Freshers’ Week: £140

Colleges are charging third years £20 to stay in their rooms during Freshers’ Week, leaving colleges empty

Colleges are forcing third years to pay £20 a night to stay in their own rooms during Freshers’ Week.

In a controversial decision, the University Senate ruled college let agreements for third years will begin on October 6, a week after freshers arrive.

Finalists wishing to come up for the week are forced to stump up a total of £140.

Usually a large component of Induction Week (the university’s trendy new term for Freshers’), many third years are now notable by their absence.

According to DSU Welfare Officer, Jenny James, this has created a host of problems. She said: “Fresher-parent events in college which were crucial to the first week have had to be changed, there aren’t as many people around to run society stalls at the Fresher’s Fair and in general integrating returners with Freshers is going to be much harder”.

One third year Castle student agreed. “I’m living on a corridor of Freshers this year who will have moved in and met one another for a full seven days before me. Way to isolate me even more Durham. If the music doesn’t put them off me enough, this surely will.”

Ryan from Van Mildert said: “Moving into college a night before term starts makes it very difficult for anyone to get settle in and get organised before lectures.

“As third years, being well-established members of the university we have a great many responsibilities that extend beyond learning. Freshers’ Week is a key time for any society and not being able to live back in Durham for it without great expense really messes it up.”

The Tab understands fourth year language students have had to reschedule their post-year oral exams because they were timetabled for Freshers’ Week.

Deputy Head of Colleges, Professor Adrian Darnell, has responded to the criticism by claiming the decision was taken to focus Induction Week on new students. “Induction for new students will cover all aspects of the student experience and in order to deliver this we agreed to postpone returning students’ college let.

“Returning students such as Fresher’s reps and students helping to deliver the DSU Fair before the start of term should in most cases be able to take up their College places at an earlier date with free accommodation.”

According to one disgruntled student, the issue was more a lack of communication. “At no point have I received college or Durham-headed letter or email explaining why my empty bedroom cannot be inhabited when the fresher next door to me has been able to move in.”