Flat Chat Information
This article will cover:
- What the Residence Life Team does
- How you can apply to be an RLA
- Flat rules
- Safety, security and wellbeing
- General info
The Residence Life Team (RLT)
The RLT are dedicated to enhancing your student experience and helping to create a community within residences. You will be able to find RLAs running events in your social space Monday to Thursday and throughout the weekend. RLAs will also pop by each flat a few times per semester to check in with you and see how you are getting on.
The Residence Life Team aims to help you find a community during your time living with Cardiff University. We host a whole heap of events across the year such as coffee lounges, life skill workshops, global holiday celebrations and more! We also have a bunch of events running in the coming weeks so please do come along and meet some of your fellow residents! Please follow us on Instagram (@ResidenceLifeCU) and look on our website for details of all our events (scroll up and click events!)
You will have hopefully had some Res Life gifts in your room when you arrived (pen, lanyard, vouchers etc.) along with a postcard which has the link to this website on a QR code. Our website also features tons of articles written by current students with tips and guides for living in Cardiff and in Residences so be sure to have a read! There will also be information about competitions running to win prizes throughout the year.
Residence Life Assistants (RLAs)
To be an RLA, you are required to be a full-time student and undertake an intensive training process to be a first point of contact for students living in halls. They are here to offer support and advice on anything from who you should go to if you have an academic problem to helping with a dispute in the flat. Any information you tell an RLA will be handled in the strictest confidence and only shared with appropriate people.
- In the interest of full disclosure, they should never promise total secrecy, but can promise confidentiality. Information will be passed up the chain and only to appropriate members of staff (the Residence Life Co-ordinators (RLCs) and Residence Life Manager (RLM), not other RLAs, your flatmates, parents etc.)
RLAs get free accommodation so if you are interested in joining us next year, keep a lookout on our pages as we will start recruitment in the next few months! We will be interviewing potential candidates at the end of January.
The team is made up of approximately fifty RLAs, four Residence Life Co-ordinators (RLCs) and a Residence Life Manager. You can contact them via email on firstname.lastname@example.org . RLCs work closely with the RLAs and may join us to help with any issues that may be a little more serious in nature. RLCs will be onsite a few times throughout the week but you can always request to talk to an RLC through our form here: https://studentconnect.cardiff.ac.uk/#/forms/residencelifecontactformselfreferral
Before you arrived you completed your online e-induction which gave you lots of important information about living here – you can go back in and read the e-induction at any point during the year via your residences portal (where you accepted your room offer).
On the top 10 poster provided in your bedroom on arrival and also on your residences card you will have the contact details for your Residences Team.
You can call into reception if you have a query otherwise if you need to speak with a member of the Residences Management team we recommend you send an email and they will get in touch for you to meet with them.
One of the most important pieces of advice we can give you is to get to know the Residences staff (especially cleaners!). These are the people that are in and out of your homes, giving you your post, cleaning your kitchens etc. It’s worth your time to be friendly and polite to them. Building goodwill with the staff can come in handy if your flat is a little too messy or something gets broken!
- We are not security, or the police and we won’t come looking for rule breaking! We are here to help you settle in and #FindYourPlace.
- Never let a stranger follow you into your accommodation. You are sharing with other students who may feel uncomfortable with strangers in their home. Remember – anyone you allow into your accommodation are deemed as your guest or visitor and so you take responsibility for their behaviour/actions so if they damage anything – you will be the one liable. Protect yourself and your flat/house mates.
- Quiet hours are between 11pm and 7am – please try and keep noise to a minimum between these hours and be considerate of those around you.
- Cleaning – The cleaning staff will come in to clean your kitchens (and shared bathrooms) once a week (check your noticeboard for the day). Please make sure to take the bins out and clear all surfaces so they can get to everything easily.
- Maintenance issues – If anything is broken, damaged or needs repaired you must report this via the online maintenance reporting form. The QR code is on the top 10 poster in your bedroom.
- For urgent issues e.g. water leaking, no electric, no heat or hot water you should immediately report this to reception during office hours. On evenings and weekends, please contact Security instead to let them know and they will contact the out of hours support teams.
- Lockouts – During office hours please contact Reception. When reception is closed, contact Security. Use our lanyard to prevent losing your keys! If you get locked out someone will come to let you in however this may not be immediate so if you want to avoid waiting outside (possibly in the rain 😊) then remember your keys!
For many of you, you might not have lived away from home or with total strangers before. Remember everyone comes from different backgrounds, may have different standards of living or different expectations of what living with others will be like. It can be hard to adjust and so it’s a really good idea to set some ground rules so you can get off to a smooth start.
- Bin rota? Would it be useful to allocate each flatmate a week at a time to take out the bins?
- Time limit for washing up?
- What about guests and their noise levels?
- Cleaning rota (remember you need to do some tasks before cleaners arrive so they can do their cleaning)
- There is a small activity on our website to help you get to know each other’s living habits and find a way to live together in harmony. https://residencelife.cardiff.ac.uk/flat-icebreaker-activity_151775 Try it with your flat!
If you’ve tried to put some ground rules in place and things still don’t run smoothly, it’s important to talk to each other early and often! There is a QR code in your kitchen which links to some of resources to help. This features activities you can do as a flat to resolve any issues or conflict. Once you’ve had a readthrough, try calling a flat meeting and getting everyone together to discuss the issues calmly. Very often, the other person is unaware they are doing something that has affected someone else and this can be easily fixed with clear and effective communication. However, if you feel the issue cannot be easily resolved make sure to get in touch with ResidenceLife@cardiff.ac.uk so, we can help!
If you are not happy with your accommodation or find it unsuitable, please speak to your Residences Management Team as they may be able to assist in resolving any problems you are experiencing. There will be a transfers process opening in October, however this is dependent on rooms becoming available.
Safety, Security and Wellbeing
Unfortunately, fire alarms are something you will probably experience a lot of in halls. When cooking, make sure to keep the kitchen doors closed as there is a heat detector in the kitchen but smoke detectors in the corridors and communal areas. The alarms are very sensitive so be careful when cooking, use the extractor fan and never leave cooking unattended.
- Aerosols and steam from your shower can set off the fire alarm. Make sure the extractor fan is turned on when showering so steam can be removed – Top tip – this also prevents condensation and possible mould issues!
- Please don’t drunk cook! You are so much more likely to forget you have food in the oven or fall asleep and cause a fire in your flat. Do the right thing and get some chips on your way home :P
- Fire alarms are tested on the same day each week – this will sound for a few seconds. If the fire alarm sounds continuously please make sure you immediately evacuate the building to the evacuation point on the Fire action notices in your flat/building. You are endangering yourself and others if you stay inside because you think it’s a false alarm. There could still be a real fire and the fire service will have to risk their lives to go in and get you.
As you are all probably aware, Coronavirus is still a risk. Make sure to follow all current guidance from Welsh Government and be respectful of the wishes of others in relation to mask wearing, physical distancing. Staff who enter your accommodation to undertake work may request you leave the area they are working in – this is to keep you and the staff member as safe as possible.
Meningitis can quickly become a dangerous illness that can spread quite quickly in an environment like halls where everyone is so close together, so it is really important you know the symptoms, check out ‘Meningitis’ on the Intranet for detailed information.
If you need help or advice about things in your accommodation, we can help! Whether you need help figuring out the laundry system, how to use your oven, or more, come along to your social space and speak to us.
Wellbeing is also something that we value at Cardiff. If you are struggling with anything, we are here to help! If you need support, we are your first point of call and can signpost you to any service that you may need. Whether you just need to have a friendly chat about something or need to talk about something more serious that is going on, we can turn you in the right direction!
You can find info about any of the services offered at Cardiff on the intranet but a few important ones to know about are:
- Counselling & Wellbeing: Offers a wide range of support, including wellbeing and counselling appointments, interactive workshops, course and groups.
- DRT: Supports students affected by harassment, hate crime, sexual violence, relationship abuse and other forms of unacceptable behaviour. Search ‘violence and abuse’ on the intranet to fill out a DRT form.
- Concerned about a student: If you are concerned about yourself or others, you can email email@example.com and they will respond to your concern within one working day where possible. They can then help to put support in place for that student.
- If you need support, but are unsure which team you need, email firstname.lastname@example.org and they can help.
For your safety, you should download the free SafeZone app (link can be found on the Intranet). This app enables you to alert Security to your exact location if you or someone around you requires help or assistance. You can request an emergency response, first aid, or contact Security for general enquiries.
Important contacts – Numbers/emails you should keep note of:
- Security – 02920 874444 emergency and non-urgent issues
- Student Connect – 02922 518888 - advice on health and wellbeing, preparing for your future, managing money or living in Cardiff
- Nightline – 02920 870555 – listening service for students open at night, offering a listening ear to the day-to-day struggles of their fellow students
- Residences – Your Reception number is on the back of your Residences card!
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com so we can help!
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