#BallsUpInHalls: Hertfordshire Students’ Union challenge University to solve issues with temporary accommodation

On Thursday 8th October Grainne O’Monghain, Vice President Democracy and Services at Hertfordshire Students’ Union, sent the following letter in response to complaints from students about the standards of temporary accommodation on College Lane campus. The letter was sent to:

Martin Smith – Chief Executive of U-Living at Hertfordshire Plc.

Neil Cutting – U-Living

Warren Forsyth – Director of Campus Residential Support Service at DerwentFM

Dear . . .
 
We are writing to express our deep concern with the state of accommodation on the College Lane campus. Our concerns are threefold:
·         The condition of the temporary accommodation provided to student tenants at Broad and Coales halls;
·         The communication between student tenants, the University, and the residences providers/management;
·         Quality and availability of pastoral care and security at Broad and Coales halls.
Please find attached a brief report detailing these concerns and providing supporting evidence from current student tenants. This evidence paints a troubling picture of life on the University of Hertfordshire College Lane campus, and the true impact of inadequate management, staffing and preparation prior to the start of Semester A.
Students at the University of Hertfordshire deserve to feel safe and supported, and we believe that on this issue all parties involved have fallen short of their promises and responsibilities to students and student tenants.
In an effort to recompense the affected tenants, we are asking that the University and its partners commit to the following:
·         A promise to ensure timely, responsive and informative communication with student tenants;
·         A refund for the three weeks stayed in temporary accommodation, as recommended in the ANUK/Unipol National Code of Standards for Larger Residential Developments (3.8);
·         University staffing to support tenants moving to their full-session accommodation;
·         Delivery on promises made to student tenants, including food vouchers;
·         A review of temporary accommodation measures for students with the view to avoiding a repeat of these circumstances as the 2020 Estates Vision project progresses.
 
Due to the severity of this issue, we would appreciate a response as a matter of urgency.
Yours sincerely
 
Grainne O’Monghain
Vice President Democracy and Services
Hertfordshire Students’ Union, on behalf of students in Broad and Coales halls

The Students’ Union also released a video, filmed with UnionTV, showing interviews with students inside of Broad & Coales accommodation.

If anyone has been affected by this share your experience at hertfordshire.su/housinghelp or on Twitter using #BallsUpInHalls.

Trident Media will continue to share updates as the campaign continues.

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#BallsUpInHalls: Hertfordshire Students’ Union challenge University to solve issues with temporary accommodation