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Friday, 30 May 2014

Fire practice Saturday 31 May

Weather permitting, a fire evacuation practice will be held at Connaught Hall on Saturday afternoon (31st May).

 When you hear the fire alarm:

  • Evacuate the building immediately.
  • Close all doors and windows behind you.
  • Leave by the shortest route
    (follow the green exit signs to find your nearest fire escape).
  • Do not use the lift.
  • Assemble on the pavement outside Passfield Hall on Endsleigh Place.

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.

It is a condition of your Licence Agreement that you participate in all fire practices.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Cartwright Festival

Saturday 24th May saw the third annual intercollegiate halls summer garden party. This year's theme as a 60s/70s/80s rock festival called Cartwright.

As the last two years, the party was held in Cartwright Gardens and we had 1,000 free tickets to give away to students resident in any of the eight intercollegiate halls.

After three months of planning, the weather was the only variable that could spoil this event. And the forecast in the week leading up to the festival was really grim. We were worried we might have to move parts of the festival indoors and cancel the rest. And indeed, it did rain in the morning, while we were setting up, and again for about 20 minutes at the beginning of the party at 3pm. But by 3:30, we were enjoying bright sunshine and it was warm enough (for some people!) to wear a t-shirt and shorts.

Those attending the festival had lots of food, drink, and entertainment to enjoy. This year's food was superb - with a choice of one of three "street food pots" plus one of three "handheld snack" options. And everyone could have two drinks - alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

Everybody got a free bottle of bubbles and an exclusive CARTWRIGHT wrist band as they entered the Gardens.

To keep festival-goers entertained, we had bouncy castle boxing, a bucking bronco, a really amazing fire-eating acrobat, stilt walkers, a street magician, a balloon artist, face painting, crazy golf, hula hoops, and tug of war.

Three student photographers captured the festival on camera and we have some wonderful photographs. All our photos are available to view and download at

Everyone who has given us feedback about the Cartwright Festival has told us how much they enjoyed the event and loved the food. So despite a wet beginning to the day, we're pleased that we hit our objective of giving our students a day to unwind and relax after or inbetween their term-three exams, and a great event to remember us by after they leave in just a few weeks.

Now, the organising committee is looking forward to next year's summer intercollegiate halls event already!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Access to the roof at Connaught Hall

Residents should please be reminded of the following provision in the Connaught Hall Residents’ Handbook.

15.6 Access to roof, etc

It is strictly forbidden – and extremely dangerous – for residents or their guests to gain access to, or attempt to gain access to, the roof of the main building, the roof of the dining hall, or any ledges or parapets on the Hall exterior, including first-floor balconies.

Breach of these rules will constitute serious misconduct as defined in the Licence Agreement. Sanctions may include expulsion or a fine of up to £250.

Climbing on the roof is obviously very dangerous. Footsteps on the roof are also disturbing for residents trying to study or sleep in rooms on the fourth floor.

I will not give any further warnings on this matter. From today, anyone who is reported to me as being found on the roof will be removed from the Hall on 48 hours’ notice for his/her own safety. 

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Unsuccessful re-admissions applications for 2014-15

Whilst I was on leave, I received numerous emails about re-admissions next year. If you are someone whose application was unsuccessful, please read the following text of my standard response to all queries about re-admissions. 

I am sorry that your application for re-admission in September 2014 was unsuccessful. I have prepared this briefing so that the same information is given to everyone who asks about their unsuccessful application.

The closure of the three Garden Halls from July this year means the number of students we could accept for re-admission was reduced from 47 in previous years to just 11 this year.

As I have previously advised many of you, this very small number of places meant that we would only consider applications from those who have made a very outstanding contribution to the Hall community (usually through an elected position on the Residents’ Club Committee) or who have a medical reason for re- admission, supported by a doctor’s letter enclosed with the application for re- admission.

We had 50 applications for re-admission this year. I judged 20 of them to be deserving of re-admission, and those 20 would definitely have been offered a place in any other year. But we could only make offers to 11 people. I did ask for some extra places but my request was declined. So we have had to be very strict about those criteria I mentioned above, and were only able to consider an application on medical or mental health grounds if a doctor’s letter was included with your application.

The remaining 9 residents whom I thought should be re-admitted, but could not be offered a place immediately, have been put on a reserve list. They could be made offers if some of the 11 students who were offered a place turn down their offers.

Because of the very tight numbers this year, it is not possible to make any more offers at this time. I am sorry that is no mechanism for appealing this decision, since we simply could not offer you a place now unless someone else turns down his or her offer. If you do have any further concerns, please write to the central accommodation office at I regret that no one here at Connaught Hall can provide any more advice or assistance, since we are working within strict rules imposed by the colleges and the central University; we have no discretion to act outside those rules.

For those on the reserve list, I should advise you that I think it is unlikely that anyone will turn down their offer, so you should begin making alternative plans for your accommodation next year.

Once again, I am very sorry that your application was unsuccessful and regret that I cannot provide any further assistance.