The tutor system in Grey College exists to provide a support network for all our students. Distinct from the teaching role that staff may perform in departments, College tutors perform an entirely pastoral function: they are there to give students a point of contact in Grey should they need help, advice and support on any matter related to their stay in Durham.
Students are greeted by their tutors on their arrival at College; each student joining with a few others in a tutor group. The tutor may be a postgraduate research student, a member of the university's faculty, a retired member of staff but always a friend and active member of the College community. There will be a number of official College functions to which tutors and their students will be invited during the first year but the timing and frequency of student-tutor contact hours will depend on the individual and his/her needs.
The whole purpose of the tutor system is to enhance the sense of community in Grey and to provide student welfare support when and where required. Many students may, in fact, not need much support. Those that do may choose to seek advice and help from friends and/or family. But the tutor is there if he/she is needed. There is the opportunity to meet a different sort of friend; to enter a different milieu than that of regular student life; to broaden the College experience. Tutors will be pro-active in contacting their student charges and in inviting them to both official and informal functions. Students have a responsibility to reply to all communication and to ensure, at the very least, that they know how to reach their tutor in an emergency.The Role of Tutees
1. To know the tutor and his/her contact phone number and e-mail or postal address
You will meet your tutor on Day Two in College. There is a list of students with your name and your tutor's name next to it posted on the noticeboard outside the Master's office. If you lose your tutor's phone number/address/e-mail you can always ask in the College Office, if not find it yourself on the University website. So you have no excuse if you do not know your tutor and his contact details!
2. To reply promptly to all communication from the tutor
Please be aware that some tutors live at a distance from College and coming in to see tutees may not always be easy for them. If invitations are made, please respond; even if it is to decline. If appointments are set up, please keep them. No tutor has inexhaustible patience so if you do not reply to offers to meet, do not continue to expect to receive them.
3. To inform tutors of any difficulties experienced during the course of the year
If you have trouble, your tutor can help! That is what he/she is there for, so please make use of him/her. Tutors can be helpful in at least two respects: giving support if you are having difficulties with your studies and providing a refuge/sympathetic ear if claustrophobic student life is getting a bit on top of you. Lastly, students have rights; if you feel the University or College has unfairly treated you in some way then consult your tutor (see also the grievance procedures referred to in the College Handbook).
4. To complete and return a tutee profile form at the end of the year
To help you build up a portfolio of achievements (such as a Personal Development Plan) and to help you build up information for a CV, your tutor will issue you with a profile form at the end of each academic year. It helps you and it also helps the College if you complete, return and discuss this form with your tutor. If you do not help with this you cannot expect the College to write you a reference on completion of your degree.
5. To attend a minimum of three tutor meals in the course of the first year
The College arranges and pays for a minimum of three tutor meals in your first year. They are set up as the minimum to promote good tutor/tutee relations. Please make every effort to go to them. We value the College family and hope you do too.