With around 3,000 students remaining in halls, nearly 50% occupancy, the Residence Life team is very busy making sure that they, and those students still at home, are fully supported and can still have an enjoyable experience. To do this the team have organised a hugely varied programme of virtual events on offer to students from all residences which includes around 35 events from cooking demonstrations, life drawing classes, wellbeing workshops and craft sessions. They are continuing to support the development of the student Hall Exec in running and organising events at each residence as well.
The team have also started hosting Residence Life Social Time, a bi-weekly drop-in hour where students can come and speak to Residence Life staff as well as meet other students living in accommodation. A new “virtual space” called Wonder is being used to host these events, which enables students to mingle and chat amongst themselves in a more informal way to on Teams or Zoom. This demonstrates the Residence Life team’s commitment to finding new and innovative ways to give support to students and to help them enjoy their time in halls during this challenging time.
Residence Life are also continuing to provide support to the thankfully far fewer numbers of students that are self-isolating. Mostly this has been for students who have recently arrived at accommodation and needed to self-isolate due to the government’s travel rules. Site teams have also been busy dealing with the added complications of managing residences that are mostly half full – making sure that essential maintenance such as flushing is completed whilst also supporting those students who are still in halls.
The Accommodation Office have been busy working to process the rent rebates for those students who have not returned to their halls between 11 January and 19 February, whilst also working extremely hard to speak with those students who have raised concerns or complaints around this. In order to offer as much support as possible to students, the team are working with IT to deploy the ‘Miss Moneypenny’ live chat service on the accommodation website to offer live chat assistance to prospective and current students. There has also been a focus on taking the usual Accommodation Viewing Day online with the help of the FD Marketing, Sales and Communications team. A new Virtual Viewing Hub launched on accommodation website to promote our halls and there will be a series of live talks happening virtually throughout this semester.
Read February updates from across the Facilities Directorate: