But they all contribute to the university’s unique atmosphere and make for some great anecdotes for anyone who’s fortunate enough to encounter them. The Board of Directors, maintains the sole right to Charter and revoke the Charter of individual Oxford Houses and exercises authority over the policies and officers of Oxford House, Inc.
Dancers hold on to colourful ribbons which are attached the the top of a large pole and dance in patterns, often to live music played by the village band. That’s not the only interesting thing that happens at Lincoln College on Ascension Day, though. Primary school children descend on Lincoln’s main quad and pick up pennies thrown from the tower above. One assumes that the tradition in its present form is more health and safety conscious than it was in times gone by, when the coins thrown were red hot to warn children of the perils of greed. Oxford University surely has more quaint traditions per square mile than any other university. Propagation, or spreading the word, of the Oxford House concept is given the highest priority by the members of Oxford House.
The Purpose and Structure of Oxford House
A major part of the Oxford House philosophy is that dependency is best overcome through an acceptance of responsibility. In Oxford House, each member equally shares the responsibility for the running of the House and upholding the Oxford House tradition. All aspects of Oxford House operations, from the acquisition of the house to the acceptance or dismissal of members, is carried out under democratic procedures.
- After the ceremony, there will be individual and year group photographs taken back at college for you to give to your proud parents, so that they can show off your achievements to their friends.
- Oxford’s most mysterious college is All Souls’, which is closed to undergraduates and reserved exclusively for the crème de la crème of the Oxford University community (its members are all Fellows).
- Oxford House is built on the premise of expanding in order to meet the needs of recovering alcoholics and drug addicts.
- Within an Oxford House group, it is not unusual to find some members who have problems which cannot be dealt with by the group.
- In carrying out its mission the Council always keeps a focus on expansion of the network of individual Oxford Houses, to provide all recovering alcoholics and drug addictions the opportunity to develop comfortable sobriety without relapse.
Third, an Oxford House must, in essence be a good member of the community by obeying the laws and paying its bills. Nearly all members of Oxford House utilize the AA and/or NA program in order to obtain and keep a comfortable sobriety. However, an Oxford House relies primarily upon example for assuring a high percentage of AA and/or NA attendance from its members.
DePaul University Research on Oxford House
This was the purpose of the first Oxford House established in 1975, and this purpose is served, day by day, house after house, in each of over 1,200 houses in the United States today. While no one is ever asked to leave an Oxford House without cause, some individuals will simply outgrow living in an Oxford House. They will return what is an oxford house to their families; they may start new families; they may simply move into another living situation. The opportunity for a house to democratically function requires periodic meetings within the house — at least once a week. Such meetings should be used to resolve any operational or personality problems facing the house.
Some are able to keep from drinking in spite of the loneliness with which they were faced. The alcoholic or drug addict alone begins to compare himself to those members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous who still have family and friends. Loneliness and self-pity soon lead such individuals back to alcoholic drinking or drug use. With Oxford House there is no need for a recovering individual to live in an environment dominated by loneliness.
It is at these meetings that checks are written for bills and residents are made aware of where they stand financially. The concept and the standardized, democratic, self-supported Oxford House system of operations itself are far more persuasive than any individual. Within an Oxford House group, it is not unusual to find some members who have problems which cannot be dealt with by the group. In those situations, it is not uncommon for the Oxford House members, at a meeting, to strongly suggest that a fellow member seek professional help. In those situations where a member’s behavior is disruptive to the group as a whole, the member may be required to seek such professional help or more self-help meetings in order to avoid being dismissed from Oxford House. It is inconsistent with the Oxford House system of democratic rule to have a professional manager of Oxford House.
By running Oxford House on a democratic basis, members of Oxford House become able to accept the authority of the group because the group is a peer group. Each member has an equal voice in the group and each has an opportunity to relearn responsibility and to accept decisions once they are made. The number of residents in a House may range from six to fifteen; there are houses for men, houses for women, and houses which accept women with children. And thrive in such diverse communities as Hawaii, Washington State, Canada and Australia; but they all abide by the basic criteria. Several Oxford colleges and two churches (St Michael at the North Gate and the University Church) are involved in an ancient tradition known as Beating the Bounds. This involves a group of parishioners from the two churches marking their parish boundaries by hitting boundary marker stones with willow sticks, shouting “Mark, Mark, Mark”.
They also paint their faces black, which some people don’t like very much, as they say it is racist. However, the dancers say it’s simply a type of mask and is not intended to represent a race. The tradition certainly comes from our pre-Christian heritage but has been a big part of the celebrations at Easter times for centuries.
Chapters are important links in the effective democratic system of operation guiding Oxford House as a whole. They are one way to solve the problem of keeping combined groups of houses small enough to permit each house to share its experiences, strengths and hopes with other houses. This manual describes how chapters work and are organized to strengthen the world network of Oxford Houses. The reason that each Oxford House is independent arises from the very practical consideration that those who are closest to a situation are best able to manage it. If an Oxford House follows the democratic principles and traditions of Oxford House, Inc., it should have no difficulty in running smoothly. Those democratic principles will also enable the members of a particular Oxford House to take pride in their new found responsibility.
At 9.05pm every night, the bell is struck 101 times, and then doesn’t ring again until 8am the following morning. This practice dates from the college’s founding in 1546, and each toll of the bell represents one of the college’s original 101 students. It was meant to alert them to the fact that the college gates were closing, so they had to hurry back. Equal Expense Shared (EES) is generally between 80 and 160 dollars a week and includes utilities. Weekly business meetings are mandatory to discuss any issues that the house may be facing.
- Later, some of us were to move into half-way houses which provided shelter, food, and supervision.
- With Oxford House there is no need for a recovering individual to live in an environment dominated by loneliness.
- There are Morris dancers as well, not to mention other musical entertainment, and many of the students will attend in white tie having stayed up all night partying at a college ball held the night before.
- The dance troupes are traditionally all-male, but there are now also female groups too.
Failure to adhere to any of these three requirements would bring the entire Oxford House concept into question. Therefore, it is important that each Oxford House meet these minimum responsibilities in order for its charter to be continued. All Oxford Houses have been careful to avoid undo dependence on government or other outside funds. In deference to that tradition, Oxford House has never sought nor obtained sponsorship from any AA or NA group. Oxford House members value the Sixth Tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous (and Narcotics Anonymous) too greatly for themselves to try to get either movement deeply involved in the organizing, financing, or sponsorship of any Oxford House.