Catz From Home

Trinity Term 2020 has certainly been a unique experience for the Catz community. The Hall is empty, the staircases are silent, the usual seasonal hubbub of students celebrating the end of their exams and the arrival of the warm weather has been hushed. With this in mind, a few of us on the JCR Committee tried to come up with an idea which would allow us to maintain Catz’s famous communal atmosphere, even in these most turbulent of times: that idea was ‘Catz From Home’.

Around a month before First Week began, we set up a Facebook group named Catz From Home, a hub for JCR members to lead or take part in online-based activities for as long as we would be unable to return to College. We had envisioned a reasonable response and some keen students setting up competitions and quizzes – but instead, we were totally blown away by the response. Within a matter of days, the new group had amassed over 300 members and the creativity and enthusiasm of the JCR was entirely unprecedented. I’d like to share just a few of the many highlights from the page over the past two months, by way of an update on how we’ve all been staying connected:

The Great Catz Bake-Off

Admittedly, it’s a bit tough to hold a bake-off when you can’t taste the entries. Nevertheless, we’ve been running a weekly baking competition judged by the Master, who has proven very capable of judging even  without being able to taste the bakes. Themes so far have ranged from ‘something traditional’ to ‘Easter’ to ‘something for Catherine’ (the Master’s new puppy and future College dog). And with entries like these, and up to 20 different cakes being submitted for each theme, it’s turned out to be a real success!

Arne Jacobsen-inspired doghouse cake by Jeremy Sontchi and Easter cake by Libby Bull


We’ve managed to enlist the help of a professional yoga instructor to take weekly sessions via Zoom with members of the JCR! Here’s one of our Charities reps, Freya Holden, getting involved – her dog seems to have some great yoga posture, too.

Freya Holden participating in the online yoga sessions

Online Arts Week

The JCR’s Arts Reps usually organise Arts Week in Third Week of Trinity, with film screenings and exhibitions taking place in the JCR. In its place came St Catz Online Arts Week, with open mic nights, quizzes, and – most fittingly of all – an art wall. Here were some of the submissions to the online gallery, by Will Allen and Anna Jackman Straw:

Above, drawing of the College Library by Will Allen and below, painting by Anna Jackman Straw. 

It has been great to have so many of the students involved with our virtual activities and events this term and to keep the Catz Community alive during lockdown. We hope we will be able to return to College in October for Michaelmas Term but in the meantime we are looking forward to keeping in touch with each other over the summer online.

Thomas McKeown, JCR President