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Clare College MCR Freshers’ Guide, 2015


What’s Inside? Congratulations on securing your places at the university and welcome to Clare College! Moving to a different city can be exciting, but also a little overwhelming. We have prepared this guide to help you get sorted and settled with as little trouble as possible so as to maximise the excitement and to ensure that you don’t miss out on important/fun things. It will also serve as a quick reference for things that may become relevant during your time at Clare College. If there is anything else we can do for you, any of the committee members will be very happy to help, as would any other members of MCR and College Staff. For now, sit back, relax, and have a quick look at this guide :) Jiho Han Clare MCR Vice President

What’s Inside? .................................................................................................................................... 2 1 MCR President’s Welcome.............................................................................................................. 3 2 Meet the MCR Committee! ............................................................................................................. 4 3 What (not) to Bring ....................................................................................................................... 10 4 Getting Here .................................................................................................................................. 11 4.1 General ................................................................................................................................... 11 4.2 From Stansted Airport ............................................................................................................ 11 4.3 From Heathrow Airport .......................................................................................................... 11 4.4 From Gatwick Airport ............................................................................................................ 12 4.5 From Cambridge Station to Clare/City Centre ....................................................................... 12 4.6 From Coach Station (Parkers Piece) to Clare/City Centre ..................................................... 12 5 Once you Arrive…. ....................................................................................................................... 13 6 Maps .............................................................................................................................................. 16 6.1 Old Court and Memorial Court .............................................................................................. 16 6.2 Cambridge City ...................................................................................................................... 17 7 Tips and Tricks .............................................................................................................................. 18 2

1 MCR President’s Welcome Hi, my name is Anne, the MCR president for this year. By the time you are reading this, you may be planning your arrival in Cambridge or have just moved into your new room. You probably are full of excitement for this year! Indeed, it will be full of life-changing experiences. The University of Cambridge has given many people amazing opportunities to nurture their talents. Clare College in particular has seen many interesting - and sometimes controversial - people passing through its gates: Prominent alumni of Clare include Nobel Prize winners James Watson and Tim Hunt, venture capitalist Anne Glover, famous African philosopher Anthony Kwame Appiah, and David Attenborough who, as the voice of nature and animal documentaries, inspired me and many others growing up. Starting with Freshers Week you will become a member of the Clare College Middle Combination Room (MCR), which represents the postgraduate community of Clare College. Clare´s MCR is your space to make friends and to relax away from the academic stresses. We meet here for a (free!) tea or coffee, to watch films or to have yoga classes. The MCR also turns into one of the finest Whiskey bars in Cambridge every Friday after formal dinners in Great Hall. All MCR activities are presented to you by the Clare MCR committee and its helpers. Elected every year, the MCR committee consists of Clare postgrads who volunteer to make this MCR the most fun and inclusive community in Cambridge. Please get in touch with us if you need support of one sort or another. Me and Jiho (MCR VP) would like to hear your thoughts and ideas. For more personal matters, you can refer to the Welfare Officers and for all social events contact our social secs Jac and Dominika or the bar managers Olly and Toby. The MCR committee consists of many more people with interesting roles. They will be introduced to you on the following pages. Finally, I would like to encourage you to get involved as well. Share your ideas at a Clareity research event, organise an event yourself or just be social and come by the MCR sometime. Now I hope you are ready to start the year and to enjoy it to the fullest! I can assure you that this year will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. Welcome to Clare! Sincerely yours, Anne


2 Meet the MCR Committee! Anne Henow (ah796): President I am Anne, the MCR president for this year. I am a second year PhD student working on the Political Economy of Financial Markets. Things that I enjoy are silly conversations, travelling and Clare College. Originally, I am from Germany; but don´t you worry I am quite funny nevertheless. You can often find me in the MCR or in the the buttery where I get my lunch. If you see me, come up and talk to me. I am excited to meet you!

Jiho Han (jh607): Vice President Hello, My name is Jiho, I’m on my final year (in theory) of PhD in laser engineering. I have taken up the role of vice president with focus on making available the MCR resources to the members as much as possible, but the VP also tend to take care of all MCR matters that are not clearly assigned to anyone. When I’m not making lasers, I like to make other things, I cycle, I play the piano, and I sleep a lot. I really don’t like hang overs very much at all.

Megan Stanley (mjs231): Treasurer Hi, I’m Megan and I am your Treasurer for the year. I am final year PhD student in the Department of Physics. I was previously an undergraduate student at Clare, and really kind of like the old place so I wanted to give something back and generally help make the MCR an even more joyful place for you lot! When I am not squeezing photons out of semiconductor nanostructures you can find me climbing up hills and messing around in boats. Contact me if you have legitimate expenses for anything done on the behalf of your graduate community, or have anything you would like to see purchased for the benefit of all (it is your money!).


Richard Gunning (rjg70): Secretary/Computing Officer Hi, My name is Richard and I am a 2nd year PhD student working on epigenetics using bioinformatic approaches at the Sanger center. I am returning for a second year on the Clare MCR committee, this year as both MCR secretary and MCR computing officer. Expect plenty of emails from me over the coming year. If you have any issues, questions or general musings about all things MCR or computing, come and find me. Olly McMillan (owtm2): Bar Manager Hi! I'm Olly. Originally from New Zealand, I spent the first 22 years of my life preparing to work in a bar one day and have managed to make that dream come true here at Clare. You'll see me running around on Friday nights making sure the beers are cold and the whiskies are excellent. Flick me a message if you're keen on working the bar some time or if there's anything you'd like to see in stock - I especially love getting a sample of beers from around the world if you ever get homesick. My work focuses on the development of new ways to remediate contaminated land. Toby Roeder (tr370): Bar manager Hi, I’m Toby. I hail from the lands of High Germany, as the German South was called in the period my research focuses on. I am an Early Modern historian doing a PhD on army officers in 18th Century Britain and Austria in my 2nd year. When I do not devote my time to History or Rowing, I manage the Clare MCR Bar and especially take care of our Whisky collection. If you are interested to work at the Bar (a rewarding job in more than one sense) or if you are a Whisky connoisseur and have any suggestions, feel free to contact me.

Tim Beeson-Jones (tb405): Admiral of the Punts I’m in charge of the MCR’s two punts: the Silence of the Cam and the MCArk. You can punt along ‘the backs’ or even all the way up to Grantchester for cream teas, just like Rupert Brook used to. It’s really good fun so I hope you make the most of it!


Dominika Wolańska (dpw38): Social Secretary Hi there! My name’s Dominika (or Dom) and I’m a 2nd year PhD student in Infection, Immunity and Inflammation - my job is pretty much making sure bacteria don’t kill us all. When not pipetting, I like to travel, study languages and sing Disney songs in languages I don't have a hope of speaking. Along with Jac, I’ll be in charge of college fun stuff – socials, cocktail parties, bops and Clare formal dinners! It’s our aim to ensure that Clare remains the friendliest (and best, obviously) college in town. Of course, we can’t do this without you so if you’d like to organise your own events, or tip us on what you'd like to see done, please don't hesitate to contact me! Looking forward to meeting you all and shopping sprees on the social sec credit card *winks*

Jac Davis (jtmd2): Social Secretary Hello my sweet Freshers! I can't wait to meet you all and start controlling your social lives. I mean, giving you lots of fun stuff to do! I'm Jac, part of your dream social team, along with the gorgeous and clever Dom as my other half. We're here to make sure you don't forget about your social life in the midst of all that study. We organise "ents" (entertainments), including "bops" (College parties), "Hall" (formal dinners), "feasts" (extra special formal dinners), and much more! In between these, I occasionally work on my PhD in psychology, and important extra curricular activities such as enthusiastic whisky appreciation. We have been anxiously awaiting your arrival and planning a raft of events just for you in Freshers Week, so please don´t be shy - come and say hi when you see me around.

Freddie Dudbridge (fhd23): Sports Officer Hi, my name is Freddie, I am a PhD student in Biochemsitry and Sports Officer at Clare. If you want to use the college gym, find out what sports are on offer at Clare, if you would like to set up your own college sports team or if you just want to watch some sports around Cambridge then please do not hesita te to contact me. You can usually find me in the lab or in the South Stand, White Hart Lane.


Ridhwaan Suliman (rs769): Mature Students’ Officer Hi, I'm Ridhwaan and I'm a PhD student in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. Originally from South Africa, and after spending four years working in industry as an engineer, I've come to Cambridge to continue my graduate studies and have loved every second of my time at Clare. When not modelling the physics of fluids around deformable structures, my PhD procrastination tactics include planning conference trips to exotic locations, having a hit at the squash courts, enjoying a run along the Backs or indulging in tea or coffee in the MCR. I have been actively involved in Clare's vibrant graduate community, with this being my second year on the MCR committee. I'll be fulfilling the role of Mature Students Officer this year, and am looking forward to an exciting year ahead with you all! Pavlo Shopin (ps535): 4th year Officer Hi! My name is Pavlo. I am a second-year PhD student in German. I will be your Fourth Year Officer. If you are a fourth-year student and have any MCR-related issues or questions, please contact me. In my free time, I play tennis (neither as a member of any sports society, nor competitively), organize movie nights with friends, and go punting.

Steve Lowe (sml58): St. Regis Officer Hello! My name is Steve and I’m a PhD student in the Department of Engineering, studying lasers, jet engines and other geeky stuff. I’m your St. Regis officer this year so I’ll be your go-to guy for all things Regis. That includes everything from the tool library for bike repairs, the ‘free box’ full of recycled stuff for when you move in/out or just general information whenever you need it. We’ll even throw together a few BBQ’s on the renowned Regis lawn. I’m looking forward to meeting you all and welcome to Clare! Ellen Quigley (ecq20): Formal Exchange Officer I’m Ellen (or Quigley/Quigs, whatever you like), a PhD student some of the time. I’ll be your exchange officer this year. Exchanges are wonderful, strange, archaic, drunken — anything you want them to be. They're how you meet your best friends. Definitely, definitely don’t miss out this coming year or you’ll have a disquieting suspicion that an alternate self is living a way more interesting life.


Jason Murray (jam204): Accommodations Officer Howdy yall, welcome to Clare. My job as accommodation officer is to make sure that you dig your trenches and foxholes sufficiently deep to provide shelter and protection from the ceaseless onslaught of shots (tequila) cups of tea, scones, punting and pims during your time here. My housemates have alternatively described me as 8 years old, too-Texan-to-function, 80 years old, and mama-j, so you'll just have to meet me and decide for yourself. I'm finishing up a PhD on ribosomes down at the LMB, so if you frequent Addenbrookes holler at me. Magda Sznurkowska (ms2124): Clareity President Hi there! My name is Magda and I’m about to start my third year of PhD in developmental biology (trying to understand how pancreas develops in embryos). Being at Clare is an awesome experience in general, but you’ll soon find that out yourselves :) One of the reasons is that you get to meet so many fascinating people, coming from different backgrounds and fields of research. That’s why I’m very excited to be the Clareity President and organise evening talks and the annual Clareity symposium within the college. If you are interested in presenting your research don’t hesitate to email me! And please come to the first Clareity Matters Evening, soon after the Freshers’ week! Aleksandra Lewicka (ajl96): Green Officer Hi there! My name is Ola and I’m a 2nd year PhD student working on skin stem cells and cancer. As your Green Officer, my job is to make sure that floods don’t overwhelm Cambridge as sea levels rise and that some deadly antibiotic resistant bugs don’t take over the world. Or more short term, together with social sec Jac and bar manager Olly, we are planning to organise a series of informal meetings and discussions on ethics and sustainability in hope to make you appreciate how amazing and precious our environment is, and how we can all work together to protect it. Please drop me an email with any questions or suggestions.


Olivier Grouille (olgg2): Men’s Welfare Officer Hello! I’m Olivier (known as Liv) and I’m a PhD student in the Department of Politics and International Studies. Dafni, Isobel and I will be working to ensure your health and happiness during your time at Clare, and no issue is too big or too small to bring to us in complete confidence and privacy. Cambridge is a fantastic experience on the whole, but it’s not without its challenges, whether personal, professional, academic or extra-curricular. Having been here for a total of seven years, I’ve had personal experience of most of the amazing highs and difficult lows in this place, and can offer a friendly ear on any subject. So don’t hesitate to get in touch. Have fun out there!

Isobel Hambleton (ih291): LGBT+ Welfare Officer Hi, I'm Isobel and I'm a second year PhD student in Immunology. I'll be working with Liv and Dafni to make sure that everyone is happy and settled during their time here. In particular, my role is to help anyone with any LGBT+ or gender related issues. I am always willing to meet up for a confidential chat or to communicate by email - so please feel free to get in touch. I will also be organising MCR socials and taking part in CUSU LGBT+ events throughout the year. I realise that coming along to these socials can be a little daunting. If anyone would prefer to be introduced to a smaller group of people, please let me know and I'll try to arrange this. I wish you all a great freshers' week and a fantastic year at Clare!

Dafni Glinos (dag46): Women’s Welfare Officer I am Dafni, 1/3 of the MCR Welfare team. I am a second year PhD student at the Welcome Trust Sanger Institute on immune genomics. My role in Clare is to ensure the wellbeing of everyone by promoting a positive environment in the MCR, lending an ear when you feel the need and direct you to the right people to discuss any serious issues. Best way to contact me is through e-mail; as I am based out of town it might be hard to spot me around college.


3 What (not) to Bring Electrical Appliances/Power Adaptors: Most modern electrical appliances work for a range of voltages and frequencies, so the chances are you can use them in the UK with a power adaptor, which are readily available. Still, you might want to bring one in case you need it urgently. NOTE: Not all electrical appliances can be used in the UK, like some hair dryers, straightener, curlers, or old audio amplifiers. UK main electricity is 230V at 50Hz; check the plug of your appliance, it’ll usually state the range of power you’re allowed to use. If it doesn’t match, you can be used them with appropriate transformers, but it could be a pain to source one, and if you get it wrong, you might cause some minor explosion or power outage for your flat/house. So you might want to leave it. Lots of Warm Clothes: Weather in Cambridge is fairly temperate compared to the rest of the UK, but the air is wet so it can feel very cold. Weather proofs and water proofs often come in handy, especially if you have to cycle in rain. Smart Clothes: There will be several social occasions, where smart clothes will become handy. Dresses, suites, smart shoes etc will almost certainly be very useful. Medical Prescriptions and Supplies: The UK will have similar over the counter products at most major pharmacies, but dosage and brand names may be different from the rest of the world. Until you figure it out, you may want to stick with what you have. Sports equipment/musical instruments: You’ll most likely be able to find a group of people who share your interest in particular sports or music. Even if you haven’t partaken for a while, you might end up wanting to do so during your time here. Consider bringing the equipment if they’re difficult or expensive to source. Food/Drinks: Foods from the rest of the world can often be found even within Cambridge (eg Milll Road) but if there is anything you can’t live without, you might want to bring them. Books/Notes: Between the University Library, faculty libraries, and college libraries, you should be able to find most published material you’ll want. Your own folders of notes however, are unlikely to be public, so perhaps you would like to bring those. Bedding: These things are readily available, but not if you arrive at 9 PM, and you would like one. Initial UIS Password: It might be an idea to collect your University Information Services before you arrive at Cambridge











how and also item 2 in ‘Once you arrive’ section.





4 Getting Here 4.1 General 

The passport control at airports can take a very long time, upwards of an hour or two especially for non-EU passport. Be sure to allow for this!

For up to date information on… trains:



A1 Cabco Taxis:

+44 (0)1223 525 555

Panther Taxis:

+44 (0)1223 715 715


+44 (0)1223 704 704

If you’re in one of the Graduate Accommodations, you’ll have to pick up your keys from Memorial Court porters lodge. More on this on section 5…

4.2 From Stansted Airport 4.2.1 Trains Trains run directly from Stansted to Cambridge, at least once an hour. It takes around half an hour and costs around £12.70. You can buy the ticket at Stansted.

4.2.2 Coach Direct coach service is available from Stansted to Cambridge. It takes about 50 minutes and costs from £8. You can buy the ticket from Stansted coach station or even from the driver subject to availability.

4.2.3 Taxi If you book a taxi from Cambridge, it’ll around 50 pounds, but they might charge around 20 pounds an hour for the time they wait for you at the airport. Alternatively you could just find one at Stansted directly, when you get out; it will cost around 60 pounds. It takes about 50 minutes to Cambridge by car.

4.3 From Heathrow Airport 4.3.1 Trains Buy a ticket from Heathrow to London Paddington. Ticket costs £10.10 or £21.50 for express but it’s not much faster. Then at Paddington get a ticket to Cambridge (£26.00). With this ticket, get on the tube to London Kings Cross, then finally, take the train from Kings Cross to Cambridge. This journey might take 2 ½ hour or so. 11

Alternatively you can take a tube from Heathrow to King’s Cross, which will take an hour and a bit, then take the train from Kings Cross to Cambridge, again around an hour. This might take a little longer, but it’s a bit less to think about could be a little cheaper.

4.3.2 Coach There is a direct coach from Heathrow to Cambridge, it costs £28.60 and takes around 2 ½ hours.

4.3.3 Taxi A taxi from Heathrow will cost around £200 and take around 2 hours.

4.4 From Gatwick Airport 4.4.1 Coach There is a direct coach from Gatwick to Cambridge, which costs around £34 and takes about 4 hours.

4.4.2 Train Take a train from Gatwick to London Victoria, then take a tube to London Kings Cross, then finally, take a train to Cambridge. The ticket can be bought from Gatwick airport, and will cost £32.40, and it will take just over 2 hours.

4.4.3 Taxi A taxi will cost around £150 and will take around 2 hours.

4.5 From Cambridge Station to Clare/City Centre Cambridge railway station is around 25 minute walk to city centre. There are taxis in front of the station, which will cost between £5 and £10 to somewhere else in Cambridge.

4.6 From Coach Station (Parkers Piece) to Clare/City Centre Parkers Piece is relatively central, so you could probably walk to city centre in around 15 minutes. There isn’t a taxi rank but you can call one of the numbers above, just before you get off the coach.


5 Once you Arrive…. So you can get yourselves sorted rapidly, we’ve assembled a list of things you might want to get on to, once you arrive. 1. Pick up your Accommodation and Welcome pack from the Memorial Court Porters’ Lodge and Tutorial Office (Old Court, F Staircase), respectively. This is pretty essential, since you’ll probably need the keys for your accommodation and your university card. 2. Get your computing services sorted. What can we do without them nowadays? Wireless networks are available through ‘UniOfCam’ and ‘eduroam’ throughout the institutional buildings, but you need to set things up before you can use it. It’s convenient if you’ve already collected your UIS passwords before you arrive. If you haven’t, you’ll have to find a machine connected to the Cambridge University Data Network (most college or faculty computers will be!), then go to to collect your initial password. You’ll need an academic admission reference code, which for most of you will be issued by the Board of Graduate Studies. Once you got a password for your account, you can connect to ‘UniOfCam’, open browser, then enter credentials. ‘eduroam’ is a bit more effort to set up, but once you do, it connects automatically, and works in lots of other educational establishments, even abroad. For instructions, just search for ‘eduroam Cambridge’. See here for IT rules within College, too: Email is of the primary means of communication for academic and otherwise matter in Cambridge, so it’s convenient to have it sorted out as soon as possible. For the MCR stuff, also check out the Facebook group: 2. Get a Bank Account, if you haven’t got one, to get your money flowing; A UK bank account can be handy if transferring money from home isn’t entirely fluid. You’ll need to bring your passport as ID, a proof of address, and a letter from the College to convince them that you’re definitely a student, and should be allowed a bank account. You can get this letter by fill this form out ( If you need something more or different, you can contact the Jenny Colling, the graduate administrator, at Sometimes, certain overseas banks will have a partnership with a UK bank to waive some charges associated with cash withdrawals, for example, Bank of America has one with UK’s Barclay. So you may wish to find out before your leave your home country. Also consider Transferwise, which could be a good way of transferring to and from overseas.


3. Get a gown. These are the archaic traditional Cambridge attire, which students used to employ for pretty much all occasions except baths. Now the only times you require these are matriculation and graduation, but some people wear it for other occasions such as formal dinners. Some choose to buy one while others may borrow or hire one, since it is not necessary most of the time. A new one cost around a £100, available from shops like Ryder and Amies (Market Square towards King’s College), A.E. Clothier (Pembrook Street), or Ede and Ravenscroft (Trumpington Street). You can also get one second hand through the Graduate Union or Clare College MCR gown exchange on the MCR web page, or hire them from the shops for when you need it at a fraction of the cost. If you go to a shop to sort this out, they’ll know what you need, but otherwise, you’ll need to get the right one:

Degree Status BA (undergrad/bachelor) degree from Cambridge MA (masters/mphil) degree from Cambridge Degree (BA or MA) from elsewhere and aged 23 or under Degree (BA or MA) from elsewhere and aged 24 or over

Appropriate Gown BA gown MA gown BA Gown with strings tucked in MA Gown with strings tucked in

4. Get a phone, if you would like one but you don’t have one yet. Solutions for a mobile phone are readily available from any of the major network providers in city centre or on line (see below). If you have a ‘triband’ phone ‘unlocked’ from your home network you might just be able to bring it here and swap out the SIM card to a UK ‘pay as you go’ SIM cards. If you need to buy a phone all together, options range from basic brick phones (which nowadays are very light and cheap) to top end smart phones. If you are here for longer than a year a contract deal may be another option, but they may demand proof of your address and a UK debit card which you may not have access to yet. It’s worth noting some complaints on network coverage: O2, giffgaff, and 3 seem to struggle, particularly in Clare Court. Vodafone seem fine in most of Cambridge but patchy in Clare Court. There are positive reports on EE working quite well in most places within Cambridge. UK network providers: Carphone Warehouse might be able to provide a better deal than available directly through a network provider. 14

5. Decide whether you’ll need a bike. Some people don’t need a bike but for many of you, it’ll be the cheapest and most practical method of transport. Clare has a subsidy scheme that will contribute £20 towards a helmet and £10 towards bike lights, to encourage





form out




to the




( Cycle theft is also fairly common, so make sure you have a reasonably good lock. 6. Register with a GP: General Practitioners (GP) are the first point of contact for most patients in the UK. Most of us don’t plant to get sick so it’s a good idea to register with a GP once you arrive. Information on the GP surgeries near Cambridge can be found here: Newnham Walk Surgery is close to Clare Court, while Red House Surgery is very close to St Regis. 7. Freshers’ week! Come and meet new people, once you’re sorted and settled! We are here to catalyse your integration to the MCR community with various freshers’ events from lunches to full blown bops. But the most important ingredient is you!


6 Maps 6.1 Old Court and Memorial Court



6.2 Cambridge City


7 Tips and Tricks These are the tips and tricks that could come in handy in times of needs. Accidents and Emergencies: 999 is the Emergency telephone number in the UK for immediate emergency assistance such as police, ambulance, and fire services. For those living in college, contact the porters’ lodge on 01223 333 200, who will be able to provide first aid and support, as well as arranging for appropriate emergency services. Take note of NHS 111 service too. Dial 111 when 

You need medical help fast but it’s not a life-threatening situation

You think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service

You don’t know who to call or don’t have a GP to call

You need health information or reassurance about what to do next.

For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way. Accommodation: The two main graduate accommodations are Clare Court and St Regis, but details of all Clare housing stock can be found here: The rooms are furnished with basic furniture, but the college doesn’t provide things like duvet, bed linen, crockery, cutlery, saucepans etc. Any questions: contact Maureen Dawson, the rooms coordinator on or our accommodation officer Jason Murray ( If you haven’t sorted out your accommodation yet, try University Accommodation Services (,





and will list properties advertised by letting agents but they’ll entail some application fees of a couple of hundred pounds, most of the time. or may be an idea if you need an emergency accommodation for a short period of time. Bars: Most of the Cambridge colleges will have their own bars. Clare College has one in the cellars (JCR) as well as one within the MCR. The Clare JCR bar is one of the most popular college bars in Cambridge, while the MCR bar boasts the best whisky selection in town. The JCR bar will be open most nights from 18:30 to 23:30 during term. The MCR bar will open for Wednesday, Thursday, and also Friday from about 20:00 to about 23:30 during term. You can also ask us to open the bars for your own events: we can’t always do it but it’s worth asking! Contact the bar managers, Olly and Toby through and Buttery is an ancient word for college canteen, probably exclusive to Cambridge and Oxford.. Clare buttery is located in the Old Court underneath the Great Hall. During term, it is opened for lunch and dinner every day; you’ll probably be able to find Anne lurking there. The menu is available at


Chapel: Clare, like most other colleges in Cambridge, has a chapel. The Chapel is a place for prayers or just quiet contemplation. Services are offered throughout the term. See for details. Clareity showcases a range of academic events at Clare with the goal of providing open and informal opportunities to discuss the latest research and exchange ideas. Events include Clarety matters: informal seminars with cheese, wine and pizza and the Clareity symposium: a day event with a large variety of topics. It’s a great way to find out what everyone else is doing. To find out more, see or contact the Clareity President, Magda on College Bills are issued by the Bursary (F2, Old Court) each term, and emailed to you or sent to your pigeon hole. When you get the bill, you can pay it by cheque or bank transfer, details of which will be shown on the bill. Any questions: contact Linda Challinor through College Nurse: Clare has a part-time college nurse, Hellen James, based in room O4, Memorial Court. She is available is available to help with a wide variety of health and welfare needs, ranging from help and advice with minor illnesses and injuries to support for emotional issues. If more specialised help or treatment is required, she will help refer you or point you in the right direction. Any information shared with the College Nurse is treated in strict medical confidence and will not be divulged to anyone without your consent. You can contact her on, but if you want to go and meet her, you can simply turn up during: Monday: 8.30-12.30 Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday: 9.30-12.30 Thursday: 12.00-14.00 You don’t have to book, but in the first two week of the year, there is an appointment system for registration of new students. You can pick up condoms from just outside the nurses office during the opened hours, but these are for emergencies only! Dean: Hawkey Jamie Rev’d Dr (, the dean, is responsible for conducting services in chapel, and has a pastoral role among all members of the college. He is primarily at E3, Old Court on Tuesday and Thursday between 14:00 and 16:30. University Dental Service offers NHS treatments to students and private dental treatments for staff of the university. If you need any treatment, call them on 01223 332860. The address is 3 Trumpington Street, CB2 1QA. Events: The social secretaries Dominika and Jac, will tirelessly organise and run a variety of social and otherwise events throughout the year, with the help of the rest of the MCR committee. The events will be announce through email and facebook. You could add this calendar to your list if you use google calendar:, to have it automatically update your schedule. 19

But there is only so much two people can do, so if you would like to get involved, whether it be just an idea or a full blown event organisation, contact Dominika ( and Jac (! Or you could just tell them a joke. There might be funds available, too. Facebook: If you use Facebook, join the MCR group. It is a somewhat unofficial board for the Clare College MCR, but we publish most of our events on Facebook as well as email. It also comes in handy if you have a quick question for the MCR, for which email is a little too formal. Formal Halls, also known as ‘formals’, are served three or four course meals in Great Hall. They are served Monday to Friday during term. For Monday to Thursday, follow the instruction at the bottom of this page: Friday formals are reserved for the MCR, and you can book through our own booking system: go to log into raven, and then click on ‘Events Booker’. Formal Exchanges: The formal exchange officer, Ellen Quigley ( will be organising a series of exchanges, trading our formal tickets for those of other colleges. We will also be participating in exchanges with one or two Oxford colleges. Exchanges are a great way to meet people at other colleges; look out for emails from Quigley! Free Box, placed in the laundry room of St Regis, is a place to leave item when you no longer need them. Or find things you might need! We collect a good number of useful items, so have a look before buying something new. Contact St Regis officer if you would like to have a look. Freshers’ Fair is a two day exhibition where the university societies are represented. You’ll be able to find pretty much any sports that you can think of, as well as musical, literary, political, religious, debating, culinary, and nation-based societies, though most importantly, various freebies like pizza and stress balls. We recommend you to go and have a look; you could try something new or develop your long standing hobby or interests. The MCR committee will be leading groups at certain times. Have a look at the Freshers’ timetable. If you miss the Frershers’ Fair, have a look at the Society Directory for Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU), instead. Funding Clare offers numerous awards and grants. Have a look here in case you are eligible for something: The graduate travel and research grant, and graduate student book grants are well worth a look. The Graduate Administrator, Jenny Colling, is based in Old Court tutorial Office during working hours. You’ll have received emails from her during your application process. Administrative letters like Council Tax Exemption, Bank Letters are generally written by Jenny, but apart from that, she also an excellent first port of call for any administrative requests. You can contact her on


Graduate Union is the university wide representative body for graduate and mature students. You automatically become a member of GU when you register as a graduate student. Hermes Webmail: You will be given a CRSid when you sort your computing service out. When you do, your email address will read, wehre CRSid is replaced with your actual CRSid. The CRSid for the committee members, for example, are shown inside the brackets in section 2. International Students: As you will discover, Cambridge has a diverse student body, especially at the graduate level. Support for international students is relatively well established within the university. See for advice on various issues specific to international students such as visa applications. If you are hoping to join other international student groups, you’ll be able to find them at the Freshers’ Fair during the welcome week. Kitchen Fixed Charge (KFC) is a one off fixed fee you can opt in for if you use the buttery a lot. If you opt in, your buttery meals would cost 2/3 of the normal price, at an initial cost of around £100 at term. Language Development: The University has a language centre that supports teaching and learning of languages throughout the university. If you are interested in learning a new language or further developing one, have a look here: If you’re studying Engineering, Material Science, Chemistry, or Computer Science, you might be able to take advantage of the free language course provided by the Language Unit of the Department of Engineering. Have a look here: Libraries: Clare College’s main library is the Forbes Mellon Library; it’s the octagonal building at the centre of Memorial Court. All Clare students can study or borrow books here; sometimes they’ll buy books for you if they don’t have it already. The Forbes Mellon Library can be convenient as it opens very late, but it does get crowded, especially during exam preparation periods. The University library is located just behind Memorial Court and department libraries will be available to you too. Graduate students can borrow from faculty libraries outside your own, but you might have to register at each one. Between these, you should be able to find most books you need. If you’re lucky, you might get invited to the Clare’s Fellows’ Library, stocking rare books such as Newton’s Principia, so keep an eye out! The online catalogue for the Forbes Mellon Library and other university libraries is LibrarySearch: Any additional questions regarding the libraries of Cambridge, contact Catherine Reid ( , the librarian of Forbes Melon Library. Maintenance: If you are in a College accommodation, and you find a hole in the roof (this doesn’t happen very often at all) or just need a light bulb changing, search for ‘Clare College Maintenance’, log into raven, then tell them what is wrong. It will be dealt with. MCR: The Middle Combination Room is one of the common rooms of the Clare College along the Junior Combination Room (JCR) and the Senior Combination room (SCR), each intended for postgraduate students, 21

undergraduate students, and the fellows of the college, respectively. So Technically MCR is just a room, but we refer to the post graduate community as the MCR. Music: Clare College has its reputation as one of the most musical colleges in Cambridge. The College Choir perform internationally in addition to their chapel duties. The Clare College Music Society (CCMS) organises termly orchestral concerts as well as Monday Lunchtime Recitals as well as the Freshers’ Recitel in the Michaelmas term; if you would like to perform or find out more, contact CCMS here: Clare also houses three small music practice rooms in the Forbes Mellon Library building. For larger rehearsals, the Bennett Room, also in the library building, can be used. It’s a large room with a big piano in it; contact the Chapel Administrator for access. The Master of Clare College, Lord Grabiner, was elected to take up the role in October 2014, following the retirement of Professor Tony Badger. He has had a distinguished career as a barrister since first being called to the bar in 1969 where he practiced continuously as a member of One Essex Court. May Week is a week during June (in the scheme of things, this is a fairly minor anomaly), marking the end of academic year. A series of May Balls (all night black tie balls), Garden Parties, and June Events (giant parties) take place within this week. Clare College holds a ball each year, for which Clare Students get first picks of the tickets, but you might be able to get tickets to other balls too. May Balls can cost over 200 pounds though, so you probably won’t want to go to all of them! The Porters can be found in the Porters Lodges (Plodge) within the college, and their primary duties for the security and safety in College. But they can be the most helpful people and first port of call for almost any eventualities including when you get locked in Old Court at 3 am. They might need to see your face with your university card a few times before they can recognise you as a member of college, but once you have them on your side, you are essentially invincible. Punting: Punts are flat bottomed boats, about a meter wide and 5 meters long. To move a punt, you get a punt pole, and stick it in river bed, and then push. Tim, the admiral of punt, will be holding some punting classes during Freshers’ Week, so keep an eye out. As a member of the Clare MCR, you can book the MCR punts free of charge using the MCR website They’re called MCArk and Silence of the Cam. Sports: As well as the sports team that you may like to join, the Clare MCR is planning to run some regular sporting activities from yoga classes to 5 aside football. These will be advertised via the MCR website, email, and facebook. Drop a line to our sports officer Freddie on For the gym goers: The new Cambridge Sports Centre is in the West Cambridge site, housing several sports hall, classes, and courts. Kelsey Kerridge near Parkers Piece is another large gym with similar facilities and


also a climbing wall. There is also a gym in the University Centre: Blue fitness, located centrally. Parkside Pool near Parkers Piece is the main swimming pool in Cambridge. Tool library/Bike Repairs: The large bike shed in St Regis Holds lots and lots of tools for maintaining or repairing bicycles. Even if you have never done any work on a bike, we might be able to help you with minor repairs like inner tube replacement. If you need to access them or would like to request for us to stock a tool, contact the St Regis officer, Steve Lowe on There is also a small collection of tools and bike pump available from the Memorial Court and Colony Plodge. Transport: For busses within town, see Uni4, in particular, passes by many of the sites from Addenbrooke’s Hospital to West Cambridge site. It’s sponsored by the university, and it costs only 50p each time, if you show them your Cambridge student ID. For trains, consult In particular, London is only a 50 minutes train ride away! If you plan to take the train more than a couple of times, a rail card could save you lots and lots of money: you buy them for 30 pounds, but they get you a 1/3 off most train journeys. Even if you’re over 25, you’re eligible if you’re a full time student. For coaches, consult Taxis: Taxis run throughout the night. Local taxi companies include panther (01223 715 715), Camcab (01223 704 704) and A1 Cabco Taxis: (01223 525 555). It’ll cost between 5 to 15 pounds from somewhere in Cambridge to somewhere else in Cambridge. Tutors of Clare College: Under the overall guidance Dr. Patricia Fara (, the Senior Tutor the tutors aim to guide students who are encountering difficulties; academic or otherwise, for example, advice in matters of communication with Faculties, Departments, or academic supervisors, or other external bodies. The graduate tutors are Dr Maciej Dunajski ( and from November or so, Dr. Sian Lazar ( In addition, the international tutor, Professor Roel Streckx ( can provide some informal guidance for international students facing difficulties studying in linguistically and culturally different. University Centre offers a wide range of social facilities for graduate and research students. The Grad Café has a nice view over the city, comfortable chairs and a supply of newspapers, while the Main Dining Hall offers lunches and dinners. See Welfare: The term ‘welfare’ is used to describe the university’s provision for your health and general happiness. This includes (but is not limited to) sexual health, mental health and support with personal and academic difficulties. Clare has a number of Fellows and staff devoted to helping students: the Graduate Tutors (see item ‘Tutors of Clare College’). Helen James, the college nurse (hlj30), is our resident expert on 23

all health-related issues and can provide contraception, pregnancy tests and chlamydia testing as required. Her office is in room O4 in Memorial Court. The Dean, Jamie (jdth2) is on hand for confidential chats on any subject, whether spiritual or not. The MCR also has its own student welfare team who are there to be your first point of contact to assist you in accessing welfare services in college or the university, to offer a friendly ear if you prefer to speak to a student rather than a Fellow, and as a general advisers to help you if you encounter any difficulties. The Men’s, Women’s and LGBT+ Welfare representatives in the MCR are Olivier (olgg2), Dafni (dag46), and Isobel (ih291) respectively. All welfare communications and conversations are treated with strict confidentiality and impartiality. There is also a full-time university Welfare Officer who provides individual student support on any welfare matter. Advice on specific issues can be found at


Clare College Freshers' Guide 2015-16  

Clare College Freshers' Guide for the 2015-16 academic year

Clare College Freshers' Guide 2015-16  

Clare College Freshers' Guide for the 2015-16 academic year