A-Z Student Handbook 2023-24

This is an A – Z guide of everything you need to know about living in College.

Arrival and Parking

  • If for a particular reason you need to come up early you must get permission from the Tutorial and Academic Office. Please email: tutorial.office@newn.cam.ac.uk
  • Please go to the Porters’ Lodge (on Sidgwick Avenue, CB3 9DF) to collect your room key and/or University Card and the lockable storage keys for your room, get directions to your room and be shown where to collect mail from your pigeonhole.  Please enter the Lodge alone unless you need a supporter. This is to keep the number of people in this busy area as low as possible during the peak arrival times.
  • If you are arriving by a car, you will be directed to the area in which you should unload your car. After unloading you will need to move your car off the site to allow others to also unload. There is a lot of on street parking available (metered – which accepts cash and card). See the attached map for more information.
  • There is no on-site parking for students, other than those who have obtained both a license from the University Motor Proctor’s Office to have a vehicle whilst at Cambridge, and the Head Porter for parking on site specifically. You may park to unload your luggage – you must then move the car to allow other students to do the same. Please ask the Porters where to park.

BAME students (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students)

  • The officers of the JCR and MCR, including the Welfare, BAME and International Officers, are here to support you during your time at Newnham.
  • Any student can speak to the Advisor to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Students. She is available to talk to BAME and non-BAME students with general or specific concerns relating to race and minority ethnic backgrounds. The Advisor is currently Professor Manali Desai
  • If you would like mental health support from a BAME Counsellor, this can be arranged.
  • Racial, religious and all other forms of harassment are unacceptable at Newnham. If you, or a person you know, experiences racial or any other forms of harassment during their time at Newnham College, please see our specific guidance on Combatting Racial Harassment.

Bank cards

  • Please keep your bank cards in a safe place.
  • If you leave them in an unlocked room and they are stolen from it, the Bank may regard this as invalidating (to a greater or lesser extent) the arrangement under which you hold the cards. This could mean the loss of a substantial sum of money.
  • We therefore advise you to keep your room locked when you are not in it, even if you have just gone down the corridor to put the kettle on!
  • Opportunist thieves are a problem in all colleges and the only way to protect your property is to keep it locked up.
  • When going into the town centre, do not leave your purse or handbag unattended.

Bar / Party Room

  • The College Bar is located in the centre of the Dorothy Garrod Building, on the ground floor close to the main entrance and Porters’ Lodge on Sidgwick Avenue.
  • During the daytime (08.00am until 6.00pm) the space operates as the Iris Café for all members of the College, guests, visitors and members of the public to use.
  • The College Bar during term time is run by members of the JCR and MCR who receive training in the sale and service of alcohol via the College Designated Premises Supervisor (the College Domestic Bursar).
  • Out of term the Bar may be hired for private events, please contact the College Conference Office [conference@newn.cam.ac.uk].
  • See the attached Bar and Party Room Rules which provide more information on the opening hours and operational side of the Bar.

Bathroom / Shower Rooms / Toilets

  • There are communal bathrooms, shower rooms and toilets on each floor.
  • Each student bedroom in College is placed into a ‘household’ group to which specific bathrooms and kitchens are allocated.
  • There are local notices posted on all bathroom (and kitchen) facilities to inform you which facilities are closest to you.
  • Personal guests to your household may be allowed to use your bathroom and shower facilities. See the College Code of Conduct for the current rules on guests in student household areas. Extra cleaning materials will be left in these areas for you (and your guests) to use after use.
  • Please bring a bathrobe and some slippers as the corridors can be a little chilly in the winter.
  • The rooms in the Dorothy Garrod Building are all en-suite.


  • The BBQ area (on which you can use disposable BBQ trays) is located on the edge of the sports field at the end closest to the main gardens.
  • The BBQ area can be booked for use in Michaelmas, Lent and Summer terms, but not the Exam term (Easter Term).
  • Hours of use are between 12noon and 8pm or dusk, whichever is earlier. The sports field must be cleared by 8.30pm or 30 minutes after sunset, respectively.
  • During Easter Term, the BBQ will be available for use between the end of the exams (so the Saturday after the last day of exams) and General Admission, between the hours of 12noon and 8pm. The sports field must be cleared by 8.30pm.
  • Note that there will be occasional days where the BBQ cannot be booked for use (e.g. General Admission, Graduation Days, Weddings etc.). These days will be blanked out on the booking system.
  • The overall safety of the event rests with the “responsible person” who booked and is hosting the event and they should ensure that these rules are followed and all appropriate procedures are in place.
  • Please book the BBQ area via the Conference Office: conference@newn.cam.ac.uk
  • The person booking the BBQ is “the Responsible Person” and is to collect a copy of the BBQ Risk Assessment from the Porters’ Lodge. 
  • The Responsible Person will need to remain at the BBQ throughout the event, until all the area is clean and the rubbish removed to the external bin areas.

If using the Gas BBQ: (currently not operational – MT 2023).

  • The key needed to operate the BBQ can be signed out from the Porters Lodge and must be returned immediately after use.  (NB: the Gas BBQ is currently not operational, but the hot metal surface can be used to place disposable BBQ trays).
  • The Newnham student / member who makes the booking will be the person in charge of the BBQ for that session. They must remain at the BBQ throughout, ensure the area is left clean, and personally return the key to the Porter’s Lodge.
  • Use the key to turn the gas off to the hot plate in the event of food catching alight in case burning gets out of control. Be warned the hot plate gets VERY HOT (obviously!).
  • The responsible person must clean the hot plate when you are finished. Wait for the BBQ hot plate to cool down before cleaning it. You should use a non-scratch cloth to clean the hotplate. If necessary, use washing up liquid to clean the hot plate and to remove any food stains from the sides etc.
  • A cleaning fee will be charged if the BBQ is not cleaned properly after use. If you find the BBQ in an unfit state and you have to clean it before you use it, take a photograph and report this to the Porters when you return the key.
  • You should leave the BBQ in the state you would like to find it.

If using a disposable BBQ tray:

  • The responsible person must not attempt to move a disposal BBQ tray when it has been lit or is in the process of cooling down. Water to be used to completely extinguish the disposal BBQ tray before disposing of the tray. Disposable BBQ to be placed in the METAL bin provided along with the ashes etc. after being completely extinguished and cooled.
  • All rubbish should be taken with you and disposed appropriately; the nearest bin store in located in the Coach House courtyard (behind Old Hall).
  • No glass bottles or containers are allowed. This is important for health and safety reasons – broken glass and sports activities on the Sports field do not mix.
  • Loud music must not be played on the Sports field – the College Noise regulations will apply.
  • The garden team will check the gas level on a weekly basis during the BBQ season.
  • Any damage or faults with the equipment must be reported by email to the Head Gardener head.gardener@newn.cam.ac.uk   or the Porters’ Lodge if out of normal office hours.


When you arrive, you will find on your bed:

  • 1 x mattress protector
  • 1 x duvet
  • 2 x pillows
  • 2 x pillow protectors

Newnham students need to bring their own bedlinen and towels, i.e. bottom sheet, duvet cover, pillowcases and bath / hand towels.

The beds are all single beds, except those in the Dorothy Garrod Building and 4 accessible rooms on the ground floor of Sidgwick Hall, and the Band A and B Postgraduate bedrooms, which have double size bedlinen. If you have any doubt which size bed your room has before you arrive, please contact the Housekeeping.Manager@newn.cam.ac.uk .

If you arrive at College and were either unable to, or have forgotten to, bring bedlinen and towels with you, you may borrow a set from the Housekeeping Department (available at the Porters’ Lodge out of office hours).  The College washing machines and driers are free to use for students (see Laundry and drying facilities below) so you will be able to easily launder your own items.


All Newnham students are responsible for following both the College’s and the University’s Rules of Behaviour. The College rules are intended to support all members of the College Community so that we can live and work harmoniously together. The University’s rules cover student behaviour more widely outside of the College, and additionally cover academic misconduct.

The Rules of Behaviour state, among other things, that students must not:

  • engage or attempt to engage in physical misconduct, sexual misconduct or abusive behaviour
  • damage or misappropriate property
  • endanger the health and safety of anyone
  • forge, falsify or improperly use information to gain or attempt to gain a personal advantage
  • engage in violent or anti-social behaviour
  • behave abusively.

Not knowing or forgetting about the rules or their consequences is not a justification for not following them.

Newnham’s Governing Body has agreed (May 2021) that the College’s Freedom of Speech statement should be understood as being aligned with that of the University, updated December 2020: https://www.governanceandcompliance.admin.cam.ac.uk/governance-and-strategy/university-statement-freedom-speech

During the pandemic the College has had an additional set of rules for students to follow around Covid-19. Should separate rules be needed again they will be posted under the COVID-19 section of this A-Z.


  • Make sure you register your bicycle online at (you will need your raven password) https://apps.newn.cam.ac.uk/v2/bike/
  • Following the above registration process, you will need to collect an appropriately coloured tag to affix to your bike, and borrow a marking pen to mark your bike with a registration generated serial number.  Both are available from the Porters’ Lodge.
  • Make sure you wear a helmet when riding your bike and use bike lights in anything less than full daylight – safety first!
  • The police carry out random street checks during term, so regularly check your lights are working as they should.
  • Bike theft is a problem in Cambridge, so you should get a decent lock (or two locks) for your bike.
  • If your bike is expensive make sure that it is insured.
  • If your bike is lost or stolen, tell the police to obtain a crime number, and tell the Porters’ Lodge. The police will tell the student if a bike is found but will keep it at the police station for only 28 days, after which it will be disposed of.
  • At the end of the Easter Term, bikes should be taken home if possible – any which remain do so entirely at the owner’s risk.
  • Bikes should be parked neatly in a bike shed or rack. Any which obstruct other users may be cut free and moved without compensation.
  • A bicycle pump is available at the Porters’ Lodge.
  • The college conducts an annual cull of bikes aimed at maintaining free space for current members.  For details see Bicycle Cull below.

Bicycle Cull

  • At the end of each Academic Year the College carries out a Bicycle Cull to remove any untagged bicycles.
  • Bicycles that are removed will be securely stored for a short period of time, allowing owners to reclaim them on their return.
  • More information on the cull will be sent via email at the time.


  • CamSIS is Cambridge’s system for handling student information, records and transactions, from initial contact and application all the way through to graduation. It is a single shared system, with one record per student.
  • All transactions, processing and updates to the student’s record are either carried out directly in CamSIS by University and College staff, the students themselves, or are downloaded into CamSIS by external organisations. This makes maintenance of the record simple and straightforward and ensures the accuracy and integrity of the information.
  • Please keep your information up to date with your email, phone and address.


  • Candles, tea-lights, incense burners or anything else that has a naked flame is forbidden in all College bedrooms and kitchens. We do not allow candles even for decorative purposes in student rooms. The only exceptions are in the College Hall, the Principal’s Dining Room and Pavilion Meeting Room
  • See Fire Regulations and Precautions below for more information


  • Very few students have permission to keep a car or motorbike in Cambridge.
  • Parking at Postgraduate Houses is for staff only (as arranged by Porters).
  • Students wishing to bring a vehicle (not moped) into Cambridge, should first apply to the Tutorial and Academic Office with their reasons for doing so. Eligibility will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Successful applicants may then be advised to apply through the University Motor Proctor’s Office, for a university license. This license permits you to bring your vehicle into Cambridge.
  • Parking in College however, must be applied for through the Head Porter, as parking is very limited. Eligibility to park will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and permission given only in exceptional circumstances.
  • Permission to park in College should neither be considered a right nor permanent and can be retracted at any stage, should a more exceptional application be received.

Catering (Buttery and Iris Café)

  • The Buttery found in the centre of the College in Clough serves a wide selection of hot, cold, vegetarian and vegan food.
  • The Buttery is open Monday to Friday for Lunch (12:30 – 13:45) and Dinner (18:00 – 19:15) and Brunch on Saturday (9:30 – 13.30).
  • If you have any favourite meals that you would like the College Chefs to create, email the Executive Head Chef and ask!  Email chef@newn.cam.ac.uk
  • The Iris Café/Bar is located in the Dorothy Garrod Building, offering a selection of barista coffee, hot and cold breakfast options, speciality teas, smoothies, “grab and go” food, cakes, pastries and savoury snacks.  The Iris Café is open Monday to Sunday.
  • Contact Details – getting in touch with the Catering Team:

The Catering Operations Manager is Daniel Rabaca: catman@newn.cam.ac.uk
The Deputy Catering Manager is Ash Catley: cat@newn.cam.ac.uk
The Executive Head Chef is Rob King: chef@newn.cam.ac.uk
The Café Manager is Ilaria Harrison: Ilaria.harrison@newn.cam.ac.uk

  • The Buttery and Iris Café are open all the year round except for short periods of closure at Christmas and Easter, and a short period during the Long Vacation. Opening and closure times are advertised in advance.
  • Payment in the Buttery:  Payment is by using your University Card, and the charge goes against your Buttery Pre-paid Meal Plan (BPMP; see entry under Kitchen Fixed Charge) on your College account. Cash is not accepted.
  • Payment in the Iris Café:  The recommended method of payment is by your University Card, having loaded up credit on to it first, via this page:


This will give you 25% discount. Alternatively you can pay the full price using a credit or debit card. Cash is not accepted.

  • Food labelling and allergies:
    • In the Buttery food is labelled on menus and at the point of sale. In the Iris Café, individual items are not labelled, and you are reminded to ask about any ingredients before purchasing any items.
    • The College Food Allergen Policy can be found here

Please remember to carry your medication (Adrenaline Auto-Injectors) if you have a food allergy and inform the College Nurse. 

  • Buttery and Iris Café do’s and don’ts:
  • Please do not remove crockery or cutlery from the Buttery or Iris Café.

Formal Hall Ticket Policy

CCTV and Access Control

  • The College operates both CCTV and Access Control within its grounds.
  • Copies of the Policy Documents are available on the College Website.


  • At Newnham the students clean their own rooms and so you should bring your own cleaning products and cloths and a tea towel to do your drying up in the communal kitchens.
  • If you need any advice or information, please ask in the Housekeeping Office.
  • The kitchens, bathrooms, toilets, corridors and stairs are cleaned by the Housekeeping Staff .
  • There is a list in the kitchen explaining the responsibilities of students and of the housekeeping staff in keeping the kitchens clean. There is a cleaning cupboard with equipment for student use on each floor of each Hall.
  • Please don’t leave vacuum cleaners lying around but return them to their cupboard after use. “Homeless Hoovers are a Health Hazard” and then get stolen or damaged.
  • If you have any concerns about the cleaning in your area, please contact the Housekeeping Manager.

Code of practice for student accommodation (ANUK)

  • Newnham College is registered under ANUK/Unipol [The Accreditation Network UK] and has adopted their code of practice for the management of student housing.
  • This code of practice for the Higher Education sector may be found at https://www.nationalcode.org/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=8ecc93e6-3779-4490-bdc0-c21fc704f9f1
  • Any student having concerns about the standards laid out therein should feel able to approach the relevant Head of Department or the Domestic Bursar.

College Bill

  • Each undergraduate student receives a College Bill at the start of each term.
  • Postgraduate students will receive their first College Bill before matriculation.
  • This College Bill will contain the following: a charge in advance for that term’s rent, KFC (Kitchen Fixed Charge), BPMP (Buttery Pre-paid Meal Plan) and fees (if applicable), charges from the previous term for Buttery use, Formal Hall bookings, printing, and other miscellaneous items.
  • The College Bill will be due for payment within two weeks of issue, although of course we are sympathetic to individual circumstances in the event of late payment (in such cases please contact your tutor).
  • Bills should be paid by bank transfer – we cannot accept payments by cash or credit/debit cards.

College Closure Periods

  • The College is normally closed for about a week over Christmas with the Catering Department being closed for a two week period.
  • The Library will normally be closed but the Sidgwick Study Room will remain open (via card access).
  • Depending on how Easter falls in relation to the start of the Easter Term, the College is normally closed from Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive. During this time there is normally no Catering nor Housekeeping and access is via the Porters’ Lodge.
  • The normal time of summer closure is the week starting or ending with the August Bank Holiday.
  • The Porters’ Lodge will remain operation 24/7 during the closure periods but will at times be single staffed.

College Counsellor

  • Free counselling services are available to Newnham students, along with a wide range of mental health support. Please see the Health and wellbeing page for full details.
  • If you, or someone you know, is having a mental health crisis and you require urgent assistance, call the First Response Team by phoning 111 option 2. You can also speak to the porters on Tel: 01223 335700.

College Map

A map of the surrounding area can be found here, and a college map.

College Nurse

The College Nurse  and the Wellbeing Advisor are based in the Health Centre (on the ground floor in the Pfeiffer Building, across the garden from the Porters’ Lodge. The College Nurse holds clinics daily (Monday-Friday) during Full Term and reduced hours either side of Full Term to help with a wide variety of health and welfare needs, ranging from advice on minor illnesses and injuries to support for emotional issues. If more specialised help or treatment is required, she will help refer you or point you in the right direction via your GP, the University Counselling Service or other local service.

  • Appointments are usually in-person but can be via Zoom if preferred (if so please email: nurse@newn.cam.ac.uk). Please do not attend the Health Centre if you have any respiratory symptoms which may be Covid. Please email instead to arrange a phone call or Zoom appointment.
  • Please see the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ page of the College website for guidance, clinic times, and how to book: https://newn.cam.ac.uk/student-life/support/health/
  • The Porters’ Lodge can call the Nurse on request when a real emergency occurs outside Clinic Hours. If you need urgent medical help you may find it more appropriate to go immediately to Addenbrooke’s Hospital Accident Service or consult your own GP.
  • If you require urgent medical care when the GP Surgery is closed, please dial 111.

Registering with a GP

The College also requires all students to register with a local NHS General Medical Practitioner (GP). If you are a UK national then registering with a GP in Cambridge does not preclude you from consulting your family doctor during vacations although you will be asked to complete a temporary resident form on these occasions. For convenience the closest practice to Newnham College is Newnham Walk Surgery (with a branch surgery located upstairs at Boots, Petty Cury, City Centre) however you are free to make your choice from any of the local practices. Most local GP Surgeries offer online GP registration.

For more information and online registration at Newnham Walk Surgery please go to: https://www.newnhamwalksurgery.nhs.uk/new-patients-2

  • For a GP or nurse appointment within Surgery Hours please phone your GP Practice. Newnham Walk Surgery: 01223 366811
  • If you live elsewhere in Cambridge, you can find your nearest GP Surgery by entering your postcode here: Find a GP – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Coronavirus – COVID-19

How to access healthcare out of hours (evenings and weekends):

  • Phone 111 for 24/7 advice and assessment out of hours (NHS helpline). If you are unwell when the Health Centre or GP Surgery is closed, ‘phone 111 for advice. If they feel that you need to be seen by a GP they will advise you to go to Urgent Care, based next to A&E at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. It is only accessible by contacting 111.
  • Phone 111, option 2 First Response Service (24/7 access to mental health advice support and treatment).
  • Phone 999 for genuine emergencies (serious injury or illness) Please also inform the Porters who can direct the ambulance crew if required.
  • If you require first aid – please contact the Porters’ Lodge: 01223 335700 or 07760 332869. The Porters are all qualified first aiders.

Accident & Emergency Service – Addenbrookes Hospital

  • This very busy service is available for emergency cases such as injury or illness that is acute and poses immediate risk to a person’s life or suspected broken bones, road traffic accidents, severe wounds requiring stitching, suspected heart attacks and other life-threatening conditions which need immediate medical attention.
  • To help the NHS manage resources properly, please do not use A&E unless it is for an emergency.
  • Your GP Surgery or Urgent Care Service can deal with any problems that are non-emergency including minor ailments such as bumps and bruises, bites and stings, cuts and grazes etc. You will be seen much more quickly than if you go to A&E.

In a genuine emergency you should call 999. Chest pains and / or shortness of breath constitute an emergency.

Let the Porters’ Lodge know if you call an ambulance. They are all trained first aiders and can help direct paramedics if required.

Contact Details

Porters’ Lodge (open 24/7)
Newnham College, Sidgwick Avenue,
Cambridge, CB3 9DF
01223 335 700

Domestic Bursar
Miss Wendy Evans
01223 335 801

Head Porter
Mr Bob Watson
01223 330 487

Conference Manager
Ms Freya Vaughan
01223 369 959

Maintenance Department
Mr Andy Kite
01223 335 802

Catering Operations Manager
Mr Daniel Rabaca
01223 335 707

Head Gardener
Mr Paul Anderson
01223 335 777

Housekeeping Manager  
Ms Alison Carman
01223 330 474

College Accountant
Mr Graham Gale
01223 335 786

Eve Lacey
01223 335 740

Student Accounts
Hazel Rayment or Kathy Malley
01223 335 722/754

IT Department
01223 69990

College Nurse
Ms Maria Gloag (Michaelmas term 2023)
01223 335 705
(See College Nurse above)

Wellbeing Advisor
Ms Sineidin O’Reilly-Williams
01223 335 708

Tutorial and Academic Office
Senior Academic Administrator
Mrs Rachel Rowe
01223 335791


  • There are student communal kitchens on each floor in each hall (and one or more kitchens in each graduate house) equipped with a cooker and or a microwave, hob, fridge and sink. All the kitchens have a communal fridge(s) available.
  • The postgraduate houses are provided with both fridges and freezers.
  • Each student bedroom in College is placed into a ‘household’ group to which specific kitchens are allocated. There are local notices posted on all kitchens to inform you which kitchen facilities you should use.
  • If you wish to have your own fridge in your room, you can bring one with you, but it must be AA rated and conform to the British Standard and it will be electrically tested (see PAT Portable Appliance Testing below).
  • We recommend that first-year students do not bring fridges until they see that their room is big enough to accommodate one. All rooms in the Dorothy Garrod Building and Sidgwick have mini fridges.
  • The Housekeeping Department will ensure the fridges/freezers in the communal areas are clean at the start of each term and then during term it is up to the students who share the fridges/freezers to keep them clean.
  • Please bring your own crockery, cutlery, pots and pans and tea-towels.
  • No cooking is allowed in the student rooms, this includes the use of a toaster (which is likely to set the smoke alarm off), portable hobs / burners, rice cookers, sandwich toasters, portable electric grill unit and deep fat fryers (this is not an exhaustive list).

COVID-19 (coronavirus)

For up-to-date information about COVID-19, symptoms, testing and guidelines please see the College Health Information SharePoint site.

Decorating your room

  • Do not use blutac, whitetac, plastitac, sellotape, masking tape or anything else to fix items directly to walls. Sorry – you’ll be charged at the end of each term for the damage if you do this.
  • Most of our rooms have picture rails and each room is supplied with some picture hooks to start you off.
  • Every room has a pin-board, so you’ll need drawing pins for that.
  • You don’t need to bring your own curtains, lampshades or blinds – the College supplies these items which comply with fire regulations.

Electrical Equipment

  • All appliances should conform to a British Standard and all electrical appliances and items should only be used with a standard UK specific insulated plug.
  • If you are coming from overseas you are advised to bring the minimum of electrical equipment because it may not conform; this applies to leads adaptors and plugs as much as to appliances. Using too many electrical appliances at once can cause a fault and trip the electric meter in your room.
  • UK connector adaptors, for mobile phones, laptops, iPads etc. can be purchased online from an Apple Store or Amazon (but be aware of cheap imitations – these have been known to catch fire).
  • If you have a television in your room, you will need to purchase a TV licence for it.
  • Student kitchens are provided with some cooking appliances.  Please do NOT bring microwaves or hobs.
  • It is recommended that students from overseas (including Europe) do not bring items such as rice cookers; these are easily purchased in the UK.  (Please note that rice cookers and other cooking equipment including toasters, electric hob / plates and deep fat fryers must NOT be used in your rooms – only use in the kitchens).
  • College and student equipment will be tested by an electrician. You will be given notice of this portable appliance testing (see below for PAT Portable Appliance Testing).

Fairtrade Produce

  • The College has Fairtrade College Status and a Fairtrade Policy.
  • The Catering Department promotes Fairtrade produce and tries to source as much daily produce as possible locally, subject to reasonable availability.
  • Where at all practical, we actively encourage the use of fresh seasonal ingredients.
  • The intention of the Catering Department is to encourage social responsibility and to demonstrate our genuine commitment to the use of Fairtrade, sustainable and local produce.
  • All areas of the Catering Department currently offer a daily provision of Fairtrade coffee, tea, hot chocolate, orange & apple juice as well as Divine Chocolate Bars, Geo Health Bars and bananas.
  • The Catering Department will also organise Fairtrade Buttery events and holds Fairtrade Formal Hall each term (currently cancelled due to COVID-19) – watch the notice boards for more information.


The College occasionally has to impose fines as shown below:

For taking food or unsealed drinks into the Computer Rooms (Sidgwick Study Room or the Library IT suite)

  • First offence – a warning
  • Second offence – £5 fine
  • Third offence – £10 fine
  • Fourth offence – deactivation of card for a month so that during that period it will no longer open the Computer Room doors.

For taking unauthorised persons into the Sidgwick Study Room / Library

  • First offence – a warning
  • Second offence – £10 fine
  • Third offence – £15 fine
  • Fourth offence – deactivation of card for a month, see above.

Misuse of firefighting equipment, fire detection heads, break glasses, fire evacuation chairs and propping open fire doors

  • Up to £250, possible disciplinary and/or criminal prosecution.

Misuse of University Card or Keys

  • £50 fine for misuse of your University Card or Key, for example, giving your card or key to someone to use to gain late night access, or to purchase food in the Buttery, or to give another individual access to the secure Pigeonhole room; or leaving keys or card for a friend to gain access to your room.
  • If you need to borrow a spare key or card to gain access to your room, you will be asked to return this immediately. Failure to return the Porters’ spare key or card after signing it out will incur a fine, the amount of which will be notified to you depending on the cost to the College to replace the specific key(s)/card you have.

Late completion of mandatory forms

  • Reminder issued – £3 per day fine to £25 maximum.

Fire Doors

  • Many corridor doors, all student bedrooms and kitchens have fire doors fitted.
  • All fire doors have signage “Fire Door Keep Shut”, or “Fire Door Keep Locked” for some cupboards.
  • These fire doors must NOT be propped open!
  • If you find a door propped open, for example, by a door wedge, or fire extinguisher, please remove the item and CLOSE the fire door.
  • If you find a fire door is constantly being propped open, please report this anonymously to Porters@newn.cam.ac.uk
  • If the individual(s) responsible for propping open fire doors is identified, a fine of up to £250 will be charged.
  • You should report any badly fitting fire doors, ie they should not have gaps that you can see through, they should have brushes (cold smoke seals all around) and they should have self-closers on them.
  • If you notice an ill-fitting fire door please report it using the online maintenance reporting system (RMS) https://app.casc.cam.ac.uk/rms_live/

Fire Regulations and Precautions

  • The Domestic Bursar is the College Fire and Safety Officer and is the “Responsible Person” for fire safety in the College
  • The Buildings Manager is the Deputy College Fire & Safety Officer and is qualified (NEBOSH National Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management) to prepare and review the College Fire Risk Assessments. If you wish to see a copy of the Fire Risk Assessment for your building or area, please email the Domestic Bursar: domestic.bursar@newn.cam.ac.uk
  • The Head Porter and team of Porters are responsible for the day to day management of the College fire alarm systems (including refuge points & evacuation chairs), fire drills, response to alarms and the fire alarm weekly testing regime.
  • All freshers (undergraduate or postgraduate) living in College accommodation must attend a compulsory fire and safety induction training session at the start of Michaelmas Term.
  • Unannounced Fire Evacuation Drills will take place during Michaelmas and Lent Terms each year
  • The Fire Bells in the Postgraduate houses are tested every Saturday morning between 1030am and 12noon; and in the main College between 11am and 12noon on Sunday mornings
  • If the bells continue to ring for more than five – ten seconds, it is safe to assume it is a genuine fire and so you should evacuate immediately
  • In the main buildings we have two alarm sounds: an intermittent alarm (pre-alarm) and a continuous alarm (evacuation alarm)


  • You should know where YOUR ASSEMBLY POINT is.


  • RAISE THE ALARM by smashing the nearest break-glass
  • ROUSE YOUR NEIGHBOURS on your way out of the building by shouting “FIRE!”
  • IF THE RED ‘GRAB BAG’ IS STILL THERE WHEN YOU EXIT THE BUILDING, bring it with you, and be prepared to begin checking off those rooms confirmed by the resident as evacuated, until the Duty Porter arrives
  • REPORT TO THE ASSEMBLY POINT and wait for your name to be called from the nominal roll.
  • DO NOT OPEN A DOOR IF THE DOOR PANEL FEELS HOT (check with the back of the hand)
  • INFORM THE PORTERS’ LODGE IMMEDIATELY of the fire and its location.


  • IF THE RED ‘GRAB BAG’ IS STILL THERE WHEN YOU EXIT THE BUILDING, bring it with you, and be prepared to begin checking off those rooms confirmed by the resident as evacuated, until the porter arrives
  • REPORT TO THE ASSEMBLY POINT and wait for your name to be called from the nominal roll
  • DO NOT OPEN A DOOR IF THE DOOR PANEL FEELS HOT (check with the back of the hand)
  • INFORM THE PORTERS’ LODGE IMMEDIATELY of the fire and its location


You do not need to evacuate immediately but if you wish to:

  • You must leave via the most direct route out of the building, not via another area or building
  • If the alarm changes from an intermittent to continuous alarm you MUST EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY and go to your ASSEMBLY POINT

Fire Grab Bags

Fire Grab Bags are located near the main fire exit in each building. 

  • Each Grab Bag is marked with the building the pack is intended for
  • Please familiarise yourself with where the Fire Grab Bag for your area is located when you are walking around

Action to take

  • On hearing an alarm sound and an evacuation commencing, the first person to exit the building is to take the fire grab bag with them. This Grab Bag contains amongst other things, a clipboard holding a register of your building’s rooms and a pen
  • If on exiting the building, even if you are not the first person out and you see the grab bag is still there, take it with you to the assembly area
  • Once safe in the assembly area, use the room list on the clipboard to tick off the rooms confirmed by the resident as evacuated, until the porter or a member of staff arrives
  • Use of the other items contained in the Grab Bag (Torch, whistle, and Hi-Viz tabard) should be considered during an evacuation, depending on the conditions and situation.

If you have a disability (mobility, visual or hearing) that would hinder your ability to safely evacuate your accommodation you must inform the Head.Porter@newn.cam.ac.uk  so plans can be put in place.

Fire Evacuation Chairs

  • There are fire evacuation chairs in the Dorothy Garrod Building, the Library Basement, and the Lucia Windsor foyer.
  • Members of staff have been trained in the use of them and are to be used in conjunction with any Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for those individuals with accessibility needs.

First Aid

  • All the College Porters are fully qualified first aiders; many members of staff are also fully qualified first aiders.
  • If you require assistance, please ring the Porters’ Lodge on 01223 335 700.
  • If you need to dial 999 for an ambulance to attend the College, please inform the Duty Porter as they may need to direct the ambulance service.
  • There are basic first aid boxes in the Health Centre, Iris Café and various College departments with  a main bag of equipment at the Porters’ Lodge along with a defibrillator.
  • See College Nurse above.

Food Allergens

The College Food Allergen Policy can be viewed here

Formal Halls and other College Events

The Freshers’ Feast

This is an event for new undergraduates and takes place in College Hall at 7.30 pm during the first week of Full Michaelmas Term. Freshers will meet their Directors of Studies beforehand at a drinks party starting at 6.30 pm. There is a sung grace before the meal. Gowns must be worn. Guests may not be invited to this event (but there are plenty of other events to which you can invite guests).

The Postgraduate Matriculation Feast
This is an event for new postgraduates and takes place in College Hall at 7.30 pm during the second week of Full Michaelmas Term. The MCR Committee and Graduate award holders are also invited. A pre-dinner drinks party is held from 6.30 pm. There is a sung grace before the meal. Gowns must be worn. Guests may not be invited to this event (but there are plenty of other events to which you can invite guests).

Formal Halls and Subject Formal Halls
Formal Halls and Subject Formal Halls are held throughout each term. Watch out for more information when you arrive. Gowns are worn. Guests may be invited to Formal Halls but cannot attend Subject Formal Halls. One bottle of wine may be taken into the Hall per two people. If you wish to sit with a group you must arrive by 7.00 pm to ensure seating, the doors close at 7.30 pm and guests cannot enter late or without their host. No drinking games are allowed.

Formal Hall Ticket Policy

Governing Body Dinner
Junior members who attend Governing Body are invited to the dinner following the meetings. Gowns are worn. Guests may not be invited.

Postgraduate Supper
Postgraduate suppers are informal and taken on a self-service basis in College Hall on some Tuesday evenings in Full Term. The dates are announced in advance. All members of the MCR may attend Tuesday suppers (postgraduates; affiliates of the MCR; affiliated and mature undergraduates). Members of the MCR who are paying a fee (College or affiliation fee) may take supper without payment. Postgraduate beyond their terms (and who no longer pay the College fee) and ERASMUS students (who may be affiliated to the MCR without paying a fee) will be billed for the meals they take in a termly bill. There is a charge for supper for these members. Gowns are not worn. MCR members may invite guests but must sign them in and will be billed for their guests’ meals.

Commem – Commemoration of Benefactors
Commem, which normally takes place during the Easter vacation, is the main formal occasion for Roll Members (former students of the College) to be invited back to the College. Special invitations are sent to those 10, 25 and 50 years from matriculation. Members of the JCR and MCR Committees are invited. At the end of the dinner there are speeches, introduced by the President of the JCR proposing a toast to the King

Gowns are worn. Guests may not be invited.

Halfway Hall
At Halfway Hall, second years, and appropriate affiliated students, mark the midpoint of their undergraduate career. Undergraduates on four-year courses are also invited; although technically they are not at the midway point, many of their friends will be. Gowns are worn. Guests may not be invited.

Pudding Seminars
Pudding seminars are short, friendly talks given by members of the College about their research. They are held on most Fridays during Full Term; they start at 1.15pm and finish by 2pm. Coffee, tea and cake is served. No gowns are worn. All members of the College may attend.


  • Please do not bring any furniture or remove any items from your room when you arrive, unless you have the written permission of the Housekeeping Manager or Deputy. Only furniture that has the correct flame retardancy labels will be allowed in College rooms.
  • If you have been given permission to bring some items of furniture with you, you will have to remove the furniture at the end of each term unless you are on a Continual Licence (see Room Licences below) so that the room can be used for other guests.
  • An inventory of all items provided in your room is provided for every room – please check this when you arrive and return a signed copy to the Housekeeping Office Ground Floor Fawcett – G21. (See Inventory below).

Garden Club

The Permaculture Garden Club is a student-run garden initiative managed according to the principles of permaculture: to work with the earth rather than against it, to integrate rather than segregate, and to garden sustainably. Our garden is located behind the Pightle building; we grow lots of veggies and herbs, and members are encouraged to pick what they need. We welcome anyone who would like to join–please email us to get involved! Email for more information Newnham.Garden.Club@newn.cam.ac.uk

Guests and Visitors

  • You can have an overnight guest (defined as from 12 midnight to 6am) in your room for not more than three nights in a “rolling seven-night period”. You must not accommodate a guest in your room if you are absent. All overnight guests must be signed in with the Porters’ Lodge whether the student lives on the main site or in a College house, in order to comply with the fire and safety regulations. This “signing-in” can be done in person at the Porters’ Lodge, by sending an email to porters@newn.cam.ac.uk or telephoning the Lodge 01223 335700.
  • From midnight until 7.00 am the Porters’ Lodge front door is card access only (although a Porter will be on duty to deal with any visitors). Only College members will be allowed to enter.
  • Members of the College are free to leave or return to College at any time.
  • The Porter or other staff members of the College may require a guest or a visitor causing disturbance or nuisance to leave the premises.


The College gym is located on the top floor of the Dorothy Garrod Building, accessed from X staircase (near the Cynthia Beerbower Room).

We have risk-assessed the gym and placed restrictions on the number of people and the amount of time each member can access the gym. Members can book a one-hour session in the gym, with up to ten members per session.

Please check your in-box for more information on how to book an induction session and once inducted how to book a gym session.

Risk Assessment

Gym Induction Membership and Rules


Harassment of any form is unacceptable at Newnham College.

If you, or a person you know, experiences sexual, racial or any other forms of harassment during their time at Newnham College, please see our specific guidance on Harassment and Racial Harassment.

Our Harassment Advisers will work with you to address the issue and to support your wellbeing.


  • The heating in the main College undergraduate buildings (Old Hall, Fawcett, Sidgwick, Clough, Kennedy and Peile), the Dorothy Garrod Building (DGB) and also the Rosalind Franklin Building (RFB) are controlled by a Building Management System (which is computerised) and is set to come on between 6.00 am – 11.00 am and then 3.30 pm – 11:15 pm.
  • The heating in the graduate houses and flats in Grange Gardens are controlled by local time clocks which are set from 6.00 am –12 midnight with temperature sensor control interruptions during the day if the house maintains a temperature 21 degrees C.
  • The heating in all the buildings will only come on if the outside temperature is below the set point; it will go off again if the general building temperature rises to 21 degrees C.
  • The heating water temperature in the radiators is controlled by outside air temperature i.e. colder days have the warmer radiator temperatures.
  • Please note that in the Dorothy Garrod Building most of the student rooms have a heating system called a thermoskirt (so there is no radiator). If you open the window the heating will switch off.

When to report a problem to maintenance: 

  • If you find your radiator has two different temperatures, for example, it is hot at the bottom and cold at the top, then it probably needs bleeding.
  • If you find your radiator is cold to touch when the people in surrounding rooms have hot radiators.
  • If you have more than one radiator and one is hot and the other is cold.
  • Please email all maintenance issues to maintenance using the online maintenance tracking system: https://app.casc.cam.ac.uk/rms_live/

When NOT to report a problem to maintenance: 

  • If your radiators are HOT to touch but the room still feels cold – sorry but the room is probably colder due to the size of the room, height of the ceiling, the number of windows and its orientation, for example, north facing rooms are colder than south facing. In these circumstances there is nothing that maintenance can do to improve the heat level in the radiators, and you will just need to boost the temperature with the portable electric heater.

Housekeeping Office


  • The College provides you with basic cover for the items in your rooms during your individual Licence Period only (see Licence Period below).
  • To check your cover click on the following link: https://www.endsleigh.co.uk/student/your-student-cover/?HHRef=HH1696
  • If you decide to take out your own insurance, you should satisfy yourself that it is offering the appropriate form of cover, for example, some companies will not pay compensation for items stolen from your room unless there is physical evidence that your room has been broken into.
  • The College is not responsible for the loss of or damage to your personal possessions not caused by a defect in the property.
  • Food, and all other goods and equipment kept in the kitchens and bathrooms are there at the tenant’s own risk.
  • Newnham College Certificate of Insurance 2023-24 

Internet Access and Wi-Fi

  • All student rooms and public areas have Wi-Fi.
  • Please email all IT issues to the IT Helpdesk   system: helpdesk@newn.cam.ac.uk


When you arrive, you will find your bedroom clean and the bed made. On the bed will be a copy of your Room Inventory. This inventory covers all the items in your room and describes the state of the room, for example, any pre-existing marks on the carpet or walls. You need to check the inventory and then sign and return it to the Housekeeping Office.

Kitchen Fixed Charge (KFC) and Buttery Pre-Paid Meal Plan (BPMP)

The Kitchen Fixed Charge (KFC) is a fee that Newnham students pay as part of being a member of the College.  The Buttery Pre-paid Meal Plan (BPMP) is an amount that you commit to spending in the Buttery each academic year.  Under the Newnham KFC / BPMP scheme, you choose one of 5 options, depending on what will be best value for you.  The links to the following documents explains how to choose your KFC / BPMP option.

Laundry and drying facilities

  • On the main College site there are five large laundries with industrial machines (washers and driers). These are located:
  • Peile ground floor, opposite the Jane Harrison Room
  • Sidgwick ground floor, opposite Sidgwick Hall Alcove
  • Block A of RFB ground floor
  • Dorothy Garrod Building (basement of X staircase).
  • Old Hall ground floor (OH G12)
  • These laundries are serviced by an external contractor; please report any faults to the Housekeeping Manager.
  • In each postgraduate house there is a washing machine and a tumble dryer
  • All the College washing machines use liquid detergent (or washing detergent capsules that you put directly into the machine drums), rather than powder which can create blockages.



The College Library is in Sidgwick (entrance is on the corridor that runs from the Porter’s Lodge towards the Buttery).

Library staff will help you make the most of library resources in College and the wider university, so don’t hesitate to ask them for help. Information and contact details are available on the College library webpages: https://newn.cam.ac.uk/about/library/

Licence Periods

The Licence Period is the period of time for which you have been allocated a bedroom at Newnham. For undergraduates there are two licence periods available: the termly licence, or the continuous licence which includes the Christmas and Easter Vacation; more information is available from the Tutorial Office (see Room Licence below).

The undergraduate termly licence dates for 2023-2024:

Michaelmas Term 2023

Saturday 30 September 2023 (2pm) to Saturday 9 December 2023 (10am) (10 weeks)

Lent Term 2024

Saturday 13 January 2024 (2pm) to Saturday 23 March 2024 (10am) (10 weeks)

Easter Term 2024

Saturday 13 April 2024 (2pm) to Saturday 22 June 2024 (10am) (10 weeks)
For Finalists: Saturday 15 April 2023 (2pm) to Saturday 29 June 2024 (10am) (11 weeks)

The undergraduate continuous licence dates for 2023-2024:

Saturday 30 September 2023 (2pm) to Saturday 22 June 2024 (10am) (38 weeks)

For Finalists: Saturday 30 September 2023 (2pm) to Saturday 29 July 2024 (10am) (39 weeks)

The postgraduate licence period for 2023-2024:
Saturday 23 September 2023 (2pm) – Saturday 14 September 2024 (10am)

Light Bulbs

The Housekeeping Office (Monday to Friday 8.00 am and 4.00 pm) holds a stock of light bulbs (take the old bulb with you to exchange). The Porters’ Lodge also have an emergency stock for when Housekeeping is closed.

Lost and found property

  • Report lost property immediately to the Porters’ Lodge.
  • If you find property, please take it to the Porters’ Lodge.
  • If you lose your University Card, please report it immediately to the Duty Porter then  the Tutorial Office.

Maintenance Reporting

If there are problems with your room, kitchen or bathroom that the Maintenance team need to fix, please report them via the online Room Management System.

(If you are reporting a serious immediate problem, such as a flood or a suspected gas leak, please contact the Porters immediately: 01223 335700)

To report

  1. Go to https://app.casc.cam.ac.uk/rms_live/
  2. You will then be asked to log on.
  3. Choose the “click here to login via Raven” option.  For this you will need your Raven Password.

It is quite straightforward, there are instructions on each page, but basically this is all you need to do: –

  • Once you are logged on, from the drop-down menu click on report a problem
  • You will now see a page asking for the location of the problem.
  • You can type something like “Clou”(i.e. for Clough), click on find location.
  • A table of all floors and rooms will show, click on selection room and then click on select a problem.
  • Any further information on the matter being reported can be typed into the Further Details box. PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU INCLUDE IN THIS SECTION ANY INFORMATION ABOUT WHETHER YOU or a member of your Household are in QUARANTINE or SELF-ISOLATION  – this is really important as the staff attending will need to be prepared with additional personal protective equipment.
  • You can store the above link in your favourites list; alternatively, this link is also available on the College’s intranet pages.
  • Your request may require a member of the College Staff or an external appointed contractor to enter your room. We will aim to respond quickly to your request and we shall assume that you are happy for a maintenance operative to visit your room during the working day [Monday to Friday: 9am – 5pm] unless you state otherwise in the appropriate section of the proforma – then an appointment will be made.
  • Please remember to inform your housemates if you have reported an issue, to tell them that a member of the Maintenance Department or external contractor will attend unannounced to deal with the issue (unless an appointment was made).

IMPORTANT – Reporting Maintenance Issues out of office hours: 

If you are reporting an issue online out of office hours, please note that this system is only viewed during office hours so if your problem needs urgent attention, for example in the evening or the weekend, please ring the Porters’ Lodge to report your maintenance issue.

Maintenance Response Times 

  • Some repairs are more urgent than others. The Maintenance Department will aim to deal with any request within 7 working days of receipt
  • Please do not repeat the same request within this period. Floods of repeat requests hold up work rather than hurrying it along. The priorities assigned to repairs of different types are as follows:
  • Water or gas leaks
  • Matters affecting the security of student rooms or the safety of the occupant, for instance a student affected because the lock of her room is broken
  • Problems affecting the privacy of the occupant (e.g. a broken curtain rail)
  • Heating, whether gas or electricity
  • Problems inhibiting the student’s study (e.g. a broken tabletop or central light pendant)

Entry to Rooms

  • There will be occasions when the Porters, Housekeeping or Maintenance staff or outside contractors will need to enter your room to undertake emergency or regular maintenance work; they will have College identification
  • Normally notice will be given in advance of a visit but there will be occasions when this is not possible and so your co-operation would be appreciated
  • All students are informed of their visits, via an email
  • Please give your full co-operation to ensure that all necessary works are undertaken
  • Due to COVID-19 we are asking that students remove all personal items from the area surrounding where the maintenance issues is, open all windows to ventilate the room and vacate the room at least 30 minutes prior to the visit (if a visit is booked). The staff entering the room will wear a face mask and gloves and will leave a note in the room to let you know what work has been carried out and if a follow up visit is needed.

Music and Music Practice Rooms

  • The Old Labs Main Space and Music Practice Room One are booked through the Conference Office on conference@newn.cam.ac.uk
  • Practice Room Two and Practice Room Three are on a first come first served basis at the Porters Lodge.

Music – general rules

  • No musical instrument may be played except during music hours (see below)
  • The use of radios, iPhones, stereos etc. is not limited to music hours but they must be played with the volume low enough to ensure that they can be heard in the owner’s room only – especially in hot weather when windows may be open
  • The music practice rooms are not limited to music hours, but they should not be used after 11.00pm.

Music Hours (in student rooms)

Monday to Friday       8.00 am – 10 am and 1.00 pm – 7.00 pm
Saturday                        8.00 am – 10 am and 1.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Sunday                           9.00 am – 9.00 pm

Pianos & harpsichord

  • The College has three grand pianos, which may be booked for serious practice, in College Dining Hall, the Old Labs Main Space and the Old Labs Music Room.
  • Any Newnham student wishing to use the grand pianos should first contact the President of the Raleigh Music Society.
  • Lists of those with permission to use the pianos and to whom keys may be issued will be kept by the Porters’ Lodge.
  • In the Easter Term, priority will be given to those studying for the Music Tripos (only available after exams periods are completed).
  • The College also owns a harpsichord. Anyone wishing to use this should contact the President of the Raleigh Music Society.

Music practice & concerts in College Hall

  • Newnham music students, and performing members of Newnham Music Society, may use the College Hall for music practice as long as no inconvenience is caused to the Catering Staff and the room is booked in advance through the Conference Office.
  • If the Hall is locked, the key may be obtained from the Porters’ Lodge; the key will not be handed out unless the Hall has been booked in advance with the Conference Office (and is shown on the room booking diary at the Porters’ Lodge).
  • After the practice please replace chairs and tables, switch off all lights, lock up and return the key to the Porters’ Lodge.

Music practice in the Old Labs Main Space & Old Labs music practice rooms

  • Music hours in the Old Labs are 9.00am to 9.30pm. The key is not given out after 9.00pm. Obviously if there is an event taking place in the Old Labs main space then the music can continue on until 10pm (extensions are allowed during a May Ball or June Event).
  • The Bosendorfer Grand Piano and the Harpsichord are kept locked in the Practice Room. Anyone wishing to use either instrument should contact the President of the Music Society.
  • Only those people whose names appear on the list in the Porters’ Lodge will be given the key to unlock the appropriate instrument.
  • Anyone wishing to book the main space in the Old Labs should contact the Conference Office on conference@newn.cam.ac.uk


Noise should never be at the level which disturbs other residents, and particularly not at night.

Please be considerate at night, and do not run baths, showers, washing machines or do washing up at unreasonable hours, i.e., between around 11 pm and 7 am.

Regulations to minimise noise in College

Out Students - Undergraduates

  • Please sign in and out at the Porters’ Lodge at the beginning and end of each term. This also applies to those on continuous licences (see Room Licences below).
  • Please sign the exeat book at the Porters’ Lodge when you spend a night or two away from Cambridge during term, in case it is necessary to contact you urgently.
  • Tell your Tutor when you are going to be resident in Cambridge outside Full Term. This avoids a delay if anyone in College wishes to contact you during the vacation.
  • Come into College at least once a week to collect mail from your pigeonhole.
  • Check the information on Tutorial and Directors of Studies’ noticeboards, this enables you not to miss such things as deadlines for interviews, grant applications and so on.
  • If you wish to change your lodgings, you should notify the Tutorial Office of the new address as soon as you finalise arrangements.
  • You should maintain your contact details via CamSIS self-service (see CamSIS above).

Out Students - Postgraduates

  • Please sign in and out at the Porters’ Lodge on your arrival in Cambridge and upon your departure.
  • Come into College at least once a week to collect mail from your pigeonhole.
  • Come in and use the facilities in the College MCR.
  • Check the information on Tutorial and Directors’ of Studies’ noticeboards: this enables you not to miss such things as deadlines for interviews, grant applications and so on.
  • If you wish to change your lodgings, you should notify the Tutorial and Academic Office of the new address as soon as you finalise arrangements.
  • You should maintain your contact details via CamSIS self-service (see CamSIS above).

International Students

  • The following passport holders are required to register with the police after they collect their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) in the UK and also update their details as required: Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Georgia, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Stateless or travelling on a non-national document (i.e. Travel Document).
  • Further information can be found on the International Student Team website: https://www.internationalstudents.cam.ac.uk/tier-4-responsibilities/police-registration

Open Water (Pond)

The College has a pond located close to Sidgwick Hall. It is a historic feature of this part of the garden which commemorates the first Principal. It is the home for plants and wildlife. We very much hope people will enjoy visiting this more formal part of the College gardens. Please see the attached risk assessment.


A gathering of more than six people is considered to be a party. Should you wish to hold a gathering of more than six people you need to email the Conference Office Team conference@newn.cam.ac.uk so that the details can be recorded onto the conference diary (KX) and the name and contact information of the “Responsible Person” (hosting the party) is clear, should there be any complaints. No gatherings of six or more people are allowed during the Easter Term (the undergraduate examination period).

  • Those enjoying the gardens should be aware of not disturbing those working in the College buildings.
  • During the Easter Term a limited number of social events planned by the JCR Committee and MCR Committee will be held, but strict adherence to the noise regulations will apply.

Bar and Party Room Rules

Party Room / Bar

  • The College Bar is located in the centre of the Dorothy Garrod Building, on the ground floor close to the main entrance and Porters’ Lodge on Sidgwick Avenue.
  • During the daytime (08.00am until 6.00pm) the space operates as the Iris Café for all members of the College, guests, visitors and members of the public to use.
  • The College Bar during term time is run by members of the JCR and MCR who receive training in the sale and service of alcohol via the College Designated Premises Supervisor (the College Domestic Bursar).
  • Out of term the Bar may be hired for private events, please contact the College Conference Office [conference@newn.cam.ac.uk].
  • See the attached Bar and Party Room Rules which provide more information on the opening hours and operational side of the Bar.

PAT (Portable Appliance Testing)

  • Your rent includes basic Portable Appliance Testing.
  • Items that fail the test or that do not have the correct UK plug will be removed from the student room by the testing electrician, or any authorised member of the College staff who may enter a student room (or kitchen) and observe that an incorrect plug or adapter is being used.
  • Appliances which fail the test will be taken to the Buildings Manager.    A note or an email to the owner will advise the reason for removal of the item and what action is recommended.  In some instances it may be possible to replace a non-conforming plug.
  • For those items that fail to comply to UK standards and where a student refuses to have the appliance modified to meet the UK standard, the item(s) will be stored in the College and returned to the student either when her course is finished, or when the student removes the item from the College premises.
  • Please note that fridges which fail the test must be disposed of according to Health and Safety regulations.  This is likely to incur a substantial extra charge.

Permaculture Garden

The Permaculture Garden Club is a student-run garden initiative managed according to the principles of permaculture: to work with the earth rather than against it, to integrate rather than segregate, and to garden sustainably. Our garden is located behind the Pightle building; we grow lots of veggies and herbs, and members are encouraged to pick what they need. We welcome anyone who would like to join–please email us to get involved! Email for more information Newnham.Garden.Club@newn.cam.ac.uk


  • No pets of any kind are allowed (including goldfish) for health & safety reasons.
  • There  are some local cats that are very friendly and pop in and out of the College gardens.

Pigeonholes / Post / Deliveries

  • Please check your pigeonhole in the Porters’ Lodge daily for any mail and or notices.
  • Large packages or large letters will be kept at the Porters’ Lodge and an email asking you to collect them will be sent to you.
  • Please bring your University Card with you when you come to pick items up from the Lodge, as a means of identification.
  • Please ensure that you know where the email notification states that the item is located within the Porters’ Lodge.
  • Your mail is normally forwarded to your home address during vacations. If you wish mail to be forwarded to another address or to be held in College, please update your mailing address on CamSIS. This is only available to UK addresses.
  • The Porters’ Lodge is happy to receive “signed for” deliveries for students, staff and Fellows. Recently, however, a number of couriers have requested that the receiving Porters provide not only personal ID and but also personal proof of date of birth before accepting parcels (which in such cases typically contain alcohol or other adult items). After review with the Bursar and Senior Tutor, we have decided that deliveries which do not accept the signature of a uniformed porter in a Porters’ Lodge as adequate will be refused and returned to sender. Please be aware of this when making online purchases.
  • There is limited storage for deliveries at the Porters’ Lodge – please inform the Lodge if you are expecting an urgent or large delivery.
  • Deliveries direct to student rooms are not permitted, for security reasons.
  • The Porters’ Lodge cannot accept deliveries of perishable food, for Food Hygiene reasons.

Students to be aware that when ordering goods from abroad, this may trigger customs and VAT obligations. Couriers will demand payment of VAT, import duties and handling charges at the point of delivery if not paid beforehand.  Please note that the College will not meet such charges at the point of delivery and will refuse to receive the goods, with the resulting administrative inconvenience, increased costs and irritation for all involved. Here is an example of DHL’s policy which is probably typical. Please ensure you check all the customs and VAT obligations before ordering items from outside of the UK.

Pond (Open Water)

The College has a pond located close to Sidgwick Hall. It is a historic feature of this part of the garden which commemorates the first Principal. It is the home for plants and wildlife. We very much hope people will enjoy visiting this more formal part of the College gardens. Please see the attached risk assessment.

Porters' Lodge

The Porters’ Lodge is located on Sidgwick Avenue (CB3 9DF); is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is the main reception and focal point for information and assistance for all members of the college and its visitors.

The Lodge is staffed by the Head Porter, two Senior Porters, and a dedicated team of Porters responsible primarily for security, fire safety, general Health and Safety and of course, welcoming people to the College.

The Porters’ diverse role also covers administering first aid, to dealing with your post and parcels, to providing local knowledge and non-academic assistance.  If we don’t know the answer, we will know someone who does.

You are required to wear a face mask or face covering in this area unless you are exempt for medical reasons.

You can contact the Porters’ Lodge on 01223 335700 or via email at: porters@newn.cam.ac.uk

Racism and racial harassment

Racial harassment, and harassment of any form, is unacceptable at Newnham College.

If you, or a person you know, experiences racial or any other forms of harassment during their time at Newnham College, please see our specific guidance on Racial Harassment.

Newnham has Harassment Advisors, including a BAME Advisor, Professor Manali Desai, who can work with you to address the issue and to support your wellbeing. We also have access to BAME Counsellors, should you wish to see one.

Recycling and Rubbish (Undergraduate Kitchens)

In the undergraduate student kitchens, there are two bins:

  1. A bin with a BLACK bin liner which will be for food waste and anything else that cannot go into the mixed recycling bin as shown below:
  2. A bin with a CLEAR or PURPLE bin liner which will be for the following items:
  • Glass bottles and jars (any colour)
  • Plastic and tetra packs (but not sandwich wrappers or cling film)
  • Metal
  • Paper & magazines
  • Cardboard

If you are in any doubt about what to put into the new mixed recycling bins (with the CLEAR bin liner) then put your rubbish into the BLACK bin liner bin, otherwise you might contaminate the whole bag which will then have to go into the general waste and will go into landfill.

The College has a Waste Management Policy

If you would like to be responsible for a food composting bin for your kitchen, please contact the JCR Green Officer who will organise this for you.

Recycling and Rubbish (Postgraduate Kitchens in RFB & Grange Garden Flats (GGFs) and in the Postgraduate Houses)

IN RFB and GGFs:  students are responsible for moving their rubbish and recycling from the kitchens to the bin stores; usually the students in each block / flat draw up a rota for this. In the kitchen there are 2 bins:

  1. There is a bin with a black bin liner which will be for food waste and anything else that cannot go into the “mixed recycling” bin as shown below:
  2. There is a bin with a clear bin liner which will be for “mixed recycling” the following items:
  • Glass bottles and jars (any colour)
  • Plastic and tetra packs (but not sandwich wrappers or cling film)
  • Metal
  • Paper & magazines
  • Cardboard3. The students then take the black bags to the general waste bins (big blue skip bins) and the clear bags to go into the purple bins located outside the properties.

If you are in any doubt about what to put into the mixed recycling bins (with the CLEAR bin liner) then put your rubbish into the BLACK bin liner bin, otherwise you might “contaminate” the whole bag which will then have to go into the general waste and will go into landfill.

IN THE POSTGRADUATE HOUSES: these properties are classed by the City Council as “domestic” and therefore do not have the “mixed recycling” facility available. The students in these houses usually arrange their own recycling system and then take the rubbish out to the various wheelie bins found just outside the properties. Please see the local notices and posters in each house explaining the system adopted by that house.

The College has a Waste Management Policy

Roll and Development Office

  • The Roll and Development Office (located in the Dorothy Garrod Building) will hopefully play a more significant role when you have graduated from College and become an important part of our alumnae community across the world. While you are a student, look out for opportunities for paid work, such as becoming a caller for the annual telephone campaign which typically takes place in September.
  • The office also organises events throughout the year, to which you will receive invitations to join.
  • The Roll Office and Communications Team produce an annual magazine, called the ‘Roll Letter’, with intriguing research, and the latest news from both alumnae and the College.
  • As an alumna you will also receive monthly e-newsletters, so do make sure the Development Office has your up to date contact details at all times.

Room Allocation (Postgraduates only)

Newnham Postgraduates are allocated rooms by the Tutorial and Academic Office.

Room Ballot (Undergraduates only)

  • Newnham undergraduates going into their 2nd and 3rd years take part in a Room Ballot.
  • The Room Ballot takes place during the Lent Term for the following academic year.
  • The Tutorial and Academic Office gives the Hall Liaison & Admin Officer (a member of the JCR Committee) a list of all the 1st year students who should be in the Room Ballot in a suitable form to be cut up and drawn from a hat.
  • The Hall Officer does the draw and lets the Tutorial Office have the resulting list.
  • All students returning after intermission will be inserted into the signing list at approximately the same level that they were the previous year.
  • Affiliated students going into their 2nd year have the same arrangements as other students in their year.
  • The President of the JCR goes to the top of the Room Ballot.
  • All Modern Linguists and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies students spending the current academic year abroad have previously selected their rooms.
  • Other students entering their 4th year do not take part in the Ballot but may opt to be considered for a room if one is available.
  • Some students are able to “squat” in their room for the next academic year. Information is given out prior to the Room Ballot taking place.
  • Many Newnham students display a plan on their door showing the layout of their room to enable those picking to have a better understanding of the layout.
  • Further information on the rooms is available in a folder which the JCR Committee will make available.
  • Further information is given out prior to the Room Ballot taking place.

Room Bookings (meeting rooms)

  • Students can book the College meeting / function rooms via the Conference and Events Office (via email conference@newn.cam.ac.uk).
  • Students are advised to book a room at least one full week in advance (as rooms get booked early).
  • All bookings will be subject to a simple template Risk Assessment being filled in and checked by the Conference Office, to make sure they are practical, safe and legal.
  • The Newnham student booking the meeting room must be present throughout the event / meeting and must accept total responsibility for the event.
  • All evening events within the College meeting rooms must end promptly at 11.00pm and be out of the College by 11.30pm (unless an extension has been granted in Iris Bar).
  • Any charge associated with your room booking will be explained to you by the Conference Office.
  • During the Easter Term (and just prior to the start of the Easter Term) many undergraduate students will be studying for, or sitting examinations and then the academics will be marking examinations in their rooms. With this in mind the following rules will apply:
  • Gatherings of more than six people are not allowed during the Easter Term in bedrooms or household kitchens (unless part of the same household).
  • Those enjoying the gardens should be aware of not disturbing those working in the College buildings.
  • A limited number of social events planned by the JCR Committee and MCR Committee will be held, but strict adherence to the noise regulations will apply.
  • Most Public Rooms are booked via the Conference Office however there are some exceptions shown below:
  • The JCR is booked via the JCR Ents Officers ents@newn.cam.ac.uk
  • The MCR is booked via the MCR Committee mcrcttee@newn.cam.ac.uk
  • The Bar is booked via the Bar Committee committee@newn.cam.ac.uk
  • The Party Room (when it is open) is booked via  Party Room Booking.xlsx
  • The Group Training Room in the Library is booked via the Library Office library@newn.cam.ac.uk

Room Licences

  • Room Licences are issued by the Tutorial and Academic Office and are your Assured Tenancy Agreement. Upon receipt please read the licence carefully.

Room Maintenance and the Room Management System (RMS)

  • The College uses an online room management system (RMS) to administer coming up and going down forms and reporting maintenance issues.
  • If there are any issues with your room, kitchen or bathroom that the maintenance team need to fix, please report them using the RMS: https://app.casc.cam.ac.uk/rms_live/. The team can’t fix problems if they don’t know about them. See Maintenance Reporting above for details.

Signing in and out

  • The signing list is used for several purposes. It is the basis of the Fire List, records residence for University purposes and is used by the Bursary for billing.
  • At the beginning of term, you must sign in, even if you are living in external accommodation. Those living in College accommodation will receive their keys (door, window and lockable storage).
  • At the end of term, you must sign out, even if you are living in external accommodation. If you live in College accommodation you will be asked to hand in your lockable storage keys to allow for key auditing.  You will also be asked about forwarding mail.
  • If you are away overnight during term, you must sign the exeat/reddit book at the Porters’ Lodge.
  • If you stay in College during the vacation, you may be asked to move rooms.
  • When you move, take the keys to your own room to the Lodge and sign out; sign in on the vacation residence form.

Safety and Security

  • The Domestic Bursar is the College Fire, Health and Safety Officer. The College also has a Safety Committee which meets termly. The College has a detailed set of policies, procedures, codes of practice and inspections to ensure it is a safe and secure environment for all members of, and visitors to the College
  • Any students who are concerned about the safety or security of the site, including the grounds and car parks, should via email contact both the Domestic Bursar at domestic.bursar@newn.cam.ac.uk, and Head Porter at head.porter@newn.cam.ac.uk.
  • For more information on student wellbeing https://www.studentwellbeing.admin.cam.ac.uk
  • If you discover a break-in or see an intruder in the gardens or surrounding area, notify the police immediately, by telephoning 999, and then at once notify the Porters’ Lodge on 01223 335700.


The College has a Smoke Free Policy. No smoking or vaping is permitted in any College buildings or student rooms. There are designated smoking areas around the College. Please see the above Policy or ask the Porters for the location of these designated areas.


  • The College has a new high-tech gym (located on the third floor of X staircase in the Dorothy Garrod Building), a sports field on site and three tennis courts (netball nets are erected on one court during the season).
  • The sports field may be booked via the Conference Office on conference@newn.cam.ac.uk
  • Members of both the JCR and MCR are allowed to use the gym but must first undertake an induction – watch the noticeboards in the Porters’ Lodge for more information.
  • Once you have completed your gym induction your University Card will be programmed to open the gym door.
  • There are tennis courts available for use on a first come first serve basis – ask at the Porters’ Lodge.

Storage during the vacation periods

Lockable Storage (undergraduate rooms only)

  • Each undergraduate room should have some lockable storage – this is shown on your room inventory (which will be in your rooms when you arrive).
  • This lockable storage can be used during the Christmas and Easter vacations only.
  • Please check your lockable storage at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term – if this lockable storage doesn’t lock let Maintenance know immediately (using the RMS) so that it can be repaired in good time for the vacation.
  • Also please inform to the Porters so that any keys that do not work can be removed and discarded.
  • To allow for auditing and replacements, lockable storage keys should be handed in when signing out at the end of term.
  • All belongings must be taken home during the Long Vacation.

Storage for Overseas Undergraduate Students during the long vacation (summer)

  • The Housekeeping Department will inform students about the arrangements for storage during the long vacation (this can normally be found on RMS).

Additional Storage

  • If you need to store more belongings over the vacation than you are allowed to keep in your room, you may contact your JCR Hall Liaison Officer.
  • The JCR Hall Liaison Officer can also put you in touch with a storage company – if several Newnham students share that storage, the cost comes down.

Sustainability at Newnham

Some of the College’s work towards sustainability, including our energy efficiency and eco-friendly policies, is explored in our Sustainability Map.

This includes work from the Catering Department, the Maintenance Department / Buildings Committee and the Gardening Department.


  • There are no public telephone boxes in College – please see the Porters if you require assistance.
  • There is a very limited mobile signal in the Dorothy Garrod Building – please use Wi-Fi calling in this building
  • Emergency landline phones have been installed in the Dorothy Garrod cluster kitchens.  These phones can only call through to the Porters’ Lodge and are for emergency use only

TV Licence

University Card

  • You will be issued with a University Card – this card will be programmed to allow you to purchase items in the Buttery, access various doors/gates and also to take library books out of the library (once you have been inducted and given a tour).
  • If you lose your card, please email the Tutorial and Academic Office who will cancel your old card and organise a replacement; and see the Porters for a temporary card.
  • Under no circumstances are you to give or lend your card for someone else to use (see Fines above).

Waste Policy

The College has a Waste Policy which can be found here.

Wellbeing Advisor

Newnham College has a Wellbeing Advisor who is responsible for helping co-ordinate mental health and wellbeing support for all students with any mental health or wellbeing issues. That could be support for an existing mental health or wellbeing issue, speaking about difficulties you’ve started to experience since coming to university or even if you’re just feeling low, anxious or worried, struggling with stress or concerned for a friend. Our Advisor’s name is Sineidin O’Reilly-Williams, and she can be found in the Health and Wellbeing centre on the ground floor of Pfeiffer Building.

You can refer yourself for an initial session to discuss any issues you may be having and Sineidin can help you explore how you’re feeling, and support you to decide on the best course of action from there, This can include offering ongoing wellbeing sessions to work on tackling any issues you may be having, providing guided self-help solutions, signposting to third party services or university-based help or helping you access counselling or other specific mental health services.

Appointments with the Wellbeing Advisor can be made by email contact between 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday on Sineidin.oreilly-nelson@newn.cam.ac.uk.

Who Books What

We want to make the booking of rooms in College as easy as possible. Please contact the Conference Office on conference@newn.cam.ac.uk  or call us on 01223 335 803 to book the following:

Meeting and Function Rooms

BBQ area (Please note only a maximum of 6 allowed during the exam term)

College Hall piano

Garden Parties

Old Labs Main Practice Space and Music Room 1

Old Labs Practice Room No. 2 and Practice Room No.3

Sports Field (term time only)


Please note this office is open Monday to Friday (8am to 6pm), not evenings or weekends.  Any requests after 6pm on a Friday will not be responded to until Monday morning. 

Please do book in advance, to avoid disappointment.

There are some areas which cannot be booked via the Conference Office, please see below:

Supervision Rooms (includes supervision rooms 1 to 6, Pightle Dining Room and Coach House 101)

These can all be booked via  https://app.casc.cam.ac.uk/rms_live

Bar and / or Party Room via the JCR Ents Officers jcr.ents@mail.newn.cam.ac.uk

MCR Room via the MCR Committee  mcrcttee@cam.ac.uk

JCR Rooms (Peile & Clough)

Via the JCR Ents Officer jcr.ents@mail.newn.cam.ac.uk

Tennis Courts

Collect keys from the Porters’ Lodge – first come first served basis (2 courts).

Window and Window Restrictors and dangers to young children

  • The 70 perimeter bedrooms windows on the 1st and 2nd floors of the Dorothy Garrod Building have restrictors installed to allow an opening of up to 15 cm. The College has also installed window catches on students’ windows on the first floor and above in all our other buildings. These will allow casement windows to be opened 20 cm wide, and will allow the bottom pane of a sash window to be pulled up 20 cm. (The top page of a sash window will still be able to be pulled fully down.)
  • The College acknowledges that the 15cm and 20 cm aperture distance does not comply with the 10 cm aperture distance guidance in Approved Documents K (Building Control Regulations). However, the Building Control Inspector has stated that they are satisfied with the 20 cm aperture on the 1st & 2nd floors windows provided that the College is aware of the deviation and provides a management strategy for this.
  • The College management strategy is that no children under the age of 5 should be left unsupervised in any of our rooms on the 1st or 2nd floor and the College does not allow any residents under the age of 16 to stay in our student or guest rooms.