Sunday, 27 November 2011
Make sure we have the right email address for you, check your spam settings, and add us to your contacts!
If you have changed your email address since you applied for accommodation (or if you gave your parents' email address on your application form because you were away during the summer), please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your current email.
Please also check your junk / spam folder for mail from email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure we are on your safe senders list.
GMAIL, HOTMAIL & YAHOO USERS are almost certainly not receiving some important emails from the Hall. Please add email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts today.
If you don't receive email from us, you won't be able to claim rebates on your Hall fees over Christmas, will miss payment deadlines and risk debt collection action, and miss out on social events and other opportunities available to residents.
For welfare or disciplinary matters (including noise complaints), please contact the Senior Member for your floor, who is able to contact me or the warden of another hall for help & advice if necessary:
Ground & lower ground – email@example.com;
First floor – firstname.lastname@example.org;
Second floor – email@example.com;
Third floor – firstname.lastname@example.org;
Fourth floor – email@example.com.
For matters relating to the Residents’ Club Committee / entertainment / sports / events (including Christmas dinner), please email firstname.lastname@example.org and the relevant officer of the Committee will help you.
For matters relating to the Facilities Committee, please email email@example.com and Alyson Mercer will be able to help you.
For building, maintenance, safety, financial, or accommodation problems, please contact the Bursar’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any suggestions or complaints about any Hall services, including catering,
write to email@example.com.
If you want to know about Foundation Day, please check your post pigeonhole for a ticket – if you have not yet received a ticket, it is unlikely that the University will be able to allocate you one at this late stage. In October, I emailed all 30 residents who applied for tickets; if you didn’t receive my email, please check your junk/spam folder for this email and others from firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all other matters, I will try to reply as soon as I can when I return to work.
Coughing & sneezing easily spread infections so it is important to cover mouth and nose with a tissue, then wash your hands after disposing of the tissue.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Sunday, 20 November 2011
I have received several complaints in the past few weeks about noise. Most of these complaints relate to loud conversations in the corridor, and sometimes inside bedrooms, rather than music.
For your own benefit and that of your neighbours, please take a few moments to read section on noise (pp 38-9) in the Residents’ Handbook. Being unable to sleep or work when you need to can make you annoyed and stressed, and can seriously impact on a person’s quality of life. I know you do not want to inflict those feelings on your neighbours.
Noise travels further than you think, so talk quietly in corridors; don’t run or shout. It only takes one loud shriek down the corridor in the early hours of the morning to wake up all your neighbours. They don’t thank you for it. So please give extra consideration to how loud your
conversations might be between 11pm and 7am.
The walls between rooms are thin; and the floors and ceilings transmit sound very easily. Please make a conscious effort to think about your neighbours if you have visitors in your room at night.
The best place to meet friends at night is the common room, since there are no bedrooms nearby.
Our doors make a bang when they close. Please try to pull your door closed quietly at night so you don’t wake up your neighbours.
If you are being disturbed by noise, follow the advice given in the attachment for reporting the problem: tell someone straight away – so we can deal with the noise immediately – then send an email to make sure I get to hear about it.
I know that none of you is intentionally noisy, so I hope this gentle reminder will be enough to make you think again about your neighbours and make sure they are not disturbed.
Saturday, 12 November 2011
The anonymous complainant said:
"I would recommend more strict enforement of after hour silence and
have a corridor monitor on most nights. The balance is too much towards
having mindless fun and this needs to be changed by the weak leadership. Also
residents of black and ethnic minority background needs to be more enfranchised
and protected, maybe you could have a diversity officer on the student
I have considered this complaint in light of my own observations and the replies to my previous post. My response follows.
- There is no evidence that the overall balance in Hall is too far towards recreation at the expense of rest and/or study.
- There can be times when noise causes disturbance and disruption, but we have a well established, effective policy for dealing with this, set out at page 38 of the Residents' Handbook (http://handbook.connaught-hall.org.uk).
- Senior Members have responsibility for monitoring noise levels in their designated areas of the building. Moreover, sll residents are encouraged to discuss noise problems at an early stage with their neighbours, facilitied by the Warden or a Senior Member if they fell unconfortable doing this alone.
- I believe that the introduction of student "noise monitors" on every corridor would be divisive and insidious, bringing more harm than benefit to the Hall community.
- In the last three years, no complaints have been made about failures to protect the rights and interests of residents from black or ethnic minority backgrounds. Of course any such complaint would be dealt with as a most serious and urgent matter, and this responsibility would rest with me as the Warden. I am proud of our record on equality and diversity. We are the only intercollegiate hall to display an equality statement on public noticeboards: http://www.connaught-hall.org.uk/documents/Connaught-Hall-discrimination%20poster.pdf.
- The Constitution of the Residents' Club already requires the Clerk to the Club & Senior Treasurer "to ensure that the Club is operated in such a way that promotes equal opportunities and without discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex, creed, disability, political belief, social class, or sexual orientation". See http://constitution.connaught-hall.org.uk.
- I am not persuaded by the argument for a whole new post to monitor diversity issues but it may not be unreasonable to require the President or Secretary to take on a proactive diversity promotion role. I will consult with the Residents' Club Committee on this.
Sunday, 6 November 2011
I would recommend more strict enforement of after hour silence and have a corridor monitor on most nights. The balance is too much towards having mindless fun and this needs to be changed by the weak leadership. Also residents of black and ethnic minority background needs to be more enfranchised and protected, maybe you could have a diversity officer on the student council.
Saturday, 5 November 2011
We need help! What should we organise?
I have asked the caterers to draw up a German-themed menu. Your suggestions for this will be very welcome. We have some German flags: I envisage having British, German, and EU flags
together on the stage. What other decorations could we have? Is there any particular music we should choose? Any traditional clothes, activities, or games? The bar will stock up on German beers but are there any other drinks we should have?
Post your ideas as a comment on my blog post email me, or tweet your suggestions including #connaughtgermannight in your tweet.
We will also need volunteers to help set up on the day, so if you have some free time on 3rd December, your help with decorating, etc., will be really appreciated.
This year, for the first time at Connaught Hall, we will celebrate Thanksgiving. Whilst the dates and traditions are slightly different for American and Canadian Thanksgiving, the underlying values are similar so it seems sensible to include both celebrations in ours.
We need help! What should we organise?
I have asked the caterers to have an American-themed (ideally traditional Thanksgiving) menu on Thursday 24th November. We have some patriotic North American decorations and flags – perhaps better suited to Independence Day, but we can use them nonetheless as a sign to other residents that this is an American celebration. I envisage having British, American, and Canadian flags together on the stage.
Is there any particular music we should choose? Any traditional activities, games, or readings? Should there be a speech? The bar will stock up on American beers and whisky but are there any other drinks we should have?