Goodricke College residents face mains power cut

Kenneth Dixon Court, Photo: DS Pugh

Kenneth Dixon Court, Photo: DS Pugh

Plans for a complete eight hour mains power cut across Heslington East on Monday 17 May have been announced today, affecting 166 Goodricke College residents.

Provisions have been made for the residents Oliver Sheldon Court, who will be affected. However they were not provided with a reason for the power cut. The University have revealed to Nouse that the cut was to “allow electrical work associated with the new Computer Science building to be carried out” by construction company BAM.

An e-mail sent this morning from College Administration told students that they will be able to “prepare for the day” before the 9.30am cut, and considers the new study space building on Main Street, Heslington – with a capacity of 150 – to be a suitable alternative for students to carry out their studies on Monday, as well as the Norwegian Study Centre.

Although they are allowed to stay in the building, students affected have voiced their concerns about the implications of the power cut. There will be no mains power supply to keep fire alarms activated; electronic door anti-intruder protection systems engaged, or for surveillance cameras to remain monitoring the safety of their current residence.

David Garner, University Press Officer, has stated on behalf of the University: “The locking and fire alarm systems have appropriate battery back-up but Security and Computing Services staff will be on site, as a precaution. Cleaning staff will be put ice packs in the fridges on Monday morning to protect students’ food.The University apologises for the disruption.”

Goodricke College residents will be offered free meal vouchers for two meals at the Mondrian Vanbrugh Dining Hall on Monday, as students will be unable to cook using their hobs and electrical appliances at home.

Jade Adams, a first-year History of Art student, spoke about the cut: “First of all, I have an essay to write so won’t be able to work on that from my room… we can’t cook or make cups of tea, and nothing has been said about the fridges and freezers – they haven’t said why it’s practically all day, either. There’s only two computers in the JCR and I don’t even know where this study place is! And I don’t know whether they’ll let us use the plugs, nothing has been said and it'[s not as if the meal vouchers will be for the Courtyard, either.”

Tim Ngwena, YUSU President, has commented: ““Although YUSU is happy to see progress in the Heslington East development, we must ensure that disruption to students doesn’t become a frequent occurrence on the site. On this occasion, we are pleased to see that facilities management and the college have acted quickly, to mitigate the disruption caused to students in Oliver Sheldon by the work BAM wish to carry out. I will be in communication with the University on Monday to track the progress of the work, but also to get further clarity and confirmation that no more disruption will be caused to students, by similar action been taken for the Hub, Law & Management , TFTV and Catalyst buildings yet to be connected to power.”

Extra portering patrols will be put in place in order for students to feel safe as the locking system will also only be operating on a backup battery system, and the lifts will be out of service.


  1. Re: Freezers.

    Leave them closed all the time the power is off and they will not defrost too badly, likewise the fridges will keep cool if kept closed.

    As for work, most laptops these days can get about 4 hours of battery use or more in the case of some, plus there is a thing called pens & paper and also books to read so do that instead.

    The uni has given you notice, and you should be able to plan your work around the disruption.

    Also, 8 hours is fairly standard for planned electricity outages. We have had several at my house this year due to work on a nearby building site requiring mains outages, while annoying it wasn’t life stopping, and the outages never lasted the full 8 hours.

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  2. It would be important, perhaps, to note that the lack of lifts isn’t a major problem for residents as Goodricke does not host any disabled students this year strictly BECAUSE of these inconveniences, in order to minimise disruption to students who otherwise are reliant on these services.

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  3. 16 May ’10 at 5:55 am

    ...said they, in

    a justificatory and slightly lecturing tone.

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  4. “and it’s not as if the meal vouchers will be for the Courtyard, either.”

    why SHOULD they be? YUSU owns the courtyard and the power problems are due to the Uni…!

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  5. why would you want to eat in the courtyard. the food there is rubbish! i would take the food offered by the uni any day it is far superior.

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  6. YUSU are meant to represent and support STUDENTS this is a perfect example of when YUSU should be doing this.

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  7. 16 May ’10 at 5:18 pm

    @ "@ come on.."

    And how exactly are they supposed to be supporting them? The students knew about the building works before they took the accomodation. Electrical issues come hand in hand with this. It’s in the interest of everybody, especially the residents, for the building work to be completed as quickly as possible and if an 8 hour power cut is necessary, it’s necessary. No ifs and buts. The work has been scheduled for a Monday, when lots of students will be in lectures/seminars/whatever anyway, and those that are not are perfectly capable of taking the bus onto main campus and working in one of the uni’s study spaces.

    YUSU can’t ‘support’ students by rescheduling or cancelling the building works, they can’t ‘support’ them by offering them a hotel room for a day. Provisions have been made for food, and study spaces are available. Seriously, what’s your suggestion? Love to hear it.

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  8. I reckon it’d be fun to go without electricity for a few hours. Lighten up! Just go and work in the library or something…

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  9. n would like to remind people that the internet owns you all. you are slaves to it, and a few hourse of not having it will send you all crazy, insane.

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  10. 20 May ’10 at 3:43 pm

    Goodricke student

    Yep, people really do need to get over themselves and use the library or books if they’re that desperate to work.

    Also, it’s very depressing indeed to see that the deactivation of electronic door locks and CCTV for 8 hours counts as concerning news. The original Goodricke blocks had 1 single key card code per block and doors you could prop open in the summer. People seem to have forgotten that the atmosphere as a result was far more fun and sociable than it is on Hes East. More importantly, people did not live in fear of crime, nor did they suffer it.

    People really do need to lighten up. Here’s to hoping this paranoid nannying health and safety culture is quickly reversed and that people can properly enjoy their lives in halls as they have done for the last 40+ years on Hes West!

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