Membership Spotlight: Tom Truman, ResLife Manager at FutureLets, Coventry University
“Why deliver events that students haven’t asked for?”
The ResLife team at Coventry University help students have the best experience possible, and inspire them to make the most of their time here at Coventry University. We tailor our events to complement under our four pillars; community, health and well-being, social and skill. Each week brings an array of opportunities for our students to get involved in. These are trips and activities and range from cooking to karaoke to movie nights and cultural celebrations.
We strive to produce an encouraging, inclusive and action packed programme which will enhance the students’ experience during their time in student accommodation, in the last year our range of activities have increased significantly and our student feedback has been positive.
Aside from having a fantastic team that nurture the student journey from the moment they arrive on campus, my team are instrumental in seeking student feedback and working hard to implement their suggestions. We encourage our students to put forward new ideas of what they want to get involved in and even run events themselves.
For people that like theory, Arntein’s Participation Ladder is a model which shows how much our customers are involved in our activities from one through to eight.
ResLife believe the benefits of asking for student feedback are:
- Improved student accommodation management - We receive ideas and feedback from students and we are able to target our programme effectively.
- A more cost-effective service - We don’t spend money on events/activities that students don’t want. Students are involved in suggesting events, giving them a sense of ownership making them more likely to attend.
- Improved Provider relationship - Residents have a better understanding of how the programme is managed and this enables us to increase awareness and manage budgetary and time constraints.
- Better Communication – By providing monthly resident meetings including staff members and residents and by creating a strong social media presence, we have developed forums in which we can communicate with our student and build relationships.
- Increased user satisfaction – This improved communication results in student satisfaction as the feedback they provide will inform our overall decision making into making their overall experience better.
1. Social Media Polls – Social Media polls on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Polls are becoming increasingly popular again with young people. Social media polls are a fun and more engaging way to obtain prompt feedback and can be an effective part of an overall social media strategy if used appropriately!
2. Recruiting Students - We have encouraged students to seek employment in the ResLife team as ResLife Assistants. These representatives act as advocates for their peers, communicate with management about student interests. Anecdotal evidence has shown that residents are more likely to make suggestions to the ResLife Assistants, enabling queries to be raised immediately.
3. Monthly Residents meetings - In practice this has meant holding them in our local Pizza restaurant MOD in Coventry City Centre in the evenings. Staff provide some of the agenda items, but residents are encouraged to add their own items. A meal is kindly donated by MOD for those attending the meeting. The aim of each meeting is to come up with an action list, detailing practical ways that services can be improved. From experience, we have found that we need to be flexible to allow students to feel that they have been able to contribute as they wish!
Email: IG: @reslife_covuni