Addendum until 17 May 2021

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Due to restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the following amendments to the College Handbook are in effect until further notice. They will be kept under review by the Warden and Tutors’ Committee in the light of guidance from the University and HM Government and will be revised or removed as the situation develops. We therefore hope that it will be possible to make changes to these amendments from 17 May 2021.

Section of Handbook Original text Amendment
8: Graduate scholarships and prizes Prize Scholars may have dinner at High Table once a week, in the academic year coinciding with their appointment, without charge, but they may not invite guests to these meals. Due to temporary changes to dining arrangements, the entitlement to one dinner per week at High Table is currently unavailable. The entitlement to one free dinner per week remains unaffected.
13: Medical The College Nurse attends in the Surgery, Grove 1.2, from 9:30am to 3:00pm Mondays to Thursdays and 9:30am to 12:30pm on Fridays from 0th to 9th Week of term. Instead of a drop-in service, students will be asked to contact the nurse for a triage appointment.
16: Accommodation and ancillary services There are communal kitchens in all properties in Holywell Street and Manor Place, Mansfield Road and St Cross Road. There are communal kitchens in the Junior and Middle Common Rooms, otherwise in the Merton Street precinct there is only limited communal kitchen provision in 21 Merton Street, Rose Lane North Lodge, and in Rose Lane 5.

Junior members may have one overnight guest in their rooms at a time, on the condition that this does not disturb their neighbours or have an unreasonable impact on their neighbours’ use of shared facilities, such as bathrooms and kitchens. In any fourteen-day period, junior members are allowed an overnight guest on no more than three nights. It is not permitted that a junior member has a permanent or semi-permanent live-in guest.
A JCR Guest Room is available for use by overnight guests of junior members, one or two persons aged 16 or over only, for a maximum of three consecutive nights per stay.

The communal kitchens on the Merton Street precinct are closed until further notice, apart from the communal kitchen in North Lodge which will remain open for North Lodge residents only.

No overnight guests are permitted. Junior members cannot have guests from other households in their own households, unless they are part of the same support bubble. Interaction between households can only take place in outdoor spaces in Covid-secure ways, in accordance with law and with Government regulation and observing the restrictions on group size (currently only meeting outside with no more than 6 people or two households, and with social distancing).

The Guest Room is not in use.

17: Security The main College site in Merton Street is open to the public and University members Monday to Friday 2pm-5pm (last entry 4.30pm) & Weekends 10am-5pm (last entry 4.30pm) except during the Christmas vacation and other set dates for key events (see updates on college website).

The College site is closed to all non-residents.

College and library tours for students and their guests are currently suspended.

19: Libraries, computer rooms, sports and music facilities All members of the college are welcome to use the library collections and study space […] Visits to the medieval Upper Library and research consultation of items from historic and special collections may be arranged by appointment with the Librarian.

Opening hours for College Libraries during term are as follows:

Old Warden’s Lodgings: 7:30am – 2:00am.

Information desk/library office: Monday–Friday 9:00am to 12:00 noon and 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

Lower Library Mob Quad: 7:30am – 2:00am.

Vacation hours are posted at the end of each term.

Communal computer rooms for use by junior members are on the ground floor of Old Warden’s Lodgings, in the Lower Library in Mob Quad, and in the basement of Block A Holywell Buildings.

The Mob Quad computer room is accessible during Library hours. Other computer rooms are accessible at all times.

The Pavilion is normally open between 9.00a.m. and 10.00 p.m. during term and by arrangement with the Groundsman during vacation periods. The squash courts are accessible by key.

An air-conditioned Fitness Room is available to all junior members. It is located in Rose Lane and has both cardio-vascular and resistance equipment. The fitness room is open from 7:00am until 10:00pm.

Access to the Upper Library is suspended until further notice. Consultation of special collections will be limited, please contact the Fellow Librarian.

Please check for up-to-date information on library access and opening hours etc. Procedures and opening hours may change.

Access to OWL and Mob reading rooms and copier/printer use by appointment only. A booking system will be in place to enable safe use. The library will be operating a click and collect service for borrowing. Books should be collected and returned to designated locations.

Library opening hours will be reduced; OWL will be open when staffed.

Access to the Mob and OWL computer rooms is temporarily suspended. The Holywell computer room is temporarily closed for use as a post room, but the printer remains accessible.

The main Pavilion building and squash courts will be accessible by those College members who have been given authorised access between 9:00am and 10:00pm during term and by prior arrangement during vacation periods. The main hall of the pavilion will not be available for group sports use until after 17 May. Individuals, or those within the same
household may book the hall.

A booking system will be in place to enable safe usage of the Fitness Room by one user at a time.

20: Meals Formal Hall is served at table, other meals are self-service. Gowns are worn by all members of College at Formal Hall. The dress code is jacket and tie, or equivalent.

Students and their guests attending Formal Hall are expected to be seated by 7.15pm (7.30 Sunday) Late attendees may not be allow to join the dinner (no refund issued)

Junior members must book for evening meals through the college intranet at http://epos.merton.ox.ac.uk.

During Full Term booking for supper and Formal Hall must be completed by 10.00 a.m. for dinner on the same day. There are restrictions on the numbers that may book in for supper and Formal Hall.

During Full Term it is not necessary to book in advance for breakfast or lunch. Payment for the meal is completed by swiping the University card on the terminal in the Hall at mealtimes.

Bookings for guest meals may be made via the College website. Up to three guests may be invited for any meal.
Formal Hall seats can be reserved (reservation for a minimum of three attendees) by contacting the Head Steward in advance on malgorzata.skalik@merton.ox.ac.uk

Special Guest Nights are normally held in Hall on Fridays of 2nd, 4th and 6th Weeks.

Formal hall will not be available. Table service will not be possible. Guests will not be permitted at any meals.

The times of meals will be notified.

The deadline for booking is 10:00am for the following day and by 10:00am on Friday for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Booking is required for all meals.

Guests are not permitted at meals.

Seat reservations are not possible.

Guest nights will not take place.

38: Gardens Junior members may use the Fellows’ Garden and the Holywell Gardens for work or relaxation but may not take food or drink into them except bottled water, or play games there. Students may not gather in the Fellows’ Garden or Holywell Gardens between 12:30am and 6:30am without permission from the Deputy Principal of the Postmasters. Junior members may use the Fellows’ Garden and the Holywell Gardens for work or relaxation but must not play games there. Junior members will be permitted to take food and non-alcoholic drinks into the garden but must remove all food waste and packaging from the garden when they leave. Students may not gather in the Fellows’ Garden or Holywell Gardens between 12:30am and 6:30am without permission from the Deputy Principal of the Postmasters.
39: Library

Fines will be charged for the late return or renewal of books and non-book material.

Guidelines on whether and how books and papers may be left overnight in the library may vary according to the term and will be posted. Readers are asked to follow these guidelines and normally should tidy books and papers when leaving the library for more than a short break, so that others can use the desk space. Staff reserve the right to clear tables and desks when necessary.

Fines for overdue books will be suspended in Michaelmas Term. Fines for lost books will remain as in the handbook.

Readers will not be able to leave personal possessions or papers in the library, to facilitate cleaning between study sessions. 

46: Health and Safety

Junior members are expected to behave in a responsible and considerate manner and to take reasonable care to avoid injury to themselves and to others. A junior member who contravenes safety regulations or who carelessly or wilfully puts at risk the safety of any person may be subject to disciplinary action.

Cooking and the use of microwaves, toasters and similar devices, is not permitted in any accommodation. Junior members are not permitted to bring any of the following electric appliances into College: cooking appliances (including microwaves, toasters and sandwich makers), heaters (including non-electric heaters), irons or any other appliances that may constitute a hazard.

No Junior Member shall, within 25 miles of Carfax, intentionally or recklessly engage in any act, omission, or course of conduct which is contrary to Government, Public Health England or local public health rules, any instructions issued by public health officials, or any pandemic-related rules or instructions issued by the College or University.

For the 2020-2021 academic year, permission is granted for Junior Members to bring a microwave into their room. The microwave must not include an oven, grill, or hotplate.

47: College sports An air-conditioned Fitness Room is available to all Junior Members. It is located in Rose Lane and has both cardiovascular and resistance equipment and is open from 6.00 a.m. until 10:00 pm. A booking system will be in place to enable safe usage of the Fitness Room.
50: Accommodation agreement

For all Licensees who are undergraduates £3,879 for a single room or £4,110 for an en suite room payable in three equal instalments in advance on or before the Payment Dates.

For all Licensees who are graduates or second BA students £6,243 payable in 3 equal instalments in advance on or before the Payment Dates.

You will be billed as usual for accommodation as long as you are resident.

If, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, you are unable to arrive by the beginning of your accommodation licence period we will not charge you until you are able to take up residence. However, you must pay any deposit required in advance and confirm you intend to take up accommodation as soon as it becomes possible by liaising with the Accommodation Office: accommodation.admin@merton.ox.ac.uk.

If you are required to leave due to the Covid-19 Pandemic at any time, please notify the Accommodation Coordinator (accommodation.admin@merton.ox.ac.uk) cc the Bursary (bursary@merton.ox.ac.uk) via email. We will stop charging you from the date you leave (that is, you need not provide 30 days’ notice).

When you are able to return to residence, please notify the Accommodation Coordinator, cc the Bursary, via email of the date you will return in advance of your return. You will then be billed monthly in arrears from the date of return at the rate of £20.81 per day up to a maximum of £6,243.00 up to 31 July (if you are a leaver or not entitled to the summer accommodation) or to 30 September (if summer accommodation is applied for and approved). 

Appendix 1: Tariff of Possible Fines Health and safety and fire safety: £30-£250 depending on severity breaches e.g. letting off fire alarms in a non-emergency situation, failure to evacuate a building when the fire alarm sounds, storing hazardous substances on College property including fireworks, gas and compressed air cylinders, burning candles, cooking (including toasting) in all areas except designated kitchens, unauthorised barbeques

(see Regulation 46)

[In addition to the existing text] Failure to follow all rules related to protecting the community against COVID-19 transmission (eg. social distancing and mask use, which puts the health of others at risk) will be treated as a Health and Safety breach and will therefore be penalised by fines of £30-£250, depending on severity. Repeat offending will be considered as a serious disciplinary offence.
Appendix 7: Holding meetings or parties in College premises Permission MUST be obtained from the Deputy Principal of the Postmasters for any gathering of more than ten persons on College premises, which any graduate or undergraduate member of the College seeks to hold.

The College reserves the right to impose a rental charge for the use of certain College rooms and other venues to Merton students and non-Merton Clubs and Associations.

The current schedule of fines includes fines for: excessive noise/disturbance £30-£75 depending on severity; damage to College rooms, premises, grounds, £30 and up depending on severity + costs property; unauthorised parties £30-£75, depending on severity; failure to clean up after party/meeting, cost plus fine of £30-£150; unreasonable mess, cost plus fine of £30-£150.

Gatherings will be limited to no more than 6 people or two households, outdoors and no permission is required for gatherings, unless they occur in bookable spaces or with bookable facilities, such as the use of MCR barbeques. For these, part of the process for obtaining permission, the Organiser of the gathering must prepare a risk assessment which describes how they will ensure the safety of those attending, and how social distancing requirements will be maintained.

The Organiser will be responsible for communicating these requirements to the attendees and will take responsibility for the behaviour of any attendees who are not members of their household or the College. They will be liable for fines of £30-£250 if Covid-safety requirements are not followed.

[In addition to the existing text] In order to meet the College’s obligations under the Prevent legislation, students who organise an online event with an external speaker

  1. which is organised on behalf of any College society or group (including the JCR and MCR) or
  2. which is branded in any way as associated with the College or
  3. which uses the College’s IT facilities

must provide details to the Deputy Principal of the Postmasters no fewer than 7 days in advance, including the name of the speaker and the speaker’s proposed subject.