Freshers 2019/20: All you need to know before Move In!

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Welcome and congratulations!

Hello! First of all CONGRATULATIONS on receiving a place to study at Durham University! Welcome to John Snow college - which will become your home away from home for the next few years. It is a massive achievement to be offered a place at Durham so you should all be really proud of yourselves and all the hard work I’m sure you put in! You clearly have good taste, to have chosen John Snow College (the best college in Durham) and before you ask, no, we are not named after the Game of Thrones character… We are all really excited to meet you and I hope you are looking forward to creating friendships and memories that will last a lifetime!

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John Snow is bustling with life- there is always something on! We have some of the best sports teams alongside new societies such as the recently ratified art society (which now has its own personal space!), music groups, events committees, Winter and Summer Balls, Student Development opportunities and charity work! You’ve worked so hard to get to Durham University, my key piece of advice: get involved with as much as possible and take every opportunity given to you! The years really do fly by, take all the opportunities you can!

A good place to start gathering information about ‘Fresher’s Week’ or about College in general is the Fresher’s Facebook Group or our website. This is a good place to find people you’ll be living with, people on your course and people with similar interests to you. We are aware that moving to University can be daunting, we’re always here to help! If you have any questions or concerns about anything you can email or call me on 0191 33 40148; I will be happy to answer any of your questions (there’s no such thing as a silly question, I’ve heard it all!).

You don’t want to be running around on move-in day; before you arrive you are able to order your Fresher’ week tickets, any merchandise, and your gown. You will also be able to put down deposits for some of the terms biggest events such as the Winter Ball guaranteeing you a ticket to one of the most popular events of the year! All information about how to do this is below!

I hope you all have a fabulous summer- make sure to enjoy it! I, and the whole team look forward to meeting you in September!

Best wishes,

Richard Freeman

JCR President 2019/20

What is the JCR Levy?

JCR activity is the heart and soul of College life. Student officers (all of which you can find here and the Sabbatical President work hard to ensure you are supported in both academic and extracurricular activities and all that is requested is a one off sum called the 'JCR levy' which is a membership fee that helps us to support you in a wide range of ways! Making sure you pay your levy will guarantee you a range of benefits.

Only JCR members are allowed to represent the College and get involved in our various activities, clubs and societies but not only this - members receive JCR subsidies for sports, society and charitable activities. They also receive savings on JCR events from £1 on weekly nights out to £10 for ball tickets and also exclusive access to the John Snow Common Room - the student hub of our College! Plus, being a member enables you to get involved in the JCR organisation itself allowing you to vote in elections, voice your opinions at meetings and gives you the opportunity to run for a committee or officer position which is always great for CV building! If you want to get involved in any area of College life you need to be a member of the JCR.

This levy is applicable to everyone and we believe that having chosen a Collegiate University you will want to be members of the JCR. This is an opportunity to be relished at one of the few Universities in the world that has such a Collegiate system.

Even if you will not be living in College Accommodation we encourage you to be part of the JCR community and get involved.

For 2019-2020 Academic year the JCR Levy will be £100 for UG and £30 for PG,

For information on what being a member of the JCR entitles you to, please take a look at the information below:

Heavily discounted event tickets for:

  • Fresher’s Week and Refresher’s events

  • Early access to weekly night tickets

  • Chinese New Year Celebrations

  • Michealmas and Summer Ball

  • College day

  • International Fiesta Celebrations + many more

Sports and Societies

  • Allows participation in sports and societies and allows competing at a collegiate level

  • Discounted ticket for Annual Sports and Society Dinner

  • Allows you to hold an executive position such as Captain or President



  • Allows you to run for committee positions including exec, non-exec, agent and Frep/Wrep

  • Entitles you to college tie or college pin – necessary for formal college attire

  • Allows you to vote in JCR council or in JCR elections

  • Discounted rate on JCR Merchandise

  • Representation from JCR officers and agents

  • Attendance at JCR only events

  • Free hire of JCR assets including GoPro’s, event supplies, gaming equipment.

Freshers week tickets

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For £35 you will receive an all you can access Freshers’ Week event wristband. This means you have a full choice of the activities you want to take part in whether it is our ‘Back to School’ event or Art Attack. The all inclusive ticket gives the owner access to all fresher events for free making a saving of up to £16! You can find out what’s happening each night by following the link below!


This shirt will be your first step to becoming a member of John Snow College- how else is anyone going to know you’re a John Snow Student? They will be used during fresher’s week events for the ‘bleed blue night’ and on the finale day ‘fresher’s finale’. After this you will undoubtedly use the shirt for playing sports or as a new pyjama top…

Event Durham Link

By following the below link you’ll be able to pay the levy, buy Freshers’ Week tickets, Freshers T-Shirt and pay a deposit on the amazing Michaelmas Ball!

Facebook 2019 freshers’ group

Please find and become a member of the Facebook group below! Information will be released on the group about gowns, events and important information before, during and after freshers’ week! It is also a great way to start to get to know other people who are in John Snow and studying the same subject as you. If you have any questions at all about freshers week, John Snow or University in general please post it on the page as chances are someone has the exact same question as you!

The Official John Snow Freshers’ 2019 page cover photo should look like this!

The Official John Snow Freshers’ 2019 page cover photo should look like this!

Gown order form


Here you can order your Gown which is needed to attend Formals, Matriculation and other College Events through out the year.

A brand new gown costs £55 if you have paid the levy, or £60 if you have decided not to pay the levy. This you will use through out your three/four years at Durham and be kept as a memento long after you have completed your studies. We also have a buy-back scheme where you will be able to return your gown at the end of your degree and receive money back!

For Post-Graduates you can choose to hire a gown for the year for £20 as opposed to buying one!

Second hand gowns are available, however these are limited in number and sizes so will be given on a first-come first-served basis. Second hand gowns cost £20 if you have paid the levy and £25 if you have not.

The following form will ask you to select a gown length, you can work this out by measuring in inches the distance between your shoulders and just below your knee.

You can collect your gown on move in day from the JCR Common Room! (Cash and Card will both be accepted!) You can order gowns below!

What to bring?

This is the question on everyone has coming to University? Am I going to need my superman costume? The answer is bring whatever you want! We have compiled a list which might come in use when packing for Move in Day (you don’t need everything on the list, it is very broad- so don’t worry if you don’t bring some of the items on the list). If anything it will give you an excuse to go to IKEA!

The themes for Freshers Week Include:

  • Neon and Glitter

  • ‘Back to School’

  • 80s Disco

  • Everything Blue (Bleed Blue)

  • Movie Night

  • Sports Night

    You can find everything that will be provided in you halls of residence here (

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What’s already at Rushford Court? (What don’t I need to bring?)

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A full list of Facilities at Rushford Court:

  • JCR and College Offices

  • JCR Common Room (Social Space)

  • Post-graduate Room (Social Space)

  • Games Room: Pool tables and table-top football

  • Cinema Room

  • Gym: Exercise bike, treadmill, weights and mats

  • Laundry Facilities (Block A and C which are accessible to those living in Block B)

  • Bike Storage

  • Recycling Facilities

  • WiFi

Room Inventory:

  • 3/4 Bed

  • Desk and Desk Chair

  • Curtains

  • Notice Board

  • Pleanty of Storage (wardrobe, under-bed storage and storage above the bed)

  • Ensuite (toilet, shower, basin and toilet roll holder)

Kitchen Inventory:

  • Fridge freezer

  • Microwave

  • Iorn and Iorning board

  • Mop and Bucket

  • Hoover (Vacuum Cleaner)

  • Notice Board

  • Breakfast Bar and stools

  • Sofa

  • Kettle

It’s a big step but don’t be worried!

Coming to university can be a mixture of excitement and nervousness, don’t worry we have a team of student to welcome you during freshers’ week and dedicated staff to help you throughout you time at Durham! Never be afraid to talk to us, we’ve all been in the situation of moving away from home and starting university life. Here are what this year’s Head Freps said about how they felt moving into John Snow:

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When I was told I was going to be in John Snow College during Summer last year, I was so scared as it was a reallocation, and was worried that it wouldn’t be the same. I was wrong! My first day, first month and first year being at college was one of the best experiences of my life, every single person was so friendly and helpful, I didn’t feel pressured and I’ve only ever been encouraged to be myself, and I have already made friends for life. I adore John Snow College as everyone pushes you to do your best, be your best, and if you can’t do either at that moment in time, they’ll be there to help you. We are a tight-knit community of students and staff, with nobody being feeling like they’re an outsider. We all worry about what it will be like when we get to university, but this will be the start of possibly the most fulfilling part of your life, with the possibly the best college at Durham!

Katie Amos (Head Frep 2019)

‘John Snow has been the most welcoming, enthusiastic and encouraging college to be in and has made my first year at Durham truly amazing. As one of the smaller colleges, you will be welcomed into a close-knit community of staff and students which helps to ensure you never feel alone. The Sports teams provide a great way to get to know more members of John Snow from all year groups and levels of experience- you don’t even need to play as you can join simply as a social member! Student welfare is a top priority at John Snow with campaigns being run throughout the year, previously including a stress-less fortnight and dial-a-doughnut. Alongside this they run a number of other societies such as the newly formed art society.’

Emma Foster (Head Frep 2019)

‘The build up to university for me was a mixture of fear and excitement, I knew nothing about John Snow College before I arrived and this made the situation a little daunting. However within the first hour of getting to Durham I knew I had nothing to worry about. The environment at John Snow is both welcoming and great fun and I quickly adapted to a new home and college life. I joined a range of clubs and societies where I have made really good friends from all over the world with a great variety of interests and experiences. Being at John Snow has been so supportive and I know I have friends for life. There is always someone who will share a drink with you, support with studies and have a laugh. The college has great pastoral care to help with any issues you may have with settling in and every step has been taken to make your transition to university life a breeze.’

William Lloyd (Head Frep 2019)