I don’t pay £9,000 a year to wear my coat in seminars
Next week I’m taking a duvet
On a Monday morning, the last thing I want to do is get out of bed, but my two hour seminar is half of my contact hours for the week. Which ends up costing around £200, when you calculate it from the ridiculous fees you pay for a BA. So, I make the case to myself that I should probably roll out of bed and go.
I live in student accommodation (odd for a fourth year, I know) but it means I have the luxury many of my seminar peers don't have, free heating. But I’ll get off my free-heating privileged high horse and admit that I feel even worse for them when we step into the seminar classroom and it’s basically a giant walk in fridge. It’s definitely colder on the inside than the temperature outside the frosty window.
Back to the £200. There's about eight people in my seminar, so that's about £1600 the uni is receiving for the two hours. I have no doubt my seminar tutor isn't getting paid £1600 for his time. So where is the money going?
Definitely not on the heating.
It’s a bit much to have to sit in a seminar classroom in a coat and scarf, shivering for two hours whilst discussing party funding in British politics. Firstly, it's bad manners to wear a coat indoors, but that's beside the point. There’s radiators in the class, two in in fact, and quite big. They aren’t ever turned on though. There’s not even a thermostat to ramp up the heating in the hope of warming the place up. The radiator probably emits cold air instead.
I don't think it's too much to ask to turn the heating on. Okay, it might come across that I’m just a moany-millennial. I’m not the only one that thinks that the seminar should be conducted in a reasonably warm room. The seminar tutor isn’t happy about it, and yes he’s complained.
But guess what? Still no heating.
I’m sure there’s rules on how cold workplaces can be, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this seminar room went well below that limit.
Next week I’m tempted to take a blanket, or at least a hot water bottle. Which is a ridiculous thought, this is a university not a retirement home. A coat and scarf is enough to stay warm outside, but somehow these days is not enough to stay warm in a classroom.
I'm not asking for much, just a bit of comfort in these cold winter months. Two hours of heating in one classroom is probably a fraction of the uni’s energy bill.
If it is too much, they should probably go on Compare the Market, change supplier, then get two for one cinema tickets, and maybe give me one as compensation. Simples.