About The Role

As a ResLife Advisor (RLA) you will act as a first point of contact for students in University Halls of Residences. Not only will you provide support to students experiencing difficulties, you will also proactively help build the community in your hall. Each RLA is responsible for a group of residents and will get to know them by having regular meetings. RLAs will also take part in an on call 'Duty' rota which provides out-of-hours support to students living in halls (including evenings and weekends) 365 days a year.

This is a rewarding, and challenging role that will offer a variety of benefits and excellent experience for anyone who is passionate about improving the student experience. Benefits include:

  • Gaining a wide range of skills and experience in effective communication, conflict resolution, and safeguarding
  • Working directly with students to support and enrich their experience at The University of Manchester
  • Benefitting from a comprehensive Residential Life training programme
  • Being part of an active, friendly community
  • Single occupancy accommodation in halls provided at no charge

Accommodation

Residential Life Advisors are provided a single occupancy room in a shared, mixed gender flat with shared bathroom/kitchen facilities.

Voluntary Worker Status

The role of Residential Life Advisor (RLA) attracts the status of "Voluntary Worker”. A voluntary worker is not a volunteer in the normal or legal sense of the word, it is important to be aware of this distinction. While a volunteer provides their services voluntarily, a voluntary worker does not work voluntarily but is under a contractual obligation to provide the services for which he or she is engaged.

As such, RLAs are not entitled to receive any monetary payments of any description in accordance with s.44 of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. However, given that we require RLAs to reside in the student residences to which they are allocated, the University considers it reasonable to provide RLAs with their accommodation due to the nature of their duties.

ResLife Activities

Alongside being on duty and supporting students, ResLife Advisors have a variety of activities that they undertake.

Running Events

As an RLA you will need to collaborate with your team to organise 2-3 events per semester which contribute towards the Manchester ResLife Programme.

It is important to note that not all events need to be directed towards the masses but can instead attract different groups/types of students to participate e.g. Postgraduate or International focused events. You can collaborate with other RLAs from your hall for larger events which need more support to run.

Your event must fit with one or more of the 6 Ways to Wellbeing; Be Active, Be Healthy, Connect, Give, Learn/Discover and Take Notice. Previous popular events have included pamper evenings, film nights, pool tournaments and free brunches.

Flat Visits

In addition to conducting an initial flat meeting at the beginning of the year to introduce yourself, you will need to conduct regular 1-1 meetings with the student's in your allocated flats to check up on them to make sure they're settling in well and aren't having any issues.

At times ResLife Advisors may find it useful to call a Flat Meeting to discuss an issue with all flatmates at once, for example if there has been damage to a flat but no one will admit to it, or if there are persistent kitchen hygiene issues.

A flat meeting can be used as a form of escalation if attempts to solve an issue via meetings with individual students, or emails to the whole flat have not proved effective.

A Week in the Life of an RLA

Although workloads vary throughout the year, a typical week as an RLA could look like:

Monday

Respond to an email from one of my residents about struggling with exams, offer to meet with them and send them some information on academic support at the University.

No other ResLife duties to undertake

Tuesday On duty from 6pm-8am, responding to any callouts from residents in halls
Wednesday

Attend a flat meeting to set up a cleaning rota as there have been regular hygiene complaints from the Domestic Team.

Undertake 1-1 visits to check how some of my residents are doing

Thursday No ResLife duties to undertake
Friday

While doing laundry, encounter a student in the hall who discloses they are struggling with their studies. Signpost them to relevant services and notify the RLC that this student is experiencing difficulties

Saturday On duty from 9am-9am Sunday, responding to any callouts from residents in halls
Sunday Host a ResLife Event in halls supporting student wellbeing by setting up a space in hall for them to relax with face masks and snacks, then cleaning up space afterwards

COVID

As a frontline service, ResLife are still responding to incidents and offering support in person when needed. We continuously review and adjust the responsibilities in line with government guidance. All team members are provided with appropriate PPE for carrying out the role.

Further information on the particular responsibilities of the role in relation to the pandemic will be covered in the training sessions.

Make an Application

Now that you know more about the role, you can find out how to make an application here.