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Fitness to Reside
The University has a Fitness to Reside policy. This relates to a students ability to live well with others, observing rules and norms to promote a pleasant and safe living environment in any University allocated or third party nominated hall.
A student’s fitness to reside may come into question for lots of different reasons. These could be present before you become a resident, or develop whilst you’re in halls. For example, you could flag a mental health issue before moving in, someone becoming concerned about your welfare whilst you’re in halls i.e. a friend, house mate, fellow student or staff, or if there needs to be support in place for you that requires funding for alterations and installations to the room/building not available within existing University provision or by third party nominated halls.
If your fitness to reside is ever questioned, you should always first be supported in an informal way by the university and halls provider to decide on some steps that will help you living in halls
If these measures are have been exhausted and there are still concerns, a Fitness to Reside Panel will be called.
If you are called to a Fitness to Reside Panel, you will be told so. The formal notice will have the date, time and venue of the Panel, details of where help and advice may be sought and a copy of any documentary evidence that may be considered
A Fitness to Reside Panel typically has 5 people in attendance from the university’s side: The Head of Residential Services or nominated representative as Chair, The Head of Wellbeing or nominated representative; A Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer (VP Welfare and Community or nominated representative) and a Secretary who will produce a record of the proceedings. The Hall Manager or their representative, will present the case and all evidence to the Panel for consideration.
There are 4 outcomes for a fitness to reside.
- Fit to reside and the case is dismissed. You will be advised on which behaviours caused concern, and how such concerns may be avoided in future.
- Fit to reside if a managed engagement plan is followed
- Unfit to reside and no demonstration of intent to change in order to remain: - the accommodation contract with the student will be cancelled and the student issued with a formal 28-day Notice to Quit.
- Unfit to reside and not allowed to stay during the formal 28-day Notice to Quit period as it would be inappropriate. The student will be required to move for the notice period, to more suitable alternative accommodation, if available. This would apply if there were:serious concerns regarding the safeguarding of themselves, other students, staff and the wider community; unacceptable disruption to the stability of the hall and wider University community and the student experience
- serious concerns regarding the safeguarding of themselves, other students, staff and the wider community;
- unacceptable disruption to the stability of the hall and wider University community and the student experience
Within two working days of the Fitness to Reside Panel, the Chair via the Secretary shall issue the Decision Notice
The Appeal must be based on one or more of the following grounds and Only the student accused can appeal against the findings and/or against the sanctions imposed. :
- a material procedural irregularity, which might have impacted significantly on the validity of the original hearing and the subsequent penalty;
- new evidence that could not reasonably have been made available to the initial disciplinary hearing;
- that the penalty imposed by the disciplinary hearing was too severe bearing in mind the circumstances of the case and the treatment of other students in similar positions.
A student should submit a statement of appeal within ten working days from the date printed on the Decision Notice they are wishing to appeal, which must be sent to the Director of Estates and Campus Services, or their representative, which should be, headed ‘Statement of Appeal against the decision of the Fitness to Reside Panel’.
The student will be informed of the decision in writing together with the reasons. The original decision can be retracted, amended or upheld. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the student will have completed the University’s appeal process and can take their appeal to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education if they are still unhappy.
The University of Portsmouth Students’ Union has a vision of creating a positive impact with every Portsmouth student during their time at University.