JCR Homepage

Welcome to the St Mary’s College JCR Website!

The JCR stands for the ‘Junior Common Room’ – Here, we’re not referring to a physical room, but to the body of undergraduate students who make up St Mary’s College, Durham University. There are lots of different things that make Durham and its collegiate system unique, but the one thing that makes Durham especially different and especially sought after, is its Common Rooms. Small undergraduate communities, unique to each Durham college, that are here for students.

The JCR is a student led organisation that is best known for the role it plays, in defining the wider student experience, support & welfare networks, and providing a small, personalised community that you become a part of, and grow in throughout your time here. The JCR is overseen by the JCR President and their executive committee, who deal with all things student related. From the most basic matters like food in college, to the welfare of students, to organising countless social events such as Formals & Balls.

Your JCR & College experience will define your time at Durham, and will leave a lasting impression about the value of a small community environment where you can get involved in new things, meet new people, experience unique traditions & leave here as an accomplished graduate.

But also, most crucially, the JCR acts as a springboard in helping you remain supported, have fun, and build friendships while you’re here – and this is what’s most special about being a part of a student-led, student centred community. What the common Room and College structure will provide you with, is not only a basis for having the best 3 or 4 years here, but will provide you with a grounding and an identity as a Mary’s student, that very few people let go of.

Whether it’s with sports, societies, formals, balls, committees or leadership roles, people can come in at whatever experience or exposure level they’ve had in the past, and are encouraged to grow through all that we offer. Crucially, the JCR is the platform from which you’ll go onto meet friends for life, experience some of the most exciting times of your life, and most importantly, find a home. Two things you’ll never lack here are opportunity and support, and these are most crucially what the JCR provides.

The Junior Common Room is about students, it exists for students and it is led by students. The experience, welfare and support of students is at the heart of everything we do. Most crucially, Mary’s students may come to University thinking they are here for one thing, but what the College and JCR structure provides is an experience that encapsulates so much more than simply their degree.

Here’s a Little Insight –


We hope you find the information you need on this website, but if you have any further questions, please contact Maddie, JCR President, on st-marys.jcr@durham.ac.uk.

The Digital JCR Handbook, which is essentially a condensed version of everything on this website:

Digital JCR Handbook 2023

St Mary’s College JCR Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/835356207601367/

St Mary’s College JCR YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb8VLGzllguzHm3GRgeA8Cg

St Mary’s College JCR Instagram: @stmarysjcr

St Mary’s JCR President’s Instagram: @marys.pres



Congratulations and Welcome from the JCR President – Maddie

Dear Freshers, 

A huge congratulations, not just on making it into Durham but more importantly, for making it into the best and friendliest college! I’m so excited to welcome you all to what is an incredibly special community full of wonderful people where, hopefully, you’ll experience some of the most memorable years of your life.  

My name is Maddie (she/her) and I graduated in July 2023 with a degree in English Literature. As your JCR President, my top priority is to represent the undergraduate student body to the very best of my ability, whether that be overseeing balls and formals, sports and societies, welfare and more! I will be coordinating and working with this year’s brilliant JCR Exec to ensure you and the older students in the JCR all have a successful year. My time here at Mary’s has certainly been far from plain sailing, especially when you throw a pandemic into the mix, but the people within this community have always remained a source of support, inspiration and, therefore, I could not be more delighted to have the opportunity to give something back. 

Each year, Mary’s recruits a ‘Frep’ team of student representatives who will work hard to plan, organise and be on hand throughout your arrival and Freshers week, under the guidance of myself and the Head Freps. You will have a chance to meet them later on in the Freshers’ Reps section of the website! Your induction week will give you the chance to get to know the college, your department and your student peers through a huge range of different activities that will be on offer. One thing to remember is that there isn’t an expectation for you to take part in every single activity or party every night; take time for yourselves, have a night in if you need it and never feel worried about reaching out to the brilliant support systems we have here in college. Your induction week is only one in a whole year and, beyond that, a whole degree so don’t panic about instantly finding your niche or your people. It may take time and your Freps will reassure that things will start to fall into place as you go through the term, even if things may seem daunting at first. I will also be on hand throughout the week and the year, living and working in college, so don’t hesitate to come to me with any questions or concerns you might have (or if you simply want to nerd out about books!). 

This next year, we’ve got really exciting events and opportunities planned for you all. Each week, I’ll be sending out an email with regular updates of college life and there will also be lots of information on our social media, all of which are linked above!


Finally, don’t forget that University is so much more than a degree. It’s about the people you meet and the memories you make along the way. Yes, I’ve read some great books and I’ll always be proud of the work I’ve achieved during my undergraduate but, more importantly, I’ve come away with some incredibly cherished moments. Whether that be gigging all over Durham, dancing with my friends at balls, or simply taking long walks along the river, Durham and Mary’s have become part of me and I hope that they’ll come to mean as much to you as they do to me.  

Congratulations again on working so hard, enjoy your summers and I’ll look forward to seeing you all very soon! 

Mary’s love xx 


St Mary’s College JCR President 2023/24 

Email: st-marys.jcr@durham.ac.uk 

Tel: 0191 334 5933