The kitchens crisis that has affected several colleges has finally been resolved after the Deputy Vice Chancellor Felicity Riddy announced a decision to pay out a total of £55,000 in compensation to affected students.
Every resident of Derwent Blocks C and D, and Vanbrugh A Block, has been offered compensation of £126. Residents of Derwent A and B, Goodricke B, and Langwith A Blocks have been offered the lesser amount of £72 as they had slighlty more extensive initial facilities in their kitchens. Compensation for the first nine weeks of term has already been paid to affected students, and payments will continue until the situation is fully rectified.
According to letters sent out to residents, further improvements of cooking facilities in areas of Derwent, Goodricke, Langwith and Vanbrugh are due to be completed before January 15. The plans include wall extensions which will make the installation of hobs possible in all kitchens. The University has still not explained why no action was taken before the beginning of the term.
Rich Croker, YUSU President, said “If it had happened in the summer, it would have cost less”, explaining that the construction works in the kitchens could have been completed by the workers that were employed to work on campus over the summer.
The decision to implement changes has come after extensive discussions between YUSU and the University. Students wrote multiple letters complaining about inadequate facilities, and the Accomodation Office was repeatedly confronted by unsatisfied parents. Students also voiced their opinions on the issue by voting in an online YUSU poll, and by setting up an online campaign group. “They have realised they made a mistake”, said Croker, “I suppose this one is highlighted by the fact that it hit so many people and it is going to cost a lot to fix.”