Hello and Welcome to St Edmund Hall, or Teddy Hall as it is more commonly referred to as. I would like to take this opportunity to give you an insight into how life as a postgraduate at Teddy Hall will be like. Some of you would already be aware of the fact that Teddy Hall is one of the oldest establishments within the university, which is regarded by some (and definitely in my unbiased opinion) as the best college in Oxford. What you might not be aware of is the vibrant social atmosphere, its welcoming nature, and the community like feeling within the college that Teddy Hall has been known for. As a postgraduate student of Teddy Hall you will be a member of the Middle Common Room (MCR), which will act as a hub where you will get to experience a lot of the great things that Teddy Hall has to offer.
What is the MCR?
A common room serves two key purposes: it provides a social environment for all members from every discipline studying at Teddy Hall, and represents the interests of its members within the College on various College committees and within the wider university. The common room refers to both the members of the common room as well as the physical space- the actual common room which is located in the front quad of the main site near staircase IV. Upon your arrival to the Porters Lodge, you will be given a fob (a.k.a salto key) which will give you access to the MCR, and a variety of MCR Facilities. The MCR is a true home away from home. Inside you will find cozy chairs and couches, friendly folk to chat with, various newspapers and magazines and free tea and coffee and the occasional cake in some days of the week to help keep you going. Across the corridor is the MCR computer room with Internet access, printers and a scanner. The MCR computer room acts as a great study space for post-graduates of the college who are on the lookout for a more talkative study space when compared to the college library.
Throughout your time at the Hall, the MCR puts on a wide variety of activities from very British high teas and black tie dinners, to a number of themed parties hosted in the MCR itself, BBQ’s, wine tastings, exchange dinners with other colleges and garden parties. A complimentary brunch is also served every Sunday during term from 11 am in the Common Room at the Norham Gardens site (NSE). It is our aim to organise events that everyone can enjoy, so if there is something you think is missing and you have a suggestion then please do let any member of the MCR committee know. A schedule for all these events will be in the google calendar on the MCR website mcr.seh.ox.ac.uk together with all other useful information about the MCR.
Formal Halls also play a key part in the MCR’s social calendar. These take place on Tuesday and Friday evenings during term time, and are an occasion for you to experience an exquisite three-course meal, prepared by our excellent chef John McGreevy, in the company of your fellow students. As graduate students, you may also dine at High Table and take “second dessert” with the fellows afterwards. I would also encourage you to book a place at the even more elaborate meal, SCR Guest Night, served in the wonderful Old Dining Hall, at some point during your time at Teddy Hall.
Clubs and Societies
If there is one thing that Teddy Hall is known for by every student at Oxford, then it is for its sporting achievements. The last year has seen the Hall making the finals of three major cuppers tournaments in Oxford (the premier sports competition between colleges in Oxford), winning both the cricket and football cuppers finals and narrowly missing out on rugby cuppers. In addition to this the Teddy Hall boat club had a great year, which was crowned off by the Women’s first boat winning blades at Summer VIIIs. All of these sports teams had great representation from the MCR. In additions to sports clubs there are a number of other clubs and societies which cater to a variety of interests in the Hall, and its these clubs and societies that provide a perfect platform for interaction between the MCR, Junior Common Room (for undergraduates) and Senior Common Room (for fellows of the college). Just come to one of the cuppers finals to witness it. The College Freshers’ Fair held during Freshers’ week will have more information about these clubs and societies, and any queries with regard to Teddy Hall sports and how to get involved in them can be directed towards our MCR Sports Rep. There is also a separate University Freshers’ Fair, which will let you see what is available in Oxford at large.
Over the next few weeks you will be added to the MCR mailing list, through which College and the MCR committee regularly advertise what’s going on in the graduate community so you don’t miss out on important news and event notices. This will include a host of pre-fresher and freshers week events that I would definitely encourage you to be a part of. Additionally, we have set up a Facebook group to help you ask questions and meet people before you arrive – simply click here or search for the group “Teddy Hall MCR 2017/18”.
Teddy Hall MCR has been a huge part of my time in Oxford – so much so that the Teddy Hall MCR as more or less been a second family to me, and I have made some great friends from an incredibly diverse range of geographical, cultural and academic backgrounds who I am sure will last a lifetime. The MCR committee will do our best to run a host of amazing events for you to make sure that you too would have the opportunity to make the best of your time at the Hall, and I hope to see you at many of these events throughout the year! Even though you will be busy working hard, please do try to come along – after all the people you meet and the memories you make are a huge part of the whole Oxford experience.