How our Junior Common Room works…

Student James Hart tells us about being a member of the Junior Common Room and events put on for those living in halls:

Before coming to university I was anxious about meeting new people. I was looking forward to having new friends, but not the awkwardness of first making them. However, the JCR (Junior Common Room) committee took away all this awkwardness by putting on events that really gave us something to bond over and get involved in, making those first two weeks at university some of the best!

The JCR is a committee of students voted in by fellow residents to take care of students in halls, mostly first years, and put on events for them to take part in. Luckily for me the JCR in my hall had recently set up a new role, a charity representative, and after a bit of persuading from my new friends and a short campaign I was elected into the role. Within a month I was involved in the organising and running of JCR events in my hall. We put on a wide range of events suited to everyone’s taste, for example I was able to run a charity week which involved film nights, pyjama days and a couple of silly competitions.

Organising and running Welcome Week was some of the hardest work I’ve done, but was all worth it when the new students arrived. We held fancy dress events, quizzes, games and movie nights, as well as the more typical events to make sure everyone had something to do and people to mix with. The enthusiasm of everybody involved really makes the events what they are.

In some halls, formals (think Hogwarts-esque posh dinners) were organised, each celebrating something different. We had Santa come to our Christmas formals, Bagpipers and Ceilidh bands at our Burns Night, and bucking broncos and boat parties in the summer. We had more relaxed events for Eurovision and Red Nose day and the weekly JCR fix came from regular pub quizzes and movie nights on homemade big screens. These events really bring  students together and inter-hall competitions create unity.

All in all being on the JCR is a great excuse to relive your first year again and something I’d advise to anyone.


About Cindy

Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature at the University of Reading. Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
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