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Aston Easter Newsletter
| Education 2011-03-25 09:28:57
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    news:room Easter issue! Welcome to Residential Services' indispensable online newsletter www.aston.ac.uk/accommodation 3 - 2 - 1! Dalton and Lawrence Towers are being primed for demolition! News, reviews, gossip, and more Aston's Easter: Chick or egg? Both! Residential Services' iPhone app coming soon!

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    Welcome ...and a Happy Easter to all! Opinions expressed by authors and services offered by advertisers are not necessarily those of Aston University. Residential Services accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions, or any loss, damage or claim as a result of such errors or omissions. No part of this publication may be copied, distributed or held in a retrievable system without the written permission of Residential Services.

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    contents 4 Introduction 5 Information from Residence Tutors 6 - 9 Residential news 10 - 11 Homegrown: Redevelopment & demolition 12 - 13 Your comments 14 - 15 Chaplaincy: Aston's Easter 16 - 17 Library 18 Physical recreation 19 Catering 20 - 21 The Guild 22 -23 Learning Development Centre/Careers 24 -25 University news 26 Get on board 27 Forthcoming events 28 - 29 Quiztime 30 Answers 31 Contact list 3

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    4 introduction Improving your Aston experience Residential Services is dedicated to constantly improving all aspects of your stay with us on campus. Welcome to the first edition of news:room, Aston accommodation's online newsletter. As part of our ongoing commitment to delivering the very best of on campus living, we are introducing our quarterly newsletter. We at Residential Services recognise the importance of providing excellent facilities and support to enable you to achieve academic excellence, designed to provide you with lots of useful information to enhance your student experience. Our aim is to be informative but also to give you the opportunity to suggest any ways we can improve your time with us to the benefit of all. The content of the newsletter is also designed to be fun and engaging. Our first issue has an Easter theme packed with information on forthcoming student events and also contains videos relating to the progress of the new Aston Student Villages. We also have news of the imminent arrival of our free iAccommodation app! I do hope you enjoy news:room and I look forward to your feedback. Janet Reid Manager Residential Services news:room EASTER EDITION 2011 Editorial Diane Lacey Accommodation Officer 4706 D.Lacey@aston.ac.uk Tom Barker-Smith Clerical Assistant 4704 T.L.Barker-Smith@aston.ac.uk Claire Quinn Residence Officer 4716 Quinncm2@aston.ac.uk Published termly by Aston University Residential Services www.aston.ac.uk/accommodation

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    rt's & pg's Here for you... Residence Tutors and the Postgraduate Rota Team are here to provide care and support for you in halls of residence. Now that we've made it to Term 2 and you have probably spent a large amount of your student loan, we thought it would be a good idea to remind campus residents of the out of hours service i.e. the Aston campus RT and PG rota team! Some of you have no doubt heard about us already? You may have come into contact with us at the Residence Tutor talks in Fresher's week or if you lost your keys one night, and the PG rota members let you back into your room. You may even have had a visit from the duty RT's at 3 am because you were trying to recreate Gods Kitchen in your flat! Well if not, here is what we are all about. My name is Charmi Patel and I am the Senior Residence Tutor (SRT) on campus. As SRT, I am responsible for the Postgraduate Rota (including Duty Postgraduates & Residence Tutors). Together, we provide a system of pastoral care and welfare support for students residing on campus, but also ensure the maintenance of good order in the residences. So, who are these Duty PG's and RT's? Essentially, they are a group of approachable and experienced postgraduate students or members of University staff who can help with any welfare matters that arise, from disputes with flatmates and academic difficulties to more serious personal problems. They are a good first port of call in such situations as they have a vast knowledge of the University's support structures and can point you in the right direction to get help. Otherwise, they are willing to listen, if you just need someone to chat to. They also facilitate disciplinary action on behalf of the Senior Residence Tutor. They are keen to encourage you to socialize with others both in and out of your blocks to encourage the growth of new friendships. While we encourage the students on campus to live together as an independent community, the large numbers alone can make this difficult. As residents on campus you are supported 24 hours a day, and can call University Security in an emergency at any time of the day or night. The PG and RT Rota team assist Security outside normal working hours (weekdays between 10pm to 8am) and (weekends between 5pm to 9 am) respectively. PG's may attend incidents involving minor security issues (for example, lost keys or noise complaints, and RTs may attend welfare issues. You may also encounter RT's if you have a medical emergency as all Residence Tutors (along with all Security Personnel) are first aid trained. Please be aware that the out-of-hours service is for use in emergencies only. The RT's and PG's while on duty, assist in safeguarding the welfare of all resident on campus and maintain good order within the residences. Aston University campus, unlike many institutions, provides you with people that work to give YOU, the resident, some of the best welfare support around. Aston campus is traditionally a very friendly community, which provides a great deal of support to students living in residences. I hope you will help us to continue this tradition and that you enjoy your time here. Please use it well and give the service the respect it deserves. Regards, Charmi Patel Senior Residence Tutor 5

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    6 residential news Campus newsreviewswhispersetc.! Here's the latest on what's occurring... Aston iPhone app on it's way... Well why not?... the technology's there, let's use it! There are apps where you can tweet, apps where you can find out what's on TV and even an app where you can catapult 'not very happy birds' at what looks like Stonehenge... (sounds strange when you write it down!) However, Residential Services are putting together an iPhone app that will get all the latest and essential information to Aston students on the move. If you need to ring the Cashiers about a payment, you could forget the switchboard and use the contact list. If you are unable to remember where the local Post Office is, you could use the map. It's all about making information accessible, and as easy to find as possible. It's going to be free, so no complaints there! Our aim is for it to be a one stop shop for anything related to Aston University. As soon as it's ready, we'll let you know! Your one stop Aston shop!

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    Don't let your laundry get the better of you. Launderette Our on site laundry is 30% cheaper than the high street laundrette We understand that doing laundry can be a hassle - but it doesn't need to be. Our exciting and innovative online communication system is designed to get you out of the laundry and on with your life. Latest technology The unique Laundry View technology provides:- * An online facility which allows you to check availability of washers and dryers in your laundry. You can even receive an e-mail alert when your wash and dry cycles are complete * The virtual view allows you to take a peek at the laundry from your PC in the comfort of your room. It's easy as each machine is colour coded to show whether it's 'available' or 'in use' as well as showing you the estimated time the machine will become available! Want to learn more about Laundry View? Please visit www.circuitgroup.com/viewaston Fast and hassle free top up card system Gone are your days of having pockets full of change for the laundry. Our top up system allows you to top up online, even parents can top up from the comfort of their own home with peace of mind once the top up has been made. Simply insert your card into the machines to pay for wash and dry cycles and your card balance will appear before and after the selected cycle. Top up is easy: * Log on to your personal account from your laptop or PC www.circuitcardtopup.com * Pay an affordable amount with a credit or debit card and note the top up number * Insert card and tap in number at the top up machine in the laundry * Your top up is complete! Along with the benefit of our top up service and laundry view, our laundry offers a modern, safe and clean environment to be in. Your on-site laundry offers you great value washing and drying at a time that's convenient to you. 7

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    8 residential news Derwent Facilities Management Keeping Aston's accommodation in tip-top condition, 24/7. Derwent Facilities Management (Derwent FM) provides facility management services to over 8000 student accommodation units across the country. This portfolio includes schemes in London, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Derby, Loughborough, Coventry and Birmingham. We take student experience very seriously across all our schemes and understand that university life is not all about studying and passing exams but the entire experience of attending university where students acquire life skills, lifelong friends and social contacts. For many students it is their first time away from home and living and sharing with others. We are very aware of this transition and work closely with Residential Services and the University to help make it as smooth as possible. As a company we are committed to enhancing this experience. At Aston Student Village, Derwent FM is responsible for building maintenance, electrical and mechanical services and cleaning. So, if you have a problem with your accommodation that requires repair such as a faulty light, please report. We have tried to make reporting a fault as easy as possible and this can be done in many ways. The best way for non urgent or emergency work is to log onto the Residential Services website: http://www1.aston.ac.uk/study/ accommodation/maintenmaintenance-fault-reportance-faultreport/ There is also a terminal you can use in Lakeside Reception, which is a direct link to the Derwent FM helpdesk reporting system. If you are unable to get the use of a PC, laptop or get to the terminal in Lakeside Reception, you can phone the Porters on 0121 204 4715 (outside line) or internally on ext 4715. Emergency/urgent calls during the hours of 08:00 to 22:00 should be made to the Porters on the above numbers. Out of hours 22:00 and 08:00 should be made to Aston Security on 0121 204 4803, (outside line), internally on ext 4803 or from the Emergency Phone in the Corridor of your Accommodation. Derwent FM are committed to reacting to calls as soon as possible, so please report the fault as soon as you notice it. We would rather have too many reports of a fault than not know there is a problem. The following are examples of reaction times that you can expect from us: * Lift entrapment within 1 hour * No lights in room within 4 hours * No hot or cold water within 4 hours * Broken toilet seat within 1 day

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    * Repair and painting to walls may be done within two weeks. If it is not possible to undertake the work whilst the room area is occupied, this may be delayed until the accommodation is empty in the summer. Below is a graph and stats for a typical month's maintenance. We have used the month of January 2011 to demonstrate the work carried out by Derwent. January 2011 Breakdown of Incidents Logged and Work Orders Status 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 ASV Lakeside ST OC Site The helpdesk summary for January shows 872 incidents logged onto the Derwent FM Fault reporting system, whilst 769 work orders have been completed. Derwent FM also carry out the cleaning to your accommodation, the cleaning staff are committed to maintaining an hygienic environment without too much intrusion into your living space and interfering with your Student experience. With this in mind, Residential Services, Aston Incidents raised (872) Work orders finished (769) N.B. The additional orders completed for Lakeside were logged during the Christmas Vacation 2010. Work orders not finished on time (103) Student Village and Derwent FM set a Service level Agreement that would offer the best value for the Residents without compromising their experience and stay at Aston Student Village. The cleaning regime for the different types of accommodation is as follows; Accommodation kitchens are cleaned once per week as per the schedule in your kitchen. Please ensure all surfaces are clear of personnel items. Shared bathrooms in Stafford are cleaned once a week. En-suite in ASV New Build and Lakeside are cleaned once per month. I hope that you find all the services provided by Derwent FM to a high standard. If you do not find the service to a high standard then please let your Residence Officer know and she will inform the Derwent FM Management Team on site. Dave Pennells Derwent FM 9

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    The Aston Student Village project (when completed) will provide 2400 brand new rooms, built to the highest standard, all with en suite bathrooms. We recognise how important accommodation and facilities are to our students and we have taken this step to provide them with high-quality, wellmaintained rooms which meet their requirements, whilst also giving them the opportunity to live on campus, which for many years has been a key feature of Aston's reputation for friendliness. Demolition In order to make way for Phase 2 of the new development, Sunday 8th May 2011 is Demolition Day for Dalton and Lawrence Towers. The demolition of Dalton and Lawrence Towers will mean that if you are living or studying in the immediate area you will have to temporarily move out on Sunday 8th May, in a managed evacuation. 10 homegrown Redevelopment / demolition A very important date for your diary: Sunday 8th May, 2011. Residents and workers will have to vacate: Stafford Tower Old Cross B Block Residences (New Build) Conference Aston University Library These buildings will be closed for around 6 hours on Sunday 8th May. Sunday 8th May is the date that has been selected following extensive discussion with the Police, Health and Safety Executive, Birmingham City Council and many others. Everyone who is evacuated will be able to use the Main University building and the Students' Guild in order to study and revise for exams. We are doing everything we can in order to keep disruption to a minimum at this very important time of the academic year. Free food and refreshments will be available all day in The Guild and the Main Building. Click here to view an animated video of the campus development We have to create an 'exclusion zone' around the demolition site, in order to comply with safety requirements. So it will not be possible to return to your residences or the Library during the demolition process. We hope to install a 'big screen' in The Guild and the Main Building so that we can view the actual demolition. We would like to thank you in advance for your understanding and patience. We will be giving you detailed information about the managed evacuation process over the next few weeks and months via email, posters and leaflets, and the University website. Please make sure you have two dates in your diary - Demolition Day is 8th May. University Examinations begin on 10th May.

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