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Important information about Welcome Week: 19-27 September

Welcome Week 2019

For Welcome Week 2019, the University and Reading University’s Students’ Union (RUSU) have organised over 100 events and activities to help welcome new students to campus. These include activities in Schools and Departments, campus and local area tours, fairs, and other social events, including a ‘Welcome to University’ celebration with free fair-ground rides and food. In addition to these, we have scheduled targeted events for international and Study Abroad students, as well as postgraduate, mature and commuter students.  

The main schedule runs from 19-27 September, but a number of Careers-focussed events continue into the first week of term. Students will be invited to attend ‘JobFest’, where they will be able to explore a range of the professional development opportunities on offer at the University.

We have also incorporated a number of non-alcohol focused events. We have been working closely with RUSU to diversify the events held on campus, and to focus less on alcohol overall. RUSU has reduced its usual two-week Freshers’ event schedule to one week only, and planned for all events to be held on campus where we can bring people together as a community and also prioritise the welfare and safety of all students who attend.

On arrival, all new students will receive a copy of the Welcome Guide – with either an undergraduate or postgraduate focus – and an Event Guide for the week. In addition, international students will receive a copy of our International Student Guide, and for the first time, all new students will also have access to a Welcome Week app this year. This will be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for information on the events hosted by the University and RUSU, where students will be able to add specific events to their personal schedules, and find their way around the University using the various maps included. You can download the app yourself from the Play Store or App Store – it is titled ‘University of Reading Events’.

University Community Alcohol Partnership

Over the summer, the University and RUSU have put significant groundwork in place to develop a University Community Alcohol Partnership with Reading Borough Council, to raise awareness of responsible drinking, and to support vulnerable students. This will include delivering intervention training to frontline bar staff and Hall welfare teams from the start of term, and the launch of a large-scale awareness raising campaign later in autumn. 

We have also been working hard to improve our relationship with local residents, to try to mitigate the negative impacts of students living and socialising in the community. Whilst we want to encourage students to socialise in town, we want them to be able to do this in a responsible, safe and considerate manner.

Unofficial Events

We know that unofficial off-campus events aimed at students are being planned by independent businesses. These events are not affiliated or endorsed by the University or RUSU. Even so, we are working closely with Reading Borough Council and Thames Valley Police, to support student welfare and mitigate disruption in the community. We know some students may be confused by these events and if asked, please point them to the following lists: official activities run by the University can be found here, and those run by RUSU can be found here. The University and RUSU are not running any events off-campus, anywhere in Reading. 

If you see anyone looking lost or unsure during Welcome Week, please do try to help them. You can direct them to the Support Centre Information Point in the Palmer building, which will be open every day from 09:00-17:00. A short guide to Welcome Week has also been compiled for staff. If you have any further queries about Welcome Week, please contact Charlotte Hoekstra.

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