09 July 2014
Unsung Heroes of the Academic Calendar: July, 2014
Last month we mentioned all the hard work that admissions put in to guarantee that things go smoothly. Without their help and guidance, students would be under a lot more stress and have a significantly lower chance of getting universities to notice them. This month we’re recognising the unsung academic heroes of July; the university accommodations teams that make sure that accepted students have a roof over their head when they arrive.
In the short interim that students accept their offers and arrive in September to begin their course, the accommodation departments are inundated with queries. The team will field a wide range of questions, predominantly from nervous 18-20 year olds, about deadlines for applying to university and the facilities available. The accommodation team spend a lot of their valuable time answering questions like:
- Am I guaranteed the accommodation I want
- Can I bring / keep my car on campus
- Will my accommodation be near the lecture halls for my course
- Can I live with my friends
- Where are the nearest laundry facilities
- Is there a gym / library / train station
Providing accommodation might sound straightforward, but it is often complicated by international applicants, mature students with families, difficulties with maintenance loans and students with special needs
Accommodation Officers aren’t just responsible for housing freshers. They also assist faculty members, coordinate mid-term room changes, sign-off deposit repayments and keep existing on and off-campus students updated on room availability. In many universities the accommodations team is responsible for ensuring the correct rent and charges are levied – not a pleasant duty when students are struggling financially!
Meanwhile Student Accommodation Managers are tasked with finding high quality yet affordable accommodation. Adding new landlords to the university registry, performing property inspections and corresponding with outsourced services are just some of the vital everyday tasks of a senior accommodations professional.
There’s not much down-time on the academic calendar for the accommodations team to gather their wits. August marks a busy period as the team reacts to drop-outs and coordinates with facilities staff to ensure rooms are vacated and cleaned for September arrivals. There is similar rush when students move out, usually between May and June.
The students, staff and faculty are at the heart of every university so providing a comfortable and safe living environment for those that live on campus or university-registered residences is a big responsibility. It’s easy to complain when things go wrong, everybody hears about accommodation fiascos. This also makes sense. If you don’t hear the industrious hum of the accommodations team at work, it’s only because they’re too busy underpinning a cornerstone of university life.
Click4Assistance helps accommodations teams at the University of Liverpool, Glyndwr University, the University of East London and other major UK universities. To find out how, get in touch on 0845 123 5871 and book a demonstration of our live chat software.