NEW ALCUIN STUDENTS have been been forced into temporary accommodation for the duration of freshers week after University building work has failed to meet its deadline.
The accommodation crisis has also left a number of students having to share a room due to an administration error that has led to room shortages in Langwith, Derwent and Goodricke Colleges.
72 first years have had to be temporarily housed in the National Science Learning Centre in the Science Park, which normally acts as a hotel for conference guests, after building work on Alcuin blocks K and L failed to meet the deadline of the start of the new term.
Alcuin provost Tony Ward, had promised freshers that “by the start of the academic year a number of the new accommodation blocks will be completed and ready for occupation.” Yet it has also been revealed students have not yet been given a definite date when the construction will be complete and when they will be able to move into their permanent flats.
Alcuin JCRC chair, Francesca Tarrant, told Nouse that the temporary rooms are “nicer and posher than L and K block”. However despite this, a set of strict rules has meant the new students will have to cope with limited facilities including no kitchen amenities of any sort.
Students have also been told to keep the temporary accommodation clean. Lizzie Brown, a first year, revealed: “We’ve been ordered to take extra special care of the rooms, or else we’ll receive a fine. It’s not quite what you expect to hear for freshers week, which is supposedly the wildest week of your whole degree.
“The biggest shame is that over the week we won’t get to know the people we’ll be sharing a flat with. They’ve mixed everyone from blocks L and K so I’ve only met a few of the people I’ll be living with for the year. Most of the people I meet today are unlikely to live close to me.”
Students were left in the dark as many only became aware of the situation at the last minute, some receiving the letter only a few days before they were due to arrive. Another student, who didn’t wish to be named, admitted it was “annoying we will have to move our stuff again in a week, I guess I just won’t be able to unpack.”
The area around Alcuin will continue as a construction site for the rest of the term as two more blocks aren’t scheduled to be completed until Christmas.
The University has also found the campus capacity oversubscribed after last term the Accommodation Office made a plea for students to return and live on campus for their third years, extending the deadline by which they had to apply several times.
However this has backfired, leaving the University without enough rooms for students. David Maughan, the Accommodation Officer, was unavailable for comment on these findings.
Students sharing a double room also have to face proportionally higher charges, paying £46.34 a week to share a room in contrast to £61.88 to have their own. As a consequence the University look set to make an extra £300 a term for every room that will be shared.
David Garner, the University Press Officer, argued that this extra charge was for “services” yet declined to go into greater detail.
He said: “Many students find sharing a positive experience as they get on well with their room-mate.
We should be able to move students who experience serious problems as a result of sharing a room fairly quickly, once rooms start becoming vacant”