Menu Close

Everyday Life


Our lovely team of college porters are based in the Porters’ Lodge (“plodge”), at the main entrance of college. You may see them walking around from time to time; their job is to keep everything in order, and, most importantly, to keep you safe. They are first-aid-trained, on-duty 24/7, and your go-to guys in an emergency. If you ever have any housekeeping issues (lost keys, packages that need collecting, or just any general queries), they are your first point of contact!


There is a post-box in the Plodge for any items that need posting. Any letters you receive will be placed in your pigeon-hole (“pidge”) by the porters; the “pidge room” can be accessed from Front Quad, and is adjacent to the plodge. Larger items may be stored by the porters until you come to collect them; if this is the case, you will receive an email from them informing you of the arrival of your parcel.


Scouts is the word for cleaners in Oxford. They take out your bin Monday to Friday, occasionally vacuum and clean your sink, and deliver clean sheets every other week. They are often the first face you see in the morning and a lovely person to chat to on your lazier mornings.


You will be given the keys to your room on your first day at college, and you hand them over to the porters at the end of each term. Try where possible to keep hold of them— replacements are pricey! If, however, you manage to relocate them soon after having received a spare from the porters, you won’t be charged. It’s easy for us to say, but don’t panic if ever they do go missing; often you’ll see a picture of them on the college Facebook page with details of where to pick them up.

IMPORTANT: always keep doors locked when leaving your room; the college, though equipped with security cameras and well-guarded by the porters, is not immune to crime. Locked doors and closed windows will help prevent theft in the unlikely scenario that a thief is at large.

IMPORTANT: students housed in the “Beehive” building should be aware that doors may be self-locking—so always check you have your keys with you when leaving your room!

The main gate to college is normally locked at 23:00 but opens with your SALTO fob. You can also use the late gate, which is a turnstile in Tommy White Quad, right next to the Lamb and Flag passage. If you’ve lost your keys, just go to the main college gate and ring the bell: a porter will speak to you on the intercom, and you should be able to get back into college without any problems.


There are 4 laundry rooms, each with 2 or 3 washing machines and tumble dryers, as well as ironing facilities. The laundry rooms are located in the basement of North Quad staircase 4, the basement of Middleton Hall, in Garden Quad behind the MCR, and by the gym in Kendrew Quad.
You can get a laundry top up card from any of these places, with full instructions on it detailing how to add money to your account. It might be worth thinking about some sort of laundry container (a basket, or big bag) when packing for the term ahead. You can use any old bag so don’t worry if you haven’t got one!

Smoking Areas:

Smoking is not permitted in any of the college buildings. The official smoking areas are Dolphin Quad east side shed; Middleton Hall Garden smoking shelter; outside the MCR; Thomas White Quad (around the benches outside the P&L Rooms); Canterbury Quad (near the study room); Garden Quadrangle (designated areas only); and Kendrew Quadrangle (benches area by the entrance to the cafe).


Dispose of any recyclable products in the green bin you will find in your room; the Junior Common Room (JCR) and the TV room (opposite) also have full recycling facilities.


The JCR has an extensive art collection which is distributed at the beginning of every Michaelmas term, by the Art Rep. You can keep the art you get in your room for the year. Watch out for the ballot at the beginning of term, it will likely be broadcast on Facebook.

Domestic Stores:

Domestic stores can be found in the passageway between Tommy White Quad and North Quad. If anything college-owned breaks, they are normally able to fix it- just drop them an email stating the issue and they will be able to assist!


St John’s students are very lucky to have free printing. There are printers in the JCR, library and Rural Economy Building (in Garden Quad). You’ll need to make a new login when you arrive but then you’re good to go.