Freshers Handbook 2021 24-09

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This booklet was made using the typesetting language LATEX. It is adapted from a

template made by Andrea Hidalgo for an internship report. To edit this document,

future committees should edit the LATEX source file on the Overleaf website (or

contact Toby Henley Smith if it ever gets lost).

Edition: 2021

The Master’s Introduction

Welcome to Trinity.

As I start my third year here at Trinity I look

back at Freshers having arrived in 2019 with the

usual week, and 2020 with Freshers Matriculation

lunches out of hampers in a draughty marquee and

hope that your arrival will be unique and fun for

you. Whatever happens with COVID we will start together, study together and come

together to support our Community in Trinity. I am extraordinarily proud of how

well we responded to the threats of last year as a College and I want to thank all our

students who played their parts in this.

Trinity is extraordinary in very many ways: we bring together some of the world’s

brightest minds as students and Fellows. You are joining this historic institution,

this academic family, this special network. You will make friendships that will last

your whole life and may even meet your partner here.

This is a fraught and unique time for everyone and we need you to each play your

part, as a member of the Trinity Community in following our rules and regulations -

even as they change - which are structured to protect and enable us to stay together.

We are all sad for any disruption but also we all recognise this is an unusual time. A

time when Community and looking out for each other is ever important.

We want you here to be part of this community as safely possible and though there

may be more rules and regulations than usual, these are what will enable us to stay

together. Although this year will be unlike any other, we will be together for a long

time. There will be time for us to enjoy what we have had to forego at the beginning.

I recommend you approach you time here with an open mind. You come here to

develop and of course, to have fun. Both of these are guaranteed. Open the door

to new opportunities, adventures and self-discovery. Trinity will be here to support

you – academically, socially and financially.

As the former Chief Medical Officer, it would be amiss if I did not highlight that

we care about your health, including mental health, and we, at Trinity, put a high

premium on support. To get you started, please read this TCSU Fresher’s handbook.

You will also receive a more formal introduction in the White Book and the Accommodation


I hope you are as excited to be here as I am to have you here.

Seize the moment, I know I will.


Master, Trinity College

Serena’s Introduction

Welcome to Trinity!

You are at the start of what will be a fantastic journey

through university. You got here due to your hard work

and excellence, and you will be entering a cohort of

people just as nervous and excited as you are. Don’t be

afraid to throw yourself into everything. Fresher’s Week

is one of the best times to get to know everyone. My

key piece of advice is to put yourself out there: if there

are people you want to talk to, talk to them; if there is a

society you would like to join, sign up to it and if there

is an event or fair, definitely go because there is often

free food and pens!

There will be highs and lows. The Cambridge 8-week term is intense, and it can get

stressful sometimes. Remember that most of what you may worry about isn’t the

end of the world. When you are going through it, you do not need to do it alone, lean

on your friends and throughout college there are people that will always be happy to

help: TCSU, the Chaplains, your Tutor, and your Director of Studies are all ready

to help you settle in and provide you with advice and support. The academic and

personal welfare network at Trinity expands further still, with a Mental Health and

Well Being Advisor, a College Nurse, an Academic Skills Tutor, a CBT Therapist,

and Fellows for Women, LGBTQ+ and Ethnic Diversity.

Cambridge can sometimes feel like it functions in its own world. There are a whole

new set of words to learn and traditions that you will experience. The College and

the university have of course been impacted by the pandemic, and you may see signs

of this when you arrive. We are hoping to give you the best start to university life

possible and in order to do this we need to work together as a community. University,

and especially Cambridge, really is an opportunity, not only to learn with some of

the best minds in your field, but also to meet and connect with people, try out new

things, sign up for activities you didn’t know even existed, take on leadership roles,

enjoy freedom from home and learn about yourself in the process. You are now entering

this community, so treat everyone with the kindness and respect that they deserve.

When you first arrive make sure to give yourself some time to adjust. This is only

the start of what will be a whole new phase of your life and it is okay if every aspect

of it isn’t perfect. Whatever happens over your time here, you will create memories

and learn lessons that you can look back on for years to come. I can’t wait to see

what you make of it.


President, Trinity College Students’ Union


1 Your First Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

1.1 Your First Hour 9

1.2 Additional Information 9

1.3 Covid-19 10

1.4 Freshers’ Week Timetable 11

2 College Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

2.1 Weeks begin on Thursday? 19

2.2 Michaelmas? Lent? Easter? 19

2.3 Fellow, Director of Studies, Tutor, Supervisor... 19

2.4 Money 20

2.4.1 College Bill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

2.4.2 Everyday Spending . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

2.5 Food 22

2.5.1 Hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

2.5.2 Trinity College Bar & Coffee Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

2.5.3 Cooking for yourself and eating out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

2.5.4 Formal Hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

2.6 Chaplains’ Introduction 24

2.7 Laundry 25

2.8 Bedmakers 25

2.9 Sports and Societies 26

2.9.1 Trinity Societies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

2.9.2 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

2.9.3 Rowing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

2.9.4 Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

2.10 University Societies 32

2.10.1 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

2.10.2 Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

2.10.3 Art . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

2.10.4 Drama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

2.11 The JCR 34

2.12 Computing 34

2.12.1 MyTrin, The Student Hub and Trinity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

2.12.2 CamSIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

2.12.3 Moodle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

2.12.4 CamCORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

2.12.5 Phones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

2.12.6 Maps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

2.13 Smart Clothes 35

2.13.1 Formal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

2.13.2 Black Tie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

2.14 Transport 38

3 Useful Info . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

3.1 Getting Organised 39

3.2 What to bring (and what not to) 40

3.3 Students’ Maps 42

3.4 Cambridge Glossary 44

4 TCSU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

4.1 What is TCSU? 47

4.2 TCSU Executive Committee 47

4.3 Welfare 53

4.4 Mental Health 54

4.5 Green Living 56

4.6 Finally... 57

4.7 Credits 57

4.8 Welfare Contacts 58

1. Your First Week

1.1 Your First Hour

Your arrival location at Trinity will depend on whether you are moving into Angel

Court, Blue Boar or Wolfson. If you’re moving into Angel Court, then you will

arrive through the Backs into New Court; if you are moving into Blue Boar or

Wolfson, you will arrive at the cobbles outside Great Gate. Either way, you’ll meet

student helpers who will help you find the way to your accommodation block. There

are trolleys that you can borrow to help speed things up if your luggage is heavy.

NOTE: All of this may change at short notice. Do follow the most recent instructions

sent out by Tutorial or the Accommodations Office regarding arrivals.

Once you’ve unpacked and settled into your room, you should read this booklet

to see what events will be happening throughout the day and the week. If there

is nothing on, try to make friends with the rest of your household, or go out and

purchase stationery and other items you might need to make your room into a home.

1.2 Additional Information

If you ever have any questions, no matter how simple or complicated they may seem,

please do come and ask one of the Committee (see section 4.2) or any member of

TCSU+ (recognisable by their red t-shirts) you see around.

Make sure to check out our website (www.tcsu.net/freshers) where you will find

videos on a range of things, from using the laundry rooms to finding your way

around College!

10 Chapter 1. Your First Week

1.3 Covid-19

Many of you are probably wondering how college life will be different this year

due to the current pandemic. As of now, there is still some uncertainty regarding

university and college guidelines. The pandemic continues to bring a very unusual

situation upon us all and demands understanding and adaptability from the university,

the colleges and the students. College and university departments will keep students

updated via emails, so please keep yourselves informed.

Social distancing measures may make it harder to host and attend events/social

gatherings. However, there will be many opportunities to meet and socialise with

people both in person and online.

Supporting each other in any way we can will be essential in these times, so don’t

be afraid to get in touch with people – if you don’t know where to start, feel free to

contact any committee member from the student union.

University / College updates

You can keep yourself informed about any Covid-19 updates from the university

from the following link:


And for the college under:


Much of the advice in this handbook is based on how the College normally operates

so there may be some quite significant changes due to Covid-19. Pay attention

to emails from College as many of the procedures may have to change rapidly

depending on government guidelines.

As clichéd as it sounds, it is important to make sure that you take care of yourself.

Be sure to take some time off work, get some exercise, meet other people (safely!),

and look out for each other. When the opportunity arises to have some fun make

sure to take it (again, safely) but also ensure that you are being responsible both

inside the college and out. This year may be more challenging than others so it is

important to try and stay both positive and motivated. There will be plenty of time

to have a more ’normal’ university experience in the coming years, but don’t let that

put you off making the most of what’s available now.

1.4 Freshers’ Week Timetable 11

An afternoon on the Backs (the South Paddock)

1.4 Freshers’ Week Timetable

On the next few pages is a handy guide to the things that Trinity, TCSU and Trinity

societies are putting on for Freshers’ Week 2021. Many of the events will

require some form of online sign up, details of which will be emailed to you.

Other things like signing up to the GP are also very important; information

will come in Freshers’ Week.

You can subscribe to the online TCSU Freshers’ Week Calendar to get the latest

changes to the schedule and details of all the events pushed to your phone: all the

information you’ll need can be found at www.tcsu.net/freshers.

Events in bold are compulsory and attendance is expected from everyone. If

you would not like to attend, please contact a TCSU Committee member (see

www.tcsu.net for contact details).

Please be aware that we may have to make changes to events depending on the

situation with Covid-19, we will endeavour to keep you informed by email of any

changes to events.





12 Chapter 1. Your First Week

Wednesday 29th September

iTCSU Helpdesk 09:00–18:30 Great Gate

Information Session 14:00–14:30 JCR

Tour of Town 14:30–15:30 Departing from Great Gate

Afternoon Snacks 16:00–18:00 College Bar

International Freshers Welcome


20:00–22:00 College Bar

Thursday 30th September

iTCSU Helpdesk 09:00–18:30 Great Gate

Information Session 10:30–11:00 JCR

Tour of Town 11:00–12:00 Departing from Great Gate

Afternoon Tea 15:00–17:00 College Bar

CUSU International Week Formal 19:30–21:30 Churchill College

International Freshers Welcome


20:00–22:00 College Bar

Night Punting 20:30–23:00 Backs

Friday 1st October

iTCSU Helpdesk 09:00–18:30 Great Gate

Information Session 10:30–11:00 JCR

Tour of Town 11:00–12:00 Departing from Great Gate

Punting 13:30–14:30 Backs

Tea and Donuts with Welfare Team 16:00–18:00 College Bar

International Freshers Welcome


20:00–22:00 College Bar

Film Night 20:30–23:30 JCR

Saturday 2nd October

Welcome Refreshments All day Marquee in Nevile’s Court

TCSU Helpdesk 08:00–18:00 Great Gate

Tutorial Meet and Greet 08:30-18:00 Old College Office

Gown Sale and Refreshments 10:00–17:00 Marquee in Nevile’s Court

Senior Tutor’s Welcome to Parents 16:00-16:30 Marquee in Nevile’s Court

College Family Introductions (see

description on p19)

18:00–19:45 College Parents’ Rooms

Welcome Reception 19:00–22:30 College Bar

Freshers’ Formal 20:00–21:00 Hall

1.4 Freshers’ Week Timetable 13

Sunday 3rd October

Outdoor Yoga 10:00-11:30 The Cloisters

Fresher’s Service 12:00-13:00 The Chapel

Respect Workshop 13:30–17:30 Marquee in Nevile’s Court

Gown Sale 14:00–15:00 College Bar

Tour of College and University 14:00–16:30 New Court

College Family Introductions (see

description on p19)

18:00–19:45 College Parents’ Rooms

Welcome Reception 19:00–22:30 College Bar

Freshers’ Formal 20:00–21:00 Hall

Chaplains Squash 21:15–22:15 The Cloisters

Movie Night 22:30 Lower JCR

Monday 4th October

Signing of the Admissions Book 09:00-16:45 Wren Library

Tutorial Harangues 09:00–10:00 Various

Fire and Safety Talks 10:00-10:30 Marquee in Nevile’s Court

Dean’s Introduction 10:30-11:00 Marquee in Nevile’s Court

Matriculation Photograph 11:00-11:30 Nevile’s Court

Welcome Talks 11:30-13:00 Marquee in Nevile’s Court

Cambridge Scavenger Hunt 13:00-15:00 Meet at Great Gate

Garden Party 15:00-17:30 Fellows’ Bowling Green

Pub Tour 18:30-22:00 Meet in College Bar

Quiz Night 20:00-21:30 College Bar

Musical Matchmaking 21:30-22:30 Junior Parlour

Tuesday 5th October

DoS Meetings All day Various

Signing of the Admissions Book 09:00-16:45 Wren Library

Library Inductions


advertised in Library


Consent Workshops 09:00–14:00 Junior Parlour

Speed Friending 14:00-16:00 Marquee in Nevile’s Court

Green Workshops 17:00-18:30 Winstanley Lecture Theatre

BBQ on the Backs 18:00-20:30 Marquee in Nevile’s Court

Trinity Christian Union Welcome 19:00-20:30 JCR

Night Punting 20:00-21:00 The Backs

LGBTQ+ Welcome Reception 20:30-22:00 College Bar

14 Chapter 1. Your First Week

Wednesday 6th October

DoS Meetings All day Various

Library Inductions


advertised in Library


Trinity Oriental Society Welcome 11:30-12:30 Junior Parlour

Trinity French Society Welcome 14:00-17:00 JCR

Trinity Maths Society Welcome 14:00-17:00 College Bar

Welfare Tea 15:00–16:00 Marquee in Nevile’s Court

Trinity Science Society Welcome 16:00-18:00 Blue Boar Common Room

Boat Club Welcome 18:00-20:00 College Bar

BME Welcome Reception 18:30-20:30 JCR

Bowling 19:00-22:30 Meet at Great Gate

Thursday 7th October

College Family Picnic 16:00–18:00 Backs

Trinity Politics Society Welcome 20:30-22:00 JCR

Trinity Feminist Society Welcome 21:00-22:00 College Bar

Theatre Trip 21:30-01:00 Meet at Great Gate

Friday 8th October

Cake with the President 14:00–17:00 President’s Room (Great Court M4)

Nevile’s Ent 21:00–23:30 Marquee in Nevile’s Court

Saturday 9th October

Freshers’ Sports Day 13:00–16:00 Old Field

Punting 14:00–17:00 Backs

TEGA Plant Sale 16:00–18:00 Blue Boar Common Room

Sunday 10th October

Walk to Grantchester 14:00–17:00 Meet at Great Gate

College Family Dinner Up to parents Up to parents

1.4 Freshers’ Week Timetable 15


Afternoon Tea/Snacks

BBQ on the Backs

BME Welcome Reception

Boat Club Welcome



Drink tea, eat snacks, and seize this opportunity to get

to know the TCSU and some more of your cohort a bit

better through this informal and pleasant event in the

College Bar.

Enjoy a barbecue on Trinity’s scenic backs.

A great place to meet other black and minority ethnic

students from Trinity.

An opportunity to sign up to and learn about Cambridge’s

most popular sport.

10 pin bowling.




A fun Scavenger Hunt which will give you the opportunity

to explore Cambridge.

Chaplains’ Squash

College Family Dinner

College Family Introductions

College Family Picnic

Consent Workshops

CUSU International

Week Formal

Dean’s Introduction

This is where you’ll get the chance to be introduced

to what the different Trinity societies and sports teams

have to offer. Sign up to lots—get involved.

A chance to catch up with your College Family after

Freshers’ Week.

Time to meet your College Family in the flesh; they’ll

be there to answer any immediate questions you have

about Trinity, Cambridge and university life before

you go to your first formal hall. Please note that as

Freshers’ Formal will be in two sittings, we have also

scheduled two sets of Family Introductions.

A picnic with your College Family after your first day

of lectures.

Possibly the most important and informative event of

Freshers’ Week: make sure you attend.

A Formal in Churchill College, arranged by the Cambridge

University Students’ Union

The Dean of College will give a talk to Freshers.

16 Chapter 1. Your First Week


DoS Meetings

Freshers’ Service

Freshers’ Sports Day

(International) Freshers

Welcome Reception

Freshers’ Formal

Garden Party

Gown Sale

Green Workshops


Information Session

LGBTQ+ Welcome Reception

Library Induction




A time and a place for these will be sent to you by

your Director of Studies.

The Chaplains hold an introductory service for freshers,

students of all faiths welcome.

Your first opportunity to try out a sport or two at Trinity

and to meet your new teammates.

After you have moved in and unpacked, help us kick

off Freshers’ week in style.

An introduction to Cambridge’s famous Formal Dinners.

A Garden Party in the delightful surroundings of the

Fellows’ Bowling Green.

This is where you’ll buy your gown, T-shirts and club


Run by the Cambridge Carbon Literacy Project, this

workshop will be an a interesting and interactive way

to learn more about the climate crisis, and discuss

with other students the challenges of our generation’s

biggest challenge yet.

The TCSU Committee will be on hand to greet you

and point you in the right direction.

An information session for International Students run

by the Overseas Welfare Officer.

An introduction to the LGBTQ+ community at Trinity

You need to be inducted to the ways of the Trinity

Library, where you may get books from. This won’t

take long and there are lots of time slots.

You will need your gown. Also, remember that you

will see this photo for years to come, so choose your

outfit at the start of the day wisely!

1.4 Freshers’ Week Timetable 17


Meet the President

Movie Night

Musical Matchmaking

Nevile’s Ent

Outdoor Yoga Class

Pub Tour

(Night) Punting

Quiz Night

Respect Workshops

Senior Tutor’s Welcome

to Parents

Signing of the Admissions


Speed Friending

Tea and Donuts with Welfare


TEGA Plant Sale

Theatre Trip


An opportunity to chat to the TCSU President Serena

about anything while also seeing the inside of a Great

Court room. Serena will be eating cake and having a

cup of tea, so feel free to join in.

Kick back and relax while watching a film in the JCR.

Trinity College Music Society will offer an introduction.

TCSU’s flagship Freshers’ week event.

Yoga in the free open air.

Go on a tour of some of the excellent pubs in Cambridge.

Try out one of the most quintessential Cambridge experiences

by having a go at punting on the river Cam.

Show off your general knowledge in a fun quiz.

Important and informative workshop exploring the

various differences that inevitably exist in the diverse

student population

The Senior Tutor will welcome your parents to the

College community.

You will sign the admissions book to confirm your

Matriculation to Trinity. This has been happening for

hundreds of years; you’ll even be able to see Isaac

Newton’s name from when he did it.

A rapid-fire opportunity to meet some of your fellow


Tea and donuts for everybody and a chance to meet

your TCSU Welfare Officers.

Decorate your new room with some greenery.

Take a trip to a local Cambridge theatre.

18 Chapter 1. Your First Week


Tour of Town

Trinity Christian Union


Trinity Feminist Society


Trinity French Society


Trinity Maths Society


Trinity Oriental Society


Trinity Politics Society


Trinity Science Society


Tutorial Harangues

Tutorial Meet and Greet

Walk to Grantchester

Welcome Talks

Welfare Tea


A tour of the most vital places you’ll want to know in

the College and in Cambridge—there’ll be multiple

groups going.

Get to know the Christian Union better and learn about

what the society has in store for the year.

An introduction from the College Feminist Society.

All are welcome!

Learn more about the College’s very own French Society.

Trinity College Maths Society offers a chance to learn

about the oldest existing subject society in the UK.

Meet the committee, find out about upcoming events

and maybe sign up for lifetime membership for just


A warm welcome from Trinity College Oriental Society.

An introduction to the College’s Politics Society.

Learn more about the College’s very own Science Society.

Staff from the Tutorial and Accommodation Offices

will welcome you to Trinity.

Time for you to meet your Tutor—details will be


Enjoy a walk down to one of Cambridgeshire’s most

picturesque villages.

A proper welcome from other important people and

staff around Trinity.

Take an hour to enjoy tea and donuts with our Welfare


2. College Life

2.1 Weeks begin on Thursday?

Yep. This largely makes no difference, but your timetable will start on Thursday and

end on Wednesday, and if you have different lectures on odd- and even-numbered

weeks, you may need to be a bit more careful than usual! Weeks are generally

referred to by numbers with Week 1 being the first week of ‘Full Term’ (the part of

Term when lectures occur). For example, Week 1 of Michaelmas Term 2021 starts

on 7th of October.

2.2 Michaelmas? Lent? Easter?

The year at Cambridge is split up into three terms, each lasting eight weeks. The first

of these terms is Michaelmas Term (sometimes referred to as Mich—pronounced

‘mick’) which starts at the beginning of October and runs until the start of December

(or end of November, depending on the year). Lent Term runs from mid-January

until mid-March, and Easter Term is between the end of April and the middle of


2.3 Fellow, Director of Studies, Tutor, Supervisor...

When you arrive there will be a few people you’re introduced to with strange titles.

Let’s clear that up now, because we’ll use these words a lot throughout.

A Fellow is an academic who works for the College and sometimes the University

as well. There are many different kinds of Fellow, some not much older than PhD

students and some that are very senior. They are full-time academics and many

give lectures, or have important roles within the College or University. The act of

Fellows passing their knowledge down to current students, some of whom become

Fellows themselves, has been a fundamental part of Cambridge University since it

was founded. Some Fellows have made significant contributions to their field, and

all Fellows should be treated with the highest level of respect (e.g., all emails to

20 Chapter 2. College Life

them should come from your @cam.ac.uk address and begin ‘Dear Dr. <surname>’

or ‘Dear Prof. <surname>’ rather than ‘Hi Sally’). Once you get to know a Fellow

better this might relax, but it’s always better to be too polite than not polite enough.

Supervisors give you supervisions. Learning is primarily done through Supervisions

in Cambridge: you go to your lecture, you study, you do an assignment on

it for your supervisor and then they tell you if and where you’ve misunderstood it

in a supervision and ask you follow-up questions. Supervisors are PhD students,

Fellows, or other active researchers. They will often be based at Trinity, but not

always. Some supervisors may encourage you to email them during the week if you

don’t understand a topic and studying isn’t helping.

Each Term, your Director of Studies, or DoS (pronounced ‘doss’), organises who

your supervisors will be. If you have any problems with your supervisions or your

course, you should talk to them about it. They will probably be a senior Fellow in

the subject you’re taking.

Your Tutor or Personal Tutor is the Fellow in College that is responsible for

your life as a student in every respect that isn’t directly related to your course—in

fact, they will normally not be an academic in your subject. With the help of the

Tutorial Secretary, your Tutor will try and make your life as easy as possible

while you are at Trinity by advising you in any communication with the University,

discussing with you any issues that you’re experiencing and exploring all possible

options to minimise any problems. They are not counsellors, but they will always

listen to whatever it is you’d like to say, and no question is ever too silly to ask.

Think of your Tutor like a teacher you got on really well with at school. The more

your Tutor knows about what your current thoughts, hopes, fears and plans are, the

more they can help you out when it counts.

2.4 Money

2.4.1 College Bill

All of your financial dealings with the College will be done through your College

Bill, issued at the beginning of every term. Lots of detail about this can be found in

the White Book, but the key thing to remember is that it will have your food from

the previous Term and your rent for the coming Term (there’s something a bit more

complicated when you graduate but you don’t need to worry about that yet).

The College Bill is very versatile and it can include many things such as credits

to your account if you win a prize or claim sporting expenses (or similar). Prizes,

bursaries, awards and expenses are frequent throughout the year, and you should

check the section on The Student Hub regularly to see whether you are eligible for

any. For example you can claim £75 annually for any books that you buy which are

related to your course, and there is a similar fund for sporting related expenses.

2.4 Money 21

Your College Bill will vary a lot depending on how often you eat meals in Hall,

which room you are in and how familiar you make yourself with the Bar. A typical

student who eats at least one of lunch and dinner in Hall every day, has a bedsit

room and is frequently in the Bar might expect to pay £1100 in rent and £500–£600

on their Kitchen Account (combined Hall, Bar and Formals) each term. You’ll also

have to pay about £170 a term up front on the Kitchen Fixed Charge (unless you

are exempt—more details on this can be found in the White Book or by contacting

Elianna, our Environmental and Domestic Officer, if you have specific dietary requirements

that mean you can’t eat in Hall). You don’t need to worry about heating,

and electricity is rarely more than £5 (but do consider the environmental impact...).

Everyone is different, and you can check how much you’re spending on your

Kitchen Account at any time using UpayChilli (more details will be given to you by

the Catering Department when they set up your account).

2.4.2 Everyday Spending

Most UK high street banks have a branch in Cambridge and almost all of them

have a current account specifically designed for students. If possible, it’s best to

organise things like this before you arrive. Most banks offer freebies to try and

attract students into opening an account with them like a free railcard. While these

can certainly be valuable you should look beyond the offer and see whether the

account suits you. Bear in mind that in the UK you can use most cash machines

without charge, so it doesn’t make much difference to your everyday life.

Since the terms are so short and intense it’s unlikely that you’ll have the time

to balance work, societies, relaxing and having a job. It is for this reason that the

University discourages students from taking up paid positions during term time.

However, as there are lengthy vacation periods, many students do get a job during

the vacations to supplement their student loans. Do make sure, though, that you have

plenty of rest during the holidays and leave time to revise too. Both the University

and Trinity offer many forms of financial support to ensure that you don’t need to

get a job to keep studying.

Many people find budgeting to be a good idea; working out how much you can

afford to spend per week and trying to stick to it is really useful, especially at the end

of term. Each person’s budget will be different, but if at any point you experience

financial difficulty while at University, you should speak to your Tutor about

it as soon as possible. They are there to help you, and have the power to give you

more time to pay your bills and to help find suitable funds and support for you.

Trinity is all about stripping away as many barriers as possible between you and

your subject, and helping you stress less over money is just one of the ways they can

do that.

More information on everything in this section can be found in the White Book.

22 Chapter 2. College Life

2.5 Food

2.5.1 Hall

Meal Timings Days

Breakfast 08:15–09:30 Mon–Sat

Brunch 11:00–14:00 Sun

Lunch 11:30–14:00 Mon–Sat

Dinner 17:30–20:00 Mon–Sat

18:15–20:00 Sun

Formal Hall 20:00–21:30 Check on UpayChilli

At Trinity we have Hall that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday (apart from

Sunday when we have brunch and dinner). All meals can be taken in Hall which

is the magnificent building right next to the Master’s Lodge. Many students eat

most of their meals here. A meal in Hall will generally cost about £3.50, and this

is charged to your Kitchen Account (see section 2.4.1) when you scan your card.

You can check Hall menus online in advance (http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/menu);

they’re also posted in the Bar and outside Hall. Note that meal times may vary due

to Formals and feasts, so keep an eye on the Servery notice boards or the UpayChilli


2.5.2 Trinity College Bar & Coffee Shop

The Trinity College Bar & Coffee Shop (usually ‘The Bar’) is in Great Court I

staircase (which links Great Court to Angel Court). Unlike some other Colleges’

bars, ours is run by Trinity staff rather than students. You can buy sandwiches and

snacks, as well as a variety of cold, hot and soft drinks. Anything in the Bar can

be charged to your Kitchen Account using your University card. You shouldn’t

consume things in the Bar that aren’t bought in the Bar; in general, you should treat

it as a normal coffee shop in the day and a pub in the evening—but a little bit cheaper.

2.5 Food 23

2.5.3 Cooking for yourself and eating out

Learning to make some basic everyday meals will save you a lot of money in

exchange for a bit of time and forward planning. Facilities are available at Trinity for

those that wish to cook for themselves: wherever your room is, your staircase will

have a communal mini-kitchen, called a gyp. This room will contain cupboards, a

sink, a fridge, a kettle, a toaster and a microwave. If you’re in Wolfson or Blue Boar

Staircase I, your gyp will also have an oven and hobs. Note: don’t start cooking and

then leave the room, as you will set off fire alarms.

The Trinity College Bar & Coffee Shop

You can also eat out. Cambridge has many cafés and restaurants that cater to all

sorts of diets. Bear in mind that it will (almost always) be more expensive than Hall

or cooking, but it can be good for a treat. Many places have a student discount, so

make sure to ask if you do eat out!

2.5.4 Formal Hall

Formal Hall dinners (‘Formals’) are a unique feature of Cambridge; every College

has them although they all do them slightly differently. Formals are a great way

to celebrate something important or create something to look forward to. You are

encouraged (by tradition, and by us) to be sociable in Formals and to talk to the

people you’re sat next to, whoever that may be.

For Formals at Trinity, you have to dress up and wear a gown (see more in the

Formal Clothes section). In return for this and about £12, you get a three course

meal with wine (+ coffee/tea) served to you at your table. You are also allowed two

guest tickets, which are slightly more expensive. You buy tickets for Formals using

UpayChilli (an online catering system and app), which is also where you can check

your Kitchen Account balance for the term. TCSU also run various themed Formals

throughout the year, including Welfare Formals, Green Formals, Halloween Formal

and others, so keep your eyes peeled.

Formals will probably be quite different to what you may be used to, and are

when the College feels most like Hogwarts. As long as you start with the cutlery on

24 Chapter 2. College Life

the outside and work inwards (and most importantly smile), you’ll have a great time.

NB: Formal Halls will only start once they can be arranged in Covid-19 compliant


2.6 Chaplains’ Introduction

Welcome to Trinity!

The Chaplains have two main tasks in college: taking services in the ancient and

famous chapel and also looking out for the welfare and good humour of all students.

To deal with the latter aspect first, the Chaplains are available to help any member

of college, regardless of religious belief, who has a personal problem or needs some

other kind of support. We respect confidentiality and are well plugged in to the other

welfare help available in college. We particularly hope to help those suffering from

feelings of isolation, stress, homesickness or depression, but we regularly see people

who just fancy a chat, who want to share a concern they have about another person,

or who want a friendly perspective on a personal issue. In all these encounters, we

don’t talk about religion unless you want us to. We are pretty much unshockable

and we will never judge you.

We also organise a wealth of social events around college at which all students are

welcome: events in previous years included a tour of King’s College roof, a trip to

an exhibition at the British Museum, ice skating, ten pin bowling, walks and pub

lunches, cheese tasting and much more. Please look out for details of events this

coming year in our regular emails.

The chapel is open to all students, both for its services and generally as a place of

quiet reflection. The beautiful building that you see now is about 500 years old.

The choir which sings at services (mostly made up of Trinity students) is famous

around the world. Do drop in to listen to them sing during your time in Cambridge.

Evensong is sung every week during term, and a very popular sung compline (with

port afterwards) takes place on Wednesday evenings. Please look out for information

about service times etc in our regular emails.

2.7 Laundry 25

We really look forward to meeting you in person.

John Summers and Olga Fabrikant-Burke, Chaplains

2.7 Laundry

Trinity has multiple laundry rooms that are located around the College. Freshers are

most likely to use the laundry rooms in Whewell’s Court (in the gap between the two

courtyards by the Wolfson Building) or Angel Court (by the Accommodation Office)

which are underground laundry rooms. In order to use the washing machines and

tumble dryers, you need to get a free laundry card from the Porters. Magnetic fields

will screw laundry cards up, so its best not to keep them next to your contactless

cards or your University card. Each card has ten credits; a wash cycle is two credits,

and a drying cycle is one. The cards tend to be rather temperamental and stop

working if they get wet, torn or too bent, so make sure to look after them well!

You need to provide your own washing powder/detergent, fabric conditioner if

you’re feeling fancy, and laundry basket (or bag). If you prefer not to use a dryer,

bringing a clothes horse for use in the laundry room would be worthwhile (see

section 3.2). All the laundry rooms have ironing boards and irons provided.

A top tip is to leave your laundry bag or basket by the machine you are using,

so that if someone needs to use the machine before you make it back, they can leave

it in your basket rather than on the floor.

2.8 Bedmakers

Bedmakers (or ‘Bedders’) are the College cleaners. In normal times they work

Monday–Friday, will empty your bins for you daily, clean and hoover your room

twice a week and change your bedsheets (the College-issued ones: they won’t clean

any that you bring from home) once a week. They will also clean the gyp rooms,

26 Chapter 2. College Life

but they definitely won’t do your dishes. If for whatever reason, you don’t want the

Bedder to come in that day, you can leave your bin outside the door and this is a

standard non-verbal international symbol for having a lie-in.

In your first few weeks at College, you and your Bedder will work out a routine, but

in general they will need to access your room at least three times a week, including

every Monday (to change the bedding), and they mustn’t be denied access on two

consecutive days (to stop your room accumulating too much mess...).

It is worth mentioning that Bedders are not your own personal cleaners! You

should always clear up after yourself and keep your room as tidy as possible as it

makes their job much easier. More information is available in the Accommodation


Last year, due to COVID-19, Bedders didn’t come into student rooms, so students

had to change bin bags and bed linen and clean their own en-suite bathrooms (if

applicable). This may change for the upcoming year.

2.9 Sports and Societies

2.9.1 Trinity Societies

As one of the bigger Colleges, we have a lot of societies that cater for interests as

diverse as Maths and Yoga. You will get the opportunity to sign up for these societies

at Chaplains’ Squash. All the societies will be competing for your attention so this

is one of the best times to declare that you are interested, although all societies will

still be very happy for you to join later in the year.

If you find that there is a society that you really want to be a part of Trinity but

doesn’t exist yet, you can start it yourself! Doing this is really easy and you can be

up and running within two weeks. To find out how to do this contact TCSU’s Junior

Steward, Michelle at junior-steward@tcsu.net.

2.9 Sports and Societies 27

2.9.2 Sports (by Robert Paraoan, Field Club President)

A big welcome to all new freshers! I’m

Robert – this year’s Field Club President at Trinity.

There are countless reasons to get involved

in the world of college sport, regardless

of what level you’re at. It’s a great

way to escape work, do some exercise and

meet new people in a really welcoming environment,

while also offering the opportunity

to play matches against other colleges

for those of you more competitively


A very rainy Fresher’s sports

day, but no less fun

There are already a large host of sport teams and societies, so you’ll almost definitely

find the sport you play or perhaps one that you fancy trying out. And of

course, don’t be put off if your sport is somewhat niche and doesn’t have an existing

representation – you’re strongly encouraged to take it in your own hands and set up

the team yourself. The likelihood is that in such a big college as ours, you’re not


We’re lucky to have really good sports facilities close by at Old Field, just a short

scenic walk through college grounds. There are grass pitches, mostly used for rugby,

football and cricket. Then there are the tennis courts. Three are Astro and three

are hard court. The latter are actually multi-purpose and used for a lot of other

sports, like hockey and netball. Our well equipped gym is there too. The top floor is

mainly geared towards cardio while the lower floor has weight-training equipment

and machines. Don’t be worried if you haven’t used a gym much before - there are

regular gym sessions run by our instructor free of charge (though there is a small

termly gym subscription) for our students, which are great both for learning and

for those of you more experienced. In the same building are indoor courts used for

badminton, squash, volleyball, table tennis and any other indoor sport that needs the


If that hasn’t convinced you, another reason to get involved in college sport is

to take part in our annual sports match against our sister college in O*ford, Christchurch.

This year it’s our turn to go away and be hosted by them. It takes place during

a weekend in Lent term and is a very fun day of competition and socialising.

But in the meantime, make sure to join us for our Fresher’s week events. There’s

Chaplain’s Squash, which is the main way (but not the only one) to register your

interest and meet the captains of the sports teams. And then there’s sports day, during

which you can try out as many sports as you want at Old Field and meet your future

teammates. Check out our website: Trinityfieldclub.net for further information or

28 Chapter 2. College Life

contact me directly (raip2@cam.ac.uk), alternatively seek out the contact details

of our individual sports captains on the Field Club Committee (*available on the

website), if you want to register your interest. I look forward to meeting many of

you soon.

Trinity Volleyball team enjoying a

victory in cuppers.

First and Third Trinity Boat Club’s

M1 racing

2.9.3 Rowing (by Luke Barratt, First and Third Trinity Boat Club Captain)

Hi! I’m Luke, the Overall Captain of the First and Third Trinity Boat Club, Trinity’s

rowing club. Much like the name of the Club, rowing at Cambridge and Trinity has

a long history, dating back nearly 200 years. As a result, rowing is at the heart of

Cambridge life, one of the defining features of the University. Our Club is no exception,

being one of the oldest Clubs on the River Cam. Indeed, our Club invented the

Cambridge May Ball here at Trinity as a celebration of the end of May Bumps—an

annual competition that accrues results year-on-year dating back to 1827. These

races—unique to Oxbridge—have fairly complicated rules, but essentially you have

around 20 boats lined up trying to ’bump’ into the boat in front to ascend the league

table while trying to avoid being ’bumped’ by the boat behind—and it’s a tonne of


We have been an incredibly successful Club—indeed Imogen Grant who learnt

to row with us just a few years ago recently competed at Tokyo! So, there is a legacy

to live up to, but we cater for all levels of commitment from just 1 outing a week,

and we expect no prior experience; the vast majority of those who join have never

rowed before. You don’t even need to be super athletic to join in: I certainly wasn’t

when I joined! Imogen signed up at our Freshers’ event in exchange for a free drink,

not expecting to even have a second session—but she ended up really liking it! So,

you might as well give it a go, if just for the experience of having rowed here, an

essential part of the Cambridge experience.

We have several boats on both men’s and women’s side, and so we can cater

for all levels of commitment, from just one session a week to six at maximum. First

and foremost, rowing is a great way to just get outside and relax: a break from what

2.9 Sports and Societies 29

can be an incredibly stressful degree. But we also have very competitive top boats if

going fast and success in races is what you’re after.

We’re also always looking for coxes, who steer the boats. So, if you think you’d be

good at shouting at a group of rowers to push harder, do also get in touch!

You may also find the Boat Club social scene particularly appealing. We number

over 100—we’re one of the largest College societies—and so we offer a wide

variety of socials you can pick and choose from, including formal dinners, games

nights, pub nights, BBQs, and not to forget the termly Boat Club Dinner—truly

a night not to be forgotten! Rowing really is a community in which everyone is

welcome—including a strong women’s side, considerable LGBTQ representation

and a large international community—and you’re sure to meet friends for life if you

get involved. It’s also very accessible as we provide everything for free; we only ask

for you to buy your own kit, which depending on how much you buy you can claim

back from College at the end of the year.

If any of this interests you, do join us at Chaplain’s Squash (if it happens!) or

our welcome event in Freshers’ Week. You can ask any of us any questions you

might have as well as sign up for your first tubbing session—going out in a really

chunky boat impossible to capsize. There is no obligation to continue, and you never

know: you might find your new passion like Imogen did! You can also email the

Novice Captains at lbcs@firstandthird.org.

If you have rowed before, do get in touch with either me (Luke Barratt; menscaptain@firstandthird.org)

or the women’s captain (Laila Dell’Anno; womenscaptain@firstandthird.org).

We’d love to bring you into our senior squad straight away!

Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions. Otherwise, I look forward

to seeing you around College and at the Boathouse!

"It offers a great change to get away from the pressures and stress of a Cambridge

degree. When you’re rowing, the only thing you can think about is the rowing itself,

and you’re forced to leave all of your stress on the bank for an hour or two."

"The community is incredibly open and welcoming, and my life at Trinity would be

unimaginable without the social aspect of the Boat Club."

2.9.4 Music (by Dan Atkinson, Trinity College Music Society President)

Hi! I’m Dan and I’m the current president of TCMS, the largest and busiest college

music society in Cambridge. As a society that’s always expanding, both in terms of

its membership and its repertoire, we’d love many of you to get involved in college

music during your time at Trinity!

30 Chapter 2. College Life

TCMS’s two main aims are to continue to produce high quality of music throughout

its concert programmes and to continue to enhance the wide-reaching sense of

community that has been built up over a number of years. Our membership includes

a large number of Trinity students, but also many from beyond the college and the

university. As a result, TCMS has been able to present some of the university’s finest

talent, often to large, returning audiences. Some of our biggest large-scale recent successes

include the Bach St. Matthew Passion in May 2019 and a staged production

of Handel’s Giulio Cesare. The remarkable concert setting of Trinity Chapel has also

featured numerous Bach cantata series and many solo recitals. A highlight of last

year was a combined effort to perform all of the Beethoven piano sonatas across the

Michaelmas term. Most of our recent recitals are livestreamed and recordings can be

found on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCccq06C7YtjcnB0aoZQqKA).

We also understand that enjoying music can be very important to students as a break

from college life. The college is home to The Trinity Singers, a non-auditioned

choir which offers an opportunity to experience rehearsing and performing in Trinity

Chapel at a lower commitment level. Contact singersdirector@tcms.org.uk to find

out more. This year we’re hoping to help set up some informal chamber music

groups as well. Many students also regularly attend college music events. One

of the most popular is the Jazz in the Bar. Taking place in the college on Sunday

nights (when restrictions permit), these are great nights for performers and audience

members alike to enjoy music in a different setting.

There are many ways to get involved, and becoming a member is very easy.

We offer lifetime membership for £20, or £11 for the duration of your time as a

student. Members gain unlimited entry to TCMS concerts and events, which, beyond

our chapel concerts, include the likes of the Wren Library Concert and May Week

Garden Party later in the year. Please get in touch with membership@tcms.org.uk if

you are interested in becoming a member.

With the coronavirus pandemic, TCMS, like many other music organisations, has

2.9 Sports and Societies 31

been forced to review what it it able to put on to ensure that music can be enjoyed in

the safest possible environment. Our Artistic Director and the rest of the committee

have worked hard to put together full, varied programmes of music while restrictions

have been in place. We’re hoping to transition back to normal musical proceedings

this year if possible.

We have a big committee who are more than happy to answer general questions or

enquiries about how to get involved. Do contact president@tcms.org.uk or go to

tcms.org for more specific enquiries. We’d love to hear from you, whatever your

experience or musical tastes may be! Looking forward to meeting many of you in


32 Chapter 2. College Life

2.10 University Societies

Sometimes there are not enough people interested in something in a single College to

justify having a College society, which is where University societies take over. The

list of all the University societies is huge, encompassing everything from amateur

radio to gymnastics to tiddlywinks.

These societies will have a stall at the University Freshers’ Fair where you will be

able to sign up. Keep an eye out for the Domino’s Pizza Stand which gives out free

pizza and vouchers!

2.10.1 Sports

If you are interested in doing a sport more often or at a higher level than available

in College, University-level sport may be for you. There are 52 official University

sports clubs ranging from tennis to yachting to korfball.

University sport is of a more competitive level and usually requires training more

often. Some teams also require trials to see what team would suit you. If you’d like

to get in contact sooner, for example to find out about pre-season training, or generally

want to find out more have a look at: https://www.sport.cam.ac.uk/studentsport/university-sports-clubs/,

or check out individual sports club’s websites.

2.10.2 Music

Cambridge University Musical Society (CUMS) is one of the oldest and most

distinguished university music societies in the world. It offers a world-class musical

education for members of the University and local residents, nurturing the great

musicians of the future and providing performance opportunities for over 500

students each year.

Founded in 1843, the Society has played a pivotal role in British musical life

for over 170 years. It has educated Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Sir John

Eliot Gardiner, Edward Gardner, Christopher Hogwood and Robin Ticciati, has

premièred works by Brahms, Holloway, Lutoslawski, Rutter, Saxton and Vaughan

Williams, and has given generations of Cambridge musicians the experience of

performing alongside visiting conductors and soloists including Britten, Dvořák,

Kodaly, Menuhin and Tchaikovsky.

Today, CUMS is made up of eight high-quality ensembles which offer a wide

variety of musical experiences to Cambridge students. For orchestral musicians, the

Society offers two outstanding orchestras: the flagship Cambridge University

Orchestra, who perform a variety of symphonic and chamber repertoire with

professional conductors and soloists, and the Cambridge University Sinfonia,

which is conducted by visiting professionals and the finest student conductors

throughout the year. Additionally, the Cambridge University Wind Orchestra

provides opportunities for wind, brass and percussion players to tackle a challenging

2.10 University Societies 33

and musically diverse repertoire in a sociable environment. For singers, CUMS

includes a Symphony Chorus and a Chamber Choir, which provide opportunities

for singers to perform outside of the Cambridge chapel choir environment.

Details of rehearsal schedules and the concert programmes lined up for 2018–2019

can be found on our website (www.cums.org.uk); you can also receive regular

updates about the Society’s activities on Facebook and Twitter (@CamUniMusSoc).

Each of the CUMS ensembles holds auditions at the start of the academic year.

To find out more or sign up for an audition, head over to the website.

2.10.3 Art

Trinity is home to hundreds of works of art, so there’s lots to see around the College,

from the Library to the walls of Great Hall. Trinity Fine Arts Society hosts life

drawing classes and Trinity Arts society runs the Picture Lending Scheme, as well as

hosting guest speakers throughout the year. Neither of these require an application

process or prior knowledge—just an interest in art!

The Fitzwilliam Gallery, Kettle’s Yard and the Heong Gallery offer lots of free talks

and workshops. There are many life drawing classes (including Life Lines and

ArcSoc) throughout the term and Varsity Magazine welcomes student writing on

art. There are also many student-run zines, including CUSU’s Get Real and Gender

Agenda, which feature illustration, writing and art in all its forms. PhoCUS is a

great place to meet other student photographers and Cambridge Shorts is great for


2.10.4 Drama

The main hubs for University Drama are the ADC Theatre and the Corpus Playroom.

At least four shows (ADC Main Show, Corpus Main Show, ADC Late Show and

34 Chapter 2. College Life

Corpus Late Show) are put on each week, as well as in other venues such as the

Pembroke Cellars and Fitzpatrick Hall at Queen’s College. Productions at the ADC

and Corpus Playroom are entirely put together by students, amateurs and volunteers,

and all the information on how to get involved in any way is found at camdram.net.

The main funding body for shows and the social hub is the Cambridge University

Amateur Dramatics Club who run regular events.

There are hundreds of opportunities to act every year, and productions always require

dedicated production and technical teams. Whether you’re interested in acting,

directing, producing, designing, stage managing, building, lighting or crewing a

show, new faces are always welcome, regardless of experience.

2.11 The JCR

The JCR (Junior Combination Room) is a space owned and operated by the TCSU.

It is currently being refurbished, and it is uncertain whether it will be open when you

arrive in College, but here is the old layout so you have an idea of what to expect

when it opens. It has two floors: the downstairs boasts a large TV with Sky, BT

Sport, Netflix (and so on) and a Blu Ray player, and loads of comfy things to sit on

so you can enjoy watching whatever you want with your friends. The upstairs JCR

has coffee tables, board games and a pool table. There are a few rules: no glasses

are allowed to be brought up from the Bar, and all rubbish must be put into the right

bins. It is a shared space with shared facilities and when things like Playstation

controllers break or go missing it’s a pain for everyone, so have a bit of common

sense. We haven’t always had a JCR and we don’t want this to be the year that we

lose it.

2.12 Computing

2.12.1 MyTrin, The Student Hub and Trinity

mytrin.trin.cam.ac.uk and students.trin.cam.ac.uk

MyTrin and The Student Hub have a huge amount of Trinity-specific resources: explore

them as soon as possible. In normal times Trinity has various computer rooms

for student use which can be found in the Library, next to the JCR, in Blue Boar

Court and in Burrell’s Field. These all contain computers and printers. There are

also scanners in some of these rooms. Everyone starts with £3 credit for the printers,

2.13 Smart Clothes 35

and this credit can be topped up online at https://www.ds.cam.ac.uk/mydsprint/.

Your starting credit will get you 100 black and white pages. A lot of people bring

their own laptops and printers to university, some rely on the computer rooms, and

others very rarely need a computer at all—it depends a lot on your course and style

of working.

2.12.2 CamSIS


This is the University’s central ‘hub’ of student information. If you ever need to

change your details, for example if you move house or get a new phone number,

simply log onto CamSIS and update your info through here! You’ll also be able to

enrol for exams and see your results here. You’ll be emailed when/how to do this

later on in the year.

2.12.3 Moodle


Throughout your course, you’ll probably find this website super useful! Depending

on your course/department, this is where most handouts, reading lists, lecture notes

and past papers will be available online. Many courses may even require you to

submit assignments through Moodle. Some departments, however, have their own

intranet so it’s best to check with your DoS when you arrive.

2.12.4 CamCORS


This is where you’ll find supervision reports, which are typically released termly.

2.12.5 Phones

2.12.6 Maps

https://help.uis.cam.ac.uk/service/email https://help.uis.cam.ac.uk/service/wi-fi

These pages will give you all the information you need to set up WiFi and your

University email on your phone. Setting this up as soon as you arrive is highly

recommended, as you’ll likely be receiving information you won’t want to miss.


Here you can find a nice zoomable map of the University to help you find your

lecture theatres and university buildings.

2.13 Smart Clothes

Typically, events that require you to dress a certain way in Cambridge will come in

two flavours: ‘Formal’ and ‘Black Tie’.

36 Chapter 2. College Life

2.13.1 Formal

The standard for Formals in most Cambridge Colleges. You’ll also need to be

wearing this for the Matriculation photograph in Freshers’ Week.

Option 1: A dark suit and tie. Smart shoes. Gown.

Option 2: This is definitely ‘smart’, but not ‘posh’. Think jumpsuit/playsuit or

smart dress or shirt and trousers/skirt. You can go for heels, but a nice pair of flats

that you can actually walk over the cobbles in are generally a great investment for

life anyway. Gown.

Some examples of Formal attire

2.13 Smart Clothes 37

One current and one former student at a Formal

2.13.2 Black Tie

You’d wear Black Tie for any balls and some

very smart occasions. Balls are mainly at

the end of Easter Term but some societies

(like The Union) put them on throughout the


In addition, some of the bigger evening

events in College will also be appropriate

for Black Tie and in these cases you’ll need

to wear a gown too; Black Tie is optional

for Matriculation Dinner, and not expected

for Formals, but other special dinners might

ask for it. Events that expect you to wear

Black Tie will often be indicated on invites

or notices by ‘evening dress’, ‘dinner

jackets’, ‘dinner suits’ or helpfully ‘Black


Black Tie being shown off at the

2019 May Ball

It’s easily possible to go through Cambridge

without wearing Black Tie, and you can always

ask your friends to borrow something for oneoffs,

but investing in it early on might give a bit more flexibility (you can find very

reasonable prices for dinner jackets online and in charity shops).

Option 1: A dinner jacket and a black bow tie. A dress shirt. Smart black shoes.

Option 2: A floor length dress for a ball, but the same as ‘Formal’ for most other


38 Chapter 2. College Life

2.14 Transport

We’re very lucky at Trinity in that nothing is very far away, so in day-to-day life,

you’ll probably walk or cycle everywhere: you will rarely need the bus or taxis.

Trinity has bike racks all around it and a few underground bike stores. (More info

can be found in the White Book and the Accommodation Handbook; e.g. regarding

the sticker you’ll require if you want to leave your bike on Trinity’s racks.)

You can normally get a decent deal on a new bike in the University Freshers’

Fair (details to be sent out)—be aware that most retailers will sell out of the cheap

bikes early on, and only the most expensive ones will be left by the end of Freshers’

Week. Be sure to invest in a quality bike lock as Cambridge is unfortunately a

hotspot for bike theft. Despite cycling in Cambridge being generally safer than it is

in larger cities, there aren’t many cycle lanes: it’s mainly one-way roads. If you’ve

never cycled on a road before, it’s probably a good idea to familiarise yourself with

the traffic laws in the UK and practice for a bit (Jesus Green is a good place to do

this) before you hit the streets.

Cambridge’s main train station is roughly a 25 minute walk away, and Cambridge

recently acquired a second station: Cambridge North. It takes roughly an hour to

travel into London on the train, and just over half an hour to get to Stansted Airport.

If you intend to be getting the train a lot or for long distances, it might be worth

investing in a railcard, which will get you discounts on some journeys.

The Avenue and the Backs

3. Useful Info

3.1 Getting Organised

It’s no secret that Cambridge can be an overwhelming place. What is much less

well-known, however, is that a lot of stress can be avoided by setting up some

organisational systems to keep everything together when you’re under pressure.

Here are some top tips:

• Before you come to Cambridge, set up some kind of calendar (either virtual

or paper) so that you can keep track of when and where you need to be

for various things. You can check your lecture timetable at https://2021-

22.timetable.cam.ac.uk from September and even upload it directly onto

your chosen online calendar. Even though it might seem annoying at first,

getting into the habit of noting down supervisions, classes, DoS meetings,

social events and more will really help you in the long run.

• Speaking of timetables, it might also be helpful for you to make a weekly

schedule for recurring events to stick up above your desk. Depending on how

your subject works, you might want to make one for ‘even weeks’ and one for

‘odd weeks’, as sometimes classes or supervisions will rotate on this basis. If

you find you have lots of different places to be on a daily basis, it might be a

good idea to get an ‘appointments’ diary too.

• In Cambridge, almost everything is communicated by email (think essay

titles, deadlines, marked work etc). As such, it’s really useful to set up some

folders in your Outlook account to store emails that are important and you

need to keep. Also, make sure to check your account regularly to keep up-todate

with everything.

• If you’ll be doing lots of your work on your laptop, it’s a good idea to back

up your files regularly, either to the Cloud or an external hard-drive.

40 Chapter 3. Useful Info

• For any work that you’re not doing on the computer, you are going to need

some stationery. Our recommendation would be to not buy too much until

you’ve been here for a little while and have a sense of what you need for

your course. Once you do know what you need, it’s often helpful to have a

ring-binder per subject for keeping hard copies of handouts or essays in one


• Save the number of the Porters’ Lodge and a Cambridge taxi company into

your phone (Uber have also launched in Cambridge). You never know when

you might need them...

Half the battle in Cambridge is just knowing when/where to hand things in and turn

up! Hopefully, armed with these useful tips, you’ll be empowered to have a smooth

transition to Cambridge life.

3.2 What to bring (and what not to)

The standard rental periods for rooms don’t cover the vacations: this means most

people will need to either completely clear out their room at the end of every Term,

or pay for Non-Residential Occupancy, where you are allowed to keep your belongings

in your room. However, this option is only available over the Christmas and

Easter holidays, so everything you bring will have to go home eventually. Students

from overseas are allowed some in-College storage space. With this in mind, it’s

important to figure out in advance what you actually need...

What to bring:

• Decorations: Bring posters, photos and anything that will make your room

feel like your very own. College have a strict no ‘blu-tac’ policy, so invest in

plenty of pins for your pinboard in your room and you can hang up posters

with these too (but if you make holes in the walls, the Works Department

will be on to you). Avoid windows too, as College doesn’t allow anything on

the windows. Don’t worry though: your room will have plenty of space for


• Smart clothes: See section 2.10 for more detail.

• Mugs: These are the most versatile objects a student can own.

• Crockery: It’s good to have a plate, bowl and some cutlery spare in case you

ever fancy cooking for yourself or having a snack in your room/gyp.

• Warm clothes: Cambridge gets extremely cold in winter, so bring cosy

clothes to wrap up warm. Also bring lighter clothes to wear inside as all the

College rooms are very well heated.

• Umbrella/raincoat/shoes that will withstand downpours: Even though

Cambridge is one of the driest places in the UK, we still have some pretty

spectacular downpours (it is, after all, still the UK). A rucksack or bag that

withstands a shower or two may also be a good shout, as it may be a little

disappointing to have your lecture notes or even your laptop ruined by some

bad weather.

3.2 What to bring (and what not to) 41

• Computer Accessories: If you like working with an external monitor or

keyboard make sure to bring it. As WiFi isn’t very good in some places in

College, particularly in the older buildings, it’s probably worth bringing an

Ethernet adapter if your computer doesn’t have an Ethernet port. In previous

years the College provided Ethernet cables free of charge and this should be

the case this year too.

• Clothes horse or radiator drying rack: The Trinity tumble dryers aren’t

terrific, so if you’re serious about your washing you might want to leave your

clothes out to dry in the laundry room. Just make sure it’s portable as you

don’t want to be lugging a monster down lots of stairs.

• Laundry bag (or big reusable shopping bag): You’ll need some vessel to

take your laundry back and forth from the laundry room. This will also help

to keep your room tidy and organised.

• Extension leads: Often sockets are not conveniently placed in your bedroom;

i.e., there may be loads near the desk and none close to your bed. Investing

in one four-way extension lead will make life more convenient, but you can

also buy one in Sainsbury’s once you get here.

• Hangers: Trinity wardrobes tend to have limited drawer space and plenty of

hanging space.

What not to bring:

• Gown: You will buy your gown when you get here.

• Bedding: Unless not having certain bedding will affect your quality of sleep

significantly, the Trinity-provided stuff is fine. Limit it to bringing your

favourite pillow or cushion.

• Lots of books: Cambridge has excellent libraries, which will more than

provide for your literary needs. The University Library Catalogue (iDiscover)

lets you know where to find a book you might want through its search

function, and many of these are available online. Any books that you do want

to purchase can be done so with your book allowance (£75 per student per

year), which can be claimed after you fill in a form and hand in the receipts.

• Excessive kitchen equipment: Storage space in gyp rooms isn’t exactly

abundant, so bring enough that means you can survive on not having to wash

up constantly, but also not taking up all of the space for everyone else. If

you’re living in a block without hobs, you’re not going to need pots and pans.

• Giant food shop: With Sainsbury’s right next door, Trinity students are very

lucky. Don’t waste your precious car/luggage space with a huge food shop.

Use it for other essentials like that extra coat (it gets really cold here in

winter). However, make sure to bring the 3 days worth of non-perishable

food that College requires.

• Things you’re not allowed: Refer to the Accommodation Handbook.

42 Chapter 3. Useful Info

3.3 Students’ Maps

Map data: Google.

3.3 Students’ Maps 43

Map data: Google.

44 Cambridge Glossary

3.4 Cambridge Glossary


ASNC: Anglo Saxon, Norse and Celtic degree.


Colloquial form of bedmaker—see section 2.7.


Pronounced ‘comp-ski’, somebody who studies computer science.


Your CRSid (or Common Registration Scheme identifier, in full) is a unique code

given to each university member. It generally consists of your initials, followed by

a random number and will also form part of your email address.


The Dean of College is in charge of discipline..


See section 2.3.


Emmanuel College.


An academic post in a College—see section 2.3.

First and Third

Trinity’s rowing society—see section 2.8.3.

Formal Hall or ‘Formal’

See section 2.5.4.


Somebody in their first year at university.


Academic dress, usually worn at Formals.

Great Court Run

Students attempt to run around Great Court, during the time the clock takes to strike

twelve noon on the day of Matriculation Dinner.


Slang for the small cooking areas in most accommodation buildings.


Human, social and political sciences degree.


See section 2.10.


Somebody who studies Maths (see also Trinmo).


New students matriculate when they enrol or register at their College. Can also

refer to Matriculation Dinner: a very nice meal that occurs after Freshers’ Week.

May Ball

A huge party run overnight during May Week. Many Colleges have them (or parties

like them). Your ticket price typically includes free food and drinks, as well as

Cambridge Glossary 45

varied entertainments throughout the night. Information regarding Trinity’s May

Ball is sent round in Lent Term.

May Week

The week after the end of Full Easter Term, in which various May Balls are held.


Murray Edwards College.


Pronounced ‘nat-ski’, somebody who studies Natural Sciences, or sometimes the

subject of Natural Sciences as well. Natscis are sometimes split into bio-natscis

(studying biological options) and phys-natscis (studying physical options).


A stage of Tripos examination, normally Part I or Part II.

Pigeonhole or Pidge

Each student’s personal mailbox, in the Mailroom.


The Porters’ Lodge, where the Porters are based.

Senior Tutor

The academic member of the College responsible for the academic and pastoral

welfare of all students.


A Tutorial held by a Supervisor.


A person chosen by the College to teach students. Could be a Fellow, or a graduate

student, and not necessarily from Trinity.

Tit Hall

Trinity Hall (another, different, College—not part of Trinity College).


A mathematician at Trinity.


The degree programme you are on—usually divided into Parts. Specifically used to

refer to the exams themselves.


A member of the College’s academic staff who does not teach you, but is responsible

for your general welfare, as the first port of call for help.


The University Library.


University Messenger Service.

Union Society or Cambridge Union or The Union

Essentially a debating society. Not to be confused with CUSU.

Vacation or Vac

The parts of the year that are not Term; i.e., the holidays. The Long Vacation is the

summer break between years.

46 Cambridge Glossary

Fireworks display at the 2018 Trinity May Ball

Preparations for the 2018 Trinity May Ball


4.1 What is TCSU?

Good question. The Trinity College Students’ Union is a society, and by reading

this sentence you just became a member of it. That was easy.

Our constitution says this:

§1.2 Aims and Objectives

1. To advance the education of its members

2. To promote the general welfare of its members

3. To encourage student societies, sports and social activities

4. To act as a channel of communication between its members and the Fellows

of Trinity College and other bodies

5. To ensure that its members are not discriminated against on the grounds of

race, religion, nationality, social background, sex, disability, sexual orientation,

or other irrelevant ground.

4.2 TCSU Executive Committee

For this College to be a good place to live, work and play takes the efforts of

everyone in TCSU’s community. But to make sure that we maximise the goodness,

and work towards everyone having as good a time as everyone else, TCSU elects

the Executive Committee once a year.

We’re 15 students who are so passionate about making life at Trinity the best

it can be that we wrote manifestos and answered questions to get the chance to

make a bigger contribution than most on how good Trinity is. We bring the TCSU

community together, and we represent our members’ interests at a College and

University level.

48 Chapter 4. TCSU

Name: Serena Cole

Role: President

Subject: Medicine

Year: 3rd

Favourite Trinity pastime: Punting with drinks, music and

good vibes in summer

Fun fact: I broke two bones in my foot on the cobbles. They

are dangerous.

Name: Menan Loganathan

Role: Vice-President

Subject: Medicine

Year: 3rd

Favourite Trinity pastime: Playing the enforcer role for

the Trinity Mixed Netball team.

Fun fact: I fell out of the same Trinity window


Name: Beatrice Codd

Role: Treasurer

Subject: Land Economy

Year: 3rd

Favourite Trinity pastime: Procrastinating by going to


Fun fact: I fell in the Cam on my first proper rowing


Name: Michelle Acheampong

Role: Junior Steward

Subject: Land Economy

Year: 2nd

Favourite Trinity pastime: Going to Sunday brunch with

the gang!

Fun fact: Definitely set the world record for the shortest

time before getting stuck in the Wolfson Lift (spoiler it was

1 hour after arriving back at Trinity for Easter term)

4.2 TCSU Executive Committee 49

Name: Elianna Proud

Role: Environmental and Domestic Officer

Subject: History and Politics

Year: 2nd

Favourite Trinity pastime: Sitting on the backs and laughing

at the disparate variants of ’Trinity facts’ being told to

tourists by punt guides.

Fun fact: My friends won’t play football with me if I’m

wearing my studs.

Name: Jeevan Shemar

Role: Ents Officer

Subject: Law

Year: 3rd

Favourite Trinity pastime: Sitting on my favourite bench

on the backs reading

Fun fact: I’ve listened to Tears Dry On Their Own, Amy

Winehouse 357 times.

Name: Isabel Siggers

Role: Mental Health and Disabled Students’ Welfare Officer

Subject: Part II Natural Sciences (Earth Sciences)

Year: 3rd

Favourite Trinity pastime: Sitting on the backs, listening

to the stories from passing punts.

Fun fact: I make the meanest microwave cookies and


Name: Yi Wen Lee

Role: Women’s Officer

Subject: Law

Year: 3rd

Favourite Trinity pastime: Croquet and formals!

Fun fact: I really like playing saxophone.

50 Chapter 4. TCSU

Name: James Critchley

Role: Male Welfare Officer

Subject: English

Year: 2nd

Favourite Trinity pastime: Turning out for the magnificent

Trinity College Mixed Netball team

Fun fact: Took part in his first ever rendition of ’Father

Abraham’ in the Master’s garden last year, and hasn’t quite

known what to make of the experience ever since.

Name:Kapri Belentepe

Role: Female Welfare Officer

Subject: History

Year: 2nd

Favourite Trinity pastime: Pretending to do work under

the cloisters or hanging out in the College Bar

Fun fact: I love wearing pink crocs around my accommodation

Name: Ayesha Khan

Role: BME Officer

Subject: HSPS

Year: 2nd

Favourite Trinity pastime: The 10:55pm Sainsbury’s runs

to stock up on orange juice

Fun fact: My birthday is on Pakistan Independence Day. . . .

I am Indian

4.2 TCSU Executive Committee 51

Name: Tayla Hardy

Role: LGBT+ Officer

Subject: PBS

Year: 2nd

Favourite Trinity pastime: Sitting on the backs and watching

people try to punt

Fun fact: I didn’t think dinosaurs were real until I was about


Name: Eve Simpson

Role: Access Officer

Subject: Law

Year: 3rd

Favourite Trinity pastime: Talking to the porters about my


Fun fact: I was on Children in Need breakdancing in


Name: Máté Fehér

Role: Overseas Welfare Officer

Subject: Medicine

Year: 3rd

Favourite Trinity pastime: Rowing or annoying my friends

by talking about rowing

Fun fact: I once baked 100 macarons in an afternoon

52 Chapter 4. TCSU

4.3 Welfare 53

4.3 Welfare

We all know from personal

experience how daunting Trinity

and Cambridge can be —

we’ve been through it too!

Welfare in a Cambridge/College

context covers everything from

struggling with workload and

homesickness to sexual assault,

eating disorders and mental

health issues. Whether it’s sex,

sexuality, loneliness or simply

not feeling yourself, Welfare

covers the lot.

If you’re having any problems

with anything, your Tutor

is usually an excellent

person to talk to about it and

in the best position to help you

by pointing you in the right

direction — often you will find The Welfare Officers, James and Kapri

that the support you need is

available without leaving Trinity. There is a College Mental Health & Wellbeing

Advisor and a College Counsellor, as well as the College Nurse and an Advisor to

Women Students. Additionally, there is a Fellow for BME Students and a Fellow

for LGBT+ Students. The College Chaplains are also extremely good listeners, and

offer support to students of all faiths and none.

As well as College-provided support, there’s also us! We’ve all been elected into

our Welfare roles because we want to help the people of Trinity in any way

that we can. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from us:

TCSU’s Welfare Team are there to talk to when you need a non-judgemental ear.

We’ve all been Freshers, we know just how hard it can be to be at university, and

Trinity specifically. There’s no problem too big or too small, and you’ll never be

bothering us; we’ve chosen to put ourselves up for these roles for exactly this reason.

You can use email, Facebook or the contact forms on the TCSU website to get in

touch. While we can’t give professional advice, we can always listen, chat things

through and give our experience, as well as pointing you towards more qualified

help. We are, of course, confidential.

We can all give you free sexual health items: that’s condoms (of all shapes, sizes and

colours), femidoms and dams. We also give out free menstruation items: tampons,

54 Chapter 4. TCSU

pads, pantyliners and night pads. They can be requested from any of us, and you’ll

find flowerpots filled with them in the disabled and women’s toilets in the Bar. We

can also supply pregnancy and chlamydia tests.

The Welfare Team all have access to the Welfare Room. It is lovely and cosy,

with a gyp room and toilet, and it’s where you can arrange to meet with any of

us, any time you need to talk. It’s where the Welfare Officers will host weekly

drop-ins—times to be posted online. There is also a multi-faith prayer room in B3b

Whewell’s Court.

The key message from all of this is: you are never on your own. No matter

how big or small the problem is, there are so many people who care and want to

make sure you’re happy here. Happiness at university doesn’t always come straight

away—there’s so many new places, routines and people to get used to. It might take

a while, but we’re all here to help.

Love, the Welfare Team:

James, Kapri, Ayesha, Isabel, Tayla, Yi Wen, Eve and Máté.

4.4 Mental Health

Hi! My name is Isabel, and I am the Mental Health and Disabled Students’ Welfare

Officer here at Trinity. Below is a short introduction to the mental health

support available in college. Additional links and resources can be found at

http://www.tcsu.net/support-centre/ and at https://students.trin.cam.ac.uk/healthand-wellbeing/wellbeing

• If you need informal support, or to be pointed in the right direction for specialised

help, you can always contact me at mental-health@tcsu.net. For

anyone who needs advice on accessing support for disabilities, I can also be

contacted at the above email address, or via disabilities@tcsu.net.

• Your tutor is in charge of your general pastoral needs, so do contact them

with general concerns about your welfare if you feel comfortable doing so.

• The Chaplains are also a great source of pastoral support, regardless of your

religion. Feel free to contact either John Summers or Olga Fabrikant-Burke

anytime via their respective emails.

The more formal mental health support services are as follows:

• The Mental Health Advisor (mha@trin.cam.ac.uk), who offers general mental

health and welfare support and advice, and can refer students to the college

counsellors or CBT therapist, as well as help to obtain other support, adjustments

or referrals in partnership with your tutor. She is available at short

4.4 Mental Health 55

notice, and can offer confidential support sessions even if other avenues of

support are not pursued.

• The College Counsellors and CBT Therapists, who provide confidential

counselling to students referred from the MHA.

Within the wider University, students also have access to:

• The University Counselling Service, which uses the self referral system at

http://www.counselling.cam.ac.uk/studentcouns/students. They also have a

‘Self Help for Students’ section on their website with helpful leaflets and


• The Student Advice Service (https://www.cambridgesu.co.uk/support/advice/),

which is run by the Cambridge Student Union and offers practical support

on academic and welfare issues. They can help you to find specialist support

elsewhere, provide information on University procedures and - of course -

give friendly advice.

• The Disability Advisor (Eleanor.Girt-Izod@admin.cam.ac.uk) , who is Trinity’s

contact at the Disability Resource Centre and can offer or help you to

access specialist support if you disclosed a disability on your UCAS application

or otherwise. If you have not disclosed a disability but would like to, you

can do so here https://www.disability.admin.cam.ac.uk/student-informationform.

If you don’t have an official diagnosis, you can start the process by

contacting disability@admin.cam.ac.uk.

The ‘Where to go: Accessing support’ page at www.studentwellbeing.admin.cam.ac.uk

also has a great list of resources for specific concerns.

If you have any trouble finding the right support for you, or have had any problems

with the mental health support services that college provides, please do not hesitate

to get in contact with me. Hope this guide was helpful!

4.6 Finally... 57

4.6 Finally...

We hope you have enjoyed reading this handbook. Much much more information

about all of these topics can be found online and in the College-provided documents.

If you’re looking for clarification on something in particular, feel free to message or

email the TCSU team and we will try our best to find out.

Don’t forget to join the Trinity College Freshers 2021 group on Facebook. We

will also keep you up to date on everything Freshers’ Week related via email as well.

From all of us at TCSU, have a lovely rest of your summer! We can’t wait to

welcome you into the Trinity community.

4.7 Credits

This handbook wouldn’t have been possible without so many special people. Every

section is the result of a large team of students (more than simply the TCSU

Committee) volunteering their time, collaborating, contributing, remembering,

creating, editing and researching together.

The TCSU Committee would also like to thank and give credit to:

• The Master for her introduction

• Menan Loganathan for compiling/editing this handbook

• Farzana Huysman for making the Students’ Maps

• Everyone that contributed photos, whether or not they were used

• Past TCSU Committees for giving us inspiration for what to include.

58 Chapter 4. TCSU

4.8 Welfare Contacts


Contact Info

TCSU Welfare Female female-welfare@tcsu.net











Mental Health




Senior Tutor

College Nurse

College Counsellor

College Mental Health Advisor



01223 338471



01223 747505

Porters’ Lodge 01223 338400

Chaplains John john.summers@trin.cam.ac.uk

01223 766327



01223 338472

Others Nightline email@cambridge.nightline.ac.uk

01223 744444

The Samaritans 116 123

NHS First Response Service 111 then select option 2

Addenbrooke’s Hospital 01223 245151

Students’ Unions’ Advice Service


01223 746999

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