‘I thought my room was normal’: Meet the fresher whose room was blighted by a biblical plague

No one expects to behead over a dozen wasps in their first year

Struggling to settle in to life at uni? Spare a thought for Austin. 

Austin Gontier thought nothing out-of-the-ordinary of his room when he arrived at in Sherwood Hall, set up his Xbox and television and eagerly connected to the University Wi-Fi network.

He said: “I thought my room was normal, just like everyone else’s.”

Austin’s first couple of weeks were marred with misfortune – a near deadly battle with a destruction of wasps and a “flood” that nearly ruined his things.

It appeared just a few weeks in, however, the Surrey boy’s room was not “just like everyone else’s”.


The Accounting and Finance fresher is clearly shaken by events. When we asked what happened, Austin snapped back: “Can I have a more specific question than that?”

After he calmed down, Austin explained his encounter with “14 to 18” wasps.

A wasp nest had formed outside his window and they were making their way into his room.

He said: “I noticed there were a lot of them flying around by the window and I thought they were coming through.


Austin’s trophy wasp head

“My friend noticed loads of gunk by the ethernet cable. They must have been coming through the walls. I had to kill about 14 to 18 wasps.”

Austin’s weapon of choice was a Heineken bottle, leftover from a freshers event. He would trap them with the concave butt of the bottle and behead them.

His face reddening with rage, he explained his method, making scraping noises with his mouth to reenact the killing.

He said: “Yeah it means you can’t squish ’em. So you trap them, you drag them down and once they’re at the sill you just slide the bottle while pushing down.”

Expressionless, he added: “That severs the neck.”

Austin said that after telling a member of staff the problem was fixed and he had no more problems.

Bitterly, he added: “At least no wasp-related problems.

“You know that big storm when it was raining loads? Well after that I came back to find my whole desk completely flooded.


‘Literally covered in water’

I came back to find my whole desk was completely flooded and I thought I was going to have to be reimbursed for a new laptop, TV and Xbox 360. 

“It was literally covered in water.”

Austin thought that given the damage, his halls would pay for new equipment.

“I was surprised more than anything. And when I thought I would have to move rooms it was annoying more than anything else.

“I was excited by the prospect of being reimbursed for new, better equipment. But that never happened.

“It turns out that everything worked”.


Now he can carry on as normal

We asked if anyone laughed at his misfortune.

He said: “Yes, you laughed at me.”

A Leicester-born hall-mate, who may or may not have lamb’s blood on his door, said: “From Austin’s description of the room I thought I was going to need wellies. Turns out he’s just a posh southerner”.

Austin tells us he is now settling in and has not had to move rooms. He has not been afflicted with boils and his water has not turned to blood either.

But then again: “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.” Job 1:21