Connaught Hall is closed from 21 August to 6 September. The exterior doors are all locked and only a handful of staff members who have the front door key can get in and out. There is no receptionist and no catering. From outside, the windows, normally beacons of warmth from the illuminated rooms within, are empty and dark. The Hall always has an eerie feel to it during closure, especially at night.
But inside preparations gather apace for meeting new students who will start arriving from the day we re-open our doors. Most students won't arrive until the last weekend in September or even the first in October, but we still need to be ready for when we open on the 6th.
The Residents' Handbook and this year's welcome letter must be finalised and printed, and I need to record my welcome podcast; posters, forms, leaflets, and stationery updated to reflect the staff changes that have taken place in the past 3 months; all the rooms must be fully cleaned; and this is the period when most major building / redecorating work takes place, so as not to interfere with residents' studies dring term time.
Soon after the closure are the University of London Open Days, to which Connaught Hall will be contributing this year.
And looking forward to early October, we must arrange welcome receptions (afternoon tea), a welcome buffet, and elections to the Residents' Club Committee. And they may want to organise a welcome party for everyone.
It'll be Christmas soon. Better get to it!