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Saturday, 29 August 2015

FAQ: Postgraduates' frequently asked questions - noise, room allocation, age

Questions frequently asked by postgraduates


What is the average age of Connaught Hall residents?

The median age in Hall is usually 19 years. In 2014-15, we had 47 residents aged 21 or over; 29 residents were postgraduate students (out of 230).


I understand most residents are first-year undergraduates. Is it noisy? Will I be able to study?

Our Hall handbook has this to say about noise:

Noise disturbance generally creates the most dissatisfaction with Hall life. The Halls are large halls of residence of mostly first-year undergraduate students in a busy part of London. Nowhere in the Hall can be completely silent. Most staff and residents find that occasionally they need to wear earplugs at night, even if the only noise they can hear is traffic noise. Some people are particularly sensitive to even low levels of noise and we would advise that a mainly undergraduate hall of residence in central London may not be suitable accommodation in this case. It is not always reasonable to restrict others’ activities to meet the expectations of someone who is especially sensitive to noise.

There is a lot of traffic noise. There is a fire station, police station, ambulance station, and hospital all within less than a mile radius of the Hall (this is also true for College Hall and International Hall; I think Lillian Penson Hall and Nutford House may be slightly quieter in this regard). On the positive side, this must make us one of the safest places in the world!
It’s probably true to say that almost everyone experiences some noise from their neighbours occasionally. 

Of course, we do have effective procedures for dealing with this if it is serious or recurrent (http://noise.connaught-hall.org.uk).


Is there a part of the Hall reserved for postgraduates?

We have 230 residents living on 6 floors. The ground and lower ground floors are quite small. From 1st to 4th, each floor has about 48 rooms arranged along a single, long corridor divided into three sections by fire doors. There are staircases at each end and in the middle of every floor. Each floor has a male and a female toilet/shower block (three toilet stalls and three shower cubicles in each). Most floors have three or four en suite rooms.

We are a predominantly first-year undergraduate hall. We do try to accommodate most of our postgraduates on the second floor – so you would almost certainly be allocated a room there, unless you have an en suite room (with only four en suite rooms on the second floor, there are sometimes more postgrads who want en suite than there are rooms available on the second floor). But this does not mean that the second floor is necessarily any quieter than anywhere else. We haven’t enough postgrads to fill a whole floor, so there are undergrads on the same corridor, and of course the rooms above and below are occupied by undergraduates.

Aside from putting postgrads together on the second floor, the accommodation office do not allow students to request specific rooms.


Are there separate study facilities?

We have two rooms for studying in: the Lang room, which is intended primarily for group study, and the Convocation Trust study room, which is for quiet, individual study. Both are on the lower ground floor; both are open 24 hours a day; and both can accommodate 6 to 8 students. It is very unusual for the study rooms to be full; on the contrary, they are often both empty, except around the spring/summer exam season!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

FAQ: Can I have deliveries to the Hall before I move in?

If you need to have letters or small packets delivered to the Hall before you arrive, email info.connaught@london.ac.uk to let them know. Reception can hold on to small items for you (i.e. items that can easily fit into an envelope up to C3 size). You must let us know to expect a delivery, or else reception will return items to sender with the message "not in residence".

Regrettably, there isn't any storage capacity for larger items like trunks, boxes, or suitcases. So we cannot accept delivery of large items until after you move into the Hall.

If you are flying to London and cannot carry all the items you need in your luggage, we recommend that you send items in boxes or cases via courier one or two days before your flight. Then, your couriered boxes should arrive within a few days after your own arrival in Hall, and we will be able to accept the delivery for you.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

New - Hall Facebook group community guidelines published

The Hall Facebook group has been set up by the Warden to make your time in the intercollegiate halls safer, more enjoyable, better informed, and more sociable. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/connaughthall20162017/

We hope our residents will use the group for getting to know other residents, asking questions, or sharing your own events that others might want to join in. The Hall staff and the elected students on the Residents' Club Committee will post important information and social events on the group as well, so residents can stay up to date with what's happening at Connaught Hall.

Only current Hall residents and staff are allowed to be members of the group. We have just four very simple golden rules that you must follow when using the Hall Facebook group, plus some guidelines for how to make the most of it.

FOUR GOLDEN RULES

1. Be respectful.

Please help us ensure our online community remains a safe and welcoming space for everyone, of every age, race, religion, sexuality, nationality, disability, and gender identity.

It's ok to voice a complaint or disagree with another post, but please do so in a polite and constructive manner. Never violate the privacy or dignity of another person. Obscenities, sexually explicit material, personal attacks and defamatory comments about any person, group, organisation or belief will be removed.

2. Don’t post anything that is illegal or unlawful, nor which breaches the University’s Ordinances, accommodation Licence Agreement, or Hall Handbook.

In particular, Ordinance 17 (Code of Student Discipline) and Ordinance 21 (Equality Policy) – available at www.london.ac.uk/977.html.

You also must not post anything that might promote or encourage others to behave in a manner that that is illegal, unlawful, or in breach of the University’s Ordinances, accommodation Licence Agreement or Hall Handbook.

3. Don’t infringe copyright, data protection, or intellectual property rights.

4. Don’t spam, nor use this Facebook group for commercial purposes.

If you break any of these four golden rules, the offending post(s) will be removed and you may be suspended or permanently blocked from the group. Serious breaches will result in disciplinary action.

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR HALL FACEBOOK GROUP

  • Be careful not to allow others to use your Facebook login. 
  • Think before you post and consider your audience. 
  • Protect your own and others’ privacy, but be transparent and honest about your identity. 
  • Be a valued member of the community and be accurate in your posts. 
  • It is ok to complain about Hall facilities and services on the group, but please remember this is not a recognised channel for reporting problems to us. A member of staff might or might not see your post. If you want us to take action about something, please speak directly to a member of staff, email us, or use the dedicated systems for reporting maintenance or catering problems. 
  • If you feel a post, photo, video, or other contribution on the group has breached these guidelines, please bring it to the attention of the Warden or a Senior Member as soon as possible.
THE SMALLPRINT
  • The University of London cannot guarantee that your Hall Facebook group will be available at all times and cannot be held liable for any loss or damage (including consequential loss) resulting from or arising out of use or non-use of the group. 
  • By posting any comments, links, or other material in your Hall Facebook group, you give the University of London the right to reproduce, distribute, publish, display, edit, modify, remove, delete, create derivative works from and otherwise use your submission for any purpose in any form and on any media.
  • Membership of the Hall Facebook group may include:
    the Warden, the Hall Manager, the Assistant Hall Manager, Senior Members, the Head of Residential Accommodation, the Deputy Head of Residential Accommodation, and members of the Housing Services and Accommodation Finance teams.
    Not all these staff groups may be members at all times, and not all will be regular users of the group. 
  • We strongly recommend that you do not use the group to report problems in the Hall: your post(s) may not be seen by the relevant member of staff. Instead, use the channels of communication explained in your Hall Handbook for reporting any problems to members of staff. If we do see a complaint posted on the group about something in Hall, our usual action will be: (1) If the complaint is obviously about something very serious that clearly requires action, the member of staff who sees the post will copy & paste it into an email to the member of staff who would be responsible for dealing with that problem; he/she will then comment on the post to say they have forwarded it. (2) If the complaint does not obviously require immediate action, then we will comment on the post to tell you what you can do or whom you can talk / write to if you want us to act on your complaint. 
  • We know that sometimes, you might feel frustrated by something that has happened and you simply want to vent your frustration to others, without necessarily wanting us to do anything or talk to you about it. That’s why we will give you the choice of whether or not to take up your complaint through an official channel. 
  • Your Hall Warden is the chief moderator of the Hall Facebook group. Day-to-day moderating duties may be delegated to another member of the Halls team – usually a Senior Member. 
  • In the event that there is a dispute about whether or not a post, photo, video, or other contribution is in contravention of these guidelines, the Warden shall be the arbiter of the matter and his/her decision shall be final. 
  • Responsibility for any posts, photos, videos, or contributions uploaded using your Facebook login lies with you personally. We will not accept an argument that another person used your login unless this can be clearly proven to the satisfaction of the Warden. 
  • We also draw your attention to the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, Data Policy, and Community Standards: www.facebook.com/policies.

FAQ: What day & time can I arrive in Hall?

Your room should be ready for you to move in any time after 2pm on the first day of your contract.

You can arrive any time on any day/date after that.

When you check in, reception will have your key and everything else you need. Reception is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You don't have to tell us if you're arriving later than your official contract start date - but please remember that accommodation fees are charged from the start date of your contract, not from the date you move in.

If you want to arrive EARLIER than your contract start date, you must tell Housing Services well in advance. See this separate FAQ: http://connaughthall.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/faq-arriving-earlier-than-datetime.html.

If you are having problems with your accommodation offer, personal details form, or any other of the welcome arrangements, see this FAQ: http://connaughthall.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/faq-augustseptember-problems-with-offer.html.

FAQ: What can I do if I’m being disturbed by noise?

We have a whole web page with detailed instructions to help you deal with and report noise problems – whether it’s a banging radiator pipe or a neighbour playing music at 3am.

Visit noise.connaught-hall.org.uk for help.



FAQ: I’m feeling unhappy / lost / lonely / homesick. How can I find help?

It’s very normal to have some of these feelings some of the time, when you have moved to a new home to study something new. But if these kinds of feelings are severe, prolonged, or persistent, you should definitely ask for help.

It’s OK to say you’re not having the best time of your life!

There are lots of people around to support you as a student. Think about using some of these options:

• Talk to the Warden or a Senior Member – for contact details and how to book an appointment, visit http://warden-contact.connaught-hall.org.uk.
• Speak with your personal tutor at college.
• See one of the student counsellors at your college welfare service.
• Make an appointment to see your GP.
• Check our list of more help providers at http://bit.ly/1mIBcpn.

FAQ: Is there WiFi in Connaught Hall?

We have WiFi throughout the building.

If you attend a college that is signed up to EduRoam, you must use your EduRoam login to access the internet through our WiFi. Your EduRoam login is normally the same as the login for your college (.ac.uk) email address. If you are unsure about your login details, contact the IT department at your college.

Only if your college or institute is not signed up to EduRoam, we will provide you with a login for the UoL Resident network. Contact Network Services at swan.support@london.ac.uk for help with this.

FAQ: How can I get help with the internet connection in my room?

University of London network services can help if your wired or wireless internet connection isn’t working. 

Call 020 7862 8092 or email swan.support@london.ac.uk.

FAQ: How can I get repairs done in my room / in the bathroom?

If you spot something that needs to be repaired or replaced, write a request in the maintenance book at reception. We can normally respond with three working days.

If it’s an urgent problem (like a flood, electrical fault, or gas leak), report it to the security officer so we can deal with it immediately.