, but alsothe wealth of other collections throughout the university that you will get to work with /in /around as part of your classes and tutorials- another reason why History of art is so enjoyable.If you have any questions about anything just email me at joseph.funnell@spc.ox.ac.uk or pesterEmily at emily.girkins@spc.ox.ac.uk.See you soon.MusicMusicians, as I'm sure you open-minded, up-to-the-minute music students will be aware, theesteemed philosopher Kele Okereke (of Bloc Party fame) once wrote on the obscure B-Side'Storm & Stress', "You really suffer for your art". Us musicians do seem to have a lot to 'suffer' -ridicule from acultural, philistinic students of their so-called 'real' subjects (yes scientists we'relooking at you), the manifold, untold joys of keyboard skills (you'll see. . .), as well as a plethoraof ever-growing, infinitely diverse musical works with which we feel a frequent, nagging, guiltyneed to become wholly acquainted.However, before I instil in you a horror-stricken, sinking feeling of sickening dread as to exactlywhat you have unwittingly let yourself in for, let me be the first to say that you have pulled an'applicational blinder'; you have picked what is comfortably the most enjoyable, accessible, interesting,comprehensive, varied - in short, best - course but none (keyboard skills aside).44


Whilst these so-called 'real' students have to feign an interest in the intimate workings of why 'xequals whatever it happens to equal on that day in that particular situation', we get to workwith and study music - something which, in some form or another, everybody loves. Furthermore,we only have between two and four (optional, encouraged, but still, optional) lectures,three tutes, and one class per week, at reasonably humane hours. Finally, the people, the tutors,and the community in general - both within and without St Peter's - is one in which youwill have to try your utmost NOT to be involved, and indeed you can get involved as little or asmuch as you want.Whoever you are, and however you are, remember that there are always peers, elders, andmuch-elders around who you can always contact (even if there are mere, frantic, very-earlymorningminutes to go before an essay deadline), or simply just for a chat (though preferablynot in the early-morning-minutes scenario). Music. As Kele said, "you really suffer for it". Musicstudents. "You’re the life of the party". Pretty much sums it up. Love the musicians.PhilosophyFirst of all, congratulations on picking a truly stimulating, intellectually rigorous subject whichfar outclasses the rest. If anyone ever tries to tell you otherwise, just ask them whether they’veever stopped to consider what knowledge actually is before they go about trying to amass it.No? I didn’ae think so…! You, on the other hand, will be occupying yourself with importantquestions of just that nature – not that you’re likely to happen upon answers very easily, butthe quest for them is nonetheless very interesting. One essay a week is the norm, and the readinglists tend to be quite short, although can take a bit longer than expected because the materialis often quite complex. But don’t worry if you can’t understand a concept, even after severalreadings – the tutors invariably find a way of putting it to you so that it clicks. You will probablystudy General Philosophy with Peter Kail (he’s going away on sabbatical at some point so thatmight change). It is a very wide-ranging and quite challenging course, throwing you in at thedeep end of a lot of different philosophical debates, but that’s the beauty of it; and you’ll neverbe left to struggle on your own; Peter is very thorough and helpful in his explanations. Moralphilosophy comes in the form of J.S. Mill’s Utilitarianism, taught by Tim Mawson (our very ownStephen Fry look-a-like) who fills his tutorials with amusing anecdotes and hilarious examplecases. Focusing on one main theory means that this course is probably easier – and it gives youa chance to explore ethics, which can help you with your choices for second year. The third aspectis Logic, which you will learn in classes. Apart from for those studying maths/physics & philosophy,logic is optional when it comes to exams, and can be avoided if you find it really tough.In fact, I never even learnt logic because I transferred to philosophy after the first term. However,it is certainly a useful discipline for the student of philosophy, and for some, an easier andmore certain way to gain marks.In terms of reading before you come, don’t worry too much – the reading lists are manageablein term time – although you might want to familiarise yourself a bit with Utilitarianism, andSimon Blackwell’s Think provides a useful grounding for the general philosophy course. Apartfrom that, enjoy the rest of your holidays, and good luck with starting your course! Love fromthe Peter’s philosophy students.


Being in Oxford, you may start hearing a variety of words that no one else in the country canunderstand. To be fair, many of us don’t understand them either. Which is why a glossary is sohandy…Term namesFor some reason we do not have ‘spring’ ‘summer’ ‘winter’ terms in Oxford, we have:Michaelmas – October to DecemberHilary – January to MarchTrinity – April to JuneOxford weeks are also confusing:You arrive at college sometime in 0th week – in Michaelmas this is Freshers’ week, and then in other terms youmay have exams in college. Work officially starts in 1st week, and goes through until 8th week; therefore youhave 8 weeks of work in a term.9th week is the week after the end of term, where most people get to go home and sleep. The week starts on aSunday, so Saturday the 7th of October is Saturday of 0th week, and Sunday the 8th of October is Sunday of 1stweek. Gettit?Abingdon – for SPC students, this does not mean the town of Abingdon just outside Oxford, but an area off AbingdonRoad where there are lots of 2nd years living outBalls – Massive parties, usually held in May or June. Involving huge ticket prices but promise a great evening.Battels – Payment of tuition fees and college accommodation charges plus all those extras such as library fines,photocopying etc. Needs paying by Monday 2nd week of each term.Black tie – Absolutely loads of Black tie events in Oxford, any excuse it would seem. For guys, dress is what itsays, and for girls this just means smart.Blue – what you get awarded if you play sport in a Varsity matchBop – What can I say? Bops involve dressing up in stupid clothes (aided by vast quantities of alcohol for thosewho feel they need it), cheesy music in the JCR, singing the Peter’s songs whilst swaying out of time with yourarms around whoever you end up next to, often followed by a mass exodus to PT’sBotley – another place where some 2nd years live out, although generally less popular than Abingdon Road orIffley/Cowley areas.College Bar – where you will undoubtedly spend a lot of your timeCollections – three types: Masters collections, collections and crucial collections. Masters collections are whereyou have to go and talk to the Master and tutors at the end of term about your progress. Collections are examstaken in the college at the beginning of term (end of 0th week) to let you know how much (or little) you know.Crucial collections only occur if you do badly in your normal collections but are generally rare.Come up – when you arrive at Oxford (I have never actually heard anyone say this…)Commoner – someone who isn’t a scholar or an exhibitioner and who wears the short gown.46


Cowley – when used by students, this means the area of Cowley Road, a main road out of Oxford next to IffleyRoad. Boasts a big Tesco, the Zodiac and a lap dancing club.Entz – Entertainments. In college these include band nights, bops and RAG eventsExhibitioner – someone who does brilliantly in their exams and wears a very long gown.Fifth week blues – Very odd sinking feeling that affects virtually everyone in 5 th week when you realise that youstill have half a term to go. A good excuse to go and speak to our lovely Peer Supporters...Finals – the exams you take at the end of your degree to determine what you will end up withFresher – what you are if you haven’t sat prelims, i.e. you.Go down – when you go home for the holidays or when you eventually graduate (never heard this said in thiscontext either…)Gown – this is effectively a bit of thin black material that you put on over your sub fusc for exams/matriculation, or over normal clothes for formal Hall and collections.Iffley – the area around Iffley Road, parallel to Cowley RoadHack - term used to describe people deep into Oxford Union politics. To be found in the lodge/outside the uniontrying to get you to vote for them on union election day.JCR – Junior Common Room – the undergrads as a student body, and also the place where we all hang out (SKYTV, pool table, table football etc)Jericho – a nice area of Oxford popular for living out. The college doctors can be found on Walton Street in JerichoKebab kid – Highly rated kebab shop very close to college opposite the Odeon cinema. Gives discounts too.Kebab vans – Oxford has absolutely loads of these. When sober, virtually everyone has concerns about the hygieneand grease levels in these vans, but when alcoholfuelled it is a completely different story. They act as a magnet, drawing in drunken students who may havewalked half way across town to reach them.MCR – Middle Common Room, for those mature students amongst you.Mods – Moderations. One type of exams that you take as a Fresher to ensure that you can stay on at Oxford,usually at the end of the year (unless you do theology or law when they are earlier). The alternative is Prelims.OUSU – Oxford University Student Union. The official Student Union, of which most colleges are members. Notto be confused with the Oxford Union.Oxford Union – Elite club thing which you can join when you get into Oxford.Peter’s songs – College songs are loudly sung at all opportunities, including at sports matches, rowing competitions,the end of Bops and queues for PTs.Prelims – Preliminary examinations. These take place at the same time as Mods, and differ because you haveto pass each paper to pass Prelims, whereas in Mods, an average pass is all that is required.


PTs - The Purple Turtle bar, situated beneath the Oxford Union. Tiny, nearly always packed, and with low ceilingsand long queues but…free! (If you are a member of the Union).RAG – Raise and Give – Student charity organisation. Colleges are as involved as possible, with most having acharities rep and putting on events often involving alcohol and humiliationRustication – if you’ve been naughty then you may get rusticated i.e. asked to go home for a bitSCR – Senior Common Room. For tutors and fellows and suchlike.Scholar – someone who has achieved a First in their Mods or Prelims. Gets to wear a longer gown and lookeven more poncey than you normally do in Oxford.Sent down – if you get chucked out of Oxford, then you have been sent down.Tabs - those unspeakable people from Cambridge.Photo Courtesy of Penguin Photography48


Photo courtesy of Tara Mulholland“With the keys on my chest ...”Your JCR and Freshers’ Committees hope you have an amazing summerand look forward to welcoming you to St Peter’s College in October!50

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