Residential Services have been focused on supporting the large majority of students who have now returned to accommodation, as well as preparing for what the relaxation of lockdown measures may bring. With nearly 200 students currently living by themselves in accommodation due to flat mates having not yet returned, the Residence Life team have been keen to offer them as much support as possible.
Towards the end of March the team sent each student identified as living alone a ‘Feel Good Hamper’ full of locally-produced Yorkshire products to help keep their spirits up and show that we’re looking after them. Feedback from the students was extremely positive, with one student remarking “It was well put together and each item is unique and shows different part of Yorkshire off” and another that “I did not expect such expression of generosity and kindness but it means a lot to me. Especially now that I will be staying in the halls during Easter break due to international travel conditions.”
The team at Devonshire Dining Hall were also keen to make sure those catered students who were unexpectedly staying in Devonshire over the Easter break were well looked after. The team spoke to all of their catered students, and for those who needed it put together a daily menu of reheatable meals as well as a special gift for each of them over the Easter long weekend.
There has also been a focus on trying to keep staff’s spirits up, with Senior Residences Manager Sara Short organising an Easter Bake Off for Residential Services. Team members have been invited to submit photos of their Easter-themed bakes to Sue Green with the star baker in line for a prize from Hotel Chocolat. Competition was fierce, but in the end Jemma Stern was crowned the winner for her ‘Bunny Wonderland’ bake.
The Accommodation Office, with support from the FD Marketing, Sales and Communications team, have been running virtual viewing events throughout the spring term as a replacement to the usual Accommodation Viewing Day. The virtual events feature a talk from staff, followed by a live question and answer session with a panel of student residents to help inform prospective students about life in accommodation.
The events have been extremely well received, with nearly 500 attendees at the first event in February and 334 at the second event in March. Comments from attendees included “Really informative and great to her students’ viewpoints” and “I feel I have had the opportunity to access a wide ranging amount of information, thank you”.