Hello, and welcome to Merton! We are your three MCR Social Secretaries: Alex, Kasra, and Joe. On the rare occasion we are not organising, hosting, or enjoying MCR events, you can find Alex trying to get her head round Psychiatry or rowing in the rainy winter mornings, Kasra shooting lasers at molecules or captaining the men’s 1st football team, and Joe browsing Roman history or indulging in some tennis. We’re here to make sure there are tons of fun events going on, to counterbalance the more intellectual side of Oxford! Merton has traditionally known as the college “where fun goes to die”, and we hope to be able to prove to you when you arrive that this reputation is completely unwarranted and that we are the best MCR in Oxford!
We aim to run social events that will suit all tastes, personalities and timetables. An ambitious task, but one that we hope we are up to! As such, as well as the events going on during term, if you have a suggestion for what you want to see done, then don’t hesitate to drop us an email – our email addresses can be found at the front of the guide.
Fresher’s week will be our first chance to show you the incredibly varied social life that Oxford (and Merton especially) has to offer. We have activities planned from sipping champagne in the glorious surroundings of the chapel, to a big club night/pub crawl event with other colleges (so we can all meet new people!), to film nights and one of our weekly bar quizzes.
When term starts, we won’t abandon you, don’t worry! You might feel busier, but remember that if one works hard one must also play hard (this rule can be found in the Merton College Handbook, we’re sure). We’ll be putting on three or four social events a week, from alcohol tastings, to quizzes, and to our bops. We’ll send you an email every week, so watch out for that!
In case you don’t know what a bop is – these are college-specific parties that are a real night to let your hair down. They have been referred to by a previous social secretary as “a giddying den of music and mischief”, which should give you an idea of what to expect! Fancy dress, a cocktail pre-party, and a night of dancing await you every few weeks throughout the year! These are legendary throughout Merton (and perhaps, beyond), with prizes for the most elaborate, creative or otherwise outrageous costume, and colourful cocktails made by yours truly, all in the settings of a lovely historic room.
Now let us tell you about our other events. If you are a sophisticated personality, and enjoy the finer things, we have plenty for you: college exchange dinners are a notable example. For these dinners we partner up with another college, and we dine in each others’ (often rather beautiful) dining halls. This isn’t limited to just a three course meal though – during our leg of the exchange we put on second desserts (containing oodles of chocolate, cheese, port and gin), pre-drinks of sparkling wine, and conversation and alcohol often flow late into the night. Our partner college normally doesn’t disappoint either, so expect to see the best other colleges can offer us.
If sophisticated, especially in the gastronomical department, you won’t want to miss our tastings. These range from gin, wine, tea, and chocolate to… well, anything anyone wants! Volunteer members of the MCR run these, so if you’re interested, get in touch!
For those of you who think that you don’t get enough stimulation in Oxford, or who have a wealth of untapped knowledge about weird or specific topics, our bar quizzes are for you. Teams from the MCR and JCR come together to compete for bar tokens as prizes, and we enjoy some excessively competitive evenings arguing about the possible ways to interpret questions and write Russian words.
Other regular events include more food! We, in conjunction with the SCR, offer the ability to dine at high table once a term to all graduate students. We send the details of how to ballot in our weekly emails, but the chance to meet some of our best and brightest, along with eating superior food and enjoying some elegant post-drinks in the Senior Common Room is a definite highlight for most.
What do you do if you’re worn out from all this eating, drinking and making merry? Relax at a film or games night, of course. As the name suggests, a film night involves us all watching a film in the KCR (popcorn provided). These have ranged from Peter Pan, to Tarantino, to arty classics. At games nights we break out the board games (and, sometimes, the XBOX/PS3) and have fun roundly beating our friends and neighbours at Monopoly (or your game of choice).
If this list of stunning events hasn’t excited you, let us know what else you’d like to do by emailing us – we want to provide something for everyone! We are super excited to meet you all next term, and to introduce you to the fun side of Oxford.
Lots of love,
Alex, Kasra and Joe