Welcome Freshers of 2020!

Congratulations on your results and we hope you will have the most amazing time during Freshers’ Week 2020! It’ll be a week to remember! Remember to go to the college’s welcome pack to get all the admin information you need and submit room preferences, but if you have any questions at all, you can also contact us and we can direct you to the right people! The Head Freps’ email address is; more general enquiries can be sent to

Don’t forget to also follow the SJCR Social Media Pages (links at the bottom of the page!).

Welcome from the Freshers’ Week Coordinators

George & Lucy (Guicy) – Head Freps

Some more helpful info

This year’s theme will be ‘literary universes’, so get excited for some themed activities throughout the week. We’ve been revealing clues as to each night’s theme over the last few weeks, so if you haven’t already then be sure to check out our facebook page to find out what they are so you can plan your costumes!

This group will also help you to meet the other new undergraduates at John’s, as well as all the Freps and members of the SJCR (St John’s Common Room), and the Exec Committee (which you will also find more about soon!). Here you will also find information about joining the Freshers facebook group chat, where you can ask us any questions you have. We are all here to help with the transition to university life, so remember that there is no such thing as a silly question.

We will also be publishing a Handbook for new students (online and a printed copy) for your perusal. It will cover topics such as:

  • The huge variety of sports and societies we have on offer
  • Information about your course including contact information for our many subject reps
  • A suggested Kit List for those who aren’t sure what to bring
  • Details of the welfare support available at John’s
  • Introductions to the Fresher Reps and Exec members who you will meet during Induction Week
  • A guide to the most important rooms in John’s (to help prevent you getting lost in the maze that is College!)

Once the handbook is ready, it will be accessible here, and we will post about it on the Facebook group (another reason to join!). We hope that many of you will want to get involved in College life as much as possible, be it through sports and societies, through involvement in SJCR meetings or simply by going down to the College Bar in the evenings. John’s has so much to offer!

Finally, there will be some one-off costs for you to prepare to pay after arriving on Freshers’ Sunday:

1) SJCR membership (£135-3 year course/£180-4 year course): this will enable you to take part in College sport, societies and all the great stuff John’s has to offer throughout your University life. Included in first term’s College accommodation invoice for students living in College who have opted in.

3) Gown/freshers T-shirt: If you have ordered one or both of these then you should have been sent an invoice already, but you can also pay once you’ve arrived at college, you’ll just have to wait a bit longer for your items.

2) Laundry card (£20 refundable deposit): collected from Reception anytime during Freshers’ week. Deposit will be refunded after card is returned to Reception when you move out of College.

Oh… and just in case you’ve forgotten, Induction Week formally starts on Sunday 27th September and finishes on Saturday 4th October!

Some helpful notes on how things will be operating this year

With all the restrictions in place this year, things will be happening a little differently from usual, but don’t worry! We’ve been working hard to make sure you don’t miss out, whether that means working on extra safety measures or moving certain activities online, we’re determined you’ll still get the full John’s experience.

Details about college activities will be made available on the freshers timetable, and you’ll also be given information about these throughout the week. There will be a mix of virtual and socially distanced activities, so you feel free to join in with whatever you feel comfortable with.

This year our freshers fair has gone virtual! All of our sports and societies (and we’re proud to say we have a lot!) will be holding drop-in zoom sessions, so you’ll still have a chance to ask them any questions you have. You can also read a bit about each of them on their individual pages.

Our wonderful welfare team will be here to support you in freshers week (and afterwards too!), but on top of this they’ll be running daily peer-support drop-ins and even holding tea and cake sessions between 3-4pm for certain households each day! These are run a little differently this year, but the full details can be found in the document below.

A welcome from the SJCR President: Congratulations on receiving your place at St. John’s!

I’m Joe and I’m the President of the St. John’s Common Room (SJCR), a student run charity which represents the undergraduates, postgraduates and ordinands (those training for church ministry) of St. John’s College. Membership gives you the chance to experience a whole range of opportunities that will likely be central to your time in Durham; whether that be joining a sports team, presenting at a research symposium, performing to large crowds of people with our college theatre company, or one of the many other activities John’s has to offer. We also provide you the space (and funds!) to set up any new sports/societies that you think Johnians will love.

John’s is a great place to be and we’re so excited for you to join us. We might be the second smallest college in Durham but we regularly outperform the biggest colleges when it comes to sports (we currently have the second highest sports points per person!), we have one of the largest music societies in the university, and our boat club competes in prestigious races both in the North East and beyond.

Currently the dedicated Induction Week team and I are preparing for your arrival in Durham! We’re organising fancy-dress nights, sports/societies taster sessions, academic workshops, tea and toast evenings, college families, boat parties and countless other activities. Don’t worry – there will be plenty of time for you to rest, relax and meet those who you will spend the next three (or more) years with. If you have any concerns or queries then please feel free to email me before you get here, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Can’t wait to see you all here!

SJCR President

Check out our SJCR social media pages!