Excessive noise, especially at night, is anti-social behaviour that shows an unacceptable lack of respect for neighbours in and outside College.  Anyone subjected to disturbance of this kind is encouraged to report it at the time to the Porters Lodge (phone 01223 335846 email: porters@sel.cam.ac.uk). All such reports, which can be made anonymously, are invariably passed to the Dean, who can be expected to take disciplinary action.

6.4.1 Quiet Periods

During the two examination periods that fall in the Easter Term, there are two formal Quiet Periods during which no parties, private dinners, or other large social gatherings are permitted. No events, indoors or out, at which loud music or other amplified noise is played are allowed during either of these Quiet Periods. The same restrictions apply to external bookings. The Dean is, however, empowered to allow formally-constituted, non-sporting societies to hold small dinners during either of the Quiet Periods, provided that a Fellow is present to ensure that order is kept and to encourage timely and quiet dispersal at the end.

During the Quiet Periods musical instruments may only be played in rooms between the  hours of 1.30 pm and 5.30 pm each day. During these periods undergraduates reading for the Music Tripos and taking the performance option will have priority in booking the Music Practice Room. In cases where students need to play the Chapel Organ as part of their preparation for the performance option in Part II of the Music Tripos, the full volume of the instrument may only be used between 3.00 pm and 7.30 pm.

In the final week of Full Term, and beginning on the Saturday before the end of Full Term, the Dean may allow certain private dinners and parties to take place. These must not feature amplified music or other noise, but may be indoor or outdoor events. They will be subject to all the usual College regulations, and to any conditions imposed by the Dean. It is anticipated that they will be fewer in number per day, and of a more restrained nature, than some events that may be allowed in May Week.

The Dean must be consulted about any proposal for social events in College during either of the Quiet Periods. Guidelines for the operation of the Quiet Period can be found here

These regulations apply to all members of College. Please note that it is necessary, however, for certain routine College activities, such as lawn-mowing and unobtrusive maintenance, to continue during the two Quiet Periods.

6.4.2 Parties

If you wish to give a party or hold any other gathering in College or in a hostel at which more than ten people will be present, you must obtain the permission of the Dean at least a week beforehand and before invitations are sent out. You should first email the Dean, who may wish to see you in person in order to discuss location, duration, number of guests, music and the like. You will also need to fill in the relevant booking form, also obtainable from the Porters’ Lodge. In some cases gatherings in students’ rooms may be covered by the Statutory requirements of the Prevent Strategy.

The use of amplified music at any parties should be discussed with and approved by the Dean. It is your responsibility to consult with any neighbours, whether within or outside college, who might be expected to be disturbed by music or other noise from your party. You should also make adequate arrangements to deal with possible gatecrashers and you must not expect the Housekeeping Assistant to clear and wash up unless you make special arrangements with him or her; please don’t leave the room in a state which will cause extra work. If you do, you will be charged for the work involved. If any guests are sick at a party, the host is responsible for clearing it up, or paying the cleaning fine if that is necessary. The fine is passed on to the Housekeeping Assistant who cleans up the vomit.

Larger parties may be held in the Diamond. Small lunch or dinner parties may be held in the Borradaile Room. These rooms may be booked, with the Dean’s permission, through the Catering & Conference Office; booking forms for College rooms and the booking schedule are also kept there. Booking forms are also available from the Porters’ Lodge.

A similar procedure should be followed to book public rooms for committee or society meetings. For such functions initially email the Dean who may wish to meet with you. A booking form must, however, be submitted on every occasion.

To organize a consultation with the Dean, please email dean@sel.cam.ac.uk .

Both senior and junior members have expressed concern at the misuse of alcohol at dinners and at parties in College. Two codes of conduct have been agreed by senior and junior members:

6.4.3 Code of Conduct for Formal Dining and Sensible Alcohol Consumption

Formal dining at Selwyn is an important part of the tradition of our college.  It is an opportunity to show off the College to family, friends, and colleagues. As such, it should be a civilised, enjoyable occasion for students and their guests. It is also vital that it should be a pleasant working environment for our staff. 

Drinking alcohol is part of this tradition: in moderation, it can contribute to a formal and simultaneously relaxed, special atmosphere, unique to such College occasions.  Excessive alcohol consumption, on the other hand, often leads to anti-social, confrontational behaviour that spoils the occasion for other diners. It reduces your ability to empathise with other people, leads to rudeness and produces lack of consideration for the experience of other diners and those serving. At worst, it can put your safety, and the safety of others, at risk. 

As a community we therefore agree the following principles of mutual respect:

  • We agree to drink alcohol responsibly and in moderation.
  • We respect each other’s right to enjoy a pleasant evening in a mature and civilised environment, without having to endure boorish, offensive or harassing behaviour.
  • Likewise we respect the right of our staff to be treated with dignity in their workplace.
  • We respect the fact that others may choose not to consume alcohol or to do so only in moderation.
  • In particular, shouting or aggressive behaviour, or drinking games, toasts and other forms of behaviour that coerce others into drinking more than they genuinely wish to consume are not acceptable and are prohibited.

Dr Janet O’Sullivan (Dean)

Ted Mackey (JCR President)

Anna Lippert (MCR President)

Alcohol Policy and Guidelines

Formal Hall