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UCT's Residence System

How residences are organised

All first- and second-tier residences have a warden who lives on site, and some of the larger residences also have assistant wardens. These residences also have elected student governing bodies called house committees. The house committee with the warden, share responsibility for the academic and social needs and interests of students.

Wardens, together with house committees, carry responsibility for residence students and aim, with their co-operation, to create friendly and comfortable environments in which students are able to pursue their academic objectives and to achieve personal growth.

Wardens take an interest in students' ideas and issues and, together with the house committees, are involved in the planning and organisation of residence life.

Wardens, along with the house committees of their residences, have a responsibility to see that the rules of the residence and of the university are observed. Wardens, sub-wardens, and disciplinary committees made up of students from the residence are responsible for dealing with those students who break the rules.

Wardens act as guardians, in the strict legal sense, to all minor students in the residence in the event of an emergency. However, wardens may not stand surety for loan and bursary applications.

House committees organise numerous activities throughout the year in order to maintain a balanced residence experience.

Informal tutoring by senior students is also available in most subjects. Many residences operate a mentoring system for new students, and peer helpers are available as a first port of call for emotional, personal or academic difficulties.

House committees, sub-wardens, peer helpers, tutors and mentors all undergo extensive life-skills training from the residence development officers that enable them to help and counsel students with problems.

Each residence has a Residence Facilities Officer who ensures that the rooms are properly maintained, and that keys, telephones, laundries, and other essentials for comfortable living are available and in working order. Larger residences also have receptionists during the day to deal with telephone calls, mail and general enquiries.

Residences also have a number of sub-wardens who are students appointed by UCT to assist the warden in the evenings and over weekends. The sub-wardens share a duty roster so that there is always someone on call to handle problems which may arise.

All third-tier residences are managed by the third-tier Residence Facilities Officer who has the responsibility of seeing that the rules of the university are observed and there is a good community life in the houses and flats.

Every third-tier residence has a residence co-ordinator who are students appointed by UCT to assist the Residence Facilities Officer. They ensure that the houses and flats are properly maintained and that keys, furniture, laundries, and other essentials for comfortable living are available and in working order.

Third-tier students operate more independently. This sector therefore operates without the involvement of the warden or a house committee. Third-tier students can establish a Voluntary Tenants Association. Students will have access to student health and student counselling services provided by the university should the need arise for such services.