Mar 25 2015

LSE History Trivia Series

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Did you know?

Lilian Knowles - LSE's first woman professor

Lilian Knowles – LSE’s first woman professor

Lilian Knowles was LSE’s first woman professor, in the Department of Economic History in 1921 – the first such professorship in the country. She had been one of LSE’s first research students, joining the School in 1896, and is now remembered in the east London LSE hall of residence Lilian Knowles House. Find out more about Lilian Knowles and the other early women lecturers at LSE in a new LSE History blog post Women at the front – pioneering LSE teachers or read more from the Did you know? LSE trivia series.

Hayley Reed

Communications Executive

Posted by: Posted on by dugdalec

Mar 25 2015

A Eureka Moment at Passfield Hall – “Vegetarian food isn’t so bad!”

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Passfield Green Night was established on Saturday 14 March 2015 thanks to the hard work of Ana Feu Basilio (Sustainability Champion), Selin Esen and Darren Hilliard (Hall Committee members), Sophie Barbier (Green Impact Leader) and Richard Perkins (Warden).  Between them they developed a series of events designed to increase understanding of and engagement with various Green initiatives.


The first part of the evening involved a vegetarian wrap dinner. All residents were invited to a free dinner of DIY vegetarian wraps, with lots of ingredients.  Approximately 40 students attended this – a fantastic turn out.   A few students noted that they were positively surprised by the vegetarian meal…


Vegetarian food isn’t so bad!

Students loading their wraps with quality vegetarian ingredients

Students loading their wraps with quality vegetarian ingredients


Students at the Environmental Themed Quiz

Students await the next challenge in the environment themed quiz


Most of those present then took part in an environment-themed pub quiz in the common room (there were 5 teams of 5/6 students, and several spectators). The enthusiasm was great!  Students were challenged with questions about climate change, sea levels, global warming, consumption of electricity/water, etc. and there was great competition and surprise at the answers.  Richard Perkins generously provided 5 x £10 Amazon vouchers for the winning team, as well as the funds for the ingredients for the wraps.




After the quiz there was an informal “open mic” night around a guitar.   Energy independent entertainment at its finest!

Open Mic Night at Passfield Hall

Open Mic Night at Passfield Hall


Several students came to say how much they’d appreciated the evening and its purpose, and everyone involved in the planning was really happy with the impact!

Posted by: Posted on by frances

Mar 23 2015

Carr-Saunders Goes Green

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The team at Carr-Saunders has been working hard to make changes in preparation for their Green Impact workbook submission.  They’ve even managed to raise some money for charity, and find an excuse to eat cake too!

Here’s a run down of what they’ve been up to!


  1. Carr-Saunders Bakes for Fairtrade Fortnight & Red Nose Day
Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

On Tuesday 3rd March the staff members at Carr-Saunders organised a bake sale for staff and students in the hall. All items in the sale were made using fairtrade and organic ingredients (a lot of chocolate was consumed as a result!) to promote the importance of choosing to purchase fairtrade produce. Red velvet cupcakes, raspberry & chocolate cheesecake brownies, rocky road bites and crunchy oat bars were just some of the highlights of the day. All donations from the bake sale will go to Comic Relief – £75.00 in total.



The Carr Saunders Team showing off their wares

The Carr-Saunders Team showing off their wares



  1. Carr-Saunders’ Green SelfiesStudent holding a whiteboard saying "I'm eco friendly because it's in everyone's interest"

As part of our annual Green Impact initiative we organised some events for our students to take part in. What started off as a themed movie night somehow turned into a student-led discussion on green issues and why it’s important to do our part. Always keen to see students taking part in staff-led initiatives, I gave them a camera and a whiteboard and let them roam the halls for 30 minutes to do a quick survey! Highlights included some of the pictures taken by our residents, which we’ve since used as part of a poster campaign across the hall to drum up enthusiasm for Green Impact and Student Switch Off!

Student holding a whiteboard saying "I'm eco friendly because I love the world" Student holding a whiteboard saying "I whip my hair back and forth instead of using a hairdryer"










  1. Making recycling easier

As part of our collaboration with Camden Council in trying to raise awareness of the importance of reducing general waste, we have now provided all 159 residents of the hall with individual recycling bags for their rooms. Lazy litterers no more! With an additional bin in their room for their mixed recycling needs, our students now have a direct incentive to separate their rubbish accordingly.

One of the new Recycling bags from Camden Council

No excuses now!

Posted by: Posted on by frances

Mar 12 2015

NEWS EXCLUSIVE! House-hunting season to begin soon..

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The Residential Services Office held the first in a series of two events on Monday 9th March 2015 to support students looking for private accommodation in 2015/16.

Aisling Traynor, a Senior Housing Advisor from the University of London Housing Services was the guest speaker. She gave a comprehensive presentation to the assembled group of 90 attendees on topics such as:

Choosing your housemates;
Searching for that ideal house;
Tenancy agreements and  deposit protection;
Inventory and contract checks.

private accommodation 1 private accommodation2

Trevor Murtagh also gave a brief overview of the exciting new LSE Rent Guarantor scheme which will come into effect soon and cover tenancies starting September 2015. It is hopedthat this initiative will give LSE students a more competitive edge in an already crowded London rental market.

The discussion was then thrown open to the floor for a Q&A session. Popular questions concerned types of properties available in the market and average monthly costs.

The RSO also used the event to unveil a brand new spanking banner to advertise the private housing support service offered to students. It takes pride of place in the photo above!

Another similar event is scheduled for 20th March 2015 in  NAB.L.G.08.  100 students have signed up so far for this session!

Trevor Murtagh
Residential Services Officer – Private Accommodation Lead

Posted by: Posted on by Claire Warne

Mar 10 2015

LSE Director visits Carr-Saunders Hall

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The School’s Director, Craig Calhoun visited Carr-Saunders Hall yesterday evening and enjoyed a tour of the hall followed by a meal with students and staff. The Warden, Dr Svetozar Rajak welcomed Craig showing him a newly refurbished room and an un-refurbished room. The Warden and Committee praised the hard work by both Residences and Estates staff to maintain the building and the quality of life in the Hall.

Craig had dinner in the restaurant, where, as you can see on the photo, he was joined by the Student Committee and Peer supporters. I’m reliably informed that the conversation was animated, good humoured and informative!

Carr-Saunders Visit

The Student Committee members also posed questions that other residents delegated them to ask. Svetozar Rajak commented “Craig was a gracious guest and very keen to talk with us. I believe he stayed longer than what we were led to believe ahead of his visit”.

Well done to everyone for welcoming Craig and showing him what a great place Carr-Saunders is.

Ian Spencer
Director of Residential Services



Posted by: Posted on by dugdalec

Mar 9 2015

The Survey Story – Tales from the halls

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There’s just two weeks left on the Student Accommodation Satisfaction Survey. We’ve hit 40% overall participation rate but we’re aiming for at least 60% this year. Today, we hear from the top three halls currently contesting the winning spot for a prize of £250 to see if they’re willing to divulge their secrets for obtaining their high participation rates!


Carr Saunders (Currently at 57.86%)

Motivated by the prizes!

We just really want the prize. That’s our secret. We have such a close community at Carr Saunders that everyone’s willing to work together to try and win the £250 (We even have an idea for what we want to spend it on!). We’re also very fortunate to have a really engaged Hall Committee who are helping us spread the word on social media. Being a catered hall helps too – everyone’s regularly in one place so we can quickly explain the importance of the survey to a wide audience.


Bankside House (Currently at 51.33% and last year’s champions!)

No sorcery necessary!

There’s no magic towards getting our students involved. We ask everyone walking in and out of the building if they’ve completed the survey and, if they haven’t, we invite them to use the computers in Reception to do so. We held a joint party with our Hall Committee which gave the survey an additional push. We also send the weekly league table to our residents as soon as we receive it to try and keep the competition active.


High Holborn (Currently at 44.04%)

Nothing’s going to stop them!

We’re going all out this year. We’re winning this if it’s the last thing I do! I’ve heard people will do almost anything for a delicious treat, so we’re offering a free Krispy Kreme doughnut to everyone who has completed the survey.   We’ve also invested in some Student Survey Uniform and all of the Front of House team are now sporting some Just Do It survey t-shirts! We hope this visual reminder as residents arrive home will spur them on to complete the survey.


Wow – there are some fantastic ideas there. We hope this has left you feeling encouraged and inspired! Currently the first and second places are held by the smallest and the largest hall, which shows that high engagement with the survey is possible no matter how big or small you are!

There are just two weeks to go until the Survey closes, and we’d like you to do all you can to get the participation rate as high as possible.   There is £250 in it for the hall with the highest participation rate, and plenty of individual prizes on offer to all residents who complete the survey.

If you have an inspiring Survey Story that you wish to share, please get in touch and we’ll blog about your achievements too. Or, if you need some support advertising the survey in your hall, get in touch with and Jennifer will try and help you out.

Thanks again for all your hard work so far!

High Holborn Survey Uniform

High Holborn say “Just Do It!”

Posted by: Posted on by frances

Mar 4 2015

Passfield Hall Green update

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Passfield continuously works to improve its carbon footprint and overall green impact. In addition to the efforts already made, our latest initiatives include a recycling workshop, water-saving challenges, cycle training, a visit to appreciate the bees living in our Hall. Recycling in the hall has increased in the last academic year and we continue to look for opportunities and means to improve the impact we have on our environment.

Five positive environmental impacts made at Passfield Hall:

  1. Transport: students walk or take public transport to LSE
  2. Catering: sustainably-sourced (MSC) fish, Red Tractor meat and milk, Rainforest Alliance certified coffee and tea, Fairtrade sugar and bananas
  3. Motion-sensitive lighting in common areas to reduce overall electricity
  4. Biodiversity through the garden, bees and bird-boxes
  5. Use of environmentally-friendly equipment in several areas already including FSC-certified furniture, A+ (minimum) energy rated refrigerators

Five environmental impacts to improve on at Passfield Hall:

  1. Waste (paper, consumption, plastics…)
  2. Electricity consumption (lights, heating, equipment)
  3. Contamination of recycling bins
  4. Water consumption
  5. Air and long-distance car travel

Greening opportunities at Passfield Hall:

  1. Improve recycling rates
  2. Increase use of bicycles over other means of transport
  3. Solar energy (panels on roof)
  4. Increase awareness in the community of environmental behaviour and habits
  5. Promote vegetarianism

Katarina Selmoun
Front of House Manager, Passfield Hall



Posted by: Posted on by dugdalec

Mar 4 2015

The Great British Sustainable Bake Off

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To celebrate Green Impact, and our love of all things baked, the team at Sardinia House organised a Great British Sustainable Bake Off.

 The task? Bake a cake.

The twist? Bake it as sustainably as possible.

 “OK… that sounds lovely. But what does that mean exactly?”

Well, good question. We didn’t really know either! However, with some research we managed to find some inspiration. We came up with the following set of ideas for how to Green Your Bake.

  • Use reusable silicon cupcake cases instead of disposable paper ones.
  • Use a vegan recipe (cut down on the use of eggs and milk and reduce your carbon footprint­).
  • Use coconut sugar instead of caster sugar.
  • Buy Fairtrade, organic, free range or local products.
  • Invest in a reusable silicone baking mat rather than using disposable baking paper.
  • Use unbleached flour instead of regular flour.

The results were delicious. Jennifer made a Raspberry and Almond Yogurt Cake, Claire made a Fairtrade Banana and Chocolate Cake and Vinh made a Vegan Lemon Cake.  Each one was presented with a factsheet on how the cake was more green than usual.

Here’s some of the things we tried:

  • We used a lot of Fairtrade and organic ingredients.
  • We used vegan butter for the first time.
  • We avoided using baking paper to line the cake tins for cooking.
  • We ventured to local shops and markets instead of relying on Tesco’s (*where possible – some things are really hard to get hold of in the local grocers!)
  • We discovered coconut oil as an alternative for vegetable oil.
  • We shunned the electric mixer in favour of the wooden spoon.

Overall, we learnt a lot about sustainable foods and we definitely created some wonderful wares.

If you were lucky enough to visit the Sardinia House office during the GBSBO, we hope you managed to have a taste.

And, if you’ve been inspired and want to attempt your own Sustainable Bake, please send us over a slice!

Or, if you’ve been Greening your way through some other activity in your office, please let us know and we can blog about that on The Grapevine next!

Jennifer's Raspberry and Almond Yogurt Cake

Jennifer’s Raspberry and Almond Yogurt Cake

Claire's Fairtrade Banana and Chocolate Cake

Claire’s Fairtrade Banana and Chocolate Cake

Vinh's Vegan Lemon Cake

Vinh’s Vegan Lemon Cake











Pssst… There’s still a little bit of each cake left if you’re quick!

Posted by: Posted on by frances

Feb 23 2015

Some Things Are Better Together

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This week we welcome a guest post from Lorcán O’Cathain, Hall Committee President at Butler’s Wharf Residence.  He tells us about a new initiative some Hall Committees have been working on in recent weeks.

There are some things that are truly better together… Tea and biscuits. Pizza and beer. Hall Committees.

Recently the Committees of Butlers Wharf Residence, Sidney Webb House and Lillian Knowles House announced a joint boat party to celebrate the end of the Lent Term. Catering for 375 postgraduate students, and requiring weeks of coordination between the various committees, the event is unique in the LSE student calendar and a clear example of what we can do when we work together.

The committee at Butlers Wharf have been driven this year by a desire to foster a sense of community within the hall and provide a fun and sociable environment that gives students the opportunity to enjoy themselves in an inclusive and welcoming space. This environment creates an opportunity to develop contacts and lasting friendships which provide a coping mechanism for many in the high pressure environment that is life at the LSE.

As a committee, we felt it was important that this sense of community went beyond Butler’s Wharf Residence. A year is a short time to build relationships that may have implications for future careers but also, and more importantly, for friendships to form. Committees working together can help develop these ties in the limited amount of time available. Luckily some of the other fully postgraduate Halls shared this ethos.

Over the past few weeks the committees of Butler’s Wharf Residence, Sidney Webb House and Lilian Knowles House have met up on numerous occasions to organise what could quite possibly be the biggest (and undoubtedly the best!) inter-hall postgraduate event in the history of LSE. Despite being in the dying days of term, it provides further opportunity to bring postgraduates together to create and develop lasting connections. Hopefully it’s a precedent for greater integration that can be built upon in future years. If nothing else however, it promises to be an unforgettable way to end the term!

Tickets for the boat party went on sale last weekend and all tickets were sold in just over one hour, showing just how popular this collaboration is.  We hope you all enjoy the party!

Boat party ticket sales

No one wanted to miss out on this party. Big queues formed as tickets went on sale.

Posted by: Posted on by frances

Feb 17 2015

Job opportunity – Property Manager – University of London

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The University of London is now advertising for a Property Manager; for more information visit the advertisement on the UOL jobs pages.

Please forward to anyone you think may be interested.

If you spot any other opportunities that you think we should post here, get in touch.

Posted by: Posted on by dugdalec Tagged with: , ,