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Open Letter: Student Support in Residences

Friday 16-02-2018 - 16:26

Following the Residences Review Referendum, Bristol SU’s full time elected officers have written an open letter to Vice-Chancellor Professor Hugh Brady in response to student concerns about the proposed changes to the pastoral support system in residences.

The officers met with the Deputy Registrar today (16th Feb) and will be meeting the Vice-Chancellor next week.


Dear Professor Brady,

RE: Student Support in Residences

We are writing to you following this week’s referendum to ask you to take into account the clear will of the student body on the University’s pastoral review in residences.

Over the last few weeks we have heard from students how important it is for them to have staff they know personally in residences. Students are deeply concerned that losing that personal relationship with the pastoral staff would stop vulnerable students seeking help and also stunt the growth of residential communities. In addition, students want assurances that any future service will be proactive, that staff will be around students enough to notice changes in their behaviour. As a Students’ Union we stand in direct opposition to any proposed model that moves away from residence based support into a ‘Hub’ based system as we and the student body believe such a system would impact on this provision.

Alongside this issue we would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the concerns we raised in our feedback to the initial proposal and the further concerns that students have been bringing to our attention.

In particular we would like reassurance that:

  • JCR’s will be maintained in each hall of residence,
  • Levels of staff support originally outlined in the proposal will be significantly increased,
  • The University is not looking to make savings or cuts,
  • There will be a significant increase in the number of senior residents or residential life mentors from the proposed model to ensure that at least the current ratio of staff to students in residences is maintained.

All sides agree that 24/7 access to support would be a good development for pastoral support in residences, but it is clear that students feel this move must not be made by sacrificing the sense of community in halls that is vital to so many.

We look forward to discussing these issues with you in person.

Yours sincerely,

The Bristol Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer Team

Lucky Dube, Adam Stanford, John House, Des Ibekwe, Shubham Singh, Mason Ammar



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