The issue of 24-hour portering has, rather predictably, raised it’s ugly head once again. While night-time staffing for Goodricke, Langwith and Vanbrugh is a step in the right direction, the truth of the matter is that a 24-hour portering service in every college is essential to the student experience on campus. This debate is never more important than at the start of the academic year, when a new batch of freshers move in and will, in many cases, find themselves without adequate support from porters to make the transition to university life.
The nine night-time staff members that will attempt to fulfil the role of porters in the three colleges in question may have been trained up – albeit through just two six-hour sessions – but will surely be lacking the knowledge and experience that is often required of porters. This is particularly worrying on Heslington East, where 1,200 students living in University accommodation are completely reliant on this necessary service. While the new students may have the benefit of some shiny new houses, they will no doubt be left unimpressed at the lack of support afforded to them.
And with this year’s fresh intake now paying the newly hiked tuition fees and attending a Russell Group institution, the University’s excuses as to why we don’t all have access to round the clock portering make them seem ever more distant from the student population. We are attending a quality University, and that should be reflected in it’s welfare provisions as well as it’s degree scores.