Residential Commons in Oxford

Eight SMU undergraduates and four faculty and staff members are exploring the birthplace of residential colleges: Oxford, England. With stops in London, Cambridge, and Bath, this group of residential leaders are searching to answer the question, “What is the culture of a true residential college system?” The students, faculty and staff hope to bring back ideas and traditions to enhance SMU’s new Residential Commons system.

Back to the future

An update from Residential Community Director Krystal K. Jones and Residential Life Assistant Director for Training & Development Eleanor Luna: As our group flies home to Dallas and traverses several time zones, there's that eerie feeling of time travel. When we land tonight, we will relive the evening we've just experienced in England, but then the sense that one has traveled back in time has become all too familiar over these past few days. Our group has now spent a total of 10 days in London, Cambridge, Oxford and Bath. Many of us were reminded just how relatively young our nation, city, and university are, and we sometimes asked ourselves if these ancient customs would translate to SMU. In fact, [...]

2014-08-08T15:20:11+00:00 August 8th, 2014|Residential Commons in Oxford|

Creating a feeling of ‘home’ in the Commons

RCLCs at Brasenose An update from Olivia, a sophomore majoring in finance and education, and a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps in Morrison McGinnis Commons: The Brasenose dining hall As our trip to Oxford came to a close, we took one last trip through town to visit Brasenose College. Founded originally as simply lodging for students, Brasenose was smaller than many of the other colleges we saw throughout the trip, yet still boasted all the necessities for students, including a library, main quad, fellows garden, chapel and dining hall. The variation in size was interesting to see since the size of the Residential Commons community at SMU will vary slightly. Even though the grounds [...]

2014-08-06T14:00:11+00:00 August 6th, 2014|Residential Commons in Oxford|

From University College to ‘British Bop’

Tour guide Owen and the Residential Commons Leadership Corps outside the library at Univ College An update from Kaleb, a sophomore majoring in accounting and advertising-creative, and a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps in Ware Commons: Today in Oxford we had an extremely busy day! We had a tour of Univ College, Exeter College, a High Table Lecture and Dinner as well as a “British Bop” in the on-campus Univ Pub, all on our agenda. We began our day with a 9:45 a.m. tour of Univ College with our tour guide Owen, who is currently studying law at Oxford and assisting with the SMU-in-Oxford program. Because we are staying at Univ College, we all knew the layout [...]

2014-08-05T11:36:29+00:00 August 5th, 2014|Residential Commons in Oxford|

Exploring Christ Church Cathedral and Trinity College

An update from Andrew, a sophomore majoring in anthropology and human rights, and a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps in Armstrong Commons: Following a spectacular celebration at Highclere Castle last night, the RCLC began our 6th day of research in Oxford this morning. After breakfast, I was one of several RCLC members to attend a service at Christ Church Cathedral. The Cathedral is thoughtfully situated amongst the picturesque landscape of Christ Church College, one of the largest colleges at Oxford University. Founded in 1546, Christ Church College boasts a rich history of distinguished alums, including Robert Hooke, John Locke, and John Wesley. The college has also produced 13 British Prime Ministers, which is more than any other college [...]

2014-08-04T16:49:07+00:00 August 3rd, 2014|Residential Commons in Oxford|

Pomp and Circumstance

An update from Olivia, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering and a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps in Boaz Commons: Today was a full day of both learning and entertainment! I consider today the most fruitful in my small group's quest to understand the student governance and leadership system of the various Oxford colleges. In this morning's "Dig Session," the Univ porter gave us a booklet on the current day-to-day information a prospective student would be interested in. Upon reading it, we found mentions of a 'JCR' and 'Peer Support Panel,' which spurred further research on the terms. Many Oxford colleges like Univ, Trinity and Somerville have similar leadership systems. The JCR, Junior Common Room, is similar to [...]

2014-08-04T15:40:32+00:00 August 2nd, 2014|Residential Commons in Oxford|

Learning beyond the classroom: Stonehenge and Bath

An update from Alexis, a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering and a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps: Today we traveled for many hours to visit two very historical places in England. First, we went to the town of Bath. Our first stop in Bath was to the Royal Crest, where many of the wealthy English royalty used to stay and vacation, and it is now home to the most expensive hotel in all of England. After spending some time soaking in the Royal Crest we traveled to the ancient Roman ruins of Bath. While in the ruins we had an audio tour and learned about the architecture of the ruins, the people who built the ruins, and about [...]

2014-08-04T14:09:07+00:00 August 2nd, 2014|Residential Commons in Oxford|

Day 4: Less cobblestone and more academia

An update from Samiat, a sophomore majoring in business management and a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps in Ware Commons: Today we took a ride to Oxford's competitor, Cambridge. While there we were fortunate enough to learn about Cambridge's King's College and Chapel. There was high emphasis on the chapel. We were also able to view the art of punting and hear the sounds of England's next hit sensation in the voices of local street performers. Our tour guide, a true scholar and British figure, informed us of Cambridge's academic system. The history of the college dates back centuries. However, Oxford has pride in that it was established almost a half a century before Cambridge. By 1209 students began to [...]

2014-08-01T11:21:03+00:00 August 1st, 2014|Residential Commons in Oxford|

Oxford: It must be experienced for oneself

An update from Jason, a sophomore management science major and math minor and a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps: Yesterday we arrived at Oxford, but today was the first day that we as a group were able to truly explore this historic place of learning. The morning began with a guided tour of the entire city, a tour that took us to the back streets and some of the lesser-known spots in the town. The guide explained to us how lots of the colleges were originally monasteries, which were then turned into institutions of higher learning. We are staying in University College, the oldest college at Oxford, and you can clearly see the monastic roots of Univ just [...]

2014-07-31T16:22:35+00:00 July 30th, 2014|Residential Commons in Oxford|

Views of London and Oxford

An update from Alexander, a junior majoring in finance, with a minor in computer science, and a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps: Today is not an ordinary Tuesday ... because it is our first full day in the UK. I am lucky enough to be the first RCLC blogger on this incredible trip to the United Kingdom. Our journey began Monday night as we toured London. We walked by Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the London Eye, St. Paul's Cathedral and so much more. We left for Oxford in the afternoon, and we were all excited to experience a Residential College system like none other. The three-hour bus ride and long walks were all worth it as we stumbled through the [...]

2014-07-30T10:19:52+00:00 July 29th, 2014|Residential Commons in Oxford|

Our arrival in London

Eight SMU undergraduates and four faculty and staff members are exploring the birthplace of residential colleges: Oxford, England. With stops in London, Cambridge, and Bath, this group of residential leaders are searching to answer the question, “What is the culture of a true residential college system?” The students, faculty and staff hope to bring back ideas and traditions to enhance SMU’s new Residential Commons system.

2014-07-28T09:44:00+00:00 July 28th, 2014|Residential Commons in Oxford|