Slems in Exile Society
St Anselm hall was temporarily closed for the 2020/2021 academic year due to coronavirus. This led to the formation of the Slems in Exile Society, which is a student run group that ensures the traditions of the hall and the hall community remain as intact as possible during uncertain times.
Since the hall closure in August it has been my aim – as president of the JCR – to keep the community formed in Slems together. My first thought was to create a platform on Facebook, which had exceptional supported from the community. We have around 40 members, made up of students who were intending to return to hall (some for their 4 th year in hall) and freshers who were going to be living in hall this year but were unfortunately reallocated to other halls.
Through the Facebook community I advertise events and any updates about the reopening of hall in September 2021.In semester 1 we have gone from strength to strength, with a weekly chapel service being held in the Slems chapel. The chapel services are the centre point of the week, with extra events happening at the weekend over Zoom. Since the chapel has provided so much for the community we have given a substantial donation from our JCR funds towards the restoration of the tapestry, so that it will be ready for the dedication from the Bishop of Manchester.
Another event currently happening is the 5km run for domestic abuse charity FortAlice. Hopefully we will raise over £200 as a community, showing our social responsibility in giving back to the local community, a great importance to all of us.
With the strength of the community it is important that the focus remains on reopening next year. Sadly, I will have graduated by the next academic year so will miss the grand reopening, but I am very much motivated to make the transition back into an open hall as seamless as possible.
The importance of the Slems in Exile Society
Alice Colding, President of the JCR, 2020-2021
Evening Chapel service
Every Tuesday a 'Covid safe' evening chapel service takes place for students in the Slems In Exile group.
This allows the group to meet together in a safe space, access pastoral support.
The Chapel also managed to conduct a succesful service of remembrance this year with exile members attending in person and via a live zoom recording.