In a meeting of the University Assembly, 96% voted to maintain the current Residential Life Team (RLT) system.
There were approximately 200 attendees to the meetings, which is roughly double the usual number, according to one Assembly member present.
The Assembly represents the views of staff employed by the University. According to the University website, the purpose of the Assembly is to make recommendations to the Council or Senate on any matter relating to the University
This vote comes as the Director of Wellbeing and Safeguarding, Dr Hannah Friend, has for many months been aiming to reform and change the RLT system. The plan is to replace it with Residential Community Assistants (RCAs).
All RCAs would be available to help with students’ needs between 17:00 and 23:00 daily, with up to 6 staff covering the rest of the day for the whole campus.
In the current system, RLT members work on a voluntary basis but are provided free accommodation, bar a £600 annual utility bill. New RCAs will have to pay rent but will work on part-time contracts, which will roughly cover the cost of some accommodation blocks.
Current RLT staff members will lose their roles at the end of the academic year and must leave their accommodation by January. Under the plans, new RCAs must be students, either as third or fourth-year undergraduates or postgraduates.