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Accommodation & catering update

As staff come back to College to prepare for the return of our students, it is clear that none of us quite knows what to expect in the next term or throughout the next academic year. There is plenty we cannot control, but it is possible to put in place arrangements which will make this situation as bearable and as positive as we reasonably can.

We have more freshers coming to College this year than in previous years, at a time when we need, as far as we are able, to introduce a degree of physical separation of people to ensure we remain COVID-secure. That is a headache for us all. For good reasons of social distancing we have placed all students into households. They will be able to socialise freely in those households and we hope have some degree of normality. However, they will not be able to visit other households, or have members of other households visit them.

This means that, if there is not a kitchen allocated to your household, you will not be able to visit any other kitchen. To compensate for this, the College has placed a personal fridge, microwave and kettle into each room in each household without a kitchen. We recognize that for some this will not be ideal. However, the Buttery will be open, where we cater for all dietary requirements, and provide subsidized meals for students. Should any student find themselves in hardship as a result of not being able to fully cater for themselves, the College student support system can assist.

The Buttery will be open for extended hours over lunch and dinner. This will ensure that we are able to feed everyone who wishes to attend, and that we will have room for them to eat socially distanced in the Hall and surrounding communal rooms. Extra space has been afforded by the use of marquees on the Fellows’ lawn; these will be a semi-permanent feature throughout Michaelmas and possibly beyond.

The student bar will be open on its designated evenings; however, the bar itself, being subterranean, will be available only to purchase drinks. The consumption of drinks will be again socially distanced, in groups of no more than six unless the household is socializing together; if the size of the household is over six, the whole household can socialize together.

We have paid particular attention to the cleaning schedules and regimes in College to ensure that we are able to remain COVID Secure. The College will be cleaned more often and with anti-viral chemicals which endure beyond their time of application. We also call on our whole community to “do a bit” in terms of personal and communal hygiene and cleaning. You will find notices in all communal spaces, kitchens, showers and lavatories which give advice on the cleaning that we ask each member of our community to undertake once they have used the facilities. We ask for your commitment to keeping our facilities COVID secure. Given the enhanced cleaning task in all communal areas and as a result of our commitment to staff safety, the Scouts will not be cleaning in individual student rooms in Michaelmas Term. If the term and/or the academic year progresses positively and the virus declines we will review all decisions, but they will all be reviewed with the safety of our whole community firmly in mind.

Comprehensive documentation and information relating to COVID-19 and the measures put in place by College can be found on our Intranet.

Published: 21 September 2020

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