Community & Social Life

Community ethos

Connaught Hall is a relatively small hall of residence. It is not at all unreasonable to think that we might all interact at least once with every other person who lives here. Our security staff will come to know most of you by face and probably by name as well; and I hope that every resident will know at least one member of my team well enough to confide in, should they need to talk to us. 

As the Warden, I provide welfare support and discipline for the Hall; but I am not just here to console residents with problems or reprimand those to break the rules: the biggest part of my role is community building, which means I want to meet everyone!


Community values: supporting and respecting one another

The ultimate aim of my approach to our Hall community is that we should all learn to be self-directed and self-disciplined in our behaviour, in an environment where there are real opportunities to develop our personal, social, academic, and cultural interests and skills.

We should all be participative stakeholders in our Hall and enjoy positive, friendly cooperative, relationships with our neighbours (in the broadest sense).

We should all know who our neighbours are and care about what happens to them, being ready to help and support them if they run into problems.

And we should understand that the Hall rules and regulations represent a social contract which balances our individual rights with the rights of the whole community.

 

Achieving the kind of community we all want to live in

To help promote the development of a positive, tolerant, vibrant community in Hall, I ensure that events are organised right from the start of the year where residents can start getting to know one another and also develop a healthy rapport with the Hall staff. I make sure there is a range of events to appeal to every section of our Hall community. By promoting celebrations from different countries and cultures, I hope we can help everyone here make the most of our multicultural and diverse community. And if things don't work out, I am ready to help repair damaged relationships and bring everyone back to a neighbourly understanding of one another: I try to use a mediation-arbitration approach to resolving conflicts in Hall.

 

Hall Committees 

The Residents' Club Committee

The Residents’ Club Committee is made up of five elected Hall residents: President, Secretary, Treasurer, Sports Officer, and Entertainment Officer; the Warden (as Clerk to the Club & Senior Treasurer), the appointed Bar Manager, and two Senior Member representatives are also members of the Committee.

The Committee runs the bar and organises various social and sporting functions, funded by the subscriptions which all residents pay; this income is also used to provide newspapers and magazines. 

The Warden organises the elections in October, and then continues to oversee the Committee’s activities and financial management during the year. Ask the Warden for details if you are interested in standing for election. 

The Club holds an Annual General Meeting in term 2 at which the Officers present a report on what they have been doing since the election and what they hope to achieve in before the end of the academic year. The Club membership votes on their proposals and has an opportunity to re-direct the Committee if necessary.

Officers of the Residents' Club Committee
   
President - Isaiah Lynn

president@connaught-hall.org.uk 

The President represents the Club in all matters and is responsible for the operation of the Club; s/he sits on University and Hall committees as required; chairs General Meetings of the Club and of the Residents’ Club Committee; distributes tasks to other members of the Committee; represents the opinions and interests of the student residents of Connaught Hall; and liaises with the executive committees of the Residents’ Clubs or Junior Common Rooms of the other intercollegiate halls of residence. 

Secretary - Kiyomi Ran

secretary@connaught-hall.org.uk 

The Secretary is the President's deputy; s/he keeps a permanent record of constituted meetings and is responsible for the safe keeping of all Residents’ Club records; s/he keeps an inventory of the Club’s property, administers subscriptions held by the Club, and is required to furnish members upon request with access to copies of the Constitution. The Secretary is expected to encourage and support the formation of clubs and societies in Hall, liaising with and keeping a record of any such clubs and societies; and to sit on Hall committees as required.

Treasurer - Janos Potecki 

treasurer@connaught-hall.org.uk 

The Treasurer ensures that members’ subscriptions are received; publishes the accounts of the Club; and is responsible for the collection of income from parties and events organised by the Committee. S/he is expected to keep the Committee informed on a regular basis as to the financial affairs of the Club; to be responsible for the safe keeping of the Club’s cheque books, bank statements, and other banking documents; to keep books of account with accurate and verifiable records of all financial transactions made by or on behalf of the Club; to liaise closely with the Bar Manager in keeping the Bar accounts; and to submit all financial records annually to the Clerk to the Club & Senior Treasurer for the purposes of audit.

Entertainment Officer - Rory Forsyth 

entertainment@connaught-hall.org.uk 

The Entertainment Officer leads in the organisation of social and entertainment events; advertises and promotes events organised by the Residents’ Club Committee; and ensures the Common Rooms have adequate equipment and furniture. S/he is required to co-ordinate the purchase and setting-up of decorations, DJ equipment, lights, and other items in the Bar for parties organised by the Club; and to liaise with the relevant officers in other intercollegiate halls of residence of college students’ unions to organise larger social events.

Sports Officer - Sonny Wang 

sports@connaught-hall.org.uk 

The duties of the Sports Officer are to organise sporting activities; to advertise and promote sports events organised by the Residents’ Club Committee; and to liaise with the relevant officers in other intercollegiate halls of residence or college students’ unions to organise competitive sports tournaments. 

 

The Hall bar 

Bar Manager - Benjy Cox

bar@connaught-hall.org.uk

The Bar Manager is appointed by the Residents' Club Committee; the Warden's approval is required for the appointment to be made. The Bar Manager ensures the efficient operation of the Bar; ensures that relevant health & safety and licensing laws and regulations are adhered to in all aspects of the Bar’s operation; recruits Bar staff as required; liaises with the Entertainment Officer in the organisation of social events in the Bar, and with the Treasurer to keep accurate and verifiable accounts of all transactions undertaken in the course of staffing, stocking, and operating the Bar.

Clerk to the Club & Senior Treasurer

Adrian Clark  warden@connaught-hall.org.uk 

 

The Warden of Connaught Hall is the Clerk to the Club & Senior Treasurer of the Residents' Club. The duties of the Clerk to the Club & Senior Treasurer are to advise the President on the interpretation of this Constitution; to advise the Treasurer on financial matters; to audit the Club’s books of account annually; to ensure that the Club is operated in such a way that promotes equal opportunities and without discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex, creed, disability, political belief, social class, or sexual orientation; to act as Returning Officer in the elections of Officers to the Residents’ Club Committee; to submit temporary event notices to the local licensing authority for late parties; to serve as a banker for the Club; and to represent the Club to University or external bodies if the President is unable to do so.

Management of the bar
The Residents’ Club Committee manages the bar on behalf of all residents, under the supervision of the Warden, who also holds the club premises alcohol licence. One of the Senior Members is appointed as the Bar Supervisor to assist the Warden in overseeing the bar. 
The Warden appoints a Bar Manager each year, on the advice of the Residents’ Club Committee, to manage the bar staff, stock control, banking, and other day-to-day matters. The Bar Manager is a paid position. He or she attends Committee meetings but may only vote on matters relating to the bar. 


Get involved! 
Joining the Committee is a great way to get involved in the life of the Hall, meet lots of people, and make the most of your time here. It’s also a really good addition to your CV and can add weight to your application for re-admission to Connaught Hall next year. 
Even if you don’t want to stand for election, you can still get involved with the Committee: send them your suggestions for events and activities, offer to help organise parties or sports events, or even think about setting up your own groups or societies and apply to the Committee for funding. The Committee have a responsibility to help you set up clubs and societies (although funding is at their discretion) so just ask.

Facilities Committee
The Facilities Committee was established by the Warden to allow residents to meet with Hall staff and discuss catering, health & safety, housekeeping, environment, maintenance, security, and reception services issues. 
You can download the constitution of the Facilities Committee: 
http://www.connaught-hall.org.uk/documents/Connaught-Hall-Facilities-Committee-constitution.pdf 
 Facilities Committee constitution 
The Warden is Chairman of the Facilities Committee; a Senior Member acts as Secretary. The members of the Committee are the Hall Manager, Catering Manager, and representatives from the Senior Members, Residents’ Club Committee, and ordinary student residents. The Facilities Committee meets four times a year. 
To become a member of the Facilities Committee, sign up to our mailing list here:
facilities@connaught-hall.org.uk

Multicultural Students' Forum (McSF)

We are a diverse, multicultural Hall community at the centre of one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. We greatly value the contribution that international/overseas students — as well as home students from minority backgrounds — can make to our community. 

We want international/overseas students to have the opportunity to experience London, Great Britain, and UK higher education: after all, why travel to study abroad if you don’t want to sample the culture and traditions of your host nation?

But we also recognise that international/overseas students can sometimes experience some culture shock and homesickness when they are so far away from home; so we want to help those students feel more at home here, offer specific guidance on settling in in the UK, and provide opportunities for us all to join in celebration of their national and cultural festivals.
The Warden established the Multicultural Students' Forum (McSF) in August 2012.

Objectives of the McSF

  1. To encourage participation in Hall community life by international, overseas, and ethnic minority students (IOEMS).
  2. To promote and facilitate the experience of British life and customs by IOEMS – if you come to London to study, you should make the most of your time here and experience British life to the full.
  3. To broaden the range of social and cultural events in Hall so that IOEMS can share their home cultures with other residents.
  4. To review and improve the way the Hall communicates with international, overseas, and ethnic minority students.

The McSF achieves these goals by submitting a report after each meeting to the Warden, Hall Manager, and President of the Residents' Club advising them on matters that ought to be addressed in the interests of our IOEMS.
Membership of the McSF includes the Warden, the Secretary and the Entertainment Officer from the Residents’ Club Committee, and any resident students who are interested in the objectives of the forum (that is, you don't have to be an international, overseas, or ethnic minority student to join: anyone with an interest in helping us meet the objectives of the McSF is welcome). A Senior Member acts as Secretary of the McSF.
The McSF works closely with the Residents' Club Committee. Any funding required for the organisation of events is drawn from the Residents' Club, with agreement from the Residents' Club Committee.
If you would like to help us work towards our goals (you can be from anywhere in the world, including the UK, and consider yourself to be of any culture, religion, or race), get in touch with the Warden at this dedicated email address: multicultural@connaught-hall.org.uk

Social events

Welcome / Freshers' events

The Warden organises a programme of events at the beginning of the year to allow residents to meet one another and the staff. These events typically include a number of "Sunday afternoon teas" in the reception lobby, on the days when most students are moving in; two special dinners with wine and/or beer, one including a welcome speech; and a party for residents on each floor hosted by the Senior Member on that floor.
The outgoing Residents' Club Committee organises a special "grand opening night" in the bar in September, and a freshers' party in early October. 
Some comments residents made in the annual survey about our social & community events:

“The Thanksgiving one really made me feel at home. I was so disappointed that I couldn't go home and that really made me feel a lot better that the holiday didn't just pass by without me. The whole hall celebrated it with me.”

“Every party has been unique, the Christmas dinner was amazing, the Chinese New Year dinner was fantastic, thumbs up, guys!”

“The welcome, Christmas, and Valentine's Day celebrations were wonderful. They also made an effort to celebrate holidays with the international students as well, throwing a Thanksgiving dinner, German night, and Chinese New Year celebration.”

“Thanksgiving was ace and so was Christmas. Also the dressing of the Christmas tree with the wine and the mince pies and the music was lovely.”

“Christmas dinner and the tree decorating were wonderful. I missed my family, being away from home again this year, but things like this almost made up for it.”

“Good: welcome buffet, pizza night at the beginning, welcome party, Halloween night in the bar (loved the pumpkin carving!), Christmas tree decorating was lovely, Christmas dinner was amazing, loved the mulled wine and snowballs drinks at the Christmas ball. 
Bad: nothing!”

“The Christmas dinner and subsequent Masquerade party were well planned and very enjoyable. Kudos to the Warden's team for managing to organise a nice dinner despite the budget constraints - the atmosphere was properly festive and the food and entertainment were pretty good. There was also a real sense of community with everyone getting involved in different aspects of the Christmas festivities e.g. putting up the Christmas tree and helping out with the pre-dinner preparations etc.”


What is expected of the Residents' Club Committee

The Warden has published a “minimum expected” schedule of activities and events that the Residents’ Club Committee must achieve each year, and he will hold the Committee to account if they fail to do this - and so should you: after all, they are spending your money! 

  • Throughout the academic year: meet regularly; publish minutes of every meeting; publish accounts regularly; administer newspaper & magazine subscriptions; encourage residents to form their own clubs & societies; a regular entertainment activity (pub quiz/movie night / open mic / cheap theatre tickets / etc.); two regular sports activities (football / table tennis / running / dance lessons / rugby / self-defence / yoga / etc.).
  • October: a welcome party; and an event for Hallowe’en.
  • November: an event in the bar - a pub quiz / open mic night, etc.; a large sports event / tournament; a trip - cinema / theatre / day trip to tourist attraction / etc.
  • December: a social / cultural event - cheese & wine / foods of the world / etc.; buy Christmas trees & decorations and organise a tree dressing event; live music or an outside speaker & carols for Christmas dinner; a Christmas ball / party.
  • January: a welcome back event; a social / cultural event - cheese & wine / foods of the world / etc.; the Club Annual General Meeting.
  • February: a Valentine’s event; a large sports event / tournament; a trip - cinema / theatre / day trip to tourist attraction / etc.
  • March: an event in the bar - a pub quiz / open mic night, etc.; a social / cultural event - cheese & wine / foods of the world / etc.
  • April to June: a large sports event / tournament / sports day; a trip - cinema / theatre / day trip to tourist attraction / etc.; a summer ball.

Foundation Day

Each November, the Warden is given a number of tickets for resident students to attend the annual Foundation Day celebrations at the University of London Senate House.
Foundation Day is the annual celebration of the grant of the Royal Charter to the University of London. Held at Senate House, the evening begins with the presentation of honorary degrees to a number of eminent individuals by the Chancellor of the University of London, HRH The Princess Royal. Following the degree ceremony, there is a reception where Her Royal Highness likes to meet many of the students present.
For most residents, both home and international, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event; many can hardly wait until the official photographs are available to buy online.
If you want to come, apply for a ticket as soon as the Warden posts notices inviting applications: they get taken very quickly!

Cultural evenings

The Warden encourages the Residents' Club to organise cultural evenings. Examples in the past have included Christmas dinner, American Thanksgiving dinner, a Chinese New Year festival, and Celtic night. We hope the new Multicultural Students' Forum will help inform and develop these activities to the benefit of students who would ordinarily celebrate these occasions at home, and also for residents to whom the celebration is completely new experience.
Annual Hall photo
The Warden organises a group photograph outside the front of the Hall in May every year. The annual photograph makes a nice memento of your time in Hall so try and make sure you can be here and get in the picture! 

Events and societies of your own 

We hope the social programme in Hall will be what you want it to be, and will support you setting up open clubs or societies in the Hall to achieve that: whether it's a wine tasting group, chess club, football team, or history society, get in touch with the Warden or with the Secretary of the Residents' Club if you want help to set it up. The Residents' Club may even be able to offer some funding for your group or event.