Student Community Wardens appointed

Friday, 25 November 2011

Six Student Community Wardens have been appointed to build and strengthen positive relationships between students and the wider community.

Six Student Community Wardens have been appointed by Oxford Brookes University to build and strengthen positive relationships between students and the wider community.

The wardens, who started in the role on Monday November 21, will cover the Gipsy Lane Estate in Headington, and those streets falling within the remit of the Divinity Road Area Residents' Association (DRARA) in East Oxford. The University listened to feedback from the local community and appointed the wardens to cover areas with high numbers of Oxford Brookes students.

As well as working on positive initiatives, the wardens will address issues including noise, anti-social behaviour, car-parking and litter. They will identify community issues and recommend possible solutions. They will take a proactive role in local residents' associations, neighbourhood action groups and councillors' meetings held at Brookes in order to identify, manage or set up projects which will benefit the local community.

They will be a point of contact for Oxford Brookes students to obtain advice on living in the community and will remind students of the need to be mindful of other residents. The wardens will also undertake walkabouts and accompanied patrolling with the Oxford Brookes Police Community Support Officers. The wardens were trained by members of Thames Valley Police and the two PCSOs who, funded by Brookes, already cover these areas as part of their beat. The PCSOs were appointed last year.

Wardens are Oxford Brookes students who have been through a thorough recruitment and selection process. They are paid by the university and are expected to work up to five hours per week in the role. This is a year-long pilot and will be reviewed at various points in the year. If successful, the aim is to roll out the scheme more widely.

Student Community Warden Sophie Howell said: 'I am very excited to be starting in the role of Student Community Warden. The scheme is all about building relationships within the local area and promoting initiatives and practices ranging from recycling through to community projects.

'I hope that we as wardens can play a part in making sure that everyone feels safe, happy and comfortable whether they are students or established residents.'

Ivon Asquith, DRARA Committee member responsible for university liaison said: 'DRARA is very pleased that Brookes has taken this initiative aimed at improving communications and relations between residents and students.

'We welcome the student wardens to our committee meetings and look forward to working with them.'

Oxford Brookes Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Beer, commented: 'The Student Community Wardens scheme joins a number of initiatives the University has introduced in recent years designed to help forge positive relationships between students and established residents.

'Oxford Brookes commits substantial resources towards community initiatives and is serious about responding to residents' feedback on these issues and working in partnership to resolve them.'

The Oxford Mail has covered the story. To read the article, please visit the newspaper's website.