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Accommodation

You Said, We Did

By Adrian 10 Sep 2021

Every year, we invite Intercollegiate Halls residents to respond to a survey in which they can tell us what was good about the halls experience and what could be better. We are committed to using this feedback to drive continuous improvement in everything we do. 

Our last resident satisfaction survey was carried out in May 2021. Below you can see a selection of the feedback received and our response. This is divided up by hall (eight halls in total), with two additional sections for catering and our overall COVID-19 response.

We expect all the actions outlined below to be completed before the end of autumn term 2021/22.

Catering (all catered halls)

You said: Dinner on Fridays and Sundays is repetitive (fish and chips / roast dinner)

We will change the days on which these meals are served, allowing for more variety on Friday and Sunday menus.

You said: There are too many potato dishes and sides on the menu

When main course options contain potato, we will not serve potatoes as a side dish.

You said: We don’t know how to provide feedback on the catering service

We will place comment cards and suggestion boxes  and/or feedback iPads in dining halls.

You said: Portion sizes are sometimes too small

We will return to offering seconds after the end of normal dinner service, so you can take more food if you are still hungry.

You said: Mealtimes are too restrictive

We will continue to offer – and better promote the availability of – packed meals for those who are unable to attend during normal service times.

You said: It isn’t always clear whether there is a halal option available

We will aim to provide a halal option three times a week and mark it as halal on the menu.

You said: There is not enough choice and variety in quarantine meals

We will offer a range of different options for you to choose what kinds of food you would like included in quarantine packs.

Coronavirus response (all halls)

You said: There were not enough in-person events organized during the times when these were allowed

For 2021/22, we will prioritise in-person events from 12 September onwards. We will not attempt to run online events at the same time, focusing our resources on a normal number and variety of in-person events (as per a normal year).

You said: Arriving and quarantining immediately made it difficult to get a phone SIM card

We will have a supply of SIM cards to hand out to anyone who needs one.

You said: Quarantining felt lonely

We will continue to host group calls every day for students who are in quarantine, as well as a daily 1:1 call with anyone who is self-isolating with symptoms and/or a positive test.

You said: Online events are not engaging and everyone’s had too much of them already

We will focus our resources on in-person events.

You said: It isn’t always clear who to turn to for wellbeing support

We have re-focused our teams of Wardens and RAs on pastoral support and community building for 2021/22. We will also enhance the information we provide about our pastoral support and the support available at University of London member institutions.

You said: It is hard to meet people because of COVID.

We have reviewed all our dining, social, and study areas to maximise safe opportunities to meet other residents within the rules.

You said: COVID rules are hard to understand

We went back to the drawing board on every single COVID rule and have published a new, much simpler outline of what is expected from everyone - captured on a single poster of just eight sentences.

You said: It’s not always clear where to go for up to date information

We refreshed our CampusLife site and will publicise this more widely so everyone knows where to look.

You said: The CampusLife website is not very useful or engaging

We will be seeking student volunteers to blog for the site and ensure the content is more relevant for students.

College Hall

You said: Hall Management should be more visible in the hall

We will have an open office door policy, to encourage students to see us.

You said: The procedure for reporting laundry problems is too complicated

We will review the current laundry procedure to make it more accessible to students and publish this on a new poster in the launderette. We have also had the laundry payment machines upgraded so there should be fewer issues.

Connaught Hall

You said: You want to be better informed about changes that affect you

The Warden will maintain a Connaught Hall blog at our CampusLife site to help share information, and host online meetings to explain any major changes with an opportunity for Q&A.

You said: Pastoral and wellbeing support didn’t feel accessible in 2020/21

The Warden will return to offering drop-in office hours in 2021/22.

You said: You would like more say over how the social and recreation budget is spent

We will refresh the elected Hall Association Committee for 2021/22 to ensure student oversight of social and recreational activities.

You said: Hall Management should be more visible in the hall

We will have an open office door policy, to encourage students to see us.

You said: The procedure for reporting laundry problems is too complicated

We will review the current laundry procedure to make it more accessible to students and publish this on a new poster in the launderette. We have also had the laundry payment machines upgraded so there should be fewer issues.

You said: There should be no planned building works during the academic year

We will try to schedule planned maintenance and project work during holiday times i.e. during Christmas and Easter where possible.

You said: You want regular communications from hall management

We will send a monthly newsletter with updates.

Eleanor Rosa House

You said: The community feel was slightly lacking in 2021/22

Depending on the COVID-19 pandemic, larger in person events at the beginning of the year will be organised to capture the residents’ interest at the time when they are most receptive to meeting new people.

You said: Online events were not very popular

In the event that in-person events cannot go ahead, we will organise more varied and engaging online events.

You said: Staff should wear name badges

The team all now have name badges which are clear and visible.

You said: The recycling process is confusing at Eleanor Rosa House the recycling bins are too small.

We have published updated information and instructions on waste management along with a recycling competition.

Garden Halls

You said: There should be events for students arriving later in the year – January onwards – to feel included and help them become part of the community

We will arrange a personal Resident Advisor welcome for students who arrive in terms 2 and 3, and support them with orientation and socializing.

You said: There are too few study spaces

We will re-purpose other areas to temporary study space during periods of peak demand.

You said: It can be confusing when Resident Advisors are there to enforce rules as well as provide support

We have re-focused our Resident Advisors on student support and community building for 2021/22.

You said: There should be more social events

We will improve the advertising of the events so students are familiar with what is taking place and redistribute resources to increase the number of events taking place.

You said: Doors are very heavy - automated doors to all routes to adapted rooms would be beneficial

All automated doors have been repaired and door tensions checked.

You said: The lighting level cannot be changed in the TV room

We will replace the sensor control with a dimmer switch.

You said: The laundrette is very busy and the payment cards don’t always work

We are replacing the payment method with a contactless system and it will be possible to see how many machine are available from our app.

You said: The recycling system is not used

We will recruit student recycling champions and improve signage. We have contracted with a new waste management company.

Handel Mansions

You said: There should be ergonomic desk chairs

We will replace desk chairs in rooms.

International Hall

You said: The laundry machines sometimes break down

We have arranged more regular servicing of the laundry machines. We have also had the laundry payment machines upgraded so there should be fewer issues with accepting payments.

You said: Social spaces should be open longer hours

We had temporary restrictions on opening times for social spaces as a COVID safety measure. These restrictions have all been removed for 2021/22.

You said: Shared fridge space is very limited

We have installed additional new fridges in pantries where space allowed.

Lillian Penson Hall

You said: Too many events were online

We will always choose in-person events over online events in 2021/22, national rules permitting.

You said: There is a lack of activities for postgraduate / mature students

We will host a specific welcome reception for postgraduate / mature students and organise evening cultural trips.

You said: Some social facilities need to be refurbished

We will recover the pool table and replace the table tennis.

You said: There should be a shared freezer available to store ice cream

We will provide freezers in pantries.

You said: It’s not clear which bins to use for recycling

We have revised and refreshed the signage on recycling bins.

Nutford House

You said: Residents should be able to interact with the Warden and Resident Advisors at events

We will return to a full social programme for 2021/22, after being constrained in what we could do last year due to COVID safety requirements.

You said: Recycling could be increased /improved

We will appoint a Resident Advisor recycling lead and engage student recycling champions.

You said: Laundry machines can be unreliable

We have arranged more regular servicing of the laundry machines. We have also had the laundry payment machines upgraded so there should be fewer issues with accepting payments.

You said: We would like to know more about what to do in the local area

Resident Advisors will publish online information about events and activities taking place close to Nutford House.

Adrian profile picture

Adrian is a medical doctor, the Student Health & Wellbeing Manager at the University of London and the Warden of Connaught Hall, where he has lived for almost 25 years.
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