– Hi, welcome to Balliol.
This is Holywell Manor, part of Balliol College. I’m Thomas, I’m a DPhil student in particle physics and also the MCR president. – Hi I’m Ashna, I’m a second-year
DPhil student in immunology, and Balliol’s grad community consists of around 350 students from over 40 countries. – This is the graduate bar, we keep it open so people can just come and tick off when
they want to take something, which is a really nice system,
it’s a very trusting place here. Last night in particular we had
a cocktail evening cause it was Halloween, so some of the freshers brewed
up some spooky cocktails, it was really nice event. – So this is the TV room/study space and it’s more of like a cozy room in the Manor, We like regularly host film nights, and Thomas recently acquired a VR set, – It’s a lot of fun. – Um yeah, so like gaming happens here and… That doesn’t make sense gaming- – Gaming happens yeah
– Gaming happens yeah, and er, yeah, this is the TV room. This is the way to the MCR. On these walls in the history of Balliol,
um, yeah, all these paintings. – So it starts here right then goes around like this. So I believe John de Balliol kidnapped some monks for reasons that I’m not sure why, and then this is him being flogged for it because he shouldn’t have done it. We think this is him, you can see the clothes here match the clothes that he’s wearing on the hill there. And then he gets charged for it and he has to pay lots of money to the crown, and that money is used to found the college at some point that’s over here.
– Over there People look happy there. – Yeah I think that’s because they’re
now on their way to Balliol – And then they’re studying
– And they’re studying, and the chains are for the books, not the scholars, that took me a long time to realise.
– Yeah and this is just another great study space, yeah, on the way to the MCR. So this is the MCR, which is the centre,
um, for the grad students at Balliol. – Living together with so many people here, and all being at the same college
and feeling part of the same community, it really encourages people to kind of get involved, – Like you do feel like you have family, it’s one of the reasons I applied, cause it, I knew they had an active MCR, um, and that was true not just active but just super welcoming and supportive, and there’s always people about to just chat too and that’s a great help, especially doing a PhD. – This is now the residents only part so, keep on the DL that we bought you here. – This is called the cockpit um, it’s like another social space that’s kind of less grander than the MCR so we hold a lot of game nights here, there’s a projector which you can hook up the games consoles to. – We recently had Halloween film night, few days ago. – Yes watched the original Wicker Man, it was very odd.
– Interesting… – Yeah we’ve recently redecorated
the walls as well so we, well our woman’s officer found these portraits on Etsy, err, and we did a poll around the MCR of which ones, which people
that MCR would like to see on the walls. And then we added a ninth one for the founder of Balliol, Lady Dervorguilla. So that’s why she’s like the big one, and
surrounded by the little ones – Thomas drew that
– I didn’t want to big up – – Thomas actually drew that one, and then we got it printed so creds to our president. Multi-talented.
– Harriet printed it, I drew it and sent it to her and then she got it printed off. Because funnily enough they didn’t have Lady Dervorguilla on Etsy as an option so… – Yeah bit specific.
– We felt that needed to be amended. – So this is our lovely garden. So in summer it becomes like
a really lovely social space, so we’ve got the barbecue at the
back, round the corner. Yeah Thomas lives up there,
so he overlooks the whole garden. – I mean you live over there
so you also overlook the whole garden, I can see your window from my window.
– That is true… – So all of these are student rooms or kitchens.
– Yeah – It’s really nice, so there’s a lot of rooms in the Manor you get a nice view over the garden, you
can see what’s going on. I think that contributes the whole, like, community,
family feel of the place. – And this is the main site of Balliol, as
opposed to the grad centre where we just were. Here you have another gym, there’s the
JCR bar, dining hall behind us, there’s lots of things where grads can come and use them here as well as in the Manor. – And also main site’s really not far from Holywell Manor, like a few minute walk, so yeah, really convenient. So just through there is the Balliol library, main site library, and it’s open 24/7. There’s individual desks and
also some communal ones. So the library also has like a
grad specific space which is really useful. Another shout out to the gardeners like…
– Yes The garden’s just always pristine. – They are, like in summer they’re always in full bloom. It’s like, insane.
– It’s really good. So this is the Balliol dining hall, it’s where I eat most of my dinners while I’m here. it’s just a, it’s a lovely place. You just go through, get your food and you can sit at any of the tables. It’s nice to have somewhere to come each day and eat with your friends, it kind of keeps you within the social circle and stops you getting too isolated with your work. – And there’s formal hall on Tuesdays but it’s not a super sort of, formal affair, it’s… semi… – Yeah it’s not strict formal, you can wear, whatever you want basically
– But the food’s good, really lovely, so it’s nice to have that
– Yeah our chef here’s they’re so good. – Like the MCR puts on a lovely
formal meal every term, so there’s Christmas dinner,
Burns Night dinner, and May dinner, and they’re so much fun, so the entire MCR just comes and has a great meal,
a good time in hall. Recently we celebrated 40 years of women at Balliol, and so we’ve added these portraits around the room where they got people, well,
women from Balliol who are either MCR members, JCR members, rowers, staff… and they put them into groups, took pictures and yeah it’s really nice. Ashna is in one of them – No…
– She doesn’t want me to say, so I’m gonna say now, she’s over there. – Thanks Thomas
– That’s alright.