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10th March 2022 Rosa Chalfen (2019, English)

Alpacas, quizzes and croissants: a term of welfare at Exeter

Rosa Chalfen (2019, English) reports on welfare events at Exeter over the past term.

As we all know, Oxford can be an amazing place to study and, sometimes, a difficult one too. As Hilary Term comes to a close, workloads are ramping up and deadlines looming, and a lot of us are feeling the stress! However, at Exeter we’re lucky enough to have an amazing student welfare team who have organised lots of fun events over the term to make even the most difficult day a bit easier.

JCR Welfare Reps Matthew Lister (2020, PPE) and Emily Briggs (2020, Jurisprudence) have the important role of maintaining the JCR’s welfare. One crucial event is the much-beloved welfare tea, which is held every Wednesday over term, and involves a banquet of free food in the marquee in Front Quad. The event provides a much needed opportunity for students to have a break from work, catch up and refuel for the rest of the week. In addition to this weekly event, JCR reps also come together to celebrate Lunar New Year in early February by holding a special welfare tea with steamed dumplings.

Over fifth week, which was the official “Welfare Week”, Matt and Emily also organised a range of great events, including board game and movie nights in the JCR and walks and casual sports in University Parks. On the importance of the week, Matt commented: ‘Towards the end of term, people’s spirits start to decline, as tiredness sets in and work doesn’t relent. We think it’s really important to get people out and being social, hanging out with friends and doing something fun for a few hours a day.’ The ultimate highlight of the week, however, was a visit from a herd of alpacas, from Pennybridge Farm in North Hampshire, who came to see students in the Fellows’ Garden.

The JCR Women’s Reps, Kitty Debieux (2020, English) and Phoebe Mumby (2020, English), have also had a key role in College welfare and have held a biweekly brunch with the College Nurse and Welfare Officer, Helen Thornton. As well as an opportunity to unwind and have fun, the brunches often focus on a specific aspect of female welfare (for example, contraception or menstrual health) and give students the chance to receive information and resources.

Thanks to the JCR reps for the great events that they’ve put on this term, and we look forward to more in Trinity.

Students with an alpaca in the Fellows' Garden

Students say hello to a friendly alpaca in the Fellows’ Garden

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