College Social Life

Newnham tends to be a less insular college than many; because we are all-female, most students will develop very broad friendship groups across the University, as well as within the college itself.

We find that our students get involved in all that Cambridge has to offer, particularly in the worlds of music, sport, theatre and politics. There is also the normal range of student nightlife, and college facilities can be used for social events and parties. There are a number of student-run subject societies, as well as the student-run college bar, which also hosts events. Every other year, Newnham’s students organize a June Event, on the scale of a May Ball. The June Event in 2014 was sold out months in advance, and saw 1200 party-goers have a great time in the beautiful gardens, complete with funfair!


Many students participate in our local democracy; students are represented on all the main committees that govern the College and their views are taken seriously. Student views are normally co-ordinated by the JCR (the ‘Junior Combination Room’), who elect a President and committee each year. The JCR represents students on college committees, campaigns on student issues, hosts open meetings, runs information evenings, and encourages students to participate in Cambridge and national elections. The graduates are represented in a similar way by the MCR (the ‘Middle Combination Room’). As well as being student bodies, the JCR and MCR are also physical rooms, providing social spaces and facilities (the MCR even has a grand piano). The JCR and MCR organize all manner of events and activities, from Freshers’ Week in October (where everyone works hard to help all the new students find their feet) to post-exam celebrations in June. The JCR and MCR also provide funding for college clubs and societies, and there is always scope to found new ones.


University is about trying things you’ve never had the chance to do before. At Cambridge, you can do almost anything at almost any level, from ‘having a go’ to semi-professional. The societies are a great way to meet people and have regular social outings for members. There are more than 50 political clubs for you to debate issues that are close to your heart, three regular term-time student newspapers, and countless music and drama clubs and bands to get involved with. There are more than 700 clubs, societies and groups for you to choose from so there really is something for everyone and if you don’t find one that suits you – start one!

For a list of societies and groups within the University click here. There are, of course, also city clubs and societies, for those of you wanting to escape the ‘Cambridge bubble’.