Welcome to Sidney Sussex Middle Common Room!

Philipp Hirsch's Presidential Address

We are the friendly and outgoing graduate community of Sidney Sussex College and consist of all the PhD, MPhil, Part III and LLM students of the college. Together we form the Middle Common Room (MCR), the community of graduate students at Sidney Sussex. The MCR is represented and organised through its committee, a group of student volunteers who work together to promote the social life of the MCR, help new graduate students settle into Cambridge and Sidney Sussex, provide advice and welfare services and represent the needs and demands of Sidney's graduates in the College. As the President of said committee http://sidneymcr.soc.srcf.net/committee/, it is my pleasure to welcome you on our website which I hope provides some useful insights into both our college and our community.

For prospective graduates such as PhDs or Masters students who don't know Cambridge, there is often the question of what it means to be in a certain college. When I applied to Cambridge and was asked to put down a preference for one, I simply had no idea what to do. Unlike undergraduates, most of our academic life circles around academic department. But that does not mean that the college system does not matter to you during your time in Cambridge. Your college will provide a parallel community and important social space where you can meet other students, participate in regular social events organised by both the MCR and college, join a sports society and make use of study spaces and other facilities. You will study at Cambridge but your social life will likely circle around college.

When you arrive at Sidney, the MCR will welcome you with our Fresher's week, during which there will be lots of fun events and informative sessions designed for you to get to know your fellow students and settle into life in Cambridge. Throughout the year the Committee organises events such as regular Formal Halls. These are 'formal' dinners in College hall which are often themed and always hugely popular. We also promote interaction with other colleges by organising swaps with their formal halls. If you are looking for quieter outlets from your study, you can take part at relaxed yoga sessions we run in college or informal brunches. We also run academic events such as graduate dinners where you get a change to engage with Sidney's scholars and fellows. In summer, we organise our well-known garden party, a highlight to end the year after exams have been written and theses compiled. Moreover, you can always make use of our MCR complex, a large room for the exclusive use of Sidney graduates, to relax, study or socialise. Opened in 2011, it is equipped with sofas, works spaces, a TV with Wii and PS3 and a separate kitchen space.

Sidney itself is in the heart of Cambridge, directly opposite Sainsbury's and you can't help becoming immersed in the bustling student atmosphere of the city. However, within the college walls you'll find a remarkably peaceful space, where you can explore the stunning gardens, get down to some serious study, eat in the beautiful dining hall or simply hang out with friends. The College itself has a well-stocked library and computer suite, squash court, top-notch gym, a great student-run bar, several music practice rooms and access to some of the best outdoor sports facilities in Cambridge. There are also funding opportunities for field trips or conference visits and the prestigious Fox Fellowship, which offers a fully funded year of study at Yale, is run out of Sidney.

Personally, I know that I made the best choice opting for Sidney when I applied to Cambridge. In all my time here, I have greatly profited from the positive atmosphere reverberating through college, the open and friendly attitude of the MCR community and the many events run for it throughout the year. As the MCR committee, it is our duty to make sure you get the best experience at Sidney. So, whether you are a prospective or current student, do not hesitate to drop us a message. Our e-mail addresses are on the committee website http://sidneymcr.soc.srcf.net/committee/. If you are still in the process of applying to Cambridge, Sidney is a great choice of college! Also, apply to join, 'like' and follow our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/142424815783055/ for updates on what is happening in the MCR.

If you haven't already settled on Sidney, then you surely should be convinced to apply now! So go ahead, put Sidney as your first preference; and 'Like' the Facebook page for updates on what is happening in the MCR.

If you've already signed up to Sidney...

Congratulations on making the correct decision! 'Like' the Facebook page, and have a browse through the website. We look forward to welcoming you to Sidney!

If you have any more questions, join our Facebook group, or simply contact me or the committee team directly.

Philipp Hirsch, MCR President