By Zara Pritchard
When considering where to live whilst at university, there are many perks to selecting a residential college. A major reason to choose College, especially during your first year away from home, is the security provided. University College offers a number of services and amenities to ensure the safety of its residents so that guardians can rest easy knowing that their adolescents are as safe as possible.
Safety in Numbers
University College has 340 residents, including a number of resident tutors. Having this large, yet tight knit, community is a great way for students to form new friendships and transition easily to a new city. But it also provides a great safety element, in that students are very rarely alone. Whether that is when walking to university, going to local cafes and pubs, going to the supermarket or the chemist or exercising in the park, UC students are everywhere. There is also a system that’s been set in place by student leaders to ensure that any student who has to walk back from university classes after dark has a buddy.
On the Crescent
UC is located on College Crescent, just across the road from the University of Melbourne’s main campus. There are nine other colleges within a very short radius of UC that take part in sports and social events alongside our residential college. This means that along with UC’s own community there is a wider intercollegiate community in Parkville of likeminded students studying at the University of Melbourne, RMIT, Monash Pharmacy and ACU campuses.
The main entrance of UC is locked between 6pm and 8am each day and entirely over the weekends. Students have their own electronic fob keys that are required to enter gates around College, the main door and many internal doors. Many of the student rooms have doors that automatically lock behind them, making them highly secure. A number of other rooms require students to lock their door themselves.
Orientation and Welcome Week Leaders
There are second year students who act as mentors for new students during Orientation and Welcome Week and ongoing throughout the year. These leaders help students to move into their student rooms, find their way around campus and the city and support students in making new friends and settling into residential college.
Physical safety and mental wellbeing support, 24/7
The college reception is staffed from 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours there are resident tutors on duty to help if students get locked out. The College also has a number of youth workers that are trained in first aid to support students overnight (when the Dean of Students and Student Wellbeing Coordinator are not onsite). This dedicated team helps to ensure that all bases are covered at all hours in terms of student’s physical safety and mental wellbeing.
Consent and Drug and Alcohol Talks
University College facilitates multiple thorough discussions from both guests and in-house speakers on safety issues concerning consent and drug and alcohol use at College. Many of these talks happen during Orientation Week but they are also continued throughout the year.
If you are a guardian with concerns over the safety and mental wellbeing of your adolescent when moving out of home, the security and support provided by residential college accommodation is by far your best option.