Posted by: Clare Solomon | May 18, 2011

Defend University of London Wardens-sign the petition & share…

Post updated with:

1) Motion that passed at Senate (at very bottom of this post)

2) Next meeting -26 May, 19.00-20.30 at Connaught Hall. See http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=121628757920547

3) Letter from Michael Chessum to SU sabbs

3) Letter from Michael Chessum to SU sabbs
Hello Senate,

If you’re classed by UoL housing as an SU President, you’ll have received an email inviting you to respond to the consultation process for scrapping wardens in intercollegiate halls.

Last week we passed a motion condemning the move – I’ve attached the text that we passed (unanimously).

Can I just re-iterate the importance of flooding their inbox with loads of messages urging them not to do it. It’s a relatively small window of opportunity – and if ALL of UoL’s SUs tell them it’s a rubbish idea, we may well sway them.

So make sure someone from your union writes in an official capacity of some sort or another to hallsconsultation@london.ac.uk by 17th June.

Michael Chessum
UCL Union Education & Campaigns Officer
NUS National Executive Council 2011-12
University College London Union (UCL Union)
25 Gordon Street
London
WC1H 0AY

Tel: 020 7679 2701 (ext. 37949)
Fax: 020 7916 8533

——————-

We’ve made great progress in the last few days:

  • and ULU Senate has voted to give us the official backing of ULU.

If you’re still not sure what it’s all about, read this: http://on.fb.me/l0wnCF

Much more remains to be done.

  1. We must aim for an absolute minimum of 600 signatures on the petition. Where possible, some halls are putting an internet-connected laptop, iPad, or smartphone (with a person!) in their reception lobby and encouraging residents to sign the petition there and then.
  2. We need many more letters of protest, explaining why it’s such a bad idea to get rid of wardens, to be sent to mail@hallwardens.org. Letters from the SM or JCR perspective are especially important: in what ways will supervision, management, and support of SMs and JCRs be damaged without a warden?
  3. If you haven’t already, join the Facebook group. Friend me if you like!
  4. We must continue writing to VIPs, professors, college welfare services, student unions, and anyone else with a legitimate interest in the welfare of students in the intercollegiate halls. All these people, including MPs and London Assembly Members, may take more notice of students writing to them than the wardens themselves. I can help you with contact details.
  5. Encourage residents to ask their parents to sign the petition or send an email.

This is such an important issue. We have a lot of backing already but we can’t relax yet!

Emergency Motion to Senate: Save Our Wardens!

Senate Notes:

1. That since 2009, all Intercollegiate Halls of Residence in the University of London have been staffed by a single Warden, who is paid at a part-time rate and granted reduced-rate accommodation in their Hall.

2. That these Wardens are tasked with pastoral care, social events and community building, and disciplinary procedures, and often informally represent the needs of students in their Hall to the University of London.

3.  That the University of London is planning to cut all Wardens in Intercollegiate Halls of Residence, and transfer their duties to administrative and management staff, ostensibly to make more space available for students: the removal of the Wardens will increase student capacity in the intercollegiate halls by up to 1.5%.

4. That the consultation process for this change will end on 26 May 2011, and that students and other interested parties have not been formally involved in this consultation at any stage.

5. That the University of London has been increasing rents in Intercollegiate Halls at a rate well above inflation for a number of years.

Senate Believes:

1. That Wardens in Intercollegiate Halls play a vital role in making students’ experiences safer and more pleasant.

2. That removing Wardens from Intercollegiate Halls is a farcically inadequate response to the shortage of student housing in London, and increasing student accommodation capacity is unlikely to be the real reason behind the move.

3. That the University of London should invest in expanding affordable student housing, rather than cutting vital welfare services.

4. That the exponential growth in rents in recent years is unacceptable, and a barrier to access to education for poorer students.

Senate Resolves:

1. To vigorously oppose the cutting or downsizing of Wardens in Intercollegiate Halls of Residence.

2. To launch a full-scale campaign on student housing provision to ensure affordability, quality, and good welfare support.

3. To mandate the President and Vice-President to write a ULU response to the consultation on the current changes, stating our opposition.

4. To ask all Senators (or the appropriate equivalent at their constituent union) to write to the University of London, expressing opposition to the cutting of Wardens in Intercollegiate Halls.

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