Mansfield is the centre of our students' social lives, with entertainment, sports, music and drama facilities and events. Friends are made quickly and there are many opportunities to add to and enjoy both college and University life.
Junior Common Room
The Junior Common Room (JCR) is the term used to refer to the undergraduate student body as a whole, and is also the place where students gather and socialise. The JCR has a pool table, a TV, table tennis set, and seating areas where students can enjoy free tea, coffee and biscuits at JCR Tea, and read the array of weekly newspapers and Oxford publications that the JCR purchases.
The JCR also has an excellent committee, the Bench, which has responsibility for running student services such as social events and welfare provision. You can find out about the current JCR bench here.
To see what the JCR themselves have to say about living at Mansfield, have a look at our Alternative Prospectus. You can view it online here.
Social life at Mansfield takes on a variety of different forms, and caters for just about every taste.
The Junior Common Room has Entertainments officers ("Entz Reps") who are responsible for coordinating a weekly timetable of social events. Regular events in the College itself include 'bops' (Oxford-speak for college discos), formal dinners followed by ‘champagne and chocolates’, open-mic/ comedy nights, sports days, and charity auctions. Events are also organized that take students out of College, such as trips to clubs, restaurants, the cinema, and the ice rink. However, the aim of the Entz Reps is to give the student body what it wants, and new suggestions are always welcome.
For the past few years, the College has had a very active Film Society, which meets every week during term. However, in any given year, there are a number of College-based societies that grow up around the interests of particular groups of students. There also links between the academic and social life of college, with a number of subjects including Law, PPE and Geography having societies which hold special dinners and speaker events.
No Oxford College would be complete without its Ball. At Mansfield this takes place every three years. Organised and run by a specially formed committee of students, the ball offers an extremely popular opportunity to dress up, dance, eat, and (if you wish) drink the night away.
Drama at Oxford is thriving and varied. Productions are usually intercollegiate, including everything from experimental student-authored work to established dramas, comedy, and musical theatre. Many famous names in the world of television, film, and theatre were first seen treading the boards in Oxford. OUDS, the University drama society, is a centralised source of help and information, and Mansfield's own Drama Society regularly puts on productions.
So whether you want to act, direct, or offer technical support, there is no reason not to dive in and get started - there are lots of great opportunities to gain experience in theatre, meet new people and try different things.
Mansfield also has an active music life. There are concerts throughout the academic year, which bring together the chapel choir and College instrumentalists in the performance of many different styles of music, and students also lead a popular Christmas carol service. The College chapel has a wonderful acoustic. A fine piano and organ are available for student use, but students are also most welcome to take their own instruments into the chapel for practice.
Much of the musical expression at Mansfield depends on the interests and talents of college members from year to year. Recently, for example, there has been an institution of a termly open mic night, which is always an especially popular and enjoyable evening, as well as a successful jazz and cocktails evening.
Mansfield is fortunate to share the fine Merton sports grounds which are located just eight minutes' walk from the college, behind St. Catherine's College. Tennis and squash courts are available on the same site. The size of Mansfield's main quad makes for one of the best croquet lawns in the University and there is a much-used pool table and equally popular table tennis set in the JCR.
Many Mansfield teams, or teams formed jointly with Merton, play in the inter-college 'cuppers' competitions, but there are many friendly matches too. Sport is a great way to get to know people at other colleges and Mansfield's small size makes sport very accessible. All who want to play are very welcome and everyone can find a game at some level. And, if your sport is one in which we do not regularly compete, find some like-minded people and start a team: when this happened in basketball we won cuppers!
For those with serious talent, University trials offer the route to representing the University. Most major sports have two or more teams so you can play for the University at various levels even if you are not 'Blues' standard.
Rowing at Oxford is something every student should try once. Luckily for Mansfield College Boat Club, that's usually enough for most people to catch the boating bug! Very few students coming to Mansfield have had much rowing experience, allowing many novices the opportunity to row at a high level within a term of taking up the sport. The major competitions include Christ Church Regatta for novices in Michaelmas Term and the ‘bumps races’ (where boats aim to catch each other up, rather than rowing side by side) - Torpids and Summer Eights - in Hilary and Trinity Terms respectively. For more information, go to the MCBC web site.
Mansfield takes great care to foster a supportive and affirming environment for all its members.
There are many places students can turn to for advice and support. Subject tutors and the Senior tutor are always happy to talk and we have Junior Deans resident on both the College site and at the Ablethorpe annexe in Cowley Road who are responsible for the day-to-day welfare of students and on-call through the night. The College also has dedicated advisory panel of tutors from a variety of subjects as well as a Tutor for Student Welfare, a Tutor for Women and Chaplain, all of whom are happy to be approached should any difficulties arise.
The Chaplain, in addition to offering support to individual students, also works with the JCR, MCR and Junior Deans to help organise welfare events. During the termly welfare week, these have included making water-balloons as part of a stress-bucket challenge and making rainbow origami peace cranes to decorate the Chapel for the LGBT+ History Month service. It is important to us that our community is supportive, inclusive and diverse, and pastoral care is high on our priorities.
The Junior Common Room has as its Vice President (Welfare) a student whose role is to take care of student welfare as well as a Women's Officer, Men's Officer, an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) and BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Rep.
In addition to the services provided in College there are also University-wide support services such as the University Counselling Service and student-run Nightline drop-in centre.
Finally, the medical practice with which the College is associated has both male and female doctors who are available during their normal surgery hours to any student registered with them, and at any time in an emergency.
For more information about student welfare at Mansfield, see here.