Moving in the wrong direction

Starting university life is a daunting time for the majority of first year students. The stress of moving into an entirely new environment, making friends with people from different backgrounds, and adjusting to the culture shock of actually having to cooking is alarming enough in itself. However, the news that some freshers will have to reside alongside considerably older students whose main priorities are completing assessments rather than making the most of their social life, is an unnecessarily additional strain.

Some new undergraduate students are being forced into postgraduate accommodation in Wentworth College, providing yet another example of a commercial decision by the University to get more students on courses – and somehow provide accommodation for them. Despite an admiral attempt to house a few more students, there has been a considerable oversight, as not living alongside with other undergraduates puts these students at a social disadvantage.

Whilst postgraduates understandably need to focus on their studies, these freshers will enter a rather quieter environment, unawares that the university experience they were likely to have been expecting isn’t going to be right on their doorsteps. The surroundings that you live in do, as the university seems to have grossly ignored, affect the first week – and thereafter – of undergraduate student life. Those in positions of higher authority appear to have forgotten that the welfare of all (not just the ‘majority’ of) students needs to be their first priority. Coming to university, students have high hopes, and these need not be dashed before they even start.

The worst aspect of this situation is that these students will have to pay more for their accommodation fees than their peers who have been allocated accommodation in undergraduate colleges. These students will have to dig even deeper to fund their university education. This is an unacceptably commercial decision made by the University: do they not receive enough from funds already trickling into their ‘party pot’, tuition fees, various commercial ventures, and all the students residing in normal accommodation?

Ripping off a few unsuspecting new students whilst simultaneously ensuring that their student experience will be extremely compromised, is simply unfair. For some, this will come in quite literal terms. Certain students in Goodricke are being forced to share rooms which were originally constructed for just one student. Their living space has been compromised to the extent of lacking personal legroom. In terms of the university’s priorities, they need to seriously rethink the way they should treat new students, who will doubtless be passing on less than content opinions about York to future students.

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