Short for Junior Common Room, the JCR represents both the undergraduate student community and the communal spaces we all share.
The JCR Committee is the governing body elected from among the JCR to ensure that Somerville has a vibrant undergraduate community which welcomes everyone. We do this by running events, providing welfare support and making sure the voice of the student body is heard. We’re also responsible for dealing with any issues that undergraduates at Somerville face, from housing ballots to acquiring new equipment for college.
A Message From the JCR President
“In 1879, Somerville College was founded to include the excluded. From the very beginning Somerville was non-denominational, international and anti-establishment. The college gave those who traditionally could not be educated, a place to flourish, and soon enough, Somerville became a beacon of female academic success. This spirit is at the heart of being a Somervillian, who we are, what we do, to this day.
It’s embedded in our community, our ethos of inclusion, opportunity and excellence remains as strong as ever. The college remains at the forefront of creating greater equality and inclusivity within Oxford colleges, recently becoming one of only two Colleges of Sanctuary. This is perhaps one of the reasons why, year on year, Somervillians are known to be the most friendly, welcoming cohorts in Oxford, as we always aim to foster an environment where no matter who you are or where you come from, you can flourish.
Coming to university can be incredibly daunting; it’s a huge life stage and for many of us, the first time living away from home. Ever since arriving at Somerville, the atmosphere and people I’ve met have made me feel incredibly welcomed and what’s really struck me is that so many students, myself included, really do feel like Somerville is a home away from home!
Fundamentally, the JCR (Junior Common Room) is the entire undergraduate community here at Somerville. The JCR committee consists of elected students who’s sole purpose is looking after the well-being of students, representing your views, concerns, interests, and continuously trying to make life here at Somerville as good as it can be for all our students. We liaise with College management to ensure student voices are heard, so if there are any issues or ideas you may have about how College is run, the committee is your first port of call. The committee are an amazing group of really dedicated students, who are always there for you, you can find all their profiles below!
Up the Ville!”
Ying-Di Ying – JCR President 2021-2022
The JCR Committee
Mei WhattamJCR President 2021-22
Hey everyone, I’m Mei (she/her), a second-year Classical Archaeology and Ancient History student here at Somerville and your JCR President for the next year
You’ll quickly get to know this, but the JCR (Junior Common Room) refers to the entire undergraduate community here at Somerville, We are represented by a wonderful elected committee that work with College management to ensure that all student interests are represented, and that life at Somerville is as inclusive, accommodating and fun as possible.
Massive congratulations to each and every one of you for reaching this point! Getting into Oxford is a huge achievement, and one that you should be proud of. Whilst it is normal for doubts to creep in, do take the time to remind yourself that you fully deserve to be here. The first few days can definitely be daunting especially if this is your first time living away from home, and please know that there is support available if you’d like to talk to someone. However, I can honestly say that everyone here at Somerville is so lovely and welcoming that it will start to feel like home in no time. We are amongst the friendliest colleges in Oxford, and a place where absolutely everyone can thrive as their most authentic self. Whatever your interests may be, you are bound to find fellow Somervillians with whom you can share and further your passions along with perhaps discovering new things along the way!
Please feel free to reach out to me on fb or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions, or just want to talk :))
Thomas HoughtonJCR Sports' Officer
Hey, I’m Tom (he/him)! I’m a second year law student and the JCR’s Sports Officer.
My responsibilities are to support and organise Somerville’s sports teams and maintain the college gym.
Cameron HodgkinsonJCR Disabilities' Officer
Charlotte ArbenJCR Treasurer
Hello! I’m Charlotte Arben (she/her), I’m a third-year mathematician, and JCR Treasurer.
I’m responsible for the JCR’s finances, this involves reimbursing people for things that they buy for the JCR, and sorting out the budget for the year. I can also point students in the right direction if they have any financial concerns.
Diya BadamiJCR Women's and Gender Minorities Welfare Officer
Hi, I’m Diya (she/her), a second-year History student and one of the Welfare Officers.
My role includes running events such as Welfare Teas, providing JCR members with free sexual health supplies, and helping everyone access the help they need by referring you to the appropriate resources. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns that need addressing!
Dona JoshJCR Vice President
Hi, my name is Dona, I am a third year biochemist and the JCR Vice President.
My role involves acting as a representative for the student body for both college and the SU, as well as helping the JCR president and other committee members. If you have questions about the JCR or any questions in general, feel free to contact me!
Tariq SaeedJCR Ethnic Minorities' Officer
Hi, I’m Tariq (he/him), a second year Biologist and one of the JCR Ethnic Minorities officers.
My role in the JCR is to make sure ethnic minority interests are represented. I’m particularly passionate about queer-POC and working class-POC intersectionality! Along with this, I work the the other JCR Ethnic Minorities officer to organise events throughout term for the Somerville BAME community. These events range form movie nights with pizza, to socials with other colleges, to our annual BAME formal!
Eloise PenistonJCR Arts' Officer
Hi, my name is Eloise and I am the JCR Arts and Culture Officer.
Alongside my JCR role, I am also the co-founder and co-president of Somerville English Society. Through my experience as a first-generation, Northern, state school student, I am entirely dedicated to challenging the elitism and tangible barriers that face students from working class backgrounds as they apply for English degrees at the university. My goals are to join students from all disciplines through their shared literary interests and to create a welcoming, vibrant, and artistic community in Somerville College.
Hannah UgbomaJCR LGBTQ+ Officer
Heya, my name is Hannah (any pronouns), and I am one of the JCR LGBTQ+ Officers.
I study biology, and am here to organise events and help with any LGBTQ+ related issues anyone may have.
Holly CobbJCR Returning Officer
Hi! I’m Holly, a second year French and Linguistics student, and JCR Returning Officer for the next academic year.
I organise any hustings and elections, and help to run the fortnightly JCR meetings. These meetings are where students can present motions (student-led requests for changes in college, grants for student projects and more!). Motions passed even include naming the college ducks that appeared on the quad last term! If you have any questions about how the JCR works, or how to get involved, I’m always happy to answer any questions :)) (email@example.com or Holly Cobb on Facebook)
Isaac TayJCR International's Officer
Hello! I’m Isaac (he/him), I’m in my second year of reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics and I’m the JCR International’s Officer.
I hail from Singapore and have lived there my whole life, and I’m thrilled to be your International’s Officer this year. I hope to create a safe space and build a community for international students in college. My role means I’ll be helping you settle in, managing vacation storage, and organising events like the International Students’ Dinner and pub nights.
My main goal is to make your college life as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible, so I’m more than happy to help with anything you need me for (even if it’s not strictly related to being an international student). I know that moving overseas to start university can be intimidating, but don’t worry—Somerville has a wonderful community and we’re delighted to have you here. If there’s anything you’d like to ask, feel free to drop me a line on Instagram @waytoohyper. I can’t wait to meet you when Michaelmas begins!
Tom MorelandJCR Academic Affairs Officer
Hi, I’m Tom, a third year PPE student and the JCR’s Academic Affairs Officer.
I hope that anyone experiencing academic related difficulties feels that they can approach me to talk about their concerns so we can find a solution. This can be anything from problems with tutors to unreturned collections papers and difficulties finding resources. I sit on the college Education and Library Committees so I can raise concerns with senior college staff and I’m always happy to email Steve on your behalf.
Jamie WalkerJCR Terrace Officer
Hi, my name is Jamie and I am the current Terrace officer in college.
My role involves liaising with college on student issues relating to the terrace, and also organising events/activities within the terrace itself.
Julia TalarekJCR Access and Admissions Officer
Hello! I’m Julia (she/her) and I’m the JCR Access and Admissions Officer.
My job is to improve access at Somerville for students from all backgrounds, at the admissions stage and through your time at Somerville too. I also run the Somerville JCR Access Instagram page to provide an insight into life at Somerville! I am always open to have a chat so please let me know if you have any questions at all or any ideas on making Somerville more inclusive!
Katie DriverJCR Environment and Ethics Officer
Hi! I’m Katie, a third-year Biologist, and alongside Layla, we are your E&E (Environment & Ethics) officers this year!
We represent the JCR in College’s Sustainability Working Group. We’ll do our best to help Somerville meet its environmental goals, improve the biodiversity of college green spaces and get the college community involved in green events wherever we can. Always happy to chat about ideas with everyone!
Katie WalkerJCR Domestic Officer
I’m Katie (she/her) and I am the JCR Domestic Officer!
Hi, I’m Katie (she/her), a third year studying Physics and the JCR Domestic Officer – this means that I run the room ballot (which is how everyone picks their room for the next year) and I am the point of contact between the undergraduate student body and college staff on issues concerning catering and accommodation. Please reach out if you have any questions, ideas, comments or concerns – you can message me on Facebook (Katie Walker) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren DaviesJCR Women's Officer
Tiago CostaJCR Men's and Gender Minorities' Welfare Officer and JCR Freshers President
Hey, I’m Tiago, a second year experimental psychologist, one of the JCR Welfare Officers, and the Freshers’ President!
As Welfare Officer, I am aiming to make Somerville as inclusive and safe as possible. Wellbeing is really important to me, whether physical or mental, so I want to make sure all students are happy and healthy!
Being Freshers’ President means that I’m in charge of organising everything in Freshers’ Week, and all the information handed out! I know it can be really daunting starting uni, especially with all the expectations, stress, and stereotypes surrounding Oxford, so I want to make the transition as easy and fun as possible!
Layla SklarJCR Environment and Ethics Officer
Hi, I am Layla, a second-year Biologist and alongside Katie, we are your E&E (Environment & Ethics) Officers this year!
We represent the JCR in College’s Sustainability Working Group. We’ll do our best to help Somerville meet its environmental goals, improve the biodiversity of college green spaces and get the college community involved in green events wherever we can Always happy to chat about ideas with everyone!
Lowri WoollardJCR Secretary
Hi, I’m Lowri (she/her), I’m a third-year Ancient and Modern historian, and JCR secretary for this year!
As secretary I’m responsible for gathering motions for JCR meetings, putting these together into agendas, and sending out minutes of meetings so that everyone knows what’s going on!
Minshu GuptaJCR Ethnic Minorities' Officer
Hi, I’m Minshu, one of the two JCR Ethnic Minorities officers here at Somerville.
I’ve lived in India, Singapore and England, so I’m well aware of how daunting it can be moving to a new place as an ethnic minority, but rest assured Somerville is very welcoming! You’re also always free to come to me or Tariq for any BAME (or non BAME) worries or questions. I’m interested in building a more cohesive BAME community in our college and if you have any ideas for this, please pop me a message!
Oli JupeJCR LGBTQ+ Officer
Hi, my name’s Oli, I’m a second-year English student and one of Somerville’s LGBTQ+ reps.
My job is to make sure queer people at Somerville feel represented and respected in the college community, as well as organising various events like gay drinks on Tuesdays, LGBTQ+ formals and speaking events. If you have any worries or concerns before coming to Somerville, or whilst you’re here then please get in contact!
Stan, Jade, Amy and HarryJCR Entz Team
Hey, we’re Stan, Jade, Amy and Harry and we’re the Entz team.
Our job is to plan college events, including bops, and to make sure you have a great year!
Rufaro TomJCR Charities Officer
Hi, my name is Rufaro (she/her), I’m a second year medic and I’m currently JCR Charities officer.
As Charities officer, I help the JCR support a range of different charities and organisations through sharing volunteering opportunities, organising fundraisers etc.. I am also the college contact for Molly‘s library (This library was set up by Somerville students and Molly in 2003. Since then Somerville has continued to support the library). Please feel free to contact me if you have any charity related queries or ideas.
To learn more about our undergraduate community, visit the JCR Website.