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College Amenities


Valentine Common Room (VCR)

This large room was built in 1995 and named in honour of the late Dr Jim Valentine, a Fellow of the College and former University Chancellor and College Council Member.

The VCR allows Members to relax individually and meet with others. It also houses a Canteen - run by the Student Exec - the daily newspaper, and a piano.

This is a multi-purpose room and Members are asked to respect this accordingly. For instance, if a Member is playing the piano in the room, other Members are welcome to use the room at the same time provided that courtesy, consideration for others, and common sense prevail. Members are permitted to use the AV facilities in the VCR for watching movies, sport, etc., provided that noise is kept to a reasonable level.

Guests in the VCR

Guests may accompany Members in the VCR. Members must be present with their guests at all times and mindful of their host responsibilities.

Games Room

The Games Room is adjacent to the VCR and contains a table tennis table and a pool table. Please pick up pool cues, table tennis bats and balls, etc. when you are finished. Any breakages/damage should be reported to the Exec Sports Rep.

Guests in the Games Room

Guests may accompany Members in the Games Room and use the equipment. Members must be present with their guests at all times and mindful of their host responsibilities.

TV Room

The College pays for Sky television on the wide screen TV in this room. Because people live near both these television room, we ask that doors be kept closed and that noise in the room not be heard outside. There is a booking chart in the room if groups would like to book it to watch a movie, sport, etc. The room is not to be used for playing computer games but may be used for watching videos from a laptop.

The TV is not to be taken into the Common Room without the explicit permission of the Head of College or the College Leader on duty.

Guests in the TV Room

Guests may accompany Members in the TV Room. Members must be present with their guests at all times and mindful of their host responsibilities.

The Atrium

This facility is available for coffee, tea and hot chocolate (most popular!) from 9:30 am to 11.00 pm each day. Members are asked to keep the Atrium tidy. Left-over baking from lunch will be placed in the Atrium. In the evenings, College Leaders may book the room for a floor function. The Atrium may also be used for other external functions from time to time.

Guests in the Atrium

Guests may accompany Members in the Atrium. Members must be present with their guests at all times and mindful of their host responsibilities.

No food, crockery, or cutlery may be taken from the Atrium.

However, Members are welcome to use their own mugs for a drink from the machine.

Tea and Toast

A few evenings a week, hot drinks and toast with an assortment of spreads are provided for supper in the Atrium. This is a Members-only event. First-year Members are rostered by the Exec to tidy up afterwards.

Toast or other food must be consumed in the Atrium and not taken to rooms.

Fellows and Seniors Common Room (FSCR)

The Fellows and Seniors Common Room is in the Thorpe House and available for Members in their third year and beyond of study. This room is available for purposes such as studying, a quiet read, having a chat with friends or a coffee. The room is equipped with a coffee machine, and fridge.

When using the Room, Members are asked to:

  • Keep it clean and tidy, including cleaning the coffee machine milk frother after use

  • Be mindful of noise levels (Thorpe House also has bedrooms)

  • Be respectful of others who may be using the room at the same time respect a “Meeting in progress” sign if it is on the door

Guests in the FSCR

Guests may accompany Members in the FSCR, however must be present with their guests at all times and mindful of their host responsibilities.

Tennis Court

The College has a tennis court for Members to enjoy. It also doubles as a basketball or netball court or backyard cricket ground.


Tucked between the College’s buildings is a protected Courtyard with seating, benches and a fountain. It is a pleasant place to sit and relax in after a busy day. On arrival day in February, the Courtyard is used for our welcoming BBQ for Members and their families.

Study Facilities

The study facilities are quiet areas for the exclusive use of College Members. All Members should have equal opportunity to enjoy these facilities, so any books or other personal material will be removed if left in study rooms. The study facilities are for Members only and not for others doing group projects

While light snacks and water bottles (with lids) are allowed in the various study facilities listed below, Members are asked not to take other food and drink into the rooms. Mobile phones may not be used in the rooms.


The Library has a growing collection of donated books, mainly for recreational reading, but some will help with courses. With its gracious environment, Members find that the Library is a facility that allows an alternative study area from their room.

Occasionally the Library is used for official functions, but it is normally available for use by Members. The library is open 7:00 am - 11:00 pm.

Multi-purpose Room (opposite the Library)

This facility was formerly known as the small TV room but is now a multi-purpose room. It can be used for study purposes, reading (there are fiction books in the room), relaxing, mentor group meetings, watching TV (it is equipped with a small TV and a DVD player), etc. It operates on a first-in-first-served basis and Members are requested to be considerate of how others in the room are using it at the time. The room can be booked for group use on the booking chart in the room. Use of the room beyond 11:00 pm is discouraged.

Study Centre

The Study Centre can seat up to 90 people and can be divided into two smaller rooms when necessary. It is equipped with a state of the art interactive projector, computer, whiteboards and piano, and is used for evening tutorials organised. With the permission of the Head of College, it may be used for other academic events during the day.

When not in use for functions, organised tutorials or classes it is often used for private study. With the approval and presence of the College Leaders, floor groups may use the Study Centre (including the data projector) for some events. The Study Centre is open 7:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Tutorial Rooms

These are used for tutorials and for private and group study at other times. These are on the ground floor of Thorpe House and on the ground floor of the Main Building near the small northern staircase to B floor. Both rooms are open 7:00 am - 11:00 pm.

Academic Common Room

This is reserved for College academic meetings during the day but may be available for tutorials from time to time. The room is usually made available for study during exam times.

Guests Privileges

For the avoidance of doubt, please see the following table to check whether guests are permitted in a particular room or area when accompanied by a Member at all times.

Room Guests permitted
Academic Common Room
  Daytime & evenings
  Tea & Toast
Games Room
Fellows and Seniors Common Room
Multi-purpose Room
Tennis Court
Tutorial Rooms (Small & Thorpe)
Study Centre
TV Room
Valentine Common Room


The College provides excellent IT facilities including a wireless network covering all residential floors and scanning & printing (colour and black and white). While most if not all Members will have their own laptops, the College does have two computers for general use.


Internet access is provided to primarily support coursework, however a reasonable level of non-course related access is permitted.

You should be aware that all usage is subject to monitoring, and connection metadata is logged. You must not access illegal material or download copyrighted works, nor engage in online bullying, harassment, abuse, or other illegal behaviour.

Bandwidth is shared amongst all users so please confine any large downloads to off-peak hours. Bandwidth throttling may be used to prevent heavy users having an undue effect on other users.


WiFi is available throughout the College. Instructions will be provided at the beginning of the year to assist Members in configuring their devices to access the student network. Members are also able to wirelessly print to the two College multifunction printers. We have done our best to ensure that there is coverage in every room, however signal strength may vary. You should advise the Business & IT Manager if the reception in your room is particularly poor - this aids in the planning of future access point installations.

Ethernet Connections

Rooms on a number of floors have ethernet (wired) network ports, which Members may use to connect to the College network and internet. Cables may be borrowed from the Business & IT Manager.

Please note that some devices require an adapter, which the Member must have first purchased from most electronics retailers.


Two computers are available for Members’ use in the Clyde Wing. They run Windows 10 and Microsoft Office. An Apple Mac is located in the Music Room, and has a midi keyboard and Sibelius music software installed, as well as ProLogic and Final Cut Pro for media creation.

College computers are available for St Margaret's Members only to help with coursework. No additional software may be added to these computers without the Business & IT Manager’s prior approval. At regular intervals, these computers are cleared of non-College material.

All material on the College computers or material accessed through the St Margaret’s network must conform to good taste and be in line with the ethical standards of the College and University.

As the computers are adjacent to a residential floor, the location is designated as a quiet area at all times to assist peoples’ concentration. This may mean wearing headphones when appropriate.

Please also note the following regarding the use of the computers:

  • Refrain from consuming food and drink while using them
  • Guests may not use the computers
  • Do not unplug the computers network or power cords
  • Please do not play computer games on them
  • Illegal/unethical behaviour is not permitted

Copying, Printing, and Scanning

Each Member of College is allocated $10.00 of printing credit at the beginning of the year. After this initial credit is used, Members may purchase more online. The minimum top-up is $5.00, and then in $5.00 increments. Please note that print credit is non-refundable, but may be transferred to other Members.

Copying is charged at the same rates as printing, while scanning is free of charge.


While Members may store material on the College file servers, the College intends that the material stored be of an academic nature and directly course related. The College reserves the right to examine any Member’s folder or to ask University officials to examine any Member’s folder if concerns are raised. The ITS system remains the property of St Margaret’s College, and while IT Staff take every care to respect individual privacy, the College reserves the right to remove Members files from the server if the need arises. At the end of the academic year all stored material is removed from the servers.

Cyber Safety

Members are expected to comply with University of Otago guidelines regarding internet and communications usage as outlined in the Information and Communications Technology Regulations available on the University of Otago website.

Members are also required to comply with the University’s Student Code of Conduct which states that students have the right to be safe and free from harm or intimidation in their interactions with others, including interactions via electronic media.


The Laundry has washing machines and tumble dryers for the use of Members only. There is an outside washing line for hanging clothes. No clothing is to be hung on sprinkler pipes and near sprinkler heads as this is a fire safety violation and will be treated as such. Please do not use the balconies or windows to dry clothes. Please use room radiators only for drying semi-dry clothing as water dripping on bedroom floors causes damage. Members are advised that underwire bras and other delicate items should be washed in laundry bags. Shoes damage the driers and get ruined themselves.

Please do not use the bathroom basins for soaking, washing or dyeing clothes.

Cars, Bicycles, Motorcycles, and Scooters

Car Parks

Please note that the College does not provide nor hire any car parks for use by Members. On-street car parking is available in Clyde Street or Leith Street outside the University gates. Please note that the College’s front and rear driveways, the front of College service parks, and the College car parks on Clyde Street are tow-away areas. On short visits, Members may apply to the Administrator or Conference Manager for temporary permission to park on College grounds.


A bike storage area is provided under Clyde House, and your key tag can be validated to open this. Please ensure your bike is also adequately locked, as the College does not take responsibility for security of bikes.

Members with access to the bike shed are permitted to use the Clyde Wing back door (end of CA floor) and courtyard gate between 7 am and 9 pm, however these must only be used to access and return from the bike shed. These door may not be used for general comings and goings, and no other members or guests may enter or exit the College via these doors.

Bikes can be parked for short times during the day along the rail at the front of the building but should not be left there overnight. Bikes cannot be parked on the front veranda or main entrance pathway and steps, and cannot be brought inside the building. Expensive bikes should be left at home. Please do not cycle on the College lawn.

Our bike shed has limited storage space, so please only bring a bike if you are sure that you will often use it. The College is conveniently situated on the University campus and a few minutes’ walk from the shops in the CBD. Most bikes just gather dust.

Motorcycles and Scooters

As parking onsite is very limited, motorcycles and scooters are not encouraged. The College cannot guarantee a parking place for them.

Neuron scooters should not be left within the College grounds. E-bikes and scooters must not be charged within the College.