Communal living

Hints and tips for living together

Philosophy and politics student Mandi gives advice on what it's like to live in halls of residence at Essex.

1. Show a little respect

Try to remember that we are all different and following these simple steps will help you to create a happy and harmonious household:

  • No one likes a noisy neighbour, so remember that quiet hours are in place between Midnight and 8am (adjusted during exam times)
  • Help each other and us out by tidying and cleaning up after yourself
  • Try not to be a space invaider, knock and wait for an answer and don't listen in on phonecalls and private conversations
  • Make sure you attend the flat meeting with your RA and contribute to your flat agreement
  • Only leave notes if they are friendly
  • Remember, our staff need access to your flat to clean and room for maintenance at certain times, so make sure it is free of clutter and exits aren't blocked
  • Socialise with each other by taking a walk by the lake or having a BBQ, check out one of the SU venues or catch a film in Cine 10

2. Communicate

We all know that bad communication is the cause of most problems, so make sure you get to know your housemates by name; share your languages and your cultural experiences and offer some help to our international visitors that might be a little overwhelmed. They may be experiencing the same anxieties as yourself but without the benefit of immediate family and friends.

Take a step back if things get a bit heated, then try to re-connect once everyone has calmed down. Remember, it is good to talk!

3. Having a guest to stay

You can start having a guest to stay, two weeks after your contract has started for occasional stays of up to three nights duration. Due to Health and Safety reasons, you are required to let the us know on each occasion, who you have staying with you, so please contact the Student Services Hub, with their details and length of stay.

If you want your guest to stay for more than 3 nights (maximum of 7 nights), then you are required to request permission by contacting the Student Services Hub. 

Please let the team know the name of the person staying overnight, as well as their contact details and how long they will be staying (children under 16 are not permitted to stay overnight in our accommodation). 

Should your request be at short notice, please also let your area accommodation office know, as the Student Services Hub may not have had enough time to inform them about your guest. 

If you live in a designated single gender flat, you are not permitted to have guests of the opposite gender visit or stay overnight.

Please remember, that you are responsible for the behaviour of your guests.

Additional beds are available upon request for main campus in Colchester (South Courts, The Towers, The Houses, and Wolfson Court) and University Square in Southend. Please contact the Student Services Hub for this request.

4. Noise, again?

Ok, just to clarify, noise can really travel so we thought an extra segment on the subject would be a good idea. Lack of sleep can be a considerable source of stress and anxiety, so no noise should be heard from outside your room, which includes from any electronic equipment (such as televisions or stereos) plus remember sub woofers are not allowed.

Noise from chatting and the use of communal areas, as well as late arrivals etc. should be kept to an absolute minimum and no parties or loud gatherings are permitted (sorry).

To help everyone get the peace they need during exams, we impose a period of 'quiet hours'. This means that during the period 24 April to 7 June, you all need to make sure that you are quiet between the hours of 5pm and 9am each day, during the week and 24 hours a day at weekends. This will hopefully help everyone to get the sleep they need and time to study. 

If you need to report excessive noise at anytime, please contact Colchester Security services or Southend Security services  and the team will attend to help you resolve the problem, as well as report anyone in breach of the Code of Student Conduct or our Terms and Conditions. 

5. Still got a problem?

If you and your flatmates are struggling to understand and communicate with each other, then seek the help of Residence Life. They have a team of student staff who are all returning students living on campus in University accommodation. They can help you approach the situation in a different way and facilitate a flat meeting to work together and try to resolve any issues.

6. Terms of residence

If you want to check exactly what the rules and regulations are, then read our Terms and conditions of Residence.

student talking to support staff
Contact us

For enquiries about accommodation or about an application you're making, contact us at the Student Services Hub. Quote your full name and PRID or PG number on all correspondence.