From collections to cooking facilities, graduation to governance, the Wadham Student Handbook contains essential information for all our students. Students are expected to read and adhere to all information in this Handbook.
Whether you are a fresher or a returning student, I want to welcome you warmly to Wadham. This celebrated College is a tolerant, inclusive community with distinguished scholarship and learning at its heart. We expect you to study hard during your time with us and to take all the opportunities that Wadham will certainly offer as you broaden your knowledge and stretch your minds over the next years. Each one of you is here because we believe that you have the ability and the potential to benefit from the array of intellectual possibilities that the College offers to its undergraduate and graduate members.
As well as being a community of scholars, Wadham is a home to its students and a place that is full of activity and promise. You will make lifelong relationships here and we want everyone to enjoy a happy and a liberal environment where people are friends, treating each other, and the College itself, with respect. It is for that reason that this online handbook sets out some of the rules and conventions that govern life at Wadham. Their purpose is to provide a setting in which we may all live and work harmoniously together within these beautiful buildings and gardens.
General information for all students
Matriculation is the ceremony that marks a student’s formal admission to the University and will take place soon after your arrival.
If you need to attend a matriculation ceremony, further information will be sent to you nearer the time.
The required dress for matriculation is known as ‘sub fusc’. Information about the appropriate gown you will need to wear will be supplied to you nearer the time but you will also need to wear a mortar board or soft-cap, and your preferred items from the following list:
• Dark suit with dark socks, or
• Dark skirt with black tights or stockings, or
• Dark trousers with dark socks
Dark coat if required
Plain white collared shirt or blouse
White bow tie, black bow tie, black full-length tie, or black ribbon.
The official annual record is the Wadham College Gazette, distributed free to all members. As well as reports of academic achievements, articles, and contributions from old members, it includes accounts of student activities, such as entertainment, sport, and travel. Contributions concerning these, verbal or pictorial, are warmly encouraged.
Wadham's website contains information about all aspects of College life, from news and events to room bookings and accommodation queries. The news content is updated daily, and we hope that you will be checking the website regularly to keep abreast of all the exciting things happening in your College. Anyone interested in helping create website content (writing news stories, taking photographs, making short videos...) should get in touch with our Head of Communications and Website, firstname.lastname@example.org
The McCall MacBain Graduate Centre is a dedicated facility for Wadham’s graduate students. The Graduate Centre provides a modern, year-round, centrally-located study space to both taught and research students, and social space to which all MCR members are welcome.
The Graduate Centre is located in a Grade II listed building, formerly the Blackwell’s Music Shop. It can be accessed via the entrance building in the Back Quad. Enter the entrance building through the main doors and go across the bridge to the Graduate Centre. Alternatively, enter the entrance building and descend the stairs, or use the lift, to enter via the basement level (the quick access to the MCR). The stairs and lift in the entrance building also go to the second floor, to access the roof terrace garden, and top floor where a small seminar room is located (Tower Room). A key can be signed out from the Lodge to access the Tower Room via the lift.
(b) Eligible users
The Graduate Centre is open to all currently enrolled graduate students at Wadham College; this includes students enrolled on postgraduate certificate and diploma courses, as well as those on Masters courses and research degrees. Entry to the Centre is strictly controlled by a magnetic card lock on each level operated with a current, valid, University card. A University card must be carried at all times and must be shown when requested by a member of staff.
Eligible users are welcome to bring guests into the social areas, but guests are not permitted in the library. Children are not permitted in the Graduate Centre or on the roof terrace at any time for safety reasons.
(c) Opening hours
The Graduate Centre is normally open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, throughout the year, except for a short period over Christmas and the New Year. There will be periods during the week when areas will need to be closed for a short time for cleaning.
The Graduate Centre has been “zoned” to provide a variety of spaces to meet the needs of graduates. It features 2 seminar rooms with LCD projectors, a reading room, a library with several networked computers and printer/photocopier, an MCR common room with a bar and more networked computers, an MCR kitchen, a media room with large TV and comfy seating, and a roof terrace garden. It is expected that graduates will respect the facilities and agreed rules of each room and that there will not be a need for active monitoring by staff. If users do experience problems with other users that they cannot resolve, the issue should be reported to the Lodge or Dean.
The Graduate Centre includes the Mok Reading Room and a library area whose desk spaces are set over two floors. Journal runs and specific named collections of monographs, such as the Michael Foot collection of books on modern political history, are stored behind locked grilles. Access to these items is by request to the library staff. A collection of art-house films on DVD and Bluray is also housed in the Mok Reading Room: a key to access these can be signed out from the Lodge (only by graduate students of Wadham). Please note that the DVDs should not be taken out of the Graduate Centre, but viewed in the Becker Media Room, which is adjacent to the DVD section.
The library and reading room are for quiet individual work on the networked computers or the user’s own laptop. Group work, chatting, discussions, and use of mobile phones are prohibited in these areas. No food or drink, except bottled water, is allowed on the tables by the College’s networked computers. The networked computers in the common room and library are intended for quick use such as collecting emails or quick Internet search. For longer term use, the College’s 24-hour Computer Rooms are suggested. The Graduate Centre has wired and wireless connectivity throughout.
The Graduate Centre’s two seminar rooms (Gillese-Badun Room and Tower Room) are part of the College’s public rooms. This means that these rooms will need to be booked in advance for activities such as seminars, revision, meetings, group projects, research interviews or presentation practice. The seminar rooms can also be used for graduate conferences and small social events. Rooms may not be used for entertainment without the prior permission of the Dean. The seminar rooms may be booked by external organisations out of term-time. For further details on how to book a public room, please see the 'College Facilities' page of the Handbook.
The MCR kitchen is equipped with a cooker, microwave, toaster, kettle, dishwasher and fridge/freezer. The kitchen door is a fire door and must remain closed at all times. Cooking must never be left unattended. Food and drink is permitted in the MCR social space and Becker Media Room. Users must clean up after themselves.
The bar is managed and operated by the MCR. It is very important that users abide by the conditions of the Premises License. The Domestic Bursar should be consulted for advice. Details on opening hours will be circulated by the MCR. For safety reasons, no alcohol is to be consumed in the Barbara Naylor Garden (roof terrace).
The Graduate Centre is supplied with a number of bins for collection of recyclable materials (paper, paper cups, aluminium and steel cans, plastic and glass bottles, plastic food containers). All users are encouraged to use these bins.
Smoking is not permitted in the Graduate Centre, including the lightwell, in the Barbara Naylor Garden or in the area immediately outside the Graduate Centre on Back Quad.
Although the Graduate Centre is equipped with closed circuit television (CCTV) in a number of areas, the cameras are not actively monitored by the Lodge and should not be relied upon to prevent theft of belongings. Users are advised not to leave valuables unattended at any time. A limited number of lockers are available in the Becker Media Room, MCR kitchen and the ground floor of the Mok Reading Room. The lockers are managed by the MCR.
(f) Health and Safety
Graduate Centre users are responsible for taking reasonable care of their own health and safety, to co-operate with staff on health and safety matters and not to interfere with anything provided to safeguard their health and safety. If users have any concerns about health and safety in the Graduate Centre, please report them to the Lodge.
(g) Staff Assistance
The Graduate Centre is not staffed, however if users need assistance there are two help lines, located in the common room and library, connected to the Lodge, which is staffed 24 hours a day. If dialling internally, the Lodge can be reached via telephone on 77900 for routine matters or on 77999 for emergencies. If dialling externally, the telephone numbers are 01865 277900 (routine matters) and 01865 277999 (emergencies). If a user is working in the Graduate Centre after midnight and there is no one else in the building, it is recommended to call the Lodge to let them know.
(h) Fire or Emergency Evacuation
In the event of the fire alarm sounding, users should leave the building by the nearest fire exits, which are sign-posted throughout the Graduate Centre, and should assemble outside the building as directed. Do not use the lift in the event of a fire. An emergency radio to contact the Lodge is located in a wooden box in the basement outside the lift.
The Domestic Bursar welcomes feedback from graduate students about any aspect of the Graduate Centre’s facilities.
Academic matters - Undergraduates
Students wishing to apply for Oxford SU Sabbatical positions are required to seek the consent of their College in advance of standing for election if they would be required to suspend for a year in order to take up the position (that is, finalists are normally exempt from this requirement).
The College recognises the important contribution that Oxford SU makes to the running of the University and is generally supportive of its students taking on positions of responsibility within the organisation. However, it also needs to be recognised that suspension of studies (for whatever reason) has the potential to disrupt a student’s academic progress, thus preventing them achieving their full potential. Given this, the College reserves the right to withhold its consent to students running for Oxford SU sabbatical offices in cases where this is felt appropriate.
Students seeking the College’s permission to stand for election should contact the Senior Tutor in the first instance, who will then liaise with the student’s tutors regarding whether consent should be granted. There will be, as a minimum, the following expectations of a student applying for an Oxford SU sabbatical role:
1) They should have a consistent record of ‘satisfactory academic performance’ as defined above
2) They should not be the subject of any ongoing or recent disciplinary matters, whether academic or non-academic
3) They should submit their request in good time, ideally at least two weeks before the deadline stipulated for the College to give its approval to the request
Students who suspend in order to take up an Oxford SU sabbatical position will be permitted to retain access to College facilities, and may be permitted to live in College-owned accommodation if it is available. If such accommodation is available it will not be offered at the subsidized rate offered to enrolled students, but at a rate which takes account of the salary offered by Oxford SU. Continued access to facilities whilst suspended is a privilege which the College may revoke if those holding Oxford SU sabbatical roles engage in behaviour which it deems is detrimental to students enrolled on course. Those holding Oxford SU sabbatical offices will otherwise be treated as other students who are suspended, and will not be entitled to the same forms of support (including financial support) which are available to students while they are on course.
Academic matters - Graduates
Students on post-graduate taught courses will be invited to book onto a ceremony at the start of their final year, and those on a research course will be invited to register for a ceremony shortly after receiving formal leave to supplicate on completion of their degree. Once a place at a ceremony has been confirmed by the University, the College will contact students about practical arrangements. More about graduation can be found here.
Further guidance for current students
If you matriculated in, or after, Michaelmas 2007, a transcript can be ordered from the University. On-course transcripts can be ordered from the same site (these will show your academic achievement to date but will not include a final classification).
Lost, stolen or damaged University cards must be reported to the Academic Office immediately.
A replacement will be ordered, which can be collected from the Academic Office; you will receive email notification once the new card is ready for collection.
In cases where a University Card has been lost, the University Card Office charges a £15 flat rate replacement fee. Lost cards must be reported to the Academic Office first and then payment needs to be made by the card holder through the Oxford On-line Store. On receipt of payment the Card Office will issue a replacement card as usual. Any card that needs to be renewed or replaced due to faults or other inadvertent damage, or to change of personal circumstances, will not incur the replacement fee; cardholders who provide a crime reference number for a stolen card will not be required to pay for a replacement card either.
Once a card is reported as lost, the barcode will be stopped and changed. Should the original card be found, it will no longer be usable.
Fees, charges, battels, grants and financial help
The College recognises that many students will take up paid employment in the vacations, although undergraduates should see the 'What is expected of you' heading of the Academic matters - Undergraduates section of the Student Handbook (above).
Students taking paid employment during term-time may find that working even limited hours may have an adverse affect on academic performance, and are encouraged to talk to their tutors or College advisor before accepting such employment.
Full-time graduate students should generally regard their studies as a full-time occupation of at least 40 hours per week, and should normally be available for academic commitments during core working hours (i.e. 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays). Graduate students on taught courses should regard this as applying to term-time study whilst for students on research courses it applies year-round. The University therefore recommends that full-time graduate students on a taught course (such as a Master’s) do not undertake more than 8 hours’ paid work each week whilst studying. Students on research courses (such as a DPhil) are advised that any paid work should still allow them to spend at least 40 hours per week for a minimum 44 weeks of the year on their studies.
Any student who feels it financially necessary to take up paid employment in term-time might also find it helpful to discuss their situation with the Finance Bursar. Similarly, if you find that financial pressure to do paid work in the vacations (particularly the Christmas and Easter vacations) is preventing serious academic work, you should consider applying for help from Wadham’s Student Support Fund.
Appointments with the Finance Bursar may be arranged by contacting their PA (FBSec@wadham.ox.ac.uk).
Health, safety and welfare
We all need to do everything we can to maintain the security of each other, the College, and ourselves.
Oxford College premises are open to a large number of people. Most are visitors calling on members of College, some are tourists, but others may be thieves. You are reminded not to leave money or valuables in unlocked, unattended rooms. Room doors should be kept locked and ground floor windows closed and locked whenever you leave your room unattended, even if away for only a few minutes. The College cannot accept liability for loss of or damage to personal property. Security measures have been increased in recent years, and further advice will be given on arrival. If you see anyone acting suspiciously please contact the Lodge immediately. Please ensure that you do not prop open entrance doors to staircases.
Merifield and Dorothy Wadham
Merifield and Dorothy Wadham are closed sites and access is given to authorised persons only. The sites are protected by an extensive CCTV security system. Residents are asked not to prop open doors leading to staircases and the main gates leading onto the site. Residents are asked to be vigilant and not to let anyone unknown to them on to site and to ensure that they are not tail-gated when entering a gate. Residents should ensure that bedrooms and flats are securely locked and windows closed when residents are out. The Residential Operations Manager for the site should be informed of any absence from the site for more than three nights. All lost cards/fobs/keys providing access to the site should be immediately reported to the Residential Operations Manager during office hours of the Lodge out of office hours.
Health and safety
We all have a responsibility for health and safety at the College. Specifically, the Building Services Manager and Maintenance Operations Manager are responsible to the Domestic Bursar not only for maintaining the buildings but also for electrical safety, the fire and intruder alarm systems and fire-fighting appliances. It is essential that fire and smoke detection systems and fire fighting equipment are not interfered with; any such interference is a criminal offence, will be regarded very seriously and will result in disciplinary action being taken including an automatic fine. Any malfunction of fire fighting or security equipment should be reported immediately to the Lodge (emergency number 01865 277999), or to the Works Department at the back of the Bowra Building (tel: 01865 277554). The emergency phones in the communal areas in each staircase will automatically dial the Lodge.
Explosives and firearms
Firearms, explosives, pyrotechnics, inflammable materials, weapons etc., must not be brought into or stored in College accommodation, whether in your room or elsewhere. This includes swords and replicas and/or deactivated firearms of any kind.
It is a matter of life and death that fire risks are kept to a minimum. The only permitted items of private electrical equipment containing high-current heating elements are kettles and hair dryers and these items should never be left unattended when in use. Cooking in rooms is not permitted and neither are candles, shisha pipes, joss sticks or other naked flames, fairy lights or drapes. See Electrical appliances section. Electrical heaters other than those supplied by the College are not permitted in College. Any prohibited items will be removed by the Head of Housekeeping and a note will be left in the room. Check routinely that all wiring and plugs are in good condition, are of the correct voltage (240v) and properly connected. (If in doubt, have the item checked by the Works team).
Permission must be sought from the Domestic Bursar before any upholstered furniture, including futons or other convertibles, and mattresses are brought into College in view of stringent fire resistance requirements which must be adhered to.
Smoking on the main College site is restricted to the immediate vicinity of the dedicated smoking bins. Smoking is prohibited in all internal spaces, the Front Quad, the area immediately outside of the main entrance to the College, in front of the Graduate Centre and the Bowra balconies. Cigarettes should be properly extinguished in an ashtray and not left on the ground as litter. This smoking policy includes electronic cigarettes.
Make sure, as soon as you move into a College room, that you know the fire-escape arrangements and the location of fire-appliances and alarms. It is important that escape routes, especially staircases and corridors, are kept clear and free of flammable material such as paper, cardboard boxes etc. Fire-doors must never be wedged open: they are designed specifically to prevent the rapid spread of smoke and flames.
SMOKE DETECTORS AND FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT MUST NOT BE TAMPERED WITH - THIS IS A CRIMINAL OFFENCE AND WILL BE DEALT WITH SEVERELY.
There are instructions in every room on what to do in the event of a fire: read them, and refresh your memory from time to time. Fire exercises are held at least three times per year in term under the direction of the Lodge staff. The Fire Wardens appointed from among the residents on each staircase are briefed on their duties at the beginning of Michaelmas Term by the Lodge Manager. Their names are indicated in red on the staircase residence boards.
Windows, roofs and access
If a building has window restrictors, you must not remove, adapt, override or interfere with the restrictors in any way. Please advise the Lodge if you are aware of a restrictor which is not operating correctly.
For safety reasons, students and their guests are strictly prohibited from accessing roof areas, parapets or canopies, or into any area with a sign indicating that access is restricted. Unauthorised entry to these areas will be referred to the Warden as a serious misconduct and will be subject to sanctions.
The Bowra balconies are designed for use and are fitted with guard rails. Access is permitted on these areas providing that they are used safely and responsibly. Smoking is not permitted in these areas. Guard rails must not be used for seating or standing on. The use of BBQs and/or other cooking devices on balconies is strictly prohibited.
Snow, ice and leaf clearance
Snow and ice clearance will be carried out by the Works team on the main site, or the Residential Operations Manager for Merifield or Dorothy Wadham, as soon as it becomes necessary. Out of hours clearance and salting is the responsibility of the Lodge Manager on the main site who will put this into effect as soon as it becomes necessary. Please report any areas you consider to be a danger to the Lodge. Leaves will be cleared by the gardening team.
Snow and ice clearance policy
1. We aim to maintain safe passage through the College’s main external routes as far as is practicable within our resources.
2. It is expected that College members and visitors will take due care for their own safety in adverse conditions.
3. Priority will be given to entrances, steps and the most used pedestrian routes.
4. Salt will be applied to routes in anticipation of ice or snow to attempt to prevent it forming. Accumulated snow will be cleared when possible.
5. Clearance will be as soon as practicable. Except in exceptional conditions this will take place during normal working time.
6. If a thaw is expected clearance work will be done only in key areas, e.g. steps and heavily used paths. Salt will be applied if it is expected to refreeze. Grounds are cleared of rubbish and litter on a regular basis by the Head Gardener, Assistant Gardeners and General Assistants. Students are expected to behave responsibly and to avoid causing, or adding, to litter.
The College is a member of the Bicycle Registration Scheme run by the University Security Services. Labels and marking pens are available from the Lodge free of charge. Due to increasing theft of bicycles you are urged to participate in the registration scheme. If keys are lost and bicycles have to be released by the Works Staff there will be a charge of £30. This service is only provided for bicycles in the main College site, Merifield and Dorothy Wadham.
It is important that the Lodge is informed of any untoward incidents involving Wadham students as victims, e.g. muggings or other kinds of assault. While the first need is obviously to summon medical assistance, if required, and the police, it is very helpful for the College to know of these episodes so that appropriate follow-up action can be considered.
The Domestic Bursar and her team are here to ensure that the College’s non-academic administration and facilities are run as efficiently as possible to the benefit of all. The Domestic Bursar welcomes feedback from students about any aspects and it is important that any shortcomings are drawn to her attention as soon as possible by email email@example.com or by telephone 77963.
It is your College: please play your part in running and taking care of it.
Decanal matters - living in the College community
Anyone wishing to host a party to which more than twelve people are being invited must obtain the approval of the Dean on the form available in the Lodge.
Please apply well in advance, and hand the form, endorsed by the Dean, to the Lodge by 18:00 at least three working days before the party. Parties are limited to a maximum of 35 people in a double set and 20 in other rooms. Parties must end by 23:00 unless an extension has been approved by the Dean. You will be held responsible for any associated disturbance, damage, or irregularity of any kind which occurs in your room or elsewhere in College as a result of the behaviour of not only yourself but also your guests for whom you are formally responsible.
Nothing in these regulations supersedes the provisions made in the Proctors’ Memorandum on the Conduct and Discipline of Junior Members of the University.