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St Cross College
University: University of Oxfor
Address: 61 St. Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LZ, UK
Telephone: +44 1865 278490
Student Union/JCR website: no
Graduate/MCR website: no
Admittance: Graduate only
St.Giles, opposite St.Johns. Nice central though away from the main tourist streams. The central site is very pretty and benefits from being closed to the public all year round.
There are rooms within the actual site of the college, plus extra rooms at the annexe in St.Cross road, roughtly 10 min walk from college and close to Politics. The college also owns two houses on Wellington Square (pretty and leafy; very near college and Summertown), a house on Bradmore Road (near University Parks), and has accommodation off Cowley Road too. The rooms are nice but comparatively more expensive than in other, richer colleges and not all first year students get a room in college.
St.Cross has two common rooms, one shared with the fellows overlooking the Blackwell Quad- stocked with a great coffee machine and a massive selection of newspapers, magazines and journals. The second is situated in the basement, near to the bar, and has a comfy sofas, games, a wii, a projector and loads of other things to waste time with!
The bar is situated in the basement and benefits from very competitive prices (it is student run!), Oxfords best whiskey collection and the latest standard opening times of any college bar! There is also a darts board, table football and pool table free of charge!
There is a very nice garden where one can sit and have a chat, in particular during summer, and you will often find people having bbqs, playing croquet or just enjoying the short moments of sun!
Library and Computing
The main library is small but a nice space to work in. Members are also permitted to use the Pusey House library (located onsite) during the day. The computer room is situated on the second floor and has 4 computers and some books from the library. The work spaces in college (apart from Pusey House Library) often get busy quickly during trinity term so be prepared to work in your dept. or a subject library.
The completion of the back quad in 2015 will see a new 40 person library built (whilst retaining all of the same facilities already available), at which point St Cross will be one of the best equipped graduate colleges in terms of work space, easily providing over 100 onsite spaces!
Welfare teas are often put on by the Students Representation Committee (SRC) welfare reps where you can get free cake and tea and just have a chat!
Every student is assigned both a junior college advisor (usually someone who has been in college for one or more years) and a senior college advisor. You will be invited to dine with your senior advisor for dinner in Michaelmas and lunch in Hilary (all free!).
There is a plentyful stock of condoms, lube, dental dams etc. free of charge!
St.Cross is a small postgraduate college and as such benefits from a strong community sense. You tend to recognise most people at least by the face. Social activities such as dinners, feasts, and balls mean that there are many occasions to get to know people and to actually meet them again. Being a graduate college, there is much potential for meeting other dedicated people who tend to be a bit more mature than in mixed colleges. Being situated in the city centre means, at the same time, being close to other colleges and interacting with them.
The college lunches are known as some of the tastiest you can get in an Oxford college, although they may be slightly more expensive than many others at £4 (although really the difference is negligible!). This includes a soup & bread starter, hot or cold (buffet) main (always a vegetarian option, sometimes better than the meat one), and a dessert - fruit, yoghurt or cheese board. And you get a cup of tea (including herbal) or coffee too, which you can take through to the common room for an after lunch chat.
Hall currently only happens once a week (Tuesday) which is a formal event and gowns are worn. Special dinners happen once or twice a week as well and are much more formal, 4 or 5 course meals, usually with a drinks reception in the Saugman Common Room beforehand. On other nights St Cross members can get dinner from Balliol. From 2015 onwards (when the back quad is completed), regular evening meals will be served.
The hall is a lovely space, very light and airy and creating an atmosphere without pretending to be ancient.
The college is small but pretty and has all that's needed: library, computer room, common room, cafeteria (much more atmospherical than in other "new" colleges), as well as printing facilities. What is really lacking is a copying facility, and more printers (working ones!).