Welfare & Equality

4.1 College Resources and People
4.2 University Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service (SHVSS)
4.3 University Counselling Service
4.4 Equality

Very few things remain stable and unchanged for very long and university life is no exception. You will inevitably experience struggles of one kind or another, whether they are study-related or personal, but you do not have to struggle on your own. 

We have a dedicated welfare team to support all aspects of your health and wellbeing whilst you are studying here to help you reach your academic potential, navigate any problems you encounter in the most helpful ways and make the most of your time here at Oxford.  

Maintaining good mental health is just as important as maintaining good physical health and our aim is therefore to take a holistic approach to support your wellness and development. By the time you graduate, you will not only be equipped to embark on a fulfilling career but to also lead meaningful lives as better humans in a changing global landscape. 

4.1 College Resources and People

Our Welfare Team comprises of the Welfare Dean, the Senior Tutor, the Sub-Dean, the Disability Coordinator and Lead, Harassment Advisors and Peer Supporters. The welfare team will work proactively and collaboratively with representatives from the graduate body, academic staff, university-wide services and community services to support our students. Further information about the college’s welfare support can be found on https://reuben.ox.ac.uk/health-wellness-and-welfare

Welfare Dean 
Kirren Mahmood, Welfare.dean@reuben.ox.ac.uk  

The Welfare Dean serves as the first point of contact for students dealing with any issues related to welfare or wellbeing and support is tailored to the specific needs of each student.  

This includes: 

  • Just being a friendly face and having an informal chat when you need it 
  • Offering a reflective space and actively listening to your problems 
  • Developing a shared understanding of the presenting problem/s with the student 
  • Psychoeducation and raising awareness of other significant issues including remits/criteria for relevant services  
  • Sharing self-help resources and information  
  • Supported signposting (directing our students to the most relevant services/ professionals for their needs) 
  • Offering preliminary evidence-based interventions for mild to moderate difficulties such as low mood, anxiety, stress and feeling overwhelmed  

Kirren will be available for confidential drop-in sessions and pre-scheduled appointments. If you ever feel distressed; struggle with your mental health or any personal problem; experience relationship/ family issues; substance misuse; or you are just worried about your work, please do not hesitate to contact her.  

Kirren is also one of the College's Harassment Advisors and oversees the student Peer Supporters (trained by the University Counselling Service).  

Senior Tutor & College Disability Lead 
Dr Caroline Mawson, senior.tutor@reuben.ox.ac.uk  

Caroline is responsible for the academic administration of the College and oversees the Academic Office. She is concerned with students’ progress, and assisting with any problems related to your studies and work. She has a welfare responsibility for students in conjunction with that of subject advisors and the other members of the welfare team.  

If you have any concerns regarding your academic progress, working relationship with advisors, or your department, please contact Caroline.  

Academic Administrator & Disability Coordinator  
Leema Chapman, academic.administrator@reuben.ox.ac.uk  

Along with the Senior Tutor, the Disability Coordinator is responsible for advising students about provision and support available for a wide range of disabilities - seen or unseen. She can help you with any reasonable adjustments you may require to have the full experience of what this college and University has to offer.  

This may include: 

  • A sensory or mobility impairment 
  • A long-term illness or physical/mental health condition 
  • A specific learning difficulty (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD 
  • A social or communication difficulty such as autism spectrum condition 

Leema and Caroline may liaise with linked staff members from the University Disability Advisory Service (Annabelle Jackson and Pauline Graham) who are specialist advisors for information and advice on disability issues. They can help facilitate further assessment and support if required to help you study well and access all aspects of your education and college life. For further information, please refer to the college Disability Resources and Advice webpage.   

They also manage exam support for students.  

If you have a disability (a long-term physical or mental health condition that affects your ability to carry out day-to-day activities), or think you may have one, you are welcome to consult the Senior Tutor or Disability Coordinator confidentially in the first instance. The University has a wide range of resources to help colleges create an accessible and inclusive learning environment for students with disabilities, and here at Reuben we aim to remove or reduce any barriers to learning.  

Dennis Mazingi, dennis.mazingi@reuben.ox.ac.uk  

The Sub-Dean forms a core part of the College’s welfare and pastoral support, assisting the Dean(s), Welfare Dean, and college staff in create a welcoming, safe and supportive environment for our College community. 

The Sub Dean works closely with the Welfare Dean, Senior Tutor and Graduate Common Room (GCR) Welfare Officers to channel welfare issues to the wide range of pastoral care resources at the College and wider University as appropriate. In addition, the Sub Dean will monitor any large student-led events hosted in the College or in college accommodation (Farndon court), and in conjunction with Linacre, shared Reuben-Linacre events. 

The Sub-Dean is based on the main college site in Farndon Court, and when on duty, they will be available to our students out of hours, for help or advice on any pastoral or welfare issue. Students will be able to contact the Sub-Dean or the on-call member of staff via Linacre Reception on +44 (0)1865 271 650 for urgent issues that arise out of hours.  

College GP  
For information about NHS healthcare for students please visit this webpage, and see also the ‘Medical Care’ section below. 

Peer Supporters 
Sometimes students might not wish to take their problems to a member of staff. Evidence has shown that students are more likely to approach a peer for support than a more senior member of staff in the first instance. If you start feeling homesick or isolated, you struggle to settle in, or you have any concerns about any aspect of college life, you might find it easier to approach a Peer Supporter to begin with.  

Peer Supporters are students who have received intensive training and regular supervision by the University Counselling Service to help other students think through issues and provide emotional support in a safe and confidential manner. To find out more about who they are please visit this page, or email peer.support@reuben.ox.ac.uk.  

Some of our Peer Supporters will get elected by the GCR committee and take on a more visible and active role as student Welfare Officers.  Find further information about the Peer Support Training here. 

College Advisers 
Each student is allocated to a senior member of the College (see 7.1), who acts as their College Adviser. The aim is to establish a more personal relationship between individual students and a senior academic member of staff, from whom, should the need arise, the student can seek advice on personal or academic matters. Your College Adviser will be able to direct you to relevant sources of advice and support, to consult with as necessary.  

Harassment Advisors (Bullying & Harassment)  
Neither the university nor college tolerate bullying, harassment or victimisation in any form. All members of the College are expected to treat each other fairly and with respect, courtesy and consideration. 

If you feel that you have recently experienced any bullying or harassment, there are several people who are available to help and advise. They can clarify the options open to you, assist you in resolving the matter informally where possible, and support you throughout the resolution of your concerns. Information will be held in confidence, except in cases where there is an unacceptable risk to a member of staff, student or to the University. 

The College a number of Harassment Advisors for students who can offer confidential advice, including: 

For a full list see here:  Harassment and Sexual Violence | Reuben College (ox.ac.uk) 

Students can also contact the University's harassment line on 01865 270760 or harassment.line@admin.ox.ac.uk. 

For further information about the university’s response to bullying and harassment, including the Harassment Advisor Network please visit this page.  

For information re help and advice available to students for dealing with harassment and conflict please visit this page.  

The University's full policy and procedure on harassment can be found at: University Policy & Procedure on Harassment and there is also a helpful one-page flow-chart to guide students who are experiencing harassment. 

4.2 University Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service (SHVSS)

The SHVSS provides a safe space for all Oxford students to be heard, offering free support and advice to any student who has been impacted by sexual harassment and/or violence. All specialist advisors at the service are trained to support you at your pace, free of charge and in confidence.  

Find further information about the service here. 

The university has appointed an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) called Morgan Bull who provides emotional and practical support and advice to any student who has experienced sexual violence, recently or in the past.  

Students can self-refer to the ISVA using the following referral form https://www.dpmscloud.com/external/referralformselfosarcc or email oxforduniisva@osarcc.org.uk for further advice.  

For further information about the ISVA please visit this page. 


4.3 University Counselling Service

It is often possible to resolve personal or emotional problems that are getting in the way of having a good experience at Oxford and realizing your full academic and personal potential with help from the Senior Tutor, Welfare Dean, or the College Doctor.  

However, if you need to speak to a professional counsellor or therapist, the University has an excellent counselling service. They offer individual counselling, workshops or short courses, group counselling, self-help resources and podcasts to help you gain understanding and insight into any difficulties you may be experiencing, to develop emotional resilience and put into effect real change, enabling you to fulfil your academic and personal potential.  

OUCS offer free and confidential support, but they are not an emergency service.  Appointments can be made by telephone (2)70300, by email to counselling@admin.ox.ac.uk, or by a personal visit to their offices at 3 Worcester Street. You will find details of the service here. 

Reuben College has a link with a representative from the University Counselling Service who offers regular supervision to our welfare team, and guides them with their welfare strategy.  

4.4 Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

Reuben College recognizes the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion in advancing intellectual endeavors. As a new college, we are building a community who strive to practice with diversity and inclusion at the heart of all our activites. We are embedding and advancing equal rights as we build our college community and tackle the big challenges in our academic research. This gives our students both the opportunity and the shared responsibility to shape the culture and ethos of our community.  

Through every one of its committees, events, procedures and practices, the growing community of Reuben College are creating an environment in which everyone can take advantage of the unique opportunities that living, working and studying in Oxford can bring, whatever their background. We hope that, as our community grows, all members continue to work towards reducing disparities and ensuring equitable opportunities for all, without exception. 

The Graduate Common Room elects at least one Equality and Diversity representative from amongst its members, who works with the GCR Social Secretary and other officers to ensure all College events are inclusive. As part of their induction, all new students will be encouraged to participate in a variety of workshops on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.  

All College members are bound by the College’s Equality Policy and commitment to the College’s Equality Action Plan. If you have any concerns or specific queries re equality issues you are encouraged to contact our college champion for EDI Dr Katrina Charles, College Champion for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion,  on edi.champion@reuben.ox.ac.uk who can speak to you confidentially 

If your query is specifically related to Disability, please contact our College Disability Lead Caroline Mawson on senior.tutor@reuben.ox.ac.uk or the College’s Disability Coordinator, Leema Chapman, on academic.adminsitrator@reuben.ox.ac.uk (more information here: Disability resources and advice | Reuben College (ox.ac.uk))