Residential Life Team Useful information: The volunteer framework & expectations

Residential Life Team
Useful information:
The volunteer framework & expectations
Applications for the year: 2016-17
You may be considering applying to join Warwick’s Residential Life Team as a volunteer.
This leaflet may help you with useful information about being in the residential system.
If you are successful and join the team – what do we expect from our volunteers and
what can you hope to gain from your experience?
If you are successful and join the Residential
Life Team then your volunteer role lasts for an
academic year (starting in September). If you
are struggling to fulfil the role then you may be
asked to leave early or may not be considered
for re-appointment the following year.
Some of the most common questions asked
by people when they are considering joining
the team are:
• How much time will the role take up in
the average week?
• How much time am I allowed off / away?
• Apart from the accommodation – what
else comes with the role?
• What happens if my personal
circumstances change?
• What other things do I need to consider?
This leaflet is not comprehensive – it aims to
help briefly answer some frequently asked
questions. If you have any more queries then
you can always contact the Student Support
Office (or once you are part of the team you
can ask your Warden).
Time commitment and expectations
It is difficult to place a time value on the role
of residential volunteers. The role works with
students and this interaction means that your
time spent on residential matters may be
relatively low one week or very high another
(if dealing with a complex welfare matter for a
student). No two weeks may be the same! This
is what can make the role enjoyable and provides
personal challenges which you can learn from.
As a guideline we say that an average week
may require you to:
• check the student kitchens each morning
(you also need to check at weekends).
• meet with students in the early evening in
their kitchens to talk through issues, get
to know them and sign-post information.
• attend a team training session and liaise
with your hall team.
• help with the preparation for a hall event.
As you can see this could add-up to approx. 15
hours commitment from you.
For three or four times a term (or for a
whole week if you are in Westwood) you are
required to remain on call on campus for any
student issue for 24 hours.
Sometimes there may be a need for you to
help out for a more intensive period of time.
This may impact on your work or studies.
This is why we ask for your manager or
supervisor to sign your application form
so that they are aware that there may be
additional calls on your time.
We also ask you to consider if you are likely
to return late from a night out (usually after
midnight) that you consider taking the
evening as time-off. You need to remember
that some of the time supporting your
students will happen after midnight (when
they are still up and around!) and there will be
an expectation from the University that you
are there to help with any issues.
Holidays and time away
As part of the residential team you have an
allocation of one night off a week in termtime. In essence: 10 nights a term – 30
nights in an academic year. This time can be
gathered together for a weekend-off but you
must not be away from your hall for longer
than three nights at a time during term-time
without permission from your Warden.
You need to consider the impact that your
time away may have on your students and
fellow team members who will cover for you
whilst you’re away.
This cover is vital. A lot of our students
are here over vacations and postgraduate
students are here for 51 weeks in the year! The
teams need to organise cover all year around
for the students in their halls. Wardens’ work
with their teams to ensure appropriate cover
is maintained. So you may be expected to help
cover at Christmas or Easter vacations.
If your work or studies has time critical
elements or extended / frequent periods away
from the University visiting or undertaking
research then you need to carefully consider
if it is appropriate for you to apply. We need
you to be available for University term times.
We understand that some courses may have
an element requirement for placement away
from campus (such as MB ChB) and we may
You can take longer personal holidays outside
of term time as long as there is cover for the
students in your hall. You will liaise and work
with your Warden to ensure the necessary
cover is in place.
What comes with my accommodation?
If you are successful and join the residential
volunteers then you receive on campus
You accommodation is allocated to you after
interview. We are not able to provide you with
specific accommodation. Our accommodation
is varied and we need to match this to our
volunteers. An example of this would be
if you had applied and let us know you are
married. You may be successful but we may
not have accommodation available which is
suitable for a couple. This means that you may
need to go on the waiting list until suitable
accommodation becomes available.
You do need to pay a modest contribution for
your heating and power consumption. You
will be asked to sign-up for a regular direct
debit to your bank or building society account
to pay for this.
You will also receive a mobile phone and have
a phone extension in your accommodation.
These are for work purposes only and may
not be used for personal calls.
You are expected to keep your accommodation
in good order and clean. The University may
need access periodically to undertake routine
maintenance or tests. The University may
require you to temporarily move elsewhere on
campus so that refurbishment work can take
place. We will work with you if this happens.
The accommodation is provided furnished
and it is not possible to store this furniture
so that you can use you own. In most cases
it is not possible to bring pets onto campus.
There are very few residences that are able to
accommodate this for residential volunteers
– Westwood is an example.
You may also apply for a parking permit in the
nearest designated car park.
You need to vacate your residence promptly
at the end of your time with the team and
leave things in good order.
What happens if my personal
circumstances change?
During your time in the team your personal
circumstances may change. You may wish
to take time away from your course, have a
partner move in with you or find a job outside
of Warwick.
We do need to know if your personal
circumstances change - we work with you to
get the best outcomes for us all.
Please be aware – if you are married or have a
partner then we do need to know. They need
to sign an agreement and so we can notify
local government agencies that we may have
an additional registered voter, etc. Please be
aware that your partner is not able to act as a
volunteer and help out with the students.
We are not able to accommodate friends
for extended periods. You can have guests
and visitors stay overnight and weekends however it must not be for long stays. Just
like the students in your halls – you are
responsible for anyone you invite into the
What other things do I need to consider?
It is sometimes difficult to get the balance
right with students. You may naturally
wish to be their friend however this may be
perceived by others as favouritism and may
make some of your role more difficult to
achieve. You need to remember that when
you join the team you are representing the
University. It may no longer be appropriate
to go out with the students to the Union!
Your behaviour and conduct needs to set a
good model for your students to follow.
What may I take away from my
This is a unique opportunity to meet a
different group of people. You will have
chances to develop some “softer” skills
such as mediation, active listening, event
project leadership and dealing with difficult
situations and conversations. This will help
with future employability.
Useful information: The volunteer framework & expectations | RESIDENTIAL LIFE TEAM
ask you to take your placement over the Easter
vacation to minimise the impact on students.
Student Support
The University of Warwick is committed
to providing a supportive and positive
environment for all members of its community.
There is a comprehensive support and welfare
structure available to help with all kinds of
different problems.
Please contact us on:
E [email protected]
T +44 (0)24 7657 5570
Student Support
University House
The University of Warwick
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