Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated on 19th August 2019


Meal times and food

When are college mealtimes?
(Correct for the 18/19 academic year)

– Breakfast: 08:00 – 09:30
– Lunch: 11.45 – 13:30
– Dinner: 17:30 – 19:00

Dinner will sometimes be open from 17:15 depending on if there is a formal on (usually Wednesdays), when college communion and family services are occurring, or for another – the catering team will place a message in the Haughton Dining Hall to let you know.

– Breakfast (continental): 08:00 – 10:00
– Brunch: 10:00 – 13:00
– Dinner: 17:15 – 18:45

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

If you are going to miss a meal, pick up a packed lunch order form from the Dining Hall the evening before and pop it into the Catering pigeon hole, and pick up the next day! If you miss a meal regularly (e.g. have a 12pm lecture every Monday), you can make a standing order for a packed lunch by emailing

Top Tip! Get to meals when they open/5 minutes before to avoid queuing up Haughton stairs.

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! On Saturdays there is a market in Market Square which has plenty of cakes/treats/pastries which can be taken back to college too – and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants around town. We promise, you’ll never starve!

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 (sign ups usually open at 7pm the week before the formal) 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. Alternatively, ask any of the students around college or the porters – everyone’s here to help!

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. Please be aware the bus does not run on Sundays or public holidays, and timetables can change during holiday seasons.

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. It 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. You may have to wait a while though!

How do I get to Newcastle?
There are regular trains from Durham train station and the journey takes about fifteen 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. There is a bus that runs, but it isn’t the most reliable!

College information

Staff contacts
The contact details of all the members of college staff can be found here. There will always be a College Officer on duty, but your first point of call should be the Porters (up to 11pm), and after that the Resident Tutors.

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 Porters’ Office in Reception. If you have any questions about pigeon holes, please contact the Porters or Pigeon holes will be reassigned prior to Freshers’ Week. If your parcel is delivered to the Porters’ office, you will receive an email.

St John's College,
3 South Bailey,

It can be helpful to include your room number!

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 or contact to find out if there are rooms are available and when. Visitors are allowed in college for a maximum of 3 nights in any one week.

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 Porters. 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 or by emailing Please be aware that space in college is limited, and it can be hard to book a room at short notice. The Bowes Room and Bailey Room remain spaces that can be used by any SJCR member at any time.

What are the smoking regulations in college?
Smoking is only allowed in the designated smoking area towards the back of 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 submitting a ‘blue slip‘. The maintenance team are usually very quick at following up requests and the repair should be done within 3 days.


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. There is a small sign near the external bar entry, and keep following the staircase up until you get to the top!

I want to stand for a SJCR position – what do I need to do?
Check out 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 in the Common Room Directory. 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 found on this site. 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 or email

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 may 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. If you are struggling to pay off debt, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Treasurer, as there are payment schemes in place to help you out.

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 in restaurants and shops.

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 site.

How do I log in to DUO?
You log in to DUO using your 6 digit abcd12 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. St John’s has a computer room which can be accessed from the courtyard between the Dining Hall and access to Leech Hall. Top Tip! The computer room window gives my personal favourite view of the Bailey 🙂

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. There is a printer in the John’s Computer Room. Printers in Etchells House and outside the finance office are not available for student use.

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. You can speak to the Assistant Senior Tutor, Welfare officer or Livers’ Out officer if you are worried about housing.

Where can I get advice about house hunting?
Information about house hunting can be found from the Welfare team, Assistant Senior Tutor or from the accommodation office in the DSU who can be contacted on 0191 334 1770.

Welfare issues

Who should I contact in the case of emergency?
In the case of emergency during the day a College Officer should be contacted, and can be reached through speaking to the Porters. 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

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 Assistant 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 up to 5 consecutive days at a time. If you have a disability/illness which may require you to take extra time out, speak to the Assistant Senior Tutor about getting in contact with the University Disability Service. You can email at any time for advice or help.

Recycling and the environment

Where can I recycle in college?
There are recycling points in Cruddas garden, Cranmer garden, 23 North Bailey garden and at the back of 28 North Bailey. If you would like to request a blue recycling bag for your room, contact Sue Hobson at

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. They have a Facebook Page:

St. John’s College Library

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

The catalogue says the book is in the library but I can’t find it. What do I do?
You can email the librarian Jane Ghosh ( or the library rep (see Common Room Directory).

There’s a book I need which we don’t have, what can I do about it?

You should detail the name, author and approximate cost of the book and email the librarian or library rep. Alternatively, look on the library directory to see if the book is available online, or in the Billy B.

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:

John’s Numbers: here

University 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