Safer Spaces Policy


All individuals are entitled to a working and studying environment which respects their personal dignity and which is free from objectionable conduct. 

(St Anne’s College Personal Harassment Policy and Procedure, C.3.1.1).


In the spring of 2014, St Anne’s Middle Common Room adopted the Safer Spaces policy as an enactment and enlargement of the Personal Harassment Policy and Procedure already in place at St Anne’s College. St Anne’s MCR was one of the first common rooms in the University, alongside Wadham and St Antony’s, to adopt such a policy.


The Safer Spaces policy acknowledges that sexual assault and sexual harassment are serious issues which affect people across cultures and communities. The objectives of the policy are:

  • to ensure that students feel safe and supported at MCR events and in MCR spaces;
  • to ensure that students have an avenue for concerns about and complaints of harassment, and that any complaints are handled effectively and constructively by the MCR and College;
  • to ensure that both MCR members and members of the College Welfare team, including the Head of Welfare, Dean, and Assistant Deans, have a clear understanding of the basis of the policy on harassment and assault at MCR events.


The MCR will only be a safer space if all members and any guests they might bring are fully aware of the policy and the College’s regulations for junior members. The Safer Spaces policy is designed to facilitate an environment of mutual respect without limiting personal freedoms and social interactions.


It is the responsibility of every member of the MCR to encourage and participate in making the MCR a safer space.

For more information, or to read the constitutional amendments outlining the Safer Spaces policy, click here.





What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is intentionally touching someone else sexually without a reasonable belief in their consent (Sexual Offences Act 2003).


What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment includes unwanted or persistent advances of a sexual nature, or advances that cause the recipient to feel threatened; for example, unwanted sexual comments about a person’s body; persistent or aggressive invitations to engage in sexual activity.


What is general harassment?

General harassment includes verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual for reasons that may include (but are not restricted to) race, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age or disability. General harassment can also include bullying, which occurs when any such behaviour creates an intimidating or offensive environment for employment, study or for social life and can occur even if offence is not intended.


If someone threatens to physically harm me, is that physical assault?

Yes. Even if someone threatens to use unlawful force, this can be considered physical assault.

Who can I approach if I have a concern?

You can approach any member of the College Welfare and Decanal Teams, including the Tutor for Graduates (Anne Mullen), the Dean (Don Porcelli), the Assistant Deans (Franziska Kohlt and TBA), the Assistant Dean for Welfare (Sneha Krishnan, the College Personal Harassment Advisors (Zoe Sparrowhawk, Professor Roger Crisp, Professor Kate Watkins, and Terry O’Shaughnessy), the College Nurse (Carolyn Ruhle), the College Counsellor (Ann Hart), the Lodge Porters, and the RSH Wardens.


What is a Safer Spaces Facilitator?

A Safer Spaces Facilitator is any member of the MCR Committee or general membership of the MCR who has undergone OUSU sexual consent training and have agreed to become Safer Spaces Facilitators. They are there to listen, to signpost, and to refer individuals on to the appropriate members of the Welfare and Decanal Teams.


How do I raise a concern?

Any member of the MCR who has experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, general harassment, and physical assault and battery, or who has concerns about these issues which they wish to discuss informally, can approach a Safer Spaces Facilitator and/or members of the College Welfare and Decanal Team.

Individuals wishing to raise a concern may do any of the following:

  1. Seek support from a member of the College Welfare and Decanal Team;
  2. Make an informal complaint according to College’s Personal Harassment Policy and Procedure;
  3. Make a formal complaint according to College’s Personal Harassment Policy and Procedure.

What do I do in an emergency?

Any member the MCR or guest at an MCR event should contact the lodge or a warden as appropriate so that they may contact the authorities.

International Dinner with Germany’s former ambassador to the UK

Botschafter a. D. Georg Boomgaarden

St Anne’s College is proud to welcome Germany’s former ambassador to the UK: Botschafter a. D. Georg Boomgaarden, as the speaker at our International Seminar 2014.

Mr Boomgaarden was Germany’s State Secretary of the Foreign Office from 2005 to 2008, when he became Germany’s Ambassador to the UK until 2013.He also worked for several years in the German Embassy in Moscow.

When and Where?

5.30pm – 6.30pm • Talk and Q&A session Tsuzuki Lecture Theatre

6.45pm – 7.15pm • Pre-dinner drinks reception Foyer B (Ruth Deech Building)

7.15pm – 9pm • German Formal Hall The Dining Hall


More details can be found here on the main St. Anne’s College website.


St Anne’s on University Challenge

On Monday 11 August, 2014, you’ll be able to watch your fellow St Anne’s students in their opening-round match of University Challenge on BBC 2 at 20:00. You might have caught a few glimpses of (R-L) Sam, Laura, Edward, Rebecca, and Elizabeth (not pictured) in the two-part documentary about the making of University Challenge, The Class of 2014, which aired on BBC Two earlier this month.

UC Series 21 - St Anne's, Oxford with Jeremy

SDG Visit Culham Nuclear Fusion Laboratory

JET Control Room

JET Control Room

Today the SDG, well 10 members of it, visited the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy just south of Oxford. It was well worth the trip. We learned more about nuclear fusion, most of it similar to the SDG talk we had by Dr. James Buchanan last term, but also saw the reactors (MAST and JET) in the flesh so to speak. It really is an impressive operation! From a mere logistics point of view, managing such huge projects, building such complicated machines and coming up with the science that is not just innovative, but really works is just astounding.


What is Nuclear Fusion?


Here is some basic information about nuclear fusion and how it works. It will also help in understanding some of the terminology used below to describe the reactors.

Fusion, at least in its current form occurs when deuterium and tritium, two isotopes of hydrogen are combined together to form helium and a free neutron. The mass of helium is less than the sum of the deuterium and tritium parts, and through the E=MC² formula, this means that 17.6 MeV of energy is released per reaction. Pretty cool.

In order to create the environment for fusion, a very hot (over 23 million degrees Celsius) electrically charged gas, called a plasma needs to be sustained for a period of time, or what is termed a pulse. This plasma contains the deuterium and tritium parts and the high temperature environment enables fusion to occur.

The advancements in nuclear fusion have focused largely around being able to create enough heat so that fusion can occur whilst also having magnets strong enough to control the plasma and systems to take away the by-products of fusion. The end result will be an environment that can not only sustain the plasma for longer periods of time (from 0.5 seconds in MAST to 40 seconds in JET to hour in ITER to hours in DEMO) but will able to create temperatures that cause ignition, the point at which the plasma generates its own heat, just like the sun. It is envisaged that ITER will be the first reactor to achieve ignition, generating 10 times more energy than what is put in, adding a potential 500 MW to the grid. DEMO will hopefully generate >18 times more energy than put in with 1800-2100MW.


Anyway, enough of that. On to some facts and pictures about MAST and JET.

MAST – (Mage Amp Spherical Tokamak)

Some info about MAST:

  1. MAST is one of the world’s two leading spherical tokamak (ST) reactors alongside NSTX at Princeton, USA;
  2. It can sustain a pulse (the time plasma, electrically charged gas, is held in the reactor) for .5 seconds due to instabilities in the plasma field which has temperatures up to 23 million degrees celcius!
  3. It’s currently in maintenance phase to provide the technology to
    1. heat the plasma further;
    2. sustain the fusion length 10x longer than at present; and
    3. improve the exhaust which removes the helium by product of fusion.

Some pictures of the MAST parts can be seen here.

Learning about MAST and pulses

Learning about MAST and pulses

The transformer pole from the centre of MAST.

The transformer pole from the centre of MAST.

A model of how the new interior of MAST will look...not sure the colour scheme will hold true though.

A model of how the new interior of MAST will look…not sure the colour scheme will hold true though.

The pit MAST is meant to be in.

The pit MAST is meant to be in.



Some info about JET:

  1. When JET is running, it consumes 1000MWh, 600MW is from the UKs power grid (1% of the total grid capacity…pretty impressive). They have a direct line to the UK grid in case they are told not to switch on the reactor in periods of unexpected high demand.
  2. Two massive fly wheels are used to generate the additional 400 MW via kinetic energy. The rotor is 9 meters wide and weighs 775 tons.
  3. For each 40 second run of JET, up to 60GB of data is generated.
  4. It currently holds the world record for energy generated by fusion (5MW).
  5. At present it has a Q value (efficiency metric) of 0.67, meaning that it generates slightly .67 times less energy than put in. Still impressive and that value will be 10 for ITER – 10x more energy created than required to produce it.



MASCOT robot

MASCOT robot


MASCOT control room with lovely robot arms.

MASCOT control room with lovely robot arms.


Subscribe to the St. Anne’s MCR Mailing List

We have been made aware that some students are still not on the MCR mailing list. This is our primary mechanism for announcing events within college. So, if you’re not getting regular emails from us, subscribe now!

How to subscribe to the St Anne’s MCR mailing list:

  1. Send a blank e-mail to
  2. Reply to the automatic response that is sent to you

How to unsubscribe:
If you have issues unsubscribing (e.g. after you SSO account is disabled, for example after finishing your studies), you can easily unsubscribe as follows:

  1. send e-mail to
  2. reply to the automatic response that is sent to you

SDG News

I hope term is going well for you so far and you’ve been enjoying the many events, talks and dinners the college has put on so far. From now on, the St. Anne’s Science Discussion Group will be blogging a few times a month to bring you news about science going on in Oxford and events you may be interested in and around the university. In this first release, we’d like to highlight what has gone on in the SDG so far this term and a scientific magazine that may be of interest to you all, called Bang!.

SDG so far

I think everyone who attended an SDG event so far will say that the talks have been really interesting. We’ve heard from: Dame Jocelyn Bell about Women in Science; Dr. Luca Melchiori about an extremely promising T-cell therapy for cancer; Prof. Michael Brand on neurogenesis and his work in investigating how cell regeneration could work for humans; Lord Robert May on scientific policy bringing in a lot of experience acquired during his time as chief science officer in the UK government; and this week we’ll be hearing from Howard Rogers when he’ll be discussing ‘fracking’, a topic which until recently was on everybody’s lips.

Bang! Magazine

The first thing we’d like to bring to your attention is the Bang! Magazine. The new issue has just been released and it’s a great way of finding out all the great science going on in Oxford at the minute, via a very aesthetically pleasing medium.

We look forward to seeing some of you this weeks SDG with Howard Rogers!

MCR Elections!


Ladies and gentlemen, that time of year is upon us at last, the tension is palpable, the woody scent of unbridled ambition lingers in the doorways and hallways of RSH, EPH and beyond, yes  – MCR election fever is here.  A brand new MCR committee will be elected on Sunday 17 November 2013. We are looking for candidates to run for all of the positions (detailed below) and I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved. Students here for just one year are just as welcome to run as students studying for MPhils. or DPhils.



Sunday 17 November 2013
Tsuzuki Lecture Theatre, Ruth Deech Building
18:00 – 20:00



President; Vice President; Secretary; Treasurer; Social Secretaries x3;
Environment Officer; Sports Secretary; OUSU Representative; Computer Representative
Welfare Officer x2; Women’s Officer; Equalities Officer; International Students Representative

Academic Affairs Officer; Charities Officer;

RSH Representative*; LGBT Representative*; Ball Committee Representative*


If you want to know more about what the various positions entail, get in touch with the current representative a take a look at the Constitution, which details the responsibilities associated with each position.




If you’re interested in running for a post, please email the Returning Officer (president (at)  to nominate yourself with [MCR ELECTION] in the Subject. You will also need to get someone else in the MCR to second your nomination, also via email to the Returning Officer.


Feel free to compose an A4 manifesto (with an illustration/photograph as desired) and send this to me by email as a pdf document (also please pidge two hard copies to the President). Note that students are NOT to circulate or post any election material elsewhere, including online.


Nominations close on Saturday 16 November at 5.00pm.


The names of the candidates will then be circulated by email and displayed in the EPH Common Room along with any submitted manifestos.






At the election candidates who have put themselves forward for contested positions will field questions by voters in a very informal hustings.


There will then be an anonymous ballot. Further details will be circulated nearer the time, but I would strongly encourage you to come and actually hear the candidates speak, ask them questions etc.


If there are still positions with no nominations (as has happened in the past) you may put yourself forward at the meeting itself.




Once the list of candidates has been circulated votes votes can be cast via email by emailing the Returning Officer (again: president (at)

Welcome from the MCR President



On behalf of the Middle Common Room Committee, let me warmly welcome you to the postgraduate community at St Anne’s College. Whether you are arriving to the United Kingdom for the first time, moving to Oxford from another part of the country, or just switching Colleges, engaging in postgraduate studies is both an exciting and trepidatious prospect. The wonderful thing about belonging to St Anne’s is that within a few days you will find your- self a part of its vibrant and diverse community.


This Freshers’ Guidebook – produced by the MCR Committee and the Academic Office – will help you find your way around the Col- lege and Oxford as you get used to its unique, if idiosyncratic, ways. In it, we offer practical advice from both an official perspec- tive and our personal experience. There is more to know about St Anne’s and, indeed, about Oxford than any single book could con- tain, so feel free to ask your Freshers’ Week Helpers or staff from the Academic Office.


The postgraduate community at St Anne’s is comprised of students from all over the world studying many different subjects. We have no particular specialities, though we excel in most disciplines. My favourite part about being a member of St Anne’s is that I can have conversations over dinner in hall that range from quantum mechanics to the political economy of Proust.


I strongly encourage you to get involved in College life, starting with the events we have planned for you in Freshers’ Week. The time you spend here will be memorable, but hopefully for more reasons than just the number of hours you might spend in the library or laboratory!




Laura E. Ludtke
MCR President, 2012-201

New website launched!

We’ve launched our new website!


Our aim in creating this site was two fold. First, to update the look of the site to something more fresh. Second, to provide editing facilities for all members of the MCR. In the previous site, we had problems caused by a bottleneck in the system…one person, the computer rep, had to manage all edits put forward by all members of the MCR committee. This is obviously a pain and a bit 90s in terms of technology. So now, we’ve upgraded, have a fully fledged CMS and will be adding to the site constantly over the coming weeks!


We aim to have the important content repopulated very soon, but the old site is still available for perusal at – if you have any comments, please email Eamonn at .