St. John's Common Room


Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

List of topics:
- Durham life
- College information
- SJCR democracy
- General uni info
- House hunting
- Welfare issues
- Meal times and food
- Recycling and the environment
- Useful numbers
- John's library info
- Computing at John's 


Durham life

How can I find my way around Durham?

This is a useful map showing all areas of Durham University.

Is there a bus to college?

You can get the cathedral bus from Palace Green to the railway station for £1. The timetable can be found here.

What is the nightbus?

The nightbus is a service run by the DSU to enable livers out and those from hill colleges to get home safely after a night out. The service is not timetabled but runs from 9pm - 1am Monday to Thursday, 9pm – 3am Friday and Saturday and 9pm – 11pm on Sundays and costs 75p per journey. To arrange a pick-up from one of the pick-up locations ring 07854 838890. More information about the service and details of the pick-up points are available on the DSU website here.

Where can I find a taxi?

There are taxi ranks at the top of North Rd (nearest the Fighting Cocks) and in the market place. Alternatively you can ring one of the numbers below:

B M Taxi 07733747699

Durham 0191 364 3665

Mac’s 0191 372 3786

Paddy’s 0191 386 6662 

How do I get to Newcastle?

There are regular trains from Durham train station and the journey takes about twenty minutes. If you are going out for the night be sure to check when the last train is as the taxi journey back to Durham can be quite expensive.


College information

Staff contacts

The contact details of all the members of college staff can be found here.

College Postal Address

St John's College
3 South Bailey 

What do I need to do if someone wants to stay with me?

If you have any visitors you need to sign them in at reception in case of emergency. You can also borrow a blow up bed from the SJCR flat by contacting the President. If you share a room make sure your roommate knows that you will be having a visitor and that they are ok with it. You can also book a room in college for them to stay in for a small charge. If you want to do this you need to go and see Sue Hobson to find out what rooms are available and when.

What is the college’s health and safety policy?

The health and safety policy for the college can be found on the college website here.

How can I book Leech Hall or any other room in college?

To book a room in college for a meeting or event you need to fill in a room booking form which can be found here. Once this form has been completed you can give it in to reception to be put in the domestic manager’s pigeon hole. Alternatively you can contact Sue Hobson or Lynne Ramage personally in the housekeeping office.

What are the smoking regulations in college?

Smoking is only allowed in the designated smoking area on Linton Lawn. By law the rest of the college is a no-smoking area so please don’t light up anywhere but in the designated area.

Who do I contact if something breaks in college?

When something breaks in college you need to notify maintenance to let them know. You can do this by going to "Contacts and Links" and following the link to submit a 'blue slip'. The maintenance team are usually very quick at following up requests and the repair should be done within 3 days.


SJCR democracy

Where is the exec flat?

The flat is at the top of the Linton staircase. The flat is where the SJCR president lives and where the exec meets. The exec pigeon holes, lost property and SJCR camp bed can also be found here. 

I want to stand for a SJCR position - what do I need to do?

Check out the "Your SJCR" section of this website for helpful guides, and if in doubt contact the SJCR Chair at

What is a hust?

If a position requires a manifesto you will need to hust during the SJCR meeting. A hust is a short talk about why you think you are suitable for the position being elected.

Where can I find further information on SJCR positions?

A list of positions and who holds them can be found under the "Your SJCR" tab, as "SJCR Exec" and "SJCR Officers". For information on what a particular position entails contact the person holding the position. If the position is currently vacant contact the Chair for more information.

What do I do if the SJCR owes me money?

You need to fill in a money request form. A guide and the form itself are available under the "Your SJCR" tab. You can also ask the Treasurer for help. Once you have filled in the form you need to put it in the Treasurer’s pigeon hole in the exec flat.

What is the debtors list?

This is a list of people who owe money to the SJCR, e.g. for ball or special formal tickets. People on this list are not permitted to use any SJCR services, including the bar, Bailey room and laundry until the money is paid. Finalists are also unable to graduate if they owe money to the SJCR. It is at the discretion of the SJCR Treasurer whether the list comes into force or not.

What is the SJCR?

SJCR stands for St John's Common Room. The SJCR is made up all undergraduates at St. John's, as well as the members of the Cranmer Common Room (CCR) and the Middle Common Room (MCR). The SJCR oversees the running of each of these common rooms and is separate from the SCR (Senior Common Room - made up of college tutors). The SJCR is responsible for all the services in college, such as the laundry and the Bailey Room as well as student welfare and running student social events.


General uni info

Who should I contact if I have a computer problem?

The university runs an IT support service (ITS) who can help with computer problems. Visit their website for more information. 

What do I need my campus card for?

You need your campus card to get into the main library and to take out books in all the university libraries. You are often asked for your campus card when visiting other college bars. It also entitles you to student discounts.

What is DUO?

DUO is the university’s online teaching service. DUO provides details of the modules you are taking, including lecture notes, assessment details and your lecturer’s details. You can also access the library website, your webmail and the careers service from this service.

How do I log in to DUO?

You log in to DUO using your student ID which is printed on your campus card and the password you are given at the beginning of term. This password should be changed to something personal as soon as you have logged in for the first time.

How do I access my Durham email?

Your webmail is accessible through DUO or To log in you will need your student ID which is printed on your campus card and your password.

Where are the general access computers?

There are lots of computer rooms dotted around the university and many departments have their own computing facilities. There is a list of all open access computer rooms on the CIS website here. You can find out how many computers are free in a particular room by looking at this page.

I need to use a particular piece of computer equipment where can I find out which computer rooms have it?

You can use the CIS room search to find out which rooms have which pieces of equipment, such as colour printers and scanners.


House hunting

When should I start looking for a house?

You don’t need to start looking for a house until the second week of Epiphany term. Although you may want to start thinking about who you want to live with before this. 

Where can I get advice about house hunting?

Information about house hunting can be found on this website "Welfare" > "Livers-out" or from the accommodation office in the DSU who can be contacted on 0191 334 1770. The livers out officer is also around to give you a hand both when looking for accommodation and when you’re living out.


Welfare issues

Who should I contact in the case of emergency?

In the case of emergency during the day the Senior Tutor should be contacted. If the emergency occurs after college office hours the resident tutor should be contacted. Their numbers can be found under "Welfare" > "Contacts".

Who should I contact if I need someone to talk to?

The Student Support Team run drop ins from the Welfare Room every day from 7-8pm. Also, the Welfare Officer can be contacted at any time on

In addition the DSU runs the Nightline service who can be contacted by phone (number on the back of your campus card), email (, instant messaging through their website (, via the anonymous form on their contact pages, or by dropping into their office behind the Dun Cow pub on Old Elvet.

I’m ill and have missed compulsory classes or deadlines, what should I do?

If you’re ill and miss compulsory lectures or practicals you need to inform the Senior Tutor. You can complete a self-certification of illness form stating when you were ill. You can do this either while you’re ill or as soon after you have recovered as you can. You can self-certify twice a term for 5 consecutive days at a time.


Meal times and food

When are college mealtimes?


Breakfast – 8.00-9.00

Lunch – 12.00-1.30

Dinner – 6.00-7.15


Breakfast – 8.00-10.00

Brunch – 10.00-1.00

Dinner – 5.00-6.15

Are there any takeaways in Durham?

Yes, and many places will deliver to the colleges. 

What do I do if I have special dietary requirements?

Contact the catering manager Alison Bradshaw on to arrange a meeting to discuss your requirements.

How do I sign up for formals?

You can sign up for formals using this website. Just click on ‘Event signup’ on the left-hand side of the page. Sign-up times are usually sent out by email and the list of people signed up will also be sent round by email.


Recycling and the environment

Where can I recycle in college?

Your room should have a  blue bag for recylable materials. This bags should be filled and then emptied at your nearest recycling point. There are recycling points in Cruddas garden, Cranmer garden, 23 garden and the back of 28. If you have no blue bag in your room, contact Sue Hobson. 

What can I recycle?

Glass, paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and cans can all be recycled as long as they are reasonably clean (i.e. have been rinsed out). Things which are commonly put into the boxes and cannot be recycled are: tetrapaks (juice cartons), straws, plastic carrier bags and jiffy bags (envelopes with plastic).

Who should I contact about environmental issues in college?

The SJCR has an environment rep who advises college on environmental issues and co-ordinates the recycling in college. To find out who this is look under "Your SJCR" > "SJCR Officers". 


Useful numbers

Here is a list of useful contact numbers:


Non Emergency: 0191 3864222

University Security: 0191 3342222

Student health

Health Centre: 0191 3346086

NHS Direct: 0845 4647

DSU Advice Centre: 0191 33417775

Counselling Service: 0191 3342200

Night Line: *On the back of your campus card*

Student union

Reception: 0191 33417777

Accomodation Office: 0191 3341770

Nightbus: 0785 483 8890

Science Site library: 0191 3343042

Palace Green library: 0191 3342932

For other useful welfare contacts see the welfare section of this website


John’s library info

When can I use the library?

The library is open 24 hours a day and can be accessed using your key. Books can be taken out and returned at any time of day using the self-service machines under the stairs.

The catalogue says the book is in the library but I can’t find it. What do I do?

You should write the name of the book and the author on the sheet for missing books on the notice board by the stairs. Alternatively you can email the librarian Jane Ghosh ( or the library rep, James Kearney (

There’s a book I need which we don’t have what can I do about it?

You can submit a book request form (under "Contacts and Links") detailing the name, author and approximate cost of the book or email the librarian or library rep.

Is there internet access in the library?

There is wireless internet access available in the library. See the ‘Computing at John’s’ section of these FAQs for more information on how to connect to the wireless network.


Computing at John’s

Where can I get a cable to connect to the internet in my room?

There should be an ethernet cable in your room when you arrive. If not, you need to collect a network cable from reception.

Are there any computers connected to the university network in college?

There is a college computer room in the building opposite Leech Hall at the top of the stairs. These computers are available for anyone to use and are connected to the university network.

Is there a printer in college?

A black and white printer can be found in the college computer room. Printer credits can be purchased from reception or online from the CIS website here or the self-service machines in the main library. A colour printer can be found in the Vasey room.

Who should I contact about computer problems in college?

You should contact the IT rep, you can find their details under "Your SJCR" > "SJCR Officers" or ask a member of Exec. The IT rep is responsible for maintaining all the computer equipment in college, filling the printers with paper etc.

CIS guides

The CIS (Computing and Information Service) have many guides to help you connect to the Durham University network on this page.


- Operating Systems (OS): The majority of guides are applicable to any OS. However some are specific to Windows XP/Vista users.

There are pages for mac users. Help can be found here.

- Searching the Durham Website: You can search the Durham website if you can't find what you want by navigating with the links. Simply use the search box at the top of the webpage.

Below are the three main services you are likely to want to know more about and use.

I) Using the University's local area network

If you want to know how to attach a computer printer, or other device to the network, see this page. It also provides guides to explain how to configure your web browser, email client, news client, network printer, and how to connect to your CIS filespace (J: drive)

II) Ensuite Online (ESOL)

ESOL is the University high speed Internet service provided to Durham University college bedrooms. Basically, if you live in college or in St Margaret's flats, you will have access to the ESOL service. There are regulations as to its use (don't think you can do whatever you want) and before you can use the service, you have to go through a quarantine stage, which is to make sure your computer meets the minimum security levels. You can do a remote scan of your computer to check your computer against the network policies even before you come to Durham to make the quarantine stage as pain-free as possible. Simply go to this page and follow the instructions.

If you need more information about the policies, how to configure your computer or download software to meet the requirements, you can go to this page.

III) Wireless

You will probably be coming up to Durham with a laptop. All recent laptops have a wireless network card. In college, only certain areas have access to a wireless hotspot, and on campus, most areas are covered by the wireless.

This page explains what wireless is, and how to use it. If you want to know where you can have wireless access throughout the University, you can find a list on the same site.