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August 6, 2018 | by  | in Editorial |
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Halls Need to Up Their Game

Last week we published some disquieting suicide and self harm stats for our halls of residence. While it’s true that RAs don’t get enough training on how to deal with mental health crises, we’re starting to see that lack of training isn’t the full issue. The question really is: why are these crises happening in the first place?
18-19 and just moved out of home is a vulnerable time. You’re undergoing big changes. Uni is demanding, you have to make new friends, you’ve got all the stress of moving to a new town, as well as all the stress of being independent and having to make Real Adult Decisions for the first time. It’s all pretty huge. And we’re paying halls a dece amount of money (it’s $385 a week for Boulcott) to make sure we’re looked after, and to ease the transition between family home and independence.
There’s a huge amount of trust there, for the halls to look out for residents. Raw chicken, arbitrary fines, noisy environments, cold rooms, are just some of the stories we’ve been hearing. That isn’t cool. Students deserve to live in a place where they are warm, well fed, comfortable, and able to study.
Not only is a hall of residence the place where we get our physical and social needs met, it’s also a home. It’s hard to understate the importance of having a good home for our mental health. When the world outside gets rough, it’s the safe space to go back to. We spend more time in our homes than anywhere else.
If the vast majority of people we’ve talked to have not enjoyed their hall experience, the uni is doing something seriously wrong. It’s time for the uni to start caring for the students and listening to their needs.

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