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Friday, 30 April 2010

Election night: Thursday 6th May 2010

There's been quite a lot of interest in the TV leaders' debates in the run-up to the UK general election, with a fair few residents watching the debates in the common rooms.

On election night (Thursday 6th May), we will move the large TV from the third-floor common room to the Bell Room and put some comfy sofas in there so you can watch the results as they come in.

Eight hours of live coverage starts on BBC 1 at 21.55, hosted by David Dimbleby. I hope to join you from about 00.30 when I get home from work!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Residents' Survey - Bursar's Office

Responses to Residents' Survey 10: Bursar's Office

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.


A couple of survey respondents said they thought the Bursar's Office staff were difficult to approach. Harriet, Hafsi, and David are a great team and very friendly so we could only assume this difficulty arises from residents not knowing how, when, or where to appoach them.

I met with the Deputy Bursar and we agreed it would be helpful to post office hours outside the door to the Bursar's Office and an invitation to go right in and discuss any problems. Office hours are liited at the moment due to staff sickness but as soon as the rota is sorted out again, ths measure will be implemented.

Please do feel free to approach anyone in the Bursar's Office during working hours about anything that's bothering you in Hall. They will deal with most facilities / services / accommodation matters there and then, or they might refer you to speak to me if your concerns are related to a socal, wefare, or health matter. Out of hours, there is a Duty Senior Member whom you can contact via reception.

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 (openoffice.connaught-hall.org.uk).

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.

Residents' Survey - the dining hall

Responses to Residents' Survey 8: heating in the dining hall

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.


Several survey responses mentioned that the dining hall can be cold, especially in the mornings.


The radiators in the dining hall have all been checked and are working properly. A major contributing factor to the cold is the very poorly insulated roof with north-facing skylights, some of which are very difficult to close. The Bursars have secured fundig for the roof of the dining hall to be completely replaced during the summer this year, which should make it much easier to control the temperature in that part of the building.