Wonder Wardens

OUSU is hoping that its new Community Wardens pilot scheme will go some way towards breaking down the town vs. gown conflict.

OUSU has begun to review the applications for its new “community warden scheme”, in which eight students will work in Jericho and East Oxford to improve relationships be- tween local residents and students.

The new recruits will attend residents’ association meetings, keep students informed about practical things like rubbish collections and keeping crime down, and work with Police Community Support Officers. They will also attempt to reduce the number of complaints by residents.

Wardens will have to work for five hours a week from the beginning of 0th week until the end of 9th week, and will be paid £7.20 an hour.

Daniel Stone, OUSU’s Vice-President for Charities and Communities, said: “We’ve had a good response, with over 50 applications, although more graduates than undergraduates have applied. We also have some international applicants, so it will be a good mix of students.”

Stone said he developed the idea over the summer, having looked at similar schemes at universities such as Birmingham, Leeds and Exeter.

Brookes also launched a similar scheme in September last year.

Stone continued: “I think this is a really good time to get the scheme started. Being the year of the Jubilee, we hope that students and residents will work together to create a better atmosphere, especially with all the street parties that could be happening in June.”

A spokesman for the Divinity Road Area Residents’ Association (DRARA) called it a “positive step”, adding: “We supported Brookes University’s initiative of establishing a student community warden scheme, and are glad that Oxford University is now planning to establish one.

“We hope that these schemes will contribute to good relations between permanent residents and students. Better communication between permanent residents and students is helpful, and the stu- dent community wardens will have a role to play in improving mutual understanding.”