A lot of my experience in gaining support is based around my use of accommodation, on campus (in my first year) and off (in my final two years). This post details my experience with all things Accommodation Support, with a little focus on Facilities Management who have helped me with a few situations. FM are based in the Durning Building, and they are the go to staff for anything campus related from collecting mail that requires signatures, to fixing locks on doors (long story 🙂 ).
My on campus experience started when I applied for a room via the online registration system where details of which halls you want to live in are placed, and I gained a room in my first option, the back halls. Whenever something would no longer work like a light bulb finally giving out, a quick email to FM later and they got the problem fixed. There’s a laundrette nearby (very handy), and FM also keep the campus tidy. On a more personal level, there are Halls Managers and Student Assistants around to help with health problems like stress (ahem super noisy neighbours!) and homesickness.
For finding off campus accommodation, I used the list of vacancies that the Accommodation Service created after liaising with some local landlords. It’s a convenient thing: showing up to date information on their website about how many rooms are free, and what the rent includes / excludes etc.. I was very fortunate to get the last room in a place very close to the shops and train station, after contacting the landlord using the list’s details and checkout the place for myself. I also attended workshops that Student Services hosted to advise us on how best to approach getting those new headquarters, making me aware of good practice and bad practice, as well as the fact that they can help with analysing third party contracts such as short hold ones.
Moving the focus back to FM, I should also mention that if you are a media student such as myself that may have to film on campus, FM are the ones to go to for filming permission so that they can assess if you are safe to go ahead, and warn you if anything may get in the way such as events on the filming day. For the permission, they currently require a completed risk assessment (signed by the module tutor), a breakdown of what will happen (set up, film what (draw a diagram of the floor plan), set down) within what time frame, and contact details of crew. Below is a music video that myself and my team filmed, with some scenes filmed on campus (although we tried to hide that in the video to seem more professional) after properly gaining filming permission!
There is a range of other support available at Edge Hill such as Inclusion Services (equal opportunities) and Learning Services (the Library etc.), with one particular favourite of mine being the Careers Service whose online job vacancy site helped me get voluntary and paid work.
Whilst Uni students are generally adults, adults need support too!