Merton has become the fourth Oxford University college to join the Safe Haven scheme, which allows students who find themselves in difficulty whilst away from their own college to access help.
The scheme, which is being promoted by the University's Security Services team (OUSS), is being rolled out across the University. Colleges who sign up to the scheme will display a discreet logo in their Porters' Lodge or other reception area. Students who encounter problems such as harassment or a medical issue can call into any college that is signed up to the scheme; the staff will welcome them into the safety of the Lodge, and contact their home college to arrange for the student to be collected by a member of staff or a taxi. Where appropriate, Lodge staff will also contact OUSS and/or one of the emergency services for further assistance.
Head Porter John Constable, who has introduced the scheme to Merton after it became apparent that most students were unaware that they could seek help from other colleges' staff, said:
"My team and I are delighted to have signed up to this important scheme, which lets people know we are ready to offer support and assistance to any Oxford student who finds themselves in difficulty whilst away from their own college."