The university’s fascinating customs – which range from the sublime to the ridiculous – are one of the aspects of this ancient seat of learning that most captivates tourists and most compels students to apply. Some date from the university’s founding many centuries ago; others are the more recent invention of imaginative undergraduates. 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.

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They will return to their families; they may start new families; they may simply move into another living situation. TRADITION SEVEN
Oxford House should remain forever non-professional, although individual members may be encouraged to utilize outside professionals whenever such utilization is likely to enhance recovery from alcoholism. TRADITION SIX
Each Oxford House should be financially self-supporting although financially secure houses may, with approval or encouragement of Oxford House, Inc., provide new or financially needy houses a loan for a term not to exceed one year. 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”.


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 Tips for Treating and Living With Essential Tremor Cleveland Clinic problems facing the 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.

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.

DePaul University Research on Oxford House

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. Held in aid of charity, Corpus Christi’s Tortoise Fair is one of the lovelier eccentricities at Oxford and has at its heart the Tortoise Race, in which tortoises from various colleges race to get to the edge of a ring of lettuce.

oxford house traditions

“An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest Problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.” Every Oxford House member attributes his sobriety to Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Narcotics Anonymous. TRADITION FIVE
Each Oxford House should be autonomous except in matters affecting other houses or Oxford House, Inc., as a whole. The Board of Directors maintains the sole right to Charter, and to revoke the Charter of, individual Oxford Houses and exercises authority over the policies and officers of Oxford House, Inc. In this way, Oxford House, Inc. remains responsive to the needs of the population it serves.

Oxford House Traditions

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. As a general rule formal AA or NA meetings are not held in an Oxford House member who has maintained comfortable sobriety in an Oxford House makes it a practice to attend a lot of AA and/or NA meetings on a regular basis. The charter of each Oxford House requires that an Oxford House meet certain minimum requirements of Oxford House, Inc. First of all, no Oxford House may permit individuals to remain as members if those individuals are drinking or using drugs. Third, an Oxford House must, in essence be a good member of the community by obeying the laws and paying its bills.

With Oxford House there is no need for a recovering individual to live in an environment dominated by loneliness. There is no reason to believe that society as a whole had the responsibility to provide long-term housing within a protected environment for the alcoholic and drug addict. However, there is every reason to believe that recovering alcoholics and drug addicts can do for themselves that which society as a whole has no responsibility to do for them. Oxford House is built on the premise of expanding in order to meet the needs of recovering alcoholics and drug addicts.

Some hold Formal Hall virtually every night, while others hold it only once a week or even a few times a term. At St John’s, for example, there are two dinner sittings each night except Saturday, one “Informal Hall” and one “Formal Hall”. Gowns are worn for Formal Hall, but in most colleges it doesn’t matter what kind of clothes you wear underneath your gown; some require formalwear.