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.