JACK OUGHTRED discusses the on-going row over compensation for university students left homeless for weeks

asbestos bursar compensation cuths DSU mike king st cuthbert's society

For those who don’t know, throughout a large chunk of last term, there were roughly forty students in St. Cuthbert’s Society who were without hot water and heating, due to the presence of asbestos.

Last week, the Cuths residents of the buildings affected by the asbestos were called to a meeting with the Bursar and JCR President of St. Cuthbert's. Being a member of this group I obligingly attended. However, what I naively forgot to consider were the terms of reference, which outlined what we were, and more significantly, were not allowed to discuss in the meeting: specifically the issue of compensation.

Unable to discuss the issue that was most pressing – a key point of interest and of great relevance – I felt a growing feeling amongst my peers that the meeting was essentially of no use and therefore abdominally dull.

The meeting heated up somewhat when a select few among us accused (in my opinion wrongly) the senior staff of being unresponsive in informing us of the extent of the issue.

The tedium continued until Mr. Mike King, our esteemed DSU president, although appearing late, made a Sheringham/Solskjaer-esque impact à la 1999. Almost immediately Mike legitimately disputed that the topic of compensation was implied in the terms of reference, as part of the ‘response to the situation’.

He then went on to highlight that the 10% of board we have been granted back was not in line with the University’s requirement for external landlords, who must pay 50% compensation to students if a similar nonfeasance occurs. This, much to my amusement, had the answering panel stumped.

We still have not received any feedback regarding the meeting, nor answers to the only poignant issue raised, and the issue continues to be a cause of disillusionment for the students affected, as well as one of growing embarrassment for the university.


A truly scandalous situation, seen through the eyes of one who has been affected. But what are your views? Comment Below


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