Residence Life

Your time on campus should be a positive and memorable experience, as it’s a key part of student life. Residence Life are here to help make this happen.

We have a team of Residents’ Assistants (RAs) and Senior Residents’ Assistants (SRAs) who live across different areas of accommodation. Their role is to get to know their residents, encourage communication and build community through a range of social activities. RAs and SRAs are part-time student staff, who are also current Essex students, and are managed by a team of full-time employees (Residence Life Coordinators, and a Senior Residence Life Coordinator).

Residence Life host a range of social activities, from welcome and arrivals, and throughout the Autumn and Spring terms. These are great opportunities to get to know others and feel part of campus life. Many of these activities are open to both off campus and on campus students.

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.

Supporting you

Your RA can help you with:

  • Homesickness and settling in
  • Wellbeing support
  • Disagreements with flatmates
  • Communal living issues, such as antisocial behaviour and mess
  • Advice and signposting to University and local services

We’d also recommend all students download their Accommodation Welcome Pack and read the webpages on Communal Living.

Supporting you to support others

A number of staff in the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service are trained in delivering a ‘Look After Your Mate’ workshop, to enable you to support a friend through a difficult time. This workshop was developed by Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity. The workshop includes key practical tips for supporting a friend, how to start a conversation, listening and motivating, signposting, and self-care. This workshop is free to all Essex students. Upcoming events will be listed on the Student Support events page.

Get involved

Interested in becoming an RA? Recruitment opens in January each year for the upcoming academic year.

Get in touch

Residence Life Coordinators

Our full-time team are part of the University’s Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service, so you can be assured that our team want to help make sure you have a positive experience of living and learning at Essex. We have a dedicated inbox for each accommodation area, listed below:

Accommodation Contact name Contact email
South Towers, Colchester Elizabeth Lewis reslifesouthtowers@essex.ac.uk
South Courts, Colchester Elizabeth Lewis reslifecourts@essex.ac.uk
Quays, Colchester Paulina Zarzeczna reslifequays@essex.ac.uk
Meadows, Colchester Paulina Zarzeczna reslifemead@essex.ac.uk
North Towers and Houses, Colchester Illana Flora reslifenorth@essex.ac.uk
Copse, Colchester Illana Flora reslifecopse@essex.ac.uk
University Square, Southend Eva Molnarova reslifeunisq@essex.ac.uk

Our usual hours of response are between 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. We aim to respond to emails within 5 working days.

Evening support

A number of RAs and SRAs work on the evening support rota every evening in both Colchester and Southend. Their work varies depending on current priorities but may involve facilitating flat meetings, visiting residents, and providing proactive support to help resolve any issues.

Online drop-in hour

We’re available for a virtual chat via Zoom every day from 7pm – 8pm during term time. Join with Zoom Meeting ID: 920 1237 9049

All Essex students are welcome, drop-in to get some support or advice on anything that maybe worrying you, or just for a chat about your day. We’re here to listen.

Purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA)

RAs support students living off campus in accommodation provided by Host, Elmstead Place, The Maltings, Hythe Mills and Avon Way, which are in the local Colchester area. Whilst these buildings are managed independently, RAs are available to chat if you’re looking for some guidance or information on how to tackle a communal living issue, they can help you get settled into the Colchester area, and provide information on both university and external support available. Exact details of each monthly Res Life drop-in will be communicated locally by your accommodation provider.

If you live off campus with a different provider or in private accommodation, we’re still here to support you. Many of our events and activities are designed to inclusive to all students.

How are we doing?

If you have any feedback on the service, ideas to share, or want to mention an RA for an outstanding service, please email us. If you are dissatisfied with how a matter has been handled, please email reslife@essex.ac.uk and address your message to the Senior Residence Life Coordinator, Melissa Porter.

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Residence Life