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Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Christmas address

Technical difficulties have prevented the podcast of my Christmas dinner speech being uploaded. This was the text of my speech:

I said in my speech to the welcome buffet this year that I hoped you would all quickly settle into the Hall and make it your home; and I see evidence every day that you are doing just that: there is a real sense of community at Connaught Hall this year, and I know many of you have made friendships here already that will endure long beyond your time at University.

And I hope events like Christmas dinner and party, the Christmas tree dressing last Thursday, and our night out on Foundation Day, when 20 students from Connaught Hall had a chance to meet Princess Anne, help you to meet people you otherwise would never get to know.

I also said in my welcome speech that I wanted discipline to be a very minor part of my role this year - and I'm happy to say this wish has also come true. So thanks are due to all of you for that.

The Residents' Club Committee has been very active this term. As well as numerous Christmas-themed events in these last two weeks, they've organised three parties and a talent show; they've taken residents on trips to the theatre and the cinema; a group of residents went to Cambridge for a day; and several sports tournaments have either already taken place or are planned in the near future.

The Officers of the Club have also been active in helping to represent your views to Hall staff and to contractors like the catering department. The Club's financial situation is healthy and I hope they will continue to organise activities for you all to get involved in next year.

Now, the Residents' Club Committee are your representatives in Hall; if you think they should be doing things differently, or if you have suggestions for events they could organise or causes to support, I know they will be glad to receive your constructive feedback by email or in person. They are also currently considering ways in which they can engage more residents in the decision-making process in Hall.
If we all work together we can contribute to an even more dynamic and outward-looking, more representative, Residents' Club.

We have had a few problems with the lift and with one or two catering issues; but I hope you will agree that we've all engaged in constructive dialogue about these things and largely resolved them.

There will be some refurbishment work taking place over the Christmas vacation, and those of you who regularly use the bar in particular should notice some improvements when it reopens in January.

Most of you will be leaving Connaught Hall for a few weeks over Christmas.
If you are going away, make sure you have claimed your meal rebate and that you leave your key and swipe card at reception when you sign out.

If you're staying here during the vacation, remember that some of our meals will be provided at International Hall and Hughes Parry Hall but Connaught will otherwise be open as usual; the Senior Members and I will be here throughout if you need any help.
As always, get in touch if you have any suggestions; we can only make things better with your help.

If you are travelling during the holidays, I wish you a safe journey and look forward to seeing you back relaxed and refreshed next year.

And I wish you all a wonderful, happy Christmas, and a successful new year.