Each of our residential locations has a Residential Support Team who are responsible for your welfare and for disciplinary matters within University Accommodation. We are all either students or staff members of the University living amongst you and are available to support you at any time during your time in Halls.
What sorts of problems can mentors help with?
We are here to ensure students' welfare within Halls, which means we are here to help resolve any issues that may jeopardise that. This might mean a noisy neighbour, messy flatmates, if you are homesick or not happy with your course, food thieves… or any other unexpected "surprise" throughout the year. Anything you tell your mentor will be treated in the strictest confidence, so please don't be afraid to approach us.
How do mentors resolve problems?
Now you have left home and are living independently, we consider you to be young adults and therefore to behave as such. We would always encourage you to try and resolve a problem amongst yourselves first. You may want to speak to your Mentor for advice on how to do this - in our experience, the simplest and quickest way to resolve any issues is by talking to your flatmates.
If you've tried this and it hasn't worked again you may wish to approach any one of us for advice and we will help mediate a discussion to establish the problem and agree a solution. If it is an issue concerning your whole flat, we may call a flat meeting; otherwise we can arrange a smaller meeting between those involved. We will monitor the situation until things improve.
If things still don't work out, the Senior Wardens have the authority to pursue disciplinary measures against any resident who is putting the welfare or safety of other residents at risk; generally this would start with a warning but when appropriate the Senior Warden may issue fines and in more serious cases remove the student from University accommodation. Ideally, we would prefer for issues to be resolved before reaching this stage and, when handled properly, they usually can be. As members of a community we all have communal responsibilities.
What can I expect from my mentors?
- Mentors are a friendly and approachable bunch and we would like you to feel like you can talk to us about any concerns you may have. We encourage you to come to us for help and advice, especially if you've already tried to work things out yourself first. You can come to us with any problem, issue or concern you have and if we don't have the answer we will point you in the direction of someone who does.
- Throughout the year we will come and visit your kitchen once a week. There is also a mentor on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We live in the Halls so are never hard to find and whilst we wouldn't mind you turning up at our front doors unannounced, we would appreciate some advance notice where possible.
- Mentors have a vast range of experience in working with students, We will treat any information you share with us as strictly confidential. We will always provide you with the opportunity to tell your version of events in any dispute or issue and we will always treat residents fairly and with respect.
- We like to resolve problems as swiftly as possible so once all the facts have been established, you can rest assured we will be doing whatever necessary to find a solution. If we don't know the answer to something, we are very well-placed to find out or refer you to the right place.
What do my mentors expect from me?
- Please make yourself aware of the Occupancy Contract or at the very least, read the summary in the Halls' information booklet. We will not accept "I didn't know….." as an excuse when things go wrong.
- You will be sharing your flat with several other students so please be considerate and respectful of their needs. Just because you don't have lectures until lunchtime, doesn't mean they're in the same position. Some people have lectures before midday; some people like to study in their rooms; some people like to go to bed early. We want you all to have fun but not at the expense of others. We aim to balance the needs of many different people and your cooperation is vital for this to work.
- Your flat is going to be your home for the next 10 months or so and YOU have a shared responsibility to keep it clean, tidy and safe. We are here to help when things go wrong but it is your responsibility to make sure your home is a happy one. If you leave cooking unattended, you are not only risking your life but also the lives of your flatmates and neighbours. If you leave your corridor door open or your room unlocked you are jeopardising the security of your flatmates and all your belongings. We would like you to look out for each other at all times and help create a happy community for us all to live in.
- Occasionally, we may need you to accept that there are some issues that we can't help you resolve. When you share a flat/hall with several other people and live on a busy residential site, some problems are inevitable: the kitchen will rarely be pristine, there won't very often be complete silence, you may not become best friends with the person next door to you and you probably won't always get your own way. Sometimes we need to make the best of what we have and if you are willing to compromise on some things, we will be able to help you much more effectively.
The Residential Support Team hopes that you enjoy your time in Halls and will help you live in a happy and safe community.