It’s my life…

…it’s now or never. There is nothing like a good bit of Bon Jovi to make a blog post rock! This week, most of you have gone home for the Easter vacation to enjoy the luxuries of home-cooked food, laundry being done and a good old catch up with your friends and family. However, there are still many of you on campus and if you need to contact the Accommodation Office over the break then you can contact us via the Student Information Desk and we will be available 9am-5pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

For any of our new students who are trying to activate their accommodation account prior to the applications opening on 14 April 2014, you will be unable to do this until 9 April 2014. This is due to us not currently holding data for new students coming to the University in September until after this date.

The reason for my blog title is because I thought it was about time that you should get to know who we are in the accommodation team and what we do. We have probably met some of you at our accommodation drop-in sessions within The Forum but there are some of us that you may not have met yet. It also gives you a little insight as to who I sing my blog titles to every Tuesday (aren’t they lucky?). Now in the Accommodation Office we have [insert the sound of a royal fanfare here]…

Helen ‘The Big Chief’  – Helen is the Accommodation Office Manager and oversees all of the things that happen within the Accommodation Office. She is at the forefront of letting us know what changes are being made and what is happening around the University. Helen has worked with us for about 12 years so she certainly knows her stuff. She also makes excellent cakes and often provides us all with chocolaty treats where needed which is very much appreciated by us all.

Sam  ‘The second-in-command’ Sam is the Deputy Accommodation Office Manager and covers all aspects of accommodation. She flits about from here, to there, to everywhere solving things and helping us out where needed. She is our main go-to person for anything that we need assistance with and she’s bloomin’ good at helping us out. Sam is the link between our office and SID so if there are any questions that are being frequently asked by you, she can update SID in order to get your questions answered much quicker. You may recognise Sam from our accommodation drop-in sessions because she very nicely covers our lunch breaks when we need feeding. Sam doesn’t like baking but she’s so good at it that we keep asking for more, however, I reckon that she must secretly like it because she hasn’t made a bad cake yet. If she did, we wouldn’t keep pestering her to make more!!

Sarah ‘The fountain of all knowledge’ Sarah has worked in the Accommodation Office for 5 years and is a sponge for information. She helps us out with any queries that we have which is most useful. Sarah is a whizz with our software and is currently working on some new software which we are hoping to introduce into the office in order make our lives easier when allocating rooms. She is in charge of raising invoices and sorting out paper contracts for some of our short term lettings (someone has to do it!) Sarah makes an awesome cup of tea, enjoys a lovely wander around our beautiful campus at lunch time and has the best telephone voice ever.

Catherine  ‘The webby wonder’ – I am the newbie of the office and have taken over from ‘Accommodation Cathy’ who was writing your blog posts up until October (only a slight name change to remember). I am responsible for updating the accommodation website, posting on some of our social media sites and looking at all things green to help improve our sustainability. I have also been dealing with our returners accommodation for those coming back to University accommodation in September and am a regular at our drop-in sessions. I like to sing, use jazz hands (yes, in the office) and hold the title for the ‘first applause given at our Offer Holder Visit Day Accommodation Presentations for 2014/15.’ (I am still awaiting a certificate for this achievement – hint hint).

Stefan ‘The man of the house’ – Stefan is surrounded by a sea of women and I must say, he handles us all incredibly well. Stefan is often seen at our drop-in sessions in The Forum and is on hand to help you out with any queries you may have. He deals with so many aspects of accommodation from answering your SID enquiries to liaising with our landlords about the private sector. His main focus at the moment is looking at some of our short term lettings which we are currently advertising for a minimum contract length of four weeks. Stefan likes to listen to music by bands that we have never heard of and makes us all smile with stories about his time at university and the updates about how his driving lessons are going.

Julie S ‘The Catered Queen’ – Julie is in charge of all things catered and deals with many queries relating to this. She also looks into the applications we receive for students who require adaptations within their room. Julie has worked in our office for about 10 years, so she knows a fair deal about accommodation and is one of the people you will see at our drop in sessions – she’s the one with the fantastically sparkly nails. She adores boxer dogs but absolutely does not like wasps/bees!

Julie NThe landlords lady’ – Julie looks after our landlords and assists them with advertising their accommodation on Studentpad. She has worked in the accommodation office for about twenty years (sorry to embarrass you Ju) and can often provide us with stories and tales about what used to go on and how things have changed over the years. Julie has the best jewellery collection I have seen and can often be heard by the sound of her jingling jewellery before you have even seen her.

Jenny The Summer Saviour’ – Jenny has just re-joined us from maternity leave after looking after her lovely two boys (welcome back Jenny!). She is currently looking at our summer accommodation and what might be available to students staying with us during this time (more details coming soon). She is also dealing with any early arrivals which may occur prior to September. Jenny has a fantastic tractor drinks bottle which I think she has stolen from one of her sons but, being a Devon girl, I am very impressed by it.

So that’s us! Now you know who we are and what we deal with. Next week I will give you a bit of information about our day to day tasks and what is currently happening within the office. I know, you’re all on tenterhooks waiting for the next instalment. [Insert the Eastenders boom boom boom boom boom’s here].

Accommodation Catherine – Hopefully I will be able to write next week’s blog post, that is, if I haven’t been banned by all the lovely people I’ve written about in this week’s one!

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