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 Rex Munson, JCR President, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
St Mary’s College JCR Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SMCJCR
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
St Mary’s JCR Twitter: @StMarysJCR
Congratulations and Welcome from the JCR President – Rex Munson
First things first, a massive congratulations on your results this year as well as securing a place at St Mary’s College! We really can’t wait to welcome you into our community this September, where I am excited for you all to find your place here at Mary’s and within the wider community at Durham University.
My name is Rex (he/him) and I’m your JCR President for this next academic year, and you’re probably wondering just what being your JCR President means. Basically my job this year involves overseeing and looking after the undergraduate student body at Mary’s, known as the Junior Common Room. Whether it’s sports clubs, drama, large-scale events, college formals, welfare or music, it all falls under the blanket of the JCR, and it’s my job to oversee all of these aspects of student life to make sure that you have the best experience at Mary’s possible!
So, a little bit about me! I graduated from Durham and Mary’s this Summer (2022) with a degree in Renewable Energy Engineering and I wouldn’t have changed a second of my last 4 years here at Mary’s. Whilst the pandemic has been an unexpected bump in the road for many students this past couple of years, on top of challenges one may experience already with finding themselves at university, Mary’s and the JCR will always be there for those who need it! I am honoured to call my home Mary’s, after all the home is where the heart is! With that said, it is an absolute privilege to be your JCR President this year and welcome you to the amazing Mary’s community.
As you arrive at Mary’s in late September, you will hopefully understand why we have a reputation for being the most friendly and welcoming college in Durham. Upon your arrival in Durham our incredible freshers representatives (freps) will enthusiastically be on hand to welcome you with open arms, and along with our wonderful welfare team and JCR exec, will provide you with an unforgettable and unique induction week unlike any other university experience. The freshers team that you will observe in your first week at Mary’s are part of such a strong community that makes the college so much more than just a place to live. Induction week is just the beginning of your student experience, where you will go on to meet students of all year groups, discover the extensive support networks available, and the exceptional social opportunities. However, your university experience is not defined by your freshers week and there are so many occasions throughout your time at university to make more friends, join more clubs and get stuck into what Mary’s has to offer.
Personally, I got really ill in my first term and didn’t make friends that stuck until a while later. I’m really glad I decided to stick around though. I enjoyed the many weeks that came after freshers so much more than that very first week, so don’t worry if you feel the same!
Whilst many of you will be excited it is also completely normal to feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of hustle and bustle that induction week provides. I just want to reassure you that there is no need to panic! The mass amount of activities provided during freshers week are to provide you with many options as opposed to challenging you to attend them all! Whether you miss an academic meeting, sleep in on a college talk, forget everyone’s names or fail to sign up to a club you’re really keen on, you do not need to stress! We’ve all been there – and the freps are here to help no matter how small the concern may be!
This next year I’ll be living and working in college so please feel free to drop into my office or flat whenever you want or need, I am here to make sure that you (and the students in higher years) are having the best experience in college as possible. I will also be working throughout the Summer leading up to your arrival for the next academic year so if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me via my email, no question is too silly if it will help put your mind at ease.
I remember in my first week someone quoted Bill Bryson (ex-chancellor of the university and famous author). “Don’t let your degree get in the way of your education”. Throughout my four years of Mary’s I’ve sometimes more than followed this advice lol. I’ve spent 12 hours with my friends at our summer ball where we stayed up and watched the sunrise, I’ve boogied and bopped at Mary’s day, I’ve directed three musicals/plays and acted in a further three and I’ve spent 48 hours straight raising money for charity through a twitch live stream with Mary’s gamesoc! It has been an absolute privilege and I am beyond honoured to be in a position to be able to provide all the same experiences for you in the upcoming year. Congratulations again for all your hard work and I hope you enjoy the rest of your Summer. See you soon!
Rex Munson (he/him)
St Mary’s College JCR President 2022/23
Tel: 0191 334 5933