Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated on Tuesday 14th August 2018


Meal times and food

When are college mealtimes?
(Correct for the 17/18 academic year)
– Breakfast: 08:00 – 09:30
– Lunch: 11.45 – 13:30
– Dinner: 17:30 – 19:00 (Tuesday: 18:00 – 19:00)

NB: Dinner will sometimes be earlier depending on if there is a formal on, if college communion is occurring, or for any other particular reason – the catering team will place a message in the Haughton Dining Hall to let you know.

– Breakfast: 08:00 – 10:00
– Brunch: 10:00 – 13:30
– Dinner: 17:15 – 18:45

– Breakfast: 08:30 – 10:00
– Brunch: 10:00 – 13:30
– Dinner: 17:15 – 18:45

Are there any takeaways in Durham?
Yes, and many places will deliver to the colleges. Check out Just Eat, Deliveroo, or Google! There are plenty of places to order food from!

What do I do if I have special dietary requirements?
Contact the catering manager Alison Bradshaw on to arrange a meeting to discuss your requirements.

How do I sign up for formals?
You can sign up for formals using this website. Just use for Formals Signup system! Sign-up times are usually sent out by email and the list of people signed up will also be sent round by email.

Living in Durham

How can I find my way around Durham?
This is a useful map showing all areas of Durham University.

Is there a bus to college?
You can get the cathedral bus from Palace Green to the railway station for £1. The timetable can be found here.

What is the nightbus?
The nightbus is a service run by the DSU to enable livers out and those from hill colleges to get home safely after a night out. The service is not timetabled but runs from 9pm – 1am Monday to Thursday, 9pm – 3am Friday and Saturday and 9pm – 11pm on Sundays and costs 75p per journey. To arrange a pick-up from one of the pick-up locations ring 07854 838890. More information about the service and details of the pick-up points are available on the DSU website here.

Where can I find a taxi?
There are taxi ranks at the top of North Road (nearest the Fighting Cocks) and in the market place. Alternatively you can ring one of the numbers below:

B M Taxi  || 07733747699
Durham|| 0191 364 3665
Mac’s|| 0191 372 3786
Paddy’s|| 0191 386 6662

Alternatively, Uber does run in Durham although they are quite rare.

How do I get to Newcastle?
There are regular trains from Durham train station and the journey takes about twenty minutes. If you are going out for the night be sure to check when the last train is as the taxi journey back to Durham can be quite expensive.

College information

Staff contacts
The contact details of all the members of college staff can be found here.

College Postal Address 
As students we can have post delivered to college, they will be delivered to either the Livers’ In/Liver’s Out pigeon holes or alternatively if it is a signed package it will be delivered to the Porter’s Office in Reception.

St John's College,
3 South Bailey,

What do I need to do if someone wants to stay with me?
If you have any visitors you need to sign them in at reception in case of emergency. You can also borrow a blow up bed from the SJCR flat by contacting the President. If you share a room make sure your roommate knows that you will be having a visitor and that they are ok with it. You can also book a room in college for them to stay in for a small charge. If you want to do this you need to go and see Sue Hobson to find out what rooms are available and when.

What is the college’s health and safety policy?
The health and safety policy for the college can be found on the college website here.

How can I book Leech Hall or any other room in college?
To book a room in college for a meeting or event you need to fill in a room booking form which can be obtained from the Porter’s. Once this form has been completed you can give it in to reception to be put in the domestic manager’s pigeon hole. Alternatively you can contact Sue Hobson or Lynne Ramage personally in the housekeeping office.

What are the smoking regulations in college?
Smoking is only allowed in the designated smoking area on Linton Lawn. By law the rest of the college is a no-smoking area so please don’t light up anywhere but in the designated area.

Who do I contact if something breaks in college?
When something breaks in college you need to notify maintenance to let them know. You can do this by going to “Contacts and Links” and following the link to submit a ‘blue slip’. The maintenance team are usually very quick at following up requests and the repair should be done within 3 days.

SJCR democracy

Where is the executive flat?
The flat is at the top of the Linton staircase. The flat is where the SJCR president lives and where the exec meets. The exec pigeon holes, lost property and SJCR camp bed can also be found here.

I want to stand for a SJCR position – what do I need to do?
Check out the Common Room section of this website for helpful guides, and if in doubt contact the SJCR Chair at

What is a hust?
If a position requires a manifesto you will need to hust during the SJCR meeting. A hust is a short talk about why you think you are suitable for the position being elected.

Where can I find further information on SJCR positions?
A list of positions and who holds them can be found under the “Your SJCR” tab, as “SJCR Exec” and “SJCR Officers”. For information on what a particular position entails contact the person holding the position. If the position is currently vacant contact the Chair for more information.

What do I do if the SJCR owes me money?
You need to fill in a money request form. A form can be filled in on this site or you can pickup a paper form from outside the President’s Flat. You can also ask the Treasurer for help. Once you have filled in the form you need to put it in the Treasurer’s pigeon hole in the exec flat.

What is the debtors list?
This is a list of people who owe money to the SJCR, e.g. for ball or special formal tickets. People on this list are not permitted to use any SJCR services, including the bar, Bailey room and laundry until the money is paid. Finalists are also unable to graduate if they owe money to the SJCR. It is at the discretion of the SJCR Treasurer whether the list comes into force or not.

What is the SJCR?
SJCR stands for St John’s Common Room. The SJCR is made up all undergraduates at St. John’s, as well as the members of the Cranmer Common Room (CCR) and the Middle Common Room (MCR). The SJCR oversees the running of each of these common rooms and is separate from the SCR (Senior Common Room – made up of college tutors). The SJCR is responsible for all the services in college, such as the laundry and the Bailey Room as well as student welfare and running student social events.

General university information

Who should I contact if I have a computer problem?
The university runs an IT support service at Computing and Information Service (CIS) who can help with computer problems. Visit their website for more information.

What do I need my campus card for?
You need your campus card to get into the main library and to take out books in all the university libraries. You are often asked for your campus card when visiting other college bars. It also entitles you to student discounts.

At St. John’s if you live in you will require your campus card to scan yourself in at meal times.

What is DUO?
DUO is the university’s online teaching service. DUO provides details of the modules you are taking, including lecture notes, assessment details and your lecturer’s details. You can also access the library website, your webmail and the careers service from this service.

How do I log in to DUO?
You log in to DUO using your student ID which is printed on your campus card and the password you are given at the beginning of term. This password should be changed to something personal as soon as you have logged in for the first time.

How do I access my Durham email?
Your webmail is accessible through DUO or To log in you will need your student ID which is printed on your campus card and your password.

Where are the general access computers?
There are lots of computer rooms dotted around the university and many departments have their own computing facilities. There is a list of all open access computer rooms on the CIS website here. You can find out how many computers are free in a particular room by looking at this page.

I need to use a particular piece of computer equipment where can I find out which computer rooms have it?
You can use the CIS room search to find out which rooms have which pieces of equipment, such as colour printers and scanners.

House hunting

When should I start looking for a house?
You don’t need to start looking for a house until the second week of Epiphany term. Although you may want to start thinking about who you want to live with before this.

Where can I get advice about house hunting?
Information about house hunting can be found on this website “Welfare” > “Livers-out” or from the accommodation office in the DSU who can be contacted on 0191 334 1770. The livers out officer is also around to give you a hand both when looking for accommodation and when you’re living out.

Welfare issues

Who should I contact in the case of emergency?
In the case of emergency during the day the Senior Tutor should be contacted. If the emergency occurs after college office hours the resident tutor should be contacted. Their numbers can be found on the yellow emergency contact sheet found in your room. 

Who should I contact if I need someone to talk to?
The Student Support Team run drop ins from the Welfare Room every day from 7-8pm. Also, the Welfare Officer can be contacted at any time on

In addition the DSU runs the Nightline service who can be contacted by phone (number on the back of your campus card), email (, instant messaging through their website (, via the anonymous form on their contact pages, or by dropping into their office behind the Dun Cow pub on Old Elvet.

I’m ill and have missed compulsory classes or deadlines, what should I do?
If you’re ill and miss compulsory lectures or practicals you need to inform the Senior Tutor. You can complete a self-certification of illness form stating when you were ill. You can do this either while you’re ill or as soon after you have recovered as you can. You can self-certify twice a term for 5 consecutive days at a time.

Recycling and the environment

Where can I recycle in college?
Your room should have a blue bag for recylable materials. These bags should be filled and then emptied at your nearest recycling point. There are recycling points in Cruddas garden, Cranmer garden, 23 North Bailey garden and at the back of 28 North Bailey. If you have no blue bag in your room, contact Sue Hobson.

What can I recycle?
Glass, paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and cans can all be recycled as long as they are reasonably clean (i.e. have been rinsed out). Things which are commonly put into the boxes and cannot be recycled are: tetrapaks (juice cartons), straws, plastic carrier bags and jiffy bags (envelopes with plastic).

Who should I contact about environmental issues in college?
The SJCR has an environmental society who advises college on environmental issues and co-ordinates the recycling in college. 

St. John’s College Library

When can I use the library?
The library is open 24 hours a day and can be accessed using your key. Books can be taken out and returned at any time of day using the self-service machines under the stairs.

The catalogue says the book is in the library but I can’t find it. What do I do?
You should write the name of the book and the author on the sheet for missing books on the notice board by the stairs. Alternatively you can email the librarian Jane Ghosh ( or the library rep.

There’s a book I need which we don’t have what can I do about it?You can submit a book request form (under “Contacts and Links”) detailing the name, author and approximate cost of the book or email the librarian or library rep.

Is there internet access in the library?
There is wireless internet access available in the library. See the help sections on the CIS website for more information on how to connect to the wireless network.

Useful numbers

Here is a list of useful contact numbers:

Police and security
Non Emergency: 0191 386 4222
University Security: 0191 334  2222

Student health
Health Centre: 0191 334 6086
NHS Direct: 0845 4647
DSU Advice Centre: 0191 334 1775
Counselling Service: 0191 334 2200
Night Line: number can be found on the back of your campus card

Durham Students Union
Reception: 0191 334 1777
Accomodation Office: 0191 334 1770
Nightbus: 0785 483 8890

Other numbers
Science Site library: 0191 334 3042
Palace Green library: 0191 334 2932

Computing at John’s

Where can I get a cable to connect to the internet in my room?
There should be an ethernet cable in your room when you arrive. If not, you need to collect a network cable from reception.

Are there any computers connected to the university network in college?
There is a college computer room in the building opposite Leech Hall at the top of the stairs. These computers are available for anyone to use and are connected to the university network.

Is there a printer in college?
A black and white/colour printer can be found in the college computer room. Printer credits can be purchased from reception or online from the CIS website here or the self-service machines in the main library.

Who should I contact about computer problems in college?
You should report any issues to the Porters, they will be able to help with maintaining all the computer equipment in college, filling the printers with paper etc.