For many, being at university means getting a first taste of independence – knowing you can stay out as late as you like, meet new people and make your own rules. But new freedom comes with new responsibilities. Below are a few tips to ensure your personal safety – so that fantastic night out doesn’t become the night you wish you could forget.

Our top tips:

  • If you’re going out, make sure a friend or flatmate has your mobile number, knows where you’re going and roughly what time you plan to get back.
  • When you’re out, don’t leave your drink unattended, and keep track of what you’re drinking.
  • If you can, try and leave with a friend or a group of friends. Avoid walking home alone in the dark.
  • Don’t let anybody into your room if you don’t yet know them well enough.

More things to think about…

Before going out

  • Why not cook a group meal with your house or flatmates? There’s nothing worse than drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Plan ahead for getting home – especially if you’re going somewhere you don’t know.
  • Charge your phone before heading off and consider taking a portable charger with you in case you get caught out
  • Save a reliable and recognised taxi number in your phone; the University’s Security Services team will be able to recommend a company.

When you’re out

  • Remember you can ask for Angela. If you’re on a date you don’t feel comfortable on, the person you’re meeting is not who you expected, you feel unsafe, or just something is a bit ‘off’, go to the bar and ask for ‘Angela’. The bar staff will know what to do and will be able to discreetly help you out of the situation. This is a campaign by the Met Police, for more information click here.
  • Never accept a drink from a stranger. If you feel ill or drunk when you shouldn’t, your drink could have been spiked and tell someone you trust or a member of staff at the bar/club immediately.
  • Don’t feel pressured to drink if you don’t want to. You can opt for soft drinks instead, or in between alcoholic drinks.
  • Walk away from conflict or a tense situation. Alcohol fuelled fights at 2am are never a good idea and you’ll always regret it in the morning.
  • Try to stay in a group, and look out for each other.

Heading home

  • Let your friends know if you’re leaving.
  • On the bus? Don’t sit in an isolated area.
  • If you decide to walk, stick to well-lit paths and busy areas.
  • When you’re walking, stay alert. Don’t get distracted by your mobile or headphones.
  • If you think you’re being followed, cross the street. If it persists, get to the nearest busy location and phone the police on 999.
  • If you feel nervous at night walking through campus or back to your room, the University offers a chaperone service, where a member of security can walk you to your destination on campus.
  • When you get back to your room, have your keys ready before you get to the door, so you can get straight in. Always lock your door when you’re in your room.

Day to day

  • Be aware of campus security – they can help in case of an emergency. Find out more about the service, including the Chaperone service and a ‘stay safe’ guide here.
  • Be aware of campus surroundings. Although the University environment is generally a safe place, it is not a ‘bubble’ and you should still be vigilant.

 

For more information, see:

Useful telephone numbers to save in your phone:

Around campus…

  • University emergency security services: +44 (0)118 378 6300
  • University general security services: +44 (0)118 378 7799

When out and about…

  • Non-emergencies or reporting an incident: 101
  • Emergency: 999

The University of Reading urgently needs international students for 1 of two focus groups happening tomorrow (Friday 24 Nov) to find out what information will benefit new international students most upon arriving at Reading. The focus groups are 1 hour and participants get free lunch and a £5 EAT voucher for taking part. You don’t need to prepare, just go along and share your views on what information you think is most useful to new international students getting settled to life at the University of Reading. The main focus will be giving feedback on the current version of the International Student Survival Guide in order to improve the guide and the overall welcome experience for future international students.

Taking place this Friday (24th November) in the Edith Morley Building 243c, there will be two focus groups running during the day:

Group 1) 11:00am – 12:00pm
Group 2) 01:00pm – 02:00pm

To take part, students will need to email Mark Peace, m.h.k.peace@reading.ac.uk with their name, student number, nationality and the programme they’re studying (BA, BSc, MA etc).

Open to international first year undergraduates and PGT students only!

 

When you begin your studies at the University you will be allocated a member of academic staff from your School/Department as your Personal Tutor.

Your Personal Tutor acts as a key point of contact within your School/Department throughout your degree. They will help to guide you in your studies and introduce you to a wider network of development opportunities within the University.

 

Your Personal Tutor can help you to:

  • Make decisions about your course and reflect on your academic progress
  • Formulate plans to support your academic and personal/professional development
  • Connect you to other academics and opportunities in your field of study or subject area

Meeting with your Personal Tutor

Regular contact with your Personal Tutor is important and will help you to get the most out of your University experience. You should meet with them regularly (at least once a term) to reflect on your academic progress and support your personal/professional development.

Keeping your Personal Tutor up to date with progress in your studies and your involvement in any co-curricular and extra-curricular activities will allow them to give you better advice and sounder references to support your academic or career progression.

 

Changing Personal Tutor?

If you feel the relationship between you and your Personal Tutor is not functioning as it should, you can request a re-allocation. Please discuss this with your School’s Senior Tutor in the first instance.

If your Personal Tutor leaves the University you will be allocated another Tutor in their place.

 

5 topic ideas to discuss with your Personal Tutor:

  1. Improving your knowledge of a topic/subject beyond the classroom
  2. Careers, work experience and networking (including how to network effectively!)
  3. Essay and coursework advice
  4. Extracurricular activities that compliment your subject or area of study
  5. Making the most of your lectures and seminars

 

For more information, click here.

As the winter nights draw in and the evenings are now cold and dark, it’s important to bear your own safety and security in mind when you’re out and about. Whether you live on campus or in private accommodation, it’s good to remember some simple strategies and support services that help you continue your daily routine safely.

Security Services – Staying safe and secure

The Security team at the University of Reading are largely focused on the personal safety of staff and students. They are present on campus, completing security patrols, surveillance and emergency response callouts from any location on university property. With a 24 control room and CCTV networks, the Security Team are here to support you if need help or wish to report something. They can be contacted on:

Emergency telephone: +44 (0)118 378 6300

General enquiries telephone: +44 (0)118 378 7799 (All calls are recorded for Verification and Audit purposes)

Email: securitycontrol@reading.ac.uk

It is worth putting the numbers into your phone now, just in case!

Please note: For cases where you require the emergency services (Police, Ambulance, Fire brigade etc.), dial 999 immediately.

The Security Service also offers other services such as Campus Watch (similar to neighbourhood watch), a Chaperone Service (assistance for ensuring you get from A to B safely), and also offer security equipment (such as bike locks, personal alarms and high-visibility vest) to purchase to protect yourself and your belongings.

Security Services also offer advice, as prevention is the best way to tackle crime. They offer advice on a range of topics such as:

  • Personal safety
  • Security advice for schools and departments
  • Keeping your vehicle secure
  • Keeping your bicycle secure
  • Safe cycling

For more information, visit our Safety and Security pages.

 

 

MONDAY 20th

Housing Talks by RUSU Advice Service (with free pizza!)
16.00-17.00. Monterey Lounge.
https://www.rusu.co.uk/advice/

Transgender Day of Remembrance
13.00-13.40. Flagpole near Library at Whiteknights.

TUESDAY 21st

Reading Film Theatre – Maudie (12a)
19.45 Palmer. Get your tickets today!
http://readingfilmtheatre.co.uk/

RUSU Comedy Central Live ft. Marlon Davis, Kelly Convey & Adam Rowe
19.00 Mojo’s Bar. Make sure you buy your ticket!
https://www.rusu.co.uk/ents/#

 

WEDNESDAY 22nd

Public Lecture – Lost & Found: Excavating the world’s first farmers in Iraq and Iran. 10,000-7,500 BC
20.00, G10 Palmer Building. Register to attend!
http://www.reading.ac.uk/15/about/newsandevents/Events/Event738685.aspx

Christmas Wreath Making (volunteering society)
14.00. Lakeside residential Care Home
https://www.rusu.co.uk/activities/giag/

Transgender Awareness Training
14.00-16.00. Palmer 106.
Students can book by contacting Sinead O’Flynn – s.oflynn@reading.ac.uk
Staff can book via Employee Self Service.

 

THURSDAY 23rd

Reading Film Theatre – God’s Own Country (15)
19.45 Palmer. Get your tickets today!
http://readingfilmtheatre.co.uk/

Film Night – Beauty and the Beast (Disney, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror Film society collaboration)
19.00. Edith Morley 125.
https://www.rusu.co.uk/activities/giag/

 

FRIDAY 24th

Bread Making Workshop
10.30 / 11.30 Chaplaincy Centre. £2. Book your place now at:
chaplaincy@reading.ac.uk

Film Society – Comedy Collection
19.00. Minghella Building.
https://www.rusu.co.uk/activities/giag/

 

SATURDAY 25th

Big Band Swing Ball
19.00, Great Hall London Road Campus. Book your ticket today!
http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/music/Events/SwingBall.aspx

RU Doc Soc Christmas Trip to Bath
Coach leaving from campus at 10am.
https://www.rusu.co.uk/societies/15273/

A Flower for Oscar Wilde: Being Human Festival
10.00-13.00. Reading Museum, Belgrave Street, RG1 1QH. Register to attend!
http://www.reading.ac.uk/15/about/newsandevents/Events/Event738731.aspx

 

 

 

 

Starting this Friday (17 November), students will be able to make use of additional study space in the URS building over the weekends.

Rooms 2s14, 2s21, 2s25, 2s26 and 2s27 will be open for use from 18:00 on Fridays until 08:00 on Mondays, during term time.

These rooms had to be closed when the Large Lecture Theatre in URS was reopened in September. They will still be inaccessible on the weekdays during term time, but will be open for use over the weekends and also during vacations and summer terms when the lecture theatre is closed.

The Library also has arrangements in place to open up space in the Chancellor’s Building on Saturdays and Sundays between 10:00 and 18:00 if the Library@URS reaches capacity. Users are requested to talk to Library staff at the URS Ground Floor Information Desk  if they are having difficulty in finding a space.

 

Refurbishment

Work began this week on the installation of the cladding towards the front of the University Library. Over the next weeks, the contractors will be installing cladding brackets and rails on the exterior walls, which will involve heavy drilling. Occupants of Edith Morley, Whiteknights House and URS buildings may experience a higher than usual noise level, but are advised that the drilling work will finish by 10 am every day.

Meanwhile, work continues inside the Library with the focus on the internal and service works on the basement, ground and 1st floors; surveying and ductwork on the 4th floor; works to the roof and 5th and 6th floor plant room; and, weather proofing of the North, East and South sides.

The diversion in place outside the Library will continue and we will keep you updated on the progress.

 

Stay up to date 

Keep checking the Library blog for the latest refurbishment news and updates.

For more information on the Library refurbishment, please see our dedicated project page: www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb.

Monday 13th
HBS Event – ‘Assessment Centres Explained’        1-1.50pm Room 108

University Challenge Team Selection Quiz            6-7pm Palmer 106
Register your interest to attend!

Final day for NUS Delegates nominations             3pm (online)
Click here to nominate yourself!

R.U Not Drinking Much? Games Night                  7pm Palmer 104
Click here for more details.

WW1 Centenary Lecture with David Bilton            7pm G27 Edith Morley
Free to attend. Click here for more information.                                                                                              

 

Tuesday 14th
RUSU Mexican Night                                             7.30-11pm Mojos
Click here for more details.

Construction Fair                                                  11-2pm 3Sixty
Click here for more information

HBS Event – ‘Strengths Based Interviews’              1-1.50pm Room 108

Reading Film Theatre: Screening Wind River          7.45pm Palmer Building
Click here for more information.

 

Wednesday 15th
HBS Event – ‘Shine in the Group Exercise’             1-1.50pm Room 108

Masters Visit Afternoon                                        12-4pm Meadow Suit Park House
Confirm your place here!

 

Thursday 16th
Reading Film Theatre: Screening In Syria               8pm Palmer Building
Click here for more information.

Jess Phillips MP: Talk and Debate                           6pm Van Emden: Edith Morley
Register to attend!

Open Student Meeting                                           1-2pm Miller Building G05

 

Friday 17th
R.U Not Drinking Much? Film Night                        7pm Palmer 104
Click here for more information.

Film Society: Screening Moonlight (2016)               7pm Minghella Studios
Click here for more details.

 

Some criminals specifically target international students, telephoning them and pretending to be from a legitimate organisation (such as the UK Home Office, an education agent or even UKCISA). They demand money (calling it a “fine” for a non-existent immigration problem), and claim that if you do not pay them quickly, there will be damaging consequences (for example, deportation or cancelling your visa).

 

Is it a fraud?

You can help protect yourself by being aware of the common features of these fraudulent calls (‘scams’).

  • The caller may appear to be genuine and convincing, because they have some limited information about you (for example, your passport number, as well as your telephone number and name).
  • The caller may give you their name and telephone number, to try to convince you they are genuine.
  • They may say that there is a serious problem with your immigration status, and that you need to pay a fine, or send a payment.
  • The payment is, most commonly, demanded to be made via Western Union, PayPal or iTunes as soon as possible, supposedly to prevent further action or investigation by the UK Home Office.
  • The caller will speak in dramatic terms, perhaps talking about deportation or cancelling your visa.  This is a common fraudster’s technique, to make you panic and become pressurised into paying the fake fine.

 

How to respond

If you receive such a call (or a similar contact by any other means, for example email or text) we advise as follows:

  • Do not give the caller/sender any personal information, and do not confirm that any information they have is correct.
  • Do not make any payment. The Home Office does not issue financial penalties. Nor does UKCISA.
  • You may wish to tell the caller/sender that you know about the fraudulent contact they are making, and that you will be reporting it to the police and the Home Office. Or you may simply wish to hang up.
  • Report the incident to the International Student Advisory Team at int.adv@reading.ac.uk and the Adviser can help you report the fraud to the police and to the Home Office if you wish.
  • If you wish, you can report the matter online to Action Fraud.
  • You can also help other potential victims of this fraud by adding details of your experience to a discussion about this specific fraud on the Who Calls Me website.

 

The Me@Reading portal is one of the main channels that students can access important news, interesting articles and details about upcoming events. It’s a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all your key resources, from Blackboard to your emails.

Me@Reading is individual to you. For example, if you’re an English student, you’ll receive all of the necessary information from your department, as well as other content that you may be interested in. So it’s a great way of making sure that you’re all up to speed and kept in the loop.

We want to know what you think about the portal and how we can improve it. Complete our survey by the 17th November and you could be in with a chance of winning Amazon vouchers! Complete the five quick questions to enter the draw to win Amazon vouchers; There are 1 x £150, 2 x £50 and 5 x £25 to be won!

Winners will be contacted by 24th November.

We have recently taken the decision to extend the use of the URS Building for Library study space for an extra year. This decision has been taken in consultation with RUSU, to minimise disruption for students while the Library refurbishment continues.

 

Originally, the arrangements to relocate Library study space to the URS Building were to remain in effect until August 2018, at which point studyspace and other facilities would move back into the Library. However, this is a complex construction project and we have unfortunately encountered some unforeseen complications along the way. To ensure the refurbishment works can continue within the required timeframe we have agreed that the URS Building will provide a better study environment until work on the Ground and First floors of the Library is complete. This means that URS will continue to operate the way it currently does until autumn 2019, with the plan being to have the majority of Library refurbishment work completed by this point.

 

Robert Van de Noort, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic Planning & Resource) said ‘The URS Building provides a quieter environment for study, enquiries and support.  It is less disrupted by the noise or dust of the building project, while still being close enough to borrow and use the Library’s printed materials. Extending its use means that students can continue to use study space and key services away from continuing construction work in the Library for the duration of the refurbishment.’

 

The major £40 million Library refurbishment is on track to be completedby autumn 2019. We appreciate that study space is a key priority for our students, and it is hoped that it may be possible to re-open study space on the Library’s Ground and First floors during autumn 2018.

 

In the meantime, we are monitoring the usage of study spaces within URS and the alternative study spaces provided across our campuses (see below for more information) to ensure all spaces are accessible, available and well-used. Feedback on these spaces is very much welcome as it will help us to plan study space availability in the future.

 

Alternative study spaces

Including study space within URS, we have over 1,500 study spacesavailable across our Whiteknights and London Road campuses.

 

We have provided some helpful resources to make it easier for students to find a suitable space to study. These can be easily accessed through our Library refurbishment project page, and include:

 

Library staff in the URS building at the Information Desk or Reception will also be happy to try and help or advise students looking for study space.

 

Full details of the refurbishment, including FAQ, project summary, latest news and study space links, are available on our dedicated project website: reading.ac.uk/library/refurb.

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