Residence Life

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Residence Life Team

We're here to make you feel welcome

Residence Life wants to help make sure you have a positive experience of living and learning at Essex.

The current Residence Life Team consists of a team of 53 flexible part time student staff, including 47 Residents’ Assistants (RAs) and 6 Senior Residents’ Assistants (SRAs), as well as 4 full-time Residence Life Coordinators and 1 Senior Residence Life Coordinator all working closely together to support you.

The RAs and SRAs live in different areas of accommodation, their role is to get to know their residents, encourage communication and build community through a range of social activities.

Residence Life host a range of social activities, starting during arrivals and welcome week(s) and continuing throughout the year. They provide a great opportunity to get to know your RA and meet new friends. Many of these activities are open to both off campus and on campus students, more information about these events can be found on:

RAs and SRAs are also trained to help support residents with their wellbeing, they are available to all students both on and off campus to provide a listening ear, and signpost you to appropriate support where necessary.

How Residence Life can help you

Every student living in campus accommodation is allocated to a specific Residents’ Assistant (RA), every off-campus student will also have the opportunity to meet with an RA for support. The RA is a full-time student and a part-time Residence Life staff member who resides in on-campus accommodation.

The RAs will be welcoming you to your new community and answer any questions you may have. They will organise a number of events to help you settle in, make new friends, experience new things, and feel part of your new community. The RAs will often contact you via your Essex email to let you know about the different activities and events they are planning and invite you to get involved.

If you’re living on campus your RA will email you to arrange a first flat meeting to help you create a flat agreement with your flatmates. They will also share lots of information to help you adjust to University life. The RAs have experience of living on-campus and receive training to make them a great person to go to for advice or support.

Your RA can help you with:

  • Welfare support
  • Communal issues
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Advice and signposting

As well as being able to help with various problems or concerns, the RAs also have information about other sources of help and support available on and off-campus. Your RA will usually be able to assist you however, on some occasions they may need to refer the matter to a Senior Residents’ Assistant, Residence Life Coordinator, or Security depending on the situation.

Drop-in Hour

The friendly RAs and SRAs are available for a virtual chat via Zoom every day from 7pm – 8pm during term time.

  • Zoom Meeting ID: 920 1237 9049

All Essex students are welcome to use the drop-in hour.

RAs and SRAs are returning students so if you have a query or are struggling with University life, speaking to an RA is a good place to start.

They are also trained to signpost you to other services at the University to ensure you get the best advice and support.

If you need a listening ear, then join any time between 7-8pm (UK Time). You will be admitted to a waiting room and one of the RA team will speak with you once they are free.

The details of the Drop-In Hour can also be found on the Residence Life Events Page

If you have a non-urgent general enquiry you can also make contact via email on These emails are responded to during normal office hours (Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm).

Further support:

For urgent support out of hours contact Security. You can also get support in a physical or mental health emergency.

For support with your health and wellbeing during office hours, please contact the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Team.

All general enquiries that do not require an urgent solution should be directed to the Student Services Hub.

A Residents’ Assistant or Senior Residents’ Assistant will be working for a period each evening in both Colchester and Southend. Depending on the needs on any particular evening this may involve; hosting flat meetings, checking in on residents, hosting a drop-in to answer any questions, and provide support or dealing with any other Residence Life matters. Please see the poster in your flat kitchen for more information and contact details.

Group of students chatting
Current students

Find out how to contact your Residence Life staff member or give feedback on their service.

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