November Greetings From the Warden!

 The Warden, Saeed, with November Community Award winner Stan Jackson.

The Warden, Saeed, with November Community Award winner Stan Jackson.

Greetings!

The change in the weather, the adverts on the Internet and the Christmas lights in our local shopping centre all point to the same thing - Christmas is getting close! At International Hall, we will soon have our Christmas events and our own Christmas tree in the atrium.

In the run-up to Christmas, we have quite a few exciting new events in the hall. Our annual Murder Mystery event is happening on the 22nd of November at 8pm in the Common Room. The murder mystery dinner is an interactive theatre event, where professional actors and some from our own community will present a fictitious murder. Dinner guests will then work in teams to put the clues together to solve the mystery. The winning table will win a prize. There will be another prize for the best dressed according to the dinner theme as well. Dinner will be pizza, with wine and other refreshments. Tickets are only £5 and must be booked before the 15th November! For more details please visit www.internationalhall.com/events/murdermystery.

 ‘Get Active at IH’ week will be happening from 25th November-1st December.  At International Hall, we believe that being active brings a range of health and wellbeing benefits that are especially important during busy and stressful periods at university. We have prepared a range of events, such as yoga, self-defence class, dance session, football and cardio kickboxing. Look out for more details here.

Our Community Award for the month of November goes to Stanford (Stan) Jackson, one of the maintenance staff at IH. He has been described as hard-working and friendly on nomination forms, and as one of the forms states, 'he always finds time to solve the problems we report, even if we report them late during the day'. You can nominate a junior member of staff who made your time in the hall easier or more fun using this form: www.internationalhall.com/communityaward.

Finally, the opportunity to join the Community Volunteers Committee in the hall is now open to all residents. This is a great chance to get actively involved in the social life in the hall, add valuable experience to your CV, have priority access to special IH events and other privileges. The deadline for applications is this Thursday, November the 15th at 10 pm. Visit www.internationalhall.com/cvc2018 to submit your application.

If you need to know more about any of the above or need support, please do not hesitate to contact members of my team.

Best wishes,
Saeed
International Hall Warden

Welcome Message from the Warden

Greetings and welcome to International Hall!


I hope you have settled well in your new home and are excited for the start of the new academic year. As you make this transition please know that my team of Resident Advisors and I are here to assist you on your journey. One of our main roles is to foster community life through social events. I would like to highlight a few upcoming ones.

The Boat Party is our flagship event. We have arranged a special price for IH residents of only £10. It is a great deal for a 4-hour cruise on the Thames which ordinarily would cost £50 or more. Tickets are available for purchase online and at the Reception Desk between 6-6:30pm each day.

We also have arranged two Bus Tours around London where you get to see the sights and sounds of the greatest city in the world absolutely FREE. These will be on the 30th of September at 12:45pm and 2:30pm. Availability is limited, and seats are allocated on a first come, first served basis. The tours are open to International Hall residents only! In addition, there are two Walking Tours of Bloomsbury, our historically significant neighbourhood, on the 29th Sep and 7th Oct at 9:30am.

I hosted a wine reception for postgraduates on Wednesday, the 26th and will be hosting one for Undergraduates on Thursday, the 27th at 8. On these days, my team will also host tours of the building.  

To celebrate the start of the academic year we are offering a special Welcome Barbecue on the 30th Sep between 5-7pm. For those who live in catered accommodation, this will incur no extra cost. For others in non-catered accommodation, we have organised a very special rate of only £4.

On 29 September is also the Families Welcome Party those with families be able to meet the team and get to know your fellow families. Fun activities are organised for the children.

Please check out our regular sports and cinema schedule if you like playing football, practising yoga, or fancy watching a film in our cinema. Our Community Volunteers Committee have planned great events every Tuesday nights. Check our website for more details.

Regarding the fire evacuation on Saturday, it was good to see that everyone left the building promptly and safely. The alarm was most probably caused by use of an aerosol spray near a smoke detector. To avoid similar future incidents, please refer to the handbook for items that are not allowed to be used, as well as the prohibition of the dangerous act of covering smoke detectors. 

We want to constantly improve our service to you. To do that it is important to recognise junior staff's outstanding contribution to your student life. "International Hall Community Award" is your chance to take part in improving the Hall and we encourage you to use this form to nominate a staff member (cleaning, catering, maintenance and reception staff) who made your time in the Halls easier or more fun.   


Finally, stay in touch with us and remember that my team is available if you ever need assistance. Keep yourself updated about our latest events using this website www.internationalhall.com or our Facebook group.

Looking forward to a great year!

Best,
Saeed
International Hall Warden

March Greetings from the Warden!

Greetings!

With winter finally ending this month and expected temperatures of around 15 degrees Centigrade by the mid-March, this month we will have some exciting events to mark the changing of the season. 

We have begun the month with a week-long programme on Mental Health that proved to be popular with our residents. If anyone wishes to find out more about any of the themes explored in these events, please feel free to contact members of my team. Your welfare is a top priority for us.

To mark the International Women's Day this month, we are holding an event on 15 March with guest speaker Dr Tanya Serisier of the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research. She will lead a discussion on whether #MeToo movement represent feminism which promises to be a great event given the currency of the topic.

On 27 March, we have our very popular annual Boat Party on the river Thames. Please mark the day and check the IH FB page and website for soon more details. Please get your tickets early before they run out.

We are also excited to announce that regular Salsa Dance Classes will start soon from 14 March.

The families have a special Carnival event on 10 March and, of course, their regular screenings continue.

 Sudhir Selvaraj

Sudhir Selvaraj

There will be two sporting competition, a chess and a pool tournament, on 14 and 22 March respectively with prizes, of course.

This month’s IH Community Award goes to Mr Eddie Arif, one of our night security staff. Eddie’s great contribution to the hall is noted on the nomination form as follows: “Eddie is never without a smile on his face whatever time of day/night when he greets residents. In addition to being great at his job, he takes time to get to know residents. This adds to the community feel in the hall and makes residents feel welcome. By far, Eddie is the best night reception staff”. Please note that you can nominate any junior staff member (catering, reception, housekeeping and maintenance) via our website.

Finally, we are sad to say goodbye to Sudhir, one of the most active community members as well as wonderful friend and colleague to many of us. He is departing for his PhD research for which he will be away till the end of this academic year. On behalf of the IH community, I wish him the best of luck in his research and a very safe trip. We will miss him.

Best wishes,
Saeed
International Hall Warden

‘Tis the season of love at IH

Greetings!

January has gone by in a flash and daylight hours are already increasing which means we are past winter’s midpoint. If that thought does not cheer you up, what we have planned for February should.

Our main event of the month is the Valentine’s Party in on 9th of February which promises to be another great IH celebration. This month we have few events around the theme of LGBT History Month which include a LGBT tour of Soho (sign-up fast as only 10 spots are available) as well as a talk on relevant themes (to be confirmed). Milk, a 2008 bio-pic about Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist in California will be screened in IH Cinema on 22 February. A karaoke event, featuring love songs I have been told, will take place on the 8th of February and a games night on the 12th.   

Our sporting activities, including the very popular yoga sessions, carry on as usual, on Mondays, this month. For the children, a seasonally appropriate film called Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs will be screened in the cinema on 17 February. Finally, the romantics among you may wish to use our anonymous online Valentine’s message box to declare your feelings for fellow residents with a chance of winning a prize for the best message.

Finally, this month’s IH Community Award recipient is Ms Onaily Carreno, one of our housekeepers. Residents have described her as a very positive and friendly staff member who makes living at IH better. Please note that you can nominate any junior staff member (catering, reception, housekeeping and maintenance) via our website.

Happy February to you all!

Best,
Saeed
International Hall Warden

 

 

 Saeed with Onaily Carreno, the winner of the January IH Community Award.

Saeed with Onaily Carreno, the winner of the January IH Community Award.

New Year's Greetings!

Greetings!

First of all, on behalf of my team, I wish you a very Happy New Year! I do hope that you managed to have a relaxing break over the holidays and you feel refreshed for the start of the new term.

This month, to beat the winter blues, we have a list of events to get you involved. For those whose new year resolutions included exercising more often, we have a range of sporting activities, from yoga to football. Other events include few ice-breaker activity nights for those who wish to expand their social circle within the hall. These will appear on our list of events shortly. General cinema screenings and those for children will continue this month with exciting new films as well as classic ones, such as Pulp Fiction.

In early February, we have a guided tour for Harry Potter fans. Make sure you register because places are limited.  We will also have Murder Mystery dinner for all postgraduate residents for which tickets go on sale shortly.

I am pleased to announce that our new Community Volunteers Committee will start to work with my team to enhance the social life of the hall from this month. I welcome them and look forward to working closely with the Committee.

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Our December’s IH Community Award goes to Michelle Jeffrey, one of our morning catering staff. She has been nominated by several residents who have pointed out her exceptional enthusiasm, friendliness, and service to the community. Her lovely music is commented by many as a very welcome mood-setter in the mornings. Please note that you can nominate any junior staff member (catering, reception, cleaning and maintenance) via our website.

Finally, I am happy to announce that IH is now on Instagram. You can follow us at international_hall_uol. In case, you haven’t already, please find us on Facebook. Both of these, are great channels to hear about all the exciting things happening at IH.

Best,
Saeed
IH Warden

Report on a meeting with the contractor providing laundry facilities to International Hall

To address the growing concerns that residents of International Hall had with the laundry services a meeting was organized earlier this month with a representative from Washstation (WS), the contractor which provides laundry facilities to International Hall and other halls of residence for the University of London.

Attendance: International Hall was represented by the IH Hall Manager, Mr. Bandu Baya and IH Assistant Hall Manager, Ms Renata Byrtusova, Senior Members Arthur Eirich and Sudhir Selvaraj and five IH residents Ignacio Orrego, Katie Pysher, Aditya Ravishankar, Nicole Maib, and Natalia Bravo.

Issues Raised: 

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Issues regarding laundry services were raised in three ways to the WS representative. The first was through direct feedback from the residents present. The second was through a compilation of the posts on the Facebook groups regarding laundry (by Sudhir). And finally, Arthur presented findings from previous years student surveys. With this we feel that we provided a broad perspective for the WS Rep. The key issues identified through these can be grouped as below:

  1.  Machines breakdown quite easily and quite frequently
  2.  The time taken for repair of broken machines was very long
  3.  Number of machines are not sufficient for the number of residents and therefore, availability of the machines throughout the day is low and they are busy at certain times of the day
  4.  Instructions on how to use machines could be clearer

Response from the Washstation Representative:

1.      The representative apologized for issues with breakdowns, slow service and loss of money in the machines. He explained that Washstation had been taken over by another company and the last few months of transition had caused issues with customer service and normal maintenance response times. He suggested that under new management, these concerns will be better addressed. We have scheduled a follow-up meeting in early February to discuss progress on this.

2.      For now, he advised that the best thing to do is to contact Washstation directly for any concerns so that immediate action could be provided to residents. The telephone number is 0800 141 2331 and the team who answers calls work between 7am and 6pm on Weekdays and 8am and 3pm on Saturday and 9am – 1pm on Sunday.  Outside of these hours, individuals contact details will be taken and follow up action arranged.

3.      The WS representative said that weekly site-visits which their engineers execute include lint filter clearing, cleaning inside the machine and checking of machine temperatures. The engineers will address any faults found at the time of the visit, or logging to return with parts. Additionally, he said that under the new management response time for machine breakdown will be 4-8 hours.

4.      Relating to the availability of machines, he mentioned that the ratio of machines to residents is on par with other halls and recommended limits. Additionally, he recommended students use -http://www.washstation.co.uk/online to check when machines were in use.

5.      It was further discussed that some machines cause marks on clothes. While acknowledging that this can be due to the machine itself, he advised that another reason could be the use of low cost detergents which do not dissolve in lower temperatures like 30 degrees. He recommended using two-in-one capsules from known brands such as Surf, Persil which are better products for use on 30-degree washes. He also suggested filling each (washing and drying) cycle with less clothes.

Our Recommendation to Residents:

  1. While Sudhir and Arthur brought up that we were unhappy with the poor communication and service offered by Washstaiton during their change in management, a decision has been made to take the transition into consideration and monitor their progress closely until the next meeting in February.
  2. As advised, please do contact Washstation directly (0800 141 2331) or by using our ‘Report it’ function on the website.
  3. Please also remember to practice courteous laundry etiquette such as collecting your clothes immediately when the time is up.

Submitted by:

Arthur Eirich (arthur@internationalhall.com) and
Sudhir Selvaraj (sudhir@internationalhall.com)
Senior Members of International Hall on behalf of the Warden’s Team
12/16/2017

November Greetings from the Warden!

Greetings!

The change in the weather, the adverts on the Internet and the Christmas lights in our local shopping centre all point to the same thing - Christmas is getting close! At International Hall, we will soon have our Christmas events and our own Christmas tree in the atrium.

In the run-up to Christmas, we have quite a few exciting new developments in the hall. Over the rest of November, we have a few events focused on the University’s Reduce the Juice theme, the environmental initiative in halls of residence to save energy and water and improve recycling. On Monday, 13 November, we have a talk by Marko Ellis, the University’s Sustainability Officer about Reduce the Juice at 5:30pm in the Cinema. To improve recycling at IH, Senior Member Angelina will lead an effort across the hall shortly. You will see her announcement on our Facebook pageshortly. Senior Member Tsveta is working on organizing an environmentally-themed visit to a natural reserve in or around London.

 Saeed (Centre) with the participants of the Merengue workshop he hosted as part of the Beginner's Dance Workshops at IH.

Saeed (Centre) with the participants of the Merengue workshop he hosted as part of the Beginner's Dance Workshops at IH.

Our Beginners’ Dance Workshops which have been very popular since the start of November continue until early December. The Bollywood and Merengue workshops were enjoyed by a lot of residents and street salsa, swing, discofox and cumbia to follow shortly. These workshops are organized for IH residents and led by IH residents. No prior experience is needed.

Finally, the opportunity to get active in the Hall as part of the Community Volunteers Committee is now open to all residents. This is a great chance to get actively involved in the social life in the hall, add valuable experience to your CV, have the opportunity to live a second year at IH next year and other privileges. The deadline for applications is this Wednesday, the 15th at 10 pm.

If you need to know more about any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact members of my team.

Best wishes

Dr Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad
Warden
International Hall

Happy October!

Hi All,

I am happy to see so many of you settling in well in your new home, and starting to enjoy what International Hall has to offer, from our great squash court to IH cinema. As part of our September’s theme of Exploring Bloomsbury, it was nice to see many of you enjoying the tour of the area, as well as, the presentation of Ricci De Freitas, our local Bloomsbury historian, and author, about this part of London.

With the World Mental Health Day on October 10th, we turn our attention to mental well-being. On the 10th we will screen A Beautiful Mind a great film centered on real-life struggles of Professor John Nash, a Nobel Prize winner. We will have a discussion about the film and mental health following the screening in the LG Lounge.

On 30 October, Dr Adrian Clark of Connaught Hall will give a presentation about Happiness and Well-being. Our yoga classes and sports sessions are also great ways to enhance your physical and mental health. For those of you who like to dance, we are going to have dance workshops once a week starting shortly, the first of which will be taught by yours truly. Watch this space for more details!

As always, feel free to contact me or my team for any concerns you may have. We are always here to help.

Happy October!

Best wishes
Saeed
Warden
International Hall

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Warden's Welcome

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On behalf of the University of London, I look forward to welcoming you to International Hall, one of the largest and best-equipped intercollegiate residence halls located at the heart of the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of London. At the Hall, we pride ourselves on our strong sense of community and lively social atmosphere.

My team will do our best to contribute to the quality of life in the Hall and welcome your involvement in enhancing the community 

Before you arrive at the Hall, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with it using the link below to the hall’s webpage.  I also encourage you to thoroughly read through the Hall Handbook.

We also encourage you to join the Hall’s Facebook group .

My team look forward to meeting you soon. 

With my warmest wishes,
Dr Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad,
Warden