Students Speak Out In Favour Of Halls Wardens

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Students living in halls of residence have delivered a resounding message of support to threatened Halls Wardens (Resident Support Assistants). This follows the news that Wardens will be replaced by full time night only staff under current proposals.

Frustrated with the failure of the University to gauge student opinion on the issue, members of the current Wardenal team created their own survey and circulated it among students. Of the 230 consulted,

  • 58% agreed that pastoral support was important to them and only 9% said it was not, contradicting the opinion expressed by the University that it is not relevant to ‘adults living in private rented accommodation’.
  • 75% thought wardens should have a ‘connection to the university’, as students or staff.
  • 79% thought it was important to have wardenal staff living onsite, with only 2% against this.
  • 79% selected the current system as the most preferable while only 6% agreed that the University’s preferred option was the best way forward.
  • Many comments given by students in the survey emphasised the importance of the current system and the positive impact wardens had on their University experience. The results of this survey were presented to University representatives at tonight’s consultation meeting.

Complaints were raised at the meeting over the way the consultation process has been carried out, with a consensus among the current staff that it has failed to take their views and concerns into consideration. The same criticism as before was directed at the ‘preferred option’, pointing to the impracticalities and drastic reduction in pastoral care. The University spokesperson responded that the new system ‘focused’ the duties of Wardenal staff into maintaining safety standards and discipline.

The message from students however is that this is not what they want. We will see on March 31st (when the final decision is made) whether this is taken into account.

An online petition, supporting the current system is available here.

What do you think about the University’s plans to replace Wardens? Leave your comments below:

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Discussion1 Comment

  1. avatar
    Isabelle Kajani

    As a student in halls I would rather turn to someone that I feel would be in a position to understand because they too are living like me, I want to be able to talk to people like the current RSAs because they can appreciate what it is like to be currently living in halls with the same type of people as me and also being a senior student. I think when you are a student you know how another student is feeling, not everyone has the opportunity to move into private housing with their friends, some rely on such a network system in place. How distressing to know that this will not be available anymore, I know there are all these other services available like councilling and mentoring and learning differences but lets be honest the people at these kind of services are different, they live and work differently, mainly because they are nolonger students. Having these RSA is like having a brother or sister to turn to, why do people fail to understand that it is hard enough already, by getting rid of this system it will be much harder to cope.

    I have no respect for this decision and I am really sad that people have not taken us students into account, sometimes the people who need the RSA are not as confident and need this system in place to know that they are being represented fairly.

    It seems like the new system they will introduce is like security, I am not comfortable to sharing my problems with strangers, the current familiar faces make my life easy.

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