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: