Following lobbying by Oxford SU, the University of Oxford has today announced that a purpose-built marquee has been set up in University Parks to safely host outdoor student events this term and into the Long Vacation, regardless of the weather.
The marquee is open for students to book for social events through their department or division via Estates Services and will be available until early July. The marquee will also be used by departments to organise social events for students, especially postgraduate students, an area highlighted as particularly important by students to Oxford SU.
The marquee will be open-sided and accessible and will have toilets nearby. The marquee will have a capacity for 30 students and will be free to book for student groups. Student event organisers can bring their own food and drink or pay to have it provided by the University catering company.
The marquee plans are the latest part of the Love Oxford campaign delivered in partnership with Oxford SU and the University. Love Oxford provides a hub for events organised across the collegiate University including by students, as well as in the community.
Oxford SU have delivered several projects throughout the year to support student groups. Oxford SU’s Virtual Freshers Fair in October 2020 had over 8000 attendees and hundreds of clubs and societies across Oxford got the chance to showcase their activities to new and returning students.
The Student Union have also delivered regularly updated, on-demand training on how to plan student events in a covid world and live workshops throughout the year on event planning and boosting social media presence.
Ben Farmer, VP Charities and Community at Oxford SU said: ‘Throughout our planning for this year we've highlighted the importance of spaces for students to run events and socialise and we’re pleased the University have recognised this in providing the marquee. We’d like to thank staff across the University especially in Estates Services for helping to make it all happen.’
‘We know student clubs and societies have had a tough time over the past year and we’re committed to working with the collegiate University to ensure student-led groups get the support they need. We’ll continue to represent students on these issues on key committees like the Student Experience group to ensure students get the best possible support.’
Dr Jane Sherwood, Chair of the Student Experience Group and Director of the University Language Centre said: ‘The Student Experience Group, Parks, Estates, and the Van Houten Fund are delighted to offer a serviced Marquee in the Parks for departments to use this term. It’s one of a range of initiatives, such as Love Oxford, which the Student Experience Group is supporting to help strengthen student communities after this disjointed pandemic year.’
If you are a student group committee member who would like support can contact Oxford SU’s student engagement team on firstname.lastname@example.org