Why is the airnet signal is so poor at Sir Stanley Matthews Sports Centre?

QUESTION:
Hi. Being a customer of the gym at Stanley Matthews Sports Centre, can I ask why the airnet signal is so poor/none existent?

 

ANSWER:
The AirNet wireless network is one of Information Services key services with over 2000 people using the system every day.

We have recently become aware that the AirNet wireless coverage in the gym area of the Stanley Mathews sports centre is not to the standard that it should be for the number of users in that area. Plans are in place to address this situation and further develop AirNet, working in partnership with Hewlett Packard, as part of Staffordshire University’s ICT transformation.

Does the Uni sponsor individuals raising money for national charities?

QUESTION:
I was wondering whether the University is willing to sponsor individuals raising money for national charities?

My 11 year old daughter is swimming 2.5K (100 lengths of Stafford Leisure Centre pool) to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care on 27th April . As every £10 she raises will provide half an hour of Marie Curie Nursing care in a patient’s home, she is trying to raise £480 which would pay for 24 hours of care.

 
ANSWER:
The University is proud of the personal effort which many of its staff and students make to raise money for very worthy causes. We have many such initiatives from our workforce and unfortunately,  cannot be fair and equitable whilst it being affordable, if we support some or all of them. We are in the process of formalising our CSR work (Corporate and Social Responsibility) and will be holding activities on this during Staffest. I hope however that you can gain support locally – and wish your daughter good luck!

Why do some staff think it’s acceptable to ‘reserve’ parking spaces?

QUESTION:
Is it possible at answer why some staff deem it acceptable to use bollards hanging around the car park, to reserve parking spaces for their colleagues on the College Road Car Park? We have witnessed members of staff remove bollards from the top corner of the car park and proceed to park their cars there. We thought the spaces were on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis, is this not now the case?

Perhaps it might be an idea if colleagues from Estates ensure that all spare bollards are removed if not required to prevent this from happening? Perhaps all members of staff and students should receive an email from Executive stating that these practices are not acceptable with perhaps a warning that anyone found doing this may find that they are banned from parking on University premises? It is confusing because it may be that Estate staff had a request for reserved parking for visitors only to have staff remove the bollards because they could not be bothered to walk across from Leek Road?

ANSWER:

Thank you for highlighting this issue. Car parks are managed by the Campus and Commercial Services team who are often asked to reserve spaces for visitors. They try wherever possible to accommodate these requests in support of University business and currently traffic cones are used to mark reserved spaces.

Wherever feasible, it is easier to reserve spaces at Leek Road where they can monitor spaces from the lodge. At College Road, they aren’t able to monitor the spaces and do find that both staff and students regularly move or remove cones, and the bollards from the current landscaping works, so as to park in reserved spaces themselves.

Once the landscaping project is finished and car park barriers are all operational, it will be easier for the team to manage spaces and crack down on these kinds of serious offences, but for now we rely on the support and goodwill of our colleagues who in the most part do leave reserved spaces alone.

When the work is finished, the Campus and Commercial Services team will also be able to review the use and storage of cones to minimise the opportunities for them to be used incorrectly in the future.

Are we loaning out our car parks for external events? – update

Dear Colleagues,

Please note that the organisers of the 10k race have now changed the event date to Sunday 29 September 2013, however we will still be offering our support.

 

QUESTION:
There’s a rumour that the University has agreed to lend/loan out part of the Leek Road car park for an event, external to the University, on the 21 September. Is this correct?
ANSWER:
The Campus team has agreed to support organisers of a local 10k race, by offering some parking on Leek Road, at the rear of the lodge to participants on the morning of September 21. Any spaces that are used will be vacated by 10am.

We are approached a couple of times a year by organisers of weekend community events looking for support in the form of some car parking spaces and we try whenever possible to help. We are aware that there will be lots of activity on campus during that weekend but are confident that we can support this event without compromising either intake or open day activities.

What will happen to the daffodil bulbs on Leek Road?

QUESTION:
Can you tell me what has happened to all the daffodil bulbs that were on the mounds that have been flattened on Leek Road to make way for the landscaping? There are still some daffodils on the last remaining mound, can staff have some before these are flattened?

 
ANSWER:
The Grounds team is working closely with the landscaping contractors to make sure that the daffodil bulbs are retrieved where possible so that they can be enjoyed elsewhere on campus.

What is that smell in the Beacon Building?

QUESTION:
What is the very unpleasant smell in the Beacon Building corridor near to the F14 lecture theatre?

Is it really the burning of chicken manure? If so, could it be harmful to human health?

 
ANSWER:
Thanks for getting in touch. Please do not worry as there is no chicken manure on campus! As far as we are aware, one of our students is burning wood samples from Cyprus on the car park as part of their project, which could explain the smell you are experiencing.

Why have coffee shop prices gone up so much?

QUESTION:
I understand that prices occasionally have to rise, however the recent price hike in the Dolche Vita seems quite steep. For example, a Large Latte has gone from £1.55 to £1.75, that’s almost a 13% rise.

Could you shed a little light as to why the price has had to go up so much?

 
ANSWER:
Many thanks for your question.

We have been forced to increase prices due to the increase in raw materials, this has been especially prevalent on dairy and coffee.

Since The Courtyard Café opened in August 2011, our prices have remained static; however we have seen a huge increase in costs, which we have managed to absorb until very recently. Dairy products have risen by 15% in the last 12 months and Coffee by a similar amount, unfortunately we do as a result need to increase prices to our customers to cover some of these extra costs from our suppliers.

The previous price of a large Costa Latte was £1.70 and we have now increased it to £1.75… an increase of just 5 pence! All this said, we are still considerably cheaper than Costa on the High Street; similar price increases have taken place at the Coffee Lab and Ashley Conference Centre.

Why doesn’t the Pavilion stay open for staff?

QUESTION:
We all understand that students go home for the holidays resulting in less people on campus, but why is it deemed acceptable to close the Pavilion to staff during this period? Dolche Vita provides a very limited range of sandwiches and cakes, but especially with the cold weather that we are having, staff often want something more substantial and there is little alternative available.  Surely you could still offer a limited range of hot food?

 

ANSWER:
The Pavilion is closed mainly due to the lack of sales experienced during the vacation periods. We have tried opening the Pavilion several times when students are not around and offered some really attractive promotional deals for staff; despite this, sales still tend to be very poor. Coffee and snack sales remain high in the Costa outlet hence the reason why we choose to close the Pavilion during vacation.

Normally we would offer a small table service in the Courtyard Cafe offering cook to order food, however we have been exceptionally busy with the migration of our kitchen operations from Cadman to the Brindley Food Court during the Easter period; In anticipation of this we notified staff on RSS in early March of potential minor disruptions to service as a result over the vacation.

We have, throughout the vacation, provided a hot soup offer daily, along with sandwiches and Panini’s. We will review our daily offer over the summer vacation and possibly increase the menu in The Courtyard Cafe during this period…. again we apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers during this transition and thank you for your patience.

Are staff expected to deal with abuse?

QUESTION:
Here at Staffordshire University, confrontation with students is part of the job, however, are staff members expected to deal with abuse, swearing and personal derogatory remarks?

The University are often telling us that “students are the customers”, but should we have to be subjected to this in our workplace?

In the past, complaints made against students have often been “brushed under the carpet” and no further action is ever taken. How do we ensure that our complaint and concerns are taken seriously? I often find myself telling students that their behaviour is a breach of “student regs” and will not be tolerated, but this seems like an idle threat when our complaints are not taken further.
ANSWER:
The University’s Student Behaviour Policy sets out our expectations of student conduct. In cases where a student’s behaviour is considered inappropriate and it cannot be addressed informally by the member of staff then the matter should be referred to the appropriate Dean of Faculty who will consider whether the University’s disciplinary procedures should be invoked.

The University takes such issues seriously and where staff have continued concerns about the behaviour of students then they should discuss the issue with Noel Morrison, the Academic Registrar and Director of Student Experience.