[MCR Freshers] Welcome!
I am writing to you today for two reasons. First, to welcome you to Clare MCR (perhaps again, if I have already done so) and second, to provide you with a copy of our Freshers’ Guide for this year. Those of you who we’ve managed to contact before now will know me already, but my name is Will and I am your MCR President for this academic year. Don’t worry, I’ll explain what that actually means!
If you don’t already know, the MCR is essentially the name we give the graduate community here in college, a community you will soon be joining, but it is also the name of our common room in Old Court just for added confusion. The MCR Committee, elected each year from the graduate community, is responsible for the running of the MCR. We provide some services (such as our very own bar), plenty of social events, as well as acting as your representatives to college. You will be reading plenty about us in the freshers’ guide attached to this e-mail, but I wanted to touch on one point in particular. That point being that over my time here in Clare, I have found the MCR to be a truly caring and, in many ways, tight-knit community that is never more excited than when new members join us. We have a long history of coming together to help each other out and we really want to emphasise that we, on the committee in-particular, have your backs. We think it’s more important than ever to emphasise these qualities with the troubling circumstances that we find ourselves in as the new academic year begins.
Obviously, this year things are going to be strange. Restrictions on social gatherings and other activities are going to have a noticeable impact on the coming year, not to mention those of you who will have to undergo the 14 days isolation. Freshers’ week, which runs from the 2nd October to the 11th October, will look quite different compared to other years. We consider this week to be very important in the MCR as it’s when we get to properly welcome you into our community and show you what MCR life is all about. However, we are confident that we have some pretty nice ideas lined-up to make sure you get a worthy welcome nonetheless. We have been working closely with college to make sure we can do all we can safely and legally. We have been putting much emphasis on making sure you are all made to feel as welcome and cared for as reasonably possible be it during isolation, freshers’ week or beyond.
Please keep an eye out for communication from us about what we have lined-up for you in freshers’ week. Any in-person events we run will require you to sign-up in advance with contact details for test and trace purposes. Most events will also have limited spaces which in most cases will be given out first come first serve. However, we are planning a set of bar openings where different household groups (including external households) will be given priority on different nights to make sure you all get a chance to visit the MCR and its bar. If you have questions regarding freshers’ week or social activities in general, then you may wish to get in touch with Tom and JoJo who are our social secretaries (email@example.com).
If you are one of the lucky few who’s already here, then you may have already seen that we’re planning some social activities for you in the meantime. For those of you who will need to be isolating for the two weeks before freshers’ week, we are planning several online activities for you to keep you entertained, a Zoom video chat channel to keep you connected and providing you with a few lovely things along the way to make sure you’re well looked-out for.
The Freshers’ Guide, that I have attached to this e-mail, should be able to help you with practical advice, what things are looking like right now around college and the city, and what we think the year is going to look like going forward in some limited capacity. I’d thoroughly recommend you give it a read; at the very least it has some pretty lovely pictures in it!
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to send them our way. You can e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if it’s something that needs fairly urgent chasing-up. If you’re not sure who to send your question to or if you have an administrative query then get in touch with Tom Zago, our secretary (email@example.com), and he will be able to forward your query on to the best person to handle it. You can also just e-mail committee members directly if you know which you want to talk to. You can find the list of all current MCR Committee members, their roles and e-mail addresses on our website (http://mcr.clare.cam.ac.uk/committee-2020-21) as well as a list of useful links to college and university resources on our links page (http://mcr.clare.cam.ac.uk/links). We also have two Facebook groups for you two join, one just for 2020 freshers (https://www.facebook.com/groups/claremcrfreshers2020) and a general MCR group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/claremcr). We are working through membership requests for these so please bear with us as we need to confirm you are indeed an incoming MCR member before adding you.
If you have a question best answered by college themselves (regarding something like admissions, for instance) then you will want to get in touch with Jenny Colling (firstname.lastname@example.org) who is the graduate administrator.
If you haven’t already, please look into getting your cambridge @cam.ac.uk email addresses activated and start checking them regularly. This is where college, ourselves and your departments will normally end up sending important information throughout the year.
We are all incredibly excited to have you joining our community and hope you will be calling it your community before long. We cannot wait to meet you come October (or before!) but until then, stay safe and all the best!
Will and the MCR Committee.
William WoodClare College MCR President 2020-2021