Oriel Middle Common Room

Freshers’ Guide 2021/22

Welcome to Oriel!

Dear New Orielensis,

I am delighted to welcome you to Oriel College and to our Middle Common Room (MCR).

On behalf of the Middle Common Room at Oriel, I look forward to you joining our thriving graduate community in one of the oldest colleges in Oxford. Coming to a new city and new university can be a daunting experience. This guide is designed to introduce you to Oriel & Oxford life, while also providing helpful advice for when you are here.

You are about to start one of the most amazing years of your life. In a few weeks, you’ll be walking through that large, wooden, very old door into Oriel for the first time as an Orielensis. You’ll soon find that often at Oxford the truth is even stranger than the stories (or at least Hogwarts) – this is a place where everyone has battels (without any armies), pigeon holes (without any birds) and wears a gown (to exams as well as parties).

The MCR is both a physical room, conveniently located in the Island Site, and a community of all the graduate students in the college, along with fourth-year undergraduates and associate members.

Our common room and nearby study room are available 24 hours a day to all members. The MCR itself is a comfortable and bright space with large sofas, even larger portraits, high ceilings and balconies overlooking Oriel Square. Drop by any time for coffee, tea, biscuits and friendly company.

We host a number of exciting events throughout the year, including exchanges with other colleges, black-tie guest nights in the Oriel Hall, afternoon teas, weekly yoga, and the ever popular Second Desserts served after every Sunday Formal Hall. The MCR Bar is also open every Sunday and for Guest Nights, cocktail nights, bar exchanges, and other events.

Life in the MCR is whatever you make it; there are usually plenty of organised events and excursions, and details of these events will be found in our Term Card and on our Facebook page, which I encourage you to join.

This all begins with Freshers’ Week events, where you will meet new and returning Orielenses. There are many great events planned to introduce you to the college and the surrounding city. I would encourage you to attend them all.

If you feel shy, just remember that we are a friendly community and everyone will be ready to make new friends!

Studying at Oxford is a unique, exciting, and often challenging experience, and we hope you will find the MCR to be a welcoming home while you are here. The MCR will do all we can to give you a brilliant year in this beautiful city of dreaming spires.

All best wishes,

Guy Cabral
MCR President 2021-22