'Grab a vodka and calm down': Accommodation meltdown as York freshers are forced off-campus

Freshers in chaos as 250 new students lose out on a room in halls

The University of York is in accommodation meltdown, with hundreds of first year students left without a room in halls.

Over 250 students have been forced into off-campus accommodation in a situation described by welfare officer George Offer as 'far from ideal', just weeks before they arrive.

The university had previously stated that a room in halls was guaranteed for undergraduate freshers who sent in their applications before the 24 August deadline, yet many still do not know where they will be living.

Prospective students have branded staff "rude" and "sarcastic" in their approach to dealing with the backlog of applications. "I actually cried on the phone to one of them because I was that stressed about the accommodation," said first year Abi Creak. "She told me to 'get a mug of vodka' - how's a mug of vodka going to help when I have no house?"

Another incoming student explained his situation: "I've got mild autism and the bounds of campus would be much better for me on working on my social skills. They're blaming me for not stating it on my accommodation application but I put it on my UCAS."

"The fact that the university has forced him to live off campus is very worrying," responded YUSU’s disabilities officer Thomas Ron. "Many students feel that the stigma against disability is so strong that they often fear to put information on a form."

A university spokesperson insisted that staff 'endeavour to be courteous and professional at all times'. "We find it hard to believe that they would make such comments to students. In terms of anyone with additional needs, it is important that they inform Accommodation Services as the information does not automatically feed through from UCAS."

A statement from the accommodation team on Monday explained that they were 'putting in a fair bit of overtime' and 'drinking a lot of coffee' to try and resolve the issue quickly. "It’s taking longer than usual because we’ve had a much higher intake of students this year," the update read. "There are simply not enough rooms on campus to go around."

The university has committed to providing free bus passes for students living off-campus, while the students’ union will help integrate them into college life.

YUSU clashed with the university after it requested that current students planning to live on campus repeal their contracts, including those who had been offered cash incentives to return.

YUSU president Kallum Taylor told student newspaper York Vision that the 'ludicrous' situation was the university’s fault. "They should be incentivising the student to vacate if they really wanted it to work. [They can’t just] send a second or third year back off campus in order to help the university to clean up their mess."

Taylor met with university registrar, David Duncan earlier this morning, who confirmed that returning students vacating to make space for freshers would not have to pay back the £100 they received with their booking.

Despite the university’s efforts to reassure new students, many have taken to Twitter to voice their outrage, with one fresher writing, "York accommodation must be an icebreaker activity, gives us a common enemy and all that."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Data Analyst - Essex - £25,000

£23500 - £25000 per annum + Training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Data analyst/Sys...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Account Manager

£16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Account Manager is r...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Manager / Sales Executive

£18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Account Man...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee