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Thursday, 15 April 2010

Residents' Survey - Senior Members

Responses to Residents' Survey 9: Senior Members

Continuing my series of blog posts to repond to residents' comments in the February 2010 intercollegiate halls residents' survey. A summary of responses to the multiple choice questions on the survey can be seen here: Residents' Survey results. And you can filter this blog so just the survey-related posts show by clicking on "survey" in the list of labels on the right hand side.

Two or three survey respondents expressed a desire for the Senior Members to be more visible in the Hall, saying they thought this might make them more approachable.

Relevant guidance in the post description for Senior Members includes:

Senior Members are required to interest themselves in the welfare of students and to assist the Warden with the pastoral, disciplinary and social duties within the Hall to promote a supportive and harmonious living environment for students. Senior Members should participate in – and help to organise – the social life of the Hall. One of their most important roles is mixing with students and keeping in touch with what is happening in the resident community; they are expected to eat in the Hall restaurant regularly as this is one of the best ways to meet other residents. Senior Members must always present a professional but approachable manner and it is essential they set a good example to other students at all times.

Specific duties include:

- participation in welcome receptions to ensure all new students are greeted;
- attendance at social events throughout the year;

I think the Senior Members by and large achieve most of these goals but at a recent staff meeting we agreed to provide a more visible presence in the dining hall at meal times and to visit the Hall bar every couple of weeks.

In previous years, the Senior Members and I have hosted afternoon tea every Sunday in the reception lobby - but this did not fulfil our objective of encouraging residents to approach us to discuss difficulties and was often quite poorly attended; so I replaced this event with my regular open office sessions (

At our meeting we decided to bring back afternoon tea on select weekends throughout the year. Look out for posters advertising the first event later this term.