Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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16 September 2009 | PR 09/123

Freshers Week plans come to fruition

With less than a week to go until the first students arrive back in Loughborough for the new academic year, the University and its partners are putting the finishing touches to plans to ensure the start of term runs efficiently and all students feel welcomed and are able to adjust smoothly to life on campus and in the community.  

The University, Students’ Union, Police and Charnwood Borough Council all have programmes in place and are working closely together in partnership with residents and a variety of new initiatives will be in place for the first time.

New first year students or ‘freshers’ arrive on Tuesday 22 September.  Their arrival has again been spread over a number of days to help reduce the volume of traffic on campus and the surrounding roads at any one time.  All essential documentation has been sent to students in advance, which aims to ensure that arrival at hall and the registration process is as efficient and stress free as it can be.

The first partnership activity will take place within hours of the first students arriving when they will be briefed by their hall wardens, student representatives, University security staff and the Police about keeping safe, secure and healthy in their new environment and on showing respect for the local community. 

Partnership working will continue when the social programme gets underway.  The hall committees and Students’ Union have once again put together a fantastic range of activities together for freshers week.  Events cater for every taste.  Considerable emphasis is on campus activity in the Student Union building, but there will also be trips into town and away from Loughborough. 

For activities in town, hall committees will accompany small groups of students and, in a new initiative,  buses will be in use on two days .  By using buses it is hoped students will gradually become familiar with the local area and the various routes into town from campus and  that disturbance for local residents can be avoided.  There will be a considerable Police presence in town and on the streets during freshers week and the Students’ Union will be running their usual Sshh! Campaign (Silent Students Happy Homes).  In another new initiative the Students’ Union will also have ‘wardens’ in operation.  Everyone will be on the look out for lost or lone students and be attempting to keep any noise or disruptive behaviour to a minimum. 

Students in their second and third years will re-register at the University on Sunday 27 September and the Returning Students Community Bazaar will take place along side the registration event.  Now in its fifth year, this event aims to provide students living in the community with all the information they need to know.  A range of organisations, including the Police and Charnwood Borough Council will be at the event to provide students with a comprehensive package of advice and guidance on anything from the waste and recycling system and crime prevention to where to rent a DVD!  The Community Student Handbook will also be given to students.  Produced for the first time this year, this guide repeats much of the information that will be on offer at the bazaar and will be a handy reference guide.

The Community Student Handbook will also be given out during an extensive ‘door-knocking’ exercise being undertaken during the first two weeks of term.  This will involve the Students’ Union, Police and University and is being co-ordinated by Charnwood Borough Council.  It is another way the partner agencies are seeking to pass on essential information for students living in the community and to provide support for them, many of whom may be living in the community for the first time.  In parallel with this the Students’ Union will be operating their ‘Knock a Neighbour’ campaign, which is yet another new idea and is designed to ensure that neighbours get to know each other.

Once term progresses the University’s community wardens will begin to establish contacts with community students and offer advice and guidance.  They will also liaise with residents in their respective areas to promote good relationships.  Wardens currently cover the Storer, Burleigh, Kingfisher, Herrick Road and Ashby Road Estate parts of Loughborough.

Whilst the majority of students respect the community that is their new home, the partner agencies will again have systems in place to deal with any students that step out of line.  Criminal behaviour should always be reported to the Police.  Other anti-social behaviour can be reported to any of the partner agencies.   The University’s 24-hour telephone helpline (222141) will again be operational and Charnwood Borough Council’s anti-social behaviour team can be contacted on 634920 or 634533 during office hours or out of office hours  on 634550 (answerphone).

Will Spinks, Chief Operating Officer for the University says a remarkable package has been put together for the benefit of students and the community.  He comments: “This year we have done more than ever before to ensure that our students settle to life in Loughborough as quickly and smoothly as possible.  Working with residents and our partner agencies we have put together a comprehensive range of activities and processes designed to welcome students to or back to Loughborough and to reassure our neighbours.”

Rob Hulme, President of Loughborough Students’ Union says:  “Freshers week is an exciting time for new and returning students and local residents alike. However, the Students’ Union hasn’t lost sight of some of the problems that we are faced with hosting such an event. Working with residents and the University, we have strived to provide a multitude of measures designed to better the lives and experiences of everyone involved – a difficult task but something we are very proud of.”

PC Mike Green is the Principal Beat Officer for the University working alongside three Police Community Support Officers.  He said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming the new and returning students and will be helping them settle into the area as quickly and easily as possible. We are running extra patrols in and around the campus during the first couple of weeks of term to reassure students and local residents and help keep disruption to a minimum.”

Cllr David Snartt, the Chairman of Charnwood Community Partnership said: “The new door knocking initiative will reach hundreds of returning students, some of whom will be preparing for their first step into the wider world away from halls. It is vitally important that we help them to settle into their community life and that they are also made aware of some of the pitfalls that can be laid for them and what they can do to protect themselves and their property.  With a few simple steps they will have a safe and happy time at Loughborough”

Russ Bowman, SARG (Storer and Ashby Area Residents Group) says: We are very pleased to see the procedures put in place by the University and the Students Union to allow the freshers to enjoy their first period in the University while at the same time not causing disturbance to local residents. SARG has worked with the University and Students Union for a number of years now and these discussions have helped to provide these innovations. We welcome students into our community but also ask that they respect the community in which they may live or pass through between the University and town.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Alison Barlow
Community Relation Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228696
E: A.J.Barlow@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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