Cash cows: UEA rakes in over £100K in fines
That’s one hell of an overdue book
Greedy bureaucrats at UEA are pocketing over 100 grand of students’ money every year in fines. Already this year one poor soul amassed a £300 fee for a single overdue library book.
Being fined 20p a day for an overdue library book seems pretty fair, right? Leave it a month and you’ve set yourself back £6.20. That’s just over a whole meal in the campus kitchen you’re wasting there.
But over last academic year 2013/14 the total amount of library fines was £100,855. While that includes replacement book charges, handling fees, campus card replacement fees etc, it still seems pricey.
Add this to last year’s total amount of student fines, which was £5,475, and the total becomes £106,330. That’s the equivalent of just almost 12 students’ annual fees.
This year, since September 2014 to date, if you’ve got an overdue book then you’re part of the £43,625 of funds already banked by UEA from library charges.
UEA has already amassed 34 other general fines this academic year, the largest single fine being issued at £300. The total amount of student fines UEA has received from 2012 to present is £15,290 from 173 incidents.
And we’re not happy about it. English Literature second year Max Saddleton said: “It seems immediately repulsive that students, of all people, have been fined over £100,000. Considering the debt many are in to pay rent, questions must surely be raised as to whether their actions warranted such extensive fines.
“Perhaps that’s the plan, though – students are nothing to this university if not profit organisms. It’s a shame you couldn’t get hold of the profit margins on student accommodation, I think you’d go from having an article to a novel with that one.
“Also, I’ve just done a bit of maths, and the fines from the library last year seem to match the income UEA receives in rent from about three floors of a Norfolk Terrace block, maybe slightly less.”
Katherine Beasley, a Psychology fresher, agrees: “It seems a bit excessive really, and I’d like to know where the money is going.”
Other fines included the activation of a break glass point and breach of fire regulations, probably through drunken foam fights post-LCR. These fines seem fairer, but library charges still trump any behavioural fines.
Emily Kench, a second year Ecology student, was more understanding though: “It does seem a lot, particularly the library fines, but otherwise I guess they wouldn’t get any books returned.”
Trying to locate where the money went was problematic.
The library suggested we speak to the head of user maintenance, who then advised to ring the finance team, who then suggested we call the distribution team. Eventually we were told the person to speak to was in meetings all day, but that he was the wrong person to ring anyway, and to talk to the Dean of Students.
The Dean of Students informed us to speak to a man name Mike McCormack, and that there was no contact number for him, just an email address.
A quick email has received no reply as of yet, but upon contacting the union, chief executive Jim Dickinson said of the funds: “They just go into the general university income pot.”
Thanks for clearing that up.