Starting university can often seem a little daunting, but plenty of services are available throughout your time at Oxford to offer support. You will receive a more comprehensive Welfare Guide during Freshers’ Week, along with an introductory talk.
The Welfare Officers
There are three elected JCR welfare officers – at least one identifies as wholly or partially female, and the other as wholly or partially male. Our current officers are Grace Goodier, Suzanne Kapelus and Maxsim Richards. They share a single email inbox, firstname.lastname@example.org; if you would like to reach out to one of them in particular, it is best to use their personal email address which will be in the format email@example.com
The welfare team has put together a fantastic map of welfare at St John’s which should help you find the best people to speak to. There is also a handy welfare contacts list with all relevant phone numbers and email addresses for the welfare services accessible at John’s and the University as a whole.
The welfare team have a variety of events and services which are run throughout term to help out in small ways, these include:
- Tommy White Teas: fortnightly teas in the JCR with free food provided for everyone. Often a poll is posted on the JCR and you can suggest what you want welfare to get!
- Welfare Supplies: delivering FREE sexual health supplies including condoms, pregnancy tests and lube – all you have to do is fill out a form which will be made available on the JCR Facebook page. This can be done anonymously (pick up from the pidge of one of the welfare officers instead of your own) . They can also reimburse the cost of the morning after pill if you pidge the receipt and a note. Everything is confidential, free and super easy!
- Welfare, Men’s and Women’s Lunches: fortnightly free lunches for everyone and anyone identifying as men or women respectively
- At the end of each term we have ‘Winedown’: lots of free wine, prosecco and fancy cheese to send you off to the vacation in style.
The Senior Dean coordinates both JCR and MCR Welfare, and the Junior Deans provide support to the JCR. The Junior Deans’ office hours are 17:30 – 18:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They can be contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org
The chaplain Elizabeth Macfarlane is also the Welfare Dean looking after particular welfare concerns. You can get in touch with her on: email@example.com
Peer Supporters are students who have been trained to listen and offer support to students. They are always available to contact or talk to confidentially about anything that’s worrying you. They can offer support and impartial advice or just a cup of tea and a chat. Check welfare posters around college for the current supporters.
The College has its own counsellor, Denise Barulis, a clinical psychologist, who sees students on Tuesday mornings at 16 St Giles. Appointments can be made by sending an email to Denise using the email found in ‘Useful Contacts’, or by contacting her on 07963 131460.
Nightline operates 08:00-20:00, providing confidential, non judgemental advice, support and information over the phone (01865 270270) or you can go to them directly at their office in Wellington Square. For more serious or long-term issues you can contact the Oxford University Counselling Service for help (firstname.lastname@example.org, 01865 270300).
You should never feel that you have nobody to talk to. Always remember that friends and tutors are there for you, and will be willing to listen and offer you counsel should you have any problems.
The Oxford SU Student Advice Service also offers a free advice, information and advocacy service (email@example.com, 01865 288461). There are also a number of campaigns and support groups around, such as Mind Your Head (raising awareness of mental health issues) and Student Minds’ eating disorders support, which also offer student support.