The University of York’s Accommodation Services have once again received a series of complaints from freshers over their application process.
Emails were sent out in random batches on Monday allowing students who met their firm offers on Results Day to book rooms in one of the University’s nine colleges.
However, freshers have expressed their anger after being left waiting hours for their emails, which meant that in some cases, students missed out on their preferred choice of accommodation. Some students even claim they did not receive the e-mail on time.
Joe Parsons, an international student, posted on Facebook: “Never received my e-mail, now there’s no colleges available to choose from, or any choice of time allocations” after Accommodation Services informed students all of the emails had been sent out.
The system has been branded “stupid”, “flawed” and a “complete joke” on Facebook and Twitter. The application process was also called criticised by freshers who believe some students were given an “unfair” advantage after receiving their accommodation emails earlier than others by chance as they were sent in batches.
Sophie Waddington, a first year student starting at the University in September, tweeted: “@UniofYork’s accommodation process has totally taken the shine off, and the excitement of, getting a place #gutted”, whilst Bronte Wright, another fresher, posted on Twitter: “Why let me pick an option and then tell me it’s no longer available, someone needs a serious re-think about this accommodation system.”
Just a year ago, Accommodation Services were heavily criticised after the system crashed and freshers were denied on-campus accommodation for the first time in three years.
In a statement issued after last year’s live accommodation booking system crashed, Jane Grenville, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, stated: “It is unfortunate, on the day, the system simply could not cope with the volume of traffic. It went wrong and we are sorry. Please be assured we will be undertaking a detailed analysis to improve the application system for 2014/5.”
However, the comments made on social media this year suggest that the situation has not improved, with both parents and students accusing the University’s Accommodation Services of bad management, and many students say the University should adopt other universities’ method of letting prospective freshers choose accommodation before Results Day.
The University told Nouse: “We send out emails in random batches… partly to manage the load on the system but also to give students a fairer chance of being able to select their preferred college and room type.”
They went on to say that they “responded promptly to all phone, email and social media inquiries from students and parents” before revealing plans to change the application system for next year, saying: “Students will apply earlier in the year, when they have accepted a conditional course place at the University. They will give their preferences for accommodation, instead of selecting a college and room type, and will receive a room booking based on their preferences once they become unconditional.”