Petition to oppose the re-structuring of the pastoral support staff at the University of London's Intercollegiate Halls of Residence
- Vice Chancellor of the University of London
- United Kingdom
IC = Intercollegiate Halls of Residence
The University of London proposes:
- to make all Wardens and Vice-Wardens redundant
- for the management of Senior Members to be transferred to the Halls' administration staff
The proposal will:
- Threaten the healthy and enjoyable community and social life from which IC residents currently benefit.
- Be harmful to the welfare of more vulnerable students.
- Cause a loss of an effective disciplinary presence in each hall.
The UoL argues that other higher education institutions have Senior Members (or something similar) reporting to administration staff, without dedicated Wardens.
However, because IC residents are from many different institutions, located sometimes miles away from the halls, the IC are unique. IC aren't part of a campus with trained counsellors; have no college authority to back them up on discipline; and have no campus student union.
So in IC, Wardens have to manage all social, community, welfare, and disciplinary matters internally. IC residents don't necessarily know each other from their course or college, so Wardens have to find ways of encouraging interaction within the halls. These functions are precisely what the Wardens are for; they're experienced, they're dedicated to student welfare, and they were selected because they demonstrated the right attitude and aptitude in the skills needed.
Whilst the Bursars and their staff are very competent in their administrative, financial, and managerial duties, they were not selected for their ability to provide student support, arrange social events, or conduct a student disciplinary meeting. They don't have the attitudes, skills, or time required to safely and effectively take over the Wardens' roles, especially given that they'd be operating in a vacuum, without the extensive support services available to administrators in single-institution, campus-based residences.
Many students specifically choose IC (rather than single-institution halls provided by their own colleges) precisely because of the range of community, social, and welfare services provided, which are far superior to those in most college-owned residences.
Some choose IC because they're very sociable and IC are places where they'll enjoy meeting lots of people - with help from the events organised by the Wardenial team and Residents' Club. Others choose IC because they're more reserved and hope it'll be easier to meet new people. Still others value the idea that there's someone around to help, independent from the Hall's financial and facilities management.
Many parents of students – especially those of international students – are relieved to find that there is someone in Hall to keep an eye on the welfare of their daughter / son. Without a support structure that is perceived to be adequate, some international students or their families will be deterred from choosing London to study.
This proposal comes at a time when Hall fees are set to rise by well above inflation next year, and English students will soon start paying up to £9,000 for tuition.
In this financial climate, with more privately-owned halls of residence opening all around London, students will be demanding more and better services, and a wider range of accommodation options, not less.
We, the undersigned, call on the Vice Chancellor of the University of London to reject the proposal of re-structuring the support staff at the University of London's Intercollegiate Halls of Residence.
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The Petition to oppose the re-structuring of the pastoral support staff at the University of London's Intercollegiate Halls of Residence petition to Vice Chancellor of the University of London was written by Sophia Borovick and is in the category Students' Rights at GoPetition.