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Sunday, 26 July 2009

Welcome to Connaught Hall

This is adapted from the welcome text in the Hall handbook. I thought it was a good place to start this new blog.

Connaught Hall is a fully catered University of London intercollegiate hall of residence for full-time students from all the colleges and institutes of the University. We aim to provide a secure, supportive, friendly, and tolerant environment in which our residents can study, relax, and socialise.

Connaught Hall was established in 1919 by HRH Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn — the third son of Queen Victoria — at 18 Torrington Square as a private hall of residence for male students, a memorial to the Duchess of Connaught, who died in 1917. The Duke gave the Hall to the University of London in 1928, but it was not until 1961 that Connaught Hall moved out of Torrington Square to its present location in Tavistock Square: a converted Georgian terrace with a Grade II listed fa├žade. Women have been admitted since 2001.

One of eight intercollegiate halls of residence, Connaught Hall now accommodates 211 students. There is an even mix of men and women and a great diversity of cultural and social backgrounds. Most residents are first-year undergraduates, with around 20% being allowed to return for a second year at the Warden’s discretion; approximately 10% are postgraduates, and about a third are overseas students.

Most accommodation is in single study-bedrooms; there is room for ten students in twin rooms. There is a washbasin in every room, but toilet and shower facilities are all shared. Every room has telephone and internet connections. Amenities include a fitness room, laundrette, common rooms with TV, computer room, library, private courtyard garden, and a bar managed and staffed by Hall residents. Numerous meeting rooms are available, which are hired out during the day and early evening; in the summer, residential courses and conferences are held in the Hall. These activities make a direct financial contribution towards keeping student fees down and facilitating improvements throughout the Hall.

Many of the residents in Hall are experiencing life away from home for the first time; for some, home is on the other side of the world. And whilst London is undoubtedly a vibrant and exciting place, it can sometimes be a lonely and impersonal city in which to live. So at Connaught Hall we hope to be a warm and welcoming "home from home".

As the Warden, I am resident within the Hall; assisted by five student Senior Members, I deal with community matters and issues concerning residents’ welfare and discipline. We can offer advice and assistance on academic and pastoral matters, and help with any disputes between residents (including, most commonly, noise complaints).

The elected Residents’ Club Committee, meanwhile, organises social events and runs the Hall bar on behalf of the residents, under my supervision. Please do get to know me and my team and participate in the activities of the Residents’ Club Committee to shape the social programme to your requirements.

I and all the staff wish you an enjoyable and successful time at Connaught Hall. We look forward to meeting you and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.