Delayed building works and water certification led to 108 Trevelyan College freshers being housed in adjacent accommodation as they arrived in Durham on Sunday.
According to the College, delayed restoration work originally meant that 54 rooms would be unavailable until this number was reduced to 36. Professor Martyn Evans, Principle of Trevelyan College, stated that the College were “working hard to complete the refurbishments of student bedrooms as soon as possible.”
An email was sent to affected students a week prior to move-in day, in which Trevelyan College stated that “about 30 rooms” would be affected, and that the work would “overrun into the first two weeks of term.”
A further 78 first year students were also temporarily housed in Stephenson College on arrival, due to a delay in receiving water certification for parts of Trevelyan College accommodation. These students were only written to the day before moving in.
Kate McIntosh: The University has failed these students at one of the most crucial stages of their academic lives
Originally displaced students have been housed together as groups in adjacent college accommodation. Professor Evans told Palatinate that “as of Monday 30th September, 12 students are being accommodated at Collingwood College and 18 at Teikyo University of Japan in Durham.” This brings the total number of affected students to 108.
Kate McIntosh, Students’ Union President commented on the news: “The University has failed these students at one of the most crucial stages of their academic lives.“
“Despite being assured that the University has been taking Trevelyan College’s delayed building work seriously, it’s clear that the disruption is more serious than originally thought. Over one hundred students are unable to stay in their college during their first days in Durham, and this represents a substantial, sustained failure to factor students into the strategic decisions that greatly impact students’ lives.
“It is equally unacceptable that hardworking volunteers have been left to fill the gap in support available to these students, stepping in to do vital work to make move-in possible with little recognition, at the same time as pulling off a fantastic freshers’ week welcome.”
It is equally unacceptable that hardworking volunteers have been left to fill the gap in support available to these students
Trevelyan College, according to the University website, has 235 first year undergraduate rooms, of which 20 are shared between two students.
On Monday 30th September Professor Evans commented to Palatinate that Trevelyan College expected all of the 78 students to return to college by Tuesday 1st, with the remaining 30 soon after.
A first year Trevelyan College student spoke to Palatinate about their frustration: “I think given how stressful a time starting university can be, it’s ridiculous that something like this could ever be a possibility.
“The added stress on freshers in these weeks is unfortunate, unnecessary and irresponsible.”
All students involved are still eating in College and attending all activities put in place by the College.
The University have stated that compensation has been organised: “For the period of time students are not able to live in College, those students will incur no residential fees for that period.
“For those living in College but where the bathroom on their link or corridor is unavailable, their residential fees will be reduced by the cost of their meals in College for that period.”
Featured Image: Will Hutchings
The University statement in full:
Professor Martyn Evans, Principal, Trevelyan College, said: “We are working hard to complete the refurbishment of student bedrooms as soon as possible and have been able to reduce the number of rooms that are unavailable for the start of term to 36.
“As of Monday 30 September, 12 students are being accommodated at Collingwood College and 18 at Teikyo University of Japan in Durham.
“Due to a delay in receiving water certification for a section of College, an additional 78 students are being accommodated at Stephenson College. We wrote to these students to inform them of these temporary arrangements prior to their arrival, on Saturday 28 September.
“All three of these alternative locations are less than five minutes’ walk from College. All students are eating in College and able to enjoy all College activities.
“We expect the 78 students currently at Stephenson to return on Tuesday 1 October and the remaining 30 soon afterwards.
“For the period of time students are not able to live in College, those students will incur no residential fees for that period. For those living in College but where the bathroom on their link or corridor is unavailable, their residential fees will be reduced by the cost of their meals in College for that period.
“We wrote to all new Trevelyan undergraduates, both those affected and those not affected, to outline the impact and details of the compensation available.”