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Bristol SU Living Room: FAQs

Friday 16-11-2018 - 15:55

What is the Bristol SU Living Room?

The Bristol SU Living Room is a brand new space for students brought to you by Bristol SU. It is a community space at the heart of campus where you can get involved, meet like-minded people or just go and chill - you know, like you would in your own Living Room. The space is kitted out with hot water and microwaves so you can enjoy a brew or heat up your lunch well as comfy sofas where you’re welcome to kick back and relax. The Bristol SU Living Room is designed specifically to facilitate relaxation and community building, and reduce isolation. Sometimes there will be activities that you can join in with if you’d like to but it’s also a space to socialise, relax between lectures or just somewhere to go and eat lunch.

+ Why have you created a Student Living Room, and what on earth is one of those anyway?

In 2017 we took part in a national piece of research about student wellbeing. In this research you told us that 1 in 4 of you are regularly stressed about isolation, and that 35% of you rarely or never feel relaxed. And frankly, we think that’s not good enough. 

We often hear people say that beyond the beginning of term it can be a bit hard to get involved and meet new people, and that if you haven’t joined societies at the beginning of the year you feel like you’ve missed the boat. People also tell us that they don’t have a space on campus where they can go to decompress when they’re feeling overwhelmed. We also regularly hear that the SU feels far away, so we’re hoping this space will enable us to bring a little piece of the SU to you. 

Cue the Bristol SU Living Room…

+ But why call it a Living Room?

We were really inspired by some amazing work an organisation called Camerados were doing around Public Living Rooms. Public Living Rooms are intended to create a “comfortable place where anyone can come, on good days and bad, to be around people, make connections and enjoy being out of the house”. Public Living Rooms have popped up in community centres, libraries, colleges and even hospitals, and they’ve been hugely successful at bringing people together, and really harnessing that amazing power of social connection.

+ When can I use the Living Room?

The Bristol SU Living Room opens 3 December 2018 (don’t miss our shiny big launch event)! You can use it Monday-Friday from 8am-10pm.

+ Where is the Living Room?

The Bristol SU Living Room is on the 4th floor of Senate House, just across the hall from the Senate House Study Centre. 

Student representatives at Bristol SU have worked for years to make sure there are spaces on campus where you can simply heat up your lunch or make a cup of tea. So, there’s also a student kitchen on this floor, where you can access microwaves and hot water.  

+ Who can use the Living Room?

Anyone! If you’re a student at the University of Bristol then we’d love to see you in the Bristol SU Living Room. This is a space for everyone and anyone, you can be in first year, final year, about to submit your PhD or studying in Bristol for just a year or couple of months. The Bristol SU Living Room is for anyone who wants to use it on good days or bad to take your mind off your own problems, look out for someone else, have a laugh and just be - no questions asked. 

+ How can I find out what’s happening in the Living Room?

We work with our clubs, societies and student networks to provide a range of lunchtime activities that all students can get involved in. You can find out what’s happening in the Living Room here, or simply pop into Senate House.

+ Do you sell food and can I eat in the Living Room?

We don’t sell food in the Living Room, but you’re more than welcome to bring your own. We have hot water and tea and coffee that you can help yourself to, all that we ask is that you wash up the mugs for the next person and check if anyone else wants a brew. 

There’s also a student kitchen just across the hall where you can grab some water, or heat up your lunch in the microwave. 

+ Can my club/society/network use this space?

We’d love for clubs, societies and networks to use the Living Room. But, as there’s a bit of a shortage of spaces to just chill and relax around campus we think it’s super important that this space is open to all students. We want to provide a reliable space where you can go for a quiet moment or a natter with a mate. 

As long as the event you’re running allows for others to use the space even if they’re not joining in, then we’d love to have it in the SU Living Room. This means we’re all for arranging meet-ups in the living room and opt-in activities. Something anyone can participate in, like board games, or watch-making, or knitting, or learning sign-language. But if you’re thinking about something like a closed event (like a jungle rave or shakespeare production), chat to our team to find out what other spaces we have that might work for you. Email us at: or fill in this form.

+ Can I book this space?

Err, sort of! We’d love to hear ideas of things you’d like to do or see in the space. If you have an idea for something you could do in the Living Room, you can email us at and we’d love to discuss it with you.

+ What is the Quiet Room, and who is it for?

There will be a separate Quiet Room at the end of the space for students who need a private space. It is a multi-purpose space that can be used for meditation, relaxation and relief from over-stimulation. The quiet room is designed to fulfil religious, spiritual and physical needs and is a place that any student is welcome to use if they feel the need. 

+ I like/love/loathe something about the Living Room, who can I talk to about this?

This Bristol SU Living Room is a space for you. We’d love to hear what you think of it and how we can make it an even better home for Bristol students on campus. If there’s something you love or something you think really isn’t working then we’ll listen and try to find a way where everyone can enjoy the space. 

Each of your full-time Elected Officers will also have a postbox in the Living Room where you can post your feedback. There will also be a range of ways in the space that you can tell us what you think of it and how you’re feeling. 

We’re not pretending to get it right first time - if you think we can make the space better for you, let us know! You can send your thoughts to:

+ Can I take my shoes off?

There aren’t any hard and fast rules in the Living Room. You won’t find anything telling you where to eat your lunch or where to put your feet (with or without shoes). All we ask is that you help us to make the SU Living Room a space that everyone can enjoy - treat it like your own front room. The purpose of this space is that it’s yours to love, live and look out for each other in. 

+ Marmite: Love it or hate it?

That’s really up to you - we’re not sure we’re qualified to tell you what to put on your toast in the morning. Is there even a right or wrong answer anyway? Maybe you could ask someone you meet in the Living Room. You never know, you might make someone laugh or brighten their day!


SU Living Room

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