The Bursary

The Bursar and the Second Bursar are responsible for the financial affairs and business administration of the College, for the maintenance, security, and operation of its buildings, grounds, and services and for the general supervision of the College staff.

If you wish to contact the Bursar or the Second Bursar please email  or call 01223 335661.

The following pages relate mainly to the use of College facilities, and, where required, how to book them through the Bursary or otherwise.

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College facilities, including supervision and meeting rooms and the Island barbecue, can be booked through the Bursary.

Bookings can be made by College members, staff and external parties, such as University Societies. All bookings are subject to final approval by the Head of Domestic Operations in accordance with the College’s Code of Practice for meetings on College premises, the College’s duties under s31 of The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and the College’s wider duties under PREVENT legislation.

Please email or call 01223  335661 for further information.

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Seminar Rooms

Seminar rooms are primarily intended for educational use or for College business. If you wish to book a room for any other purpose, the Head of Domestic Operations or the Bursar will decide whether it is appropriate. Meetings and seminars held in College rooms must be apolitical and secular. If you are unsure about this policy, please seek advice when making your booking. Resources such as projectors, screens and flip charts can also be booked for meetings.

Seminar rooms should be booked in advance with the Bursary. Because there may be charges for the use of these rooms depending on the activity for which they are booked, ‘last-minute’ access may be denied as the College cannot provide a quotation.

If you wish to use an unbooked seminar room after office hours you will only be able to do so if the Porters (who hold the keys) are satisfied that the room will be used for private study only.

Only food provided by the College catering department in normal office hours is allowed in seminar rooms. Because most seminar rooms are underneath or close to accommodation, bookings will only be taken up to 9pm for a meeting or up to midnight for private study. The Study Centre has 24/7 access for those who wish to work during silent hours.

There will, of course, be exceptional circumstances when these rules are inappropriate and can be waived, but those circumstances must be sanctioned by the Head of Domestic Operations or the Bursar.

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Common Room

The Common Room may be booked for up to two hours between 5pm and 8.45pm during the week, and between 10am and 8.45pm at weekends. Bookings are made with the Bursary

Use of the Common Room is free for Darwin College societies, or events which are open to all Darwin members. Bookings for University societies or private groups will incur a hire fee, and are subject to availability – please contact the Bursary for further details.

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Darwin College is lucky enough to occupy several fine late Georgian and Victorian houses, with gardens running along the River Cam. Students are urged to maintain the tranquillity and quality of these surroundings.  Please make sure that when you use the gardens, you don’t leave behind any litter or waste; you smoke only in the designated areas (and use the receptacles for butts), and don’t play any amplified music.

Visit the DCSA website for more information on punting on the river and lawn games permitted in the gardens (including croquet).

To book the Small Island, where barbecues are permitted, go to the next tab.

The gardens may be used for private social events by arrangement in certain circumstances. A request for any such event must be made to the Head of Domestic Operations. If a request is agreed, the person who makes the reservation must be present throughout the entire period. Such a reservation will not, however, mean that other users of the garden may be denied access.

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Barbecue & Island Booking

Barbecues are not allowed within College accommodation or in hostels. However, you can book the DCSA barbecue on the Small Island, in the area to the left of the bridge. Island bookings are usually taken from 1 May to 30 October, depending on weather conditions.

Booking forms and the terms of conditions of use for the Island & DCSA barbecue can be found on the DCSA website. To check availability and confirm your booking please email the Bursary

The Small Island can only be booked by a current member or alumnus of Darwin College, and the member should be present on the Island throughout the booking.

The maximum capacity for the Island is 30 people. There is no charge for current members (students or Fellows) hosting a private party. However all other bookings (for alumni, University departments, societies or private companies) incur a hire charge to be determined by the Bursary.

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College Bar

The College bar – known as ‘DarBar’ – is located in the Hermitage (next to the Common Room) and staffed by students. Only students listed on the rota are permitted to serve behind the bar.

DarBar is a lively social hub for resident and non-resident students with table football, pool tables, and frequent music and events. Current listings can be found on the DarBar Facebook page or website.

The bar is traditionally open seven days a week and the opening hours are from 9pm to 11.59pm. The bar will be closed promptly at 11.59 each evening (unless an extension has been granted by the Head of Domestic Operations). Last orders are called at 11.40pm, and the stacking of drinks near to closing time is not permitted.

Members of College may bring a maximum of three guests into the bar, on the strict condition that they must enter their name and those of their guests into the guest book held behind the bar. Failure to do so will result in the non-registered guests being asked to leave the premises for the evening. The guests remain the responsibility of their host and must leave the bar when their host leaves. Guests must be over the age of 18.

No one will be served at the bar unless they are known by the person in charge to be a member of College, or to have been signed in by a member of College. Anyone who refuses to show identification, such as their University card, will be refused service.

The Head of Domestic Operations is the College Licensee and on his behalf the Porters will ask anyone who is drunk or disorderly to leave the bar if the bar staff have not already done so.

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Study Centre and Library

The purpose-built Study Centre occupies the narrow site (formerly the Darwin family kitchen garden) between the Old Granary and the main Silver Street bridge across the Cam. The building was designed to provide members with a quiet working space and computing facilities, and to house the College Library.

The library contains a general collection of about 10,000 books, consisting of works of reference and a selection of literature, with the aim of helping to stimulate and satisfy members’ curiosity and to encourage wide reading. No attempt is made to provide a comprehensive resource for members’ specialised research, which is catered for by the University Library and Faculty Libraries.

Information on finding and borrowing books and DVDs and on our special collections is on the Library Information Pages.

The open-plan design of the interior of the Study Centre and Library produces an attractively light working space, but the openness also means that members must be considerate and avoid disturbing others while moving around and while working. In addition to keeping the building as a quiet area, members are asked not to eat, and to only drink from covered containers, while in the Centre.

Interested members of the College are also warmly invited to sit on the Library Committee.

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The College currently has grand pianos in the Hall and Old Library, an upright in the Basement of 1 Newnham Terrace, and an electric piano in the Bradfield Room. These can be booked by contacting the Bursary.

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Front Door & Locker Keys

Front door keys, allowing access to the College via the main door when it is closed, are available to current students who have moved out of College accommodation. Front door keys are issued by the Porters’ Lodge. A £10 key deposit will be charged to your College account and returned when you return the key.

Darwin has a number of lockers available for rent by current students, on a yearly basis. To register your interest please email the Bursary. You will be assigned a locker and asked to read the terms and conditions before being issued a key by the Porters.  A £20 key deposit will be charged to your College account and will be returned when you return the key.

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Audio/Visual facilities in the Bradfield Room

The Bradfield Room has been newly fitted with audio/visual facilities to support hybrid meetings and presentations. A full guide to using the new set-up is available here.

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