Domestic Arrangements (for All Students)

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College does not provide pillows or any other bedding. If you are travelling to Oxford from a distance, you may prefer to buy these articles on arrival: Boswell’s department store, diagonally across from the Balliol main site on Broad Street, is a useful supplier.

Maintenance reporting

The Maintenance Department, headed by the Maintenance Manager, Roland Harris, rectifies all maintenance problems. Heating, hot water breakdowns and all small or serious maintenance problems should be reported by email to the Maintenance Department or, if they occur out of office hours (only in emergencies), to the Porters’ Lodge.

The furniture and furnishings in rooms are the property of the College and all posters etc. must be affixed to pin boards only. If the use of substances such as Blu-Tack, White Tack, drawing-pins or Sellotape causes damage to the walls, the costs of repair and/or redecoration will be charged to the student.

If on arrival you find any damage or defect to your room, please report it to the Domestic Manager.  

Electrical equipment

With the exception of Jowett Walk, where kitchens are provided per flat, small refrigerators (i.e. 4 cubic feet/0.11 cubic metres) are permitted in College bedrooms, provided they are removed by you every vacation. Fridge-freezers are not permitted. In all cases, permission must be sought from the Domestic Manager.

Microwave ovens are not permitted in College bedrooms unless there are certified medical or other special dietary reasons, in which case a letter must be sent to the Domestic Manager in advance of arrival together with a letter from your doctor. 

All electrical equipment must have the appropriate British Standard Number or Kitemark; plugs must carry the BS Number 1363, be of the safety sleeve type and be correctly fused for the appliance; flexible cables must be in good condition and not worn, perished, split, stretched or twisted.

All electrical equipment must be under one year of age, or must be PAT tested by the College Electrician before use on site.


Any student who wishes to use a television in their room, or who watches or records live television on any device, must have a TV licence specifically for the room, irrespective of the ownership of the television set or device. The fine imposed by the licensing authorities for not having a licence is currently £1,000. The authorities have the right to call and inspect without warning, and do so from time to time.

Music Room

There is a Music Room on the main Balliol site in which instruments are routinely stored and entry to which is controlled first by virtue of joining the College Musical Society and second by signing out the key to the room. Holywell Manor has its own music facility. You are advised to insure your instruments. 


There is a multi-gym on the main Broad Street site (in the basement of Staircase XV under the JCR) and another one at Holywell Manor. To use either of these, you must apply for membership (cost £30 per annum or £10 per term), using this online form. You must also attend an induction session first: see the Freshers’ Week timetables. The College reserves the right to request a medical certificate be obtained from your Oxford City GP confirming fitness to use the College gym facilities. There is more information about the gyms in the College Handbook.

Computers, internet and printing

There is information about ICT facilities and services for students, including network access, computer rooms and printing, in the Current Members section of the website under ICT Services. Please take a look at these pages:


Junior members keeping bicycles in the main site are required to register their bicycles with the Broad Street Lodge. Those keeping bicycles at the Graduate Centre must register them at Holywell Manor Lodge. New Jowett Walk residents must also register their bicycles with the Porters’ Lodge at Broad Street.

A secure basement storage area is provided for College residents’ cycles on the main site in the Front Quad, in the basement of Staircase VII. There are a limited number of racks and they are allocated on a ‘first come first served’ basis, with preference being given to those living on the main site. The JCR bike rep allocates places in the rack.

There is other information on cycle security here. Please see the rules about bicycles in the College Handbook.

Dress code

Sub fusc: for the Matriculation ceremony (your formal admission to the University), for University Examinations and other formal events, the required dress is sub fusc - i.e. you should wear your preferred items from the following: dark suit with dark socks, or a dark skirt with black tights or stockings, or dark trousers with dark socks or dark hosiery; a dark coat if required; black shoes; plain white collared shirt or blouse; a white bow tie, black bow tie, black full-length tie, or black ribbon. You are also required to wear a gown and mortar board or soft cap. Clothes should be appropriate for formal occasions. (There is more information about wearing sub fusc in the College Handbook.)

It is possible to obtain the headwear, tie and gown on arrival at the College, and these can also be loaned or hired from the Porters’ Lodge at Broad Street or from various outfitters in Oxford. The following retailers offer deals for new students:

Formal dress: student gowns are not worn for dinner at Balliol, but there is a served dinner in Hall each Tuesday during term, and there are other occasions when you will wish to dress smartly (for men, a suit, or at minimum a jacket and tie). The first such occasion is Freshers’ Dinner, which you are expected to attend: the Graduate Freshers’ Dinner is in Hall on Friday 6 October 2017, the Undergraduate Freshers’ Dinner is in Hall on Wednesday 4 October 2017 (see the Freshers’ Week timetables).

Fire safety

Please read the fire instructions posted in each room. See also this video on fire safety for Oxford students.

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