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Thursday, 3 October 2013

October update

Dear resident

It's been a busy few weeks in Hall and there are a few more things coming up in the next week or so. I thought it might be useful for you to have an update on everything in one place.

1. Residents' Club elections - 08/10/13 

At dinner time on Tuesday 8th October, you will be able to elect five new representatives to the Residents' Club Committee. The people you choose will organise many of the social events in Hall this year, run the bar, and spend up to £6500 of your money - so listen to what they have to say and what they are going to do for you. At the time of writing, only two residents have put themselves forward for the election. If fewer than five people stand, there will be no election and those who have nominated themselves will be appointed automatically. More of you must have ideas for how we can make this year amazing for everyone: stand for election and share your ideas; if you get enough votes, you will be able to put them into practice! Visit for more information about the Club and the election, and to nominate yourself. My "letter to candidates" tells you exactly what's involved, and what you can expect from us in return. Or speak to me, a Senior Member, or one of the outgoing members from last year's Committee. The deadline for nominations is midday on Saturday 5 October: it's an automatic system that will close at exactly midday. 

2. "Anything but clothes" party - 04/10/13 

Friday night is our freshers' ABC party in the bar, 8pm till 2am (bar serves alcohol until 1am). You are invited to be creative with your outfit and wear absolutely anything - except clothes. Maybe some photos of previous ABC parties at Connaught will provide you with inspiration:

As you can see, it's totally fine if you want to come to the party in actual clothes: we'd rather have you there in clothes than not there in not-clothes! 

As with all our late parties, you may sign in a maximum of two guests for the duration of the event (8 till 2). 

Please try and keep the party confined to the bar and Bell room so that residents who don't want to attend the party are not disturbed. I regret that we strictly cannot allow any "after-parties" in bedrooms or corridors after 2am, and we must keep noise outside the front of the Hall to a minimum so our hotel & residential neighbours don't complain and stop us from having more parties in future. 

3. Fire drill - 04/10/13 

Weather permitting, a fire drill will be held on Friday evening.

When you hear the fire alarm: 
Evacuate the building immediately.
Close all doors and windows behind you.
Leave by the shortest route.
Do not use the lift.
Assemble on the pavement outside Passfield Hall on Endsleigh Place.

Follow the green exit signs to find your nearest escape route. Hall staff will help you. Remember it is possible that there may be a real fire alarm on the day, so for your own safety never ignore the alarm because you assume it is a drill. Your Licence Agreement obliges you to participate in fire drills. If the total evacuation time is too long, more fire drills will be held over the next few weeks – so don’t let everyone else down! 

4. Have you taken some good photos of our freshers' events? 

We love our photos at Connaught. If you have any shots you're proud of from any of our welcome events (afternoon teas, grand bar opening, welcome dinner, speed meeting, or of course from tomorrow's party), I'd be really delighted if you sent me some that I can upload at or at Email me one or two pictures at, send me a link to your photos on your own Flickr, or ask me about lending you a memory stick if you have lots to share. 

5. Join the Facilities Committee and/or Multicultural Students' Forum (McSF) 

I posted a message about how to join these committees a few days ago: democracy-feedback-and-student

Both committees meet three or four times a year for about an hour. If you haven't been on a committee before, it will be good experience of how meetings work. And whatever your level of previous committee experience, your input to making Connaught Hall better for everybody will be greatly valued. Please follow the instructions in my previous post and join up as soon as possible if you're interested. 

6. Room swaps

I have been asked frequently about room swaps in the last few weeks. If you are thinking about asking for a room change, please take note of the following advice from our Residents' Handbook:

Requests for room swaps are dealt with exclusively by the Reservations Office based at ULU, and will only be considered after the middle of October when everyone has moved in: email 
We regret that the staff at Connaught Hall cannot approve requests for room swaps.
The Reservations Team are the best people to answer all your questions on this subject, including things like "are there currently any empty rooms?" or "is there anyone who hasn't moved in when they should?". I regret that the Senior Members and I do not routinely have access to the information that would allow us to give you an accurate answer to these questions.

7. Access [H]all Areas 

This private, invitation-only online social network for the intercollegiate halls of residence was new this year. It already has almost 800 members so it's a good platform for sharing ideas for sports meet-ups, outings, and clubs, especially where there may be benefits in the numbers gained from getting more than one hall involved. 

If you're not already a member, sign up with this link: - and remember to join the Connaught Hall group on the site!

Do remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, as well: and

8. Last reminder to check the Residents' Handbook! 

Our Residents' Handbook can be found at

It is long, so we don't expect you to read every page in detail. We do very much expect you to read the sections on noise and fire safety, and strongly advise you to have an idea of the contents pages, so you can dip into those bits that interest you now, and know what information is available for you to refer back to later in the year if you're not sure about anything.

So, one last time: please take a look at our Handbook!