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  • Andrew Waller

University aims to deliver noise and waste advice to 1,400 student addresses

The University of Bristol plans to distribute advice to 1,400 student homes in a bid to prevent problems with household waste and noise disturbance during the summer.


Gordon Scofield, UoB's community liaison officer, said in a circular to residents' groups that five "Student Community Ambassadors" will work with him until the end of July as part of a Move Out, Move In campaign.


The first phase, which has already begun, will encourage students who are moving out of rented properties to donate unwanted goods to charity. This is part of an annual effort by the university to encourage students not to leave behind overflowing bins or rubbish on the pavements.


The second phase will start at the beginning of July, when tenancies change over and new student households can start moving into properties—though in the past most students didn't take up residence until September. A team comprising Mr Scofield, student ambassadors and local police will aim to revisit the same 1,400 addresses with leaflets about waste management and "a strong message about parties and anti-social behaviour".


Summer 2020 saw a huge spike in noise complaints as large numbers of students moved-in early and stayed in Bristol to socialise, which many had been prevented from doing during the first lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic.


The number of noise reports received by The Noise Pages in July and August equalled the total normally reported in a full academic year. What made the situation even more unprecedented was that those months are typically among the quietest in the calendar because students usually don't move into their lets until late September or early October.


A group of residents' associations concerned that the same thing could happen this year have recently tried to press UoB for a meeting (see article links at end).


The full text of Mr Scofield's circular is as follows:


"I can report that the Move Out campaign has already started. I have five Student Community Ambassadors who will be working until the end of July.

"Move Out will focus on the approximately 1400 hundred properties in BS6 and BS8 which we have started visiting. The campaign this year will involve doorstep conversations, peer to peer and distribution of bags to take unwanted goods to charity shops and collection points.

"The object of this strategy is the messages from the University by email and other social media is being lost due to the volume of electronic messaging around exams, course work and other relevant information required by the student body.


"The message during Move Out is largely around sustainability, not leaving behind a mess, recycling and reuse in partnership with the British Heart Foundation and the Bristol Big Give.

The University will also support the Bristol Waste Company and BCC [Bristol City Council] with funding for additional waste collections as in previous years.

https://www.facebook.com/BristolBigGive/

"The Move In campaign will start at the beginning of July when student tenancies change. Community Ambassadors with support of myself, PC Sian Harris [the police officer assigned to the university], PCSO’s and Community Engagement at Bristol Waste Company will once again conduct a door knocking campaign visiting the same 1400 student properties and others identified, with leaflets from the Bristol Waste Company about waste management and a strong message about parties and anti-social behaviour.

"During the summer PC Harris and myself will visit all properties where we receive reports of noise issues and the disciplinary process will start where University of Bristol students are identified. The University will be messaging students about registering their new address but we cannot force them to do so and as in previous years most will register at the beginning of the academic year.

"The University is in the process of reviewing and renewing the University student regulations in response to new challenges highlighted during the covid-19 emergency, which will be available to view once the review is complete.

"Coronavirus has thrown up unprecedented challenges for this office especially in term of messaging but I am confident that we will be able to take our message to students this summer and beyond."


Anyone who has comments or questions about the campaigns is invited to contact Mr Scofield at Community-living@bristol.ac.uk or on 07890 396390, Monday to Thursday, 8.30 – 4pm.


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