Student Services News

News from the Student Services Centre (Carrington Building)

Page 2 of 51

A letter from PC Julie

Dear Students,

I think this is the hardest blog that I have had to write.  As you are aware, Daniel Williams went missing in the early hours of Thursday 31 January 2019 from the University campus, and Daniel’s body was subsequently recovered from the lake on Tuesday 5 February 2019.

Although I have been a Police Officer for 25 years, I still find it incredibly difficult to come to terms with the death of children and young people.  This is a tragic unexplained incident which has had a huge impact, not only on Daniel’s mum, dad and sister, but also the wider University community.

I attended both candle lit vigils for Daniel and I was touched by the heartfelt words spoken by the Mark the chaplain and Daniel’s friends and housemates.

Although I was in uniform I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing, feeling deep sadness and pain. 3Sixty was filled with young faces and I felt enormously proud of all of you standing together, united, and paying your respects to one of your own.  So many young people in one place, confronting death and each standing quietly immersed in your own thoughts.

My thoughts and love are with Daniel’s family and friends at this time and I want you all to know that if you need to speak to me, you can get my details from the Security Team.

Please look after yourselves and each other.

Warmest wishes,

Julie

PC 1276 SUSEL

We have set up a dedicated webpage for students to provide information on the range of support services available at this time. Please visit www.reading.ac.uk/support-information. Everyone has a different way of coping, but it is important to seek support when you need it and we encourage you to make use of our specialist teams – we are all here to help.

University Mental Health Day 2019

To celebrate University Mental Health Day on Thursday 7 March, the University and RUSU are running a number of free events and activities on campus Monday 4 – Sunday 10 March.

The theme of this year’s University Mental Health Day is all about the power of using your voice. We all have mental health, we all have stories to share and we can all use our voices to shape the future of student mental health.

Mental health conditions affect 1 in 4 people every year in the UK, but many people still don’t feel comfortable taking about mental health. By raising awareness of mental health on campus and sharing experiences, together we can create a positive change.

All events are free and open to all students and staff.

What’s on:

Monday 4 March

Yoga session
10:30 – 11:30 at the SportsPark
Start the week feeling relaxed with this free yoga session, run by Sport in Mind. Beginners welcome.

Tennis and pickleball
11:00 – 12:00 at the TennisDome (by SportsPark)
Whether you’re a tennis pro or complete beginner, everyone is welcome at this fun social sports session run by Sport in Mind.

Life Tools talk: Overcoming perfectionism
13:00 – 14:00 in Henley Business School, room G03
Striving for perfection can lead to feelings of self-criticism and low self-esteem, so learn practical techniques to help you overcome these feelings. This talk is part of the Life Tools programme and attendance counts towards the Life Tools Certificate.

Tuesday 5 March

Positivity tree
All day, RUSU
What are you grateful for? Add your thoughts to our positivity tree to remind yourself and others.

Origami and mindful colouring
13:00 – 14:00 in Palmer 111
Learn how to do origami – an ancient, peaceful craft which enhances mindfulness and relieves stress.

Wednesday 6 March

De-stress leisure bike ride
13:00 – 14:00, meet by the Palmer Building
Cycling is fantastic for both your physical and mental health! Join us for a gentle social ride around campus to help you relax and unwind. Bring your own bike or rent a ReadyBike.

Life Tools talk: Boost your mood to increase productivity
14:00 – 15:00 in Carrington 101
Find out how simple techniques can improve your mood and help you to focus. This talk is part of the Life Tools programme and attendance counts towards the Life Tools Certificate.

Mindful tips for good mental health workshop
15:00 – 16:00 in Palmer 111
Mindfulness helps us to appreciate things that we may take for granted and can help to relieve stress and anxiety. In this workshop you’ll learn practical tips that you can use to help promote positive mental health and wellbeing.

Thursday 7 March

Removing barriers and opening doors to the world of work
13:00 – 14:30 in Chancellors G08
If you have a mental health condition or disability, or you’re feeling like something is holding you back in your search for a placement, part-time job or graduate job, this session will provide you with tips and advice on how to remove barriers and create opportunities for yourself. Free tea and cake will be available. Please log in to MyJobsOnline to book your place.

Life Tools talk: Strengthen your resilience
16:00 – 17:00 in Palmer G01
Learn how to prepare for upcoming challenges and develop a confident mindset. This talk is part of the Life Tools programme and attendance counts towards the Life Tools Certificate.

Friday 8 March

Badminton session
14:00 – 15:00 at the SportsPark
Wind down at the end of the week with a free badminton session, run by Sport in Mind. Beginners welcome

Mindfulness walk with Open Mind society
15:00- 16:00, meet outside the Palmer Building
Take time to de-stress and appreciate the world around you with a mindfulness walk, exploring different parts of the campus including the Harris Garden.

Relaxation session
16:00 – 17:00 in the RUSU relaxation room (upstairs in 3sixty, RUSU)
Take some time to chill out with a relaxation session run by the Open Mind society. Relax in the massage chairs and unwind ready for a productive weekend ahead!

Sunday 10 March

Boxing session with RUBoxing society
16:00 – 17:00 at the SportsPark (dance studio)
Boxing is a great sport for switching off and balancing your mind, as well as keeping fit. Join this beginners session, run by the Boxing society in partnership with Sport in Mind.

Apply to study at the NUIST Academy in China in July

Would you like to experience life as a student on a Chinese campus? Are you interested in gaining an insight into modern China? The University is offering to fund up to 20 undergraduate students to complete a 12-day course at the NUIST Academy in Nanjing, China.

This is an exciting opportunity to study on a cultural and academic programme learning about Chinese philosophy, modern history and local culture.

As well as taking part in academic study at the University, you’ll have a chance to take Chinese language classes and experience cultural activities such as Kung Fu and calligraphy. There will also be time to explore the rich heritage of the ancient city of Nanjing, capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province.

The scholarships will cover most of the associated costs, including tuition fees, flights, visas, accommodation, organised trips and excursions.

Undergraduate students from any discipline and in any year of study are welcome to apply. Students must be enrolled at the time of the programme. Places are limited so there will be a selection process to short-list up to 20 people, with a number of places reserved for Widening Participation students.

Participation in the programme will also be formally recognised by the University.

To apply, please complete the online application form here.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 10 March 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact the Erasmus & Study Abroad Office by emailing studyabroad@reading.ac.uk.

Scheduled downtime for Campus Card payments

The Sympay cashless system will be down for maintenance on Wednesday 20 February between 14:00 and 17:00. During this time users will find some of the features of the Campus Card payment system to be restricted:

During this time frame, those who pay for printing will not be able to use the printing and photocopying machines across Campus. This will not affect usage at the tills. The Campus Card portal will also be unavailable during this time.

Users will be unable to pay Library fines using Campus Cards at the Information Desk on the Ground Floor of Library@URS. However, users can still pay Library fines using credit or debit cards to pay fines during this period.

Users will be unable to pay Library fines online through the Campus Card Portal. We can take payments over the phone as normal during this period.

Users will be unable to add funds onto their Campus Cards during this period.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause our users.

Please see the Campus Cards webpage for more information.

Meeting with your Academic Tutor

Have you met with your Academic Tutor recently?

Your Academic Tutor is your main point of contact for all things relating to your course, and we recommend that you meet with them at least once each term to discuss your academic progress and development.

The goal of your Academic Tutor is to help you make the most of your studies and get a clear idea of what you can do to develop further. During meetings, they can help you to set goals for your academic and personal development, advise you when making decisions relating to your course and direct you to other University services where appropriate. Regular meetings with your Academic Tutor can help you to reflect on your progress and ensure that you are taking full advantage of the development opportunities available to you.

In order to fully benefit from meetings with your Academic Tutor, it helps to go in with an idea of the things you would like to talk about. If you’re not sure what to talk about or how to best prepare for your meetings, take a look at the Online Toolkit to get some ideas. You can even download an Academic Tutor Meeting Template to help you keep a record of what you spoke about in your meeting and track your progress.

If you don’t know who your Academic Tutor is, you can find out by logging into RISIS, selecting ‘Programmes and Modules’, then ‘Programme Information’. Your Support Centre should also be able to advise you.

Daniel Williams

Further to yesterday’s news that Thames Valley Police had discovered a body in their search for Daniel Williams, our Computer Science student who has been missing since Thursday, formal identification has now confirmed, sadly, that this was Daniel.  Our thoughts are with Daniel’s family and friends at this very difficult time.

There is nothing harder for our community than the death of one of our own and we are committed to supporting our students and colleagues in every way we can. The University will stay open this week, with teaching and most other scheduled activities going ahead as planned. While I believe this provides our community with an opportunity to come together and support each other, I fully understand if you personally do not feel able to participate. We will all be experiencing different emotions and we will respect your decision.

I would like to invite you to attend a gathering in Daniel’s memory, on Thursday 7 February at 5.15pm in RUSU’s 3sixty. RUSU will remain open until 8pm as a space for students and colleagues to spend time with one another and offer support.

A book of condolence will be available at tomorrow’s gathering and in RUSU for the coming weeks. If you wish to, you are also very welcome to leave flowers at the dedicated site outside RUSU.

We have set up a dedicated webpage for students to provide information on the range of support services available at this time. Please visit www.reading.ac.uk/support-information. Everyone has a different way of coping, but it is important to seek support when you need it and I would encourage you to make use of our specialist teams – we are all here to help.

 I am aware that a number of you have raised concerns with regards to safety around the lake. We cannot speculate about any of the circumstances surrounding Daniel’s death and we will continue to support any further investigations. However, any concerns raised will be reviewed, along with outcomes from the Police investigation, and will inform any appropriate action that we take. I understand that there is a petition calling for improved lighting on campus and I have invited the students involved to meet me to discuss their concerns further.

The Police restrictions around the lake area have been removed. However, our Security Service will continue their normal overnight campus patrols, supported by the Police at least until the weekend. Our Security Service can be reached 24-hours a day in emergencies on 0118 378 6300 and on 0118 378 7799 for general enquiries. The team also provide a Chaperone Service for students.

Kind regards,

Professor Robert Van de Noort

Acting Vice-Chancellor

Update on Police investigation

Earlier today, we received the very sad news that Thames Valley Police had discovered a body in their search for Daniel Williams, our Computer Science student who has been missing since Thursday.

We have not had a formal identification yet, but this is nevertheless a very difficult time for Daniel’s family and friends, as well as our wider community.

It is important that we have the opportunity to come together and support each other while we await further news. As such the University will be open on Wednesday, and teaching and other scheduled activities will take place. This provides our community with a sense of continuity and solidarity, but we fully understand if some do not feel able to participate. We all respond and react differently and we will respect the decision you make.

We are committed to supporting our students and staff in every way we can. If you would like someone to talk to please contact our Student Welfare Team in the Carrington Building, available from Monday to Friday 10am-4pm.

Our Chaplaincy Centre are also available to provide support. If you would like to speak to someone out of hours, the Samaritans provide a 24/7 hotline (dial 116 123). You can also use Big White Wall, a free online community available 24 hours a day.

The Police restrictions around the lake area have been removed. However, our Security Service will continue their normal overnight campus patrols, supported by the Police at least until the weekend. Our Security Service can be reached 24-hours a day in emergencies on 0118 378 6300 and on 0118 378 7799 for general enquiries. The team also provide a Chaperone Service for students.

 

Police activity on campus

Very sadly, Thames Valley Police have announced that they have found a body in the lake on the Whiteknights campus.

A formal identification has not taken place yet, and we will keep you updated as soon as further information is available.

Police have been searching the campus and nearby areas for Daniel Williams, a second-year Computer Science student who has been missing since Thursday morning. The police have informed Daniel’s family of this development and we are providing support to Daniel’s close friends.

University activities will continue today but please be respectful at this difficult time.

If you would like someone to speak to, please do contact our Student Welfare Team in the Carrington Building, available from Monday to Friday 10am-4pm.

Our Chaplaincy Centre are also available to provide support. If you would like to speak to someone out of hours, the Samaritans provide a 24/7 hotline (dial 116 123). You can also use Big White Wall, a free online community available 24 hours a day.

‘Gathering in hope: A vigil for Daniel’ today at 5.15pm

The Department of Computer Science and the Chaplaincy would like to invite all students to attend our ‘Gathering in hope: A vigil for Daniel’ this afternoon (Monday 4 February) at 5.15pm in RUSU’s 3sixty.

The vigil will provide an opportunity for our community to gather in solidarity and hope for Daniel’s safe return, as well as to share our emotions and support each other at this difficult time.

Further information about the ongoing search for Daniel and what to do if you have any information about his whereabouts has been shared on the Me@Reading student portal and our Student Services blog.

If you feel worried or would like to speak to someone, please contact our Student Welfare Team. Our Chaplaincy Centre is also available to provide support. If you would like to speak to someone out of hours, the Samaritans provide a 24/7 hotline (dial 116 123). You can also use Big White Wall, a free online community available 24 hours a day.

Search for missing student on campus

Daniel

We are continuing to work closely with Thames Valley Police to find Daniel Williams, a University of Reading student who has been reported as missing.

As Daniel was last seen on our Whiteknights campus, the Police have been actively searching there and in the nearby area. We are very concerned for Daniel’s welfare and are supporting the Police in every way we can. Thank you to everyone who has supported the search by sharing posts online – please do continue to share the appeal for information from our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Daniel is 19 and a second year Computer Science student. He was last seen at 12am on Thursday 31 January in RUSU at the bar. He did not return to his accommodation and has not been seen by friends or housemates since. Police say it is out of character for him to go missing.

Daniel is white, 6ft tall, slim build, has short light brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen he was wearing black or blue jeans, a black hooded top and black shoes. He was wearing a black t-shirt underneath with a distinctive white motif on the front.

If you have any information about Daniel’s whereabouts please call the 24-hour Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101, quoting the reference URN 1307 31/1.

We will keep you updated as we receive further information from Thames Valley Police. 

Support for students

If you feel worried or would like to talk to someone, please contact our Student Welfare Team. Our Chaplaincy Centre are also available to provide support.

If you would like to speak to someone out of hours, the Samaritans provide a 24/7 hotline (dial 116 123). You can also use Big White Wall,  a free online community available 24 hours a day.

Our on-campus Security Service can be reached 24-hours a day in emergencies on 0118 378 6300 and on 0118 378 7799 for general enquiries.

Page 2 of 51

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén