Let’s say a big thank you to the kitchen staff for preparing tonight's meal for us.
Tonight, you get the short version of my speech. I thought it simply wasn’t really fair to put you through the same speech three times over the next three weekends, just because you’re the first people to arrive!
Well, my first job tonight is to extend you all a very warm welcome to Connaught Hall. Wherever you’ve come from, whatever you’re studying, I look forward to meeting you – if we haven’t met already – and I hope you settle in and feel at home here very quickly.
You might have seen this logo on a poster at the front door. It symbolises how we respect, enjoy, and celebrate diversity in our Hall community – and I hope you will join us in making everyone sitting around you now feel welcome and at home here.
Connaught Hall has a reputation for being the friendliest and most social hall in London – this year, keeping up that reputation is down to you. So I hope this year will be one that you look back on as one of the best of your life.
And we’re all here to help make sure you do. This is my team. Becca, Bill, Jing, Jon, and Leah. I’m a doctor in the emergency department at University College Hospital. The senior members are all students in at least their fourth year of university study. We’re here to help the Hall community grow together, look after you when you need a bit of support, and help you resolve conflicts with other residents. Talk to me or a Senior Member if you’re feeling lost, sad, or anxious about something. We’re here to listen to you. We all have down times. And it’s OK to ask for help.
We’re really lucky at Connaught Hall to have a fantastic hall management team who look after the building and all the facilities and services you use every day. Alice is our Hall Manager, Julie is her assistant, and we also have Dave, our admin. assistant, with us for a little while longer. They’re based in the office behind reception and they’re very happy for you to pop in talk to them during their office hours.
You can also write to us with any ideas, suggestions, or complaints about pretty much anything in Hall at this suggestion box address. It’s well publicised in the Hall Handbook, online, and on posters in reception and in the dining hall. We really do want to hear from you. We will always reply and will always do our best to take action on your suggestions wherever possible.
Another way you can shape what happens in Hall this year is by standing for election to, or voting for, the Residents’ Club Committee, who organise most of the social, sports, and entertainment events in Hall. I’ll talk more about that next week.
Now, the last bit of advice I have for you tonight is that the bar is staying open until 10:30, so maybe it’s time for another drink? But before you run off to the bar, let’s make a toast with the last drops of whatever drink you got earlier…
To a very happy and successful year for all of us!